Royal couple and their new-born son leave hospital leaves hospital to cheers from large crowd
Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and Prince William have not yet chosen a name for their son
Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge appear with their baby son, outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital, in central London. Photograph: Reuters
The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, her new-born son and Prince William left a London hospital last night just 24 hours after the birth, to the cheers of a large crowd and hundreds of photographers.
Shortly before 7.15pm, the royal couple emerged, with the duchess initially nervous as she navigated a couple of steps before speaking with journalists, some of whom have stayed for days outside St Mary’s Hospital.
Taking a few questions, Prince William said his son has “got a good pair on lungs on him”, before joking that the still unnamed third-in-line to the throne “has got her looks, thankfully”.
Smiling broadly, the prince said it had been “an emotional time”, while his wife said it had been “a very special time”, adding that any new parents would know what “the feelings are like”.
No decision about a name has been made.
Returning briefly inside the hospital, the couple emerged with their son in a car-seat. Looking relaxed after he had safely secured his son in the back of a Range Rover, Prince William drove his family home to Kensington Palace.
Saying that they hoped “that things could go back to normal now”, the couple had earlier voiced their thanks to the hospital’s staff, saying that they had taken great care “of the three of us”.
The day was marked by the arrival of the grandparents. First, Kate Middleton’s parent, Carole and Michael, spent an hour with the couple and the new Prince of Cambridge after they turned up at 3pm.
Two hours later, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, arrived having travelled by helicopter from Yorkshire where they had spent the last two days carrying out engagements.
Joking with some of the clusters of photographers who had spent days at the London hospital, the prince said: “Have you been here long?” although both insisted that they had “no idea” about the new prince’s name.
Earlier in Leeds, the Duchess of Cornwall offered a personal touch: “It’s very exciting and it’s wonderful for the grandfather; he’s brilliant with children.”
Queen Elizabeth has privately expressed her “delight” at the new royal arrival and intends to meet him before she departs on Friday for her summer holidays in Balmoral.
On a day when artillery was fired in the capital in Green Park and the Tower of London, one of the more unusual tributes came from the Royal Navy’s HMS Lancaster, whose crew formed the words “It’s a Boy!” on deck.
By yesterday evening, hundreds of members of the public had gathered on the streets outside once news spread that the couple and child were about to depart – speculation that was sparked by the arrival of the duchess’s hairdresser, Amanda Cook Tucker.
Bookmakers have taken significant bets on the child’s name, with Edward, Henry and George leading the pack – although at 8lb 6oz, he has already entered the history books as the heaviest future king in 100 years.
The Lindo private wing at St Mary’s charges just under £5,000 for a natural birth, although the duchess is likely to have used one of the hospital’s suites, which cost an additional £1,000 a night.