Delivering Kate's baby: Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital

image captionThe Lindo Wing - fit for a king or a queen

When you are giving birth to a would-be monarch, it's to be expected that you would command the best care on offer.

The Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, where the Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth, may seem like an obvious choice.

This exclusive private facility offers "bespoke care packages" and is where Prince William and his brother Harry were born.

But a home birth might have been more in keeping with tradition.

The Queen was born at a home belonging to her mother's parents at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London. The current heir to the throne, Prince Charles, was born at Buckingham Palace, while his sister Anne was born at Clarence House.

Catherine, like Princess Diana before her, will now be in a private en-suite room in the Lindo Wing of St Mary's, designed to provide "comfort and privacy".

Fully refurbished last year, the wing describes itself as having offered "leading private obstetric and neonatal care for 60 years".

image captionCharles and Diana with newborn Prince William

Each room has a satellite TV with major international channels, a radio, a safe, a bedside phone and a fridge.

The expectant mother and her visitors can access the internet on wi-fi and there is a choice of a daily newspaper delivered to the room each morning.

All meals are freshly prepared by chefs in a dedicated kitchen and tea and coffee is provided for mothers and guests throughout the day.

High end

The £5,000-a-night wing also offers a "comprehensive wine list should you wish to enjoy a glass of champagne and toast your baby's arrival".

Should William want to stay over, he'll be provided with a fully reclining chair next to Kate's bedside and breakfast in the morning.

But aside from these hotel-like luxuries, the hospital is experienced in catering for complex pregnancies and deliveries.

The wing has the benefit of being based in an NHS hospital if further complications arise, including its facilities for premature babies, and access to top-notch hospital specialists.

It's believed the medical team assigned to deliver William and Catherine's first child will be led by Dr Marcus Setchell, surgeon gynaecologist to the royal household.

He helped save the lives of the Countess of Wessex and her eldest child Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor in 2003.

Sophie was rushed to hospital after complaining of severe internal pains when she was eight months pregnant.

She was dangerously ill from blood loss and doctors performed an emergency Caesarean.

Assisting Dr Setchell will be Dr Alan Farthing, a gynaecologist and surgeon who has been a doctor for 26 years. He works at Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea Hospital in Hammersmith, west London, and St Mary's.

Catherine's baby will be his first high-profile royal birth.

Meanwhile, outside the hospital, the world's press waits for the birth.

The duchess was taken to the Lindo Wing just before 06:00. William and Catherine, who spent the weekend at Kensington Palace, travelled without a police escort, their spokesman said.

He added: "Things are progressing as normal."

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