A prince is born!
Welcomed to the world in much the same manner as his older siblings Prince George, four, and Princess Charlotte, two, there was a comforting sense of nostalgia as the world warmly welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s newest arrival.
From the moment Kensington Palace announced that Kate had been admitted to St Mary’s Hospital in London in the ‘early stages of labour’ on the morning of April 23, the world’s media swarmed to get prime position and begin the familiar wait outside the now-famous doors of the private Lindo Wing.
While reporters and royal watchers alike awaited news of the royal baby’s arrival with bated breath, Queen Elizabeth took a different tack – with the 92-year-old monarch spotted horseback riding in the grounds of Windsor Castle while Kate was in labour.
The wait, however, proved to be a short one, with the royal birth announced on a notice placed on the ceremonial easel outside Buckingham Palace, as well as on social media, just five hours after Kate had been admitted to hospital.
The couple welcomed their bonny baby boy at 11.01am, weighing in at a healthy 3.83kg – which makes him not only the biggest bub in the family (George weighed 3.79kg and Charlotte 3.71kg), but he’s also the biggest baby born to an heir in 100 years.
With the palace announcing Kate and her son were ‘both doing well’, and that the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince Harry and members of both families were ‘delighted with the news’, the waiting game then recommenced as the world anticipated the hospital doors swinging open for the first glimpse of the newest royal.
‘It was a really special moment,’ says a royal watcher. ‘It was a beautiful day in London and the streets were full of fans who couldn’t believe they saw Charlotte and George as well as the much-awaited new royal bub!’
‘Kate always wanted a third child because she came from a family of three children,’ a royal insider tells New Idea, ‘They will want to be a family of five and it’s wonderful that the kids are all within a couple of years of each other so they can all grow up together.’
After the all-important meet-and-greet with his brother and sister, it was time for the newborn prince to meet the world. Cradled in the arms of his mother, the royal baby was swaddled tightly in a crocheted wrap and wore a matching beanie for his first public appearance.
Oblivious to all the fuss, the newborn dozed peacefully as his proud parents smiled and waved for the awaiting press pack.
After her stylist was spotted leaving the hospital just hours earlier, Kate once again made a glamorous post-birth appearance. Her hair perfectly blow-dried, the mum-of-three wore a Jenny Packham dress just as she did following the births of George and Charlotte, but this time there was an obvious nod to Princess Diana, who sported a red dress with a white collar when she left the hospital with Prince Harry in 1984.
Kate, looking adoringly at her young son, between a wave and smiles, murmured that she was worried he was getting cold in the blustery wind, and the duo headed inside, before emerging again with the prince in a car capsule ready for his journey home.
Unlike with first-born baby George in 2013, Prince William secured the capsule in the couple’s Range Rover with the confidence of a dad who has done it many times before, smiling at photographers.
‘We’re very happy,’ said William, adding, ‘Now we’ve got thrice the worry!’
The couple then whisked their newest bundle of joy home to Kensington Palace to begin the next chapter of their lives as a family of five.
Visited by uncle Prince Harry and soon-to-be aunt Meghan Markle shortly after their arrival home, there will be little time for nesting – not only is there a royal wedding just a few weeks away, there is also a royal christening to be planned, with the likes of Meghan Markle, Peter Phillips and Diana’s sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, being tipped as potential godparents.
And while the fifth-in-line to the throne remains blissfully unaware of the extraordinary life that awaits him, he is already a much cherished addition. As posted on social media by Kensington Palace: ‘Welcome to the family’.
For more on this story, see our special updated royal baby issue of New Idea, out today. Our apologies, but please note that this is only available from selected outlets in metro areas of QLD, NSW and Victoria.