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Royal baby: Family members visit new princess

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Media captionThe baby princess was presented to the world ahead of the royal couple leaving hospital

Family members have visited the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's new baby daughter at Kensington Palace.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall spent more than an hour with his new granddaughter.

The Duchess of Cambridge's parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, and her sister Pippa also met the princess.

The BBC's Peter Hunt says the name of the duke and duchess's second child - sister to Prince George - will not be announced on Sunday.

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).

For full coverage see our royal baby special report here.

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Image caption The Prince of Wales arrived at Kensington Palace to meet his first granddaughter, with the Duchess of Cornwall
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Image caption Carole and Pippa Middleton arrived to meet their newest family member at Kensington Palace
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Image caption The princess and her parents emerged from the hospital on Saturday evening
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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.

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: "The duke and duchess are hugely grateful for the messages of congratulations they have received from people all over the world. It means a great deal to them that so many people have celebrated the arrival of their new daughter.

"Their Royal Highnesses were visited by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Mr and Mrs Middleton, and Pippa Middleton."

Prince Harry, who narrowly missed the princess's birth after returning to Australia to finish his secondment to the country's military, said she was "absolutely beautiful" and he could not wait to meet her.

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

Meanwhile, most of the UK's national Sunday newspapers devoted their front pages to the birth with 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 bookmakers' 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
Image caption First job for the new dad - securing his daughter into the back seat of the family car

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. People queued for a glimpse of the notice, which has now been removed.

It was also announced in the Court Circular - the official record of the previous day's royal engagements. It is sent to several newspapers, which print it daily except on Sundays, and also appears online.

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'

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."

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Image caption Tower Bridge was among the London landmarks lit up in pink on Saturday evening to mark the birth
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Image caption The new royal arrival dominated the day's papers on Sunday

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

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.

A range of official commemorative china celebrating the birth has been unveiled, including coffee mugs, plates and tankards.

Babies born on the same day as the princess are eligible to receive one of 2,015 free silver pennies from the Royal Mint.

The first silver penny was presented to new parents Chantal and Miguel Abel whose daughter Sofia arrived at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital in London at 11:30 BST on Saturday - around three hours after the royal birth.

Kensington Palace asked people to post photographs of their recent arrivals on social media and its press officers have compiled a gallery, which includes a kitten and a dog.

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Image caption The Royal Collection Trust commemorative designs feature a carousel of lions and unicorns from the Royal Arms
Image caption The official birth notice, placed on an easel at Buckingham Palace, was dismantled on Sunday
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Image caption Crowds gathered outside Buckingham Palace to see the easel
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Image caption The media cleared up its encampment outside the Lindo Wing on Sunday
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Image caption Fans of the royals, who camped outside the hospital, have now cleared up their base

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