Kate Middleton in labor at London hospital

WINCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 29: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits Naomi House on April 29, 2103 near Winchester, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Samir Hussein/WireImage

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, has gone into labor.

The British royal family is on the verge of expanding.

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, has gone into labor and been rushed to a London hospital with Prince William ahead of what may be one of the most anticipated births in world history.

As soon as the royal bundle of joy makes his or her debut, the infant will instantly become the third in line to the throne — behind only grandfather Prince Charles and dad Prince William.

The birth of Kate and Prince William's child may be one of the most anticipated in world history.

Samir Hussein/WireImage

The birth of Kate and Prince William’s child may be one of the most anticipated in world history.

PHOTOS: KATE MIDDLETON ROYAL MATERNITY STYLE

Though Kate’s due date was shrouded in secrecy, throngs of journalists and royal watchers camped out in front of London’s St Mary’s Hospital to await an official birth announcement from Buckingham Palace.

The baby is to be delivered in the posh Lido Wing of the same hospital where Princess Diana had William in 1982 and his brother Harry two years later — where the private birthing suites cost $ 1,500 a day.

Media personnel and ladders have been outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London for days, awaiting the royal baby's arrival.

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Media personnel and ladders have been outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London for days, awaiting the royal baby’s arrival.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge reportedly don’t know the gender of their child any more than the rest of the world does.

PHOTOS: PRINCE WILLIAM AND KATE MIDDLETON GET PRACTICE BEING PARENTS

Though the due date was never disclosed, many estimated that it was on or around July 13, so Kate was overdue.

The baby is due to be delivered in St Mary's Hospital's Lido Wing, where Princess Diana had William in 1982 and his brother Harry two years later.

Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

The baby is due to be delivered in St Mary’s Hospital’s Lido Wing, where Princess Diana had William in 1982 and his brother Harry two years later.

The palace plans to inform the world of the baby’s birth through a mixture of tradition and social media.

Officials have said a royal aide will emerge from the hospital with a signed bulletin carrying the Buckingham Palace letterhead. The bulletin will be given to an official who will be driven to the palace, where it will be posted on an easel in public view in front of the building.

PHOTOS: WILLIAM AND KATE: A LOVE STORY

Kate and the baby will be attended  by a team led by royal gynecologist Dr. Marcus Setchell.

AKIF/AKM-GSI

Kate and the baby will be attended  by a team led by royal gynecologist Dr. Marcus Setchell.

At the same time the bulletin is posted, there will be an official announcement on Twitter and the media will be notified. The document will include the baby’s gender, weight and time of birth.

It could be some time before the baby’s name is made public. When William was born, a week passed before his name was announced. Charles’s name remained a mystery for an entire month.

The baby’s gender of particular interest because the prospect of Kate’s pregnancy prompted a change to laws of succession, to ensure a daughter would not be passed over for the crown by a younger brother. Boy or girl, the child will titled the Prince or Princess of Cambridge and the prospective future monarch.

Kate - looking ready to pop at a June 13 ceremony (above) - is estimated to have been due July 13, making the royal tot fashionably late.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Kate – looking ready to pop at a June 13 ceremony (above) – is estimated to have been due July 13, making the royal tot fashionably late.

RELATED: QUEEN ELIZABETH TO KATE MIDDLETON’S BABY: ARRIVE ALREADY!

Officials have said that William will take two weeks’ paternity leave and then return to his military duties as a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot in Wales.

His tour of duty is scheduled to end in September, and he and Kate are expected to move from their isolated cottage on the island of Anglesey off the coast of Wales to Kensington Palace in central London.

Pink for a girl? The Duchess of Cambridge and her husband reportedly didn’t find out the sex of their baby.

Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Pink for a girl? The Duchess of Cambridge and her husband reportedly didn’t find out the sex of their baby.

But refurbishment works at the palace won’t be finished until at least a month or two after the baby’s birth — meaning that William and Kate will most likely have to make do with their current home in London, a two-bedroom property at the palace.

PHOTOS: ROYAL BABY WATCH TAKES OVER LONDON

Come autumn, however, the family will move into their permanent London home, Apartment 1a at Kensington Palace — a four-story house with a nursery, 20 rooms and a private garden.

The royal bundle of joy is finally here! Kate Middleton is in labor after what may be the nine longest months palace-watchers have ever known.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The royal bundle of joy is finally here! Kate Middleton is in labor after what may be the nine longest months palace-watchers have ever known.

And as the days dragged on and excitement grew, NBC “Today” show reporter Natalie Morales was photographed knitting baby booties to kill time in the media bullpen set up outside the hospital.

Even Queen Elizabeth started to seem impatient for her royal grandchild to be born. “I would very much like it to arrive,” the queen said Wednesday during a visit with children. “I’m going on holiday.”

With News Wire Services

esacks@nydailynews.com

On a mobile device? Click here to watch the video.


Nation / World – NY Daily News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>