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Baby boy for Kate and Will: Duchess of Cambridge gives birth

The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a baby boy at St Mary's Hospital in London.

Kensington Palace made the announcement moments ago after Kate Middleton went into labour early on Monday morning.

The baby weighed 8lbs 6oz and was born at 4.24pm, the palace said.

The palace said in a statement: "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24pm. The baby weighs 8lbs 6oz.

"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 have been informed and are delighted with the news.

"Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well and will remain in hospital overnight."

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

Soon after the palace announcement was made, a notice giving details about the baby - the third-in-line to the throne - left St Mary's Hospital in London by car for Buckingham Palace.

The notice will be placed on an easel in the palace's forecourt just like the announcement of William's birth on June 21, 1982, a traditional element of theatre in marked contrast to the modern age of emails and Twitter.

The new royal baby will be the Queen's third great-grandchild and is destined to be crowned monarch.

He will be the 43rd sovereign since William the Conqueror if, as expected, it follows reigns by the Prince of Wales then William.

The Prince of Wales issued a brief statement: "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 joyous 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.

Other members of his team included Guy Thorpe-Beeston, obstetrician and Dr Sunit Godambe, consultant neonatologist at St Mary's Hospital.

Kensington Palace said "The names of the baby will be announced in due course."

A smiling David Cameron declared the birth "an important moment in the life of our nation".

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister said: "It is wonderful news from St Mary's, Paddington and I am sure that right across the country, and indeed right across the Commonwealth, people will be celebrating and wishing the royal couple well.

"It is an important moment in the life of our nation but, I suppose, above all it is a wonderful moment for a warm and loving couple who have got a brand new baby boy.

"It has been a remarkable few years for our royal family - a royal wedding that captured people's hearts, that extraordinary and magnificent jubilee and now this royal birth - all from a family that has given this nation so much incredible service."

"They can know that a proud nation is celebrating with a very proud and happy couple tonight."

Some described the atmosphere outside Buckingham Palace as being more akin to a New Year's Eve celebration, with some sipping sparkling wine to toast the future king and his parents.

Michael Eckett, from London, said he arrived at the palace with his family shortly after hearing news of the birth.

"We've just come for the atmosphere," he said.

"It's jubilant. It's a lovely summer's day, we've won the second Ashes Test - everything is good."

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BACKGROUND

The new royal baby is third in line to the throne and a future king.

A great-grandchild to the Queen - her third - the newborn will also one day be crowned sovereign.

If the baby follows after the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge as king, he will be the 43rd monarch since William the Conqueror obtained the crown of England.

The baby's uncle, Prince Harry, now moves to fourth in line to the throne, while the Duke of York shifts down to fifth and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie to sixth and seventh place.

The last time a still-serving monarch got to meet a great-grandchild born in direct succession to the crown was nearly 120 years ago.

Queen Victoria, who reigned until 1901, was still sovereign when her great-grandchild Edward VIII, who later abdicated, was born third in line in 1894.

His brother George VI was also born in Queen Victoria's lifetime, arriving fourth in line in 1895.

The last great granddaughter of a still-serving sovereign born in direct succession on the male line was their sister Princess Mary in 1897.

William and Kate's baby is the great-great-great-great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria.

The Queen has already welcomed her first great grandchild, Savannah Phillips - daughter of Peter and Autumn Phillips - but Miss Phillips was born only 12th in line down the female line as a granddaughter to the Princess Royal and is now in 13th place.

Her second great-grandchild - Savannah's sister Isla - was born in March last year. Her fourth great-grandchild - Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall's baby - is due in the new year.

William and Kate's baby will one day be head of the armed forces and the Church of England, and possibly head of the Commonwealth, if the role is maintained in the future.

The baby is also a first grandchild for heir to the throne Charles, although he has had plenty of practice in the role as his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, already has five grandchildren. The baby will be a first grandchild for Kate's parents Michael and Carole Middleton.

 

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