It's not long before Prince William and Kate will be making the trip back to the Lindo Wing to deliver their third royal baby. As the Great Kate Wait resumes, we spoke to Katherine Filkins, 38, of London, a mother-of-two who gave birth to her daughter Isla at the exclusive wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington seven months ago.
Katherine was treated like royalty at the private Lindo Wing, the same ward that welcomed Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince George and Princess Charlotte and other members of the Queen's family. An afternoon tea to celebrate the baby's birth, a post-delivery massage and glasses of bubbly are all part of the service, Katherine reveals.
The Filkins family were treated to an afternoon tea after the birth
"While the Lindo Wing was a functional hospital, it was a little bit like a hotel in terms of the service," the mum-of-two said. "You had really fancy toiletries, the quality of the food that you got was fantastic. There was a wine list, you could have had champagne if you wanted. Right after the birth, they bring you a delicious afternoon tea for you and your family."
Katherine, who was in labour for 81 hours before her C-section, added: "We were given birthing balls, we could lower the lights – they actually recommended that – and you had a midwife that was dedicated to you and your birthing, so she would come and check on you very regularly. My husband was treated very well and they were more than happy to create a bed for him. He'd have a selection of meals to choose from the menu every day."
Baby Isla was born seven months ago at the Lindo Wing
The couple had booked a standard room for after the birth, but as they were full, Katherine and Martin were treated to one of the deluxe suites, which they were "led to believe was where the royals also stay".
Katherine and Martin posed for a photo like Prince William and Kate
"It was a very large room, we could have all of our relatives there the next day. We could be sat six people comfortably," said Katherine. "Within the Lindo Wing, I think pretty much anything goes in terms of your ante-natal care and afterwards, for example if you wanted a massage, you could have someone come in. If you wanted the baby to go to the nursery, they have a fantastic nursery. They were very keen and very happy for babies to go the nursery, which is something you don't have on the NHS, so if you want a bit of a break they take the baby away from you for a little while."
Martin and Katherine, who posed with her newborn daughter on the steps of the Lindo Wing à la Prince William and Kate, praised the "absolutely fantastic" staff and service. "We're very chuffed that we were able to have the opportunity to give birth where the royals had had their babies as well," said a beaming Katherine.
Check our Katherine's blog on katherinefilkins.com.