Royal baby: Well-wishers gather outside Buckingham Palace

The Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess of Cambridge - Credit: PA

Well-wishers from around the globe began gathering outside Buckingham Palace today, as news of the royal baby's imminent arrival broke.

Tourists armed with cameras peered hopefully through the Palace gates on the off-chance of spotting the easel, due to be placed on the forecourt detailing confirmation of the birth.

The months of speculation and anticipation - dubbed the Great Kate Wait - built to a climax this morning amid news that the Duchess of Cambridge had been admitted to hospital in the early stages of labour.

And the excitement was palpable outside the Palace, with media crews joining the ensemble of visitors eager for news.

Matthew and Donna Harold, from Michigan in America, said they had been asked to stock up on commemorative souvenirs for friends back home during their holiday in London.

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'The royal baby is front-page news every day back in the States at the moment, there is a lot of excitement,' said Mrs Harold.

'I'm sure the Duchess will be pleased, as we are, that the wait looks to be finally over - particularly because being pregnant in this heat must be very hard.

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'Our holiday was booked months ago, so we did not expect to be over here while the baby was happening, so we have been told to bring back as many newspapers and souvenirs with the baby on as possible.'

In Australia, a set of commemorative baby stamps has already been commissioned to mark the royal birth.

Lynette Traynor, a postal worker from Melbourne who is on holiday in London, said: 'We love everything to do with the royals, so the news is full of it.

'We have a set of baby stamps ready to go, as soon as it has been confirmed. We can't get enough of it.'

Another visitor to the Palace, 26-year-old German Veronika Schwarz, said she thought there was greater excitement outside of England.

'We don't have anything like the Royal Family in Germany, so we are all getting quite carried away with this.

'My friends in London seem like they just want the baby to come out now, I think they are tired of waiting.'

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