IT WAS the moment they had all been waiting for.

With a joke about the new baby having more hair than his father, and a passing hint for some privacy after this very public introduction to his people, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge brought their newborn son to meet photographers in front of St Mary's Hospital.

The Duchess held her son first and the couple looked relaxed and smiled broadly as the world's media captured the moment.

William later held his son and walked forward with his wife to answer a few questions.

He began by joking: "He's got a good pair of lungs on him, that's for sure. He's a big boy, he's quite heavy. We are still working on a name so we will have that as soon as we can."

He added: "It's the first time we have seen him really so we are having a proper chance to catch up."

The Duchess, who still had a bump under her summer dress, said: "It's very emotional, it's such a special time. I think any parent will know what this feeling feels like."

Her husband agreed: "It's very special."

He added: "I'll remind him of his tardiness when he's a bit older. I know how long you've all been standing here so hopefully the hospital and you guys can all go back to normal now and we can go and look after him."

Prince William said the baby had his mother's good looks  while Kate said the hands on Prince had already changed his first nappy.

The couple were beaming as they put their child into a baby seat and whisked off away from the media.

The Queen is expected to see the baby at Buckingham Palace before her summer holiday at Balmoral.


Prince Charles and Camilla visit newest royal

Earlier today grandparents Prince Charles, his wife, Camilla, and Michael and Carole Middleton Kate's parents visited the young family at the hospital.

Charles called the baby "marvelous,'' and told reporters that "wait and see, you'll see him in a minute.''

Carole Middleton described the infant as "absolutely beautiful.''

The proud grandfather and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall travelled from East Yorkshire, where they had carried out a string of engagements, to see the baby and his parents William and Kate.

A few minutes before the royals arrived, staff from the hospital were allowed to gather around the entrance to the Lindo Wing of St Mary's hospital in London to get a better glimpse of Charles and Camilla.

As the royal couple stepped from their chauffeur-driven limousine, the prince joked with the press, asking: "Have you had a long wait?"

Charles's visit followed the other new grandparents, Michael and Carole Middleton, who spent just over an hour with their daughter Kate and son-in-law William at the Lindo Wing.

Their visit came after the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and Honourable Artillery Company made their way to Buckingham Palace to carry out the ceremonial royal salutes in honour of the new addition to the Royal Family.

Mrs Middleton told reporters her grandson is "absolutely beautiful" and the family are thrilled, after visiting her daughter in hospital. She added that her first cuddle with her grandson had been 'amazing'.



There were celebrations across Britain and messages of congratulations were sent from leading figures across the world. Twitter descended into a royal baby frenzy when, at its peak, 25,000 tweets a minute were sent discussing his arrival.

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, wearing full dress uniform, rode past Buckingham Palace to Green Park where they staged a 41-gun royal salute. 71 horses pulled six First World War-era 13-pounder field guns into position for the royal salute at 2pm.

Each of the six guns fired blank artillery rounds at 10-second intervals until 41 shots were fired. The Honourable Royal Horse Artillery fired a 62-gun salute from the Tower of London at the same time.

A full peal of bells have also began at Westminister Abbey, and will last for three hours.

The Duchess stayed overnight at the Private Lindo wing of St Mary's Hospital with Prince William and their new-born Prince of Cambridge.

Kensington Palace said they expect Kate to be discharged after 6pm on Tuesday or early Wednesday morning (London time). A Kensington Palace spokesman added: "Mother, son and father are all doing well this morning."

A Kensington Palace spokesman later said the couple's decision to leave hospital would be "down to their medical team and themselves".

The Duke and Duchess released a joint statement thanking staff at the hospital on Tuesday.


Their statement said: "We would like to thank the staff at the Lindo Wing and the whole hospital for the tremendous care the three of us have received.

"We know it has been a very busy period for the hospital and we would like to thank everyone - staff, patients and visitors - for their understanding during this time."

It was business as usual earlier today for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in East Yorkshire.

Speaking to villagers at Bugthrope, Charles told one young boy who asked when the baby would visit that: "We haven't been able to bring him yet."

The village was decked out with Union flags and bunting. One member of the crowd, local resident Robert Barrett, was one of the first to greet the Prince, saying "Morning Grandad", which raised a chuckle from Charles.

Alec Dale told the Prince: "We popped a bottle of bubbly last night at our house. I hope you did too," to which the Prince replied: "Yes. But just a little bit."

Camilla said Charles would make a "brilliant" grandfather as she spoke to crowds during the visit.

"I think it's wonderful news. I think mother, son and father are all well," she told the BBC. "And I think it's a wonderfully uplifting moment for the country. "It's very exciting and it's wonderful for the grandfather - he's brilliant with children."

The Queen is expected to see her great-grandson after they leave the hospital.

Charles released a statement yesterday, describing himself and his wife as "overjoyed" at the arrival of their 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", the statement said.

