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Will and Kate welcome royal baby

It’s a boy! Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and husband Prince William welcomed their first child.

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By Laura Smith-Spark and Max Foster, CNN

Prince George made his first public appearance in three months Wednesday, as he arrived with his parents, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, for his christening at St. James’s Palace.

princegeorgechristening

The baby prince smiled as he was shown off to family members including his great-grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, before the royals entered the Chapel Royal.

George was dressed in an elaborate lace and satin christening gown that’s a replica of one made in 1841 for the christening of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter.

Being baptized into the church is more significant for George than for most people, since he is in line to become king, which would also make him the supreme governor of the Church of England.

The occasion was kept uncharacteristically small, in a shift away from the larger ceremonies that his father and grandfather enjoyed at Buckingham Palace.

His grandfather Prince Charles and uncle, Prince Harry, were among the select few invited to the ceremony, along with Catherine’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, and her siblings, James and Pippa.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, greeted the guests as they arrived at the chapel.

The royal baby, who was born in July, has seven godparents, among them Prince William’s cousin Zara Tindall, daughter of Princess Anne, and close friends of the couple.

They include Oliver Baker, who got to know William and Catherine at St. Andrew’s University, Emilia Jardine-Paterson, who went to school with Catherine, and William van Cutsem, a childhood friend of William.

The other godparents are Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, a former private secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry; Julia Samuel, who was a good friend of William’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales; and Earl Grosvenor, son of the Duke of Westminster.

The replica christening gown was brought into use in 2008 to help preserve the 170-year-old original, used until then for every royal christening, including those of Prince William and his father, Charles.

The venue for the christening also has a special significance for Prince William. The body of his mother, Diana, rested in the Chapel Royal for five days before her funeral in 1997.

After the service, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, held a private tea at Clarence House. The guests were served slices of christening cake, which is a tier taken from William and Catherine’s 2011 wedding cake.

‘What a gift’

In a short video posted on his website, Welby spoke of the significance of the baby prince’s baptism, which will see him “join the family of the church,” numbering almost 2 billion people around the world.

Welby said any christening was a moment for the parents to celebrate the birth of their child, royal or not.

“All babies are unbelievably special, not only royal babies,” he said.

But Prince George’s christening does carry an extra significance, he said.

“As a nation we are celebrating the birth of someone who in due course will be the head of state. That’s extraordinary. It gives you this sense of forward looking, of the forwardness of history as well as the backwardness of history, and what a gift to have this new life and to look forward.”

As with any other infant’s baptism, Welby marked the Prince with the sign of the cross on his forehead and splash water on his head.

The silver font used for George’s baptism has been used for every royal christening since 1841 and will be filled with water from the River Jordan.

The 3-month-old boy has already made history. He’s the first royal baby to be honored with a christening coin from the Royal Mint.

The design of the coins, produced by the mint in a range of sizes and materials, has been approved by his parents and the Queen, the Royal Mint said.

The public can buy the keepsakes, which start at 13 pounds ($21) for the simplest type but rise to a whopping 50,000 pounds ($80,000) for a version containing a kilogram of gold.

Service details

Prince George’s christening ceremony included two hymns, two lessons and two anthems, according to Kensington Palace.

Prince Harry read him a lesson form John 15:1-5, and his aunt Pippa Middleton read Luke 18:15-17.

The music started with a processional, Bach’s “Fantasia in G,” played on organ.

The Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, made up of six men and 10 boys, sang the anthem “Blessed Jesu! Here we Stand,” which was written for the baptism of baby George’s father, Prince William, in 1982.

The second anthem was “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” by John Rutter.

The newest royal also heard the hymns “Breathe on Me, Breathe on God” and “Be Thou My Vision” before the organ played the recessional, which was C.W. Widor’s Toccata from Symphony No. 5.

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

princewilliamcnninterview

By Max Foster and Nick Thompson, CNN

He may be the future king of Britain, but for now Prince George of Cambridge is just a little “rascal” according to his proud father Prince William.

Sitting in his garden at Kensington Palace on a warm summer day, the Duke of Cambridge, second in line to the British throne, told CNN that George is already quite a character in his first official interview since the birth in London on July 22.

“He’s a little bit of a rascal, I’ll put it that way,” William told CNN’s Max Foster. “He either reminds me of my brother or me when I was younger, I’m not sure, but he’s doing very well at the moment.”

“He’s growing quite quickly actually. But he’s a little fighter — he wriggles around quite a lot and he doesn’t want to go to sleep that much.”

William said his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, has been handling more of the night duties with baby George — and admitted he’s looking forward to going back to his job as a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue pilot in order to catch up on some much-needed sleep.

“Well, as a few fathers might know, I’m actually quite looking forward to going back to work (to) get some sleep. So I’m just hoping the first few shifts I go back I don’t have any night jobs.”

