Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the National Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby, in northern England March 5, 2013. (Photo : REUTERS/Toby Melville)
Kensington Palace officials confirmed on Monday that Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, has been admitted to a London hospital in the first stages of labor. It's also been confirmed that Kate entered the hospital just before 6:00 a.m. local time and was not induced; the Duchess went into labor naturally.
The Palace released an official statement on Kate early Monday morning:
"Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted this morning to St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London in the early stages of labor. The Duchess traveled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital with the Duke of Cambridge."
Headline & Global News reports that Middleton traveled to the hospital by car, with Prince William driving and another vehicle in tow. The mini royal entourage used side roads behind the hospital to get to their final destination to avoid the throngs of photographers who have been camped outside the hospital for weeks. And the couple succeeded! They managed to make it into a side door of the hospital without alerting the waiting paparazzi to their presence.
According to a spokesperson for the royal couple, things are progressing normally thus far.
Kate will be looked after by top notch doctors as her labor continues. E! Online reports that Dr. Marcus Setchell, former OBGYN to Queen Elizabeth II, will serve as head doctor in the delivery room. Also on hand will be Dr. Alan Farthing, the queen's current surgeon/gynecologist.
According to the Daily Beast, once the royal baby finally arrives an aide will leave the hospital with a sheet of paper in hand that will list the child's sex, weight and time of birth.
This paper will be given to a driver and transported to Buckingham Palace. A notice complete with all of the information on the future heir to the throne will then be placed on an easel in the forecourt of the Palace. Approximately half an hour later the news will be posted, in a royal first, on the Royal Family Twitter feed.
The royal newborn, whether male or female, will become third-in-line to the throne upon arrival. The Washington Post reports that laws were changed after the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, whereby the British parliament ended the country's centuries-old tradition in which male heirs superseded female heirs in terms of their royal succession order, no matter who was born first.
In announcing this proposal for changing of royal tradition, Prime Minister David Cameron said "put simply, if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were to have a little girl, that girl would one day be our queen."
And what will the little bundle of joy be named? No hints have been dropped by Kate or her husband as of yet, and it could be a good while before the general public is informed of the child's name. Princess Diana and Prince Charles took an entire week before notifying the world of Prince William's name.
In the meantime, the Palace announced earlier this month that the baby's title will be "His or Her Royal Highness Prince or Princess of Cambridge," according to a report from International Business Times.
So now begins the real waiting game...
We will be sure to update you as soon as the royal heir officially arrives, but in the meantime you can also keep tabs on the goings-on at St. Mary's Hospital through this live video stream, made available by The Telegraph.