Katherine Feeney: And that about brings our live coverage to a close.
With night well and truly descended over the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital, London, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are resting with their new baby boy, we aren't expecting too much action until daybreak in Old Blighty.
Hopefully then the world will catch their first glimpse of the new prince and heir to the throne of England.
Hopefully then we'll find out the baby's name.
But all of that will have to wait, at least until after the new mum and dad have finished their breakfast.
Thanks for your company.
Katherine Feeney: Meanwhile Clarence House has put together an official social media wrap.
Katherine Feeney: Time for an update on our baby name poll: George remains the hot favourite, with 50 per cent of the vote.
Why? Possibly because the previous Prince of Cambridge was a George. George is also the patron saint of England, and the name of the king of Britain for 116 straight years. Apparently it's of Greek and English origin, and means 'farmer'.
Poll: The Duchess of Cambridge Catherine Middleton has been delivered of a baby boy. The child is now third in line to the throne. This much we know - but what about his name?
- Something a little more contemporary - Cruz worked for Posh and Becks...
Total votes: 2380.
You will need Cookies enabled to use our Voting Feature.
These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.
Katherine Feeney: Here are some interesting facts about this whole #royalbaby business from our Social Media Editor Georgia Waters.
Google Trends is showing there have been more than 2 million searches for 'royal baby' in the US.
Twitter has also released information on the #RoyalBaby interest.
- There have been more than 2 million mentions of the birth on Twitter (that's under the various hashtags, such as #royalbaby, #royalbabyboy, #royalbabywatch etc.
- Peak in conversation was just after the birth announcement, with 25,000 tweets per minute.
- #royalbaby hashtag, the most popular tag, has been used more than 900,000 times since the Duchess of Cambridge went into hospital.
And Facebook has been tracking the countries most interested in news of the royal baby.
The top 5 countries 'buzzing' about it are:
Meanwhile the official announcement from the British Monarchy FB page Has 258,000 likes so far.
A trends map released by Facebook showing interest in the royal baby across the world.
Katherine Feeney: While we wait for the Duke and Duchess to emerge from hospital - which could be in the next 12 hours or so - thoughts turn to the kind of environment the young Prince of Cambridge will grow up in. According to the BBC News Magazine, the Duke and Duchess have been making plans for the future king to receive "a thoroughly modern upbringing".
Unlike generations past, the new parents are expected to have a much more hands-on role in the upbringing of their royal progeny. Apparently William and Catherine are determined to rely less on an army of nannies and staffers, and involve their parents more. That will probably wash well with the grandparents. The Middletons - as 'common folk' - will surely know their way around a nappy, while Charles and Diana were famously active in their son's upbringing.
In fact, we're expecting William will emulate his dad's obvious, unstuffy enthusiasm when he finally appears - possibly with his wife by his side and baby in arms - to greet the public with the happy news...
Katherine Feeney: And now, thoughts on #royalbaby from across the pond:
"So pleased to congratulate The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the joyous occasion of the birth of their first child." —President Obama— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 22, 2013
How can you tell when there's about to be a royal baby? When they start crowning. I'll be here all week.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) July 22, 2013
Congratulations to Kate & William on the birth of their baby boy! So relieved that his name won’t include the words Ivy or Apple.— Joan Rivers (@Joan_Rivers) July 22, 2013
How awesome is it that Dennis Farina will be reincarnated as the royal baby.— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) July 22, 2013
A portrait of the previous Prince of Cambridge, George, who was also the 2nd Duke of Cambridge. Photo: Wiki Commons
Katherine Feeney: According to The Guardian, Catherine and William's son is the first to bear the Prince of Cambridge title in nearly 200 years. But mum and dad shouldn't be so keen to have him grow up like his predecessor. The paper has reported the Press Association's characterisation of the previous PoC which depicts him as a man with a "wandering eye" and "daft ideas about promotion within the military".
You can check out the Wiki page for the gentleman in question right here.
Katherine Feeney: Royal watchers have been doing the rounds of morning radio this morning, and the ABC was no exception. According to a guest on Fran Kelly's Radio National show there are two names that the royal baby boy can't have: Oliver or Stephen.
Apparently no royals can be named Oliver because of that pesky revolution staged by one Oliver Cromwell. Stephen, meanwhile, raises the spectre of the grandson of William the Conquerer who reigned during a period of anarchy in England (from 1135 to 1154).
Thankfully neither of those names are featured in our baby name poll. What's in a name indeed.
Katherine Feeney: It might have been too late for Australian newspapers, but the royal birth was perfectly timed for front pages of the UK Press:
And our personal favourite:
Katherine Feeney: So we know that the Duchess of Cambridge will remain in hospital overnight, with her husband and baby by her side. That's quite nice really. Especially when you consider the comfort afforded to guests of the swanky Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital.
