LONDON (AFP) – From the cannon fire that will mark the arrival of Prince William and Catherine’s first child, to the doctors overseeing this very special delivery, here is an A to Z of Britain’s royal baby.
A is for ANNOUNCEMENT. After the birth, a proclamation signed by Kate’s doctors will be rushed to Buckingham Palace and displayed on a gilded easel at the gates.
B is for BAPTISM. The baby will be christened wearing a replica of a lace and satin gown that has been used since 1841. It is not known where the baby will be baptized, but William was christened at Buckingham Palace by the Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the world’s Anglicans.
C is for CANNONS. They will echo over London to mark the birth — 62 shots from the Tower of London and 41 from Green Park.
D is for DELIVERY. The baby will be born in the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London. Kate is believed to prefer a natural birth over a caesarian.
E is for EDUCATION. The royal youngster is set to enjoy exclusive schooling. Both William and his brother Harry went to the elite boarding school Eton.
F is for FASHION. Just as style gurus have kept an eagle eye on Kate’s maternity clothes, the new royal will be a baby-wear trendsetter before it can walk and talk.
G is for GRANDPARENTS. Grandpa Prince Charles is heir to the throne, but the Middletons started as lowly British Airways employees before making millions from a party supplies business. William’s mother Princess Diana died in a car crash in 1997.
H is for HYPEREMESIS GRAVIDARUM. The term for the severe form of morning sickness that Kate had which led to her being hospitalized for several days in December.
I is for INTERNET. As the first royal baby of the social networking era, the fetus naturally had several spoof Twitter accounts within minutes of the pregnancy being announced.
J is for JULY. The palace has confirmed that the baby is due in July, but is staying tight-lipped on the exact date.
K is for KENSINGTON PALACE. The future home to the new parents with apartment 1A of the palace being lavishly refurbished. The family are set to move in a few months after the birth.
L is for LAVENDER. The purple flower is thought to help combat morning sickness, and Kate has reportedly been munching on lavender biscuits to keep the nausea at bay.
M is for MEMORABILIA. Manufacturers have been pumping out everything from royal baby mugs to “Prince in Training” romper suits.
N is for NURSERY. Decor plans for the royal nursery have not been made public, but interior designers have rushed forward with suggestions — from traditional frills to super-modern cots that rock electronically.
O is for OBSTETRICIANS. The baby will be delivered by Alan Farthing, gynaecologist to Queen Elizabeth II, and his predecessor Marcus Setchell.
P is for PLAYMATES. William and Kate have a coterie of aristocratic and well-to-do pals with toddlers to join the baby on play-dates.
Q is for QUEEN-TO-BE? If the baby is a girl, she will be the first princess in history who cannot be pushed out of the line of succession by any younger brothers, following a change in the law.
R is for RESPONSIBILITIES. The baby will be the future monarch of Britain and 15 Commonwealth realms including Canada and Australia. He or she can expect a lifetime of duty that will one day include being head of the armed forces, signing laws and shaking thousands of hands.
S is for SPOTLIGHT. Prince William is fiercely protective of his wife’s privacy and will demand that the media give his offspring as close to a normal childhood as possible.
T is for TOYS. Former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard has been knitting a kangaroo for the baby.
U is for UNCLE HARRY. William’s brother will be demoted to fourth in line to the throne after the birth. Fun-loving Harry could prove an interesting baby-sitter, while Kate’s siblings Pippa and James are also on hand.
V is for VICTORIA. Britain’s longest-reigning monarch also grew up in Kensington Palace, but the 19th-century princess had a much stricter upbringing — she was not even allowed to climb the stairs without supervision.
W is for WILLIAM. The new father is a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot with the Royal Air Force, but is expected to announce soon whether he intends to quit and take up full-time royal duties.
X is for XX or XY? The couple insists they do not know the sex of their baby.
Y is for YOGA. Kate has reportedly taken up yoga and power-walking to stay healthy ahead of the birth.
Z is for ZZZZZZ… Like all new parents, William and Kate can expect months of sleepless nights, but there may be nannies on hand to share the burden.