The Trooping of the Colour ceremony [above] was the last time we saw the Duchess of Cambridge at a public engagement before she gives birth to the future heir. Now that she’s done with her pre-baby royal duties, it's time for Kate to crack on with the serious business of nesting, nappy buying and shortlisting those baby names.
What’s more, in less than a month, history could be made. For if Kate’s first child is a girl (she has said they don’t know the gender, but she wants a boy and William a girl), then she will now one day be Queen. In April, Parliament passed a new ‘Succession to the Crown Bill’, which declared that, for the first time in British history, the firstborn will be heir to the throne, regardless of gender. So, as Kate’s maternity leave kicks in and the countdown to the most talked about birth of the decade begins, how exactly has the Duchess been preparing for the imminent arrival?
According to royal circles, William has been extremely hands-on in helping Kate prepare for the birth. It’s understood that the 30-year-old prince – who will go on paternity leave from his job as a search-andrescue- pilot as soon as the baby is born – has been helping to prepare the nursery at Mike and Carole’s home. Kate will give birth at St Mary’s Hospital in London, where William was born, and it's believed that the Queen’s gynaecologist, Alan Farthing, will deliver the heir to the throne. ‘William is nervous but excited,’ said a source. ‘He has been going out of his way to make Kate feel as comfortable as possible.’
With their new home, Kensington Palace Apartment 1A, not ready until later in the year (due to the discovery of asbestos), once William returns to duty, Kate will continue to live at her parents’ home. Kate’s uncle, Gary Goldsmith, said last month, ‘The fact they’re taking the baby to Carole’s for the first six weeks is genius. Carole’s a brilliant mum – she is 10 years older than me and practised on me – and I think it’s the right thing to do. It will take the pressure off Kate.’
It’s also believed that William is planning to give Kate a special gift to mark the arrival of their first child (known as a ‘push present’). ‘Wills has been going through his late mother’s jewellery to see if there is something appropriate that he could give Kate as a special keepsake to mark the birth of their little one,’ said a source last week. This, of course, comes after he made the significant gesture of proposing with Diana’s diamond and sapphire engagement ring from Charles.
As previously reported in Grazia, Kate is said to be considering a hypno-birth, and she has also been partaking in regular prenatal yoga to keep herself relaxed, fit and in shape. Prenatal yoga can be practised during all three trimesters and focuses on poses that strengthen and increase the flexibility of the muscles used during childbirth. Benefits are said to include stress relief and preparing the mother mentally and physically for childbirth. Pippa and Carole are also said to have been joining in at the private lessons at Kate’s temporary Kensington Palace residence, Nottingham Cottage.