'The Great Kate Wait': Duchess of Cambridge 'doing well' in labour at London's St Mary's Hospital

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Queen arrives at Buckingham Palace as Prince William waits by his wife's bedside.

The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted to St Mary's Hospital in west London in the early stages of labour, Kensington Palace have announced.

'The Great Kate Wait', as many journalists referred to the final stages of the Duchess' pregnancy, is finally over after a brief statement was released at 7.30am. The palace confirmed that the Duchess was “doing well” and the birth was “progressing normally.”

The statement read: "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted this morning to St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London, in the early stages of labour.

"The Duchess travelled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital with The Duke of Cambridge."

The Duke and Duchess were driven without a police escort before Kate was admitted to the Lindo Wing just before 6am on Monday, their spokesperson added.

"Things are progressing as normal," he said.

The Queen has now arrived at Buckingham Palace as Prince William waits by his wife's bedside.

St Mary's Hospital said they were "exceptionally proud" that a future heir to the throne will be born there, adding that Kate will be treated by expert consultants.

“As Kensington Palace have confirmed, HRH the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital earlier today, having entered the final stages of her pregnancy.

"During her stay at the hospital, the Duchess is being cared for by an expert team of consultants and midwives. It goes without saying that the whole trust wishes her well and we are exceptionally proud that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen to have their baby here.”

Marcus Setchell, the Queen's gynaecologist for two decades, is in charge of the care Kate will receive and helped save the lives of the Countess of Wessex and her eldest child Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor in 2003.

He became the royal household's gynaecologist in September 2008 and Kate's baby is his first high-profile royal birth.

The Duke and his younger brother Prince Harry were born in the same hospital wing and the Prince and Princess of Wales famously posed on the building's steps in 1982 holding baby William.

Crowds gathered at Buckingham Palace by mid-morning Crowds gathered at Buckingham Palace by mid-morning

 

Prime Minister David Cameron sent his "best wishes" to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, describing the occasion as "very exciting" for the pair. However, it was business as usual for The Prince of Wales, who said he had heard "absolutely nothing at the moment", when asked about the birth by Sky News. 

"We're waiting," he added, during a visit to the National Railway Museum in York on Monday.

Members of the public gathered outside to greet the Prince of Wales and shouted “congratulations” as he left the glaziers' workshops. He walked over to one woman and joked: “Do you know something I don't?”

Another well-wisher, John Dowson, from York, shouted: “It's triplets”, prompting a chuckling Charles to come over to him for a word.

Bookmakers are currently favouring the name 'Alexandra' for the third-in-line to the throne, as many have placed bets that the Duchess will give birth to a girl. George and James are popular monikers for those who think the new baby will be a boy.

The scrum of photographers outside the hospital this morning The scrum of photographers outside the hospital this morning

 

Paddy Power reported £30,000 taken in bets within the first three hours of the announcement. Bets on the birth date have now been suspended. The betting store even opened bets on the colour of Pippa Middleton's dress if she visits the baby in hospital.

William is expected to take paternity leave from his job as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot, but it is not known how long the Duchess will take off from her royal duties to care for her first child.

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

It will be the 43rd sovereign since William the Conqueror if, as expected, it follows reigns by Charles then William.

The royalists were not in short supply outside the hospital The royalists were not in short supply outside the hospital

 

The Duke is known to want a daughter while the Duchess is hoping for a son.

When Kate met Guardsman Lee Wheeler, 29, during a St Patrick's Day parade in Aldershot, Hampshire, she told him she did not know the sex of her baby.

The soldier said: "I asked her 'Do you know if it's a girl or boy?', and she said 'Not yet'.

"She said 'I'd like to have a boy and William would like a girl'. That's always the way."

Royal supporter Terry Hutt outside the hospital Royal supporter Terry Hutt outside the hospital

 

Recent changes to the rules of succession have now ensured that if the Duchess gives birth to a girl she will not be leapfrogged by a younger brother at a later date. Under the previous succession law, dating back to 1701, a male infant would succeed to the throne before a female child. The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 legislates that the sex of an infant in direct line to the throne no longer determines whether he or she wears the crown.

Twitter has now been flooded with excited tweets regarding the impending arrival of the royal baby. Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott took a more tongue-in-cheek approach to the news by tweeting: "Great to hear the Duchess of Cambridge has gone into labour. Is she an affiliated member?" The Archbishop of Canterbury also used social media to wish Kate well and tweeted: "My thoughts and prayers are with Kate on this enormously special day".

As the Duchess' due date has drawn closer the 'Great Kate Wait' hysteria has seen the worlds press camp outside St Mary's hospital for the birth. Newspapers have even set up cameras outside the hospital she was believed to have chosen to give birth in to create a live stream of action from outside on their websites.

Well-wishers from across the globe have now joined the media to gather in anticipation outside St Mary's gates as excitement reaches fever pitch.

Bookmakers have even seen bets placed on the infant's star sign. If born today, the child will be a Cancer under the Zodiac calendar, and if born tomorrow it will be a Leo.

There is a strong police presence around the immediate vicinity of the hospital. Two police officers are guarding the entrance to the Lindo wing.

Tina Harris, a lead midwife at De Montfort University warned that there may not be any news of an arrival until early this evening. "Labour can take anything from a few hours to a couple of days," she said, "especially for women having their first babies."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

CRM Data Analyst – Part time – Permanent – Surrey – Circa £28,000 pro rata

£15000 - £16800 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Mechanical Design Engineer

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A key client in the East Midlands are re...

Year 5/6 Teacher

£21000 - £31000 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The JobWe are looking ...

Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The Job...Due to continued ...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice