The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, making their first public appearance with their new son, said they weren’t yet ready to announce the name they’ll give to the boy who becomes the third in line to the British throne.
“We’re still working on a name, so we will have that as soon as we can,” the duke, as Prince William is formally known, told waiting reporters last night as he and his wife Kate left St. Mary’s Hospital in central London, a day after she gave birth to their first child.
The royal couple and the child came out of the hospital to cheers in an appearance broadcast live on television around the world. Kate, wearing a light-blue spotted dress, carried the baby, wrapped in a shawl, out of the main entrance of the maternity wing before handing him to William, dressed casually in an open-necked blue shirt with sleeves rolled up, as dozens of photographers strove to capture the moment.
Three people stand between the baby and the throne: Queen Elizabeth II, who is 87; her eldest son Charles, the Prince of Wales, 64; and William, 31. William married Kate, who’s also 31, in April 2011. It took a week before Charles and his first wife, Diana Spencer, announced William’s name when he was born in 1982.
Bookmaker William Hill Plc made George the most likely name for the baby, at 9-4, meaning a successful 4-pound bet would win 9 pounds plus the return of the stake. James was second favorite at 4-1.
“He’s got a good pair of lungs on him, that’s for sure,” William said in his first remarks to reporters. “He’s a big boy, he’s quite heavy.” The child weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces (3.8 kilograms) when he was born.
Kate, smiling, said it was “very emotional, such a special time. I think any parent will know what this feeling feels like.”
William put the baby, strapped into a child seat, in the back of a black Range Rover before taking the wheel himself to drive home from the hospital in the capital’s Paddington district to Kensington Palace.
Kate’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, visited the hospital yesterday afternoon, staying for about an hour. Prince Charles arrived later with his second wife, Camilla.
Charles, on a visit yesterday to the village of Bugthorpe in Yorkshire, told broadcasters he’s “thrilled and very excited.”
William will return to work as a military helicopter pilot once he’s taken the two weeks’ paternity leave to which British fathers are entitled.
An apartment for the duke, the duchess and their new son is being readied at Kensington Palace.