LONDON WELCOMES ROYAL CHILD


The royal baby's grandparents have both met him for the first time today as it emerged the Duchess, Duke and Baby Cambridge are close to leaving hospital.
Carole and Michael Middleton were the first to arrive at the private Lindo Wing at around 3pm today, with Prince Charles and his wife Camilla following them at 5.30pm after being rushed to London by helicopter after two-days carrying out official duties in Yorkshire.
Before mounting the St Mary's Hospital steps, the smiling Prince of Wales asked journalists who have been stood outside for almost three weeks: 'Have you been there long?'
When he left around 10 minutes later, Charles said the baby was 'marvellous' and told journalists: 'You'll see in a minute'.
Earlier doting grandmother Carole Middleton described her grandson, the future king, as 'absolutely beautiful' after she and her husband visited him.
The Duchess of Cambridge's parents said their first grandchild is 'absolutely beautiful' and his parents are coping 'fabulously'.
The Middletons spent just over an hour with their daughter Kate and son-in-law William, and a smiling Mrs Middleton, speaking about mother and baby, said: 'They are both doing really well, and we are so thrilled.'
When asked by the world's media, who have been camped outside for nearly three weeks, how the proud parents were doing, she replied: 'Fabulously.'
Asked what the first cuddle with her grandson was like, Mrs Middleton, who had been ushered forward by her husband to speak to the press, said: 'Amazing, It's all coming back.'
Carole was also asked if she and Michael had suggested any names for the third in line to the throne, and she replied laughing: 'Absolutely not!'.

                   Flying visit: After two days in Yorkshire, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla arrived to meet the royal baby after being rushed to London by helicopter

                   Exit: After an hour in the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital, Carole and Michael Middleton leave after seeing their grandson for the first time
 Telling: The Middletons' arrival at St Mary's Hospital came as it emerged that Kate, William and Baby Cambridge looked to be on the verge of leaving Adding to speculation the world will soon get its first glimpse of the new prince, a member of the royal household also arrived carrying a car seat for the future king and fresh clothes for Kate and William earlier today. The Duchess's hairdresser Amanda Cook Tucker, who has been her stylist since last year, also entered the Lindo Wing via its private rear entrance this afternoon, adding to speculation that mother and child were soon to be discharged. LIVE: The wait for Kate & baby Mrs Cook Tucker has been cutting William and Harry's hair for years, attended the royal wedding and was even flown in on their trip to the Far East in 2012 because Kate's hair started to droop in the 36 degree temperatures. Earlier it was revealed that the family 'are all doing well' today and William and Kate expressed their gratitude to the St Mary's medical team for their 'tremendous care' over the past 24 hours, after their son was born there at 4.24pm yesterday, weighing 8lb 6oz. The world is desperate to get see the unnamed baby, with royal sources saying that they will not leave before 6pm this evening and could even be tomorrow. '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,' a joint statement from the couple said this afternoon. A Kensington Palace spokesman added: 'Mother, son and father are all doing well this morning.'

                        Ready to go home: A member of the royal staff has arrived at St Mary's hospital and has taken a car seat in via a rear entrance alongside a mystery woman dragging a suitcase, raising hopes Kate, William and the baby might be about to leave

                  
            
             Carole Middleton and Michael Middleton at St Mary's Hospital
The overjoyed couple have started their first full day as proud parents of a ‘beautiful’ baby boy, as Britain continues to celebrate the prince's birth.
Last night William slept at the hospital in a separate room so he could be near his wife and their little boy, with a huge crowd of media and well-wishers waiting outside to see them all leave.
The Queen’s Surgeon-Gynaecologist Marcus Setchell came to assess Kate this morning and will decide when the Duchess and baby can be discharged.


                         Not long now: Members of the press are forced to wait in the pouring rain for the first glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their newborn son outside St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London, today

                         Patient: Broadcasters are forced to take cover under a Union Flag umbrella as yet another thunderstorm hits London this afternoon  

                        Drenched: Police officers keeping the St Mary's Hospital secure are not allowed to get out of the heavy downpours
 Members of the press are forced to wait in the pouring rain for the first glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their newborn son outside St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London, today

                        Ill-prepared: After a night of showers some press and public failed to heed the unsettled conditions and arrived at St Mary's with no umbrellas or coats

                        Offer: A man asks police guarding the Lindo Wing whether they can take a teddy bear gift for the new prince

                                              A young girl clutches her two dolls outside the hospital where the royal baby

It's a boy: The message displayed outside the palace telling the world that there is a new prince in the British royal family

Still keen: There is no shortage of people desperate to see the official notice and easel last used bu the royal family 31 year ago

The young prince's first night in the world was an eventful one, because London was hit with a number of violent thunderstorms after what had been the hottest day of the year so far.
Meanwhile well-wishers partied late into the night outside Buckingham Palace, even in the thunder, lightening and torrential rain.
Prime Minister David Cameron said it was 'a historic moment in the life of our nation' but 'above all, it's a wonderful moment for a warm and loving couple who have got a brand new baby boy'. U.S. President Barack Obama led tributes from world leaders and said that the new baby's birth was a 'joyous occasion'.