According to the Daily Mail, the post-natal rooms boast "every conceivable comfort for a mother-to-be", including comfortable recliners for visitors, all your mod-cons, and a dedicated catering staff offering a variety of food options plus a "specially compiled" wine list (Champagne, anyone?).
Apparently the bill for Catherine's overnight stay a suite in the wing could more than £10,000, though "prices and information available on request and subject to availability."
Katherine Feeney: London delights at the birth of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge's son at St. Mary's hospital. Europe correspondent Nick Miller reports.
It's a future king!
London delights at the birth of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge's son at St. Mary's hospital. Europe correspondent Nick Miller reports.PT2M27S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2qfdb 620 349 July 23, 2013
Katherine Feeney: The Australian Republican Movement has made their feelings about the royal baby abundantly clear via a statement issued by National Director David Morris earlier this morning:
"The Australian Republican Movement sends its best wishes to the people of the United Kingdom and to the British royal family on the birth of their future monarch. We look forward to a future day when an Australian Head of State can stand beside the British monarch as friends and equals, cheering for our team just as the British Head of State cheers for the British team, in friendly rivalry.
"Imagine, somewhere in Australia at this moment a future Australian Head of State could be born, who will grow up learning about Australian values such as the fair go and equality, and earn their future role on merit, through hard work and undivided commitment to Australia.
"Our next Head of State could be an Aboriginal Australian, a descendent of the gold rushes or the child of a recent migrant, but only if we complete our national journey by a transition to a republic."
Katherine Feeney: But what, oh WHAT, will the royal baby look like?
According to a geneticist featured on Sunrise this morning, the baby will probably have brown hair like his mother. However there's a six percent chance the red hair the baby's uncle, Prince Harry, has been blessed with will crop up. The genes behind Kate's green eyes are also more dominant than those responsible for William's blue, apparently, so chances are the heir's peepers will be limpid pools of greenish-blue.
But here's the tallest tale: With William standing a regal 1.91 metres, and Catherine measuring 1.78 metres high, the baby boy could grow to stand 2.04 metres tall!
That's a fair bit bigger than the tallest British monarch on record, Edward IV, whose skeleton measures 1.94 m...
Who will the new royal baby most resemble? Harry's red hair has a small chance of being passed on, but chances are the baby boy will look most like Kate, geneticists say. Photo: AFP
Katherine Feeney: Prince William was born June 21, 1982. His son was born July 22, 2013. So, by our calculations, the young Prince of Cambridge is a Cancer - just like his dad.
Here's their horoscope for the day, according to resident Fairfax astrologer Kelli Fox:
"You may have to deal with the public in some way today. This might mean speaking to a group at work, or making phone calls about a certain matter or cause. No matter how much you love people or believe in your project, this kind of work can wear you out. It takes a lot out of you to interact with so many people! Be sure to build in relaxation time, or get to bed early."
Charles, Prince of Wales, and then-wife, Princess Diana, take home their newborn son Prince William who was born at St Mary's Hospital on June 21, 1982. Photo: John Redman
Katherine Feeney: And here's the scoop from the desk of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd:
"On behalf of all Australians, Therese and I extend our warmest regards to the new parents, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Prince William holds a special place in the hearts of many Australians. Some of us remember his first visit to this country as a 9 month old baby more than 30 years ago with his mother Diana and father Charles.
"In more recent times, Prince William demonstrated deep compassion when he met with families in Victoria who had lost everything during the Black Saturday bushfires of February 2009. We share in the joy of the Royal Family, particularly Prince Charles on the birth of his grandson and Queen Elizabeth II on the birth of her great grandchild. This is a happy day for our close friends in Britain and the Commonwealth."
Katherine Feeney: This just in from the Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott:
"Margie and I join all Australians in extending to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge congratulations and best wishes on the birth of their son. This would be the happiest day in their lives and all Australians share their joy. While there will come a time to contemplate the constitutional duties that await the young Prince, today we simply welcome a baby boy into the world and share the joy of this young family. I am sure that over the course of his life, the Prince will, like the rest of his family, develop a deep affection for our country, as we already have for him."
Katherine Feeney: RAW VIDEO: British Prime Minister David Cameron congratulates Prince William and his wife Kate on the birth of their baby boy.
British PM says Commonwealth will celebrate
The British PM David Cameron emerges from 10 Downing Street to congratulate the royal couple on the birth of their baby boy.PT1M5S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2qfcv 620 349 July 23, 2013
Katherine Feeney: We're hearing that new dad Prince William won't come out to say g'day to the media scrum or crowds of subjects, opting to stay inside the hospital with his wife, Catherine, and new baby boy... But the BBC has Tweeted a quote from the Duke: "We could not be happier", he's said to have said...
