Duchess gives birth to baby boy
THE Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have welcomed their third child - a baby boy.
Less than seven hours after Kate gave birth to her second son, who weighed 3.8 kilograms, she appeared on the steps outside St Mary's Hospital in London with the newborn and her husband.
The couple smiled and waved to the crowds ahead of their return home to join their two older children at Kensington Palace for their first night as a family of five.
Kate, 36, wore a red Jenny Packham shift dress and nude heels for the photographs.
Kensington Palace announced on Monday that Kate had given birth at the Lindo Wing of the Paddington hospital, just as she did with Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2.
"Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 1101hrs. The baby weighs 8 lbs 7oz [3.8kg]," the palace said in its announcement.
"The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news.
"Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well."
A formal notice of the birth was placed in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace and will remain there for 24 hours.
Prince William left the hospital at around 4pm, telling reporters, "Back in a minute."
He returned with Princess Charlotte, 2, and Prince George, 4, just before 5pm local time, so the children could meet their new brother.
The visit is a family tradition, with George doing the same when Charlotte was born, and William visiting younger brother Harry in hospital after his birth.
Charlotte wore a blue dress and navy cardigan and waved to the media as she and her older brother walked into the hospital with their father holding their hands. George looked more serious in a blue shirt, shorts and navy V-neck jumper trimmed in red.
The announcement of the birth came just five hours after the Duchess was admitted to the Lindo wing around 8.30am on Monday 23 April, in the "early stages" of labour. She was driven there by car with Prince William.
The hospital was surrounded by media and excited royal fans, with one group having camped out for two weeks. The well-wishers popped champagne and cheered when they heard the news today.
The name of the baby is expected to be revealed in the coming days but it's likely to have strong royal connections.
While the baby has been born on St George's Day, the feast day for the patron saint of England, that name has already been taken by his older brother.
Prince George's full name is George Alexander Louis while Charlotte's is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, paying tribute to both Her Majesty and William's mother, Princess Diana. Arthur, Albert, Philip and Frederick have all been tipped as potential names.
The newborn royal is now fifth in line to the throne, bumping Prince Harry into sixth place.
The Duchess was cared for by Guy Thorpe-Beeston, surgeon gynaecologist to the royal household, the Queen's gynaecologist, Alan Farthing, Dr. Sunit Godambe, consultant neonatologist at Imperial College NHS Trust and Professor Huw Thomas, the head of the medical household and doctor to the queen.
The name of the baby will be announced in due course.
It had been widely reported that Kate was planning a home birth for her third child, but decided on another hospital delivery in the last weeks of her pregnancy.
Late last year, a source close to the royals told UK newspaper The Express: "Catherine has said she would love to have her baby at home.
"Above all they both agree that having a home birth would save a massive intrusion into the day to day running of any hospital," the source said.
"They were very concerned about the chaos caused with the first two children as hundreds of press and public camped outside for several days, and they would like to avoid a repeat if they could."
Outside the hospital, royal fans waved flags and sipped wine while they waited for a glimpse of the new arrival.
Vanessa Crossley and Joanne McLoughlin, from Lancashire, told news.com.au how they saw news of the royal arrival while going for a morning run so came back down to watch for news.
"It's really exciting ... Nice they've got a growing family," said Joanne, who is picking "traditional English names" for the baby.
"Perfect. It sounds like it's all gone smoothly," Vanessa said.
Friends Onkar and Sukhdev Singh said they were "really excited" hearing the news and jumped straight on a train from West London to wait outside the hospital.
"It's such an amazing day in history in that it's the first time a woman has been ahead of a man in succession to the throne," Onkar said in reference to the fact Charlotte will not be bumped down the line because she is female.
"So that makes a woman fourth in line for the throne after today ... we can all celebrate that as British people."
Friends Barbar and Grace said the birth was "absolutely fantastic" news while toasting the baby with a glass of wine.
"As long as its healthy and they're happy then it's fantastic news," adding that she was picking Albert or Charles for a name.
However, in March, another source told Vanity Fair that the royal couple had secured a room at St Mary's instead.
"She knows the team and she feels like she's in very safe hands," the source said.
Although the royal couple is clearly overjoyed with their new arrival, Kate has joked in the past that her husband may have needed some more time to prepare for another newborn.
When a man congratulated her on her pregnancy during an official engagement last year, she reportedly told him with a laugh: "William's in denial."
As with all of her pregnancies, Kate was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum - an extreme form of morning sickness - in her first trimester, prompting the palace to announce the news earlier than the standard three-month mark.
The statement, released last September, read: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their third child. The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news."
While Prince George has seven godparents and Princess Charlotte has five, interestingly, neither list includes Kate's sister Pippa Middleton or Prince Harry.
And while Pippa's candidacy is unclear, it's unlikely Harry will get the call-up this time around either, according to royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams.
Fitzwilliams said the emphasis could be "firmly on their close friends" to act as godparents to the child.
It wouldn't be the first time - when Princess Charlotte was born in 2015, the couple broke royal tradition and named three friends and two (non-royal) cousins as her godparents.
It's also been rumoured that William and Kate's soon-to-be sister-in-law Meghan Markle may be in the running.
WHERE THE BABY WILL GROW UP
Following the birth of their second child, Princess Charlotte, the Duke and Duchess made Anmer Hall on the Queen's Sandringham estate in Norfolk their home base. But with Prince George starting school and Princess Charlotte at nursery, the couple have since moved back to London.
The new baby will be primarily raised at Apartment 1A in Kensington Palace, which boasts four floors and 20 rooms.
Prince William and Kate Middleton currently only rely on their Spanish nanny, Maria Turrion Borrallo, to help out with George and Charlotte, but it's likely that they'll look to add to their staff now that there are three children.
Kate's mother Carole Middleton has also regularly been on hand to help out with her grandchildren - and she's certain to be a welcome babysitter again now.