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Royal baby birth: Everything you ever wanted to know

By Ashley Fantz, CNN
July 16, 2013 -- Updated 1931 GMT (0331 HKT)
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, and husband Prince William welcomed their first child on Monday, July 22. Last month she made her last solo appearance before the birth,<a href='http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/13/world/europe/uk-duchess-ship-naming/index.html'> to christen a cruise ship</a>. Here, ticker tape falls as Catherine officially names Princess Cruises' new ship Royal Princess in Southampton, England, on Thursday, June 13. Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, and husband Prince William welcomed their first child on Monday, July 22. Last month she made her last solo appearance before the birth, to christen a cruise ship. Here, ticker tape falls as Catherine officially names Princess Cruises' new ship Royal Princess in Southampton, England, on Thursday, June 13.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, is expected to give birth any day now
  • Scientists say it's slightly more likely to be a girl
  • The birth will be announced via a formal bulletin

(CNN) -- Any minute, the Duchess of Cambridge will birth a new heir to the British throne.

CNN has tried to answer every question you didn't even know you had about this kid who's famous before his or her first picture has been snapped.

Read more: The Royal Baby

It seems like forever that Catherine Middleton has been pregnant, but the world first learned the news in December, when she was hospitalized with acute morning sickness.

Since then, her every mommy-to-be move and maternity outfit has been scrutinized.

Could baby girl modernize monarchy?
Road to the royal baby's birth
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Betting on the royal baby

Read more: Privacy vs. pregnancy

The baby is expected to debut at St. Mary's Hospital in London.

Read more: Q&A -- What will happen when the baby is born?

Will you be the first to know? Well, you'll definitely know as soon as an official public announcement is made, but Grandma and some other VIPs get dibs. Queen Elizabeth II, British Prime Minister David Cameron and the governors general of each of the commonwealth nations will be told, along with the rest of the royal and Middleton families.

An announcement will be made in the form of a formal bulletin, signed by medical staff and rushed in a car with a police escort to Buckingham Palace, royal sources have told CNN.

There, the notice will be placed on an easel on the palace forecourt, the sources say. This will be the first chance for the nation and those watching around the world to find out whether the new baby is a boy or a girl.

After it goes onto the easel, a press notice will be dispatched, and it's expected -- but not confirmed -- that Twitter will carry the news.

Speaking of the grand gender reveal, if you placed bets on pink, you might win that office pool. Supposedly, the Duchess let it slip in June that she might be having a daughter when she bought a teddy bear. That tidbit led to a media frenzy and a royal source telling CNN that the couple didn't know the sex.

Again, your money is probably good if you're predicting frilly smocks and hair bows. Scientists say the baby is slightly more likely to be a girl.

Bookies have been taking bets for names. Alexandra is one of the most predicted ones.

Read more: What's in a royal name?

Could baby girl modernize monarchy?
A rare look inside the royal family
Will this be the royal maternity ward?

Besides being adorable, the girl could one day have a fantastic career. She could be queen.

Read more: Catherine's baby: Heir for a new century?

Until 2011, any daughter born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would not have enjoyed an equal right to inherit the British throne. Rules dating back centuries decreed that the crown passed to the eldest son and was only bestowed on a daughter when there were no sons. But the rules of succession were changed.

The child will be next in line to the British throne after William, whose father, Charles, is first in line.

But first, the child will be ... well, a child. And Margaret Rhodes, a cousin and lifelong friend of the queen, said Elizabeth's parents -- King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, later known as the Queen Mother -- tried to keep their daughter's childhood "sacrosanct."

"It was just a time for learning and enjoying. And I think that they succeeded," Rhodes said. As for the expected royal arrival, she told CNN's Christiane Amanpour, "I'm prepared to be excited."

"I imagine and hope that its early life, until it's at least in its teens, will be just a jolly, happy, ordinary child's life," said Rhodes, who still periodically has "a nice little drink and a chat" with her old friend after church.

Read more: Who can inherit the British throne?

Meanwhile, let's get back to what really matters. Is this baby going to be ridiculously good-looking? Light hair like dad, dark hair like mom, ears like Prince Charles? This baby might win the day all around because its mother is the first commoner to marry into the royal family since the 17th century.

"It's very good that they're bringing in new genes," Dr. Anand Saggar, a consultant in the South West Thames Regional Genetics Department at St. George's Hospital Medical School in London, recently told CNN. "It freshens up the gene pool."

Read more: What -- and who -- will the royal baby look like?

CNN's Max Foster and Bryony Jones contributed to this report.

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