We've been misled in the past, but this appears to be the real deal: Kensington Palace confirms that the duchess formerly known as Kate Middleton has been admitted to London's St. Mary's Hospital "in the early stages of labor." Kate and Prince William traveled by car from Kensington Palace (no helicopter this time), and arrived at the hospital around 6 a.m., according to The Telegraph.
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London in the early stages of labour.— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) July 22, 2013
The Duchess travelled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital with The Duke of Cambridge.— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) July 22, 2013
The news broke at about 2:40 a.m. EST, so it's going to be a long night for Americans who don't want to miss a minute of royal-baby hysteria. It's just like when we all got up early to watch the royal wedding, except this time we'll only get to see an aide leave the hospital with a document listing the adorable future monarch's sex, weight, and time of birth, which will then be posted on an easel in front of Buckingham Palace. Visually, it's not quite as exciting as catching the first glimpse of Kate's wedding gown outside Westminster Abbey, but it is a really nice easel.
Update 1, 8:30 a.m. E.T.: To the annoyance of the hundreds of journalists camped in the parking lot, Kate arrived at the hospital without a police escort (just one black Range Rover and an Audi, according to the Daily Beast's Tom Sykes) and was smuggled in through a secret door away from the cameras. In other words, she is currently the most watched woman in the world, and NO ONE SAW HER. She's that good.
Although much fuss has been made about the length of Kate's gestation, with many journalists speculating that she is now overdue, chances are she's right on time. The palace only said she was due "in July" and that she planned to have a natural birth, which will be overseen by royal gynecologist Marcus Setchell. The palace spokesman added this morning, "Things are progressing as normal."
Update 2, 1:38 p.m. E.T.: No news from the palace or the hospital, but those camped outside the Lindo Wing have reached new levels of insanity, and crowds have gathered outside Buckingham Palace for the momentous easel announcement.
Meanwhile, the queen traveled from Windsor Castle, which is on the outskirts of London, to Buckingham Palace, where she awaits news of her great-grandchild.
Other royal-baby preparations include fancy-dressed British soldiers on horseback, no doubt gearing up for their 21-gun salute.
Update 3, 3:20 p.m. E.T.: According to a Kensington Palace spokesperson, there's been a change of plans regarding the royal birth announcement. Before all that nonsense about the easel, a formal press release will be sent out via email. Officials say they decided to switch things up "quickly and simply as possible."
Update 4, 3:30 p.m. E.T.: IT'S A BOY.
BREAKING: #RoyalBaby: The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a baby boy!— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) July 22, 2013
Shop: The Cut's Best Bets
Most Viewed Stories
It’s Harder to Be Thin Than It Was in the ’80s
Why Do I Jerk Awake Right As I’m Falling Asleep?
From Up Close, Raf Simons’s Vision for Dior Is Clear
The World’s Easiest Way to Highlight Your Face
A Pregnant Supermodel Explains What She Eats
Michelle Obama: No Boy Is Cute Enough to Keep You From Getting an Education
Meet the Prom Queen of Instagram
Selfie Sorority Uses Media Frenzy for Good Cause
Guess Who Renovated This Grand Upper West Side Penthouse
‘Truly Ugly Guy With Glasses’ Is Europe’s Most Virile Man
From Our Partners
How Demi Lovato Embraced This Body “Problem” We All Have
5 Best Sex Positions to Practically Guarantee an Orgasm
Thrillist: Things No Self-Respecting Adult Should Be Doing on Facebook
5 Must-Have Products for Your Makeup Bag
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCéline's Woman-Friendly Triumph
Phoebe Philo remains in touch with what women want to wear.Watch the Akris Livestream
Enjoy!From Up Close, Raf Simons’s Vision for Dior Is Clear
And don't count John Galliano out at Margiela yet.5 Things I Want to Wear From Paris: Part 2
Cropped sweaters, a spangled skirt, and more.Jaden Smith and Kesha Partied This Week
Along with Cindy Crawford, Anjelica Huston, Rita Ora, and Lena Dunham.Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid Partied in Balmain
Plus: more highlights from Paris Fashion Week's parties, including Jared Leto.See All the Street Style From Paris Fashion Week
Featuring wooden platforms, velvet robes, and floor-length ponchos.Who Won Best-Dressed at Milan Fashion Week?
Another city, another people's choice Peacock.See Our Exclusive Portfolio From Paris Fashion Week
Photographer Tomasz Lazar's latest dispatch from Fashion Month.Style Smackdown: Olivia Pope vs. Cookie Lyon
Judging the best looks from this week's episodes.
Gymnast models symbolizing "women supporting women" wore mature yet spontaneous looks.Grace Jones Is Having the Wildest Book Tour Ever [NSFW]
She flashed crowds at her signing in New York.Tom Ford and Lady Gaga Turn the Runway Into a Disco
The designer is showing his newest collection in a video.All About Dior’s Spring 2016 Show
Rihanna, lavender walls, and pointy flats.Cecilia Dean on Her Latest Immersive Fashion Project
A downtown art event with DVF and Proenza Schouler.Dior Built a Huge Flower Wall for Its Show
Just breathe that in.The Selfie-Stick Fashion Generation
Today’s young designers focus too often on their feelings.Rick Owens Dressed Models in ... Other Models
Harnesses were involved.And Now, Celebrity Wax Figures Dressed in Lederhosen
And other Austrian garb. It's Oktober!Nicki Minaj Has the Most-Liked Photos From MFW
And other tidbits from Instagram.