(Photo: Chris Jackson AFP/Getty Images)
By Maria Puente, USA TODAY
Duchess Kate's baby is not supposed to be born until mid-July, or
maybe even later, but she's concerned enough about an unexpected early
arrival that she's not going to a close friend's wedding this weekend,
British media reported Friday.
Prince William, who turned 31 Friday but celebrated in private, will be going alone to the wedding,
where he will be best man for his longtime pal, Thomas Van Straubenzee,
Van Straubenzee is marrying Lady Melissa Percy, 26, a
daughter of the Duke of Northumberland, at her family's estate, Alnwick
Castle, better known as the stand-in for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter
The castle is about 300 miles away from London, in
northeast England. There is at least a slim risk she could go into labor
during the trip up there, so Kate, disappointed, opted to stay home,
anonymous palace sources told The Sun.
Harry, also a longtime friend of Van Straubenzee, will be at the
wedding, too, as will his former girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, a bridesmaid,
and his current beau, Cressida Bonas.
Kate's sister, Pippa
Middleton, also is a friend of the Northumberland Percys: She pals
around with the duke's son and heir, Earl George Percy, and attended the
wedding of his other sister at the castle in 2011, the same year of the
royal wedding of Will and Kate.
The due date of the Cambridge
baby, a future monarch third-in-line to the throne, has been a topic of
much discussion and little enlightenment. It might be July 13, it might
be July 3 - both dates have been bandied about. At one point, the media
reported that Kate's mother, Carole Middleton, told a friend the baby
would be born a Leo, which would put the birth in the later half of
And besides, babies often do not cooperate with due-date predictions.