The Royal Birth Plan: How It Will All Go Down

The baby's almost here! Here's what will happen once Kate goes into labor

The delivery of Prince William and Kate Middleton's first baby will be a national event steeped in tradition and protocol (with some modern twists), but it's also a personal one. Us Weekly is now revealing how the plan for the royal delivery is coming together:

How will we know when the baby’s here?
After Kate sneaks past hundreds of photographers and journalists and into one of three side entrances of her lavish, private suite at St. Mary's hospital, the palace will announce the news she’s gone into labor. And the press will get set to catch Kate's mom, Carole Middleton, and sister, Pippa Middleton, when they arrive at the hospital.

How will Prince William make sure he’s there in time?
This is one we can all relate to: how to make sure the daddy-to-be is there for the birth. William is working as a search-and-rescue pilot nearly 300 miles away in north Wales. Once he gets the call, he'll immediately board his grandmother’s helicopter for the 70-minute flight to the hospital.

Who will be alerted first?
It’s good to be Queen! The great-grandma gets first word of the birth directly from William. He'll use a special phone with an encrypted signal to make the call. The next calls will be made to the Middletons and Prince Charles.

Within an hour of the birth, a bulletin -- in its own car! -- will be driven to Buckingham Palace and propped up on an easel to announce the royal baby’s arrival. A 41-gun salute will follow.

When will we see the baby?
William and Kate’s families will most likely step outside to answer some of the press’s questions after the baby's birth, but it’s not until the next day that we’ll all catch a glimpse of the heir to the throne. Yes, Kate will only have one night to rest before she steps outside with her new baby and William! The royal couple is expected to pose with their baby on the steps of the hospital, just as Princess Diana did after the births of Princes William and Harry. It's expected that the baby will pose for an official portrait about two weeks later.

When will we find out the baby’s name?
This one’s unclear. The most eagerly anticipated baby name of the year (okay, maybe the second, after Kim Kardashian’s) may be shared during the hospital steps photo op, or a few days later.

As of July 8 the pair still has not picked a name and a source tells Us Weekly, "They probably won’t until the day of the birth." With three or four Christian names to decide on, don't expect news right away. William’s name was announced a week after his birth!

What's next for the new baby?
All of the royal baby hoopla will officially end with a baptism at the end of the year or in early 2014. Kate, William and the baby's godparents will meet in Buckingham Palace’s Music Room, where the baby will be baptized with water from the River Jordan by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Afterward, they’ll all enjoy the top tier of the cake from the royal wedding, which has been waiting in the freezer for the big day.

Colleen Kratofil is an editorial intern at iVillage and a senior at Ohio University. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

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