The £243 million royal baby shower
ARKS & Spencer has decided to hedge its bets over the birth by launching two bottles of wine – one with a blue collar for a boy and one with a pink collar for a girl.
Other High Street chains are also expected to cash in on the birth, with Mothercare announcing a new range of romper suits and Babygros.
Experts predict Britons will spend £243 million on memorabilia, champagne and food for parties.
And the Palace is also likely to benefit from the birth – with a range of royal-themed baby clothes and gifts already available in its online shops.
Guardsman sleepsuits for babies and princess t-shirts for girls are being sold on the Royal Collection Trust website for £12.95.
The Buckingham Palace shop is planning to release an official range in honour of the baby, but not until after the birth.
Meanwhile, the Royal Mint is giving every baby born on the same day as the future monarch a silver penny stamped with the year 2013.
Kate has had one-to-one sessions with Christine Hill, the no-nonsense doyenne of antenatal experts.
Mrs Hill declined to discuss her VIP patient but one ex-member of her class said: ‘The Duchess is in very good hands.’
The obstetric physiotherapist and mother-of-three became the ‘must-have’ guru after the retirement of her friend and former associate, Betty Parsons, who ‘prepared’ the Queen when she was expecting Prince Edward.
Star clients have included actresses Helena Bonham Carter and Kate Winslet.
It has also been reported that Kate’s sister Pippa is caring for her post-birth health.
She is said to have bought the duchess a baby ‘girdle’ to keep her stomach in after the royal birth.
Softly-spoken obstetrician Marcus Setchell, who turns 70 this year, will deliver the baby.
He applied for practising rights at the unit before Kate’s pregnancy was confirmed and is expected to be assisted by his son, Tom Setchell, a gynaecologist and obstetrician at St Mary’s.
A senior midwife and nurse will be alongside them.
Overseeing it all will be gynaecologist Alan Farthing, the former fiancé of murdered TV presenter Jill Dando.
Marcus Setchell delivered Lady Louise Windsor after the Countess of Wessex went into labour prematurely in 2003. He also carried out the Duchess of Cornwall’s hysterectomy
Kate and William’s baby will be HRH Prince or Princess of Cambridge, royal officials reveal
- Royal baby will hold title HRHPrince or Princess [first name] of Cambridge
- William and Kate are currently Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
- Mayor of Cambridge says it will be a ‘great honour’ for the historic city
- Due date of couple’s first child thought to be Saturday, 13 July
- Duchess will give birth in St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, west London
- All of the couple’s children will carry the same title
The Royal baby will have the title His Royal Highness Prince [first name] of Cambridge, or Her Royal Highness Princess [first name] of Cambridge.
The official title of William and Kate’s first child, thought to be due on Saturday, 13 July, will be His or Her Royal Highness Prince or Princess [first name] of Cambridge, following the Dukedom gifted to William and his wife by the Queen as a wedding present in 2011.
The baby will be born at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London, where William was born in 1982.
The Mayor of Cambridge, Councillor Paul Saunders, said it was a ‘great honour’ for the historic city.
‘It is a great honour and I’m sure the people of Cambridge will appreciate it greatly,’ he said.
‘I think it’s lovely to continue the close link with the Royal family. I think anything which helps to keep Cambridge in the public eye is a good thing as we rely on tourism.’
Former Cambridge mayor Cllr Sheila Stewart, who met Kate on the royal visit to the city last year, added: ‘It can only be good news for Cambridge. Everyone is so excited about it. The whole country is waiting for the birth.’
The Dukedom of Cambridge was bestowed upon Prince William by the Queen on his wedding day, 29 April, 2011.
On 31 December, the Queen declared all the Duke’s children would be princes and princesses, with the style Royal Highness.
A palace spokesman said: ‘The royal couple’s child will officially be known as His or Her Royal Highness Prince or Princess [first name] of Cambridge.’
He said any other children the couple have will also be known by the same title.
In addition, the child will be called after the dukedom of Cambridge, making them Prince or Princess of Cambridge.
William also received the titles Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus when he married.
These are gifts from the Queen, chosen by her and based on both historical significance and personal preference.
The Queen is permitted to choose whichever title she wishes to give, though it cannot be in use by another member of the family or aristocracy.
It is possible that she chose Cambridge for William and Kate due to its ancient links with the Royal family.
Speaking to MailOnline, St James’s Palace said:
‘Cambridge and Strathern have had Royal connections since the fourteenth century in the peerages of England and Scotland, and were both available.
‘Prince William is descended from the son of George III, who was created Duke of Cambridge in 1801 through Queen Mary.
‘Carrickfergus is a town in Northern Ireland, and Country Antrim’s oldest town, with one of the best-preserved castles in Ireland.’
Anticipation is mounting around the imminent birth, with photographers already camped out outside St Mary’s Hospital.
Once the baby has been safely delivered, Prince William’s first call will be to the Queen on an encrypted phone.
At the same time, the Royal couple’s private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton will inform Prime Minister David Cameron and a small number of other highly-placed individuals, including the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Back at Buckingham Palace, officials will notify the head of each of the 54 Commonwealth countries and the First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
For the public, an official notice announcing the birth will be placed in a glass-fronted easel and attached to the gates of the Palace.
What’s in a name? The history behind the title of Prince or Princess of Cambridge
The royal baby will not be the first Prince or Princess of Cambridge.
The last royals to hold the title were Prince George, Princess Augusta and Princess Mary of Cambridge, the grandchildren of George III, in the 19th century.
The children were born to Prince Adolphus – the tenth child of King George III – and his wife Princess Augusta, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
All their children, born in 1819, 1822, 1833 were born His or Her Royal Highness Prince or Princess of Cambridge.
The title Duke of Cambridge is part of the peerage, a legal system of largely hereditary titles in the United Kingdom.
In modern practice, only members of the Royal Family are granted new hereditary peerages (the last non-royal hereditary peerages were created under the Thatcher government)
The ranks of the English peerage are, from highest to lowest, Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount and Baron.
The Dukedom of Cornwall, created in 1337, is always held by eldest son, and heir apparent, of the monarch, and is currently held by Prince Charles, with his wife Camilla becoming the Duchess of Cornwall.
Prince Harry will most likely also be gifted a peerage by the Queen in the future.
Peerages, like all modern British honours, are created by the British monarch and take effect when letters patent are affixed with the Great Seal of the Realm. Her Majesty’s Government advises the Sovereign on a new peerage.
The Great Seal of the Realm, which makes the bestowed title official, is an ancient seal used to symbolise the Sovereign’s approval of important state documents and legitimatise them.
Sisters Mary (right) and Augusta (left) were both born Princess of Cambridge
The wax is melted in a metal mould and pressed into a wax figure that is attached by cord or ribbon to documents that the monarch wishes to make official.
The British Royal Family has created the Dukedom of Cambridge numerous times in its history.
It was first used as a designation for Charles Stuart (1660–1661), the eldest son of James, Duke of York (later King James II).
The first royal family member to have the peerage Duke of Cambridge bestowed upon him was in James Stuart, son of the Duke of York, in 1664.
James, Duke of Cambridge died young and without heirs, and the title became extinct. The following two creations of the title had similar bad luck.
Edgar Stuwart and Charles Stewart, who received the title in 1667 and 1677, respectively, both died young, having neither married or had children, meaning the title died out for several years.