The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to her third child. The baby boy was delivered at 11.01am today weighing 8lbs 7oz, Kensington Palace confirmed.
The prince was born three hours after it was announced the Duchess had been admitted to the private Lindo wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, in the early stages of labour. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.
The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families were informed and are “delighted” with the news.
The Duke of Cambridge left the hospital at 4.15pm, telling press outside, “I’ll be back”. He returned at 4.45pm with Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Charlotte appeared to enjoy the moment, waving to the photographers and cameraman outside the maternity unit.
Kensington Palace announced shortly after 5.15pm that Prince George and Princess Charlotte had returned to Kensington Palace.
“Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge will be leaving St. Mary’s Hospital this evening,” they announced. “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their son will travel home to Kensington Palace.
“Their Royal Highnesses would like to thank all staff at the hospital for the care and treatment they have received. They would also like to thank everyone for their warm wishes.”
Following the announcement of the third royal baby, a framed notice of the birth went on display on a ceremonial easel on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, an age-old custom of placing a paper proclamation for the public to see. The bulletin – on foolscap-sized paper set in a dark wooden frame – was put into place by two female members of royal household staff.
The notice reads: “Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 11.01am today. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.” It will remain in place for around 24 hours.
The notice was signed by the senior medical team caring for the Duchess including Guy Thorpe-Beeston, surgeon gynaecologist to the royal household, and consultant gynaecologist Alan Farthing, surgeon gynaecologist to the Queen.
A large Union Flag was raised over Buckingham Palace to mark the birth of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child.
Kensington Palace said the name of the baby would be announced in due course. Arthur, Albert and Philip are all thought to be in the running for the new royal baby’s name. High-street bookmakers Coral has odds on Arthur as being the favourite, at 5-1. Other names suggested include Frederick, Charles, James and Michael.
Historian Judith Rowbotham is predicting William and Kate will pick Philip for the new baby prince, in tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh. “I strongly suspect that Philip will be either a first or a second name,” she said. “It’s plain that they like the Germanic sounding names but at the same time they’re looking within the Windsor traditions.”
The third royal baby was born in the same hospital as his father and siblings, four-year-old Prince George, and two-year-old Princess Charlotte. He will be fifth in line to the throne.
Overcast skies did nothing to dampen the spirits of a swelling crowd outside the Lindo Wing, as hundreds of well wishers prepared to meet the Duchess and the unnamed Prince. Dozens of journalists lined the small street outside the Lindo Wing, as a town crier repeatedly rang in news of the birth.
Speaking to HuffPost UK outside the maternity unit, Margaret Taylor, 74, said she was delighted with news the Duchess had given birth to a boy. “I just think it’s a lovely thing,” she said. “Now we might see Philip somewhere in his name, I’d like to see that.” Margaret, who runs a Royal-themed bed and breakfast in Wembley, north west London, has had a busy year. “I’ve been here and there for the wedding,” she added. “I was taken to Windsor for Norwegian TV. Just wait for Harry and Meghan’s wedding to see how much we love the royal family.”
Julia McCarthy-Fox, from Essex, said it was “lunacy” that brought her to the growing crowd in west London. “I had this stupid idea I’d get a photo of the announcement at Buckingham Palace,” she told HuffPost UK. “But now I’ve come here to get a photo. It’s a bit of fun and part of history.”
And Vanessa Crossley and Joanne McLoughlin, proud Lancastrians living in London, also made the journey to the Lindo Wing after hearing the news that the Duchess had given birth. “It didn’t matter if it was a boy or not it’s just wonderful,” Crossley said, waving a Union flag. “We saw it with the marathon yesterday, it’s things like this that make you proud to be British. I’m going to Windsor for the wedding!”
Celebrities and politicians have been sending their best wishes to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on social media. Prime Minister Theresa May sent her “warmest congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their baby boy.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted: “On behalf of Londoners, I want to send our warmest congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their baby boy.”
The Duchess of Cambridge’s third labour was predicted to be fast. When she went into labour, Clare Livingstone, professional policy adviser at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said: “It will vary from one woman to another. Some women report a quicker labour with their third baby but not everyone. It seems to be though that they do go more quickly. It’s a very individual thing.”
Kensington Palace confirmed Kate Middleton was admitted to the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s hospital on the morning of 23 April. It was understood she was taken to the private maternity unit before 6am. Shortly before 1pm, Kate’s PA and stylist Natasha Archer were spotted leaving the St Mary’s hospital complex.
The world’s press set up outside the Lindo Wing at the London hospital, waiting for the moment the couple introduced their new addition to the world. Kensington Palace tweeted a photo of the media gathered outside the private maternity unit.
Police officers were also stationed outside the Lindo Wing when the news broke.
