Duchess of Cambridge gives birth to boy

19:44, Jul 23 2013
Duchess of Cambridge pregnant
The royal baby bump on display.
Kate Middleton pregnant
The duchess looks blooming lovely as she arrives at Willows Primary School.
Kate Middleton pregnant
The duchess plants a willow tree as comedian John Bishop jokes: 'I can't believe you have got a pregnant woman shovelling dirt like this while I'm standing around.'
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The Duchess of Cambridge's last official duty before giving birth was at Buckingham Palace for the annual Trooping the Colour Ceremony on June 15.
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The royal couple leaving the hospital where Kate was being treated in the early stages of her pregnancy.
Duchess of Cambridge's baby bump
The first glimpse of the royal baby bump was hard to spot as the duchess wrapped up warm....
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Before that we had to amuse ourselves with guessing what the baby would look like, thanks to websites like morphthing.com.
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..or cheap laughs.
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The duchess braves what looks like a cold wind as she cuts a ribbon during the naming ceremony of the Royal Princess cruise ship in Southampton, England.
Pregnancy Style Guide
Kate was praised often for her maternity style. To be fair, her bump was tiny.
Royal baby bump
Leaving a London residential treatment centre she hides the baby bump behind flowers. Crafty.
Kate Middleton pregnant at scouts event
She kept up a busy official schedule during her pregnancy, here she gets to hang out with scouts.

Nelson's Christ Church Cathedral was bathed in blue last night to celebrate the birth of the royal baby.

The pink part of the pink and blue LED lights on the Trafalgar St bridge was also be turned off so the bridge was illuminated in blue as well.

The Nelson landmarks joined more than 37 buildings across New Zealand, including the Sky Tower, which  lit up to mark the occasion.

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Prince William and his brother and best man Prince Harry.
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Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive.
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In this image taken from video, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Westminster Abbey.
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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive to attend the Royal Wedding
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Catherine Middleton with the father Michael Middleton arrives.
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Catherine Middleton arrives.
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Kate Middleton waves as she arrives at Westminster Abbey.
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General view in Westminster Abbey.
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Pippa Middelton, sister of the bride Kate Middleton arrives.
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Prince William greets Kate Middleton as she arrives at the alter with her father Michael Middleton.
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Prince William and Kate Middleton stand at the altar with Kate's father Michael Middleton inside Westminster Abbey.
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In this image taken from video, Kate Middleton walks down the aisle as she arrives at Westminster Abbey.
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Prince William sings beside his bride Catherine Middleton and her father Michael Middleton.
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Prince William exchanges rings with his bride Catherine Middleton in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.
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Kate Middleton, center, accompanied by her father Michael Middleton, right, and her sister Pippa Middleton, who is the maid of honour, enter Westminster Abbey.
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Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey, London, during their wedding service.
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In this image taken from video, Britain's Prince William, left, places the ring on the finger of his bride, Kate Middleton.
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Britain's Prince William, centre right, and Kate Middleton, centre left, stand at the altar during their wedding service at Westminster Abbey.
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Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, left, wave as they leave Westminster Abbey.
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Prince William and his new bride Catherine Middleton stand in front of the altar during the service.
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Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge prepare to begin their journey by carriage procession to Buckingham Palace.
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Britain's Prince William, right, and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, leave Westminster Abbey.
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Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, left, smiles as they leave Westminster Abbey.
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Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, left, wave as they leave Westminster Abbey.
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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smile following their marriage at Westminster Abbey.
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Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William travel to Buckingham Palace along The Mall in the 1902 State Landau along the Procession Route.
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Well wishers with flags surge along the Mall towards Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Royal Wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
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Britain's Prince William kisses his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Royal Wedding.

The 3.8-kilogram (8lb 6oz) heir to the throne, whose name is yet to be announced but who will have the title the Prince of Cambridge, put an end to the waiting of royal-watchers around the world with his arrival at 4.24pm on Monday (3.24am today NZT).

Prince William, who was present for the birth, released a statement saying he and the Duchess of Cambridge "could not be happier".

William phoned his grandmother the queen to give her the news, and also contacted his father Prince Charles and brother Prince Harry.

The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families were "delighted with the news".

"Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well and will remain in hospital overnight," a statement from Kensington Palace said.

Charles, Prince of Wales said he and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, were "overjoyed at the arrival of my first grandchild".

"It is an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine and we are so thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy," Prince Charles said.

"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."

The Royal doctor said the child was a "wonderful baby, beautiful baby."

British Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I'm delighted for the Duke and Duchess now their son has been born. The whole country will celebrate."

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key welcomed the birth of "a future king of New Zealand", saying it was "wonderful news".

"I think New Zealanders will be celebrating with the happy couple and it's great to see the birth of a future king of New Zealand so we wish them all the very best," Mr Key said.

"It will be an exciting time for them." offered his congratulations.

It is a historic moment for the British monarchy - the baby will be third in line for the British throne, after Prince Charles and William, leapfrogging Harry, and should eventually become king.

'HAPPY BIRTHDAY'

As the birth of the queen's third great-grandchild was announced, a loud cheer went up from the well-wishers and media gathered outside St Mary's Hospital in west London, where William was also born to the late Princess Diana in 1982.

Within minutes, messages of congratulations began flooding in, while crowds gathered outside the queen's London residence Buckingham Palace where an official notice was placed on a gold-coloured easel at the main gates.

US President Barack Obama was one of the first world leaders to welcome the birth.

"Michelle and I are so pleased to congratulate The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the joyous occasion of the birth of their first child," he said. "We wish them all the happiness and blessings parenthood brings."

Outside Buckingham Palace, there was a party atmosphere with well-wishers laying flowers and teddy bears, singing God Save the Queen and Happy Birthday, and children waving flags.

"The build up to the birth has been so big I'm just happy it's finally come. I'm pleased it's a boy, you always want a boy really," said Alice Durrans, who rushed from a nearby restaurant after hearing the news.

Deborah Beeson, a banker from the United States, was ecstatic.

"It's wonderful. I got chills. I cried," she said. "You know America loves Kate. She's just beautiful, she has dignity."

There will be a 41-gun salute at London's Hyde Park and 62 rounds fired at the Tower of London tonight to herald news of the birth.

The baby arrives at a time when the royal family is riding a wave of popularity. An Ipsos Mori poll last week showed 77 percent of Britons were in favour of remaining a monarchy over a republic, close to its best-ever level of support.

LONG WAIT OVER

Earlier, Britain and the world waited for news after the duchess checked into the private wing of a central London hospital and palace officials announced that she was in labour.

The couple entered St Mary's Hospital in central London through a side door early Monday morning, avoiding the swarm of waiting media. Kensington Palace confirmed her arrival about 90 minutes later.

Royal officials said they had travelled by car, without a police escort.

The duchess gave birth in the private Lindo Wing of the hospital, where Princess Diana also gave birth to William and his younger brother, Prince Harry.

It could be some time before the baby's name is made public. When William was born, a week passed before his name was announced. Charles' name remained a mystery for a month.

The birth of a new heir to the throne had been breathlessly anticipated by many Britons since William and Kate Middleton wed on April 29, 2011.

Reflecting the fact that not everyone was so excited, however. The Guardian added a "republican" button to its website so that those who were not in favour of the monarchy could get a baby-free version of the paper.

Despite a rough start to the pregnancy, when she was hospitalised for acute morning sickness, the 31-year-old duchess made a number of public appearances that stopped only near the end of her term.

New Zealand's official gift is a hand spun, hand knitted fine lace shawl.

- Stuff and agencies

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