Katherine Feeney: Just to recap: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge "has been delivered" of a baby boy. He is about 3.8 kilograms large (8lbs 6oz), and he arrived at 4.24 pm London time. He'll be the Prince of Cambrige, but we don't yet know what his first name will be. Clarence House has said mother and baby are doing well, and will remain at the Lido Wing of St Mary's Hospital overnight. We're yet to hear from the Queen, or new dad Prince William, however grand-dad Prince Charles of Wales is officially "proud and happy".
Tony Appleton, a town crier, announces the birth of the royal baby, outside St. Mary's Hospital. Photo: Lefteris Pitarakis
Katherine Feeney: Beyond the official announcements regarding this most royal affair come the comments - most using #royalbaby - that remind us there's a human side to this equation. Yes, this baby is going to inherit a throne. Yes, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very important people. But they are also 'just' two new parents, with a new baby boy, who will wail and cry and carry on like the rest of us. And, as new parents may attest, a little bit of a laugh goes a long, long way. So here are some of our favourite lulz from the interwebs this AM:
Breaking News! Buckingham Palace announce the name of the royal baby! pic.twitter.com/wQ8bP8SbQh— Dave Vitty (@davidvitty) July 22, 2013
There is no truth to the rumour that the baby will be presented on the balcony, whilst playing the Circle of Life. Sorry. #royalbabyboy— Prince Charles (@Charles_HRH) July 22, 2013
The only royal baby GIF you need today http://t.co/d1iJNq5GiA— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) July 22, 2013
Nick Miller, London: The royalists who have been waiting outside the hospital for weeks are still dancing and singing in celebration.
Flags are being waved, party poppers are popping and the mood is a combination of relief and excitement. And of course everyone is on tenterhooks for the next historic moment - a glimpse of the young prince...
Poll: The Duchess of Cambridge Catherine Middleton has been delivered of a baby boy. The child is now third in line to the throne. This much we know - but what about his name?
- Something a little more contemporary - Cruz worked for Posh and Becks...
Total votes: 2380.
You will need Cookies enabled to use our Voting Feature.
These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.
Katherine Feeney: They may have stuck with tradition to some degree - cue bell-donging royal crier and royal decree easel erecting - but the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are also a thoroughly modern couple, as evidenced by this:
Want to send your congratulations to Their Royal Highnesses? You can sign the Google+ card here: http://t.co/mMgjmPzf3s— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) July 22, 2013
Will you be signing the card?
Clarence House releases a digital card to celebrate the royal birth.
Katherine Feeney: We have reports that there are extra police gathering outside St Mary's Hospital. Assembled TV crews are abuzz with excitement as it could indicate new dad Prince William may be preparing to step out and greet the press.
His wife, Catherine, and their new baby boy - who has now pipped uncle Harry to become third in line to the throne - will remain in hospital overnight.
Katherine Feeney: There shall be a veritable deluge of official congratulations this morning. We're yet to hear from the new parents directly, or new uncle Harry, or the Queen (who we presume will be much amused). But the BBC has the word from the PM:
UK PM David Cameron: "I'm delighted for the Duke and Duchess now their son has been born. The whole country will celebrate" #RoyalBaby— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) July 22, 2013
Nick Miller: The Governor-General Quentin Bryce has also put forward her official comments:
“On behalf of all Australians, I send heartfelt congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on this joyful occasion.
“The birth of a baby is an experience to celebrate and cherish. We wish the new parents every happiness and send warm greetings of welcome to the little Prince,” the Governor-General said.
Katherine Feeney: The Prince of Wales has just issued an official statement:
“Both my wife and I are overjoyed at the arrival of my first grandchild. It is an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine and we are so thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy.
"Grandparenthood is a unique moment in anyone’s life, as countless kind people have told me in recent months, so I am enormously proud and happy to be a grandfather for the first time and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing the baby in the near future.”
Katherine Feeney: "On this day..." the future King of England is born, decrees the Royal Crier Tony Appleton outside St Mary's Hospital. He's in feathered cap and is ringing his bell and has just read the official Royal Proclamation. He's told the Seven Network he knew it would be a boy. He won't be the first or last to say that today...
Katherine Feeney: There's been so much talk about this news we have been 'delivered of' this morning. No doubt the news networks out here in the colonies are doffing caps to the Royal Couple who have managed to time the birth of their new baby boy - who will be Prince of Cambridge - perfectly for the morning news cycle.
Capital effort Clarence House. 62-gun salute!
Nick Miller: Chris and Susan Lambert, from Sydney, were among the crowds outside the palace when the news broke, with grins all over their faces.
"It's certainly a memorable moment," said Susan.
A professional midwife, Susan had made a canny prediction that the baby wouldn't arrive until late afternoon, so the family fit in a good day of sightseeing - including a prayer for Kate at Westminster Cathedral - before ending the day at the palace.
