The Queen said today that she is hoping the royal baby is born soon - because she is about to go on holiday.
She made the comment in reply to a question from a 10-year-old schoolgirl while on a series of engagements in the Lake District.
Fay Batey, a pupil at Wiggonby CofE Primary School, asked: “Do you want Kate’s baby to be a boy or girl?”
The Queen replied: “I don’t think I mind.
“I would very much like it to arrive. I’m going on holiday.”
Fay told reporters it was “really, really exciting” to speak to the Queen.
She and fellow pupils waved Union flags and cheered as the royal party arrived at the Brockhole Lake District Visitor Centre on the shores of Lake Windermere.
The Queen’s final engagement before her holiday is next Tuesday.
The response from the Queen echoed the anticipation felt across the nation as to when the newborn of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will finally arrive.
Thousands gathered in Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, to greet the Queen enthusiastically on the final leg of her South Lakeland tour today where she was accompanied by the Princess Royal.
After she was welcomed by the Mayor of Windermere, Allan Winrow, and his wife, Mayoress Angela Winrow, people stood up to the water line on the shores of the lake to capture their royal images on camera as the town was bathed in sunshine.
The Queen and the royal party walked on to Bowness Pier for a trip on the MV Teal to the Brockhole estate which is home to The Lake District Visitor Centre.
She last sailed on the vessel, which carries up to 533 passengers, in August 1956 when she travelled from Ambleside to Bowness with the Duke of Edinburgh.
Among the first well-wishers to gather at Bowness Pier early today were Lexie Fraser, eight, from Penwortham, Lancashire, and Elisabet Galland, aged 22 months, from Morecambe. They were rewarded for their devotion with the opportunity to present posies of flowers to the Queen on arrival.
On the pier she received the gift of a mosaic portrait from the Keswick Tourist Association, which consisted of 2,450 photographs of Keswick taken by local people.
On board the MV Teal she was accompanied by Bill Bewley, the chairman of Windermere Lake Cruises and then introduced to members of various local charities and associations.
Among those she spoke to were local Leonard Cheshire volunteers David Thompson, 75, and Barbara Russell, 68.
Mr Thompson said: “She said what a wonderful job that is done in the Leonard Cheshire homes.”
After disembarking at Brockhole Pier, the Queen and Princess Anne briefly met representatives of the Brockhole Estate, voluntary rangers and National Park Rangers before attending a private luncheon.
She walked up to pupils at Wiggonby CofE School just before leaving and was then popped the question about the royal baby.