Whichever day of the great royal baby wait it was today, the intense scrutiny of the private hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was due to give birth was unrelenting.

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Camera crews from across the world and royal fans from across Britain were spending another day outside in the heatwave, waiting, and — well, waiting.

Unfortunately for them, and hardly for the first day, nothing has happened.

The wing has now become a tourist attraction in its own right.

Nancy Leli and her son, Michael, from Chicago, on a one-week trip to London, dropped by to have a look. In the absence of any sign of ­royalty, they were filmed and photographed by the world’s media.

Mrs Leli, 64, said: “We’re incredibly big royal fans — it all started with Princess Diana. We couldn’t come all the way here and not visit the hospital when there’s such a big guest expected.

“Babies come when they come but we are all patiently waiting and we’ve had to have a lot of patience with this one.”

Two German families on holiday in London were making repeat visits.

Andrea Thiel, 44, who was with her son, Kim, 15, her friend Angela Woll, 45, and her son, Marcel, 15, said: “We’ve taken a picture of the wing so we have a record of where it happened. To be honest I thought she would have had the baby a lot sooner.

“We’re all just so excited about finding out whether it’s a boy or a girl. It’s going to be such a surprise after this long wait.”

Of course, it was not just outside the hospital that people were waiting; the world was watching online.

A live video feed from outside the Lindo Wing — nicknamed the Limbo Wing by some stranded waiting — has been the most popular page on The Telegraph website since it was set up on Wednesday. It has also generated a running commentary on Twitter, the social-networking website, charting any activity outside the building, with no detail too small to mention.

“Royal baby” was the most commonly searched topic on Google on Friday, with more than 100,000 searches in Britain alone.

Of course, for some, no news can indeed be good news: bookmakers were delighted that the baby had not yet been born, because the lion’s share of bets were placed on an arrival last week.

Coral said it had so far made £25,000 on failed attempts to predict the baby’s date of birth, while Ladbrokes said it had kept £18,000.

Ladbrokes said its biggest single bet came from someone in Wiltshire who had lost £1,000 on the baby being born on Wednesday, with odds of 3/1. One of the most commonly chosen dates was Thursday, on which 1,142 bets were placed.

Jessica Bridge, a spokesman for Ladbrokes, said: “We are rubbing our hands with glee that the baby is overdue now, but we know it’s only going to be short-lasting.

“The gender is obviously going to cost us a fortune either way, so ideally we would love it if the couple chose a name that’s generally been friendless with punters and therefore hasn’t seen a lot of money, such as Philip or Grace.”

Coral said some betting appeared to have been influenced in their choices by the disclosure in The Telegraph’s Mandrake column last week that Carole Middleton had told friends that her first grandchild could have a Leo star sign — meaning she does not think it will be born until at least Tuesday.

Nicola McGeady, a spokesman for Coral, said: “Punters have lost a lot of money predicting the date of birth: £25,000 has been lost on the date of birth so far, but that is constantly growing.

“People are now betting on Tuesday, which would make the baby a Leo.

“Punters have already placed their bets on the name and hair colour so all the attention is going on to the date and whether it will be a Cancer or Leo.”

There is one certainty in all this: there will be a birth. Whether those who are waiting will be in a fit state to take it in remains to be seen.

Lama Hasan, a correspondent with the American broadcaster ABC, said: “It’s my 11th day here, and I’ve lost all sense of reality.

“I’m supposed to leave around 6pm but I never do. I loiter, thinking if I leave, it will happen that second. Once I’ve left, I’m still glued to my BlackBerry.

“I’m so ready for her to drop, but you can’t predict Mother Nature.”

Tags: royalty, uk
Photo Credit: Women pretending to be pregnant and wearing masks of Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge pose outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital. Reuters / Luke MacGregor