By Michael Wolgelenter and Ellen Barry
LONDON – Before the royal wedding, there’s the royal baby: Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth Monday to a boy, the third child for her and Prince William.
“Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 1101 hrs,” Kensington Palace said in a statement on Twitter. “The baby weighs 8lbs 7oz. The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.”
The palace said that Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and other members of the families had been informed that Kate had given birth, and that they were “delighted with the news.”
It was not clear if Kate and William, who has the title Duke of Cambridge, had chosen a name for the baby. Their first child, George, was born on July 22, 2013, and their second, Charlotte, on May 2, 2015. They announced in September that they were expecting again, and Kate was admitted to the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital on Monday morning, in the early stages of labor.
The news of the birth comes amid widespread attention in Britain and around the world on another big royal moment: Harry is to marry U.S. actress Meghan Markle on May 19.
The pomp and limelight that accompanied the birth Monday offered proof of the enduring British devotion to – or at least fascination with – the royal family. The government announced that flags would fly on all government buildings Tuesday in honor of the newest member.
Outside the hospital, the news drew a curious mix of journalists, Britons and tourists.
Around 1:20 p.m., a man named Tony Appleton appeared on the steps of the hospital’s Lindo Wing in knee breeches and a tricorn hat with yard-long, trembling feathers, carrying a very large bell, which he rang repeatedly and at earsplitting volume.
“Oyez, oyez, oyez, we’ve got a royal baby, a prince!” he bellowed on the stairs, before proceeding down the street a dozen times for various camera crews.
He had taken the train in from Chelmsford for a second time Monday morning, after a false alarm Saturday.
Welcome to the family. pic.twitter.com/nKSd5kh5bZ
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 23, 2018