By Maria Puente, USA TODAY
Their first baby has arrived, everyone is awash in goodwill, but what happens next for Prince William and Duchess Kate?
Another baby? Maybe. New job? Possibly. New homes? Certainly.
No one can say for sure, of course, and the palace would never dream of discussing it, but it's not a stretch to suggest they might get pregnant again soon.
After all, that's what William's parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, did; Prince Harry was born a little more than two years after William. The heir and the spare, taken care of in less than three years.
At the time, Diana was 23; Kate will be 32 in January.
"Look at the age difference between William and Harry and between Kate and her sister Pippa, and chances are they will replicate that," says royals correspondent and Kate biographer Claudia Joseph.
Here's one prediction of what comes next: On their first official trip after the baby, probably in 2014, they will take the baby with them - just as William's parents did when they took off for Australia soon after he was born in 1982.
Back then it was unheard of; not any more, says royal commentator Dickie Arbiter, a former spokesman to the queen.
"If they go somewhere like Australia, it will be seen as OK to take a baby in tow," Arbiter says. "They will take advice, but they will make their own decisions."
They will do what's best for the child, and if there's minimal risk to taking baby on an overseas tour, that's what they will do, he says.
What a difference six decades makes: When Prince Charles was just months old, his parents regularly left him behind when they traveled on royal duties. They went away for months on a world tour when he was 5. That was just how it was done in the old days.
Diana changed everything, and it is likely Will and Kate will take her hands-on approach when it comes to being royal parents in the modern era.
The first baby is, of course, always life-changing, even for British royals, even for future monarchs. William is second-in-line to the throne and the baby is third, and that's not likely to change anytime soon.
The former Kate Middleton's life has already changed dramatically since she and William were married in April 2011, when she went from commoner to the royal Duchess of Cambridge.
For at least the next few months, she'll be busy nesting with the new baby and getting ready to move into two new palatial residences. After that, she'll go back to working royal mom, busy with public appearances for ribbon-cuttings and charities.
William's life is likely to shift, too: He is expected to give up his job with the Royal Air Force based in Wales and take up more royal duties in London. Grandmother Queen Elizabeth II is slowing down (she's 87), so her workload will increasingly be taken up by the second and third generations of the royal family.
"Any transition will be seamless. But this does signal a dramatic change for the younger royals," says royals watcher Robert Jobson in the London Evening Standard. "William, who loves his work as a search-and-rescue pilot, will now have to focus more on royal duty and now looks certain to end his military career in September."
Still up in the air is whether he will get another job in the military closer to London. He is likely to confer with defense officials soon. Another option is to resign from the military and become a full-time working royal.
No matter what he chooses, the Cambridges are moving inexorably toward greater royal responsibility, with the throne always in their future.
Before that, they have to fix up their new digs.
The couple have split their time between their rented farmhouse in Wales near his base and Nottingham Cottage, a small two-bedroom residence on the sprawling 300-year-old Kensington Palace estate where William grew up in London. Kate has been photographed shopping with her mother, Carole Middleton, and with a lady-in-waiting at high-end baby boutiques and fabric shops in the nearby Kensington High Street.
She is fixing up a temporary nursery in Nottingham Cottage, but the real deal will come later, in the fall, when they are due to move into 1A, a four-level "apartment" in Kensington Palace, formerly occupied by the queen's late sister, Princess Margaret.
It is still being renovated (asbestos removal delayed the moving in), at a cost of about $1.6 million, the palace recently disclosed. But the opulence and size of this new home cannot be overstated. Containing at least 21 rooms, it is no apartment as Americans understand the word. It's half of the Clock Tower wing designed by Christopher Wren for King William and Queen Mary in the 17th century and features a south-facing private garden and a nursery.
On top of that, the couple received a gift from the queen of a country home, Anmer Hall, a 10-bedroom mansion on her huge Sandringham estate in Norfolk. That, too, is being renovated (especially to increase privacy protections), and Kate was seen by locals shopping for antiques nearby.
Wouldn't everyone like to see how they decorate their new homes? You bet. Will it happen? Not a chance.
No matter, because British decorators have been busy fantasizing about what they would do to design a new royal nursery. Dragons of Walton Street, a high-end design company that whipped up William and Harry's nursery for Diana, recently unveiled a nursery suite in a ritzy hotel that it says was "inspired" by the royal baby. Only $3,500 per night to rent the quintessential English nursery.