William, dressed casually in blue jeans and a polo shirt, laughed as he described the moment he and Catherine appeared on the steps at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London to show baby George to the world for the first time.

Prince William said: “I think more shock was the feeling I felt, but I was on such a high anyway, and so was Catherine, about George that really we were happy to show him off to whoever wanted to see him.”

“As any new parent knows, you’re only too happy to show off your new child and, you know, proclaim that he is the best looking or the best everything. It’s nice that people want to see George — I’m just glad he wasn’t screaming his head off the whole way through,” he said with a laugh.

Fathers around the world watched in disbelief as William, surrounded by hundreds of press photographers, deftly secured his son’s car seat in the back of his vehicle on the first try — but the prince admitted there was more than luck involved in the maneuver.

“Believe, me it wasn’t my first time,” William said, “and I know there’s been some speculation about that. I had to practice, I really did — I was terrified it was going to fall off or the door wasn’t going to close properly.”

While the pictures of William climbing behind the wheel and driving his young family home from the hospital may have reinforced perceptions that he’ll bring a more modern approach to Britain’s monarchy, the future king told CNN it was simply more about doing things his way.

He said: “I am as independent as I want to be, same as Catherine and Harry. We’ve all grown up differently to other generations and I very much feel if that I can do it myself, I want to do it myself.”

“There are times where you can’t do it yourself and the system takes over, or it’s appropriate to do things differently. But I think driving your son and your wife away from hospital was really important to me.”

While the future king may have prevailed on the issue of driving his family home, he says he was less successful at avoiding that hallowed tradition of new parenthood: changing the first diaper.

“I did the first nappy, it’s a badge of honor,” he joked. “I wasn’t allowed to get away with that. I had every midwife staring at me, saying: ‘You do it, you do it.’”

William told CNN that Catherine is doing “a fantastic job” with baby George and that his young family is now his priority.

The prince said last week that he will miss living on the Welsh island of Anglesey when his three-year tour as an RAF pilot there comes to an end next month.

“For me, Catherine and now little George are my priorities — and Lupo,” the prince said with a smile. Thankfully Lupo, the couple’s Cocker Spaniel, seems to be on board with the new addition to the family.

“He’s coping all right, actually. As a lot of people know who have got dogs and bringing a newborn back, they take a little bit of time to adapt, but he’s been all right so far. He’s been slobbering around the house a bit, so he’s perfectly happy.”

One of William’s great passions is saving endangered species in Africa. He told CNN he wants George to experience the same Africa he saw as a young man and spark a passion for preserving the unique wildlife there, much as his father, Prince Charles, did with him.

“I’ll have toy elephants and rhinos around the room,” William joked. “We’ll cover it in lots of bushes and things like that, make him grow up as if he’s in the bush.”

In the meantime, William said the possibility of his son carrying on the royal family’s legacy in Africa isn’t an immediate concern.

“At the moment, the only legacy I want to pass on to him is to sleep more and maybe not have to change his nappy so many times,” he laughed.

And like any new mother or father, the future monarch said he was surprised and amazed by parenthood so far.

“The last few weeks for me have been a very different emotional experience, something I never thought I would feel myself. And I find, again it’s only been a short period, but a lot of things affect me differently now.”

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Drum roll … George Alexander Louis!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced Wednesday that they’ve named their new bundle of joy.

The tot “will be known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge,” according to Clarence House, the official residence of heirs to the throne.

Earlier Wednesday, word came that the couple are doing what new parents do: They are enjoying some incredibly sweet moments alone with their baby.

The official statement said William and Catherine are now down to the business of getting “to know their son.”

The parents and the perhaps future king left Kensington Palace in London by car around lunchtime, UK media reported. The couple has been mum about their immediate schedules.

British media were feverishly reporting where they might be, with the consensus being that the couple and child went to the village of Bucklebury, where Catherine’s parents live.

Earlier Wednesday, Queen Elizabeth II went to Kensington Palace to see the newborn for the first time. Uncle Harry paid a visit, too, the palace told reporters.

The public got its first look at the child Tuesday evening, outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London.

William and Kate introduce the royal baby

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge make their first public appearance after the birth of their son. Prince William and Catherine introduced their royal baby boy to the world Tuesday, July 23, 2013. Photo courtesy of CNN

The prince and his wife said then that they had been “working on a name.”

“So we’ll have that as soon as we can…,” William said. “It’s the first time we’ve seen him really, so we’re having a proper chance to catch up.”

Many bets were placed as the public waited for the announcement. British bookmakers Ladbrokes had George and James as favorites Wednesday, followed by Alexander, Arthur, Louis and Henry.

William’s name was announced a few days after birth; his brother Harry’s upon leaving the hospital.

The baby has a “good pair of lungs,” the prince told well-wishers Tuesday evening. “He’s got her looks, thankfully.”

They took turns holding little George, wrapped in a cream-colored blanket. The parents waved.

