London » A beaming Prince William and his wife, Kate, have shown their newborn baby boy to the world.
Kate carried the future monarch outside St. Mary’s Hospital in central London Tuesday so he could be photographed by the waiting press.
The photos are likely to be reprinted for decades as the baby grows into adulthood and his role as a future king.
The young family is expected to head to an apartment at Kensington Palace.
Prince William, Kate and their baby boy were spending their first full day as a family Tuesday inside a London hospital, thanking staff for their care but making well-wishers wait for a first glimpse of the royal heir.
Earlier in the day, William thanked staff at St. Mary’s 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," he said in a statement.
The couple’s Kensington Palace office said Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, had given birth to the 8 pound, 6 ounce (3.8 kilogram) baby boy at 4:24 p.m. Monday, triggering an impromptu party outside Buckingham Palace and in front of the hospital’s private Lindo Wing.
The palace said Tuesday that "mother, son and father are all doing well this morning."
Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, were the first to pay a visit to the new family, beaming at journalists as they posed for photographs outside the hospital and pausing to answer a few questions.
"He’s absolutely beautiful. They’re both doing really well, we’re so thrilled," Carole Middleton said of the baby and Kate.
William, Kate and the infant are expected to remain in the hospital until Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning.
In the meantime the future king’s appearance — and his name — remain a royal mystery.
Tourists and well-wishers flocked to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, lining up outside the gates to take pictures of the golden easel on which, in keeping with royal tradition, the birth announcement was displayed.
"This was a great event — yet again our royal family is bringing everyone together," said 27-year-old David Wills, who took a two-mile detour on his run to work to pass the palace. "I kind of feel as though I am seeing part of history here today."
A band of scarlet-clad guardsman at the palace delighted onlookers with a rendition of the song "Congratulations."
Other celebrations Tuesday included gun salutes to honor the birth by royal artillery companies in Green Park, near the palace, and the Tower of London, and the ringing of bells at Westminster Abbey.
Halfway around the world, royalist group Monarchy New Zealand said it had organized a national light show, with 40 buildings across the islands lit up in blue to commemorate the royal birth, including Sky Tower in Auckland, the airport in Christchurch, and Larnach Castle in the South Island city of Dunedin. A similar lighting ceremony took place in Canada; Peace Tower and Parliament buildings in the capital, Ottawa, were bathed in blue light, as was CN Tower in Toronto.
The baby isn’t even a day old — and may not be named for days or even weeks — but he already has a building dedicated to him.
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said an enclosure at Sydney’s Taronga Park Zoo would be named after the prince as part of a gift from Australia. The government would donate 10,000 Australian dollars ($9,300) on the young prince’s behalf toward a research project at the zoo to save the endangered bilby, a rabbit-like marsupial whose numbers are dwindling in the wild.
British media joined in the celebration, with many newspapers printing souvenir editions.Next Page >
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