London: Prince William's wife Kate Middleton has gone into labour and been admitted to hospital for the birth of the couple's first child, who will be third in line to the British throne, his office said on Monday.

Kate, 31, was taken to the private wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London, where William himself was born in 1982.

"The Duchess travelled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital with The Duke of Cambridge," Kensington Palace said in a statement.

Royal sources have said Kate has planned a natural birth with William, a Royal Air Force search and rescue helicopter pilot based in north Wales, at her side.

The sex of the baby, who will become third in line to the throne behind grandfather Prince Charles and father William, is unknown as the royal couple wanted it to be a surprise.

The birth will be announced in the traditional way, with an envelope containing notice of the baby's details taken from the hospital to the queen's London residence, Buckingham Palace, where the news will be posted on a board at the main gates.

British police officers guard the entrance of St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London

UK's Diana was in labour for 16 hours with Prince William

The world might have to wait for some more hours for the news of the arrival Kate Middleton's first child, as babies, even royal babies, don't always keep to schedule.
   
The biggest determinant of when a baby will appear is whether it is your first child. If it is, then giving birth generally takes longer, experts say.
   
The late Diana, Princess of Wales, was in labour for 16 hours with William. However, Harry was born just nine hours after Diana arrived in hospital.
   
Kate is planning to have a hypnobirth, in which relaxation techniques are used to limit the need for pain medication. There is little research into the efficacy of this technique, and none showing conclusively that it speeds up the process, a magazine reported.
   
After being admitted to hospital at 5.30am (local time), if Kate follows what would be expected of a first-time mother, it is more likely that she will give birth to the would-be British monarch by early evening.



Life on the Lindo: Maternity wing of choice for UK's royals
   
The Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in London was designed to provide "comfort and privacy" to Kate Middleton and would-be British monarch.
   
This exclusive private unit has become the maternity wing of choice for Britain's royals as Prince William and his brother Harry were born in the facility.
   
Kate, like Princess Diana before her, is now in a private en-suite room in the Lindo Wing, which describes itself as having offered "leading private obstetric and neonatal care for 60 years".
   
Each room has a satellite TV with major international channels, a radio, a safe, a bedside phone and a fridge, just in case one brings one's own champagne.
   
There is Wifi, of course, and choice of daily newspaper to catch up with news of the royal birth, British media reported. And the Duchess, on her pre-birth dash to the hospital, would not have needed to worry about packing the shampoo: complementary toiletries are provided.
   
A menu offering kosher, halal and vegetarian meals is circulated, with the hospital insisting that all Lindo Wing meals are freshly cooked in a dedicated kitchen.
   
Guests are welcome to order their own meals, for an extra charge, although Prince William will be allowed breakfast gratis. The new father will also have been able to relax in a fully reclining chair in a post-natal room.
   
Beside these hotel-like luxuries, the hospital is experienced in catering for complex pregnancies and deliveries. However, securing one of the 16 suites in the wing is not cheap. A suite of two rooms, with one used as a living room, costs 6,265 pounds for a one-night stay with normal delivery and 2,200 pounds for each extra night.

UK Home Secretary not to witness royal birth

With Britain dispensing with the centuries-old custom of having the home secretary 'witness' the royal birth, incumbent Theresa May will not be present at the hospital where Kate Middleton has been admitted, to ensure that a baby was not been smuggled in.
    
British home secretaries used to attend royal births. The last time was in 1936 for the birth of the Queen Elizabeth's cousin, Princess Alexandra.
    
The custom was ended in 1948 ahead of the birth of Prince Charles. At the time Home Office researchers could find no evidence for the belief that the home secretary's presence was anything to do with verification, according to a biography of the Queen written by Ben Pimlott.
   
Then Home Secretary Sir William Joynson-Hicks was present at the Queen's birth in 1926.

Grand plans in place for royal baby's announcement

Fountains and key landmarks will be illuminated and the news of whether Prince William and wife Kate have a boy or girl will be broadcast on a giant screen above central London.
    
As the world's media waits anxiously to break the news around the globe, plans of the city's celebrations were revealed by a leading daily today.
    