"Nice way to round off the day," said Chris.
Crowds outside Buckingham Palace. Photo: AFP
Nick Miller: Excited crowds squeal with excitement as easel carrying official announcement is carried into forecourt of Buckingham Palace.
It's a boy: the official announcement of the birth of the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is posted at the gates of Buckingham Palace. Photo: AP
Nick Miller: Literally screams of excitement at Buckingham Palace as crowds hear the news. Easel coming out now.
Jenna Clarke: According to a statement issued by Kensington Palace, "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24pm."
Baby Cambridge weighs 8lbs 6oz.
The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth.
The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news
Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well and will remain in hospital overnight.
Jenna Clarke: Could this be it? Are we almost there?
An announcement is imminent #RoyalBaby— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) July 22, 2013
Nick Miller: There is, apparently, going to be some very fierce debate between astrologers over whether or not this baby is a Leo.
Right on the cusp I'm told by a bunch of American tourists who are still gawking at the gates of the palace.
Nick Miller: My hospital worker buddy speculates that the baby may already be born but the delay could be paperwork.
"Try to get more than one doctor to sign something and its going to take you hours," she says, half joking.
Nick Miller: There is some disappointment here that the easel will not now be the moment of the official announcement.
But there is definitely a sense of excitement building. There are not huge crowds, just people sitting and chatting and picnicking.
Someone's got a party kazoo that they're blowing in preemptive celebration.
Jenna Clarke: Kensington Palace have announced a change in procedure. They will issue a formal press release so the news can be disseminated "quickly and easily as possible". The bulletin will still be posted outside Buckingham Palace but following the initial "press statement".
Jenna Clarke: Tweets from royal correspondents on the scene in London suggest we will be receiving news very, very soon.
Royal baby to be announced imminently. Watch this space #royalbaby— Camilla Tominey (@CamillaTominey) July 22, 2013
Jenna Clarke: The soon to be grandfather, the Prince of Wales, is giving good quote today.
Asked if he's heard anything about the baby, Prince Charles replies he hasnt and goes on, "you will probably know more about that than I do"— Peter Hunt (@BBCPeterHunt) July 22, 2013
Jenna Clarke: A fun, but not really surprising fact, according to Yahoo! people are searching "royal baby" five times the rate they searched "Kim Kardashian Baby".
Baby North West was born five weeks premature on June 15. Kim is yet to be seen in public. There are reports the reality star doesn't want to make any public appearances until she has "lost her baby weight".
Her baby daddy, Mr West, on the other hand has been spotted out quite a bit. He may be facing assault charges after attacking a photographer at the weekend.
Jenna Clarke: It's just gone 7.30pm and it's still scorching hot in London. The temperature is hovering around the 31 degree mark. Nick Miller reports that an onlooker waiting at the palace has collapsed and is being treated by paramedics.
"If someone came down here selling water bottles, they'd make a mint," he said.
For any Londoners out there looking to make some spare change, you're welcome.
Jenna Clarke: According to our friends over at Essential Baby, the Duchess isn't the only famous woman expecting around this time. Here are few other blooming beauties due to give birth in the coming months.
Celebrity pregnancy and birth news
Scarlett Johannson has given birth to her first child, a girl named Rose.
Jenna Clarke: And the award for the worst royal baby inspired social media account goes to...
Nick Miller: I've just had a chat to an Aussie nurse - working at a London hospital - who's come down to the palace to check things out.
She and her friend, another Aussie hospital worker, reckon that, especially with a royal baby, they wouldn't let labour go much past 12 hours without some kind of intervention. So odds on a baby in the next few hours, according to this impeccable source!
Jenna Clarke: It's been a long, hot day in London with the mercury tipping close to 35 degrees and ice cream literally being the hottest accessory in Old Blighty today, so it's good to see the Palace being considerate to their loyal subjects and nosy tourists. If the baby doesn't arrive within the next four hours, Londoners will have to wait until Tuesday morning to see the official decree.
If the Royal Baby is born between 10.30pm & 8am, the news will be sent out via press release with the easel being put up at around 9am.— Royal Central (@RoyalCentral) July 22, 2013
Jenna Clarke: Catherine went into labour on the same day as the world's biggest boy band (who also happen to be her countrymen) One Direction released their latest single "Best Song Ever". No surprises that it went straight to the top of the iTunes charts around the world.
However one emerging singer-songwriter from New Zealand, 16-year-old Ella Yelich-O'Connor, who goes by the stage name Lorde, could steal their top of the pops crown. The schoolgirl-turned-songstress is making waves on the international charts and music streaming channels in the US and Australia with her debut single, which is aptly titled "Royals".
