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?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager - Media Sales - £36,000 OTE

£28000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...

Recruitment Genius: C# .NET Developer / Application Support - Junior

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This business has an industry r...

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They make daily deliveries to most foodservice...

Recruitment Genius: Transport Planner

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They make daily deliveries to most foodservice...

Day In a Page

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash