Kate Middleton had her third child today, and it’s a boy, weighing in at a substantial 8lb 7oz.
The new parents emerged from hospital shortly after 6pm local time (1pm EST) with their bundle of joy, having arrived there around 12 hours earlier. Kate gave birth shortly after 11am.
In response to shouted questions, Prince William said they had not yet decided on a name but bookmakers are favoring Arthur, Albert and Philip.
Their two other children, George and Charlotte, came to the hospital to meet their new brother during the course of the afternoon.
The date has been widely predicted by the media, but it was still a serendipitous arrival, as 23 April is both St George’s day (St George is the patron saint of England) and Shakespeare’s birthday.
Third children, whilst of course adored by their parents, often don’t receive the same rapturous reception from aunts, uncles and parents’ friends that their elder siblings do, and that seems to be the case even for Kate, who was driven to hospital by her husband at around 6am this morning after a low-key pregnancy.
Media arrived at the hospital this morning in substantial numbers after Kate’s admission was announced, but scenes of photographers, journalists and members of the public camping outside the hospital for days before the birth as they did for her previous two pregnancies were not repeated.
Whereas her previous pregnancies saw a festival atmosphere develop, with huge crowds gathering outside the private London hospital where Kate gave birth, just a handful of hardcore royalists were waiting outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s hospital in Paddington today.
Undoubtedly this is at least partly because the attention of royal fans has been so heavily focused on the impending marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The pregnancy had been more low key than the first two, despite a dramatic start when, as happened with her previous pregnancies, the Duchess was forced to announce she was pregnant after just six weeks due to a recurrence of acute morning sickness which meant she had to cancel numerous engagements.
Since then, her pregnancy has been punctuated by a steady stream of public engagements, with much of her work focused on children’s charities.
Kate has been on maternity leave since making a last royal visit to a charity lunch in London on 22 March.
The new baby boy holds the title HRH Prince of Cambridge and is fifth in line to the throne and the Queen's sixth great-grandchild.
The birth was announced with an email to the press and a tweet posted on the Kensington Palace Twitter feed, but the traditional custom of placing a framed paper proclamation on an ornate easel behind the iron railings of Buckingham Palace was also observed.
The royal couple are expected to take several months out of the public eye.
Kate was only in hospital just over 24 hours when she gave birth to her first child on July 22, 2013.
And for her second on May 2, 2015, Kate was in and out in just 10 hours.