It’s a boy!
Prince William’s wife, Kate, has given birth to a boy, a child now third in line to the British throne.
The child was born Monday, after many Britons woke up to the news that Kate had gone into labor with the couple’s first child.
The birth announcement, via a press release from Kensington Palace, said the boy was born at 4:24 p.m. weighing 8 pounds 6 ounces.
The royal birth recalled that of the baby’s father, William, in 1982, at the same central London hospital. Many remember the moment when he was carried out in his mother Princess Diana’s arms with proud father Prince Charles at their side.
William and Kate’s son is expected to follow Charles and William to the throne.
No one can tell what political and personal changes the intervening years will bring, but the baby can be expected to become the head of state of 16 countries, including Britain, Australia and Canada, and possibly the head of the Commonwealth, which covers 54 nations.
The child will also eventually become Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
The baby represents a living link to Britain’s imperial history – the infant is the great-great-great-great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria, who ruled at the peak of British power.
Many Britons had hoped that William and Kate would start a family shortly after their gala 2011 wedding, which drew a global television audience in the hundreds of millions.
The couple waited, however, until William was nearly finished with his military work as a search and rescue helicopter pilot based at an air base in a remote island off the coast of Wales.
That allowed Kate to ease into royal life, and to become more comfortable in the spotlight, before becoming a parent. It also allowed her to play a supporting role during Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations last summer.
The first months of her pregnancy were not easy, and she was hospitalized in early December with acute morning sickness that left her weak and dehydrated.
She seemed to recover her stamina fairly quickly and made a series of public appearances until the final weeks before giving birth, drawing praise for her poise and good cheer.
The royal couple and their newborn are expected to spend much of their time in the coming years in renovated quarters at Kensington Palace, where William and Harry also spent much of their childhood.
Royal officials say Kate and William will try to give their child as normal an upbringing as possible – which may be challenging in an age when the British royals are treated as major world celebrities.
Prince William and Kate Timeline
Prince William’s wife Kate gave birth to their first child, to be third in line for the throne. Here are some highlights of their lives and of the royal pregnancy:
–Sept. 2001: Prince William and Kate Middleton meet at St Andrews University in Scotland where they are both studying art history.
–Christmas 2003: The pair reportedly become a couple after sharing a house together with two friends. In March they are pictured together on a skiing holiday in Switzerland.
–Nov. 16, 2010: William and Kate’s engagement is announced by Clarence House officials. The prince proposed to Kate while on a private holiday to Kenya the previous month.
–April 29, 2011: The pair wed in a lavish ceremony at London’s Westminster Abbey. William is made the Duke of Cambridge by his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and Kate becomes the Duchess of Cambridge.
–Dec. 3, 2012: The palace announces that Kate is pregnant and being treated in the hospital for acute morning sickness. Kate is discharged from the hospital after three nights, telling reporters she is feeling “much better.” The palace later announces that the baby is due in July.
–Feb. 5: The couple holiday on the Caribbean island of Mustique with Kate’s parents.
–March 5: Kate apparently lets slip that she is expecting a daughter on a solo visit to Grimsby. Accepting a teddy bear from a member of the public, she apparently replies: “Oh, is this for our d...? Thank you so much.” The possible slip of the tongue prompts a wave of betting on a royal daughter.
–March 17: Kate tells a soldier at a St Patrick’s Day parade that they do not know the sex of the child, but says she would like a boy and William a girl.
–March 20: Kate given a “Baby on board” badge when she joins the Queen and Prince Philip at Baker Street underground station to mark the 150th anniversary of the Tube.
–May 11: Kate and William attend William van Cutsem and Rosie Ruck Keene’s wedding in Oxfordshire, England. The pair reportedly take to the dance floor despite Kate being seven months pregnant.
–June 4: William and Kate return to their wedding venue at Westminster Abbey when they join the royal family for a service marking the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation at Westminster Abbey.
–June 13: Kate carries out her final solo engagement before going on maternity leave when she names a new cruise liner – the Royal Princess – in Southampton.
–June 15: The Duchess makes her last scheduled public appearance before the birth at the Trooping the Color parade.
–June 19: It is confirmed Kate is planning to give birth at the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington in central London, where Princess Diana gave birth to William and Prince Harry. It is reported Kate is hoping for a natural birth.
–July 22: Kate gives birth to a baby boy, weighing 8lbs 6 oz, with William by her side.
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