As they prepare to leave the comfort of their first home in Wales, this week’s special double issue of PEOPLE reports on Prince William and Princess Kate as they adjust to life with 5-week-old son Prince George and get ready for the next chapter. The couple’s new normal means sleepless nights and diaper duty for the happy family of three – four, counting beloved cocker spaniel Lupo – transitioning into a new life.
He’s only been at this royal baby thing for a little more than a month, but Prince George has already mastered the job’s two main duties: 1) getting bigger; and 2) thoroughly exhausting his parents. While the future king – a “little bit of a rascal…he either reminds me of my brother or me,” William told CNN – continues to exert his newborn authority, his mom and dad are working their way through a to-do list that include settling on godparents, packing up their first home – an idyllic four-bedroom farmhouse in Anglesey, Wales for the grandeur of Kensington Palace in London, and scheduling their first joint engagement since welcoming George on July 22. Amid all the change, how are the new parents feeling? “On a scale of 1 to 10, it must be near a 10,” says a close family friend. “Everything is spot-on and they’re tremendously happy.”
One constant throughout all the change, however, remains the couple’s steadfast determination to do things their way, including the decision to have the heir’s first portraits snapped by Kate’s dad, Michael Middleton, 64. “Once again William wants a new way of being royal, which is what his mother always wanted,” says royals author Judy Wade. Don’t look for William and Kate to strictly conform to traditional expectations. “I am as independent as I want to be, same as Catherine and Harry. We’ve all grown up differently to other generations,” William told CNN.
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The wait for the royal baby is almost over! Kensington Palace confirmed Kate Middleton checked into St. Mary’s Hospital in London shortly before 6 o’clock this morning after her labor began naturally. Middleton and Prince William were reportedly accompanied to the hospital by a security team. They made their way to the Lindo Wing through the Cambridge entrance, which is the same entrance Prince Diana used when she arrived at St. Mary’s to give birth to Prince William in the Lindo Wing in 1982.
“Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted this morning to St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London in the early stages of labour,” Kensington Palace said in a statement. “The Duchess traveled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital with The Duke of Cambridge.”
The Lindo Wing staff said they are “exceptionally proud that this historic moment is happening here.”
Middleton’s labor is said to be “progressing normally.” Once she delivers the baby, a written declaration revealing the baby’s gender, weight and time of birth will be posted on an easel outside Buckingham Palace. That information will also be released electronically.
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