Following the happy news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child (opens in new tab), there's already speculation surrounding the upcoming birth and what the little royal might be called (opens in new tab). While there's a little while to wait before William and Kate welcome the prince or princess, here are a few things to know about this new arrival.
1. The royal baby will be fifth in line to Britain's throne, after Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte, regardless of whether it is a girl or a boy.
This will push Prince Harry into sixth place in the order of succession (opens in new tab), and every other member of the royal family will be one step further away from the throne.
2. It's expected to be a spring baby.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have not yet announced a due date, but if Kate is 12 weeks pregnant, then it is expected that the baby will be born in March 2018. But when the Duchess was expecting Prince George and Princess Charlotte, she was rushed to announce her pregnancy early due to her acute morning sickness, which she is also suffering with this time around. So, if Kate has not yet reached the 12-week mark, a due date in April or May 2018 could be more likely.
3. Like Prince George and Princess Charlotte, it's likely the royal baby will be born at the Lindo Wing in St Mary's Hospital, west London.
Both Prince William and Prince Harry were also born in the private wing of the hospital, although this hasn't always been the case with royal births. The Queen was born at a home belonging to her mother's parents in London's Mayfair and Prince Charles was born at Buckingham Palace.
4. There's no need for government officials to be at the hospital.
Custom used to dictate that government officials should be present when a royal was born. So, when the Queen was born in 1926, the then Home Secretary Sir William Joynson-Hicks was also there. Luckily for Kate, this tradition was ended in 1948 ahead of the birth of Prince Charles. (opens in new tab)
5. The birth of a royal baby is announced on an easel outside Buckingham Palace.
Once the baby is born, it is tradition for news of the baby's time of birth, gender, and weight to be confirmed on a letter displayed outside the Palace. This used to be the nation's first chance to find out if it is a boy or a girl, although as with the arrival of Prince George and Princess Charlotte, it's expected that the royal communications team will announce this to the world via royal social media accounts.
6. The arrival of a royal baby is traditionally marked with a gun salute from British soldiers.
The custom is that gun salutes are fired for the birth of every prince or princess, no matter where their place is within the succession. The last royal salute for a royal birth was for Princess Charlotte (opens in new tab) in 2015, when soldiers from The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery rode out in a procession near Buckingham Palace to sound 41 shots in nearby Hyde Park.
7. Royal babies usually have three to four names, but they don't need a surname.
The first and middle names usually pay tribute to previous monarchs or relatives, like the Queen's full name, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, which honors her mother Queen Elizabeth, her paternal great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra, and paternal grandmother, Queen Mary.
As for William and Kate's third child, Alice and Elizabeth have been predicted if the baby is a girl. For a boy, James and Arthur—a middle name of Prince William—are both said to be in the running, but we'll have to wait until next year until we find out. Any royal with the title "His Royal Highness Prince" or "Her Royal Highness Princess" doesn't need to use a surname (opens in new tab) at all.
8. The royal baby's christening is likely to take place just weeks after the birth.
It is not yet known where the latest addition to the Cambridge family will be christened, but royal infants are usually baptized when they are just a few months old. Princess Charlotte was baptized at a church on the Sandringham estate two months after her arrival on 2 May, while George was three months old when he was christened at the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace.
9. If the new baby is christened, the christening gown will be a replica of one that was first designed for Queen Victoria in 1841.
The Victorian gown with a Honiton lace overlay was worn by 62 babies during its lifespan, The Telegraph (opens in new tab) reports. But after the Queen declared the original version was too delicate for use, she commissioned a replica to be made by her favored designer Angela Kelly in 2004. Princess Charlotte became the fifth royal infant to be christened in the new gown, following her brother Prince George, James, Viscount Severn, the son of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and Savannah and Isla, the daughters of Peter and Autumn Phillips.
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