What are the chances this will be Harry, Pippa, Beatrice and Eugenie's summer anthem this year?
Nick Miller: Excitement as some kind of military-looking helicopter comes in to land near Buckingham Palace, for no immediately obvious reason.
Nick Miller: It's now 6pm in London, and at least 12 hours since Kate went into labour. Should be soon folks!
Jenna Clarke: This gif is from the royal couple's visit to the Making of Harry Potter exhibition at the Warner Bros studios in Hertfordshire earlier this year. It's doing the rounds on the internet with the tagline: "How the royal baby was conceived". Very cute.
Jenna Clarke: Our UK correspondent Nick Miller is "glued to the palace gates", where the official announcement of the birth will take place.
However, he tells me that we will know the baby has been born when an official car leaves the hospital in Paddington with a medical bulletin, signed by the doctor, and heads to Buckingham Palace.
The bulletin will be placed on an easel on the gates where the general public will discover the sex, weight and time of birth. A notice from either Kensington or Buckingham Palace will also be issued via email and Twitter.
Jenna Clarke: Thirty-one years ago a bemused looking Prince Charles addressed the world's media outside St Mary's Hospital following the birth of his first child, "Baby Wales", who was later christened "William Arthur Philip Louis" aka Prince William.
No word yet if Prince William will follow in his father's footsteps and front the hungry press pack. However if he does we can take comfort in the fact that he's a little more polished (and media savvy) than Charles, so I doubt we'll hear him borrow the phrases, "it's a shock to my system" and it's "rather a grown up thing to do", when discussing fatherhood.
So, how is your royal genealogy coming along? Did you see The King's Speech but are still unsure where George VI fits in with the present - and expected - batch of royals? And Captain Mark Phillips - what's going on along that line? Where is Zara's baby going to fit in?
Meanwhile, it's another day at the office for Prince Charles, even as he awaits news of the birth of his first grandchild.
Britain's Mirfield Reporter:
"The Prince of Wales will visit Pontefract today (Monday) as he waits for news on the birth of his first grandchild.
"As interest in the royal baby focuses on St Mary's Hospital, in London, Charles will be welcomed by farmers and staff at Dovecote Park in Stapleton this afternoon as part of a two-day tour of Yorkshire."
Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales talks to workers at Dovecote Park in Pontefract, West Yorkshire on Monday. Photo: AFP
Nick Miller with more tales from the frontline:
The couple next to me at the Buckingham Palace gates are debating whether to wait for the baby announcement or go to Nando's. They've been here for two hours and the most exciting bit was when they thought one of the palace guardsmen was going to collapse from heat exhaustion.
It can't be easy wearing an enormous furry hat in 33 degree heat, and he was swaying a little.
Our Europe Correspondent, Nick Miller, mentioned further down that: "The royal standard is flying over Buckingham Palace. That means the Queen has arrived from Windsor Castle, ready to receive the official announcement of the royal birth."
Here comes the great-grandmother-in-waiting.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II returns in a car to Buckingham Palace in London on July 22, 2013. Photo: AFP
Well, at least the royals are unlikely to name their child "North".
Flags at the ready as Britain - and the world - awaits the arrival of the new royal.
Britain's Union flags fly on the Mall leading to Buckingham Palace. Photo: AFP
But what present to get for a royal baby? Better yet, what royal present to get for a baby?
Our staff at Essential Baby have compiled a selection. From $6 to $4000, there's something to suit every budget.
Gifts for your prince or princess
A Royal Baby pillow by Naked Decor, $54.50, is a cute addition to any nursery due around the Duchess's due date.
Nick Miller in London:
"The royal standard is flying over Buckingham Palace. That means the Queen has arrived from Windsor Castle, ready to receive the official announcement of the royal birth."
Meanwhile, the royal subjects are finding a way to keep cool on the hottest day of the year, by having a paddle - or going for a shirtless wade - in the fountain outside Buckingham Palace.
Nick has his own methods of staying cool, but they may be under threat: "Ice cream update: the van in Green Park nearest Buckingham Palace is nearly out of vanilla and toffee ripple, but there's plenty of rum'n'raisin."
Keeping cool outside Buckingham Palace as news of the royal baby is awaited. Photo: Nick Miller
Royal announcement whips media into a front page frenzy!
It's been a busy 24 hours for royal families in Europe. Belgium's King Albert II has abdicated at the age of 79, with his son Philippe ascending the throne as the nation's seventh king on Sunday amid National Day celebrations marked by hopes the fragile nation can remain united.
A picture taken on July 22, 2013 in Brussels shows the front page of Belgian newspapers a day after the inauguration of King Philippe. Yesterday, on Belgium's National Day, King Albert II of Belgium abdicated from the throne in favour of his son Philippe of Belgium after 20 years of reign. Photo: AFP
A commenter, listing herself as "Mum of Four", has suggested the following: "My daughter suggested as soon as it's born prince William should bring the baby out and hold it up for all the adoring subjects to bow down - a la "the Lion King" ;p"
She later sent another message assuring us that she was being tongue in cheek.
