London: The world may be increasingly getting impatient for news of the royal birth, but media reports suggest that pregnant Kate Middleton`s due date is today and not July 13 as widely believed.
Medical staff at St Mary`s Hospital, where the Duchess of Cambridge is expected to give birth, were told the due date is actually today, not July 13 as was claimed by a newspaper, well-placed sources were quoted by `The Telegraph` as saying.
It raises the intriguing, and, for those camped outside the hospital, agonising, possibility that the Duchess could give birth as late as August 02, if the baby was two weeks late.
Kensington Palace has only ever said the baby was due in "mid July", and it had been assumed that the Duchess`s baby was now overdue.
But a well-placed source was quoted by the paper as saying yesterday: "A small number of staff at St Mary`s who might be called upon when the Duchess gives birth were told they had to remain teetotal for a month before the Duchess`s due date."
"They were told the due date was July 19, meaning they couldn`t drink from June 19 onwards," the source said.
"Only a handful of people were told, because there are very few hospital staff who might be needed in the case of an emergency," it said.
The Duchess is due to give birth in the private Lindo Wing of St Mary`s in Paddington, with the Queen`s former gynaecologist Marcus Setchell and the Queen`s current gynaecologist Alan Farthing in charge of the delivery.
A later due date would tie in with the fact that the Duchess has spent this week at her parents` home in Bucklebury, Berkshire, more than 50 miles away from St Mary`s, and the Duke of Cambridge`s decision to play polo last Saturday and Sunday.
In addition, the Duchess`s mother Carole Middleton has told friends she thinks the baby could be a Leo, meaning she does not think it will be born until at least July 24.
The Duchess`s sister Pippa spent last weekend at a wedding in Vienna, adding to suspicions that the Middleton family were not expecting anything to happen at that stage.
If the due date is today, it is unlikely the Duchess would give birth as late as August, as the practice of waiting until two weeks after the due date before inducing birth is now considered outmoded by most doctors, who prefer an earlier intervention.