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Royal baby: It's a boy! Duchess Kate gives birth to third royal baby, palace says

Monday - 23/04/2018 08:37
The Cambridges are now full-time royals based in their sprawling 20-room Apartment 1A at Kensington Palace. 
Duchess Kate
Duchess Kate

LONDON — Duchess Kate of Cambridge gave birth Monday to a new little prince of Cambridge, following several hours of labor and the usual gathering of the media mob outside St. Mary's Hospital in London.

She was admitted to St. Mary's early Monday in the "early stages of labor," Kensington Palace said in a statement. One minute after 11 a.m. local time (6 a.m. ET), she gave birth to her third royal baby, who weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces, the palace said in a statement. 

Prince William was present for the birth. The baby, whose name the palace has not yet announced, was born on St. George's Day, marking England's patron saint. 

The former Kate Middleton, 36, and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, 35, arrived at the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital, in London's Paddington neighborhood, by car. 

The baby, the royal couple's third, will be grandmother Queen Elizabeth II's sixth great-grandchild, and become fifth in line to the throne. 

He will join sister Princess Charlotte, 2, and Prince George, 4, in the growing Cambridge family, as the third grandchild of Charles, Prince of Wales, and his late first wife, Princess Diana. 

As with her previous pregnancies, Will and Kate did not know the sex of the baby beforehand, palace officials confirmed in a briefing weeks before the birth.

Among the names favored by British bookmakers for a girl: Alexandra, Alice, Elizabeth, Mary, Victoria; If a boy: Albert, Arthur, Frederick, James, Philip.  

More:Will & Kate's third baby: Royal well-wishers camp out, count down in London

The little prince is a historic royal baby: Unlike previous princes born in the United Kingdom, he will not automatically displace his older sister, Princess Charlotte, 2, in the line of succession.

Shortly before older brother George was born, British law changed to make birth order the determining factor in succession, replacing gender — male primogeniture — as the default rule that developed over 10 centuries.

Aware that a 300-year-old set of laws then governing the succession looked increasingly egregious and inexplicable in the 21st century, British lawmakers decided the time for "royal equality" had finally arrived.

The newest little royal will displace Uncle Prince Harry, 33, in the succession; he will move down to sixth in line, and any children he has will follow him.

As per previous royal births, great-granny the queen was first to be notified. Members of both families have been notified and expressed delight, the palace said. 

Then, in keeping with tradition, a statement will be posted on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, just as it was after George and Charlotte's births. Bells will start tolling and a gun-salute was set to start booming.

Now that the third Cambridge baby has arrived, attention will turn to Harry's upcoming wedding to American actress Meghan Markle, 36, at Windsor Castle on May 19. The other four Cambridges — his brother Will, sister-in-law Kate, nephew George and niece Charlotte — are expected to be there and play roles (Will as Harry's likely best man), but probably not the new baby. 

Like his siblings, the baby arrived without any medical crisis. The medical team was led by obstetrician Guy Thorpe Beeston and Alan Farthing, surgeon gynecologist to the queen, who also helped deliver the other royal babies.

GeorgeCharlotte and Will and Harry, too, were born in the maternity Lindo Wing of St. Mary's, just a short drive from the Cambridge home at Kensington Palace. 

As with Kate's previous pregnancies, a large crowd of reporters, photographers and media cameras gathered in the narrow street across from the door of the Lindo Wing, along with a crowd of ordinary Brits eager to glimpse the latest addition to the royal family.

Barriers for the media pen and parking restrictions on the narrow street went up April 9 in preparation. 

“This is really crazy, I can’t believe it. Some of these people have been here for 15 days waiting for this to happen,” said Olivia Dragor, remarking on the chaotic scrum of media, tourists and royal well-wishers outside St. Mary’s in central London.

Dragor, 21, is spending a year abroad studying communications in London. Her home college is the University of Southern California. “We don’t really get this kind of thing back home,” she said, adding that she liked the royal family but is not a full-time devotee.

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