William said he’d already changed his first diaper.

“It’s very emotional. It’s such a special time,” Catherine said.

Third in line

The 8-pound, 6-ounce boy was born Monday afternoon. He’s third in line, behind Charles and William, to the British throne.

As well as ruling the United Kingdom, George Alexander Louis could one day be king of 15 other commonwealth countries that have the British monarch as head of state if none change their constitution in the meantime.

They include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Belize and Jamaica.

On their way out of the hospital, the couple walked down the same steps where Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prince Charles gave the world its first look at Prince William 31 years ago.

William placed the teeny royal heir in a car seat in the back of a black sport utility vehicle, then got behind the wheel for the trip to their residence at Kensington Palace.

The grand apartment they will eventually move into within the palace, Apartment 1A, is still being refurbished, so William and Catherine have been living in a small cottage in the grounds.

The internal renovation work at Kensington Palace is due to be completed in the fall. The duke and duchess’ staff will also move into refurbished offices there, according to Buckingham Palace accounts released last month.

The late Diana moved into Kensington Palace after marrying Prince Charles in 1981. William and Harry were raised there.

When she died in 1997, mourners laid flowers and tributes outside the palace gates.

‘Absolutely beautiful’

On Tuesday, London reverberated with the sound of cannon fire and peals of bells to mark the birth.

Shortly before the new baby’s departure from St. Mary’s, Prince Charles stopped by for a brief visit with his first grandchild, accompanied by his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. He told reporters it was “marvelous.”

And Catherine’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, visited earlier. As grandmothers tend to do, she described her grandbaby as “absolutely beautiful.”

She and her husband were “so thrilled” about being grandparents.

“It was so exciting. It was fantastic,” said Eliza Wells, one of the well-wishers gathered outside the hospital. “The crowd erupted, because everyone’s been waiting so long for it.”

William and Catherine “both seemed very relaxed, even with the press there and the crowd,” Wells said. “They just seemed like a normal couple.”

A normal life?

Royal commentators said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will try to give their son as regular an upbringing as possible.

But the intense media interest in the birth of the new prince highlights the challenge his parents face in trying to protect his privacy and maintain a degree of normalcy.

“This baby has two things stopping it from being normal,” historian Kate Williams said. “No. 1, it lives in a life of incredible wealth and privilege. … No. 2, it is an incredible celebrity, and we’ve seen this with the coverage.”

But Prince William loved that his mother tried to give him as normal a childhood as possible, including trips to the cinema and an amusement park, and sending him to a local private school as a boy. “And that’s what he wants for little baby Cambridge,” Williams offered.

Although the excitement over his birth is not universal, there’s no doubting the level of global interest in the prince.

On Monday, there were more than 19 million Facebook interactions related to the royal baby, according to the site.

His birth also took Twitter by storm.

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

Prince William, his wife, Catherine, and the royal baby are spending their first full day at home Wednesday, after giving the world its first glimpse of the future king as they left the hospital.

Queen Elizabeth II visited Kensington Palace on Wednesday morning for her first meeting with her new great-grandson.

The family’s emergence Tuesday evening from the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital marked the end of a long wait for the throngs of journalists camped outside.

There’s just one detail left to wait for now — the little prince’s name.

He and his wife are “still working on a name,” William said on the hospital steps, “so we’ll have that as soon as we can — it’s the first time we’ve seen him really, so we’re having a proper chance to catch up.”

He said the baby has a “good pair of lungs,” and added, “He’s got her looks, thankfully.”

Catherine and William took turns holding the child, wrapped in a cream-colored blanket, as they waved to well-wishers. The prince has already changed his first diaper, the couple told reporters.

“It’s very emotional. It’s such a special time,” Catherine said.

Third-in-line

The 8-pound, 6-ounce boy was born Monday afternoon. He’s third in line, behind Charles and William, for the British throne now held by his the queen.

On their way out, they walked out down the same hospital steps where Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prince Charles gave the world its first look at Prince William 31 years ago.

William installed the new royal heir in a car seat in the back of a black SUV, then got behind the wheel for the trip to their residence at Kensington Palace, in London.

It’s not clear how long the new family will spend at Kensington Palace, which was William’s boyhood home.

They may decide to relocate after a few days to the home of Catherine’s parents in the village of Bucklebury, in Berkshire.

The grand apartment they will eventually move into within the palace, Apartment 1A, is still being refurbished, so William and Catherine have been living in a small cottage in the grounds.

The internal renovation work at Kensington Palace is due to be completed in the fall. The duke and duchess’ staff will also move into refurbished offices there, according to Buckingham Palace accounts released last month.

The late Diana, Princess of Wales, moved into Kensington Palace on her marriage to Prince Charles in 1981 and brought up William and his brother, Harry, there. When she died in 1997, streams of mourners laid flowers and tributes outside its gates.

