Pregnant Kate Middleton may have left her parents' Berkshire home to return to Kensington Palace ahead of the birth of royal baby.
Twitter was aflutter with reports of decreased security at Michael and Carole Middleton's house in Bucklebury sparking rumours that the Duchess of Cambridge had left the property.
"All royal protection officers in Bucklebury appear to have left. Gates at Middleton family home left wide open," one Twitter user wrote.
Another tweeter reported a police escorted car leaving the house at shortly after 3pm on Friday afternoon.
Although it's not clear where Kate might be en route to, it is thought that she could be returning to her and Prince William's Kensington Palace residence in order to be closer to St Mary's Hospital, where she plans to give birth.
According to reports, the 31-year-old has been resting at her family's £4.85million Georgian home with Prince William for the last few days. The father-to-be is currently on a period of rest days from his RAF duties.
It was reported by the Telegraph that Friday 19 July is her official due date – not the 13 July as previously suggested.
Kensington Palace has only ever said that William and Kate's firstborn was expected in "mid-July", and it has been assumed that she is now past her due date.
But an insider has disclosed, "A small number of staff at St Mary's who might be called upon when the Duchess gives birth were told they had to remain teetotal for a month before the Duchess's due date.
"They were told the due date was 19 July, meaning they couldn't drink from 19 June onwards.
"Only a handful of people were told, because there are very few hospital staff who might be needed in the case of an emergency."
Kate is due to give birth in the private Lindo wing of the hospital in Paddington, with the Queen's former gynaecologist Marcus Setchell and the Queen's current gynaecologist Alan Farthing in charge of the delivery.
A later due date does raise the possibility that the royal baby could arrive as late as 2 August, if he or she is two weeks overdue.
While the world's press maintain a round-the-clock vigil outside the Lindo wing at the Paddington hospital, the media presence has started to build up outside the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading — the nearest hospital to the family home.
While aides have confirmed that the Duchess fully intends to have her baby in the private Lindo Wing, it is being reported that there is a contingency plan in place for a at the Reading facility, where Kate was born in 1982.
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