Royal baby: relaxed William plays polo as world waits for news
The wait for news of the royal baby is causing tension and excitement across the world, with office workers holding sweepstakes to predict the child’s name and bookmakers wrongly predicting that he or she would be born yesterday
However, at least one person appears to be thoroughly relaxed about the impending arrival of the third in line to the throne.
The Duke of Cambridge left his nine months-pregnant wife on Sunday to play a charity polo match with his brother nearly 100 miles away and showed no signs of any worries as he laughed and joked with his fellow players.
His calm demeanour raised speculation that the Duchess’s due date, which has not been confirmed but was reported to have been on Saturday, may be later than thought.
The Duke now has a few more days off before he must return to work as an RAF search-and-rescue helicopter pilot based at RAF Valley on Anglesey, and is expected to stay at his wife’s side for as long as he can.
He and the Duchess of Cornwall are going ahead with a pre-planned trip to Cornwall this week that will take them to Bude on Monday and Lostwithiel on Wednesday.
They are not believed to have made any advance arrangements to have special transportation such as a helicopter on hand to speed them back to London once the Duchess of Cambridge goes into labour.
A source said they would make a decision about whether to cut short their visit to Cornwall if the baby arrives while they are away, but assuming that there are no complications they are thought to want to fulfil their official duties if at all possible.
The Queen is pressing ahead with plans to visit Cumbria on Wednesday. She is also due to attend the start of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s cricket ground on Thursday.
The Duke played alongside his brother, Prince Harry, in the annual Jerudong Trophy match at Cirencester Park Polo Club in Gloucestershire yesterday.
Wearing a white and purple chequered polo shirt, the Duke cooed over a toddler who came to visit him on her father's shoulders before the game.
After the match, which the royal brothers’ team lost, a visibly hot Duke chatted with representatives of their charities. Looking at his ease, he laughed as he was introduced to each and happily posed for pictures with them.
His cousin, Zara Phillips, who is herself three months pregnant, on Sunday competed in show jumping trials at Brightling Park in Robertsbridge, East Sussex.
Her parents, Carole and Michael, were seen to be nervously checking their phones when they attended one of Andy Murray’s matches at Wimbledon earlier this month.
They are likely to receive the call telling them that their daughter is in labour from the Duchess’s private secretary, Rebecca Deacon, although the Duke also carries a mobile phone and he may also update his parents-in-law from the hospital.
Among those most eagerly awaiting the baby’s arrival are Alan Farthing and Marcus Setchell, the royal gynaecologists due to perform the delivery, who have stopped drinking and cleared their personal diaries so they can be on standby around the clock.