‘Absolutely beautiful’

Tuesday, London echoed with the sound of cannon fire and peals of bells to mark the birth.

Many bets are being placed as the wait continues for the baby’s name to be announced. British bookmakers Ladbrokes have George and James as favorites Wednesday, followed by Alexander, Arthur, Louis and Henry.

William’s name was announced a few days after birth; his brother Harry’s on leaving the hospital.

Shortly before the new baby’s departure from St. Mary’s, Prince Charles stopped by for a brief visit with his first grandchild, accompanied by his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. He told reporters it was “marvelous.”

And Catherine’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, visited earlier, with Carole Middleton telling reporters the royal baby is “absolutely beautiful.”

She said both mother and baby are doing “really well” and that she and her husband were “so thrilled” at being grandparents.

“It was so exciting. It was fantastic,” said Eliza Wells, one of the well-wishers gathered outside the hospital. “The crowd erupted, because everyone’s been waiting so long for it.”

William and Catherine “both seemed very relaxed, even with the press there and the crowd,” Wells said. “They just seemed like a normal couple.”

A normal life?

Royal commentators say the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will try to give their son as regular an upbringing as possible.

But the intense media interest in the birth of the new prince highlights the challenge his parents face in trying to protect his privacy and maintain a degree of normalcy.

“This baby has two things stopping it from being normal,” historian Kate Williams said. “Number one, it lives in a life of incredible wealth and privilege … number two, it is an incredible celebrity, and we’ve seen this with the coverage.”

But Prince William loved that his mother tried to give him as normal a childhood as possible, including trips to the cinema and an amusement park, and sending him to a local private school as a boy — “and that’s what he wants for little baby Cambridge.”

Although the excitement over his birth is not universal, there’s no doubting the level of global interest in the prince.

On Monday, there were more than 19 million Facebook interactions related to the royal baby, Facebook said. His birth also took Twitter by storm.

As well as ruling the United Kingdom, the boy could one day be king of 15 other Commonwealth countries which have the British monarch as head of state, if none changes their constitution in the meantime.

They include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Belize and Jamaica.

CNN’s Max Foster, Matt Smith and Matthew Chance contributed to this report.

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

The public got its first view of the new heir to the British throne Tuesday as Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, left a London hospital with their newborn son.

“It’s very special,” said William, who emerged from St. Mary’s Hospital with his wife a day after the birth of their still-unnamed boy. Catherine held the child, wrapped in a cream-colored blanket, as the couple waved to well-wishers outside.

The couple is “still working on a name,” William said, “so we’ll have that as soon as we can.” But he added, “He’s got her looks, thankfully.”

The prince has already changed his first diaper, the couple told reporters.

“It’s very emotional. It’s such a special time,” Catherine said.

The couple left the hospital Tuesday evening with William carrying the boy out in a car seat and installing him in the back of a black SUV for the trip to their residence at Kensington Palace. They walked out down the same steps where Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prince Charles gave the world its first sighting of Prince William 31 years ago.

Shortly before the couple left the hospital, Charles stopped by for a brief visit with his first grandchild, accompanied by his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. He told reporters it was “marvelous.”

And Catherine’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, visited earlier, with Carole Middleton telling reporters the royal baby is “absolutely beautiful.”

She said both mother and baby are doing “really well” and that she and her husband were “so thrilled” at being grandparents.

Bells, gun salutes

William and Kate introduce the royal baby

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge make their first public appearance after the birth of their son. Prince William and Catherine introduced their royal baby boy to the world Tuesday, July 23, 2013. Photo courtesy of CNN

The 8-pound, 6-ounce boy was born Monday afternoon. He’s third in line, behind Charles and William, for the British throne now held by his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Tuesday, London echoed with the sound of cannonades and music to mark the birth.

Guardsmen at Buckingham Palace, the queen’s residence, played the Cliff Richard song “Congratulations” at the Changing of the Guard. The military ceremony, much beloved by tourists, involves a new guard exchanging duty with the old guard in the palace forecourt.

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Green Park fired 41 shots in tribute to the boy, while the Honorable Artillery Company at the Tower of London fired 62 rounds.

At the same time the bells of Westminster Abbey, where William and Catherine were married in April 2011, began to peal, in keeping with royal tradition, and were set to continue for more than three hours.

The news of the boy’s birth, announced about four hours after the event Monday, prompted cheers and celebration among the crowds of well-wishers outside Buckingham Palace. At least one group of well-wishers brought flowers, champagne and a card for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Social media networks were also abuzz with the news, which made headlines around the world.

‘We could not be happier’

The new parents spent some time with their baby before calling family members — starting with the queen — to announce the birth, a Kensington Palace source told CNN royal correspondent Max Foster.

“We could not be happier,” said Prince William, according to the Kensington Palace source.

Prince William remained at Catherine’s side throughout the labor, and the baby was born naturally. An official bulletin was placed on a gilded easel outside Buckingham Palace.

