When is it due?
Britain’s next royal baby is due on Saturday, April 25th, according to media reports.
Anyone who has ever had a baby will know this is bunkum. There is no science to this science. It will pop out when it is ready, unless the Duchess of Cambridge is too posh to push and has planned her own landing date. We shall “C”.
A scheduled delivery is unlikely, however. Kate didn't have one last time. Besides, she has been wearing maternity dresses from high-street stores - just like us. After a Diana Spencer-shaped misfire, the commoner previously known as Kate Middleton, may be the true "people's princess". At least, that is how it is meant to look.
Where will Kate be delivering this new royal?
In a modern twist, the infant will elbow its way into fourth place in the line to succeed Queen Elizabeth II regardless of gender. Granddad Prince Charles, dad Prince William and big brother Prince George are all boys but this time being a girl will no longer be a barrier to inheriting a royal title. All that changed in October 2011. Oh do keep up, these are modern times.
In a more traditional twist, the infant will not spend any time knocking around in a crammed maternity ward. The royal offspring is due to touch down in the same place Kate had George: the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London.
A two-room suite costs £6,570 (€9,148) for an overnight stay with a “normal delivery”. The Duchess gets a discount because it’s child number two (the second one is always cheaper), so it will be a snip at £5,913 (€8,233). On top of this, there is the £6,000 (€8,355) consultant’s fee. Fingers crossed it’s not actually a C-section. That costs more.
In a departure from most people’s experiences in the public maternity system, Kate already knows who will be delivering her baby - and it won’t be whoever just happens to be on duty on the day/night. She knows their actual name.
Her doctors are Alan Farthing, who was thrust into an undesired spotlight when his fiancée Jill Dando was murdered on the doorstep of her house in Fulham on April 26th, 1999, and Guy Thorpe-Beeston. Both men were present for George's birth, in 2013, so they have already seen the crown jewels, to coin a phrase.
Thorpe-Beeston (55) will be the man delivering the baby, it has been reported.
Will there be the usual unedifying media scrum around the event?
Restricted parking notices have already appeared around St Mary’s Hospital. You may just have to drop your screaming, labouring partner off outside and drive off to locate a space. A chauffeur will be an asset here.
Police will soon start erecting barriers outside the hospital. Press pens will also be set up.
Before Prince George was born, the media started setting up outside the hospital weeks ahead of his arrival. This time, they will not be allowed to wait outside the Lindo Wing until Kate actually goes into labour. Manners are being put on the media.
The first major news issued by the palace will be when Kate ( 33) has gone into labour, officials have said. The next announcement will only be to announce the successful birth. Then the press can fill their “pens”.
Will a Royal baby affect the British economy/election/stiff upper lip?
City of London economist Howard Archer has said the "the royal birth may provide the economy with a temporary, small positive."
The most likely boost to the British economy will come from sales of souvenirs and commemorative merchandise, aka “royal tat”. The new baby won’t shift as much stock as Prince George, though, economists say.
Brands are hoping for a retail bonanza if the baby appears in their baby clobber. It worked for Cath Kidston after all. The brand was cleared out of knitted tank-tops as soon as Prince George appeared in one for a royal photoshoot.
Kate and William’s second child is due towards the end of April, prompting speculation that it might hang on until election day on May 7th and prod the polls.
Gordon Rayner of the Daily Telegraph has said an "election day baby" could help the Conservatives "as anything that gives the country a feel-good boost so close to polling day is usually regarded as a plus for whoever is in power".
You would have thought that any birth would benefit Labour. Unless you've ever been through labour, that is, in which case, you know that you will vote for anything else.
As for the British stiff upper lip. An epidural may be its only hope.
So how much does Ireland care about the Royal baby?
Twitter doesn’t lie. It provides an unofficial “internet search history” that the world might not always want others to see.
A global map of tweets tagged #royalbaby when Prince George was born on July 22nd, 2013 was put together by The Monkey Cage. The darker red the spot, in the image above, the greater the intensity of tweeting about the royal progeny.
Ireland is as interested in Britain’s royal babies as Britain is, it seems. That’s where 800 years of oppression, a State visit from a reigning British monarch and a cúpla focal gets you.