Royal couple won’t learn baby’s sex until its birth

Kate Expectant parents: Kate and William.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have asked not to be told their baby’s gender because they want it to be a surprise, a palace spokesman has revealed.

The royal households are putting the final touches to their plans for the birth of the royal baby next month, who will be third in line to the throne, whether a boy or a girl.

Fairfax understands that the couple are not having twins, as was previously speculated.

Barring a last-minute emergency, the baby will be born in the private Lindo Wing of the NHS hospital St Mary’s in Paddington, west London, in mid-July.

William plans to be by his wife’s side in the delivery room.

Both William and Harry were born in the Lindo Wing, as were other royals. Its website boasts of an “internationally renowned obstetric unit” with individual birthing rooms, and even a wine list for happy couples to toast their baby’s arrival with a glass of champagne.

As international media attention focuses on the birth, St James’ Palace pleaded for restraint from the media. A spokesman said the recent scandal in which Australian radio DJs made a hoax call to King Edward VII hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for morning sickness was “still strong in the memories” of the palace.

Much of the birth will be shrouded in secrecy. The first the public will hear of it is an official announcement shortly after the Duchess of Cambridge is admitted to hospital.

She will be treated by doctors from the royal household, assisted by staff from St Mary’s. The team will be led by surgeon and gynaecologist Marcus Setchell, who served for almost two decades as the Queen’s surgeon/gynaecologist and has delivered several royals as well as Tony Blair and Cherie Booth’s fourth child, Leo.

His assistant for the birth, Alan Farthing, replaced him in 2008 as the Queen’s surgeon/gynaecologist.

Unless there are complications, Fairfax understands that no medical details of the delivery will be released.

Though the royal staff have been planning for a birth at St Mary’s Lindo Wing, they have contingency plans should the Duchess go into labour while away from London in the next few weeks.

Immediately following the birth, the medical team will sign a formal notice that will be taken by car to Buckingham Palace. The notice will also reveal the baby’s gender.

At the same time members of the royal family and the Middleton family will be told of the birth. The Palace will also inform the UK government, and the governors-general of the realms including Australia.

The formal notice will then be placed, according to time-worn tradition, on a simple wooden easel in the Buckingham Palace forecourt. The placement of the notice on the easel marks the moment that the birth is ‘officially’ announced – and at that point the palace will also release the news via Twitter and other electronic media.

The same easel was used to announce William’s birth, though for some other royal births the notice has been chained to the palace railings.

The baby’s name has not been revealed – and may not be announced until days after the birth. Officially they will be titled “His (or Her) royal highness, prince (or princess) of Cambridge” – the family name of Windsor may not appear on the official birth certificate.

The first that the public will see of the baby will be when the couple leave the hospital after the birth, at a time agreed on by the couple and their doctors.

William will take the standard two weeks paternity leave from his job at the RAF’s search and rescue unit, but will return to duty in North Wales after that.

His three-year secondment to the RAF ends in a few months’ time, but his plans after that have not been announced.

Catherine will take maternity leave from her royal duties – her final official appearance was last weekend – and has reportedly not yet decided when she will resume them.

The couple plan to take the newborn baby to a more private location than the palaces of central London for their first few weeks as parents. The palace has not revealed where, though some speculate it will be Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Some weeks after the birth the baby will be baptised, though plans have yet to be finalised as to a venue and date.

The new family will then move to an apartment in Kensington Palace, which is currently being renovated and will be ready around September.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.