UPDATE: Kate Middleton and Prince William have debuted their baby girl (see adorable photo)! They stepped out with the little princess about nine hours after she gave birth and left the hospital.
Kate Middleton and Prince William's second child is here!
The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a daughter at St. Mary's Hospital in London, Kensington Palace announced Saturday.
And oh, the verbiage: "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a daughter at 8:34 a.m.," the statement read, the likes of which we haven't seen since...well, since Kate and Will's first child arrived! (This time, however, the palace also tweeted the announcement, another tip of the cap to modernity.)
Her daughter automatically becomes fourth in line to the British throne, behind grandpa Prince Charles, papa William and big brother Prince George of Cambridge. (Yes, the new baby jumps uncle Prince Harry in the succession.)
"The baby weighs 8 lbs 3 oz," the palace added. "The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth." The child's name is set to be announced in the coming days.
The palace announced late Friday night (in the U.S.) that Kate had been admitted to St. Mary's at 6 a.m. Saturday in London and was in "the early stages of labor." She is said to have traveled by car straight from Kensington Palace to the hospital's private Lindo Wing, where George, William and Harry were all born as well.
Dr. Alan Farthing and Dr. Guy Thorpe-Beeston were due to preside over the arrival of the spare heir, both of them having helped usher newborn George into the world nearly two years ago. Farthing is Queen Elizabeth II's surgeon-gynecologist and obstetrician Thorpe-Beeston specializes in high-risk pregnancies.
A team of midwives was also on hand to assist the duchess.
The royal family has been eagerly anticipating the new baby's arrival, with Prince William telling another couple at an event that he "couldn't wait another minute" for his second child to be born.
And that was more than a month ago! But at long last, the pins and needles have abated.
With Kate's due date originally reported, via hearsay, as mid-to-late April, any potential lack of interest in her second child (due to the world already having experienced the pomp and circumstance surrounding George's arrival) was made up for by the "knowledge" that Kate was late. And might be induced. And why did that cone outside the hospital get its own Twitter account again...?
Kate is rumored to be planning a longer maternity leave from her official duties than she took when she was a first-time mom, wanting to spend more quality time with both of her children before she heads back to the royal trenches. According to the palace, William will take two weeks off from his new post training as an air ambulance helicopter pilot.
As was the case when George was born, they won't immediately be bringing on any new help in the childcare department. The hands-on couple will presumably once again be privy to the helping hands of Kate's mum, Carole Middleton. In fact, Will, Kate and George stayed withe Middletons at their estate in Bucklebury when the now 21-month-old George Alexander Louis was first born, and then Carole accompanied her daughter and new grandson to Wales to help them get settled when duty called William back to work.
And can you believe that, any time now, we'll be meeting George's baby sister? What a time for this family—and for all!