"Melbournian" who is listed as living in Singapore gets the joke: "mum of 4 ... i don't think this reply was aimed at you ... and your daughters comment is gorgeous!"
Let's study that proposal, shall we?
Royal supporter Terry Hutt poses for a picture outside the Lindo Wing of Saint Mary's Hospital in Paddington. Photo: AFP
Royal supporter Terry Hutt? You sure we've got the right descriptor?
When royal fans go fanatic, they really apply themselves to the task.
Meanwhile, baby name speculation continues unabated on that most democratic of information sources, Twitter.
They should really name it Paddington, shouldn't they? #royalbaby— Andrea Mann (@AndreaMann) July 22, 2013
Royal fan Teba Diatta stands outside St Mary's Hospital with a cake on July 22, 2013 in London, England. Photo: Getty
Well, as the clock ticks towards midnight, with nary a sign of an announcement from the hospital doors, maybe it's time for a little night music.
A few months ago it was reported that the composer who wrote music for the royal wedding had subsequently written a lullaby for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby.
It "seemed natural" to mark the "next stage of the royal couple's journey together", said Paul Mealor.
It has since been recorded with vocals by Kiwi songbird Hayley Westenra. It's surprisingly lovely. Give it a listen, especially if you're going to bed soon.
It's even hotter in central London, says Nick Miller: "As the mercury hits 33C outside Buckingham Palace, a lot of the royal watchers have sought the shade of Green Park next door. The ice cream guy is doing a roaring trade."
Britain's Met Office has announced that today is officially the hottest day of the year. So, there was a full moon, a thunderstorm, the third in line to the throne is busy being born, and now, "phew, what a scorcher". A special day indeed.
It's now 32.8 °C in Northolt and 32.7 °C in Charlwood making it the hottest day of the year— Met Office (@metoffice) July 22, 2013
Compare and contrast. This is how the media of the day greeted the arrival of the imminent bub's granddad, Prince Charles.
"Only a few months old, His Royal Highness makes his debut in front of the cameras."
Somehow, I don't think we'll have to wait as long as that to see the new arrival ...
Which poses the question: what will the impact of the royal birth have on the republican debate in Australia?
Almost a year ago, Fairfax Media ran an opinion piece by Australian-in-London Kathy Lette on that very issue. "Imagine the PR boost if, or when, Will and Kate produce an heir," the introduction read.
"Let's not allow a royal baby to be a PR stealth weapon, flying right under our republican radar," she warned.
The people at @RepublicStaff's Twitter account are refusing to come to the party. They're taking swings at that most venerable British institution, the BBC, at the same time.
Monarchy is political institution steeped in power and vested interest. Something @BBCNews should keep in mind when doing their PR for them— Republic (@RepublicStaff) July 22, 2013
Fairfax's Europe Correspondent Nick Miller describes the scene outside the hospital, and walks us through the process that will be followed once the royal baby is born.
Royal baby frenzy grips Britain
Europe correspondent Nick Miller describes the scene outside Buckingham Palace as crowds gather awaiting news of the royal baby, while the world's media goes into overdrive outside the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge is in labour.PT2M50S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2qf5u 620 349 July 22, 2013
Our man on the hospital doorstep, Nick Miller, has been turning his ear to the rapportage around him.
"As news continues not to happen, media have turned to examining what may have triggered Kate's labour. Was it last night's full moon? Or the morning's thunderstorm? Or something astrological to do with Mercury retrograde? Despite the answer to all these questions being "no", it seems to be time to ask them ..."
It's Prince Wills! The expectant father has come out to have a quiet word with the media outside St Mary's Hospital!
Err ... not so much. Just a bit of mask-wearing by one of the camera operators waiting in a media "pen" outside the Lindo Wing. Let's hope they're all on penalty rates.
A TV camera operator wears a Prince William mask in a pen outside The Lindo Wing of Saint Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London. Photo: AFP
While we wait for the future heir to the throne, another trip down memory lane.
A look at the maternity wear and babies of the British royal family over the years.
The Queen Mother (as the Duchess of York) with her baby daughters, Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II), and Princess Maragaret (centre) in 1931.
The Sun newspaper says it is quoting the grandfather-to-be.
The parody Twitter account of the Queen has already got in on the shopping spree.
Meanwhile, the producers of royal memorabilia must surely be in overdrive. The London Telegraph has reported that the royal birth is expected to generate a £243 million ($404 million) spending spree over the next two months, with at least £80 million being spent on souvenirs.
