The Royal Family is getting set to welcome its newest member sometime over the next few days.
The Duchess of Cambridge, nine months pregnant with her third child, could be admitted to the Lindo Wing in London at any moment, and parking restrictions outside the hospital are already in place.
As Britain holds its breath, here are a few things to know about baby Cambridge No. 3.
The new addition will, upon his or her birth, immediately be fifth in line to the throne. He or she will sit behind grandfather Prince Charles, dad Prince William, big brother George, and big sister Charlotte.
For centuries, the baby — if male — would have leap-frogged its older sister in the line of succession. That’s what happened to Princess Anne, who remains behind her two younger brothers, Andrew and Edward, to this day.
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But a change in the rules in 2013 put an end to that practice, and Princess Charlotte will stay fourth in line even if the new baby is a boy.
Announcing baby Cambridge
Much like Prince George and Princess Charlotte, the royal baby’s birth is expected to trigger a series of time-honoured procedures and traditions. But modern technology will also play a role.
Once the duchess goes into labour and is inside the hospital (barring a crazy-fast birth in the lobby), Kensington Palace’s Instagram and Twitter accounts may make an announcement that she’s been admitted. Then, like any labour, it’s a waiting game.
As soon as baby Cambridge is born, the Queen will be the first to be informed of the safe arrival of her newest great-grandchild, followed by immediate family. A few hours later, an official press release is typically sent by email to media organizations around the world, noting the time of birth and the baby’s sex.
Kensington Palace is expected to tweet out the news around the same time, and then an easel holding a notice with the information will be placed in the courtyard at Buckingham Palace. While unnecessary in the modern era, it’s a tradition that has endured.
If you’re in the British capital and somehow still haven’t heard about the birth, the 62 cannon shots from the Tower of London and 41 more from Green Park should be enough to bring you up to speed.
No last name
Because their third child is unlikely ever to become king or queen, Will and Kate have more latitude in the first and middle names they pick. George and Charlotte were each given three names in the days after they were born (George Alexander Louis and Charlotte Elizabeth Diana).
Experts still expect Will and Kate to choose traditional monikers, possibly throwing in a name with a strong link to Kate’s family, the Middletons.
Bookies say the best odds are on Arthur, Albert or James for a boy, and Mary, Alice, Elizabeth or Victoria for a girl.
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The Queen has ensured that the new baby will automatically have “the titular dignity of Prince or Princess,” making their full name HRH Prince(ss) XXX of Cambridge. The same cannot be said for any future children born to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who will likely be known as “Lord” or “Lady.”
Like George and Charlotte, the new baby will have no formal last name on their birth certificate. But when he was registered for school, Prince George’s family name was listed as “Cambridge,” so it’s expected the other children could follow suit.
Finding a job
Prince George’s future job was pretty much set in stone before he was even born. But George’s younger siblings won’t have quite the same restrictions placed on their career aspirations.
As the “spare to the spare,” the third child will still be expected to engage with charities and represent the Crown both in Britain and abroad but will have more freedom to choose a job outside those obligations.
Prince Andrew, for example, had a lengthy military career, while Prince Edward went into the entertainment business, eventually forming a now-defunct television production company. Princess Anne, who still does a huge amount of charity work today, had a successful athletic career in equestrianism and competed in the 1976 Olympics.