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Since the duchess has cut back on her royal duties, media outlets have been clamoring for position outside of the hospital in anticipation of the birth, jockeying to secure the best vantage point for filming William and Kate emerging, babe in arms.

At Buckingham Palace, where the birth will be announced, tourists packed near the front gate, peering through the black iron bars to catch of a glimpse of any action.

Two New York teachers, Maddalena Buffalino, 29, and Michael Savino, 32, were quizzing a pair of passing police officers about where the easel would be placed.

“Just being here is very cool,” said Buffalino, who said she’d been following royal baby news intently.

She said the tradition and glamor of the royal household was what attracted Americans like her to the palace.

“It’s the history,” the social studies teacher said. “We don’t have it.”

Police eventually shooed the growing crush of tourists away from the gate, with one officer warning the assembled crowd to keep an eye on their wallets and valuables.

Officials have said that William plans to take two weeks’ paternity leave and then return to his military duties as a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot in Wales.

His tour of duty is scheduled to wrap up around September, and he and Kate are expected to move from their isolated cottage on the island of Anglesey off the coast of Wales to Kensington Palace in central London.

But major refurbishment works at the palace likely won’t be finished until at least a month or two after the infant is born — meaning that William and Kate will most likely have to make do with their current temporary home in London, a two-bedroom property at the palace.

Come autumn, however, the family will be able to move into their permanent London home, Apartment 1a at Kensington Palace — a four-story house with a nursery, 20 rooms and a private garden.

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Associated Press writer Raphael Satter in London contributed to this report.