London: It's a boy! Prince William's wife Kate Middleton on Monday gave birth to a baby boy as Britain raised a toast to the much-awaited arrival of its future King. The baby was born in the private Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in central London. (Agencies)
The 31-year-old Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a baby boy at 16:24 (local time), Kensington Palace confirmed. "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son. The baby weighs 8lbs 6oz. (3.8 kilos)," said a statement.
She was taken to the hospital in the early hours of Monday morning by car from the palace to St Mary's. The couple did not know the sex of their first child, who is third in line to the throne after Prince Charles and Prince William.
The world's press has been camped outside St Mary's for days in anticipation of the birth. The due date had never been officially announced but had widely been expected to be mid-July.
Royal vehicles were seen at a back entrance to the hospital at about 06:00 am (local time) when Kate was brought to the hospital, with the announcement coming from Kensington Palace 90 minutes later.
The couple travelled to the hospital without a police escort, their spokesman said. The Duchess was tended by a top medical team led by the Queen's gynaecologist Marcus Setchell, who delivered the Countess of Wessex's two children. Alan Farthing, the Queen's current gynaecologist, assisted in the delivery.
There is a strong police presence around the hospital and two police officers are guarding the entrance to the private wing. There had been tremendous enthusiasm globally over the birth of the royal baby and the media frenzy outside the hospital has been unprecedented.
Bored journalists had dubbed their vigil outside the hospital as ‘the Great Kate Wait’.
Last week, the Queen joked about the imminent arrival of the newest member of her family, saying she hoped the baby was born before she went on holiday to her private Balmoral estate in Scotland.
British press revels in royal arrival
Top-selling British newspaper The Sun on Tuesday changed its name to ‘The Son’ to honour the arrival of a baby boy for Prince William and his wife Kate.
The rest of Fleet Street marked the occasion with souvenir editions, with The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Star and The Daily Express all splashing the headline ‘It's a Boy’ across front-page photographs of the new mother.
The Times said that Britain and the Commonwealth ‘will delight with the pride and joy’ at the birth, and was one of many papers offering words of advice for the future heir.
"Our monarchy is what we have in common and what distinguishes us from other lands less fortunate in their traditions and less comfortable with their history. That is why this is a national event," the daily said in its editorial.
London: It's a boy! Prince William's wife Kate Middleton on Monday gave birth to a baby boy as Britain raised a toast to the much-awaited arrival of its future King. The baby was born in the private Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in central London.