LONDON (CBSNewYork/AP) — A princess is born.
Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton gave birth to a baby girl Saturday morning, less than three hours after checking into central London’s St. Mary’s Hospital, royal officials said.
Kensington Palace said the couple’s second child was born at 8:34 a.m. London time, weighing 8 pounds 3 ounces. She arrived after less than three hours of labor.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, a town crier in elaborate costume alerted the die-hard royal fans who had been camping for days outside the hospital, clanging his bell to welcome the new royal.
“May our princess be long-lived, happy and glorious,” said Tony Appleton, reading from a scroll in a booming voice.
Fans danced with delight, chanting “Princess! Princess!” and “Hip, hip, hooray!”
Following the announcement, hundreds of tourists and well-wishers crowded outside the gates of Buckingham Palace, cheering and screaming as officials placed a traditional birth announcement on a golden easel.
And before the end of the day, baby, mom Duchess Kate and dad Prince William left the hospital – taking a moment to wave to the crowd. They then returned to Kensington Palace.
The due date was around April 25, so the newest royal was about a week overdue. But the baby did not get all the attention Saturday – many members of the crowd remarked just how glowing and relaxed Kate looked.
“She looked unbelievably poised; unbelievably groomed as she always does. And all the royal correspondents down there – we were just saying to each other, ‘I can’t believe she had a baby this morning.’ It was extraordinary,” said CBS Royal Correspondent Royah Nikkhah.
Kate is 33 years old and one of three siblings. Already, some are speculating we will see a similar scene again – before we even know the baby girl’s name.
What we do know is she just became fourth in line to the throne.
Her grandfather Charles is first, followed by dad Prince William, and then her older brother George. She is next, pushing ahead of her uncle, Prince Harry.
Under changed rules, she will be the first royal heir in nearly a thousand years to keep her place in the succession even if her parents later have another boy.
“This is a princess with more clout than any princess has previously had,” said royal watcher Robert Hardman. “And she’s the first frontline, front-ranked princess born in this country in 65 years, so she’s very welcome. This is a good day for princesses everywhere.”
Prince William was present for the birth, and then left to go get Prince George, who is 21 months old, to meet his baby sister.
As Prince William headed back inside the hospital carrying George, the little prince seems to be amazed by the spectacle — even giving the crowd a little wave.
Celebrations began immediately — outside the hospital, across London and even across the pond to New York. At Tea and Sympathy on Greenwich Avenue in the West Village, many were playing the Royal name game.
A popular suggestion is Diana — after Princess Diana, William’s mother who died in a car crash in 1997.
When the couple’s son George was born, officials waited two days before announcing his name.
Tea and Sympathy owner Sean Kavanagh-Dowsett celebrated the birth of the princess over a cup of tea, 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reported.