Duchess Kate Middleton is considering breaking with tradition. Instead of having her child at St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington, she may opt to have the next British heir at the Royal Berkshire Hospital near her family's home.
"Kate's family want the baby to be born at the Royal Berkshire Hospital," a friend of the family told The Telegraph. "Their thinking is that she will be based at her parents' house during the later stages of her pregnancy and they do not want her to have to travel miles to Paddington when she goes into labor."
It's incredibly likely that Kate will spend the final weeks of her pregnancy holed up with family, much as she did after being released from the hospital where she was treated for severe morning sickness. Kate is also expected to remain at her parents' home for at least six weeks after the baby is born, which is a considerable difference from previous royal births.
Part of the reasoning is that Kate will be ensured her privacy and care, as well as the support and love of family. Another is that the new royal residence will not be ready until September or October. Kate and William will be moving into residence at Kensington Palace as soon as their home is refurbished.
William and Kate have spent a great deal of time with the Middleton family, telling them first of the pregnancy, spending Christmas with them instead of William's royal family, and recently going on a "baby-moon" with them as well. It's a sign of William's intense bond with Kate's family.
Kate was recently seen shopping for the baby with her mother, Carole, in some of the most exclusive stores in South Kensington. The pair made waves after shopping in Blue Almonds and emerging with an expensive "Moses" basket, so named for the Biblical baby. It's possible that "Moses" baskets could soon become a hit trend with mothers-to-be, as anything that Middleton does is copied by adoring fans.