Britain's Prince William stands next to his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, as she leaves the King Edward VII hospital in central London in December.
(Photo: Alastair Grant, AP)
Royal baby watch is in full effect, and Prince William and Kate's first child could be arriving any day now.
But until the little prince or princess decides to make an appearance, all the parents-to-be (and the media, and royal watchers around the world) can do is wait. And wait. And wait some more.
So, in anticipation of the royal birth, here are some facts compiled about this royal baby and the births of previous ones:
1. Prince William was the first would-be king to arrive in a hospital.
Both William and his brother, Prince Harry, were born in the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in London.
Their father, Prince Charles, was born at Buckingham Palace. His sister, Princess Anne, was born at Clarence House.
Queen Elizabeth II was born at her parent's then-home in Mayfair, London.
2. For previous royal births witnesses were common practice to verify the birth.
But the baby's father was not among them -- Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was playing squash when Charles was born. Charles was the first royal to attend the birth of his children.
3. A number of public officials used to attend the royal births, including home secretaries.
Home Secretary Sir William Joynson-Hicks was present at the queen's birth in 1926. There were reportedly 42 eminent public figures called in to verify the birth of King James II's son James Francis Edward in 1688 at St James's Palace.
4. The royal baby will be third-in-line to Britain's throne, after Prince Charles and Prince William, regardless of whether it is a girl or a boy.
In April of this year, the U.K. changed its rights of succession, ending centuries of male primogeniture. The little prince or princess will push Prince Harry into fourth place in the line of succession.
5. The last time a still-serving monarch was alive at the birth of his or her great-grandchild in direct succession was 120 years ago.
That was the birth of Queen Victoria's great-grandson, the future Edward VIII, in 1894. He abdicated the throne in 1936.
6. The birth of Prince William and Kate's child will be announced via a bulletin that will be placed on an easel in front of Buckingham Palace.
It is custom for news of royal births and deaths to be attached to the railings of Buckingham Palace. William's was the first royal birth bulletin to be placed upon the easel.
The bulletin, which will state the baby's time of birth, gender and weight, will bear the Buckingham Palace letterhead and be signed by key medical staff. This will be the nation's first chance to find out if it is a boy or a girl.
7. Some economists expect the birth to boost the U.K. economy by $380 million.
8. The queen showed off royal babies William and Harry on the balcony at Buckingham Palace in front of huge crowds.
9. Of Britain's 40 sovereigns since 1066, just six have been queens.
10. Bookmakers have been taking royal baby bets.
According to Paddy Power, Alexandra was the favorite girls' name as of Friday morning, with 7/4 odds. Charlotte is the second-favorite, with odds of 5/1. As for boys' names, George has 5/1 odds, and James has 8/1.
The bookmaker is also taking bets on the baby's hair color, date of birth, weight, first word and -- no joke -- age at first nightclub visit photograph.
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