Prince George is finally a big brother! The long awaited royal baby #2 arrived at today at 8.45am UK time (11.45am local time).
Nearly a week overdue, Kate Middleton and husband Prince William finally announced the arrival of their second child, a baby girl, who weighed in at a healthy 8lbs 3oz, through the officials at Kensington Palace. In a brief statement a spokesperson for the royal family said: “[Kate] has successfully delivered a daughter.”
The news, which came five hours later at 11am (2pm local time), will come as a relief to so-called superfans, who have been gathered outside London’s St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington for up to two weeks. A town crier, wearing elaborate Union Jack clothing, declared the news at the hospital’s door, ringing his bell to announce the arrival of the new royal who is yet to be named. Despite Kate’s much-documented struggle with extreme pregnancy sickness, both mother and baby are said to be doing well.
The famous royal easel at Buckingham Palace was greeted with a frenzy by awaiting fans who gathered to see the framed hospital paper with details of the baby’s sex, weight and time of birth.
Bets have been hedged on various names since the Duke and Duchess announced they were expecting. Frontrunners for the girls were Alice, Charlotte and Elizabeth – all strong British names, fit for a royal.
Reports claim that Kate’s mother, Carole, who has been very hands-on with Prince George, is ready to step up again in her role as doting grandmother at the newly renovated Sandringham estate. There has also been a nanny arranged to help with both children.
Last year there was speculation over the ‘Middletonisation’ of baby George, who is said to spend a lot of time with Carole. The Daily Mail claimed that Prince Charles and fellow royals felt pushed out by the Middletons. A spokesperson for the Prince of Wales quashed rumours, saying at the time: “His Royal Highness enjoys an excellent relationship with his grandson.”
Ardent royalists will no doubt wonder what this news means in lineage terms. The new princess, the so-called ‘spare heir’, will be fourth in line to the throne, knocking fun uncle Prince Harry down to fifth place. Judging by his preference to stay out of the regal circuit, and frank interviews where he admitted he wished he wasn’t a prince, we doubt that he minds. Prince Charles is currently at the top spot, followed by Prince William and his first son, George.
We wonder how they will wet the baby’s head…