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A nation celebrates the boy born to be king: William and Kate thrilled as they become a family

BY TONY JONES

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said last night they "could not be happier" as they became the proud parents of a baby boy.

William was at Kate's hospital bedside as she gave birth to a son weighing 8lbs 6oz at 4.24pm. Mother and baby were "both doing well", said Kensington Palace.

The Duke spent the night with his wife as they bonded with their new son at the Lindo wing of St Mary's Hospital in London.

The Prince of Wales, who has become a grandfather for the first time, summed up the feelings of the royal family when he described the new arrival as an "incredibly special moment for William and Catherine".

William telephoned his family to tell them the good news, speaking personally to the Queen, his father Charles and younger brother Prince Harry.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are delighted at the news."

The new royal baby is third-in-line to the throne. He will be the 43rd sovereign since William the Conqueror if, as expected, he follows reigns by Charles and then William.

The Prince of Wales issued a brief statement saying: "Both my wife and I are overjoyed at the arrival of my first grandchild. It is an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine and we are so thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy.

"Grandparenthood is a unique moment in anyone's life, as countless kind people have told me in recent months, so I am enormously proud and happy to be a grandfather for the first time and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing the baby in the near future."

Moments before Charles's words were released, the Queen's Press Secretary Ailsa Anderson strode out onto Buckingham Palace's forecourt to place the official notice on its ornate stand.

The document had four signatures, first was that of Marcus Setchell, Surgeon Gynaecologist to Queen, who led the medical team that delivered Kate's baby.

Mr Setchell spoke movingly about the baby, describing the Queen's third great-grandchild as a "wonderful baby, beautiful baby".

News of the birth was issued in a statement by Kensington Palace at 8.30pm: "Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24pm. The baby weighs 8lbs 6oz.

"Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well."

In a statement, US President Barack Obama said: "Michelle and I are so pleased to congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the joyous occasion of the birth of their first child.

"We wish them all the happiness and blessings parenthood brings. The child enters the world at a time of promise and opportunity for our two nations."

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