Kate Middleton has only weeks until she gives birth to a royal baby, but already the anticipation is growing to levels not seen since she and Prince William were married in 2011.
The Duchess of Cambridge has been followed closely throughout the pregnancy, even as he kept her public appearances to a minimum. Kate made her final official public appearance this week, showing up to the Trooping the Colour parade in London.
She had some other business to attend to this weekend, meeting her father in her hometown of Bucklebury for a Father's Day lunch. But Kate Middleton is expected to take it easy from here on it.
Now that she's headed off to maternity leave, Kate Middleton has little else to do but wait until the baby comes. Friends say she's growing anxious to meet the little one.
"They're both so excited and have so many questions," a Middleton family source told Us Weekly of Kate and William. "They want to know what the baby will look like and who it will take after."
The world is waiting as well. During Kate Middleton's pregnancy her every move became newsworthy, every spotting of her baby bump bringing a new picture to be splashed across celebrity magazines.
In the United Kingdom, Kate Middleton's baby is expected to bring an economic boom as well. The Centre for Retail Research released a report that estimates the economic impact from the royal baby will be close to more than $380 million (US) dollars.
The report estimated $136 million would be spent on parties and other festivities, $125 million on souvenirs and toys, and $119 million on media, including books and DVDs.
Kate Middleton and Prince William seem to have a knack for stimulating the British economy. A separate study estimated that their 2011 wedding generated $16 million just in ticket sales to the Queen’s London residence in Buckingham Palace to view her wedding dress.
Kate Middleton is due to deliver her baby sometime in the middle of July.