Duchess opts for a natural birth
The Duchess of Cambridge is planning a natural birth for her baby but does not know if it will be a girl or a boy, sources have said.
With many women choosing to have a Caesarean section to avoid a strenuous labour, there was some speculation that Kate might have opted for surgery.
But the sources confirmed the Duchess will have a natural delivery at the private Lindo wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington and will not join those dubbed "too posh to push".
It had been thought that William and Kate were having a girl after the Duchess appeared to stop herself saying the word daughter during an official engagement in March.
But the royal couple do not know their baby's gender and want it to be a surprise when he or she is born sometime in mid July.
A source said: "The Duke and Duchess do not know the sex of their baby and they've decided not to find out beforehand."
In choosing St Mary's, the royal couple have picked the London hospital where William and his brother Prince Harry were born.
The Duchess will be tended by a top medical team led by the Queen's former gynaecologist Marcus Setchell, who delivered the Countess of Wessex's two children.
He will be assisted by Alan Farthing, the former fiance of murdered TV presenter Jill Dando and the Queen's current gynaecologist. William is expected to be at his wife's bedside.
The birth will be accompanied by an element of theatre, with a notice informing the nation that a new heir to the throne has been born placed on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. It will be taken from the hospital and given a police escort to speed it through the streets of London to the Queen's official residence.