Crowds of people try to look at a notice formally announcing the birth of a son to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, placed in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace Crowds of people try to look at a notice formally announcing the birth of a son to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, placed in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace

"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."

William's uncle described his joy at the new royal baby. "We're all so pleased - it's wonderful news," Earl Spencer said.

The Earl, whose sister was the Duke's mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, added: "My father always told us how Diana was born on just such a blisteringly hot day, at Sandringham, in July 1961. It's another very happy summer's day, half a century on."

Trafalgar Square was illuminated in blue to mark the child's gender while the BT Tower was lit up with the message: 'It's a boy!'

The British Monarchy's Twitter account announced the music being played during a special Changing of the Guard in a tweet: "Today's Changing the Guard music at #BuckinghamPalace will include 'Congratulations' 'Royal Salute' and  'The Duke of Cambridge March'."

London's Natural History Museum, of which Kate is patron, is celebrating the birth of the new prince by lighting up its main Waterhouse building blue at sunset every night for three nights.

Michael Dixon, Director of the museum, said: "Following the announcement earlier this year that the Duchess has chosen to be the patron for the Natural History Museum, we are overjoyed to receive news of the royal birth.


Australia's Governor-General warmly welcomes third in line to throne

AUSTRALIA'S Governor-General, Her Excellency Quentin Bryce AC CVO, has warmly welcomed the birth of the Royal Prince.

"On behalf of all Australians, I send heartfelt congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on this joyful occasion,'' a Tweet from the British Monarchy read.

"The birth of a baby is an experience to celebrate and cherish. We wish the new parents every happiness and send warm greetings of welcome to the little Prince," the Governor-General said.

The Royal Baby watch was back on in earnest on Tuesday night with speculation growing that the new prince could have his first outing.

Some media outlets were reporting that Duke and Duchess of Cambridge could leave the hospital shortly after 7pm (AEST) with the yet to be named new-born prince.

But they were still waiting at 9pm.

BBC news in the UK was reporting the earliest departure would be about 6pm London time - 3am Australian time.

Earlier, official sources have told media outlets it is "too early" to say if they will be discharged from hospital today.

The royal couple are expected to speak to their medical team before getting the all-clear to go.

News Corp reported Prince William was present at the birth and - in a break with royal tradition - has stayed overnight with his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, and their newborn son at the hospital.

The royal couple's first son was delivered at 1.24am AEST - about 4.24pm London time in the private Lindo Wing of the Hospital in central London.

The newborn weighed 8 lbs 6oz or 3800 grams, the heaviest future king in 100 years.

The world now awaits the couple's choice of names for their son, with George the bookmakers' favourite, followed by James and Alexander.

The birth of the prince means the monarchy has three generations of heirs to the throne for the first time since 1894.

BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said the scale of the international interest was "pretty awesome", and "quite threatening in a sense".

He said the couple would be "knocked back" when they step out of the hospital.


Brisbane children's hospital to be named after royal baby?

QUEENSLAND has joined the royal baby hysteria to light up capital city buildings blue and potentially name a hospital after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's newborn.

All babies born in Queensland on Monday will also receive a commemorative boxed medallion marking the Prince of Cambridge's birth.

The parents of all children born this year will be included in the glory too with the option of royal birth commemorative birth certificates.

Premier Campbell Newman appealed to all Queenslanders to have their say on whether the new children's hospital in Brisbane should take on the yet to be named child's name.

"Like all other Queenslanders I am overjoyed for the Duke and Duchess and their families an it is only fitting that we celebrate the birth of the future monarch in a significant way," Mr Newman said.

Parliament House, the Story Bridge, Government House and the Treasury Casino will light up blue from 4pm on Tuesday.

Mr Newman has appealed to other councils to do the same for their respective buildings.

Donning a blue handkerchief, Attorney-General and shameless royalist Jarrod Bleijie was relishing in the birth at a media conference on Tuesday.

While Mr Newman said he rested easy on Monday night while the Duchess of Cambridge was in labour, he did receive an early morning notification text from Mr Bleijie.

The birth medallions will be $25 each and the entire initiative will cost $5000, which will come out of the Health Ministerial Budget.


Aussie leaders welcome the arrival of Kate's baby boy

EVEN Australia's republicans have welcomed the news of a royal baby but say they are committed to the cause of this country forging its own independent identity.

Australia's political leaders welcomed news that the Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a baby boy, the latest addition to the British royal family.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his wife Therese extended their "warmest regards" to the new parents.

Mr Rudd said all Australians shared in the joy of the Royal family, particularly Prince Charles on the birth of his grandson and Queen Elizabeth II on the birth of her latest great grandchild.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said today would be the happiest day in all of the young Royal couple's lives.

"I am sure that over the course of his life, the Prince will, like the rest of his family, develop a deep affection for this country, as we already have for him," Mr Abbott said.

