AP Photo/John Stillwell
AP Photo/John Stillwell
The great wait is over. (Almost. We still don't have a name.)
But the world got to otherwise meet the royal baby Tuesday when he appeared on the front steps of St. Mary's Hospital in London, first swaddled in mom Kate Middleton's arms and then handed over to doting dad Prince William, who told the assembled press, "He's got her looks, thankfully."
"It is such a special time," Kate also said.
Darn straight, it is!
And though it seems as if the world had to wait for months (in addition to the seven and a half months of downtime since the announcement that Kate was pregnant) between the Duchess of Cambridge's reported due date and now...it has actually only been 10 days.
Here's a rundown of everything that's happened between then and joyous, miraculous now:
AFP PHOTO/Getty Images
July 12: Police do a massive security sweep at St. Mary's in anticipation of the duchess' arrival.
July 13: So begins the two-day window estimated as Kate's due date(s). Tick-tock, tick-tock... Prince William plays in the Kent & Curwen Royal Polo Cup in Sydmonton with Prince Harry, while his wife spends the weekend with her parents in her home village of Bucklebury, West Berkshire.
July 14: Will wields his mallet again for charity, this time at Cirencester Park Polo Club.
July 15: Will cancels a planned guys' night out with some of his mates as his stepmom, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, tells reporters that she and Prince Charles are "waiting by the telephone" and are "hopeful that by the end of the week he or she will be here." Meanwhile, Baby Does abound in England as parents insist upon waiting so that they can name their own offspring after the royal baby!
July 16: A Prince Harry look-alike totes a gigantic teddy bear to St. Mary's, giving the press something to smile at as many of them enter their third week of camping out. (We later learn that Prince William bought one of Harrods' famed annual bears for his wife several weeks prior and surprised her with it after she gave birth.)
July 17: Queen Elizabeth II's 88-year-old cousin Margaret Rhodes drops quite the bombshell when she tells CNN that she's "not terribly excited" about the birth of the royal baby. "Everybody has babies and it's lovely. But I don't get wildly excited about it." Rhodes does admit, however, that she thinks the expectant mum has "got a way about her that's going to be very appealing." While at an event in Cumbria, the queen tells reporters that she won't mind either way if her third great-grandchild is a boy or a girl, but she does hope it arrives before she goes on holiday.
AP Photo/Alastair Grant
Also, as Kate remains in Bucklebury, a great wave of panic washes over those stationed outside St. Mary's and media outlets start dispatching reporters and photographers to the much-closer-to-the-Middletons Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.
July 18: The queen abruptly leaves a cricket match that she's watching at Lords, prompting the most sizzling speculation yet that Kate could be in labor. (Remember how that turned out to be nothing?)
July 19: Now palace insiders chime in saying the duchess is only about two to three days late as Will and Kate leave Bucklebury for London. Meanwhile, their famed look-alikes give the press a jolt when they show up at St. Mary's instead.
July 21: Kate's doctors reportedly direct her to stay indoors and otherwise avoid London's unusually hot weather. Apparently the duchess goes stir-crazy, however, because...
July 22: Game on! Kate goes into labor and arrives at St. Mary's, William by her side, shortly before 6 a.m., British Summer Time. Things are said to be "progressing as normal." Ignoring Kate's doctors' orders, crowds of people gather outside the hospital despite the record heat wave.
10 1/2 Hours Later: A son is born to Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, at 4:24 p.m. (BST). The little Cancer weighs 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and is the first member of the royal family to bear the title of Prince of Cambridge in 194 years.
London's fountains run blue, a 62-gun salute is planned and the entire world is oh-so-happy.
"We could not be happier," says William, who would go on to spend the night in the hospital with his wife and child, shortly after his son is born. Congratulations and excitement also pour in from Prince Charles, British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Obamas and Twitter.
July 23: Will and Kate's royal baby meets the world on the steps of St. Mary's Hospital at 7:14 p.m. (BST). He's "got way more hair than me, thank God," Will jokes. "He's got a good pair of lungs on him that's for sure. He's a good boy, he's quite heavy."
As for the little heir's fashionably late arrival, Will says, "I'll remind him of his tardiness when he's a bit older. I know how long you've all been standing here, so hopefully the hospital and you guys can all go back to normal now and we can go and look after him."
Tim Rooke/Rex / Rex USA