The celebrations for the arrival of the new prince — whose title will be His Royal Highness Prince (the baby’s name) of Cambridge — were hard to miss in the capital.

The fountains at Trafalgar Square were dyed blue; the BT Tower, a London landmark, flashed the words “It’s a boy;” and the London Eye was illuminated in patriotic red, white and blue.

Farther afield, Canada — where the British monarch is head of state — turned its side of the Niagara Falls blue to mark the birth, and the CN Tower in Toronto was lit up the same color.

Betting on a name

It was a long wait for the media camped outside St. Mary’s Hospital, but when the news of the birth finally came, the excitement of the moment was huge.

The Sun newspaper, Britain’s best-selling tabloid daily, changed its masthead Tuesday to “The Son” to mark the occasion, above a picture of the official birth announcement, while the Daily Express and Telegraph emblazoned “It’s a boy” across their front pages.

Recognizing that excitement over the prince’s arrival is not universal, the Guardian newspaper’s website lets users switch to a royal baby-free version of the home page. The front page of UK satirical magazine Private Eye simply says: “Woman has baby.”

Many bets are being placed as the wait continues for the baby’s name to be announced. British bookmakers Ladbrokes have James as favorite, followed by Henry and George, Philip, Alexander and Richard.

The baby’s name may be announced when the family leaves the hospital, CNN’s Foster reported. William’s name was announced a few days after birth; his brother Harry’s on departure from hospital.

Some British parents have delayed naming their newborns in recent days in hopes of either copying or avoiding the royal name, he said.

Royal joy

The official British Monarchy Twitter feed said: “The Queen and Prince Philip are delighted at the news of the birth of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby.”

Charles Spencer, brother of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, welcomed the birth of the baby. “We’re all so pleased: it’s wonderful news,” he said in a statement.

“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.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron said, “It is an important moment in the life of our nation, but I suppose above all, it’s a wonderful moment for a warm and loving couple who got a brand new baby boy.”

Tributes around the world

The British monarch is also head of state in 15 Commonwealth countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Belize and Jamaica.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered his country’s congratulations on the birth of a future king.

“The arrival of the newest member of the Royal Family, a future Sovereign of Canada, is a highly anticipated moment for Canadians given the special and warm relationship that we share with our Royal Family,” he said in a statement.

Barack and Michelle Obama also gave their best wishes.

“The child enters the world at a time of promise and opportunity for our two nations,” the president and first lady said in a statement. “Given the special relationship between us, the American people are pleased to join with the people of the United Kingdom as they celebrate the birth of the young prince.”

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also sent their congratulations.

On Twitter, topics related to the royal baby jumped to the top of the trending list in the United Kingdom on Monday morning. Worldwide, hashtags such as #RoyalBabyBoy and #Will & Kate were trending later Monday.

In a nod to modern times, Clarence House called for people to send news and images of any other new arrivals using the hashtag #WelcometotheWorld.

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

By Laura Smith-Spark and Dana Ford, CNN

All eyes are glued Tuesday to the hospital where Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and husband Prince William welcomed their first child, as a joyful public waits for its first glimpse of the new royal heir.

The baby boy was born at 4:24 p.m. on Monday, weighing 8 pounds, 6 ounces. A name has not yet been announced for the child, who is third in line to the throne.

The royal couple remained in the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London overnight but hopes were high that they’d make an appearance as early as Tuesday.

If so, they will likely appear holding their son on the same steps where Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prince Charles gave the world its first sighting of Prince William 31 years ago.

William and Catherine thanked staff at the hospital “for the tremendous care the three of us have received,” in a statement issued via Kensington Palace Tuesday.

“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,” they said.

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “Mother, son and father are all doing well this morning.”

The queen’s gynecologist, Marcus Setchell, is at the hospital carrying out medical assessments of Catherine following the birth, Kensington Palace said earlier.

Meanwhile, guardsmen at Buckingham Palace played the Cliff Richards song “Congratulations” to mark the birth of the royal baby at the Changing of the Guard. The military ceremony, much beloved of tourists, involves a new guard exchanging duty with the old guard in the palace forecourt.

Crowds were gathered again outside the palace, a day after they thronged there to see the formal notice announcing the baby’s birth.

Multigun salutes will also be held on Tuesday afternoon to welcome the new royal heir. The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Green Park is expected to release 41 rounds, while the Honorable Artillery Company at the Tower of London will sound 62 rounds.

The bells of Westminster Abbey, where William and Kate were married a little over two years ago, will peal for over three hours, in keeping with royal tradition.

It’s not yet known where William and Catherine will take their baby after their discharge from hospital, but it may be hard to escape the world’s interest.

The news of the boy’s birth, announced about four hours after the event Monday, prompted cheers and celebrations among the crowds of well-wishers outside Buckingham Palace. At least one group of well-wishers brought flowers, champagne and a card for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Social media networks were also abuzz with the news, which made headlines around the world.

