04/04/2012 at 11:00 AM EDT
Their friends are having kids. They're getting ready to start making family-friendly renovations to their home at Kensington Palace. And their first anniversary
is fast approaching on April 29.
Yes, say royal insiders, Prince William
have babies on the brain.
From their decision to quietly "shelve" a hoped-for trip to Africa to the Palace's recent sensitivity to speculation on the subject, veteran royal watchers say the couple is poised to start a family sooner rather than later.
In particular, watching their friends become parents
"does help" boost William and Kate's decision to follow suit, a family insider tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story.
Although they are unlikely to announce a pregnancy before the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration
this summer, like any couple, "they will let nature and life take its course," adds a royal source.
For much more on William and Kate, including a look back at their magical first year of marriage and an update on the members of their wedding party, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday