LONDON -- Britain and the world waited for news Monday afternoon, after Prince William's wife, Kate, checked into the private wing of a central London hospital and palace officials announced that she was in labour.

William was at his wife's side for the birth of their first child. It is a historic moment for the British monarchy -- the baby will be third in line for the British throne, after Prince Charles and William, and should eventually become king or queen.

William and Kate entered St. Mary's Hospital in central London through a side door early Monday morning, avoiding the world's media. Kensington Palace confirmed her arrival about 90 minutes later.

Royal officials said they travelled by car, without a police escort, just before 6 a.m. Kate -- also known as the Duchess of Cambridge -- is expected to give birth in the private Lindo Wing of the hospital, where Princess Diana also gave birth to William and his younger brother, Prince Harry.

"Things are progressing as normal,'' the couple's spokesman said.

Palace officials are not expected to provide many details about how her labour is progressing.

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The baby is in line to become Britain's monarch and be recognized as head of state in 15 other countries, including Canada and Australia, playing a leading role in charting the future of the Commonwealth.

But little else is known, including how the baby will arrive -- it is not clear if Kate will have a natural birth or deliver by a cesarean section -- its gender and its name.

Prince Charles, about to become a grandfather, told well-wishers early Monday afternoon that he had not received any updates about Kate's condition.

Queen Elizabeth II, the expectant great-grandmother, arrived at Buckingham Palace Monday afternoon, drawing cheers from the crowd gathered to await the birth announcement.

Royal watchers must wait to be told of the baby's arrival from the palace, which is planning to reveal the news through a mixture of tradition and social media.

Palace officials have said that the first hint will come when a royal aide emerges from the hospital with a signed bulletin carrying the Buckingham Palace letterhead. The bulletin will be given to an official who will be driven to Buckingham Palace, where it will be posted on an easel in public view in front of the building.

At the same time the bulletin is posted, there will be an official announcement on Twitter and the media will be formally notified. The document will give the baby's gender, weight and time of birth.

It could be some time before the baby's name is made public. When William was born, a week passed before his name was announced. Charles's name remained a mystery for an entire month.

But it is the baby's gender that is of particular interest because the prospect of Kate's pregnancy prompted a change to laws of succession to ensure a daughter would not be passed over for the crown by a younger brother. Boy or girl, the child will be the prospective future monarch.

The birth of a new heir to the throne has been breathlessly anticipated by many Britons since William and Kate wed on April 29, 2011.

Reflecting the fact that not everyone is so excited, however, the Guardian added a "republican'' button to its website so that those who are not in favour of the monarchy could get a baby-free version of the paper.

Despite a rough start to the pregnancy, when she was hospitalized for acute morning sickness, the 31-year-old Kate made a number of public appearances that were halted only near the end of her term.

She will be looked after by a top-notch medical team led by royal gynecologist Dr. Marcus Setchell.

Since the duchess has cut back on her royal duties, media outlets have been clamouring for position outside of the hospital in anticipation of the birth, jockeying to secure the best vantage point for filming William and Kate emerging, babe in arms.

At Buckingham Palace, where the birth will be announced, tourists packed near the front gate, peering through the black iron bars to catch of a glimpse of any action.

Two New York teachers, Maddalena Buffalino, 29, and Michael Savino, 32, were quizzing a pair of passing police officers about where the easel would be placed.

"Just being here is very cool,'' said Buffalino, who said she'd been following royal baby news intently.

She said the tradition and glamor of the royal household was what attracted Americans like her to the palace.

"It's the history,'' the social studies teacher said. "We don't have it.''

Police eventually shooed the growing crush of tourists away from the gate, with one officer warning the assembled crowd to keep an eye on their wallets and valuables.

Officials have said that William plans to take two weeks' paternity leave and then return to his military duties as a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot in Wales.

His tour of duty is scheduled to wrap up around September, and he and Kate are expected to move from their isolated cottage on the island of Anglesey off the coast of Wales to Kensington Palace in central London.

But major refurbishment works at the palace likely won't be finished until at least a month or two after the infant is born -- meaning that William and Kate will most likely have to make do with their current temporary home in London, a two-bedroom property at the palace.

Come autumn, however, the family will be able to move into their permanent London home, Apartment 1a at Kensington Palace -- a four-story house with a nursery, 20 rooms and a private garden.

