Kate Middleton is rumored to be planning a third birth for the soon-to-be royal baby, but the plans could come with an unexpected complication for England — an economic one.
Though Duchess Kate has been largely tight-lipped about her third pregnancy outside of a brief announcement earlier this month, there are rumors that she wants to have the baby at home rather than the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London, where 4-year-old Prince George and 2-year-old Princess Charlotte were both born.
Reports indicated that Kate Middleton actually wanted Charlotte to be born at home, but was ultimately persuaded by doctors to give birth in the hospital.
“The Duchess knew it wasn’t possible for her first baby to be born at home, but she asked for a home birth for the second,” an unnamed source close to the royal family told the Daily Mail. “Officials and doctors thought it too risky. There was concern and in the end she decided against it.”
The source added that Kate Middleton is likely to again ask to have a home birth, and that this request “would be more acceptable” to doctors.
But moving the birth away from St. Mary’s Hospital could have a wider effect across England. Each of the first two royal babies has brought excitement across the country, with the Guardian reporting that some people camped out for close to two weeks outside of the hospital in anticipation of Duchess Kate giving birth. By the time her due date came, there were crowds of hundreds gathered, some traveling long distances just to see the baby.
The first two royal births also brought a major economic boost to England, the New York Daily News reported. The U.K.’s Center for Retail Research in Nottingham found that the birth of Prince George brought the nation an economic boost of $368 million, while Princess Charlotte brought a bump of $121 million to the economy.
If Kate Middleton follows through on the rumors and opts for a home birth for the couple’s third child, the public excitement surrounding the birth day could wane even more. Much of the economic injection came from the crowds that came to see Duchess Kate going to the hospital, and it is not clear if that would be replicated if she stays home at Kensington Palace, which has tighter security and would have more restrictions on crowds.
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