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Royal baby: Princess's first night at Kensington Palace

Newly-born daughter of Duke and Duchess Image copyright AFP

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have spent the first night with their new baby daughter at Kensington Palace.

The name of their second child - sister to Prince George - could be announced later and members of the Royal Family and the duchess's parents may visit.

The princess, who is fourth in line to the throne, was delivered at 08:34 BST on Saturday at St Mary's Hospital in London, and weighed 8lbs 3oz (3.7kg).

Tower Bridge was among several London landmarks lit up in pink in her honour.

For full coverage see our royal baby special report here.

Trafalgar Square's fountains and the London Eye were also illuminated on Saturday night to mark the birth.

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Image caption The princess and her parents faced scores of photographers as they emerged from the hospital
Image copyright AFP

The Cambridges will spend the next few days at Kensington Palace; afterwards they are expected to travel to their country home Anmer Hall on the Queen's Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

Bookmakers have said Charlotte and Alice have emerged as the favourite names for the princess, followed by Olivia, Victoria and Elizabeth.

A spokeswoman for Ladbrokes said: "We've never known a day of royal speculation like it. Charlotte is the new favourite, but Olivia is the name on the nation's lips."

Meanwhile, almost all of the UK's national newspapers have given over the entire front pages of their Sunday editions to the birth and a photograph of the new princess.


Royal baby names: the history

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Charlotte, the feminine form of Charles, has a long royal pedigree and became popular in the 18th century when it was the name of George III's queen.

The King bought Buckingham House in 1761 for his wife Queen Charlotte to use as a family home close to St James's Palace - it became known as the Queen's House and is now Buckingham Palace.

Charles is the name of two former Kings and of the Prince of Wales, the princess's grandfather.

Charlotte also has a connection on the duchess's side, as the middle name of her sister Pippa Middleton.

Alice, the previous bookmaker's favourite, was the name of the Duke of Edinburgh's mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg and of his great-grandmother, who was the third child of Queen Victoria.

During the First World War, his mother's family changed Battenberg, the family name, to Mountbatten - the name which Prince Philip adopted when he became a naturalised British subject in 1947.

Other royal Alices include the Queen's aunt by marriage, Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester and one of Queen Victoria's granddaughters, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone.

Also in the running, according to the bookmakers, are the names Olivia, Victoria and Elizabeth.

While Olivia has no immediately apparent royal connections, it was the second most popular girls' name for babies born in England and Wales in 2013, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Victoria and Elizabeth are arguably the most famous female names in British royal history - with Queen Victoria the longest reigning monarch, and the present Queen Elizabeth II set to surpass her record on September 9, 2015.

The Queen Mother was also called Elizabeth, and it is the middle name of the duchess's mother, Carole Middleton.

Queen Victoria is associated with Britain's great age of industrial expansion, economic progress and, particularly, empire. While the 45-year reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England, the daughter of Henry VIII and the last Tudor monarch, is considered one of the most glorious in English history, including the defeat of the Spanish Armada and the first works of Shakespeare.


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Image caption The duke and duchess left hospital after introducing their newly-born daughter to the media

The duchess was admitted to the private Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London, at 06:00 BST on Saturday.

The birth was announced by Clarence House on Twitter at about 11:00 BST, but also with the traditional bulletin on a gilded easel outside Buckingham Palace - a practice that dates to 1837. The easel will remain outside the palace until early afternoon.

With their new daughter wrapped in a white shawl, the duke and duchess emerged from the hospital to crowds of well-wishers and the world's media, a little less than 10 hours after the birth.

They stood on the steps of the Lindo Wing briefly before heading back inside to put the sleeping princess in a car seat. Prince William, who had been present for the birth, then drove them to Kensington Palace.

'Very happy'

The couple did not speak to the media as they had done at the time of Prince George's birth in July 2013.

But when Prince William left the hospital shortly before 16:00 BST, to fetch his son for a visit to his new sister, he told those outside he was "very happy".

In a statement issued after the birth, Kensington Palace said: "Their Royal Highnesses would like to thank all staff at the hospital for the care and treatment they have all received.

"They would also like to thank everyone for their warm wishes."

Image caption First job for the new dad - securing his daughter into the back seat of the family car
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Prince William drove his wife and newly-born daughter away from the hospital
Image copyright PA
Image caption Tower Bridge was among the London landmarks lit up in pink on Saturday evening to mark the birth

The duke's father the Prince of Wales, who had said he wanted his second grandchild to be a girl, and Duchess of Cornwall were left "absolutely delighted" by the news, Clarence House has said.

William's uncle Earl Spencer said: "It's wonderful news - we are all thrilled for all four of them."

Messages of congratulations also came from the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and political leaders including Prime Minister David Cameron, who called it "wonderful news".

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Media captionParty leaders offered their congratulations from the campaign trail

US president Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle wished the duke and duchess "much joy and happiness on the occasion of the arrival of the newest member of their family".

On Monday, the princess's birth will be marked by gun salutes in Hyde Park and the Tower of London.

Soldiers from The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery will ride out in procession from Wellington Barracks, near Buckingham Palace to sound 41 shots in the park at 14:00 BST. A 62-gun Salute by the Honourable Artillery Company will take place at the Tower of London at the same time.


Analysis

Peter Hunt, royal correspondent, BBC News

The princess's first public appearance, with her parents, leaving hospital, will be the exception not the rule.

Prince William and his wife will shield the fourth in line to the throne in the same way they have her brother, Prince George.

Her lack of exposure in her early years will not limit or diminish the global fascination this baby will attract. It's a fascination which began while she was still in the womb.

Soon we'll know her name. The absence of knowledge hasn't stopped the speculation. Elizabeth, Victoria, Alice and Charlotte have all attracted bets at the bookies.

And will Kate and William honour his mother and choose Diana for one of their daughter's names?

Read more from Peter


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Image caption Well-wishers celebrated the announcement of the birth of the princess outside the Lindo Wing
Image copyright AFP
Image caption An official announcement of the birth was placed on an easel outside Buckingham Palace
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Crowds gathered outside Buckingham Palace to see the easel
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Image caption The London Eye was lit up to celebrate the birth of the princess

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