Even staunch Republican and Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne welcomed the news, congratulating the Royal couple, but saying she still hoped Australia became a Republic long before he would be crowned King.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the birth was "wonderful news".

"The birth of a child is a time of great joy and excitement, and I know they will make excellent parents," he said in a statement.

"New Zealanders remember with fondness the visit of Prince William when he was just a toddler, playing on the lawn of Government House with a Buzzy Bee. It would be a great pleasure to welcome Prince William's son to New Zealand as well."

New Zealand's official gift to the royal couple is a hand-spun, hand-knitted, fine lace shawl, similar to the one gifted to Prince William when he was born.

There was a 21-gun salute at noon today to celebrate the royal birth and nearly 30 landmarks around NZ and more around the world will be lit up blue at sun down to celebrate the arrival of the baby boy.

Monarchy New Zealand came up with the illuminating concept and has managed to get loads of landmarks on board, including the Sky Tower and The Cloud in Auckland; Wellington's Majestic Centre lights; Christchurch Airport; and the corrugated iron dog in Tirau. During Kate's labour the Sky Tower alternated between a pink and blue hue.

US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have wished the royal couple "all the happiness and blessings parenthood brings."

He said the new British prince has been born "at a time of promise and opportunity" between Britain and the United States.


How the news was announced about 5.30am Tuesday (AEST)

HER Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24pm (London time). With those words the world has been informed of the third in line to the throne.

"Baby Cambridge weighs 8lbs 6oz. (3.8kg)

"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.

Prince Charles was over the moon.

"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,'' the Prince of Wales 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 time and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing the baby in the near future."

Prince William's wife, Kate, checked into the private wing of a central London hospital on Monday night.

The baby was born at 1:24am AEST but he was not announced for a few hours later.

It is a historic moment for the British monarchy - the baby will be third in line for the British throne, after Prince Charles and William.

>> ROYAL BABY: Five things you didn't really want to know (but will tell your friends)

His and her royal baby sick bags for the birth.
His and her royal baby sick bags for the birth.


The little known photographer who broke news of the royal birth

LIVE BLOG: Check in on The Independent's live blog for moment by moment updates

Special interactive timeline of the Royal romance


'The whole country will celebrate', says PM

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."

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.

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".

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.

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."

 William and Kate entered St. Mary's Hospital in central London through a side door around 5.30am Monday (local time) avoiding the world's media.

Kensington Palace confirmed her arrival about 90 minutes later.

Kate - also known as the Duchess of Cambridge - gave birth in the private Lindo Wing of the hospital, where Princess Diana also gave birth to William and his younger brother, Prince Harry.

The baby is in line to become Britain's monarch and be recognized as head of state in 15 other countries, including Canada and Australia, playing a leading role in charting the future of the Commonwealth.

Queen Elizabeth II, the expectant great-grandmother, arrived at Buckingham Palace Monday afternoon (Tuesday morning local time) drawing cheers from the crowd gathered to await the birth announcement.

A crowd builds outside Buckingham Palace awaiting news of the royal birth.
A crowd builds outside Buckingham Palace awaiting news of the royal birth.

It could be some time before the baby's name is made public. When William was born, a week passed before his name was announced. Charles's name remained a mystery for an entire month.

Bookmakers were 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 thought the new baby will be a boy.


Prince Charles jokes about long, long wait for grandchild

PRINCE Charles has joked that his impending grandfatherhood will soon be followed by the old age pension as the world awaited the arrival of a prince or princess.

"I'm very grateful indeed for the kind wishes for my rather slowly-approaching grandfatherhood," he said after news that Kate had gone into labour in London.

The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, had been in labour for more than 10 hours.

Charles was wished luck with the arrival of his impending grandchild as he visited an abattoir in Yorkshire.

'The Great Kate Wait', as many journalists referred to the final stages of the Duchess' pregnancy, was finally over after a brief statement was released from Kensington Palace at 7.30am (UK time).

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 (UK time), their spokesperson added.

"Things are progressing as normal," he said.

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.


British PM David Cameron sends best wishes

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.

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.


Betting fierce ahead of Royal baby's arrival

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 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."


Sex of baby won't determine who's in line to the throne

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?"

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

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.

It could be a long wait for first baby

"Labour can take anything from a few hours to a couple of days," she said, "especially for women having their first babies."

Betting on the name of the royal baby, which will be third-in-line to the throne, has produced one favourite with a number of bookies - Alexandra.

Many punters believe William and Kate will have a girl and have put their money on the name.

Other monikers that have attracted royal fans include Charlotte, Diana, Elizabeth and Victoria, with George and James picked by those who think the new baby will be a boy.

William will 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 new royal baby 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 Duke is known to want a daughter while the Duchess is hoping for a son.

How the UK Sun was reporting the Royal baby on its website on Monday night
How the UK Sun was reporting the Royal baby on its website on Monday night

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