As it happened: Royal baby celebrations

Key Points

  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave hospital with their son to cheers from well wishers
  • The duchess says the experience has been "very emotional". "It's such a special time," she adds
  • The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a boy on Monday at 16:24 BST weighing 8lb 6oz
  • Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the couple and their baby in hospital
  • The couple earlier received their first visitors - the duchess's parents, Carole and Michael Middleton
  • The birth was marked with gun salutes and the ringing of Westminster Abbey's bells
  1.  
    0735:

    Good morning and welcome to our live page about the birth of the latest member of the Royal Family. We'll be covering reaction from around the world and awaiting the first glimpse of the Prince of Cambridge.

     
  2.  
    0736:

    It is the biggest news story around but just in case you missed it: The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a baby boy on Monday at 4:24 BST. He weighed 8lb 6oz (3.8kg) and both mother and baby were said to be doing well.

     
  3.  
    0736:

    Prince William, the proud father, said the couple "could not be happier". They spent the night at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London, and it is likely that Catherine will be discharged later on Tuesday.

     
  4.  
    0739:
    Duchess of Cambridge. File pic dated 21 April 2013

    After a long wait, particularly for the world's media camped outside the hospital, Catherine was taken to hospital on Monday morning at 06:00 BST showing the "early signs of labour".

     
  5.  
    0750:
    An easel stands in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in London carrying an official document announcing the birth of a baby boy

    The news of the birth was announced in both the traditional way and a modern manner. An official document was placed on an ornate easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

     
  6.  
    0750:
    Picture of the birth tweet from Clarence House

    Clarence House also sent out a tweet.

     
  7.  
    0759:
    People flock to Buckingham Palace to take photos of the easel that officially announced the birth of the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

    Anticipation had been building all day on Monday and the announcement finally came, via press release, four hours after the birth. Huge crowds gathered at Buckingham Palace for a glimpse of the easel.

     
  8.  
    0802:
    The Golden Jubilee bridges and the London Eye are illuminated in celebration of the birth of a baby boy for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on 22 July 2013

    And the celebrations began with the Golden Jubilee Bridges and the London Eye illuminated.

     
  9.  
    0802:
    The British Telecom tower in central London displays "it"s a boy" to mark the birth of the Prince of Cambridge.

    Light it up: The BT tower also had a celebratory message for Londoners.

     
  10.  
    0805:
    Ministry of Defence undated handout photo of HMS Lancaster as it celebrates the Royal Birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's child while on patrol in the Caribbean.

    Spelling it out: Crew members of HMS Lancaster celebrate the royal birth while on patrol in the Caribbean.

     
  11.  
    0806:
    The Honourable Artillery Company polish the guns as they prepare their kit and personnel for the gun salute

    More celebrations are planned on Tuesday. The birth will be marked with a series of gun salutes and the ringing of Westminster Abbey's bells.

     
  12.  
    0806: Paul James, Leader of Gloucester City Council

    tweets: We'll be flying the flag today at @GloucesterCity to mark the special occasion. #RoyalBaby

     
  13.  
    0809: Mark Easton Home editor

    How does the new royal baby now third in line to the throne compare with all those commoner babies born in Britain today?

     
  14.  
    0813:
    Media circus outside St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London

    The world's media will be resuming their positions outside the private Lindo wing of St Mary's Hospital in west London. They will be waiting for "that shot" of the duke and duchess standing on the steps of the hospital with their newborn son.

     
  15.  
    0814: Nargis, Bangalore, India emails:

    Happy birthday little prince. Wishing you lots of love and joy always. God bless you and your lovely parents

     
  16.  
    0816:
    Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prince Charles outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London, following the birth of Prince William

    Diana, Princess of Wales, also had her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, at the Lindo Wing. Thirty one years ago she was pictured holding her newborn Prince William outside the hospital.

     
  17.  
    0818: Sarah Jeffery

    tweets: Being a parent is the best job in the world!! Congratulations to the Duke & Duchess on the safe arrival of their baby boy #RoyalBaby

     
  18.  
    0824:

    The timing of the announcement meant many newspapers had to completely re-work their front pages. The BBC has this round-up of how the UK papers covered the historic day

     
  19.  
    0825:
    Royal supporter Terry Hutt, wearing his union jack umbrella hat to shade him from the sun, walks past the media pen outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London

    The media pack and the royal fans, who had also been camping outside the hospital, had to deal with sweltering conditions on Monday. The new prince was born on the UK's hottest day for seven years.

     
  20.  
    0826:
    Lightning behind the London Eye

    The weather turned overnight. Here, lightning strikes behind the London Eye in central London which is lit up in the national colours of red, white and blue.

     
  21.  
    0826: Nguyen Thi Thuy Nga, Hanoi, Vietnam

    emails: Please accept my heartiest congratulations on the arrival of the royal boy who will be king of the UK. I wish him the best of health, happiness and success in his whole life! And I wish his parents a good parenthood.

     
  22.  
    0830:

    In Australia Melbourne's Herald Sun celebrates the arrival of a male heir for the Windsors on their front page, saying 'Royals now flush with three kings.'

     
  23.  
    0832: BBC Political Correspondent Tim Reid

    tweets: Via MoD:At 2pm at the Tower of London, the Honourable Artillery Company, an Army Reserve Unit will fire 62 round salute #RoyalBaby

     
  24.  
    0838:
    Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

    From the moment Prince William and Catherine announced they were expecting their first child, there was speculation about the gender. It also had political significance as changes to the rules of succession meant if it had been a girl, she would not have been leapfrogged by a younger brother.

     
  25.  
    0843: Peter Hunt Royal correspondent, BBC News

    William and Kate - said by officials to be "so so happy" - spent the night, a thundery and wet one, with their newborn son in their private maternity suite.

     
  26.  
    0844: Peter Hunt Royal correspondent, BBC News

    After a labour which had lasted at least 10 hours - and despite the clamour for information from an expectant world - the couple did what most new parents do -they spent time alone bonding with their son.

    Soon, they will have to leave their cocoon and present their prince to those eager for a glimpse of the baby.

     
  27.  
    0844:
    Two of the mugs

    One of subjects left to speculate on is the name or more likely names of the baby. Bookmaker William Hill says George is the favourite for a boy.

     
  28.  
    0845: Janette Murphy, Spain

    tweets: Aah - a new royal baby! Wonder what name he'll have? Might have a George or an Arthur in there somewhere...

     
  29.  
    0848:

    The duke and duchess have been quietly making plans for the future king or queen to receive a thoroughly modern upbringing, says royal commentator Carolyn Harris. She asks how their approach to parenting might differ from that of their predecessors.

     
  30.  
    0855:

    The new family may reside in apartment 1A, Kensington Palace:

    • Once Princess Margaret's 20-bedroom home
    • Undergoing renovation to house the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's son
    • Queen Victoria grew up in Kensington Palace
    • She and Albert raised their children at Kensington Palace
    • As did Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, among other royals
    • It is rumoured that Anmer Hall, on the Queen's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, could be used as their country retreat
     
  31.  
    0857:
    File photo dated 22/12/1982 of the Prince and Princess of Wales with their son Prince William during a photo session at Kensington Palace in London

    It could be some time before people's curiosity about the new prince's name is sated. Prince William was not named until a week after his birth.

     
  32.  
    0857: @TwitterUK

    tweets: #Congratulations! At its peak there were more than 25,300 Tweets Per Minute about the #RoyalBaby's birth: http://blog.uk.twitter.com/2013/07/royalbaby.html

    Graph shows twitter spike for #royalbaby Graph shows twitter spike for #royalbaby
     
  33.  
    0900: Chan Jin Ai, Bukit Mertajam, Penang, Malaysia

    emails: I am so happy the Duchess of Cambridge delivered a son on my 56th birthday which is 22nd July, 1957

     
  34.  
    0902:

    The New York Times has a slightly more cynical look at the scenes of celebration following the new arrival, saying the occasion gave people in the UK "something to focus on that did not have to do with the bad political situation, the bad economy or the bad weather."

     
  35.  
    0905:

    The clamour for royal baby news started early in the pregnancy as St James's Palace announced the duchess was expecting a baby in December last year after she was admitted to hospital with hyperemesis gravidarum, an acute form of morning sickness.

     
  36.  
    0909:

    The duke and duchess are used to being the focus of press and public attention since their relationship began. Click here to find out more about Catherine and here to find out more about Prince William.

     
  37.  
    0909: Mark Easton Home editor
    Graphic showing UK baby statistics

    How does the new royal baby now third in line to the throne compare with all those commoner babies born in Britain today? We've pulled together loads of vital statistics for those interested in the maths.

     
  38.  
    0911:

    The close relationship between Canada and the monarchy is reflected in the country's reaction to the news, with the Toronto Sun's editorial saying "As unabashed monarchists, we're delighted with this latest addition to the Royal Family."

     
  39.  
    0911: Nicholas Witchell Royal correspondent

    They couple will have a lot to contend with today. Somewhere in that list of things will be a name. James, George and Philip are favourites.

     
  40.  
    0919: Daniel Sandford BBC News, Moscow

    tweets: President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Queen Elizabeth II on the birth of her great-grandson - Kremlin press office

     
  41.  
    0920: Michael McCaul, Derby

    tweets: Anyone notice that every advert on tv last night was about baby boys. Coincidence? #RoyalBaby #RoyalBabyBoy

     
  42.  
    0930:
    Coco Craddock, born at 5.50am Coco Craddock, born at 5.50am

    Some of those parents whose newborns shared their birthday with the royal baby shared their stories of their special day.

     
  43.  
    0931:
    A town crier announces the birth of the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital

    Hear ye, hear ye. While the name is not known, the newborn is not the Prince of Cambridge. He will be His Royal Highness Prince (insert name here) of Cambridge.

     
  44.  
    0941:
    The sex of the royal baby is indicated by the blue light illuminating Niagara Falls, New York.

    Visitors to Niagara Falls were left in no doubt of the sex of the royal baby as it was lit up in blue. The latest addition to the UK Royal Family is probably the most famous baby in the world.

     
  45.  
    0941: St Albans Cathedral

    tweets: Bells are ringing out at St Albans Cathedral for the Royal Baby Boy!

     
  46.  
    0944:

    For in-depth coverage, features and analysis see our special report on the royal baby

     
  47.  
    0944: Elsa Bowen, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland

    emails: We heard the church bells of St Nicholas in Carrickfergus pealing yesterday evening, so checked news on my phone and lo, the little prince had been born. Congratulations to William & Catherine

     
  48.  
    0945: Peter Hunt Royal correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: There is no news on departure time, visitors, names or whether or not Prince William will speak to the media. #RoyalBaby

     
  49.  
    0953: Nicholas Witchell Royal correspondent

    The couple are probably keen to come out, pose for the photographs and then get back to Kensington Palace. We are waiting for the doctors and the couple to take their decision.

    Prince William has two weeks' paternity leave from his job as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot in Anglesey. It is not known if they will spend it in Kensington Palace or in Berkshire with the Middletons.

     
  50.  
    0959:

    Following the arrival, the Prince of Wales issued a statement saying "both my wife and I are overjoyed at the arrival of my first grandchild." He said it was "an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine" and how he was looking forward to seeing the baby.

     
  51.  
    1008:

    Shortly after the announcement of the birth, Prince William issued a brief statement saying the couple "could not be happier".

     
  52.  
    1009:
    Royal enthusiast Terry Hutt reads the paper outside St Mary's Hospital in London as the world eagerly awaits the first glimpse of the royal baby born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

    The media and royal enthusiasts, including Terry Hutt, are parked outside the hospital waiting for that first glimpse. No sign yet...

     
  53.  
    1010: Nicholas Witchell Royal correspondent

    The Queen's gynaecologist Marcus Setchell, who led the medical team that delivered the baby, has been spotted going into the hospital. He is probably carrying out all the usual checks and he will make the final decision on whether Catherine and her son can leave.

     
  54.  
    1012:
    Earl Charles Spencer

    William's uncle, Earl Spencer, said: "We're all so pleased: it's wonderful news," he said. The earl, brother to Diana, Princess of Wales, added: "My father always told us how Diana was born on just such a blisteringly hot day, at Sandringham, in July 1961."

     
  55.  
    1013:
    Rack of newspapers

    Most of the UK's daily newspapers make a splash of the royal arrival. The Sun go a step further and rename the publication for a day, calling it "The Son".

     
  56.  
    1015:

    The birth was big news around the world, with some rather unique celebrations taking place. Most of them involved the colour blue. See some in our picture gallery.

     
  57.  
    1016:

    Prince Charles, who is on an official visit near York, tells well-wishers the name of his first grandchild is not clear yet.

     
  58.  
    1018: Valerie, Gloucestershire, UK

    emails: Congratulations to William and Kate. My husband and I share a birthday with the new prince - we were both born on 22nd July 1953. We met on 15th September 1984, the day Prince Harry was born, and were married on 21st June 1986, Prince William's birthday - what are the odds on that!

     
  59.  
    1021:
    Prince Charles

    Prince Charles, accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall, was surrounded by hundreds of well-wishers as they visited the village of Bugthorpe in East Riding of Yorkshire.

     
  60.  
    1023:
    Duchess of Cornwall

    The Duchess of Cornwall says: "Mother, son, father all doing well. It is wonderfully uplifting for the country. It's wonderful for the grandfather, who is brilliant with children."

     
  61.  
    1026: Arthur Edwards ‏@ArthurJEdwards

    tweets: Kate's hairdresser has just arrived at the Lindo wing.

     
  62.  
    1026: Peter Hunt Royal correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: William and Kate will have to register their baby at Westminster Register office. Baby changing facilities are available there. #RoyalBaby

     
  63.  
    1037:
    Nancy Jameson from the US at Buckingham Palace

    Nancy Jameson, 78, (pictured on the right) who is visiting London from Pennsylvania, in the US, says the baby news makes it a very special occasion.

    "I'm absolutely thrilled for them. It's wonderful. I hope the British receive the baby well - I think they will, I think they really fell in love with Kate and William."

     
  64.  
    1039:

    Prince Charles says he is "thrilled" and "very excited" at becoming a grandfather as he speaks to locals in Bugthorpe, East Yorkshire.

     
  65.  
    1039: Tonyk

    tweets: Not even a day old, but a lifetime of #expectations laid out. It must be tough being a #RoyalBaby

     
  66.  
    1042:
    BBC presenter Simon McCoy

    The BBC's Simon McCoy, who is outside St Mary's Hospital along with just a few other journalists, says the anticipation is fever pitch again as they await "that all important name" and "that image" - the picture of the duke and duchess emerging with their new baby. He says the noise levels are even greater than yesterday.

     
  67.  
    1042:
    Medical staff at St Mary's Hospital look out at the media camped out in the road

    Medical staff at St Mary's Hospital in London look out from a walkway above the road where media and people are gathered as they wait for the couple to emerge with their newborn.

     
  68.  
    1051:
    Members of the public gather outside Buckingham Palace to read the easel displaying the announcement of the birth of a son to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

    Tick tock, tick tock: Those still wanting to see the framed statement on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace only have a few hours left to do so. An official said it will be on show for around 24 hours after confirmation of the birth, meaning it is unlikely to be there much after 20:00 BST.

     
  69.  
    1103:

    More details on this afternoon's gun salutes to celebrate the royal birth:

    • Today's gun salutes will be performed by the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) and the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.
    • The soldiers, horses and guns of the King's Troop will ride out from Wellington Barracks to Green Park, riding past Buckingham Palace.
    • Then 71 horses pulling six First World War-era guns will come from the north end of the Park and place the guns into position for the salute in Green Park.
    • Each of the six guns will fire blank rounds at 10-second intervals, until they have fired 41 shots.
    • At the same time the HAC will drive their liveried all-terrain vehicles from their HQ in Armoury House to the saluting position at Tower Wharf at the Tower of London to fire the 62-gun salute.
     
  70.  
    1103: Peter Hunt Royal correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Royal officials say reports suggesting Kate's hairdresser is inside the Lindo Wing are incorrect. #RoyalBaby

     
  71.  
    1104:

    Labour leader Ed Miliband tells the BBC: "I want to send my warmest congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and I wish them and their new baby boy all the health and happiness in the world. I hope they get time together as a family to enjoy it because that's something you never forget."

     
  72.  
    1104:
    Marc and Beverley Miell with baby Adam Michael

    First to receive a silver penny from the Royal Mint are parents, Marc and Beverley Miell, who gave birth to Adam Michael at 4.34pm on Monday, just 10 minutes after the prince was born. Speaking on Monday, Mr Miell said: "We knew that the Royal Mint was planning to give silver pennies to babies born today but we had no idea that we would be the first to receive one. We are over the moon."

     
  73.  
    1105: Nicholas Witchell Royal correspondent

    We are led to believe the Queen will not be visiting today, not least because she does not want to run the gauntlet of this massive media presence. The lack of visitors adds to the impression that the duke and duchess's inclination is to leave as quickly as possible.

     
  74.  
    1105:
    Congratulations sign outside pub in Bucklebury

    There were congratulations for the royal couple from the Middleton family's local pub in the Berkshire village of Bucklebury. Only two years earlier, the Cottage Inn was celebrating the village's most famous daughter's wedding to Prince William with a fireworks display and a huge party.

     
  75.  
    1106: TheBritishMonarchy ‏@BritishMonarchy

    tweets: Today's Changing the Guard music at #BuckinghamPalace will include 'Congratulations' 'Royal Salute' and 'The Duke of Cambridge March'

     
  76.  
    1106: Moin Ud Din, Lahore, Pakistan

    emails: Many congratulations. You have given every one around the globe moments of great joy and happiness. I wish you both a great prosperous journey ahead in life. Love to baby. God bless you.

     
  77.  
    1107:

    Media across much of the world have been swept along by royal baby fever, particularly in North America. Here's a round-up of what the press has been saying.

     
  78.  
    1108:
    Prince Charles

    Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were met by well-wishers on a visit to East Yorkshire, with many asking questions about the new arrival. The new grandfather gave little away, other than saying he was "thrilled and very excited". But he did admit to enjoying "a little bit" of bubbly last night.

     
  79.  
    1108: Lisa Baxter, Wimblington

    emails: Congrats to Catherine and William on the safe arrival of their son. My 5-year-old daughter Alesha asked when would he be old enough to play with her and her little brother Finn.

     
  80.  
    1117:
    Media pack outside St Mary's Hospital in west London on 23 July 2013

    For those who need a recap: The world's media and royal fans are waiting outside St Mary's Hospital in west London for the first glimpse of the latest addition to the Royal Family. The third in line to the throne was born on Monday at 16:24 BST, weighing 8lbs 6oz. The unnamed boy is Prince William and Catherine's first child.

     
  81.  
    1123:
    Silver penny to commemorate the birth of the royal baby

    A total of 2,013 commemorative "lucky" silver pennies have been created by the Royal Mint to give to new arrivals who share a birthday with the third in line to the throne.

     
  82.  
    1123:

    And for those new parents who live in Jersey, there will be an added bonus. The island's treasury and health departments have teamed up to give a framed £100 Jersey note to yesterday's newborns.

     
  83.  
    1124: Emily James, Caerphilly

    tweets: Whether you follow the royal family or not, I think everybody's a little bit excited about this baby! #RoyalBaby

     
  84.  
    1125: Gary, Torbay, Devon

    emails: Wonderful news, especially that the boy is healthy. Please will the BBC News get on with reporting news and leave the question of the baby's future to documentary programs. Constant non news reporting is annoying.

     
  85.  
    1126: Kierhan Macklam, Nottingham

    emails: Massive congratulations to the royal couple on the safe arrival of their firstborn. The hard work now begins, no one is truly prepared for parenthood but I can't think of a better couple to do it. Long live the future king!

     
  86.  
    1127: Sarah Bell, BBC News, outside Buckingham Palace
    Robyn Holtham, in red T-shirt, outside Buckingham Palace

    Fresh from trying to get her photo of the easel, Robyn Holtham, 41, from Oxfordshire, pictured here in a red t-shirt, said it was fantastic news. "The Royal family has been becoming more accessible with Kate and William, people can identity with them. Kate is a more normal person. They're just people who like to have fun and do normal things."

     
  87.  
    1131: Sarah Bell BBC News

    Hundreds of people, mainly tourists, are crowded on the pavements outside Buckingham Palace. Cameras are poised to catch the traditional Changing of the Guard, and the money shot of the birth notice on the easel. Many have expressed delight to be in London on a historic day.

    Others queue to ask police, and BBC journalists, to pose for pictures as temperatures rise and sun cream is applied.

     
  88.  
    1134:
    Chelsea pensioners raise their glasses

    Chelsea pensioners raise their glasses in a toast to the birth of the baby prince.

     
  89.  
    1134:

    Prince William, who is at the hospital with Catherine, is due to take two weeks' paternity leave, after being on annual leave.

     
  90.  
    1135: Delia

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay well done Kate! hope your young prince brings you much joy x

     
  91.  
    1138: Christopber Heath, South Wales

    emails: The birth of a child is always a good thing. I find it very interesting that I am witnessing the actual birth of a child, that will be monarch when my grand children (not born yet, my son only 11) are in adulthood and have their own. Congratulations to all parties.

     
  92.  
    1139:

    Prime Minister David Cameron says the news about the royal baby is "thrilling". Speaking at an event in Crewe, he said it was "very exciting" to get the call from Buckingham Palace last night to inform him of the birth and that everything was fine.

     
  93.  
    1139: Sarah Bell BBC News
    Chang Jing, pictured on the right

    Chang Jing, 40, pictured on the right, arrived on holiday from China on Monday. She said the birth would be making headlines in her home country. "It's great - a new life is always so encouraging."

     
  94.  
    1140: Lilian Keya

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay hi did the female presenters on monday know that the royal baby was a boy? They all wore blue

     
  95.  
    1148: Sarah Bell BBC News
    A police officer on a horse at Buckingham Palace

    A multi-lingual policeman on a horse has just warned the crowd to take care of their children and property in English, French and German.

     
  96.  
    1149:
    The Albert Square sign on the set of EastEnders

    A specially-filmed scene will be inserted into Tuesday's edition of EastEnders, marking the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's son. Characters Dot Cotton and Abi Branning will be seen discussing the new arrival in the episode.

     
  97.  
    1152:
    Guards at Buckingham Palace playing "Congratulations" in honour of the birth of the new prince

    The band at Buckingham Palace celebrated the royal birth by playing "Congratulations", during the daily Changing the Guard and were greeted with a polite round of applause from the crowd.

     
  98.  
    1153: Sarah Bell BBC News

    There's now a sea of umbrellas as the skies open above the palace.

     
  99.  
    1158: Breaking News

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge thank staff at the hospital for the "tremendous care the three of us have received", Kensington Palace say.

     
  100.  
    1200: Peter Hunt Royal correspondent, BBC News

    The royal couple will not be leaving hospital before 6pm at the earliest, or tomorrow morning. So, the wait to see the baby prince goes on....

     
  101.  
    1202:

    Here's the full statement from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge: "We would like to thank the staff at the Lindo Wing and the whole hospital for the tremendous care the three of us have received. We know it has been a very busy period for the hospital and we would like to thank everyone - staff, patients and visitors - for their understanding during this time."

     
  102.  
    1210: Sarah Bell BBC News
    Crowd of well-wishers outside Buckingham Palace

    For the crowd gathered outside the palace there was a scramble for waterproofs and umbrellas after the threatening skies started to fall with rain as the Changing of the Guard ended.

     
  103.  
    1211:

    A Kensington Palace spokesman added: "Mother, son and father are all doing well this morning."

     
  104.  
    1212:
    Media pack huddle under umbrellas during a downpour

    And meanwhile outside the hospital what a difference a day makes... from the hottest day in seven years to downpours. The media's wait for the "money shot" of the royal couple and their new baby continues with the rain unlikely to dampen the anticipation.

     
  105.  
    1227:

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has also offered his congratulations: "It's news that will make the country smile, will make millions of people around the world smile. A first child is always a special thing for any family and I just hope that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be able to enjoy these early days together after the birth of their new son."

     
  106.  
    1230:
    File picture of Prince William at the controls of a Sea King helicopter

    Daily Mail columnist and Queen biographer Robert Hardman tells the BBC everything is changing for Prince William - new baby, new home at Kensington Palace and a new job.

    The prince is due to leave his current post as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot in a matter of weeks and he has to decide what to do, he said. "There's quite a lot going in that household."

     
  107.  
    1240: Sarah Bell BBC News
    Crowds outside Buckingham Palace

    Changing the Guard over, the crowds go back to their attempts to capture a shot of the easel announcing the royal birth.

     
  108.  
    1244:

    The Princess Royal, who is set to become a grandmother for the third time, described the birth as "very good news".

    Princess Anne's daughter Zara Phillips and her rugby player husband Mike Tindall are expecting their first baby in the new year. Ms Phillips' brother Peter has two daughters, Savannah and Isla.

     
  109.  
    1245: Hoshang Mushfiq, Kunduz, Afghanistan

    emails: William and Catherine, congratulations on your lovely son, wishing you all the best. Allah may bless him.

     
  110.  
    1249: Mercury class at Nursteed Primary School, Devizes, Wiltshire

    email: We are watching the live news in school. We can't wait to see the couple with their baby and find out the name. We hope they are having a lovely time with their new baby, give him a hug from us. We can't wait to hear the guns too.

     
  111.  
    1249: Chaz Evans, Devon

    tweets: If the royal baby gets named Edward, then the line of succession will also happen to be my name, Charles William Edward.

