The royal baby: the world reacts

Messages congratulating the royal couple, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are flooding in from around the world

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The Duchess of Cambridge’s parents Carole and Michael Middleton were the Prince of Cambridge’s first visitors today. Reports suggest that the new grandparents stayed for just over an hour.

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Grandma Carole told reporters the baby was “absolutely beautiful”.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to leave St. Mary’s hospital later today or tomorrow morning.

Prince William said the couple “could not be happier” following the birth of the boy, who weighed 8lb 6oz and is yet to be named, at 4.24pm on Monday.

The BBC reports that thousands of well-wishers descended on Buckingham Palace after the news broke.

After the birth of the royal baby, the Prince of Cambridge was announced in a statement issued by Kensington Palace, a large cheer could be heard from well-wishers and journalists outside the hospital.

The announcement was then displayed on an ornate easel at Buckingham Palace as tradition dictates and hundreds of royal watchers and tourists are queued in the rain to catch a glimpse. More people were spotted taking a look at the announcement this morning on their way to work.

The palace has said that the historic notice will only be on show for 24 hours so it will probably be removed at around 8pm tonight.

Gun salutes in Green Park and the Tower of London and the ringing of bells at Westminster Abbey marked the birth of the Prince of Cambridge this afternoon

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired a 41-gun salute in Green Park at 2pm today, after riding past Buckingham Palace.

At the same time, the Honourable Artillery Company – the City of London’s army reserve regiment – fired a 62-gun salute from Gun Wharf at the Tower of London.

Meanwhile, the church bells of Westminster Abbey, where William and Catherine were married in April 2011, rung for three hours.

In a statement, the couple said: “We would like to thank the staff at the Lindo Wing and the whole 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.”

For names, James has now emerged as the bookmakers’ favourite, followed by George and Alexander.

The birth of the prince means the monarchy has three generations of heirs to the throne for the first time since 1894.

The BBC reports how news of the royal baby was received around the world:

  • New Yorkers were informed of the news when it was tickered in lights at Times Square
  • In London, Trafalgar Square was lit blue for a boy, while the BT Tower delivered the message: “It’s a boy!”
  • At its peak, there were more than 25, 000 tweets about the royal birth
  • US president Barack Obama said: “We wish them all the happiness and blessings parenthood brings” while Australian PM Kevin Rudd said Australians wished “the royal bub all the best”
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Reverend Justin Welby, greeted the news by saying: “Along with millions here and around the world, I share in their joy at this special time”

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