The Duchess of Sussex's dream of a home birth could be shattered if she does not deliver her baby in the next 48 hours, experts have warned, as well-wishers descend on Windsor.

Royal fans have been on tenterhooks for weeks waiting for news about the unborn seventh-in-line to the throne, who is understood to be a week overdue.

Meghan, 37, reportedly wants a home birth rather than going to hospital - a decision which chimes with the couple's desire for privacy for their first child.

Speculation that Baby Sussex's arrival was imminent reached fever pitch when Prince Harry postponed his trip to the Netherlands this week due to "logistical challenges".

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But concerns have surfaced about whether the Duchess will be able to deliver her child safely at their permanent home at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.

If the Duchess does not give birth soon, it is increasingly likely she will have the baby at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, 15 miles from Windsor.

Patients often compare the Mulberry, Frimley's "home from home" birthing suite, to a hotel. There is one birth pool and 14 labour rooms with dimmable lights, birth balls and beanbags, as well as a few private rooms.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, credits the consultant-led labour ward for saving her life when she suffered a placental abruption in 2003 during the birth of her eldest child, Lady Louise Windsor.

Obstetrician Clive Spence-Jones, of the Whittington Hospital in North London, said there are heightened risks for mothers-to-be over a certain age and giving birth in hospital is considered safer.

The Duchess of Sussex had reportedly wanted to deliver her first child at home. Photo / Getty Images
The Duchess of Sussex had reportedly wanted to deliver her first child at home. Photo / Getty Images

Mr Spence-Jones told The Mail on Sunday: "A recent study found that women over 36 should consider induction around their due date, as they are at higher risk.

"After induction there are more opportunities for medical intervention to be needed during labour, so home birth is not recommended."

Liz Halliday, deputy head of midwifery at Private Midwives, also warned: "There is an increased chance after 35 of developing gestational diabetes, placenta praevia, having a breech presentation or of baby having a low or high birth weight. These complications can be ruled out in pregnancy and I am sure The Duchess of Sussex has been advised of any concerns.

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"There is also an increase in the chance of experiencing a pre-term birth, post-partum haemorrhage, stillbirth or a maternal death."

Sources previously suggested that the home birth plan will change as medically necessary.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have maintained an element of secrecy around the arrangements for the birth, saying they will share news of their baby's arrival "once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family".

Meghan is reported to have chosen a female-led team to support her, with the Royal Household doctors on hand to help if necessary.

Meanwhile royal super-fans have descended on Windsor - some even camping out in the hope of getting the first glimpse of Baby Sussex.

Joseph Afrane, 55, from Battersea, west London, told The Telegraph: "I think the baby is supposed to be born this week, but according to official Royal sources the baby is not due. So we are still waiting for it, but I haven't heard any news whether she will birth at home - and I don't think so, as you have to respect their privacy as well."

John Loughrey, 64, from Streatham, south London, said: "There is nothing wrong with Frimley Park. I am fine with that because it is a hospital and we are concerned about her age, and it is her first child."

In a statement confirming the nature of arrangements for the birth last month, Buckingham Palace said: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very grateful for the goodwill they have received from people throughout the United Kingdom and around the world as they prepare to welcome their baby.

"Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private.

"The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family."