LONDON — It’s a boy!
Prince William’s wife, Kate, has given birth to a boy, a child now third in line to the British throne.
The child was born Monday after many Britons woke up to the news that Kate 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.
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 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.
The royal couple and their newborn are expected to spend much of their time in the coming years in renovated quarters at Kensington Palace, where William and Harry also spent much of their childhood.
Royal officials say Kate and William will try to give their child as normal an upbringing as possible — which may be challenging in an age when the British royals are treated as major world celebrities.