The Prince of Wales today resisted heading back to London to meet the child and stuck to his royal duties in Yorkshire, where his wife Camilla described the arrival of the Prince of Cambridge as 'a wonderfully uplifting moment for the country'.
Charles and Camilla were met by cheering crowds of well-wishers on a visit to East Yorkshire where villager after villager offered the couple their congratulations as the royal couple walked around the green in Bugthorpe.

'I'm thrilled and very excited,' the Prince of Wales said, while the Duchess said her husband would make a 'brilliant' grandfather.
'I think it's wonderful news. I think mother, son and father are all well,' she told the BBC.
'And I think it's a wonderfully uplifting moment for the country. It's very exciting and it's wonderful for the grandfather - he's brilliant with children.'
The village was decked out with Union flags and bunting for the visit.
One member of the crowd, local resident Robert Barrett, was one of the first to greet the Prince, saying 'Morning Grandad', which raised a chuckle from Charles. 'He obviously likes being a grandad,' Mr Barrett added.
And a little boy asked the Prince: 'When's the little baby coming?' to which Charles replied: 'We haven't been able to bring him yet.'
Isla Lister, eight, said both Charles and Camilla told her they could not wait to see the new baby.
She said: 'She was really nice and she said was really excited. I spoke to Prince Charles too and he said he couldn't wait to see him too.'

Drama: The London Eye was turned red, white and blue last night after the news of the royal birth as London suffered a series of violent thunder storms

Drama: The London Eye was turned red, white and blue last night after the news of the royal birth as London suffered a series of violent thunder storms

Tribute: Central London's iconic Tower Bridge was illuminated in bright blue to celebrate the Duchess of Cambridge giving birth to a prince  
 
Dozens of world leaders have been sending best wishes to the Cambridges and their new child.
Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd wished the 'royal bub' all the best on behalf of all Australians.
'This is a day of great joy,' he said. 'When a new bub comes into the world, any old day, any part of the world, it is frankly a time for rejoicing.
'To Prince Charles and Camilla, they have the delight of being grandparents, all I can say is, this is probably one of the best experiences of your life and I'm sure they're going to have a wonderful time with the royal baby'.
Stephen Harper, prime minister of Canada - where William and Kate carried out their first Royal tour together - said Canadians were 'delighted' to learn of the birth of their son and sent 'heartfelt congratulations'.
'This new beginning reminds us of the remarkable and enduring relationship our country has enjoyed with generations of the royal family.
'We recall with fondness the years of unfailing service by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and their deep affection for and loyalty to this country.'
 
Special moment: Crowds gather outside Westminster Abbey at 2pm today to the bells peal to celebrate the royal baby's arrival

'Thrilled and excited': The Prince of Wales remains in Yorkshire today and said he did not know what his first grandchild would be called, but despite his enthusiasm he still managed to make six-month-old Emily Scott cry


The Royal Canadian Mint also announced that it will issue special commemorative coins to mark the historic occasion.
New Zealand's prime minister John Key said the nation's official gift to the royal couple is a hand-spun, hand-knitted fine lace shawl, similar to the one given when Prince William was born, and there will be a 21-gun salute fired from Point Jerningham, Wellington, today to mark the occasion.
'This is wonderful news for Prince William and Catherine,' he said.
'The birth of a child is a time of great joy and excitement, and I know they will make excellent parents.'
He added: 'New Zealanders remember with fondness the visit of Prince William when he was just a toddler, playing on the lawn of Government House with a Buzzy Bee. It would be a great pleasure to welcome Prince William's son to New Zealand as well.
'On behalf of the people of New Zealand, I wish Prince William, Catherine and the royal family all the very best.

Prince Charles visiting Bugthorpe, East Yorkshire Isla Lister in Bugthorpe, East Yorkshire to meet Prince Charles and Camilla visiting




Atmosphere outside St Mary's Hospital as the media and members of the public wait in anticipation for Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge to introduce their son  Atmosphere outside St Mary's Hospital as the media and members of the public wait in anticipation for Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge to introduce their son

Touching: The children have put in a great deal of effort to mark the prince's much-anticipated entrance into the world

People gather outside Buckingham Palace to celebrate the arrival of the Royal Baby  Women waving flags and on phones last night

Historic: The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fire a gun salute to welcome the new royal baby in Green Park in London today