     
  112.  
    1259: Petra Jones

    tweets: Kate and Wills should just go to Tesco and choose the name on the first coke bottle they see #RoyalBaby #KingGary

     
  113.  
    1259:
    British Monarchy Facebook announcement

    Some Facebook figures for fans of stats and social media. Within an hour of the announcement of the birth, there were more than a million mentions on Facebook globally.

    Since Catherine was taken to the hospital, there have been 3.5mn mentions related to the royal baby.

    Facebook's peak in mentions occurred at 20:37 BST, with more than 31,000 mentions.

    The British Monarchy's birth announcement on Facebook has more than 385,000 likes so far.

     
  114.  
    1301:
    HMS Lancaster form the word "boy" on deck

    The Royal Navy found an interesting way to pay tribute to the baby prince. Have a look at our picture gallery to see how the US, Canada and New Zealand are marking the birth.

     
  115.  
    1310: Sarah Bell BBC News
    Crowds at Buckingham Palace

    After all the pomp of the Changing the Guard the tourists among the crowd are now experiencing another fine British tradition - the queue - as they form an orderly one to see the easel.

     
  116.  
    1311: Sarah Roberts, Kinver, UK

    emails: Having recently repatriated from a 10-year stint in New Zealand, I am travelling by train to London from the Midlands with my Royal-enthusiast daughter to soak up the celebratory atmosphere and hopefully catch a glimpse of the royal baby!

     
  117.  
    1316:

    Weary of the gushing media coverage? Satirical magazine Private Eye goes for a different tone from mainstream media on its front page. Against a blank background, its bold headline reads "Woman has baby".

     
  118.  
    1325: Sheena Hatton, Wirral

    tweets: I have every sympathy with Will & Kate. Choosing baby names is HARD - never mind when the whole world will judge your choice! #RoyalBaby

     
  119.  
    1336:

    So, time for a quick rundown of how events unfolded:

    • 06:00 BST Monday: Catherine and Prince William arrive at St Mary's Hospital ahead of a Kensington Palace announcement that Catherine was in the early stages of labour
    • 16:24 BST: The baby arrives. It's a boy and weighs in at 8lbs 6oz
    • About 20:30 BST: The world first hears news of the newest member of the Royal family
    • Overnight: Prince William spends the night at the hospital with his wife and new son.
    • Tuesday morning: Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit an East Yorkshire village, and reveal little about their newest grandchild
    • 11:58 BST: Kensington Palace suggests we will have to wait until this evening at the very earliest for our first glimpse of the newborn.
     
  120.  
    1342: Charlemagne Prokopyshyn, Chemnitz, East Germany

    emails: As a British expat living in East Germany and married to a Ukrainian I couldn't feel more proud and happy to be British right now! My husband and I send huge congratulations to the lovely royal couple the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and wish all three of them well. God Bless the little future King and well done Catherine!

     
  121.  
    1345:
    Mothercare advert

    Mothercare, purveyors of all things baby-related, is among the first of many retailers likely to try to make the most of the marketing opportunities of the new arrival. Picture posed by model, in case you were wondering.

     
  122.  
    1348:
    Gun salute troops outside Buckingham Palace

    Next up at 14:00 BST is a 41-gun salute in Green Park by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, synchronised with a 62-gun salute from the Honourable Artillery Company - the City of London's army reserve regiment - at the Tower of London. Church bells at Westminster Abbey, where William and Catherine were married in April 2011, are expected to ring out for three hours from 14:00 BST as well.

     
  123.  
    1358:

    Major Mark Edward, of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, says the 41-gun salute is "very much a celebration" and "fabric of the nation stuff". He explains the numbers - it's made up of a royal salute of the usual 21 gun shots, with another 20 because they are in Green Park, a Royal park which is a royal saluting base.

     
  124.  
    1359:

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby is the newest member of a Royal Family which spans four generations. Have a look at the family tree here.

     
  125.  
    Breaking News

    In Green Park and at the Tower of London, gun salutes are being fired in honour of the royal baby boy.

     
  126.  
    1402: Heather Squires, Eastbourne, East Sussex

    emails: So pleased to be British. Nowhere in the world does the pomp and pageantry like us and last night has added to it and so will today. Well done Kate and William.

     
  127.  
    1403:

    At Green Park, 71 horses pulled six WWI-era field guns. Smoke blew in clouds over the guns, as officers bellowed out orders.

     
  128.  
    1405:
    Gun salute at the Tower of London

    Gun salutes are customarily fired, both on shore and at sea, as a sign of respect or welcome.

     
  129.  
    1410:

    For those who like to know about numbers the number of rounds fired in a royal salute depends on the place and occasion. The basic royal salute is the traditional 21 rounds. In Green Park, an extra 20 rounds are added because it is a royal park. At the Tower of London 62 rounds are fired on royal anniversaries (the basic 21, plus 20 because the Tower is a Royal Palace and Fortress, plus another 21 "for the City of London") and 41 on other occasions.

     
  130.  
    1415:
    Gun salute at Tower of London

    The Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) are firing their 62-gun salute from Tower Wharf at the Tower of London.

     
  131.  
    1416:
    Westminster Abbey

    Westminster Abbey's bells are ringing to coincide with the gun salute, and they will continue to do so for three hours. That team of 10 from the Westminster Abbey Company of Ringers have their work cut out today...

     
  132.  
    1419:
    Yeovil

    Football clubs are also keen to join in with the royal celebrations - Championship side Yeovil Town announced the loan signing of Swansea City defender Alan Tate mocking up a photo of a board outside the ground, mirroring the announcement of the Royal baby birth outside Buckingham Palace. Courtesy of our colleagues on the BBC Sportsday Live Page.

     
  133.  
    1420:

    Three of the bell ringers performed the same task for the new prince's father more than 30 years ago. One of them, Clarke Walkers, also rang the celebratory bells for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding at the Abbey two years ago.

     
  134.  
    1423: John Ashdown, Brentwood

    emails: Congratulations, more importantly when are we going to get another bank holiday for this?

     
  135.  
    1427:

    For those interested in campanology, the three-hour complex peal currently ringing out from Westminster Abbey is made of thousands of changes and is known as the Cambridge Surprise Royal.

     
  136.  
    1434: Auntie Ada, Gloucestershire

    tweets: Disappointed that #google didn't honour the #royalbaby with a celebratory doodle.

     
  137.  
    1434:
    Contents of a Finnish baby box

    No doubt the new prince will be showered with gifts. Prior to his arrival, his parents received a baby box from Finland. It is given to all expectant mothers and as well as containing essentials, the box can also be used as a bed because it comes with a fitted mattress.

