Birth of third in line to British throne sparks celebrations

Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and Prince William celebrate birth of a son

The notice outside Buckingham Palace  announcing the birth.

The notice outside Buckingham Palace announcing the birth.

Tue, Jul 23, 2013, 09:13

Following the most-watched pregnancy in history, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and Prince William celebrated the birth of a son yesterday afternoon.

The arrival of the third in line to the British throne came in the private wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London at 4.24pm, but it was not officially announced until 8.30pm, leaving the couple time to tell family and friends before the world and allowing them four precious hours of privacy.

Then, a simple note was pinned to the easel placed in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace which was cheered ecstatically by the thousands who had waited outside all day.

The so-far unnamed first son weighed in at 8lb 6oz.

The duchess was taken by car to the hospital shortly before 6am, with her husband – who was born in the same hospital – by her side.

Hundreds of royal watchers, along with TV crews and journalists, had gathered outside the Paddington hospital during the day, despite 35 degree temperatures.

Speculation had mounted some months ago following a throw-away remark from the duchess that she was going to give birth to a girl, although the couple insisted throughout that they had deliberately avoided learning the sex of their first-born.

The birth of the latest addition to the British royal family means that it is the first time since 1894 that there have been three generations in line for the throne alive at one time.

Back then, during the final years of Queen Victoria’s reign, Edward VII, George V and Edward VIII all stood in line.