Royal baby: Messages of congratulations flood in after birth

 

Prince Charles: "I'm thrilled, it's very exciting"

Congratulatory messages are flooding in from around the world to mark the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's son, the third in line to the throne.

Prince William said the couple "could not be happier" following the birth of the boy, who weighed 8lb 6oz and is yet to be named, at 16:24 BST on Monday.

BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said the expectation is that they will leave hospital on Tuesday.

The birth will also be marked later with a series of gun salutes.

The duke was at the private Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, west London, for the birth - and stayed with Catherine and the baby overnight.

Leaving hospital

The couple are expected to talk to their medical team before they make any decision to go home.

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said that in the meantime it was unlikely the Queen would visit her great-grandchild in hospital, adding "she can of course see him privately once he leaves".

The London Eye was illuminated in the colours of the union jack The London Eye was illuminated in patriotic colours following the announcement
The ship's company of the Royal Navy frigate HMS Lancaster forms the word "BOY" on the aft deck to mark the birth of Britain's new prince while on patrol in the Caribbean Even the ship's company of the Royal Navy frigate HMS Lancaster found time to mark the birth while on patrol in the Caribbean
Visitors to Niagara Falls discovered the baby's gender when they were illuminated by blue lights Visitors to Niagara Falls discovered the baby's gender in a rather unusual way
British Telecom tower displays "it's a boy" to mark the birth of a baby boy for Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge The British Telecom Tower delivered the news to Londoners as it grew dark
The official bulletin announcing the birth The official bulletin was posted outside Buckingham Palace on Monday evening
Easel at Buckingham Palace One man shouted: "It's a boy" after the easel was posted, prompting crowds to erupt in cheers
Crowds flocked to Buckingham Palace to celebrate the news The crowds outside the palace grew as the night wore on
Members of the public and tourists are queuing in the rain outside Buckingham Palace to get a glimpse if the easel On Tuesday, members of the public and tourists were queuing in the rain outside Buckingham Palace to get a glimpse of the easel
The public - along with members of the global press - are waiting for a first glimpse of the royal baby outside the hospital Royal watchers and members of the global press are waiting for a first glimpse of the royal baby outside the hospital
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their wedding day The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were married in April 2011 and Catherine's pregnancy was announced in December 2012

At Buckingham Palace, royal watchers and tourists are queuing in the rain to catch a glimpse of a bulletin announcing news of the birth, which is being displayed on an easel.

The notice is to be on show for 24 hours, which means it is likely to be removed just after 20:00.

Guardsmen outside the palace brought a celebratory feel to the proceedings ahead of the Changing of the Guard, playing "Congratulations" to the crowd.

Name announcement

The world now awaits the couple's choice of names for their son, with George the bookmakers' favourite, followed by James and Alexander.

Nicholas Witchell said the scale of the international interest was "pretty awesome", and "quite threatening in a sense". He said the couple would be "knocked back" when they step out of the hospital.

The arrival generated headlines and celebrations around the world, and prompted messages of goodwill to flood in:

  • New Yorkers were informed of the news when it was tickered in lights at Times Square
  • In London, Trafalgar Square was lit blue for a boy, while the BT Tower delivered the message: "It's a boy!"
  • At its peak, there were more than 25,000 tweets per minute about the royal baby's birth
  • US president Barack Obama said: "We wish them all the happiness and blessings parenthood brings" while Australian PM Kevin Rudd said Australians wished "the royal bub all the best"
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Reverend Justin Welby, greeted the news by saying: "Along with millions here and around the world, I share in their joy at this special time"
  • The village of Bucklebury in Berkshire - Catherine's childhood home - was "intensely delighted at the birth", said the BBC's Ben Moore
  • A specially-filmed scene will be inserted into Tuesday's edition of EastEnders to mark the occasion

At 14:00 BST, the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery will stage a 41-gun salute in Green Park, after riding past Buckingham Palace.

At the same time, the Honourable Artillery Company - the City of London's army reserve regiment - will fire a 62-gun salute from Gun Wharf at the Tower of London.

And the church bells of Westminster Abbey, where William and Catherine were married in April 2011, are expected to ring out for three hours from 14:00.

'Doing well'

Following the birth announcement, a statement from Kensington Palace said the Royal Family were "delighted".

William and Catherine - said by officials to be "so, so happy" - spent the night, a thundery and wet one, with their newborn son in their private maternity suite.

After a labour which had lasted at least 10 hours - and despite the clamour for information from an expectant world - the couple did what most new parents do. They spent time alone bonding with their son.

Soon, they will have to leave their cocoon and present their prince to those eager for a glimpse of the baby.

When they leave, they will be photographed on the steps of the Lindo Wing, just as baby William was back in 1982.

His son's birth will be marked with gun salutes and the pealing of church bells.

It is a celebratory reception the one-day-old royal will have to get used to.

He is a prince who one day, as things stand, will be a king.

The Duchess of Cornwall, on a two-day visit to Yorkshire with the Prince of Wales, said it was a "wonderfully uplifting moment for the country" and that mother and baby were "doing well".

The prince said he was "thrilled and very excited", as the couple were congratulated by well-wishers during a walkabout.

"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," said the prince in a statement on Monday night.

Royal doctor Mr Setchell described the new arrival as a "wonderful baby, beautiful baby".

Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking outside Downing Street, hailed the "wonderful news".

The birth of the prince means the monarchy has three generations of heirs to the throne for the first time since 1894.

Nicholas Witchell said the third in line to the throne could expect to be brought up in a "secure and loving environment", shielded from many of the pressures of ordinary life but facing the specific challenges his position will bring.

The baby's future, he said, will be "a lifetime of public curiosity and, in due course, the responsibility of refreshing and taking forward the ancient institution that is the world's best-known hereditary monarchy".

 

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