     
  138.  
    1434:

    Take this BBC quiz and try to match up the country to the unusual baby gifts, which include a wolf paw, an eye amulet or a pair of red knitted shoes.

     
  139.  
    1435:
    Alex Morpeth, 18, who had a baby girl 19 minutes after the duchess

    The Daily Mail has taken a look at the other babies who were born on the same day as the prince. Baby Adam Miell arrived by caesarean section in Southampton just 10 minutes after the royal baby, while in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, Alex Morpeth, 18, (pictured above) had a baby girl 19 minutes after the duchess.

     
  140.  
    1436:

    The headline on the front page of the Daily Express - "It's a Boy" - is the same one that was emblazoned across the newspaper on 22 June 1982 following the birth of Prince William. The only difference on this occasion is that it is in colour. The newspaper has taken a look at how its coverage of the birth compares to years gone by.

     
  141.  
    1436: Andrew James Harris, Storeboe, Norway

    emails: It really is a magical moment to be able to witness a part of history being made. A new chapter in a story that stretches back so many generations, hundreds of years. It binds us all and shows us our place in history and that we are part of that. The Union flag was flown high and proudly in Norway today!

     
  142.  
    1437:

    The Lord Mayor of Westminster Sarah Richardson has added her congratulations saying "we wish his Royal Highness a very long and happy life".

     
  143.  
    1442: Rob, Leicestershire

    emails: I'm like most people - happy for the couple. But the media coverage has gone over the top - clamouring for the latest, when not too long ago, it was agreed to give the Royals some space. I feel for those parents/couples who are currently trying to conceive, or have lost a child - the blanket coverage assumes everyone is happy, but this will just bring up bad memories. Please, some restraint.

     
  144.  
    1444:

    The Daily Mirror has a camera trained on the doors of the Lindo Wing ready to capture the first glimpse of the royal baby. Click here for the live feed.

     
  145.  
    1444: John Biddulph, Selby, England

    emails: Is it possible that we could get a Royal news filter applied by default to our internet connections? I'd support anyone who suggested that!

     
  146.  
    1452:

    As Catherine gets used to motherhood take a look back on her pregnancy in pictures here.

     
  147.  
    1454:

    Graham Smith, from Republic, which campaigns for an end to the monarchy, tells the BBC that news of the royal baby is "not that exciting to most people in this country".

    "There isn't any benefit to having a monarchy - it's political, secretive, lobbies for changing laws and it wastes public money on private matters," he says, adding that £1m spent on refurbishing Catherine and William's apartment is a "national scandal".

     
  148.  
    1455:

    The Daily Telegraph ponders whether we will now see a baby boom - a phenomenon it describes as the "copy Kate effect". It reports a 60% increase in the sales of pregnancy tests and home fertility monitors since the duchess' pregnancy was announced in December. Editor-in-chief of Mother & Baby magazine Claire Irvin tells the newspaper the royal birth could "make the nation broody".

     
  149.  
    1456:
    A picture dated 29 April 2011 of Michael and Carole Middleton, the parents of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, coming out of Westminster Abbey following the royal wedding

    Catherine's parents Carole and Michael Middleton are expected to arrive at the hospital shortly - the new grandparents will be the first visitors.

     
  150.  
    1458:

    On their official website, the duke and duchess say they are "incredibly grateful for the support and goodwill being expressed at this happy time". They also thank people for their gifts, while suggesting people support "those more in need" such as a local children's charity.

    Alternatively, they suggest people support the Imperial College Healthcare Charity, which is the charity of the hospital where the new prince was born.

     
  151.  
    1458:

    The Guardian website has a "Republican" button on the top right hand side of its homepage. One click and any royal baby news is banished...

     
  152.  
    1459: Renie Anjeh

    tweets: Graham Smith is literally living on another planet. Republic campaign need to have a reality check as well as PR advice. #bbcnews #RoyalBaby

     
  153.  
    1503:

    The Sun - or the Son, as it has become known today - urges readers to sign its congratulatory e-card for the Cambridge family.

     
  154.  
    1504: Breaking News

    Carole and Michael Middleton, grandparents of the future king, have arrived at the hospital.

     
  155.  
    1506:
    Carole Middleton arrives at St Mary's Hospital

    The grandparents of the future king arrived at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington by taxi. Mrs Middleton was all smiles as the crowds cheered.

     
  156.  
    1507:

    Farooq Murad, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, says: "We send our warmest congratulations to the happy couple with the birth of their son. May they reap all the happiness and joy that comes with parenthood."

     
  157.  
    1508:

    The Independent looks at the more serious issue of child poverty. It says the royal baby was one of 2,000 babies born in the UK on Monday - but will know nothing of the poverty that will hit one in three of the news arrivals.

     
  158.  
    1513:
    Prince William and his then fiancee Kate Middleton  visit St Andrews University in Fife in 2011. The couple met while studying there

    Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has been thinking about the name the royal couple will choose. While he has not placed a bet, he said he had "a wee fancy" for Andrew given that the pair met at St Andrew's University.

     
  159.  
    1513:

    Born under the star sign of Cancer, the new prince should grow up to be a sensitive monarch - but with a streak of iron, says the Daily Express. This combination of caring and tenacity, along with leadership skills, could be ideal characteristics for the future king, says the newspaper.

     
  160.  
    1514: Mike, Stourbridge

    emails: I like the Royal Family and I am pleased for them, but the media coverage is so nauseatingly sycophantic. Comments like 'magical moment' and 'history being made' - what utter nonsense! I reckon most people don't care much!

     
  161.  
    1519:

    The Times has visited the Old Boot Inn in the village of Bucklebury, where Catherine grew up, and found the locals raising a glass to the newborn royal. Pub landlord John Haley is readying a high-chair - "We may turn it into a little throne," he says.

     
  162.  
    1524:

    The birth represents a happy day for the whole country because "it means that succession to the throne is further secured," says the Leader of the House of Lords, Lord Hill of Oareford, in an address made on behalf of Parliament.

    "The bells are pealing from the Abbey, the guns have fired their salute but it is the crowds who have once again gathered outside Buckingham Palace which are the real mark of the great affection in which the Royal Family is held," he continued.

     
  163.  
    1524:

    The Leader of the House of Lords Lord Hill of Oareford said of Prince William: "I am sure his father is very proud of him, as would have been his mother at today's happy news."

     
  164.  
    1525:
    A woman holds a Ladbrokes board listing possible baby names outside Buckingham Palace

    There has been no mention of a name and just one announcement from the duke and duchess, thanking the staff at St Mary's Hospital for their "tremendous" care.