"To mark the arrival of Baby Cambridge, as the child will be called before being given a name, the Greater London Authority has ordered the fountains of Trafalgar Square to be lit in pink or blue, depending on the gender of the newborn. The London Eye is also expected to be illuminated — this time in patriotic red, white and blue — while a 62-gun salute will be fired at the Tower of London," the newspaper said.
    
News of the baby's arrival will also be displayed on the screen at the top of the 600-feet BT Tower. Suzi Williams, director group marketing and brand at BT, said, "Since the LED screen at the top was first installed in 2009 it has counted down from 1,000 days to the start of London 2012 (Olympics) and commemorated the royal wedding and the Queen's diamond jubilee."
    
The celebrations reflect the proclamation of previous royal births in the country.
    
In November 1948, the Trafalgar Square fountains were lit to mark the arrival of Prince Charles. For the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridges' first child, plans have been put in place for a traditional notice placed on an easel at the gates of Buckingham Palace.
    
In recent days, the duchess has been dividing her time between Kensington Palace and her parents' home in Bucklebury, Berkshire.
    
Prince William is on annual leave from his duties as a search and rescue helicopter pilot and his two-week paternity leave will begin when the baby is born. Kensington Palace said, "The same as any expectant parents would be, they're now spending their time privately."

JPN/Agencies

Latest News from World News Desk

UK's Diana was in labour for 16 hours with Prince William

 

The world might have to wait for some more hours for the news of the arrival Kate Middleton's first child, as babies, even royal babies, don't always keep to schedule.

      

The biggest determinant of when a baby will appear is whether it is your first child. If it is, then giving birth generally takes longer, experts say.

      

The late Diana, Princess of Wales, was in labour for 16 hours with William. However, Harry was born just nine hours after Diana arrived in hospital.

      

Kate is planning to have a hypnobirth, in which relaxation techniques are used to limit the need for pain medication. There is little research into the efficacy of this technique, and none showing conclusively that it speeds up the process, a magazine reported.

      

After being admitted to hospital at 5.30am (local time), if Kate follows what would be expected of a first-time mother, it is more likely that she will give birth to the would-be British monarch by early evening.

 

 

Life on the Lindo: Maternity wing of choice for UK's royals

      

The Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in London was designed to provide "comfort and privacy" to Kate Middleton and would-be British monarch.

      

This exclusive private unit has become the maternity wing of choice for Britain's royals as Prince William and his brother Harry were born in the facility.

      

Kate, like Princess Diana before her, is now in a private en-suite room in the Lindo Wing, which describes itself as having offered "leading private obstetric and neonatal care for 60 years".

      

Each room has a satellite TV with major international channels, a radio, a safe, a bedside phone and a fridge, just in case one brings one's own champagne.

      

There is Wifi, of course, and choice of daily newspaper to catch up with news of the royal birth, British media reported. And the Duchess, on her pre-birth dash to the hospital, would not have needed to worry about packing the shampoo: complementary toiletries are provided.

      

A menu offering kosher, halal and vegetarian meals is circulated, with the hospital insisting that all Lindo Wing meals are freshly cooked in a dedicated kitchen.

      

Guests are welcome to order their own meals, for an extra charge, although Prince William will be allowed breakfast gratis. The new father will also have been able to relax in a fully reclining chair in a post-natal room.

      

Beside these hotel-like luxuries, the hospital is experienced in catering for complex pregnancies and deliveries. However, securing one of the 16 suites in the wing is not cheap. A suite of two rooms, with one used as a living room, costs 6,265 pounds for a one-night stay with normal delivery and 2,200 pounds for each extra night.



UK Home Secretary not to witness royal birth

 

With Britain dispensing with the centuries-old custom of having the home secretary 'witness' the royal birth, incumbent Theresa May will not be present at the hospital where Kate Middleton has been admitted, to ensure that a baby was not been smuggled in.

    

British home secretaries used to attend royal births. The last time was in 1936 for the birth of the Queen Elizabeth's cousin, Princess Alexandra.

    

The custom was ended in 1948 ahead of the birth of Prince Charles. At the time Home Office researchers could find no evidence for the belief that the home secretary's presence was anything to do with verification, according to a biography of the Queen written by Ben Pimlott.

   

Then Home Secretary Sir William Joynson-Hicks was present at the Queen's birth in 1926.