Royal fans have camped outside hospital for weeks eager to catch glimpse of the royal baby. Upon hearing that Kate had gone into labour, John Loughrey, 63, from Streatham, who is part of a group who has been camped outside the hospital, said: “We are so pleased. We have been here for 15 days. I’m so pleased it’s St George’s Day.”
While royal fans are on baby watch outside the Lindo Wing, a woman who had given birth and was leaving the private maternity unit was pictured on the steps with her partner and newborn baby, greeted by the world’s media.
They posed for photographs outside the famous door before leaving in a taxi.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte are likely to pay a visit to the Lindo Wing to meet their new baby sibling when he or she arrives, if the royal couple keep up with tradition.
George visited newborn Charlotte a few hours after she was born in 2015, arriving with the Duke of Cambridge.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child will be the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s sixth great-grandchild.
Prince Harry has shifted down the line of succession to sixth place. The Duke of York, who was born second in line, will move to seventh and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie to eighth and ninth.
For the Duchess’s previous births, Charlotte was delivered at 8.34am on 2 May 2015 less than three hours after Kate was admitted to hospital. George, however, took more than 10 hours to be born when the Duchess was admitted to hospital at 5.30am on 22 July 2013, entering the world at 4.24pm.
According to NHS Maternity Statistics 57% of mothers in England give birth on the same day they are admitted to hospital, a further 29% give birth one day later. Kate and William spent four hours with Prince George before announcing the birth to the world at 8.35pm, and three-and-a-half with Princess Charlotte before the official tweet.
The new baby is heavier than his siblings. Prince George weighed 8lbs 6oz when he was born and Princess Charlotte weighed 8lbs 3oz.
Their father Prince William weighed 7lb 1.5oz when he was born in 1982, while their paternal grandfather, the Prince of Wales, weighed 7lb 6oz in 1948. Prince Harry weighed 6lb 14oz when he was born in 1984.
The family chose Twitter to publicly reveal the news of Kate’s third pregnancy in October last year.
Following a short break from royal duties when she was suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, a form of severe sickness, Kate continued with royal engagements throughout the pregnancy, finishing with a visit to St Luke’s Community Centre and a SportsAid event, in east London, on 22 March.
The first photos of the baby will be taken when the family leave the hospital. Prince George was pictured in his mother’s arms leaving hospital the day after he was born.
Princess Charlotte was first introduced to the world on the day of her birth.
The baby’s name is likely to be announced shortly – with both George Alexander Louis and Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, being shared two days after their births.
Most members of the royal family do not use a surname. The royal website reads: “For the most part, members of the Royal Family who are entitled to the style and dignity of HRH Prince or Princess do not need a surname, but if at any time any of them do need a surname (such as upon marriage), that surname is Mountbatten-Windsor.”
Prince George is thought to have been been using the surname Cambridge, at school, or so the name tag on his schoolbag suggested.
The Queen, who turned 91 on 21 April, is officially the longest-reigning monarch in British history. She has ruled the United Kingdom for more than 65 years.
The new baby is the third grandchild for heir to the throne Prince Charles. Next in line is Prince William, and then Prince George, followed by Princess Charlotte who is fourth in line to the throne, as the rules of Royal succession have changed significantly in recent years. Leaders of 16 British Commonwealth countries (including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Jamaica) voted in 2011 to alter the tradition to include daughters who could previously only inherit the throne if there were no living sons.
The changes, under the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, came into force in March 2015 but apply to people born after October 28 2011.
The Line Of Succession
1. The Prince of Wales
2. The Duke of Cambridge
3. Prince George of Cambridge
4. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge
5. New baby
6. Prince Henry of Wales
7. The Duke of York
8. Princess Beatrice of York
9. Princess Eugenie of York
10. The Earl of Wessex
11. Viscount Severn
12. The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor
13. The Princess Royal
14. Mr. Peter Phillips
15. Miss Savannah Phillips
16. Miss Isla Phillips
17. Mrs. Michael Tindall
The royal baby was born in the same hospital as its siblings and its father. Prince William was born there on 21 June 1982 and was photographed in Princess Diana’s arms in the same spot as his own children.
Prince Harry was also born in St Mary’s on 15 September 1984, as were Peter and Zara Philips.
The Queen was born by caesarean section in her maternal grandparents’ London home. Sir George Pinker, royal gynaecologist and obstetrician from 1973 until 1990, was responsible for moving royal births from palaces to a hospital setting. He delivered nine royal babies in The Lindo Wing, including Princes William and Harry, as well as the children of Princess Anne, the Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Michael of Kent.
Delivery packages including a one-night stay at the Lindo wing of St Mary’s Hospital range from £5,900 - £7,810. Extra nights cost from £1,175 to £1,550. The private ward also offers suites, for which prices are only discussed on application and are based on individual requirements.
It’s a busy few weeks for the royal couple. William and Kate are set to celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary on 29 April, while Princess Charlotte turns three on 2 May.