Breaking News: It’s a Royal Baby boy!
PUBLISHED: 09:29 23 July 2013 | UPDATED: 09:51 23 July 2013
The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a son, Kensington Palace said.
An announcement from 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.
“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.”
The world has been waiting for news of the royal baby after the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to hospital in the early hours of today after going into labour.
Kate and husband William arrived at the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London by car without a police escort just before 6am.
The Duchess had planned for a natural birth. Tonight it emerged that she had been hoping the baby would be a boy.
When she was mid way through her pregnancy, Kate told a soldier at a St Patrick’s Day parade in Aldershot, Hampshire, that she did not know the sex of her baby, but that she would like a boy and the Duke of Cambridge a girl.
Guardsman Lee Wheeler, 29, said: “I was talking to her about the baby, of course. “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.”
Rumours that Kate actually knew she was having a boy went into overdrive when she divulged to a group of Army wives she had bought a trendy Bugaboo pram in light blue.
It was also claimed Prince Harry told close friends the royal couple were expecting a boy.
Initially, however, it was thought the new royal baby was a girl.
During a visit to Grimsby in March, Kate apparently let slip that she was expecting a daughter.
Accepting a teddy bear from a member of the public, she was said to have replied “Oh is this for our d...? Thank you so much.”
Bookmakers slashed the odds on the baby being a girl, while others suspended bets altogether.
But other footage suggested Kate actually said “Is this for us? Aw” instead.
Asked by a well-wisher whether her baby had been kicking, Kate also replied “Yes, he is, very much so.”
A month before Kate was due to give birth, sources said that Kate and William did not find out the sex and wanted a surprise.
The public was left guessing until the official Palace announcement of the birth finally confirmed the arrival of a son.
The last prince to be born to the royal family was technically William’s cousin James, known as Viscount Severn, in 2007.
But his parents the Earl and Countess of Wessex decided, with the Queen’s agreement, that their children would use the courtesy titles of sons or daughters of an Earl rather than the style prince or princess.
The last royal baby to use the title Prince was Prince Harry who was born 28 years ago.
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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