LONDON - Prince William's wife Kate gave birth to a boy on Monday, the
couple's first child and the third in line to the British throne,
heralding celebrations in London and messages of goodwill from across
"We could not be happier," Prince William said in a
brief statement, after he witnessed the birth of his son at 4:24 p.m.
(1524 GMT), an event that sparked an international media frenzy and the
illumination of London landmarks in blue.
His office said Kate
and the baby, weighing 8 lbs 6 oz (3.8 kg) and to be publicly named at a
later date, were both doing well and would stay in hospital overnight.
William phoned his grandmother the queen to give her the news, and also
contacted his father Prince Charles and brother Prince Harry, all of
whom were said to be delighted. The addition to the family is third in
line to the throne after Prince Charles and William.
take some time for the name to emerge however. The announcement of
William's name took more than a week, but bookmakers make George the
favorite, followed by James.
As the birth of the queen's third
great-grandchild was announced, a loud cheer went up from the
well-wishers and media gathered outside St. Mary's Hospital in west
London, where William was also born to the late Princess Diana in 1982.
is an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine and we are so
thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy," said Prince Charles,
the heir to the throne.
Within minutes, messages of
congratulations began flooding in, while crowds gathered outside the
queen's London residence Buckingham Palace where an official notice was
placed on a gold-colored easel at the main gates.
US President Barack Obama was one of the first world leaders to welcome the birth.
and I are so pleased to congratulate The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
on the joyous occasion of the birth of their first child," he said. "We
wish them all the happiness and blessings parenthood brings."
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was also quick to send his congratulations on Monday night.
"The citizens of Israel send their warmest wishes to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, the Royal Family and all residents of the United Kingdom," the prime minister wrote in a message on his Facebook page.
royal couple, officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge,
had arrived at the hospital shortly before 6 a.m. and entered through a
back door to avoid massed ranks of British and international media
camped outside the main entrance.
Kate and William, both aged 31,
met when they were students at St. Andrews University and were married
in April 2011 in a spectacular wedding broadcast around the world.
royal birth has provoked a similar frenzy, with media keeping up a
deluge of speculative reports for days beforehand and particularly
"Right across the country and indeed right
across the Commonwealth people will be celebrating and wishing the royal
couple well," Prime Minister David Cameron told waiting reporters in
"It is an important moment in the life of our
nation but I suppose above all it's a wonderful moment for a warm and
loving couple who got a brand new baby boy."
Palace, there was a party atmosphere with well-wishers laying flowers
and teddy bears, singing "God Save the Queen" and "Happy Birthday", and
children waving flags.
"The build up to the birth has been so big
I'm just happy it's finally come. I'm pleased it's a boy, you always
want a boy really," said Alice Durrans, who rushed from a nearby
restaurant after hearing the news.
Deborah Beeson, a banker from the United States, was ecstatic.
"It's wonderful. I got chills. I cried," she said. "You know America loves Kate. She's just beautiful, she has dignity."
will be a 41-gun salute at London's Hyde Park and 62 rounds fired at
the Tower of London on Tuesday to herald news of the birth.
baby arrives at a time when the royal family is riding a wave of
popularity. An Ipsos Mori poll last week showed 77 percent of Britons
were in favor of remaining a monarchy over a republic, close to its
best-ever level of support.
The dark days for
the House of Windsor after the death of William's mother Princess Diana
in 1997, which led to public anger at the royals, have been replaced
with outpourings of support for William and Kate's wedding and the
Diamond Jubilee for the queen last summer.
"It's been a remarkable few years for our royal family," Cameron said.
couple, who have been living in a cottage in north Wales where William
is based as a Royal Air Force helicopter pilot, will eventually take up
residence with their baby at Apartment 1A at London's Kensington Palace
when a 1 million pound refurbishment is completed later this year.
The palace was also William's childhood home.
young royal couple have become global stars after some 2 billion people
tuned in to watch their glittering marriage ceremony in 2011, while
Kate is seen as a fashion icon.
JPost.com contributed to this report.