Ever since Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot on April 29, 2011, the world has waited for the arrival of their firstborn and heir to Queen Elizabeth II‘s throne. Finally, the wait is over.
After roughly 13 hours in labor at St. Mary’s Hospital—where the paparazzi paled in comparison to the thousands of Britons who gathered at Buckingham Palace—the Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a healthy baby boy with the Duke by her side. According to an official announcement, a prince arrived at 4:24 p.m., weighing in at 8 pounds and 6 ounces. The news was first shared with the Queen, royal family, and the Middletons, before it was put on a traditional public display and shared from the Clarence House’s official Twitter feed.
“Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well and will remain in hospital overnight,” read a message from Clarence House not long ago.
The Duchess reportedly had a natural birth in the hospital’s private Lindo Wing, where her husband and his baby brother, Prince Harry, were born to Princess Diana. The little prince’s arrival will be celebrated with the firing of 103 cannons from the Tower of London and Green Park, a fitting salute to the future potential monarch. Had they given birth to a baby girl, the Duke and Duchess’ daughter would have succeeded to the throne without a younger brother taking precedence, thanks to a constitutional amendment of British Parliament’s centuries-old law. In this case, it turns out that new rules aren’t necessary.
While members of the Royal Family are understandably celebrating the birth privately, the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) and the Duchess of Cornwall have released a statement on becoming grandparents for the first time.
“It is an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine and we are so thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy,” it read. “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.”
Although we now the gender of the miniature heir, don’t expect to be made privy of his name anytime soon; the world waited nearly a month for Prince Charles’ name following his 1948 birth, and a week after Prince William’s in 1982. Still, that didn’t keep the public from weighing in. Agencies actually vetted bets on baby names with Alexandra, Charlotte, and Elizabeth, leading the pack; something tells us those don’t necessarily fit a future king.
Now that baby makes three, the Duke and Duchess will relocate from their Anglesey, Wales cottage to Apartment 1A in London’s Kensington Palace where four stories, a nursery, and 20 rooms await.
If you’d like to send your congratulatory greetings to the couple on their blue bundle of joy, sign the official digital card here.