Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, smile as they watch a shark ceremony as they arrive at Marapa Island, Solomon Islands, Sept. 17, 2012.
LONDON (USA TODAY) - That old chestnut. The switcheroo.
newspaper in the United Kingdom is reporting that the Duchess of
Cambridge may "give the slip" to the world's media camped outside of St.
Mary's Hospital in Paddington central London by "giving birth in
Reading is a regional English city hard by the seat of
the Middleton family manse in Bucklebury, Berkshire, where the duchess
has reportedly been visiting with her parents this week.
Reading is also home to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, where the duchess herself (then a mere Kate Middleton) was born in 1982.
baby's due date is mostly a matter of conjecture, but with Kensington
Palace only committing to a date in "mid-July" - now technically passed -
a last-minute dash to an alternative maternity venue seems like a real
At the very least it give us something to chew over as we slumber in a collective, speculative waiting room.
Reading is only about 30 miles from London and the royal family have
helicopters and whatnot - Prince William can probably even fly one if it
came to it - but an unexpected variation in what has supposedly been
the plan all along would make a nice twist and add a dose of 007 to the
anticipatory cooing that has been going on for weeks and months.
Although the whole thing - choice of hospital, due date, et al - may be smoke and mirrors.
Middleton, the duchess' mother, is said to have told friends the baby's
star sign will be a Leo, which would put the royal delivery closer to
the end of this month and into August.
"There are contingencies
in place for wherever the duchess happens to be, and one of them is the
Royal Berkshire," an unnamed royal source told The Telegraph.
is still a possibility that she could give birth there, though that
would only be in extremis, as the expectation is that she will go to St
Mary's," the source said.
Richard Palmer, the royal correspondent for The Daily Express
tabloid, said on Twitter Thursday, "A photographer rings to tell me TV
crews and snappers are marking space outside the Royal Berkshire
Hospital with a press officer."
Still, the source also told The Telegraph that the parents-to-be are "calm" and "relaxed" as they await their first child.
And everyone knows that can't possibly be true.