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Sneed: Prince cancels public functions, is royal birth imminent?

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Updated: August 17, 2013 6:35AM

Born to rule . . .

LONDON — The sun is out; the press is primed; the cameras are waiting to roll.

But the tiny star of England’s new pram drama, the birth of the first child of Prince William and Kate Middleton, has yet to arrive.

The big question: When is the B-day?

The predicted due date, which came and went last weekend, has the Brits in a swivet — and the press, sweltering in a scrum outside St. Mary’s Hospital where the royal heir is expected to be delivered, in a sweat.

But hark! Sneed has a royal scooplet!

Sneed is told the latest word to trickle from Buckingham Palace is thus: Prince William, who played a bruising game of polo over the weekend — showing no baby daddy anxiety over an impending birth — will NOT be attending any public functions over the next three days!

Ergo, is this finally the signal the royal bun is this/close to coming out of the royal oven?

Let’s hope so.

An army of frustrated reporters, erupting like mushrooms after rain along the baby birth trail, are mired in boredom after a long-time stakeout of royal territory.

Armed with ladders, tents and umbrellas to ward off the heat wave hitting London, the Fourth Estate is anxious for the long wait to be over.

Ice cream vendors and food hawkers have been delivering eats to the battalions of journalists and cameramen squeezed into tiny fiefdoms staked out in front of the Paddington hospital where Kate Middleton, who was last seen publicly June 15, will be taken when she goes into labor.

It is expected the wait will be worth it; culminating in a sensational event worthy of the ones that once surrounded Prince William’s late mother, Princess Diana, who became a press goddess. Only this time, it will be tears of joy that are shed.

“We love Prince William and Kate Middleton and are very excited for them and for us,” said Christian Crost, who works the front desk at the Hilton Park Lane Hotel. “It’s all good, really good.”

Meanwhile, Prince William’s cousin, a newly pregnant Zara Phillips — an accomplished equestrian like her mother, Princess Anne — is getting thwacked by the tabloid press for horseback riding recently while pregnant.

Well, far be it from Sneed for not mentioning Prince Charles, the father of Prince William, was playing polo just before both his sons were born; ostensibly also benefiting from an equine calm.

◆ The birth announcement: The royal family, enmeshed in tradition, will conduct a very specific birth confirmation process.

The Queen will be the first to be officially told of her great-grandchild’s birth. Doctors attending the birth of the baby, who will become the third in line to the British throne — be it a boy or girl — will sign a birth notice, which will be taken by hand to a car dispatched to Buckingham Palace. It will then be set upon an easel outside the front of the palace for public view, declaring to the world the child is born.

◆ The latest word: This news via the Buckingham Palace grapevine will not bring relief to the press corps maintaining their 24/7 hospital perch: News of the baby’s birth will be announced only between 8 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. in London.

◆ The latest name: Betting brokers claim the names Alexandra and George are the most popular picks for the new baby.

◆ Pippa place: Meanwhile, poor Pippa Middleton, Kate’s party-planning sister whose derriere drew tabloid headlines, is furious about the publication of a book described as parodying her imagined advice on pregnancy. It’s described as a posh person’s guide to pregnancy and parenting.

Oh, those Brits.

Sneedlings . . .

Tuesday’s birthdays: Will Ferrell, 46; Corey Feldman, 42, and Duncan Keith, 30.

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