OK, I hate to be the one to break it to you like this but you might not find out the answer to that question until Baby Sussex is wailing down the walls of Frogmore Cottage. The decision of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to keep the arrival of their first child private means no hospital waits or endless photos of doors from which a royal baby might emerge at any moment. But that hasn’t dampened down excitement over where the new seventh in line to the throne will be born. As the final countdown gets under way, here are the most talked about possibilities for locations for the latest royal debut.
Wexham Park Hospital
According to the official NHS website, maternity services for families in the Windsor area are based at Wexham Park which is part of the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust. It helps deliver over 6,000 babies every year and has birth pools for low risk mums as well as full facilities for higher risk births. It’s the NHS hospital anyone living in Windsor would most likely use for delivery and does have private facilities.
Frimley Park Hospital
Wexham Park is part of the same NHS Trust as Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey where the Countess of Wessex gave birth to her two children. The private wing of Frimley has been mentioned in recent days as a possible birthplace for Harry and Meghan’s baby. It’s about 17 miles from their new home in Windsor and in good traffic conditions, takes about 35 minutes by car.
A private hospital in London
Of course, the couple may opt to welcome their baby in the capital. They have a huge choice in front of them but among those with royal links are the Portland Hospital where Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie were born. Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in west London is possibly slightly closer to their Windsor home if they’re in a rush – the west London facility has been looking after mums and babies for many years.
A home birth is always a possibility and in a healthy, low risk pregnancy, it’s a very viable option if that’s what the mum to be wants. We know that Harry and Meghan are now safely ensconced at Frogmore Cottage and will show their little one off to the world there a few days after the birth. Which might well make Frogmore the smart pick as a royal birth place.
If we’re talking home births, then let’s not rule out Windsor Castle. In the 20th century, royal medics got rather good at converting parts of ancient regal residences into bespoke, modern medical centres. Princess Margaret even gave birth by planned Caesearean section at Clarence House. So if the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have decided on a home birth, the larger spaces at Windsor Castle might well be favoured by their medical support to ensure all facilities are available for the arrival of their first child.
Ah yes, that most famous royal birthplace of modern times. When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their were expecting a baby, it was widely assumed that they would emerge through those famous wooden doors in the spring clutching their bundle of joy. And just because the birth is a private matter, that doesn’t mean it won’t be the Lindo Wing. It’s got form and could still be the place where Meghan has her baby – Harry will just be doing the car seat struggle in private.
And the answer is….
….none of us knows. It’s likely that the first time we find out will be when the official announcement of the baby’s arrival is made or possibly even once the Sussex family are home to ensure there’s no waiting crowds outside and they can make a quiet exit so they can enjoy some family time together. But don’t despair, we will find out eventually. It will have to be put on the baby’s birth registration which, like every other one in England and Wales, is a public record. And then we’ll have final confirmation of where has its own claim to regal fame as another celebrated royal birthplace.