For Kate, the wait is over. The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth Monday to a healthy baby boy — a third child for Kate and Prince William and fifth in line to the British throne.
The couple’s Kensington Palace office announced news of the birth about five hours after the 36-year-old duchess and her husband travelled by car from their Kensington Palace home to the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in central London.
The palace said the baby prince was born at 11:01 a.m. (1001 GMT; 6:01 a.m. EDT) and weighed in at eight pounds, seven ounces (3.8 kilograms). Prince William was in attendance, and the palace said mother and child were both doing well.
“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,” the palace said in a statement.
In a mix of tradition and modernity, the news was announced by the palace on Twitter — and will also be posted on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.
The baby is a younger brother to 4-year-old Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who turns 3 next week. Both were born at the same hospital, as were William and his younger brother Prince Harry.
The baby’s name, which has been subject to a flurry of bets, hasn’t been announced. Arthur and James are among bookmakers’ favourites for the new prince, whose full title will be His Royal Highness, Prince (Name) of Cambridge.
Monday is St. George’s Day, England’s national day, but the baby is unlikely to be given the name since his older brother already has it.
The new arrival is Queen Elizabeth II’s sixth great-grandchild and bumps Prince Harry to sixth place in the line of succession. He’s fifth in line, after grandfather Prince Charles, father Prince William and the two older siblings.
The 36-year-old duchess, formerly Kate Middleton, carried out her last official engagement on March 22 before going on maternity leave.
As in her previous pregnancies, Kate suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness. Officials announced both her previous pregnancies before the traditional 12-week mark because she was too unwell to attend public engagements.
The birth was overseen by a team of doctors including consultant obstetrician Guy Thorpe-Beeston and consultant gynecologist Alan Farthing — who were also called in for the births of George and Charlotte — as well as the hospital’s midwives.
Television crews, journalists and royal fans had set up camp outside the hospital for the “royal baby watch” since early April in anticipation of the arrival.
John Loughrey, a veteran royal-watcher who has been camped outside the hospital for two weeks, said the baby would be “very good for our country and of course Her Majesty the queen.”
“I’m so pleased it’s St. George’s Day,” he said before the birth was announced. “St. George himself would be very pleased if the baby’s born today.”
Sylvia Hui And Jill Lawless, The Associated Press