A future king is born

By Nicky Park

Prince William and Kate Middleton have welcomed their first child, a baby boy.

The baby boy was born at 4.24pm (local time) weighing in at 8lb 6oz. Kate and William, who spent the weekend at Kensington Palace, travelled to the hospital without a police escort just before 5pm Monday, NZ time, their spokesman said.

The Duchess gave birth to the baby at the private Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London, where William was born in 1982.

It could be some time before the baby's name is made public. When William was born, a week passed before his name was announced. Charles' name remained a mystery for an entire month.

The new baby boy will become third-in-line to the UK throne, behind his grandfather Prince Charles and father Prince William.

Officials have said that William plans to take two weeks' paternity leave and then return to his military duties as a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot in Wales. His tour of duty is scheduled to wrap up around September, and he and Kate are expected to move from their isolated cottage on the island of Anglesey off the coast of Wales to Kensington Palace in central London.

But major refurbishment works at the palace likely won't be finished until at least a month or two after the infant is born meaning that William and Kate will most likely have to make do with their current temporary home in London, a two-bedroom property at the palace.

Come autumn, however, the family will be able to move into their permanent London home, Apartment 1a at Kensington Palace a four-story house with a nursery, 20 rooms and a private garden.

The Queen's former gynecologist, Dr Marcus Setchell delayed his retirement so he would be able to deliver the royal baby, widely rumoured to be due on July 13th.

Nearly 30 landmarks around New Zealand and more around the world will be lit up blue to celebrate the arrival of the baby boy.

Monarchy New Zealand came up with the illuminating concept and has managed to get loads of landmarks on board, including the Sky Tower and The Cloud in Auckland; Wellington's Majestic Centre lights; Christchurch Airport; and the corrugated iron dog in Tirau and Baycourt Theatre in Tauranga.

Bookmakers had favoured the name Alexandra for the third-in-line to the throne, as many had placed bets that the Duchess would give birth to a girl. George and James were popular monikers for those who thought the new baby would be a boy.

- Herald online    

- Bay of Plenty Times

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