The Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital this morning in the ‘early stages of labour,’ travelling from the Palace to Paddington by car with her husband, Prince William. Now, it has been confirmed that Kate has given birth to a baby boy, weighing 8lbs 7oz, and that both mother and child are 'doing well.'
It’s been reported that Kate left the Palace at 6am, meaning that a St George’s Day birth for her third child is a strong possibility. As you’d expect, this being a royal baby (who’ll be fifth in line to the throne, coming after Princess Charlotte and before Prince Harry), William and Kate will have to follow a number of traditional protocols when their third child arrives. From the traditional announcement to the Lindo Wing photo opp and the official royal salute, here’s how things will play out in the next few days...
The Queen must be informed before the news is made public
Royal protocol dictates that the Queen must learn of the birth before the news can be shared with her subjects. When Prince George was born back in 2013, it's thought that Prince William informed his grandmother via a specially encrypted telephone line. Naturally, Kate and William will get in touch with close family members, too. Once all this has been done, it's time for the public announcement.
The Palace will make a formal announcement
Formal announcements for royal births have certainly changed a lot in the past few decades. Traditionally, a bulletin would be hung on an easel outside Buckingham Palace, confirming the new baby's sex and time of birth and signed by the royal gynaecologists. This still happens, but for the birth of Prince George in 2013, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose a more modern method of communication, which has set a precedent since. The official announcement of George's birth was made on Clarence House's Twitter account; for Princess Charlotte, and for the third Cambridge child, it came via the @KensingtonRoyal account. A statement was released to the world's media via email at the same time.
A town crier will announce the birth
Though it is not official royal tradition, town crier Tony Appleton, who announced the births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte, has confirmed that he'll be ready to read out a proclamation outside the Lindo Wing, with the traditional cry of 'Oyez, Oyez, Oyez' or 'Hear ye.' He's also planning a similar announcement for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle next month…
Preparation for the first media appearance gets underway
Ahead of the new baby's departure from St. Mary's – and the inevitable photo call on the Lindo Wing's steps – the couple will prepare themselves for the media reveal. After the births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte, royal hairdresser Amanda Cook-Tucker was on hand for blowdry duties, while Kate's hospital outfit will doubtless have been picked out months in advance (she's previously stuck with go-to designer Jenny Packham, wearing a polka dot shift in blue after George's birth and a yellow floral style after Charlotte's).
Kate and William will introduce us to their new baby
Prepare for photo overload as the Duke and Duchess leave the hospital with their new arrival. Kate left St. Mary's a day after giving birth to George in 2013, while she left the hospital on the same day she gave birth to Charlotte in 2015, so don't expect to be left waiting too long. Plus, there's always a chance that William will bring along his two older children.
A gun salute will be fired
After the birth of a royal baby, a 62 gun salute is traditionally fired from the Tower of London, and from either Hyde Park or Green Park.
The baby’s name and title will be announced
It's likely that we'll have to wait two days to discover what the Duke and Duchess have named their third child – that's the gap that elapsed between the birth announcement and the name reveal for both George and Charlotte. If that feels like a long time, it's barely the blink of an eye in royal terms: Charles and Diana waited a week to confirm William's name, while the Queen waited a month before officially naming her eldest son. We'll learn the new baby's full name and official title, too: Princess Charlotte's name announcement was followed with notification that 'the baby will be known as Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.'