Courtesy: Getty Images
Pregnant Kate Middleton, Getty Images
Duchess Kate plans to move in with her parents, temporarily, after her royal baby is born in July, the Daily Mail is reporting today.
While maybe not unusual for other new mothers, it's considered unprecedented in the UK for a child who will be third-in-line to the throne.
"Future monarch to start life in commoner's home in Berkshire instead of royal residence," read the shocked headline in the Mail, citing the usual unnamed sources.
"Kate says she 'just feels safest and most secure' with her family and believes that no one could be better placed to teach her about bringing up a baby than her mother, who has three children of her own," royal correspondent Rebecca English reported.
While not the "splendor of a royal residence," Michael and Carole Middleton's estate in Berkshire is hardly common: They paid about $7 million for the sprawling Georgian manor in an affluent rural area, and Carole Middleton is busy preparing it for her elder daughter and her first grandchild.
Moreover, Prince William and the former Kate Middleton, now Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, can't yet move in to their other planned homes, which includes a 57-room apartment in Kensington Palace, now being renovated, and a country home on the royal Sandringham estate in Norfolk, also being renovated. Currently, the couple divide their time between a cottage apartment at Kensington and a farmhouse in Wales near William's RAF base.
So living with mum-and-dad for about six weeks after the hospital birth seems like a natural plan until the new digs are ready. Also, it should be remembered that grandmother Queen Elizabeth II was born, in 1926, while her parents, then the Duke and Duchess of York, were living in a London townhouse, although at the time she was not expected to become queen.
Prince William, who was born in a hospital in 1982, went home with his parents, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, to their apartment in Kensington Palace.
Meanwhile, E! Online aired new paparazzi pictures of Kate in which her pregnancy finally appears obvious. She was spotted recently with her mother lunching and then shopping at a baby shop (they bought a Moses basket) in London. She was wearing a navy-blue maternity top and had a noticeable swell that even her large Tod's bag couldn't hide.