Royal Baby Watch: Who Will Be the First to Know?

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As the Royal Baby Watch enters its final hours with Kate Middleton in labor, onlookers across the world are wondering how they will know when the child is born.

Assuming all goes according to plan with the delivery, Queen Elizabeth II will be the first person to receive word that the royal heir has been born.

Unless she's asleep, in which case no one will find out until she awakes.

Kate Middleton and Prince William Photograph

Pround papa Prince William will call his 87-year-old grandmother on an encrypted phone to let her know that Kate Middleton has given birth, reports say.

But if the birth is in the middle of the night, he will not wake her up.

Kate has been in labor since early Monday at St. Mary's Hospital in London. Experts estimate that first-time mothers are generally in labor 12-24 hours.

Queen Elizabeth, who returned to Buckingham Palace today from Windsor Castle where she usually spends weekends, says she's quite anxious for it to arrive.

Mostly because it's exciting stuff, but a little bit because she's going on her annual vacation next week to her Balmoral estate in Scotland. Naturally.

So how will mere mortals find out about the royal baby's birth?

Not from celebrity gossip sites breaking the news. If it happens in the next few hours and it's still daylight, a royal courier will emerge from the hospital.

With a police escort, the courier will head to Buckingham Palace to post a notice of the baby's gender, size and weight on an easel at the palace front gates.

If the birth comes at night, this will wait until morning.

Long story short ... there is no royal baby news until there's a baby, at which point the royals themselves will break the news, as the BBC notes above.

Still, pretty exciting stuff though, you've gotta admit!

What do you think Kate Middleton is having?

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Kate Middleton Biography

Royally Pretty Girl
A celebrity gossip mainstay since at least 2006, Kate Middleton is Prince William's lady friend. These two dated off and on for many... More »
Reading, England
Full Name
Kate Middleton