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Prince William celebrates last birthday before royal baby

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Prince William celebrates his last birthday today before becoming a father for the first time. The Duke of Cambridge turns 31 just weeks before he welcomes his first child with wife of two years, Kate Middleton.

The father-to-be will be spending the day "privately" according to St. James’s Palace. Earlier this week, it was confirmed the Prince plans to be present at the birth of the royal baby. The Duchess of Cambridge is just weeks away from giving birth and her husband is said to be determined to follow in his father’s footsteps of being with his wife as she gives birth.

Prince Charles broke tradition in 1982, and later in 1984, when he was with Diana, Princess of Wales, as she gave birth to William and Prince Harry. In the weeks leading up to the baby’s arrival, William will continue to work as a search and rescue pilot in the RAF. With the job based in Anglesey, Wales, it has been suggested the Prince could fly from the Wales base to London via helicopter, to be sure he does not miss the birth.

As William celebrates his birthday, he and Kate are excitedly awaiting the arrival the their first child. It was revealed earlier this week that the Duke and Duchess still do not know the sex of the baby, with an aide confirming the couple had wanted to wait to find out. William, who is second-in-line for the throne, is expected to leave his job in the RAF later this year as he balances becoming a dad with royal duties. As his grandmother, The Queen, begins to slowly scale back engagements, it is suspected the Prince and his wife Kate will increase their workload. 

The couple are tipped to visit Australia and New Zealand in 2014 and are expected to take their first child for the visit, following in the precedent set by the Prince’s parents who took a young William with them as they toured Australia. 

After the baby’s birth, palace officials have confirmed Prince William will take two weeks of paternity leave from his search and rescue job as he supports Kate, as they become new parents.

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