All eyes on hospital as royal birth nears

LONDON - Diehard royal watchers camped outside Saint Mary's Hospital rejoiced Saturday over cloudy skies and even the hint of a breeze after more than a week of record heat.

"I thought I was in, what's that place called in America? Death Valley, the hottest place on the planet," said John Loughrey. "It was here, and it's a big difference."

Speculation about where William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, could be and how soon their baby is coming continued after Friday's excitement. The couple was reported to have left Kate's hometown of Bucklebury. But even today nobody knows exactly where they went.

"Rumors, rumors, rumors," said super royal fan Terry Hutt. "Everybody is telling me when the baby is coming."

With all eyes glued on the hospital's Lindo wing for more than a week now, there is a bit of fatigue, but there is also a growing interest in the royal fans camped outside who have earned a bit of celebrity.

The Rhynes -- here on vacation -- say they just had to see Terry Hutt for themselves after hearing about the nearly 80-year-old man, decked in the Union Jack and refusing to go home until the royal baby is born.

"Is he everything he was purported to be? He is, and more," said Philip Rhyne.

Each day brings new tourists, obsessed with the royal family and determined to be in London for the birth.

Pat and Norman Bate traveled two months on a narrow boat to be here.

"We are just waiting; just hanging about waiting now," said Pat Bate. "We are just hoping it won't be too long."

When that day finally comes, the public welcome is sure to be much like the one 31 years ago, when the now-father-to-be was carried away from the very same Lindo wing.

Prince William is currently on annual leave from his job as a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot. He will start his two-week paternity leave when the baby is born.
 

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