‘We could not be happier’

The new parents spent some time with their baby before calling family members — starting with the queen — to announce the birth, a Kensington Palace source told CNN royal correspondent Max Foster.

“We could not be happier,” said Prince William, according to the Kensington Palace source.

Prince William remained at Catherine’s side throughout the labor and the baby was born naturally, not via a C-section, the source said.

“Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well,” read an official bulletin placed on a gilded easel outside Buckingham Palace, where the queen had returned Monday afternoon.

The celebrations for the arrival of the new prince — whose title will be His Royal Highness Prince (the baby’s name) of Cambridge — were hard to miss in the capital.

The fountains at Trafalgar Square were dyed blue, the BT Tower, a London landmark, flashed the words “It’s a boy,” and the London Eye was illuminated in patriotic red, white and blue.

Further afield, Canada — where the British monarch is head of state — turned its side of the Niagara Falls blue to mark the birth, and the CN Tower in Toronto was lit up the same color.

Betting on a name

The baby is third in line for the throne now occupied by the Queen Elizabeth II. Her son, Charles, will succeed her, followed by his son, William.

Many bets are being placed as the wait continues for the baby’s name to be announced. British bookmakers Ladbrokes have James as favorite, followed by Henry and George, Philip, Alexander and Richard.

The baby’s name may be announced when the family leaves the hospital, CNN’s Max Foster reported. Prince William’s name was announced a few days after birth, his brother Harry’s on departure from hospital.

Some British parents have delayed naming their newborns in recent days in hopes of either copying or avoiding the royal name, he said.

It was a long wait for the media camped outside St. Mary’s Hospital, but when the news of the birth finally came, the excitement of the moment was huge.

The Sun newspaper, Britain’s bestselling tabloid daily, changed its masthead Tuesday to “The Son” to mark the occasion, above a picture of the official birth announcement, while the Daily Express and Telegraph emblazoned “It’s a boy” across their front pages.

Members of the royal family also expressed their happiness at the safe delivery.

“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,” Prince Charles and wife Camilla said in a statement.

The official British Monarchy twitter feed said: “The Queen and Prince Philip are delighted at the news of the birth of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby.”

Charles Spencer, brother to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, welcomed the birth of the baby. “We’re all so pleased: it’s wonderful news,” he said in a written statement.

“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.”

“I’m sure that right across the country and indeed right across the commonwealth, people will be celebrating and wishing the royal couple well,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron.

“It is an important moment in the life of our nation, but I suppose above all, it’s a wonderful moment for a warm and loving couple who got a brand new baby boy,” he said.

Tributes around the world

Thanks to a change agreed by the leaders of the Commonwealth countries in 2011 and passed into law this year, the baby’s place in the order of succession would have been the same regardless of gender. Previously, boys automatically trumped female siblings, so a first-born daughter could be pushed out of line by a younger brother.

The British monarch is also head of state in 15 Commonwealth countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Belize and Jamaica.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered his country’s congratulations on the birth of a future king.

“The arrival of the newest member of the Royal Family, a future Sovereign of Canada, is a highly anticipated moment for Canadians given the special and warm relationship that we share with our Royal Family,” he said in a statement.

Barack and Michelle Obama also gave their best wishes.

“The child enters the world at a time of promise and opportunity for our two nations,” the president and first lady said in a statement. “Given the special relationship between us, the American people are pleased to join with the people of the United Kingdom as they celebrate the birth of the young prince.”

And Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: “It is a happy, wonderful news for the United Kingdom as well as the world. I would like to send my heartfelt congratulations.”

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin congratulated the queen on the birth of her great-grandchild and sent wishes of good health to the family, in a statement on the Kremlin website.

The royal birth is expected to be good for business.

The UK-based Centre for Retail Research estimates retailers will sell $121 million worth of royal-related baby toys and souvenirs. Merchandise ranges from diaper covers and clothing to a “prince potty chair,” which of course is in the shape of a throne.

On Twitter, topics related to the royal baby jumped to the top of the trending list in the United Kingdom Monday morning. Worldwide, hashtags such as #RoyalBabyBoy and #Will & Kate were trending later in the day.

Facebook registered more than 3.5 million mentions related to the royal baby since Catherine was admitted to the hospital early Monday, with traffic peaking in the minutes after the birth was announced.

In a nod to modern times, Clarence House called for people to send news and images of any other new arrivals using the hashtag #WelcometotheWorld.

CNN’s Sarah Aarthun, Zarifmo Aslamshoyeva, Susannah Palk and Alla Eshchenko, and journalist David Simpson contributed to this report.

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

With fanfare fit for a prince, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and husband Prince William welcomed their first child Monday.

The baby boy was born at 4:24 p.m., weighing 8 pounds, 6 ounces. A name has not yet been announced for the child, who is third in line to the throne.

“Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well,” read an official bulletin placed outside Buckingham Palace, where crowds erupted in cheers.

People from all over the world had gathered outside Buckingham Palace to await news of the birth. At least one group of well-wishers brought flowers, champagne and a card for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The fountains at Trafalgar Square were turned blue.

“I’m sure that right across the country and indeed right across the commonwealth, people will be celebrating and wishing the royal couple well,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron.

“It is an important moment in the life of our nation, but I suppose above all, it’s a wonderful moment for a warm and loving couple who got a brand new baby boy,” he said.

Royal Baby Birth

Announcement outside St. Mary’s Hospital following the birth of the royal baby. Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William’s first child is a boy. Photo courtesy of CNN

The new parents spent some time with their baby before calling family members — starting with Queen Elizabeth II — to announce the birth, a Kensington Palace source told CNN royal correspondent Max Foster.

Prince William remained at Catherine’s side throughout the labor and the baby was born vaginally, not via a C-section, the source said.

“We could not be happier,” said Prince William, according to the Kensington Palace source.

The royal couple is expected to remain in hospital overnight and is not scheduled to make a public appearance Monday.

A multigun salute is set to happen Tuesday to mark the birth.

“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,” Prince Charles and wife Camilla said in a statement.

Earlier Monday, the duchess and Prince William traveled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital.

The hospital, next to Paddington Station in London, is where William and his brother Prince Harry were born.

The baby’s name may be announced when the family leaves the hospital, CNN’s Foster reported. Prince William’s name was announced a few days after birth, his brother Harry’s on departure from hospital.

Some British parents have delayed naming their newborns in recent days in hopes of either copying or avoiding the royal name, he said. British bookmakers favor the names James and George.

The child’s title will be His Royal Highness Prince (the baby’s name) of Cambridge.

The baby is third in line for the throne now occupied by the queen. Her son, Charles, will succeed her, followed by his son, William.

The queen returned to Buckingham Palace on Monday from Windsor Castle, another of her official residences.

Thanks to a change agreed by the leaders of the Commonwealth countries in 2011 and passed into law this year, the baby’s place in the order of succession would have been the same regardless of sex.

Previously, boys automatically trumped female siblings. So a first-born daughter could be pushed out of line by a younger brother.

The British monarch is also head of state in 15 Commonwealth countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Belize and Jamaica.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered his country’s congratulations.

“The arrival of the newest member of the Royal Family, a future Sovereign of Canada, is a highly anticipated moment for Canadians given the special and warm relationship that we share with our Royal Family,” he said in a statement.

Barack and Michelle Obama also gave their best wishes.

“The child enters the world at a time of promise and opportunity for our two nations,” the president and first lady said in a statement. “Given the special relationship between us, the American people are pleased to join with the people of the United Kingdom as they celebrate the birth of the young prince.”

The royal birth is expected to be good for business.

The UK-based Centre for Retail Research estimates retailers will sell $121 million worth of royal-related baby toys and souvenirs. Merchandise ranges from diaper covers and clothing to a “prince potty chair,” which of course is in the shape of a throne.

On Twitter, topics related to the royal baby jumped to the top of the trending list in the United Kingdom Monday morning. Worldwide, hashtags such as #RoyalBabyBoy and #Will & Kate were trending later in the day.

Many tweets were along the lines of the comment of Holly Thrift, who wrote, “The royal baby is coming! I am freaking out!”

The baby was the only topic on the radio talk show hosted by Vanessa Feltz on BBC London 94.9 on Monday morning.

But not everyone was thrilled. Feltz read on air a message from “Gary” asking, “Please, please please, I implore you not to devote too much of the morning’s show to the royal baby.”

Feltz replied, “C’mon, Gary, give an inch. …. It’s huge, we can’t ignore it.”

She reported Gary sent another message: “OK, point taken. I’m a beaten man.”
TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

As a nation and the world awaited news of a child who could one day sit on the British throne, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, experienced a normal labor on Monday, Kensington Palace said.The duchess and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, traveled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital, his office at Clarence House announced at 7:37 a.m. (2:37 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.) Kensington Palace issued a progress report about 90 minutes later.The hospital, next to Paddington Station in London, is where William and his brother Prince Harry were born.The duchess’ mother, Carole Middleton, is expected to be on hand at the hospital.The baby’s name will not be announced when its sex and birth weight are posted on a notice board at Buckingham Palace, a Kensington Palace spokesman said.It may be announced when the family leaves the hospital, CNN royal correspondent Max Foster reported.

Some British parents have delayed naming their newborns in recent days in hopes of either copying or avoiding the royal name, he said.

British bookmakers favor the names Alexandra, Charlotte, Elizabeth, Victoria, Grace, James and George. The field is open for both boys’ and girls’ names because royal sources said the parents did not want to know their child’s sex in advance.

