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Royal Baby Watch: Queen Elizabeth Eagerly Awaits the Arrival of Prince William and Kate's Baby

( [email protected] ) Jul 17, 2013 03:49 AM EDT
The world eagerly await the arrival of Prince William and Kate Middleton's baby, who will be heir to the British throne. Queen Elizabeth II is among those keen for the new baby to greet the world.
Kate Middleton and Prince William

The world eagerly await the arrival of Prince William and Kate Middleton's baby, who will be heir to the British throne. Queen Elizabeth II is among those keen for the new baby to greet the world.

On a visit to northern England Wednesday, she was asked by a little girl whether she wants Kate's baby to be a boy or a girl. The queen replied: "I don't think I mind. I would very much like it to arrive. I'm going on holiday."

Media around the world camped outside the Lindo wing of St Mary's Hospital in west London since July 1, where the Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth any day.

Prince William plans to be in the delivery room during the baby's birth. He is also expected to take a two week paternity leave. Catherine's mother, Carole Middleton, is likely to be on hand at the hospital.

The baby will have the title His or Her Royal Highness Prince or Princess (the baby's name) of Cambridge and will be the third in line to the throne regardless of gender, after Prince Charles and Prince William.

A rule change in 2011 ended centuries of male primogeniture, which decreed that the crown passed to the eldest son and was bestowed on a daughter only when there were no sons. It means that if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first child is a girl, she will take precedence over any younger brothers in the order of succession.

Furthermore, any baby born in Britain on the same day as William and Catherine's baby will receive a special coin from the Royal Mint: a silver penny, dated 2013, that will come in a blue pouch for a boy or a pink one for a girl.