The race will be on the moment the gender and name of the baby are released - not to mention the first pictures.
The media outside St Mary's Hospital is in a state of perpetual readiness ...
Makeup is applied to a television journalist in front of the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, where Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrived to give birth. Photo: Reuters
A reader just informed me that there's already a Facebook page to congratulate the royal couple. Do you think they will they ever see it?
Can't decide whether this is completely creepy or quite cool... regardless this composite, courtesy of Digital Spy, is utterly fascinating. Messed up haircuts all the same...
Will all the coverage lead to monarchy overkill? The Republicans reckon so:
Meanwhile, whatever star sign the baby is, other newborns who share their birthday will get a nifty gift. The Royal Mint has minted 2,013 silver coins bearing a shield of the Royal Arms for all British bubs born on the same day.
Just for a moment we must consider some of the more serious implications of the royal birth. Namely, is it going to be a Leo, like Princess Anne and Princess Margaret or a Cancerian, like Prince William and Diana (pictured below)?
Apparently bub has to make an appearance within the next four and a half hours if it is going to be a Cancer. Before 4.54pm London time to be precise. There is a full moon on the way which is said to help with contractions.
According to The Daily Mail, the issue is dividing the masses and sending the Twittersphere into a frenzy. We can only hope the astrologers don't strike.
Let the race begin...
Assuming all is going to plan, by morning we should have a new addition to the royal family. As for how her labour is going, it's been said that Kate is not to posh to push.
In fact, some reports say Kate has been considering hypnosis to deal with the pain of a natural labour. Advocates of the 'hypno-birth' technique say that it helps women use their mind to seize control of the birthing process and learn techniques that allow the production of oxytocin, a pain relieving hormone which stimulates the uterus.
Charles confirms he knows nothing:
Asked whether he knew about the birth, Prince Charles replies "Absolutely nothing. We're waiting". #RoyalBaby— Peter Hunt (@BBCPeterHunt) July 22, 2013
This is taking royal portraits to a whole new level (base?):
Yes, it's a very exciting occasion... British PM David Cameron states the obvious:
Prime Minister David Cameron says #RoyalBaby is a "very exciting occasion" and whole country is "hoping for the best"— Sky News Newsdesk (@SkyNewsBreak) July 22, 2013
More from around the world. This is going to be one impressive entrance:
A 41-gun salute from London's Green Park and 62 cannon blasts from the Tower of London will mark the arrival of a new royal heir. #RoyalBaby— TODAY (@todayshow) July 22, 2013
Sweet synchronicity: apparently Kate's waters broke this morning as a thunderstorm rolled in over London. For the crowds gathering outside the palace and hospital for the announcement of the birth however, it is likely to be a long, hot day. It is not yet 11.30am over there and according to weather forecasts, today is set to be the hottest day of the year so far. London has been in a 'heatwave' for more than a week, and today the mercury is tipped to be 32 degrees C and humid.
Policemen at Buckingham Palace have just asked the crowds to clear away from the front gate. Not sure if this means anything beyond crowd control, Nick Miller says.
They have also just warned the ever-growing crowd that pickpockets are taking advantage of the opportunity. Keep an eye on your wallets and passports, they say.
Meanwhile, it's time for that time-worn Buckingham Palace tradition - the changing of the guard.
It's simultaneously a historic moment... and business as usual.
Nick Miller tells us that hundreds of excited tourists and members of the public are already gathered outside Buckingham Palace, waiting for the official announcement. It could be a long wait. In the meantime they can gawk at the palace guards and also watch a gardener who is spraying the forecourt for weeds.
Like puppies patiently waiting by the door, so the media and public wait Nick Miller tells us, excited and expectant looking intently at a closed door.
The world is waking up and now there are more than 30,000 #royalbaby Tweets. That hash tag is an insatiable beast.
Here's a shot, capturing a small sea of onlookers and media outside St Mary's, by Nick Miller.
He tells us that the waiting media contingent are keeping busy. The inside word is that the BBC correspondent is very funny - "he has already made the point several times that he has no news but they keep crossing back to him".
Miller also says that desperate times are calling for desperate measures. "Some of the media are interviewing each other, some are interviewing the diehard royalists who have been patiently waiting here more than a week and have probably been interviewed about 100 times each over that period."
Our London correspondent, Nick Miller talks us through who Kate's medical team is and explains what on earth the 'Kate Effect' is.
Sydney Morning Herald's The Diary editor and avid royal watcher, Daisy Dumas gives the low-down on what we know so far and what to expect.
Given the media has been on a stakeout of the hospital for nearly a month, the pressure and competition to get pictures is fierce. Looks like the royals are coming up trumps so far and this is the best the media has managed:
Apparently the photographs being offered of Kate arriving at the private Lindo Wing show two cars but not the duchess going in. #RoyalBaby— Peter Hunt (@BBCPeterHunt) July 22, 2013
Maybe the Queen knew and Charles didn't! He's apparently in York today, which is nearly four hours from London...
