Growing up as a future heir to the throne

The Prince and Princess of Wales with Princes William and Harry and House Master Dr Andrew Gailey on William's first day at Eton. Credit: PA Wire

The royal baby will be thrown into the public spotlight from birth with every milestone likely to be recorded by the media and splased across headlines worldwide.

He or she will be born into one of the most famous, privileged families in the world but the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to do their utmost to give their firstborn as normal an upbringing as possible as they grow up in the world of the Windsors.

The Duke has often spoken of how important it was for him to be treated like everyone else and relished the time he spent away from the media at university and in the Armed Forces.

Kate too has also been praised for her down-to-earth approach.

However, like William, the youngster will grow up in the knowledge that one day they will wear the crown.

Royal historian Kate Williams suggested it will be difficult for William and Kate to deal with the baby mania that follows the birth, saying:

Jennie Bond, former BBC royal correspondent, said William will be "quite obsessive" in shielding his baby from the press.

The Royal family at Buckingham Palace on the day of Prince William's christening. Credit: PA Wire

As a child, shy William disliked the media and hid behind his blond floppy fringe in front of the cameras. Then when he was just 15, his mother was killed in a Paris car crash while being pursued by the paparazzi.

Bond said: "I suspect that William particularly will be quite obsessive about privacy for his baby."

She told ITV's Royal Babies programme: "I think he will wrap his child not only in a bubble of love but in as secure a bubble of privacy as he possibly can."

A young Prince William (centre) on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch the fly past after the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony. Credit: PA Wire

The child's milestones, from their first day at school to their first public engagment, are likely to be recorded by reporters and a barrage of photographers.

However, this could be kept private in a bid to offer as much protection to their child as possible.

A nine-month-old Prince William in the grounds of Government House in Auckland, New Zealand, during an official tour. Credit: PA Wire

Kate has already experienced first hand the intrusion that can come with being a member of the royal family. She was photographed topless while on holiday with William, and also snapped in her bikini while pregnant.

Such experiences will have no doubt intensified the Cambridges' desire to protect their child.

Prince William arriving for his first day at nursery school with his parents. Credit: PA Wire

Royal writer Christopher Warwick suggested that William and Kate would seek some kind of agreement with the media to ensure their baby's privacy.

While William was at university, the press agreed to leave him in peace in return for interviews and photographs a certain number of times a year.

Diana follows Prince Harry (right), five, and Prince William, seven, on Harry's first day at the Wetherby School in Notting Hill. Credit: PA Wire

Warwick explained that the same was likely to happen in relation to William and Kate's child.

"I think there will be agreements in place simply because William knows that worked when he was up at St Andrews," he said, adding:

Prince William is greeted by headmaster Nicholas Marston at Ludgrove Preporatory School on his first day. Credit: PA Wire

The child's central London home will be Kensington Palace's Apartment 1A, which used to belong to Princess Margaret.

With a big, private walled garden, it has plenty of space to play outside, as well as some 20 rooms. It is being refurbished at an estimated cost of £1 million.

The Prince and Princess of Wales with Princes William and Harry and House Master Dr Andrew Gailey on William's first day at Eton. Credit: PA Wire

William and Kate are also expected to use the 10-bedroom Georgian Grade II listed house Anmer Hall on the Queen's Sandringham estate in Norfolk as their country retreat.

It is thought unlikely that the Duke and Duchess will employ a full-time nanny, but it is expected they will opt for part-time help to enable them to carry out official duties, unless they turn to Kate's mother Carole Middleton instead.

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

The child may also accompany William and Kate on official trips overseas. When William was a baby, he went to Australia and New Zealand with the Prince and Princess of Wales, while Harry went to South Africa with his father when he was 13.

Prince William leads his classmates to lessons on his first day at Eton. Credit: PA Wire

Royal children also often appear on the palace balcony for the Queen's Birthday Parade, Trooping the Colour, as well as witnessing historic occasions first hand such as royal weddings and even coronations.

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

Summer holidays will often be spent with the family in the Scottish countryside up at Balmoral, while Christmases will partly be at Sandringham in Norfolk.

Kate and William will be very "hands-on" parents and aim to give their children as "free and informal" an upbringing as they can, Christopher Warwick, Princess Margaret's authorised biographer believes.

Prince William was in Pop, a group of 21 elected prefects, during his time at Eton. Credit: PA Wire

Diana's approach to child-rearing was considered vastly different to the previous royal generation and had an enormous impact on William.

When William's father, the Prince of Wales was two years old, his mother Princess Elizabeth flew to Malta to spend Christmas with the Duke of Edinburgh who was commanding a frigate, leaving him with his grandparents.

At the age of three, Charles again stayed with grandparents while his parents went on an official tour of Canada.

Mr Warwick explained: "They weren't there a lot of the time. Royal duties took precedence over family life. Today all that is very different.

Prince William met well-wishes as he arrived at St Andrews, where he went on to meet his wife the Duchess of Cambridge. Credit: PA Wire

"There was no way Diana was leaving William when she went to Australia and New Zealand in 1983. William and Kate will be exactly the same as Diana was - hands-on parents."

Diana and Charles bucked the royal trend of separation by taking nine-month-old William, as well as his nanny, with them on the six-week tour to Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Warwick added:

The Queen inspects the troops, including her grandson Prince William, at Sandhurst ahead of a Sovereign's parade. Credit: PA Wire

He said the Duchess's own happy experiences as a child will also have a great influence on the way they parent their children, explaining:

He added that he thought the baby's childhood would be "as normal and ordinary and fun loving" as it can be for a child that will one day be crowned King or Queen.