     
  165.  
    1526:

    The couple also said: "We know it has been a very busy period for the hospital and we would like to thank everyone - staff, patients and visitors - for their understanding during this time.

     
  166.  
    1526:

    To recap then: Today has been another waiting game. The world's media and royal fans are eagerly awaiting the first glimpse of the new prince, born at 16.42 BST yesterday, weighing 8lbs 6oz.

     
  167.  
    1527:
    The London Eye is lit in red, white and blue and the full moon is visible

    The Belfast Telegraph ponders whether Catherine's labour was influenced by the full moon. The suggestion is that the moon's gravitational pull affects the amniotic fluid in the same way it affects the water in the sea and rivers.

     
  168.  
    1527:

    The Huffington Post has taken a look at those who are unimpressed by the royal baby coverage so far. Under the headline "STOP THIS NONSENSE", it says anti-monarchists are "sick of fawning coverage".

     
  169.  
    1528: Hollyoaks actor Danny Mac

    tweets: Ain't it nice to have some good news all over the tele for once. #RoyalBaby

     
  170.  
    1538:

    "Do talk to Fergie, but not to Beatrice and Eugenie, take the Tube, don't forget to abdicate, and find out who Les Dawson and Leon Trotsky are" - just a few bits of "real-world advice" from a group of writers asked by the Guardian to pen open letters to the new prince.

     
  171.  
    1538: Louise Hulland

    tweets: I know there are hundreds of reasons why the #royalbaby story is annoying. But it is lovely, for once, to report good, innocent news.

     
  172.  
    1539:

    There has only been one update from Kensington Palace so far today: "Mother, son and father are all doing well this morning." It is understood the family will leave hospital on Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning... and so the wait continues.

     
  173.  
    1541: Armelle Le Comte

    tweets: Love the Republican/Royalist button on the @guardian website (top right). But I'm still following this #RoyalBaby madness!

     
  174.  
    1542:

    Is Kate getting ready to head for home? Earlier we reported her hairdresser had arrived at the Lindo Wing - as seen by royal photographer Arthur Edwards. Royal officials later said this was not the case but the Daily Mail has reignited the debate with pictures of the duchess' stylist, Amanda Cook Tucker, who it says was seen going into the wing's rear entrance. Watch this space...

     
  175.  
    1547:

    BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt tweets: It has finally happened. A reporter has just approached me and asked "Nicholas Witchell can i interview you". #RoyalBaby

    A quick reminder for those who need it...

    Nicholas Witchell Nicholas Witchell
    Peter Hunt Peter Hunt
     
  176.  
    1552:

    The Western Mail, Wales's national newspaper, looks at the main contenders for the baby's name. George is currently the favourite, with James, Henry and Louis also figuring high in the betting, it says.

     
  177.  
    1600:
    The Westminster Abbey Company of Ringers pealing

    Only another an hour to go... Westminster's bellringers have been busy for close to two hours already, pealing the so-called Cambridge Surprise Royal. It's a complex peal made of 5,000 changes, and lasts three hours.

     
  178.  
    1601:

    First glimpse of the Royal baby - or maybe not. One designer has created a morphed picture to show what Catherine and William's son might look like. Warning - it's not for the faint-hearted!

     
  179.  
    1602: Gregory Stark

    tweets: Watching the morning news you'd almost think the #USA was still a colony with all this #RoyalBaby coverage

     
  180.  
    1608:

    The Times has put together a montage of front pages from around the world. But while it was page one news in most countries, the newspaper reports that China was distinctly unimpressed.

     
  181.  
    1613:

    Carole and Michael Middleton are leaving the hospital having spent just over an hour with their new grandson.

     
  182.  
    1615:

    The Middletons emerge to shouts from the press. Both are beaming. Carole Middleton says the baby is "absolutely beautiful" and the parents are "doing fabulously".

     
  183.  
    1624:
    Carole and Michael Middleton

    It's only Mrs Middleton giving answers to the barrage of questions. She says we are "so thrilled". Asked if she had suggested any names, she says "absolutely not".

     
  184.  
    1625:

    Before the birth much focus was placed on what gender the baby would be - particularly given that a law passed in April paved the way for the duke and duchess's first child to become monarch, regardless of whether they were a boy or a girl. The change may not affect the royal couple now but it is still landmark legislation for future generations. Read more about the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 here.

     
  185.  
    1636: Robert Peston Business editor

    tweets As we look at TV pictures of hospital doors & windows, I can reveal that I was born in St Mary's Hosp - & may be available for interview

     
  186.  
    1638: Novelist Jeffrey Archer

    tweets: "Congratulations, of course, to the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their son....although I wish it had been a girl."

     
  187.  
    1645:

    The Evening Standard is starting to wonder whether it may be some time before baby Cambridge is given a name. They say Prince Charles is still in the dark and an informed source has told them: "Of course they had a number of names in mind, but they wanted to see his little face and get to know him first."

     
  188.  
    1702:

    To find out what well-wishers outside Buckingham Palace had to say about the birth of the royal baby, read our reporter Sarah Bell's piece.

    One of those among the crowds was Paula Dunn, on holiday from Cleveland, Ohio, who said "to see the love between Kate and William that is so strong, people are excited".

     
  189.  
    1703:
    A boy runs past a sand sculpture of Baby Cambridge

    As we patiently wait for that first glimpse of the new arrival, take a look at this Indian sand artist's vision of our future king. It was created by Sudarshan Pattnaik on a beach in Puri in the east Indian state of Odisha. We shall soon find out if he bears a likeness...

     
  190.  
    1709:

    Looking ahead somewhat, the Huffington Post asks whether the British public would be happy with a gay king. Its poll finds the answer is yes.

     
  191.  
    1713: Louise Springall, Buckinghamshire

    emails: Congratulations to William and Kate on the safe arrival of their son. Enjoy parenting - it's the best job ever! My thoughts are also with William - another moment in his life where he will miss his mother Princess Diana. Lots of best wishes and love.

     
  192.  
    1724:

    Royal historian and biographer Robert Lacey sheds some light on what may happen once the couple leave hospital with their new addition. He imagines they will return to the cottage in Kensington Palace's grounds, where they are staying while their suite is being prepared. There, he expects the Queen will meet her great-grandson for the first time. He also speculates that the christening might be held in Scotland. The Queen is not due to return from her holiday in Balmoral until October, and she famously doesn't like to have her Scottish break disrupted.

     
  193.  
    1727:

    The police presence outside the hospital is building up, suggesting more visitors may be about to arrive at the hospital.

