The Duchess of York, wife of Prince Andrew, was admitted to a London hospital Monday for the birth of their first child, who will be fifth in line to the British throne.
Andrew drove the 28-year-old duchess to the rear entrance of the American-owned, private Portland hospital from Castlewood House at Egham in Surrey, 21 miles west of London, which the couple is renting.The 28-year-old prince, a Royal Navy lieutenant, returned to London on Sunday from Singapore, where he has been aboard the HMS Edinburgh, to be on hand for the birth.
The duchess was admitted to the hospital shortly after 10 a.m. local time. Dr. Anthony Kenney, 45, the duchess' obstetrician, and a team of specialists were on hand for her arrival..
Queen Elizabeth II was visiting Birkenhead in northwest England Monday. Buckingham Palace said she was informed that her daughter-in-law had gone to the hospital.
Buckingham Palace had said the baby was due sometime in August. The duchess' father, Maj. Ronald Ferguson, was quoted as telling fellow polo players that the due date was Aug. 11.
Andrew, the queen's second son, married the former Sarah Ferguson on July 23, 1986, at Westminster Abbey. The baby is the fifth grandchild of the queen and will be fifth in succession to the throne behind the queen's eldest son, Prince Charles, his children, Prince William and Prince Harry, and Prince Andrew.
British press reports said Andrew, an accomplished amateur photographer, plans to take the first pictures of the baby.
Outside the hospital, crowds have been waiting for several days and started growing as soon as word was out that the duchess had been admitted. A banner has been flying saying: "Any Minute Now!"