Royal baby to be a monarch, even if it's a girl

(CBS News) LONDON - Perhaps you've heard: Kate Middleton and Prince William are expecting their first child.

While Buckingham Palace has only said the due date is sometime in July, as the month wears on everyone's royal expectations are peaking.

Kate's last public appearance - exactly one month ago - was sending a Champagne bottle to collide with a ship's hull before she disappeared from view to wait for her baby.

Outside St. Mary's Hospital in London this weekend, the media are waiting too. The birth of this baby will be big news.

It's already big business for the bookies who dropped by - in costume - to show the betting odds on the baby's name.

No surprise: Pocahontas and Hashtag are the longshots.

Special Section: A Royal Baby

As for the baby's gender, when Queen Elizabeth was crowned, she was a relative rarity.

Over the centuries, England has had 58 kings and only eight queens. That's because boys were always first in line.

But no longer. The law has just been changed to give girls equal rights to the throne.

"Regardless of being the first-born, girl or boy, this child will be monarch," said CBS royal watcher Roya Nikkhah. "That is hugely historic for this country's royal history."

William is going to be a modern dad. He'll be in the delivery room, he says, and will emerge with his wife and child on the very same step he first appeared on 31 years ago as a newborn.

But before the world sees this new royal baby, a birth announcement will be sent from the hospital 2 miles across London to Buckingham Palace, where it will be posted in the forecourt on an easel.

And - in a nod to the fact that it is, after all, 2013 - the news will also be posted on Twitter.

  • Elizabeth Palmer
    Elizabeth Palmer

    Elizabeth Palmer has been a CBS News correspondent since August 2000. She has been based in London since late 2003, after having been based in Moscow (2000-03). Palmer reports primarily for the "CBS Evening News."