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Hospital prepares for Kate's royal baby birth

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With pregnant Kate Middleton's due date looming, St Mary's Hospital in London is making preparations for the royal baby's arrival.Anticipation is building and eager members of the press have started arriving, days ahead of Kate's anticipated mid-July due date.Photographers, journalists and television crews are camping out in a large press pen that the hospital has built, and have been provided with metal seats and stepladders.

The pen has been stationed opposite the entrance to the building, on the other side of the road, to respect the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's privacy.Steel barriers are also lining the street to prevent members of the public from getting too close.The Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth in the private Lindo Wing of the hospital, where Princess Diana delivered Princes William in 1982 and Harry in 1984.

When Baby Cambridge is born, a royal official will appear at the entrance of the Lindo Wing with an envelope bearing the details of the baby.The envelope will then be handed to a royal messenger, bound for Buckingham Palace, and the statement will be displayed in the palace's forecourt for the public to see.Dr Marcus Setchell, the royal gynaecologist, will supervise the birth of Prince William and Kate's firstborn.Dr Setchell helped Sophie, Countess of Wessex, deliver her two children and cared for Sophie following her ectopic pregnancy in 2001.

The Lindo Wing, within one of London's NHS-run teaching hospitals, has welcomed previous royal babies including Zara Phillips and Peter Phillips.According to the hospital's website, a normal delivery package costs £4,965 for the first 24 hours, rising to £6,420 for the first 24 hours of a Caesarean birth.

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