Royal baby: 'Thrilled' Queen visits great-grandson

The world got its first glimpse of the new prince when the family left hospital

The Queen has paid a half-hour visit to Kensington Palace to meet her new great-grandson, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The new parents left St Mary's Hospital in west London on Tuesday evening and spent the night at Kensington Palace. They are now at Catherine's family home in Bucklebury, Berkshire.

The name of the third in line to the throne is due to be announced soon.

Other visitors to the palace included Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton.

After a morning of visitors, the duke and duchess were seen leaving Kensington Palace with their newborn at 13:00 BST.

The BBC's royal correspondent Luisa Baldini said there had been wide speculation that the couple would head to the maternal grandparents' home but it was not known how long they would stay.

Catherine is very close to her parents, Carole and Michael, and Prince William has previously said how comfortable he feels around them, she said.

"The house is large and private enough for the duke and duchess to bond with their newborn son," she added.

'Very special'

The Queen visited without her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, as he continues to recover from abdominal surgery.

She made the short journey from Buckingham Palace in a dark green Bentley.

The Queen at a Buckingham Palace reception The Queen, pictured at a Buckingham Palace reception, was said to be "thrilled" at the arrival of her first great-grandson
Queen in Bentley On Wednesday morning, the Queen visited Kensington Palace to pay a half-hour visit to the baby prince.
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with their new baby boy on 23 July 2013 The couple emerged from St Mary's Hospital on Tuesday night to face hundreds of photographers
Duchess of Cambridge holds her new baby boy The new royal baby is the first child for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - and is third in line to the throne
Prince William and his baby son The newborn's arrival came amid intense media interest
Duchess of Cambridge and her husband leave hospital with their baby The couple left hospital on Tuesday night for Kensington Palace, which is expected to be their new home

The private meeting comes as the monarch prepares to leave for Balmoral in Scotland on Friday, where she has her traditional summer break.

At a reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday evening, the Queen said she was "thrilled" at the arrival of her third great-grandchild.

Louise Butt, a guest at the event for the Queen's Award for Enterprise, said the monarch had also described the baby as a "big boy" and had said that "the first born is very special".

There has been no word yet from the duke, who is expected to take about two months to convalesce following exploratory abdominal surgery last month.

The Queen - who also has two great-granddaughters - was not the first to meet the royal baby prince.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, and Catherine's parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, paid visits to the hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

Later that day, Catherine's sister Pippa Middleton, accompanied by boyfriend Nico Jackson, went to Kensington Palace to meet her day-old nephew.

Kensington Palace said Prince Harry had also visited, but did not say when.

Prince Charles said the baby was "marvellous" while Mrs Middleton said he was "absolutely beautiful".

Prince William was at the hospital for the birth at 16:24 BST on Monday, and stayed with his wife and son, who weighed 8lb 6oz (3.8kg), overnight.

They left at 19:15 BST on Tuesday - just under 27 hours after the baby's arrival.

The couple described becoming parents as "very emotional".

A Kensington Palace spokesman said on Wednesday it was "now private and quiet time for them to get to know their son".

George?

Although the couple have yet to decide on a name it is known that the newest royal will be known as HRH Prince (name) of Cambridge.

Queen, Prince Charles, Duchess of Cambridge

George is the bookmakers' favourite for the first name of the prince, who is destined to be king one day. James and Alexander are among other names on a short price.

Asked by the BBC's royal correspondent Peter Hunt if the baby had already been named George, Prince William replied: "Wait and see, Peter, wait and see."

Royal fans waited seven days before the name of a newborn Prince William was announced in 1982, and there was a wait of a month following the Prince Charles's birth in 1948.

All births in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, regardless of parentage, must be registered within 42 days at the hospital before leaving or a register office.

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