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Royal baby: World waiting after Duchess of Cambridge arrives at St Mary's, Paddington

PUBLISHED: 15:02 22 July 2013 | UPDATED: 21:24 23 July 2013

A pregnant Kate Middleton in May. Pic by John Stillwell

A pregnant Kate Middleton in May. Pic by John Stillwell

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The eyes of the world are firmly glued on Paddington today after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made an early morning dash to St Mary's Hospital for the birth of the royal baby.

Kate and husband William arrived at the private Lindo Wing of the Praed Street hospital by car without a police escort just before 6am, managing slip past the hoards of reporters, photographers and cameramen who have been camped outside since the beginning of the month without being pictured.

However, it is believed they were spotted.

Confirmation the so-called “Great Kate Wait” was finally over was announced in a brief statement from Kensington Palace at 7.30am.

The statement read: “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted this morning to St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London, in the early stages of labour.

“The Duchess travelled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital with The Duke of Cambridge.”

The Duchess is planning to have a natural birth and a spokesman added that “things are progressing as normal” - although whether or not the future king or queen makes an appearance today is yet to be seen.

The hospital’s Lindo Wing is a private obstetric unit, with prices starting at just under £5,000 for a normal delivery package over 24 hours, with consultants’ fees around £6,000 extra depending on the care required.

The Duke and his younger brother, Prince Harry, were born in the Lindo Wing and the Prince and Princess of Wales famously posed on the building’s steps in 1982 holding baby William in turn.

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