LONDON — It's a boy!
Prince William's wife, Kate, has given birth to a prince, who is now third in line to the British throne.
The child was born Monday, after many Britons woke up to the news that Kate, also known as the Duchess of Cambridge, had gone into labor with the couple's first child.
The birth announcement, via a press release from Kensington Palace, said the boy was born at 4:24 p.m. weighing 8 pounds, 6 ounces. William was present for the birth, the statement said. The announcement did not include a name for the future monarch, though one is expected to be announced in the next few days.
"Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well and will remain in hospital overnight," it said. "Members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news."
The royal birth recalled that of the baby's father, William, in 1982, at the same central London hospital. Many remember the moment when he was carried out in his mother Princess Diana's arms with proud father Prince Charles at their side.
William and Kate's son is expected to follow Charles and William to the throne.
No one can tell what political and personal changes the intervening years will bring, but the baby can be expected to become the head of state of 16 countries, including Britain, Australia and Canada, and possibly the head of the Commonwealth, which covers 54 nations.
The child will also eventually become Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
The baby represents a living link to Britain's imperial history — the infant is the great-great-great-great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria, who ruled at the peak of British power.
Many Britons had hoped that William and Kate would start a family shortly after their gala 2011 wedding, which drew a global television audience in the hundreds of millions.