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Family life waiting for royal baby

The new royal baby will be born into one of the world's most privileged families.

But what will life be like for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's little prince or princess?

William and Kate will do their utmost to give their son or daughter as normal an upbringing as possible. The Duke has often spoken of how important it was for him to be treated like everyone else.

He relished the time he spent away from the media at university and in the Armed Forces.

Kate too, although also from a wealthy background, has been praised for her down-to-earth approach.

The youngster will, however, grow up, just as William did, with the knowledge that they will one day wear the Crown.

A private education beckons and possibly a stint at boarding school. William went to Eton and Kate to Marlborough College in Wiltshire.

William called his father "papa" and his mother "mummy". He also had a childhood nanny - Tiggy Legge-Bourke - to whom he was very close, but it remains to be seen whether the Duke and Duchess will employ one.

The child's milestones - from their first day at school to their first public engagement - may well be recorded by the media and a barrage of photographers just like William experienced.

Yet William and Kate could decide to keep all such things private in a bid to offer as much protection to their child as possible.

Their recent experience will have made them all the more wary of guarding their private lives. Kate was pictured topless while sunbathing on holiday in a remote French chateau after being snapped by a photographer using a long lens.

Summer holidays will often be spent with the family in the Scottish countryside up at Balmoral - only for this youngster grandpa will also the Prince of Wales and their great-granny the Queen.

Christmases will partly be at Sandringham in Norfolk with the royals and trips to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle will expose the youngsters to opulent surroundings.

Prince Harry will be a doting uncle while the Middletons too will play an important part in their life, with the Duchess being particularly close to her family, including sister Pippa.

Although the baby will be King or Queen, the prospect of them ruling as monarch is a long way off.

When Princess Elizabeth was a child, she was heir apparent by the time she was 10.

William and Kate's baby has three generations of monarchs - the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke - before he or she will encounter the responsibility of wearing the crown.

At some stage, though, they can expect to be tutored on royal history and duties in preparation for their important future role.

Royal protection officers will always be close at hand while help from housekeepers and aides will be the norm.

The baby is also likely to experience a stint in the Armed Forces, particularly as a future head of the military.

William trained at Sandhurst and now serves as an RAF search-and-rescue pilot. Even the Queen, as Princess Elizabeth, joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1945.

If the royal offspring follows his or her parents' lead, they will also seek out a trusted inner circle of friends, ensuring their private lives are kept just that - private.

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