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Royal baby's birth announcement will be displayed on an easel at Buckingham Palace
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By Rebecca English and Martin Robinson
PUBLISHED: 10:00 EST, 19 June 2013 | UPDATED: 14:16 EST, 19 June 2013
The birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first child - a future heir to the throne - will be announced in exactly the same way as Prince William's to retain 'the theatre' of a genuine royal occasion.
As soon as the baby is born, a proclamation signed by doctors who delivered the boy or girl will be rushed from the ward and displayed at the gates of Buckingham Palace within minutes.
Like the late Princess Diana before her, Kate, 31, has chosen the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s where a natural birth, staying in a private suite, is likely to cost up to £10,000.
Same again: On June 22 1982 a sign on an easel was placed at the gates of Buckingham Palace announcing the birth, the previous day, of Prince William. The same will happen this year with his child
Historic: The same easel will be used when the
royal baby is born in around a month's time (left), and will use the
same kind of written announcement when William Wales came into the world (right)
William, 30, became the first future
monarch in history to be born in a hospital when he was delivered there
on June 21, 1982, followed by his brother, Harry, two years later.
Although both Buckingham Palace and Clarence House have their own Twitter accounts on which details of royal events are frequently now broken, it will most definitely not be the preferred medium to announce the new royal baby.
Instead a formal notice on a piece of creamy A4 size Buckingham
Palace-headed paper, signed by the medical staff who have assisted the
Duchess, will be brought out of the Lindo’s front entrance by a press
It will then be handed to a waiting driver and driven through the streets of London – escorted by police outriders - to the Privy Purse Door at the front of Buckingham Palace.
Loving mother: Diana, the Princess of Wales with her son, Prince William, on her lap at Kensington Palace. Her son and his wife will also hold a similar official shoot after the baby is born
There it will then be placed on an easel, last used to announce Prince
William’s birth, by the main gates in the palace forecourt.
This will signify to an eager public that a new royal baby has been born.
30 years ago: Newborn Prince William with Diana Princess of Wales and Prince Charles leave St. Mary's hospital on June 22, 1982, the same route William and Kate will likely take
‘We wanted to retain some of the theatre of the notice. It is quite important to us that this is done properly and with the degree of dignity that the event demands. This is the birth of a child who will be in line to the throne. It is a rare occasion and it is nice to be able to do it with some historical precedence,' a Palace spokesman said.
‘It is very important [to us] that it will not be announced first on Twitter, although it will be announced on Twitter in due course.’
At the same time, however, Kensington Palace does plan to send out an 'electronic press release' containing a little more detail, such as the baby’s weight. When Prince William was born, for example, it was revealed by press officers that he had blue eyes and had ‘cried lustily’ as he was handed to his parents.
However, if the baby is born between 10.30pm and 8am, the news will be sent out via press release with the easel being erected later that morning, at around 9am.
‘If the baby is born late at night, it would be unreasonable not to tell anyone [and] we wouldn’t run around with a police escort at 3am. We would be slightly disappointed not to announce it on the easel first, but would still put the notice up the next morning,’ an aide explained.
Palace sources have also made clear the birth will not be made public until the Queen and senior members of the royal family have been informed - and, of course, the Middletons, in the unlikely scenario that they are not at the hospital.
MailOnline understands that William himself is likely to phone the Queen before anyone else, even his own father, depending on what time of day the baby is born.
‘Clearly if they are together the Middleton family will be informed pretty quickly….efforts will be made to contact the Queen soon after and members of the royal family will be told as soon as is practically possible. Whether they are woken depends on what time of day it was,’ the source added.
Happy moment: When William was born, details were released almost immediately, including that he had blue eyes and had 'cried lustily' as he was handed to his parents
It is also hoped that William will make a short statement on the steps of the hospital after the good news has been dispersed – as will the Middletons, although the mechanics of this have yet to be discussed.
‘While it is a deeply personal and private event, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge realise this is a time of national celebration and that there will be vast interest in the baby. They realise many people will want to share in their happiness,’ a spokesman said.
Unusually, palace officials will also
make public the fact that the Duchess has gone into labour within
minutes of her being admitted to hospital and being seen by a doctor.
While palace aides are keen to retain Kate’s ‘dignity’ as a woman in labour, they acknowledge the fact that social media such as Twitter will make it almost impossible to keep her admittance a secret unless she is smuggled in.
The Royal Household’s official Surgeon-gynaecologist, Alan Farthing, the former fiancée of murdered television presenter Jill Dando, is by happy co-incidence a consultant gynaecologist at St Mary’s and will be assisting with the labour. He will be led by the Queen’s own Surgeon-Gynaecologist, Marcus Setchell.
It is understood that contingency plans have been put in place with other hospitals, such as the Royal Berkshire in Reading, in case the Duchess goes into labour when visiting her parents.