Britain on royal baby watch

CNC report from London
Added On July 12, 2013

Britain's royal baby due within days...

The first child of Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton is expected to be born in mid-July, though no official due date has been announced.

The royal baby will be third in line to the throne, and even before birth, it's causing a frenzy at home and abroad.

Britain is on royal baby watch!

Journalists and photographers are camping outside the hospital where the newest addition to the British royal family is to arrive.

The Duchess of Cambridge is to give birth at St. Mary's, the same hospital where her husband, Prince William, was born.

SOUNDBITE (English) INGRID SEWARD, Author of "A Century of Royal Children"
"Diana was the first royal lady as close to the throne to have a child in a public hospital, the Queen had all her children at Buckingham Palace so no-one ever saw hide, nor hair of the Queen, or Prince Philip, or anyone else. Prince William's was the first birth in a public hospital of someone as close to the throne."

Prince William and Kate Middleton married in April 2011.

They announced last December that a baby was on its way, after Kate was admitted to hospital after suffering acute morning sickness.

Now with the due date looming, Kate has stopped official duties while Prince William, a helicopter pilot, is on standby at an airbase in Wales,  and plans to be there for his first child.

SOUNDBITE: (English) PETER MANDLER, Chairman, Royal Historical Society
"There was no general rules about who had to be present, or who should be present at royal births. Many royal births in the 18th century took place in Hanover, on the other side of the English Channel, because the kings of England in the 18th century were also kings of Hanover." 

SOUNDBITE (English)INGRID SEWARD, Author of "A Century of Royal Children"
"I think this birth will be very public, not because William and Kate want it to be, but by very dint of who they are and what's happening, it's going to be completely global and I think probably rather a terrifying number of people outside the hospital because you know William was born 31 years ago and the media wasn't so frenetic then."

The royal family has not announced the gender of the royal baby.

But among Londoners, it's already causing a stir.

SOUNDBITE: LINDA LUCCHI, Local resident:
"I prefer a boy so he can be my boyfriend to my little girl."

Whether a boy or girl, the baby will be third in line to the throne.

It will push Prince Harry into the fourth place in the royal list, as the government has changed the rules of succession.

The baby's arrival is expected to be announced in a combination of the traditional and modern - via Twitter, websites and with a notice outside Buckingham Palace.

SOUNDBITE (English)INGRID SEWARD, Author of "A Century of Royal Children"
"People could get it on iPlayer people could get it in ways they'd never got a wedding before so it was the technology wedding, this could be the technology birth, so it will be on twitter, it will be on everything."

And according to some reports, Kate might be interested in having a hypnobirth... which, some say, could spark a trend in the UK and abroad.

SOUNDBITE: ELENA B, Londoner
"Very brave very brave choice."

By whatever means the new baby is to be delivered, it's likely to deliver a morale boost at a time of economic gloom, and to give more popularity to the centuries-old British monarchy.