The public got a first glimpse of the royal baby on Tuesday when Kate Middleton and Prince William, both 31, emerged from the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in London carrying their new bundle of joy.
Crowds were gathered in full force, cheering as the smiling new mother and father carried out their new son wrapped in a blanket. Both Middleton and William wore blue in honor of their baby boy, with the Duchess reportedly wearing a cap-sleeved Jenny Packham dress and white pumps. The new family of three stood posing for photos on the same steps where Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prince Charles showed Prince William 31 years ago.
William made a few jokes when answering questions from reporters, laughing that the baby was very heavy, has more hair that he does and looks more like Kate. "He's got her looks, thankfully," he said. "No, no," Middleton joked back.
"He's got way more hair than me, thank God," Will said. "He's got a good pair of lungs on him, that's for sure. ... He's a bit heavy."
As for what to call the baby, Prince William said, "We're still working on a name."
Middleton gave birth naturally to a healthy baby boy, weighing 8 pounds, 6 ounces, at 4:24 p.m. local time on Monday.
"Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24 p.m.," a statement from the Palace said. "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 & families have been told and are delighted. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well and will remain in hospital overnight."
The palace, however, said the child’s name “will be announced in due course” without any specific date given. His title, though, has already been given: His Royal Highness Prince (name) of Cambridge. By comparison, ***Princess Diana did not announce her son’s name in 1982 until one week after the child was born. However, when Prince Harry was born two years later, his name was announced as part of the official note hung outside of Buckingham Palace. So far, it is unclear what moment exactly William and Kate will choose to announce the name. “It took William and Kate three weeks to tell us their dog's name, so I'm not holding out hope that it will happen too quickly,” ABC Royal Expert Victoria Arbiter told Yahoo.
According to sources, William and Kate arrived at the hospital around 6 a.m. local time without a police escort. The two entered through a side entrance to the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s, where Middleton began nearly 11 hours of labor. The birth of the baby was announced on Twitter, sent out in email blasts and on the golden easel placed in front of Buckingham Palace, where William’s birth was announced in 1982.
In a statement issued from Kensington Palace, William and Kate thanked the hospital staff “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.”
In addition, the palace wrote on Twitter that "mother, son and father are all doing well this morning” on Tuesday.
"We could not be happier," said Prince William, who was by his wife’s side throughout the birth, which happened naturally as opposed to a C-section. The couple reportedly spent time with the royal baby before calling the family to announce the birth. William will be on two weeks' paternity leave from his job as a Royal Air Force search and rescue helicopter pilot.
The Queen was called with the news first, according to sources. "The Queen and Prince Philip are delighted at the news of the birth of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby,” according to a statement on the British Monarchy Twitter. Prince Charles of Wales issued a statement on Monday on behalf of himself and The Duchess of Cornwall Camilla congratulating the happy couple. “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,” he 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.”
Of course, Charles was not alone in sending blessings to William and Kate; Leaders from all over the world congratulated the British couple on their special day. “I'm delighted for the Duke and Duchess now their son has been born. The whole country will celebrate. They'll make wonderful parents,” Prime Minister David Cameron wrote on Twitter.
Echoes were also heard across the pond. "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," Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement. "So pleased to congratulate The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the joyous occasion of the birth of their first child,” U.S. President Barack Obama joined in.
In fact, London itself was full of celebration, with the fountains at Trafalgar Square dyed blue, the London Eye illuminated in red, white and blue, and the BT Tower with the words “it’s a boy.” Clarence House also tweeted a photo of the HMS Lancaster with royal navy sailors lined up to spell out the word “boy.”
Newspapers all over the world also celebrated the royal baby’s birth, like U.K.’s The Sun, which temporarily changed its name to “The Son” for the day. Other papers worldwide, like the Daily Express and the Telegraph, had headlines reading “It’s a Boy.”
The royal baby is third in the line of succession to the British throne, behind his grandfather, Charles, Prince of Wales, and his father, Prince William. The baby’s uncle, Prince Harry is now pushed to fourth in line. If William and Kate have more children, Prince Harry’s place will fall even further down the line. Check out IBTimes’ infographic picturing the British line of succession for the child.
The baby will be christened in the coming days or weeks, likely at Buckingham Palace. The ceremony will be small and private, closed off to the media, and attended by a close circle of family and friends.
The palace first announced that Middleton was pregnant back in early December, sparking a worldwide countdown for the royal baby. However, the pregnancy announcement was paired with news that the Duchess was hospitalized for a type of dangerous morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum.
"Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby," the spokesperson said in a statement. "The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news."
"The Duchess was admitted this afternoon to King Edward VII Hospital in Central London with Hyperemesis Gravidarum," the palace spokesperson continued. "As the pregnancy is in its very early stages, Her Royal Highness is expected to stay in hospital for several days and will require a period of rest thereafter."
Middleton stayed in the hospital for about three days before being released.
Nadine joined IBTimes in July 2011 and is the editor of the Continuous News Desk, which covers trending news. She writes about retail, the fashion industry and pop culture...