It’s a boy for Britain’s William and Kate
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
AP PhotoPrince William, his wife, Kate, and their new son spent their first night together on July 22 after it was earlier announced that Britain had a new future king.
Cheering crowds rushed toward the gates of Buckingham Palace as it was announced that the Duchess of Cambridge had produced a healthy male heir weighing 3.8 kilos.
“We are delighted to be here, it’s a very good feeling and a great atmosphere,” said Sylvie Beaver, a 28-year-old from London who was outside the palace with her boyfriend.
“We bet it was a boy but I would have probably prefer a girl because we already have Prince Harry, William and Charles; too many kings!”
The as-yet unnamed baby is third in line to the throne and in the direct line of succession after Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, and then his eldest son, William. “We could not be happier,” William, the son of Charles and the late Princess Diana, said in a brief statement.
The former Kate Middleton, 31, spent 10 hours in labor after she and William arrived around dawn at the private Lindo wing of London’s St Mary’s Hospital in central London.
“Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge [safely delivered] a son at 4:24 pm [local time],” Kensington Palace said in a statement just over four hours after she gave birth. “The baby weighs 8lbs 6oz. The Duke of Cambridge [Prince William] was present for the birth.”
Royal aides later placed a formal bulletin on a gold easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace which said that both Kate and her son were “doing well.”
The queen, 87, said she was “delighted” while Prince Charles said he was overjoyed. British landmarks including the London Eye and BT Tower were lit in red white and blue to celebrate the baby’s birth while cannon fire will rang out across the capital yesterday.
Newspapers splashed the arrival over their front pages, with many saying simply: “It’s a boy.” Top-selling newspaper The Sun yesterday changed its name to “The Son” to honor the arrival of the baby boy.
The arrival of a royal baby and a new generation for the British monarchy had been hotly anticipated ever since the couple married in 2011 after a decade-long romance.
The popular couple have been widely credited with revitalizing “The Firm,” as the British royals are known, following decades of scandal and the death of Diana in a Paris car crash in 1997.
The palace said the boy’s name would be revealed later, but he will be known as Prince of Cambridge. Bookmakers say the favorites are George and James, traditional names for a future monarch.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said outside his Downing Street office that it was “wonderful news” for Britain. “It is an important moment in the life of our nation. A proud nation is celebrating with a very proud and happy couple tonight.”
U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, led international tributes to the “joyous occasion.” Saying, “The child enters the world at a time of promise and opportunity for our two nations.”
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called it “a happy day for our close friends in Britain and the Commonwealth.”
The pregnancy was announced in December 2012 when Kate was admitted to hospital with severe morning sickness. A pall fell over the proceedings when a nurse at the hospital committed suicide following a prank call by two Australian radio hosts pretending to be the queen and Prince Charles.