Gun salutes sounded across London today to mark the birth of the royal baby as the armed forces join in the celebrations.
The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the Honourable Artillery Company carried out the ceremonial royal salutes in honour of the new addition to the Royal Family.
Gun salutes are fired for the birth of every prince or princess, no matter where their place is in the line of succession, the Ministry of Defence said. The last royal salute for a birth was for Princess Eugenie in 1990.
The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, wearing full dress uniform, paraded past Buckingham Palace to Green Park where they staged a 41-gun royal salute.
They went from their forward mounting base in Wellington Barracks into Green Park, where 71 horses pulled six First World War-era 13-pounder field guns into position for the royal salute at 2pm.
Each of the six guns fired blank artillery rounds at 10-second intervals until 41 shots were fired. The horses and riders then collected the guns and escorted them back to Wellington Barracks.
Major Mark Edward, commanding officer of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, said: 'The opportunity to mark the birth of the child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge by firing a 41-gun royal salute, comes as a huge honour for the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.'
The Honourable Artillery Company (HAC), the City of London's Army Reserve Regiment, also fired a 62-gun salute from Gun Wharf at the Tower of London at 2pm.
Whilst a royal gun salute normally comprises 21 guns, this is increased to 41 if fired from a royal park or residence.
Uniquely, at the Tower of London, which is a royal residence, 62 rounds are fired as this also includes an additional 21 guns for the citizens of the City of London to show their loyalty to the monarch. 

Ram: People straining to look at a notice formally announcing the birth of a son to Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge 
 
Resplendent:The baby boy was born at 4.24pm and weighed in at 8lbs 6oz

A Jaguar car is driven into the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace bringing the news to announce the birth  
 
Blue for a boy: The crew of HMS Lancaster celebrate the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's son on patrol in the Caribbean

Baker: Teba Diatta holds a cake outside the Lindo Wing, which says 'Come on Kate, we can't wait, give us something to celebrate' 
 
Kate has kept a low profile in recent weeksWilliam is seen at a friend's wedding



Sources close to the new royal mother-to-be suggest that she is definitely not ‘too posh to push’ and wants – unless nature intervenes – to opt for a natural birth rather than an elective caesarean section like many celebrity figures.
The Duchess of Cambridge is likely be relieved their baby is finally on its way after coping with being pregnant in the middle of Britain's longest heatwave for seven years.
Kate has been admitted to hospital on what is expected to be the hottest day of the year so far.
The mercury is expected to reach 33C (91.4F), with the Midlands and the South of England the likely contenders for the hot spots.
Mervi Jokinen, of the Royal College of Midwives, said: 'It gets quite uncomfortable being pregnant in the heat. Your legs swell more. It's actually more uncomfortable. If you go into labour, it can be a relief.'
During a two-day visit to Scotland in April, Kate disclosed she had taken up knitting ahead of the birth. 'I've been trying to knit and I'm really bad. I should be asking for tips,' she admitted.
Kate and William, who spent the weekend at Kensington Palace, travelled without a police escort and entered the hospital through a rear entrance.
Sources told MailOnline that Kate went into labour naturally, and was not induced, adding that things are 'progressing well' for the mother-to-be.
William was said to be determined to make it to the delivery suite, following in the footsteps of his own father who broke royal tradition to be with his wife, Diana, Princess of Wales, for the birth of both their children.
Inside the hospital providing help, advice and logistical support were the royal couple's most loyal aides: Miguel Head, Prince William's unflappable private secretary, and his young colleague Rebecca Deacon, who works as private secretary to the Duchess.
Both are as close to the Duke and Duchess as any member of Royal Household staff can be and are trusted implicitly.
Two of the couple's small press team - press secretary Ed Perkins and his assistant Nick Loughran - were also on permanent standby at the hospital, flitting between the Lindo Wing and the hundreds of photographers, journalists and camera crews waiting outside.
Lastly, the couple's team of Scotland Yard bodyguards were never far away.
Indeed, the couple's police protection officers, who were photographed ushering them safely into hospital, would have been among the first to know that the Duchess was in labour.
Palace officials chose to make the announcement that Kate was in hospital public in an attempt to balance her ‘dignity’ with the fact that social media makes it almost impossible to keep her baby's imminent arrival a secret.
The couple chose not to know the sex of their baby, bucking the trend of 75 per cent of British parents who now choose to discover the gender of their child.
MailOnline understands that William himself was likely to phone the Queen before anyone else, even his own father, depending on what time of day the baby is born.
After this call a traditional and dramatic chain of events will be kick-started that will lead to the announcement of the future monarch's birth - following exactly the same process as Prince William's to retain 'the theatre' of a genuine royal occasion.
As soon as the baby was born, a proclamation signed by the doctors who delivered the boy or girl was to be be rushed from the ward.
The sheet of creamy A4-size Buckingham Palace-headed paper would be brought out of the Lindo’s front entrance by a press officer.
It would then be handed to a waiting driver and driven through the streets of London – escorted by police outriders - to the Privy Purse Door at the front of Buckingham Palace.
There it will then be placed on an easel, last used to announce Prince William’s birth, by the main gates in the palace forecourt.
 
