Royal baby: Indyplus Timeline to the birth


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The Independent Online

Here is the timeline leading up to the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby:

September 2001: Prince William and Kate Middleton meet at St Andrews University, where they are studying art history.

Christmas 2003: The pair reportedly become a couple after sharing a house together with two friends.

November 16, 2010: William and Kate's engagement is announced by Clarence House.

April 29, 2011: The pair wed at Westminster Abbey. William is made the Duke of Cambridge by the Queen and Kate becomes the Duchess of Cambridge.

December 3, 2012: St James's Palace announce that the Duchess is pregnant and being treated in hospital for severe morning sickness, known as hyperemesis gravidarum.

December 4, 2012: Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg confirms the Government has received final consent from all Commonwealth realms to press ahead with a Bill ending discrimination against women in the succession to the British throne.

December 5, 2012: Prank callers from an Australian radio station pretending to be the Queen trick a nurse at the King Edward VII's Hospital in London into revealing information about Kate's condition.

December 6, 2012: The Duchess is discharged from hospital after three nights, telling reporters she is feeling "much better".

December 6, 2012: The Prince of Wales says he is "thrilled" that the Duchess is pregnant, adding: "It's a very nice thought to become a grandfather in my old age."

December 7, 2012: Nurse Jacintha Saldanha who took the initial prank call and put it through to another colleague is found dead in a suspected suicide.

December 9, 2012: William pulls out of attending the British Military Tournament so he can spend time with Kate as she recuperates.

December 16, 2012: Kate makes her first public appearance since leaving hospital by presenting the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award to cyclist Bradley Wiggins.

December 25, 2012: Instead of going to Sandringham on Christmas Day, Kate and William stay with the Middleton family home in Bucklebury, Berkshire.

January 14: St James's Palace announces that the baby is due in July and that Kate is feeling better. She is now in her second trimester and has had her 12-week scan.

February 5: Kate and William holiday on the Caribbean island of Mustique with the Middletons, reportedly staying in a £19,000-a-week villa.

February 12: Italian gossip magazine Chi uses photos of Kate in a bikini on holiday. St James's Palace say they are "disappointed" at the "clear breach" of privacy. Other foreign publications follow suit.

February 19: Kate carried out her first engagement in five weeks and visited the Hope House addiction treatment centre in south London, showing signs of a small baby bump and admitting she was nervous about giving birth.

Meanwhile, debate raged when novelist Hilary Mantel described the Duchess as "gloss varnished" with a "perfect plastic smile". Prime Minister David Cameron stepped into the row and branded the comments "completely wrong".

March 5: Kate apparently lets slip that she is expecting a daughter on a solo visit to Grimsby. Accepting a teddy bear from a member of the public, she apparently replied: "Oh, is this for our d...? Thank you so much." Although other footage suggest she said "Is this for us? Aw" instead.

March 17 - Kate tells a soldier at a St Patrick's Day parade that they do not know the sex, but says she would like a boy and William a girl.

March 19 - William and Kate visit the headquarters of Child Bereavement UK, exchanging hugs with bereaved parents. They also meet TV cook Mary Berry.

March 20 - Kate gets given a "Baby on board" badge when she joins the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Baker Street underground station to mark the 150th anniversary of the Tube.

April 4 - Kate reveals she has taken up knitting ahead of the birth during a two day visit to Scotland and reveals the baby is due in mid July.

April 21 - The Duchess showed off her baby bump, looking obviously pregnant for the first time, at the National Review of Queen's Scouts at Windsor Castle.

April 24 - Kate, in a duck-egg blue empire-line Emilia Wickstead cocktail dress, attended an evening reception at the National Portrait Gallery in honour of The Art Room charity and gave a short speech on the power of art to change people's lives.

April 25 - It emerges that France's Closer magazine and a photographer have been placed under formal criminal investigation following the publication of topless pictures of Kate in September 2012.

May 12 - It is reported that Kate's baby is due on July 13.

June 13 - Kate, in a dalmatian print coat, carries out her final solo engagement before going off on maternity leave when she names a new cruise liner - Royal Princess - in Southampton.

June 15 - The eight months pregnant Duchess makes her last public appearance before the birth at the Trooping the Colour parade.

June 19 - It is confirmed Kate is planning to give birth at the private Lindo wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington. She is hoping for a natural birth but does not know if the baby is a girl or a boy.

July 1 - Dozens of photographers' ladders stand in place outside the Lindo wing as the due date approaches.

July 11 - The Duchess of Cornwall tells guests at the Coronation Festival: "We are very excited. Immensely looking forward to it and waiting for the phone call", while the Prince of Wales declares: "It won't be long now."

July 13 - William joins Prince Harry for a weekend of polo ahead of the birth, while Kate stays at her parents house near Bucklebury, Berkshire, to spend time with them in the final days of her pregnancy.

July 17 - Queen says she doesn't mind whether the baby is a boy or a girl, but adds: "I would very much like it to arrive. I'm going on holiday" during a visit to Cumbria.

July 18 - William remains with Kate at her parents' Berkshire home as the media wait outside the Lindo wing.

July 22 - Kate, with William at her side, is admitted to the Lindo wing in the early stages of labour at around 6am and Kensington Palace later announce the Duchess gave birth to a son, weighing 8lbs 6oz, at 4.24pm.