Prince William and Kate Middleton’s first child, due next month, will spend his or her first weeks in the Middleton family home outside London, experts have told Al Arabiya.
This would be the first time in British history that an heir to the throne spends their early days outside palace gates.
The royal couple’s permanent residence at Kensington Palace, which is being renovated at a reported cost of $1.5 million, will not ready in time for the birth.
Kate, who is known officially as the Duchess of Cambridge, will spend the first few weeks after birth at her family’s seven bedroom home in Berkshire, about 55 miles west of London, according to royal expert Ingrid Seward.
The Middletons, who made their fortune from an entertainment business, recently purchased the home for a reported £2.7 million.
“Every girl wants to be with her mother,” Ingrid Seward, editor of "Majesty" magazine told Al Arabiya in an interview. “It would be so nice for Kate to be in the bosom of her family and Prince William loves being with them too.”
Seward says the house includes a newly decorated nursery and the Middleton’s wealth would allow them to hire private security.
Kate will give birth at the Lindo wing of St. Mary’s hospital in central London where the late Princess Diana delivered Princes William and Harry. At the time, Diana was the first person to break with royal tradition and give birth in a hospital.
“Diana said I don’t want to have a child in Buckingham Palace, I can’t think of anything worse,“ Seward said, explaining that Diana agreed with her doctor that it would be safer to deliver in the hospital.
William was the first heir to the throne to be born in hospital. Previously, the royal family gave birth in Buckingham Palace with Queen Elizabeth II delivering all her children there.
Prince William is expected to be by Kate’s side during the delivery.
Historically, it was customary for a member of parliament to witness the birth of an heir to confirm their identity. When male primogeniture laws were in place limiting succession to male heirs, it was thought some royal wives might succumb to the pressure and exchange a newborn girl for a boy.
“Throughout English history there was always a member of parliament and other dignitaries around the birth,” Seward said.
“Women had been desperate to have boys and there was so much pressure on them that on occasion they thought they might swap the baby if it was a girl for a boy.”
The practice ended with the birth of Queen’s Elizabeth II first child, Princess Anne.
According to royal tradition, the official birth announcement is made with a statement attached to the gates of Buckingham Palace. But with this birth being the first heir to be born in the digital age, the world will learn of the news on Twitter from the British Monarchy’s official account.