Kate Middleton, Like Princess Diana, Expected to Skip Palace Birth

Duchess of Cambridge expected to give birth in hospital, bucking royal tradition

ByABC News
December 4, 2012, 12:53 PM

Dec. 4, 2012— -- When it comes to giving birth, Kate Middleton will likely follow the example of Princess Diana, who bucked the royal tradition of palace births in favor of welcoming her sons into the world at a hospital.

The Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in central London on Monday with hyperemesis gravidarum, an acute morning sickness which requires supplementary hydration and nutrients, the palace said.

"Kate will definitely give birth in a hospital, certainly if she is still enduring complications such as this," said ABC News royals consultant Victoria Arbiter.

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"They'll be keen for Kate to get the best care possible because ultimately she is carrying the heir to the throne," she said.

The royals will have to balance security with Kate's medical needs, Arbiter said, and she has several solid choices in London.

Portland Hospital, a plush, private birthing facility that is a favorite of celebrities, such as Victoria Beckham, and the place where William's cousins, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, were born, may be one option.

The hospital boasts four exclusive birthing suites that provide plenty of room for new fathers to stay the night, according to its website.

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Having dealt with high-profile deliveries in the past, the hospital said it "pays vigorous attention to the safety and security of our patients and staff," including such measures as issuing security tags to doctors and staff and video cameras throughout the hospital to monitor every movement. With the royal protection team in tow, the precautions may bring some comfort to the royal mother-to-be.

"They'll want to be in a hospital for the best facilities, the best level of care in case any complications arise [since] Kate could be considered a high-risk pregnancy," Arbiter said.

The down-to-earth princess may choose to have her baby in the tried and tested Lindo wing of St. Mary's Hospital in London, where Prince William was born.

The posh, private wing offers birthing suites and doctors with experience caring for "complex pregnancies," according to its website.

While it may be nice to give birth on the same floor where Princess Diana gave birth to Prince William, Arbiter expects medical care will ultimately be what helps the royal couple decide where to give birth.

"Sentimentally, William may like to have the baby in the hospital where he was born," Arbiter said. "But his main concern is going to be for Kate and the health of the baby."

And for Kate, who is surrounded by a team of doctors early in her pregnancy, the best place may be at King Edward VIII hospital, where she is currently being treated by doctors who are familiar with her pregnancy.

"It's possible she'll stay at King Edward VII Hospital," Arbiter said. "It will depend on where her doctor recommends."

No matter where the royal couple decides to give birth, they're expected to take parenting cues from the style of the late Princess Diana, who eschewed stuffy traditions in favor of being hands-on with her children, taking William and Harry to amusement parks and McDonald's, allowing them a semblance of a normal childhoods.

"I think William and Kate's parenting styles might be similar to what Diana did," Arbiter said. "And I think William and Kate are really going to follow that model and do everything they can to ensure as normal a childhood as possible, while at the same time behind the scenes educating their child for their future role."

ABC News' Mary Pflum contributed to this report