Prince Charles -- poised to become a grandad for the first time -- is in York today. #RoyalBaby— Peter Hunt (@BBCPeterHunt) July 22, 2013
Did the royal family know the baby was coming today? This Tweet from BBC royal Correspondent, Peter Hunt:
The Queen is at Windsor and has no public engagements today. #RoyalBaby— Peter Hunt (@BBCPeterHunt) July 22, 2013
US Weekly is getting all crazy on us with this controversial Tweet:
#royalbaby update: A source tell Us Kate Middleton went into labor naturally.— Us Weekly (@usweekly) July 22, 2013
With Tweets from around the world coming in thick and fast, let's take a look at some of the reactions...
The Daily Express is already managing to make an exciting day utterly depressing:
"The tiny tot [will be] endlessly photographable, perpetually newsworthy, never off the cover of some magazine, somewhere in the world," the linked article says. "It will make them sooner or later the object of unwelcome scrutiny on a scale that will challenge the adoring fascination in which they will be lovingly embraced at birth."
We've all heard the saying 'a face only a mother can love'. We're pretty sure, given that mum and dad are a bit gorgeous, bub isn't going to struggle in the looks department. Check out the blossoming romance of the beautiful couple.
A royal romance
Kate and Prince William on their graduation day at St Andrews University in Scotland, June 23, 2005. Photo: Reuters
Punters in the UK have put more than one million pounds on the table, betting on name, sex, weight and the date of birth.
Punters in Oz have been getting in on the act too.
Sportingbet Australia has just sent us a release saying its royal baby betting markets are suspended now that Kate has been admitted to St Mary's hospital in London.
Here's what Aussie punters have been betting on:
Odds are on for a girl ($1.40) over a boy ($2.75).
Like British betters, we've chosen Alexandra as a clear winner - at $2.50 it is the favourite to be the name of the royal baby.
Elizabeth and Charlotte were equal second favourites ahead of Diana, Victoria, Alice and Mary.
George was the favourite boy name ahead of Phillip.
Name of William and Kate's first baby
- Alexandra $2.50
- Elizabeth $6.50
- Charlotte $6.50
- Diana $7.00
- Victoria $11.00
- Alice $13.00
- Mary $15.00
- George $17.00
- Frances $17.00
- Grace $17.00
- Anne $21.00
- Catherine/Kate $21.00
- Philip $21.00
- Sophia $21.00
A boy or a girl?
Who will be holding the baby when leaving hospital?
Hair colour of Royal baby?
More from Clarence House... they might be contemporary, with Twitter and all, but a little more chutzpah with their Twitter writing certainly wouldn't go astray...
The Duchess travelled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital with The Duke of Cambridge.— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) July 22, 2013
For all accusations of stuffiness, the palace is keen to prove how contemporary they are. Heck, even they have a Twitter account.
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London in the early stages of labour.— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) July 22, 2013
Since 3pm today there have been 14,201 #royalbaby Tweets. I think it's fair to say that the world has a serious case of baby brain. Insanity!
The Twittersphere has unsurprisingly been a hive of activity in the past month with #royalbaby fever attracting nearly 11,800 Tweets last Friday alone. That was up from 9,700 the day before and almost double the Tweets of the following day. The reason? This very cheeky post from the fake Queen:
It's a girl! Just kidding. Still no news. It's a bit bloody late, to be honest. #RoyalBaby— Elizabeth Windsor (@Queen_UK) July 19, 2013
A bit of trivia to kick off the festivities: Princess Di was in labour for 16 hours with William... she also gave birth to him in the Lindo Wing of St Mary's where Kate is now. Check out the pics of royal bubs of old.
Royal babies through the ages
This picture of Queen Elizabeth and her second son, Prince Andrew as a baby was made by Mr Cecil Beaton in the music room at Buckingham Palace, London. The Prince is only just over a month old.
We've all been on tenterhooks, but the royal waters have broken and the third heir to the throne is on its way!
Here's the official notice sent to the press by Kensington Palace:
22nd July 2013
THE DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE HAS BEEN ADMITTED TO ST MARY'S HOSPITAL IN THE EARLY STAGES OF LABOUR
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted this morning to St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London in the early stages of labour.
The Duchess travelled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital with The Duke of Cambridge.
For a first baby, the average time of the first stage of labour is 12 to 14 hours. It's now been two hours since the palace announced she was in labour, so we might have a bit of time on our hands. While we're waiting for this highly anticipated arrival, we'll take a look at Will's and Kate's relationship, the history of royal births, the media reactions around the world, official updates and more. Stay posted.