Royal baby boy: 'We could not be happier,' says Duke of Cambridge after wife Kate gives birth

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

The wait for the royal baby and the future monarch ended on Monday after a day of sweltering speculation when it was announced that the Duchess of Cambridge had given birth to a boy.

The baby, the third in line to the throne and the first Prince of Cambridge in 190 years, was born at 4.24pm weighing 8lbs 6oz at the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London. His father, who was present, said: "We could not be happier".

The announcement of the birth by Kensington Palace shortly after 8pm ended a day of increasingly febrile media reporting after it emerged that the Duchess had gone into hospital at 6am - avoiding the massed ranks of cameras via a side entrance - while in the early stages of labour.

News of the birth was posted in accordance with tradition by a royal footman on an ornate “Roccoco revival-style” easel inside the railings of Buckingham Palace as a crowd gathered outside celebrated. It was also confirmed that Catherine, 31, and her son were “doing well” and will remain in hospital overnight.

In an unusually forthright statement, Prince Charles announced that he was relishing the prospect of grandfatherhood, announcing that he and Camilla were “overjoyed”.

The heir to the throne said: “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 and we are eagerly looking foward to seeing the baby in the near future.”

In its statement, Kensington Palace said: “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.” It added that the senior members of the royal family were “delighted”.

Prime Minister David Cameron, taking to Twitter along with Labour leader Ed Milliband, said the Duke and Duchess will  make “wonderful parents”, adding: “The whole country will celebrate.” Mr Milliband said: “I wish them and their son all happiness and good health.”

The easel announcing the birth of a baby boy The easel outside Buckingham Palace announcing the birth

 

While the arrival of a boy postpones for another generation the dilemma of resolving outstanding sexist constitutional wrinkles that a daughter to the William and Catherine might have created, the public is likely to have to wait longer to know their future ruler’s name.

In a move which will doubtless delight bookies, some of whom immediately elevated “James” as favourite for the royal moniker, it could be at least a day before the name chosen by the couple is revealed. In the case of the royal baby’s paternal grandfather, it was not announced until almost a month after his birth that he had been called Charles.

A crowd of people take photos of the easel in front of the palace A crowd of people take photos of the easel in front of the palace

 

The birth after a labour of less than 12 hours brought relief not only to the nation but also the serried rows of television news anchors gathered on the pavement outside the Lindo Wing who suddenly found themselves have to provide rolling news coverage on what one BBC correspondent admitted was “no news”.

The 6am arrival of Catherine and William at a side entrance to the hospital brought with it a terse 45-word statement the 31-year-old duchess was in the early stages of labour and “things are progressing as normal”.

Private Eye takes a more understated approach to the birth

 

But the arrival of the couple in a convoy of Range Rovers and BMWs was sufficient to bring the buzz of speculation about the royal birth over the airwaves and the internet for the past week to a fresh crescendo as hundreds of broadcasters, photographers and assorted royal hangers-on jostled for position outside the £6,000-a-night unit.

Catherine, who is in the same unit where Princess Diana gave birth to her husband and Prince Harry, is being tended by a top medical team led by the the Queen’s gynaecologist Marcus Setchell and assisted by Alan Farthing, the gynaecologist to the royal household who was previously engaged to Jill Dando.

The paucity of information did nothing to slow the tide of speculation.

Under the blistering heat of the hottest July day since 2006, representatives of 150 television stations (along with some 300 photographers) repeated in mantra-like fashion  the most likely names for the royal baby and the expert view that most labours last 12 hours.

Representatives of some 150 television stations waited for news outside the hospital

 

The combination of sweltering conditions and crowded pavements tested the patience of  those attending the hospital for more routine matters. Rita Davies, 46, en route to an out-patients appointment for her bandaged leg, said: “It’s just not on. There are real sick people using this hospital. Not just rich ladies giving birth.”

The proceedings were briefly enlivened with the appearance of a republican protester carrying a loudhailer.

Danny Shine, a professional singer, proceeded to broadcast his views before being warned by police that he might be creating a public nuisance by disturbing the sleep of dozing patients.

He told The Independent: “I just want people to question whether this person being born is any more special than the rest of us. Why are we making all this fuss and spending all this money when disabled people are having their benefits taken away.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific