Duchess in labour

Kate & William's baby will be third in line to the throne.

Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - Kensington Palace has announced that the Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted to hospital in the early stages of labour.

In a short statement palace officials said Kate Middleton travelled by car to the hospital with Prince William by her side.

The royal couple has chosen the private Lindo wing of St Mary's hospital in Paddington for the birth and also where Prince William was born 31 years ago.

The baby is due to be delivered by Marcus Setchell, the Queen's former gynecologist.

The news was tweeted by a couple of news photographers just before 7am local time but was only confirmed around half an hour later.

Last week, a media outlet staged a hoax by getting two actors who looked like the Duke and Duchess to walk through the hospital.

The media house then sat back as others reported the labour had begun before realising they had been conned.

Hundreds of media have been camped outside for weeks with the earliest arriving at the beginning of the month.

If it's still daylight, a royal courier will take the official announcement that will be written on parchment and signed by the medical staff to Buckingham Palace and displayed on an easel by the gates for the public to see.

Last week, the Queen joked that she hoped the baby would arrive soon because she will be departing for her annual vacation to her Balmoral estate in Scotland.

St James's Palace announced the pregnancy on 3 December after Kate was admitted to hospital for four days suffering from severe morning sickness.

After a change in the law, the baby will become third in line to the throne whether it's a boy or a girl.

The Royal baby will have the title of the Prince or Princess of Cambridge.