Duchess of Cambridge gives birth to boy

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.
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.
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.
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.
She kept up a busy official schedule during her pregnancy, here she gets to hang out with scouts.
She kept up a busy official schedule during her pregnancy, here she gets to hang out with scouts.
The royal baby bump on display.
The royal baby bump on display.
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.'
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.'
The duchess looks blooming lovely as she arrives at  Willows Primary School.
The duchess looks blooming lovely as she arrives at Willows Primary School.
Kate was praised often for her maternity style. To be fair, her bump was tiny.
Kate was praised often for her maternity style. To be fair, her bump was tiny.
The first glimpse of the royal baby bump was hard to spot as the duchess wrapped up warm....
The first glimpse of the royal baby bump was hard to spot as the duchess wrapped up warm....
Leaving a London residential treatment centre she hides the baby bump behind flowers. Crafty.
Leaving a London residential treatment centre she hides the baby bump behind flowers. Crafty.
Before that we had to amuse ourselves with guessing what the baby would look like, thanks to websites like morphthing.com.
Before that we had to amuse ourselves with guessing what the baby would look like, thanks to websites like morphthing.com.
..or cheap laughs.
..or cheap laughs.
The royal couple leaving the hospital where Kate was being treated in the early stages of her pregnancy.
The royal couple leaving the hospital where Kate was being treated in the early stages of her pregnancy.

It's a boy! Prince William and Kate "couldn't be happier", the Queen is "delighted", and Prince Charles is looking forward to "grandparenthood".

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'

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

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

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.

More than 37 landmarks across New Zealand, including the Sky Tower, will be illuminated tonight to celebrate the birth.

- Stuff and agencies

The large crowds waiting outside Buckingham Palace as the royal bulletin announcing the birth is put up.
The large crowds waiting outside Buckingham Palace as the royal bulletin announcing the birth is put up.
People try to photograph the notice.
People try to photograph the notice.
Celebrating the announcement of the birth outside St Mary's Hospital.
Celebrating the announcement of the birth outside St Mary's Hospital.
A sign reads 'Kate' in Piccadilly Circus, London, after the birth of the royal baby.
A sign reads 'Kate' in Piccadilly Circus, London, after the birth of the royal baby.
The London Eye in London is lit in red, white and blue and the full moon is visible after the birth of the royal baby boy.
The London Eye in London is lit in red, white and blue and the full moon is visible after the birth of the royal baby boy.
A town crier announces the royal birth outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital.
A town crier announces the royal birth outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital.
The fountains at Trafalgar Square are seen lit blue to signify the birth of a baby boy.
The fountains at Trafalgar Square are seen lit blue to signify the birth of a baby boy.
Ed Perkins of Kensington Palace hands over the official birth notice to a waiting driver to take to Buckinham Palace, outside the Lindo wing of St Mary's Hospital after Kate gave birth.
Ed Perkins of Kensington Palace hands over the official birth notice to a waiting driver to take to Buckinham Palace, outside the Lindo wing of St Mary's Hospital after Kate gave birth.
A Jaguar car is driven into the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace bringing the news to announce the birth of a baby boy.
A Jaguar car is driven into the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace bringing the news to announce the birth of a baby boy.
The Queen's senior Page Philip Rhodes (R) is given the official notification in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, to announce the birth of a baby boy
The Queen's senior Page Philip Rhodes (R) is given the official notification in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, to announce the birth of a baby boy
The Queen's senior Page Philip Rhodes carries the official notification of the birth into Buckingham Palace
The Queen's senior Page Philip Rhodes carries the official notification of the birth into Buckingham Palace
The Queen's Press Secretary Ailsa Anderson with Badar Azim a footman place the announcement on the easel which stands in the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace to announce the birth of a baby boy.
The Queen's Press Secretary Ailsa Anderson with Badar Azim a footman place the announcement on the easel which stands in the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace to announce the birth of a baby boy.
A notice formally announcing the birth of a son to Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is placed in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.
A notice formally announcing the birth of a son to Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is placed in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.
The Queen arrives at Buckingham Palace after Kate was admitted to a hospital nearby.
The Queen arrives at Buckingham Palace after Kate was admitted to a hospital nearby.
The text of the notice formally announcing the birth of a son to Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
The text of the notice formally announcing the birth of a son to Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
Doctor Marcus Setchell, who led the medical team that helped Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge deliver a baby boy, leaves the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in central London.
Doctor Marcus Setchell, who led the medical team that helped Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge deliver a baby boy, leaves the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in central London.
The birth of the royal baby is announced at Clapham Common tube station in London.
The birth of the royal baby is announced at Clapham Common tube station in London.
Blackpool Tower in Blackpool, Lancashire is lit up in blue for the birth of the royal baby.
Blackpool Tower in Blackpool, Lancashire is lit up in blue for the birth of the royal baby.
A woman swims in the fountains at Trafalgar Square which are lit to signify the birth of a baby boy.
A woman swims in the fountains at Trafalgar Square which are lit to signify the birth of a baby boy.
The Tower Bridge lit up in blue in honour of the royal baby.
The Tower Bridge lit up in blue in honour of the royal baby.
A crowd of people take photos of the easel that officially announced the birth of the son of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace.
A crowd of people take photos of the easel that officially announced the birth of the son of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace.
Royal fans wait outside St Mary's Hospital.
Royal fans wait outside St Mary's Hospital.
People react to the news of the birth of a baby boy outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital.
People react to the news of the birth of a baby boy outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital.
Media camped outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital.
Media camped outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital.
Crowds of people try to look at a notice formally announcing the birth.
Crowds of people try to look at a notice formally announcing the birth.
Crowds wait outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital.
Crowds wait outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital.
British and royal decorations are seen, after the announcement of the birth, at Ye Olde King's Head English pub's gift shop in Santa Monica, California.
British and royal decorations are seen, after the announcement of the birth, at Ye Olde King's Head English pub's gift shop in Santa Monica, California.
Karen Milnefrom Scotland, wears a mask representing Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as she and her friends celebrate the royal birth at Ye Olde King's Head English Pub in Santa Monica, California.
Karen Milnefrom Scotland, wears a mask representing Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as she and her friends celebrate the royal birth at Ye Olde King's Head English Pub in Santa Monica, California.
A news ticker in Times Square in New York informs the public of the birth of the royal baby.
A news ticker in Times Square in New York informs the public of the birth of the royal baby.