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Headline News

July 22, 2013

Palace: Royal baby is on the way

(Continued)

LONDON —

At the same time the bulletin is posted, there will be an official announcement on Twitter and the media will be formally notified. The document will give the baby's gender, weight and time of birth.

It could be some time before the baby's name is made public. When William was born, a week passed before his name was announced. Charles's name remained a mystery for an entire month.

But it is the baby's gender that is of particular interest because the prospect of Kate's pregnancy prompted a change to laws of succession to ensure a daughter would not be passed over for the crown by a younger brother. Boy or girl, the child will be third in line to the throne and the prospective future monarch.

The birth of a new heir to the throne has been breathlessly anticipated since William and Kate wed on April 29, 2011, in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

When news of a royal pregnancy was announced, there was rejoicing in many households in Britain and throughout the world.

Despite a rough start to the pregnancy, when she was hospitalized for acute morning sickness, the 31-year-old Kate made a number of public appearances that were halted only near the end of her term.

Since the duchess has cut back on her royal duties, media outlets have been clamoring for position outside of the hospital in anticipation of the birth, jockeying to secure the best vantage point for filming William and Kate emerging, babe in arms.

Officials have said that William plans to take two weeks' paternity leave and then return to his military duties as a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot in Wales.

His tour of duty is scheduled to wrap up around September, and he and Kate are expected to move from their isolated cottage on the island of Anglesey off the coast of Wales to Kensington Palace in central London.

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