The queen was surrounded by members of her family, who watched a Royal Air Force fly pass by on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Prince William is due to take just two weeks’ statutory paternity leave - for which he will be paid £136.78 a week - before returning to his normal shift pattern.
His wife, however, will definitely not return with him to their home on Anglesey with the new baby.
A palace spokesman had said that there was ‘still some discussion’ about where Kate and their new-born will be based.
But the Daily Mail has already revealed that she plans to move in with her parents at their £4.8million Berkshire mansion for around six weeks after William returns to work, as builders are still putting the finishing touches to their new apartment at Kensington Palace.
She chose St Mary's Lindo Wing, like the late Princess Diana before her, where a natural birth, staying in a private suite, is likely to cost up to £10,000.
The couple’s choice of the private wing is unsurprising, but nevertheless touching given the link with William’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
William has always, by and large, kept his feelings about his mother close to his chest – aside from admitting he gave Kate her engagement ring as a way of keeping her ‘close to it all’.
He became the first future monarch in history to be born in a hospital when he was delivered there on 21st June 1982, followed by his brother, Harry.
The Lindo underwent an extensive refurbishment in June 2012 and now provides what it boasts is the ‘highest quality of care’ for patients experiencing both ‘straightforward’ and complex pregnancies.
All rooms are equipped with satellite television, wi-fi, radio, a safe and a fridge. There is also a bedside telephone, internet access and a team of ‘catering staff’.
The hospital wing even offers its own wine list should patients and their guests wish to enjoy a glass of champagne to celebrate their baby’s arrival.
The bill for delivery is staggered per 24 hours – with a quick, natural birth costing £4,965. Staying in a suite – as the Duchess is likely to do – would cost an additional £1,000 plus per night on top of that, meaning the delivery could cost up to £10,000.
 
Last official appearance: Kate made her last official public appearance alongside other members of her family, pictured watching a Royal Air Force fly pass by on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, for the Trooping the Colour ceremony on June 22
June 26: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are spotted getting a lift in a friend’s helicopter from North Wales to Denham in Buckinghamshire.
July 11: Kate misses the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace which was attended by her parents, sister Pippa and brother James.
July 13: The date widely reported as being Kate’s due date comes and go without a royal baby in sight.
July 14: Prince William and Prince Harry both compete in charity polo matches in Gloucestershire just a day after his baby’s due date.
July 15: Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, reveals members of the royal family are waiting by the phone as the baby is expected at the end of the week  during a visit to Little Harbour children’s hospice at Porthpean, near St Austell, Cornwall.
July 16: Kate’s uncle Gary Goldsmith predicts that the Duchess of Cambridge will give birth to a baby girl.
July 17: Queen Elizabeth sparks rumours Kate is overdue after telling a schoolgirl on a trip to Cumbria: ‘I would very much like it to arrive because I’m going on holiday soon… I wish it would hurry up.’
July 19: Speculation mounts that the royal baby is due imminently as fire fighters rush to Kate’s family home in west Berkshire – to rescue her pet spaniel Lupo after he got his head trapped in a gate.
July 20: Kate and Prince William spend the weekend together at their Kensington Palace home as they wait for the arrival of their first-born who is widely reported to be overdue.
July 21, 11pm:  Police cordon off the street surrounding St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.
July 22, 5.30am: Royal couple leave their home in Kensington Palace in central London and drive to hospital without a police escort.
July 22, 5.55am: The Duchess of Cambridge is admitted to the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London, where Prince William and Harry were both born.
July 22, 7.29am: Palace officials confirm that Kate has gone into labour to preserve her ‘dignity’ as social media makes keeping baby’s imminent arrival a secret virtually impossible.
July 22, 9am: The world’s media take position outside the hospital awaiting a public statement from Prince William when the baby is born.

July 22, 10am: Well-wishers from around the world surround Buckingham Palace with camera hoping to spot the easel outside which will hold the notice announcing the baby’s birth.  
July 22, 4.24pm: The Duchess of Cambridge gives birth to a son weighing a healthy 8lb 6oz, but the news is kept secret to allow the new family a chance for 'quality time'
July 22, 8.29pm: The world's media is alerted to the birth of the Royal baby four hours earlier via a press release sent from Kensington Palace
July 22, 8.47pm: A Royal close-protection officer arrives at St Mary's hospital with two takeaway pizzas, presumably for the Royal couple

 
Little prince - or princess? Royal supporters have both balloons with them as they wait outside the hospital ahead of the birth


CONGRATULATIONS......

 

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