Royal baby arrives: Duchess gives birth to a baby boy

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Royal baby arrives: Duchess gives birth to a baby boy

LONDON - It's a boy for Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.

The former Kate Middleton gave birth to the future king of England on Monday at a London hospital.

The birth was announced via a formal press release issued by Kensington Palace.

"Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4:24 p.m.," the statement said. "The baby weighs 8lbs 6oz."

A bulletin containing the announcement will also be taken by car to Buckingham Palace to be placed on an easel at the palace gates for the public to see. Initially, officials had planned to place the bulletin on the easel before issuing the news electronically, but changed course shortly before the birth news came.

The royal couple's child will officially be known as His or Her Royal Highness Prince or Princess [Name] of Cambridge.

The title follows the dukedom bestowed on William by his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, on his wedding day in 2011. Earlier this year, the queen issued a royal decree allowing this royal baby -- and all of William and Kate's children -- to be titled prince or princess. The decree said "that all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of royal highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour."

The world may have to wait considerably longer to learn the new prince or princess' name -- the royal family will reveal it in an official statement in the coming hours or days. Prince Harry's name was made public on the day he was born. It took about a week for the palace to reveal Prince William's name, and nearly a month before their father's name was uttered outside of palace walls.

 Prince William was with his wife when she was brought by car from Kensington Palace to St. Mary's Hospital in London before 6 a.m. local time in the early stages of labor.

 Kate gave birth in the hospital's private Lindo Wing, where Princess Diana gave birth to William in 1982 and Harry in 1984.

 The new baby -- the first for William and Kate, who married in 2011 after a long courtship -- will be third in line to the British throne, behind Prince Charles and William. William is second in line, right behind his father, Prince Charles. The baby moves ahead of Prince Harry, who's now fourth in line.

 Plenty of excitement has surrounded the royal birth. In the days leading up to the big day, reporters and photographers from the four corners of the globe staked out St. Mary's Hospital. The Royal Mint has minted 2,013 silver coins bearing a shield of the Royal Arms, to be given to newborns who share their birthday with the third in line to the British throne. Souvenirs and commemorative memorabilia are expected to flood Britain's stores.

 Buzz has been building ever since the royal couple revealed the baby news on Dec. 3, 2012, with the following statement: "Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news."

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