The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a girl, Kensington Palace has announced.
The daughter for Prince William and Kate arrived at 8.34am on Saturday. She is the fourth in line to the throne and the Queen’s fifth great-grandchild.
She will be the first to take the title of princess for 25 years and will also be the highest ranking female in line to the throne. A girl has not been born this high up the line of succession for nearly 65 years, since Princess Anne was born.
The duchess was admitted to the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s hospital, west London, two and a half hours earlier in the early stages of labour. The newborn was delivered far quicker then her first child – Prince George took more than 10 hours to be born.
The birth was overseen by a medical team led by Guy Thorpe-Beeston, surgeon-gynaecologist to the royal household, who was assisted by Alan Farthing, surgeon gynaecologist to the Queen. Both medics were present at George’s birth in July 2013.
The duchess went on maternity leave on 27 March when she carried out her last official public engagement. Prince William is not due back at work until 1 June.
There has not been a Princess of Cambridge born for 182 years, the last being George III’s granddaughter Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, who was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1833.
Earlier in the week the duke and duchess sent breatkfast to around 10 hardcore royal fans, much photographed by news-starved media as they kept vigil outside St Mary’s hospital. Two boxes of croissants and pastries were wrapped in a pink ribbon, which sent the fans in to paroxysms of speculation that it was a girl.
While a due date was never confirmed by Kensington Palace, the indications were that the baby was probably overdue by several days.
Originally parking suspension notices for a “special event” outside the hospital ran from 15 to 30 April. In the likelihood that officials had allowed a wide margin either side of the due date, it would seem those in the know had expected that event to be over by Thursday.