The child’s title will be His or Her Royal Highness Prince or Princess (the baby’s name) of Cambridge, St. James’s Palace said this month.

Protocol dictates that the first to know about the arrival of the baby will be Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister David Cameron and the governors general of each of the Commonwealth nations — along with the rest of the royal and Middleton families.

On a visit Monday to the city of York, in northern England, Prince Charles was given a gift to pass on to the baby by a child among the crowd of well-wishers.

“I’ll see what I can do,” said Charles, adding that the baby “hasn’t quite appeared yet.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron sent his “best wishes,” to the Duchess of Cambridge during her labor.

“The whole country is excited with them, so everyone is hoping for the best,” he said.

Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Church of England, tweeted: “My thoughts and prayers are with Kate and the whole family on this enormously special day.”

The baby will be third in line for the throne now occupied by the queen. Her son, Charles, will succeed her, followed by his son, William.

Thanks to a change agreed by the leaders of the Commonwealth countries in 2011 and passed into law this year, the baby’s place in the order of succession will be the same regardless of sex.

Previously, boys automatically trumped female siblings. So a first-born daughter could be pushed out of line by a younger brother.

The British monarch is also head of state in 15 Commonwealth countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Belize and Jamaica — so many people there will also be waiting for news of the birth of their future sovereign.

The royal birth is expected to be good for business. The UK-based Centre for Retail Research estimates retailers will sell $121 million worth of royal-related baby toys and souvenirs. Merchandise ranges from diaper covers and clothing to a “prince potty chair,” which of course is in the shape of a throne.

On Twitter, at least seven topics related to the royal baby jumped to the top of the trending list in the United Kingdom Monday morning. And “Kate Middleton” was trending in the United States.

Many tweets were along the lines of the comment of Holly Thrift, who wrote, “The royal baby is coming! I am freaking out!”

The baby was the only topic on the radio talk show hosted by Vanessa Feltz on BBC London 94.9 on Monday morning.

But not everyone was thrilled. Feltz read on air a message from “Gary” asking, “Please, please please, I implore you not to devote too much of the morning’s show to the royal baby.”

Feltz replied, “C’mon, Gary, give an inch. …. It’s huge, we can’t ignore it.”

She reported Gary sent another message: “OK, point taken. I’m a beaten man.”

CNN’s Max Foster and journalist David Simpson contributed to this report.

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

In London, hundreds of media and well-wishers wait outside of a hospital for first word of the new prince or princess.

Any minute, the Duchess of Cambridge will birth a new heir to the British throne.

CNN has tried to answer every question you didn’t even know you had about this kid who’s famous before his or her first picture has been snapped.

It seems like forever that Catherine Middleton has been pregnant, but the world first learned the news in December, when she was hospitalized with acute morning sickness.

Since then, her every mommy-to-be move and maternity outfit has been scrutinized.

The baby is expected to debut at St. Mary’s Hospital in London.

Will you be the first to know? Well, you’ll definitely know as soon as an official public announcement is made, but Grandma and some other VIPs get dibs. Queen Elizabeth II, British Prime Minister David Cameron and the governors general of each of the commonwealth nations will be told, along with the rest of the royal and Middleton families.

An announcement will be made in the form of a formal bulletin, signed by medical staff and rushed in a car with a police escort to Buckingham Palace, royal sources have told CNN.

RoyalBabyWatchThere, the notice will be placed on an easel on the palace forecourt, the sources say. This will be the first chance for the nation and those watching around the world to find out whether the new baby is a boy or a girl.

After it goes onto the easel, a press notice will be dispatched, and it’s expected — but not confirmed — that Twitter will carry the news.

Speaking of the grand gender reveal, if you placed bets on pink, you might win that office pool. Supposedly, the Duchess let it slip in June that she might be having a daughter when she bought a teddy bear. That tidbit led to a media frenzy and a royal source telling CNN that the couple didn’t know the sex.

Again, your money is probably good if you’re predicting frilly smocks and hair bows. Scientists say the baby is slightly more likely to be a girl.

Bookies have been taking bets for names. Alexandra is one of the most predicted ones.

Besides being adorable, the girl could one day have a fantastic career. She could be queen.

Until 2011, any daughter born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would not have enjoyed an equal right to inherit the British throne. Rules dating back centuries decreed that the crown passed to the eldest son and was only bestowed on a daughter when there were no sons. But the rules of succession were changed.

The child will be next in line to the British throne after William, whose father, Charles, is first in line.

But let’s get back to what really matters. Is this baby going to be ridiculously good-looking? Light hair like dad, dark hair like mom, ears like Prince Charles? This baby might win the day all around because its mother is the first commoner to marry into the royal family since the 17th century.

“It’s very good that they’re bringing in new genes,” Dr. Anand Saggar, a consultant in the South West Thames Regional Genetics Department at St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London, recently told CNN. “It freshens up the gene pool.”

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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