     
  194.  
    1728: Breaking News

    The Prince of Wales, accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall, arrives at the hospital to congratulate his son and daughter-in-law, and meet the third in line to the throne, his first grandchild.

     
  195.  
    1738:

    The news of the royal birth has been published in the London Gazette, following the tradition of announcing royal births in the official newspaper of record. The announcement is dated 22nd July and says: "This afternoon, at 4.24 o'clock, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington. His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge was present. Her Royal Highness and her son are both well. This happy event will be commemorated by the firing of the Park and Tower guns."

    The practice of reporting on Royal events was reportedly started by King George III in 1803 to counteract inaccurate reporting. The baby's birth announcement also appeared in the royal Court Circular yesterday.

     
  196.  
    1742:
    Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall

    The BBC's Peter Hunt says Prince Charles asked reporters waiting outside the hospital if they had had a long wait. It's not clear how they replied, but the answer would have been "yes - all day".

     
  197.  
    1748:

    There's been confusion across the pond. Some US television networks have proclaimed the royal baby news by welcoming the arrival of the "future king of England", forgetting about the rest of the UK. Here's the BBC's Tom Geoghegan asking why Americans repeatedly confuse England with the UK?

     
  198.  
    1756:

    Prince Charles has left St Mary's after a half-hour visit. Asked if everything was well, the prince tells reporters: "Wait and see, you'll see in a minute."

     
  199.  
    1805:

    Kensington Palace says the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their baby are expected to leave hospital later this evening.

     
  200.  
    1818:

    Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, is telling the BBC how the duchess will cope when she faces the world's media just one day after giving birth. "I'm sure we are going to see the most beautiful smile when she comes out. I'm certain Kate is going to be serene and calm about this."

     
  201.  
    1821:

    The brief statement from Kensington Palace reads: "Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge will be discharged this evening from St Mary's Hospital, Paddington. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their son will travel home to Kensington Palace. Their Royal Highnesses would like to reiterate their thanks to the hospital for the care and treatment they have all received."

     
  202.  
    1828:
    Staff waiting outside hospital

    Hospital staff, much like the rest of us, are waiting. They are lined up behind barriers outside the hospital.

     
  203.  
    1832: Jessie Morgan

    tweets: Yes I'm waiting anxiously to see #William&Kate bring their #RoyalBaby outside! it's something to celebrate, so excited #RoyalBabyWatch

     
  204.  
    1839:

    BBC correspondent Nicholas Witchell says the royal couple will come out with the baby between now and 7pm. They will answer a couple of questions - there is a microphone set up. They will then re-enter the hospital and put the baby in his car seat before departing for Kensington Palace. He says it is unlikely we will discover the choice of names tonight. That's more likely to come in the next few days, he adds.

     
  205.  
    1849:

    A quick recap for all those waiting so patiently: Within the next 20 minutes, William, Kate and their newborn son are expected to emerge on to the hospital steps - 26 hours or so after his birth. At just a day old, he is about to make his debut on the world stage.

     
  206.  
    1854:

    The Queen says she is "thrilled" at the birth of her great-grandson, a guest at a Buckingham Palace reception has said.

     
  207.  
    1859:
    Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive at The Lindo Wing

    To give a sense of what the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will face when they open the door and leave the quiet corridors of St Mary's Hospital - a sea of lenses, a flurry of clicks and crowds of medical staff and well-wishers neatly penned in on either side of the exit. No doubt there will be a barrage of questions too.

     
  208.  
    1900: Andrew Proctor, Mexico City

    emails: Very excited, waiting to see our future king, exactly one week after my son's first birthday. I can't take my eyes off the screen. What a wonderful day, seeing the amazing celebrations. Wish I was there. So proud to be British.

     
  209.  
    1904:
    Lindo Wing entrance door

    All eyes are on the large double entrance door of the Lindo Wing. Has a door ever been watched so closely?

     
  210.  
    1907:
    Crowds at hospital

    Crowds find every possible vantage point as they wait for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to leave the Lindo Wing.

     
  211.  
    1910:

    The BBC's Simon McCoy says the hospital staff are presenting the royal couple with a leather scroll.

     
  212.  
    1913: Breaking News

    Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge emerge on to the steps of the hospital, and the world gets its first glimpse of baby Cambridge, a future king.

     
  213.  
    1916:

    And here they are... Catherine is smiling brightly clutching her newborn to her chest, with Prince William at her side. The baby is swaddled in a blanket, his tiny fingers and bare head poking out the top. "He's got a good pair of lungs on him that's for sure. We're still working on a name for him," Prince William says as he emerges from the hospital.

     
  214.  
    1918:
    The Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and the new baby

    The couple add: "It's been very emotional." Catherine tells reporters: "Any parent will know what this feeling is like."

     
  215.  
    1921:

    Before taking questions from reporters, Catherine passed the baby to her husband, who said : "He's a big boy, he's quite heavy. We are still working on a name but we will have that as soon as we can. It's the first time we've seen him really so we are having a proper chance to catch up." Catherine added: "It's very emotional, it's such a special time."

     
  216.  
    1925:

    Prince William jokes with reporters about the long wait for their appearance: "I'll remind him of his tardiness when he's older because I know how long you've all been standing out here. Hopefully the hospital and you guys can all go back to normal now and we can go and look after him."

     
  217.  
    1925:

    Asked about the newborn's appearance, William says: "He's got her looks thankfully." Catherine brushes off the praise, saying: "No, no no, I'm not sure about that."

     
  218.  
    1929:

    Despite screams from the crowd, flashing lights and questions bellowed from journalists, the tiny baby seems to remain asleep throughout his debut.

     
  219.  
    1931:

    Asked whether they have changed their first nappy, Catherine says William did that.

     
  220.  
    1931:
  221.  
    1934:

    And that was it - all over in under two minutes. Catherine, dressed in a blue maternity dress with fine white spots, walked back inside the hospital with William by her side in black jeans and a light blue shirt, carrying the baby.

     
  222.  
    1938:

    Minutes later, William carries the baby in a car seat to the waiting royal vehicle parked immediately outside the hospital. Catherine sat in the back next to her precious cargo and William drove his family back to Kensington Palace.

     
  223.  
    1952:
    Baby Cambridge

    So, their departure draws our coverage to a neat conclusion. After such a bright and public spotlight on the baby's birth, William and Kate head home to begin the more private, but no less huge new chapter of their lives, that of navigating the highs and lows of new parenthood. It's been a long wait but thanks for sticking with us - the day culminated in a historic moment when the world met the tiny baby boy who will one day be king. Good evening.

     

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