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  • Britain's Catherine Duchess of Cambridge waves as she rides back to Buckingham Palace following the Queen's Birthday parade, 'Trooping the Colour,' in central London on June 15, 2013.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge laughs on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the annual Trooping the Colour Ceremony on June 15, 2013 in London, England.

  • Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives for a ceremony to officially name Princess Cruises's new ship 'Royal Princess' in Southampton, southern England on June 13, 2013.

  • Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) attends a ceremony to officially name Princess Cruises's new ship 'Royal Princess' in Southampton, southern England on June 13, 2013.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Princess Cruises ship naming ceremony at Ocean Terminal on June 13, 2013 in Southampton, England.

  • Britain's Prince William his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry arrive at Westminster Abbey in London, on June 4, 2013 for a service to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Coronation Service.

  • Britain's Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, arrive for a service to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey in London on Tuesday, June 4, 2013.

  • Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a service of celebration to mark the 60th anniversary of the Coronation Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on June 4, 2013 in London, England.

  • Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a service of celebration to mark the 60th anniversary of the Coronation Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on June 4, 2013 in London, England.

  • Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London May 22, 2013.

  • Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall (L) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London May 22, 2013.

  • Queen Elizabeth II Hosts A Garden Party At Buckingham Palace

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 22: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (detail) attends a Garden Party in the grounds of Buckingham Palace hosted by Queen Elizabeth II on May 22, 2013. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales (L), Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall (C) and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge attend a garden party in the grounds of Buckingham Palace on May 22, 2013.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge talks to guests as she attends a garden party in the grounds of Buckingham Palace on May 22, 2013.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge meets children and staff during a visit to Naomi House Children's Hospice on April 29, 2013 near Winchester, Hampshire, England.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Visits Naomi House on April 29, 2013 in Hampshire, England.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the Inauguration Of Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden on April 26, 2013 in London, England.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the Inauguration Of Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden on April 26, 2013 in London, England.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends an evening reception to celebrate the work of The Art Room charity at The National Portrait Gallery on April 24, 2013 in London, England.

  • Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends an evening reception to celebrate the work of The Art Room charity at The National Portrait Gallery in London on April 24, 2013.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives to visit The Willows Primary School on April 23, 2013 in Manchester, England.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives to visit The Willows Primary School on April 23, 2013 in Manchester, England.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the National Review of Queen's Scouts at Windsor Castle on April 21, 2013 in Windsor, England.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the National Review of Queen's Scouts at Windsor Castle on April 21, 2013.

  • Catherine, Countess of Strathearn during a visit to Dumfries House on April 5, 2013 in Ayrshire, Scotland.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits Dumfries House in Ayrshire, Scotland, on April 5, 2013.

  • Catherine, Countess of Strathearn visits the Donald Dewar Leisure Centre to launch a new project for their foundation on April 4, 2013 in Glasgow, Scotland.

  • Catherine, Countess of Strathearn visits the Donald Dewar Leisure Centre to launch a new project for their foundation on April 4, 2013 in Glasgow, Scotland.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits the Baker Street tube station with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in London on March 20, 2013 to mark the 150th anniversary of the London underground.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge makes an official visit to the Baker Street tube station on March 20, 2013 in London, England.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leaves following a visit to the offices of Child Bereavement UK in Saunderton, Buckinghamshire on March 19, 2013.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge receive a teddy bear during a visit to the offices of Child Bereavement UK in Saunderton, Buckinghamshire on March 19, 2013.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits the offices of Child Bereavement UK in Saunderton, Buckinghamshire on March 19, 2013.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and her husband, Prince William, attend the St. Patrick's Day Parade at Mons Barracks in Aldershot, England on March 17, 2013.

  • Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a St. Patrick's Day parade by the 1st Battalion Irish Guards as they visit Aldershot Barracks on St Patrick's Day on March 17, 2013 in Aldershot, England.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge watch the races on Gold Cup Day at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 15, 2013 in Cheltenham, England.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends day four of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 15, 2013 in Cheltenham, England.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits Humberside Fire and Rescue Peaks Lane Fire Station on March 5, 2013 in Grimsby, England.

  • Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge arrives to visit the National Fishing Heritage Centre on March 5, 2013 in Grimsby, England.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits Hope House Residential Centre on February 19, 2013 in London, England.

  • This picture taken on February 19, 2013 shows the 'baby bump' of Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge as she arrives at the Hope House charity in south London.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is seen after viewing artist Paul Emsley's new portrait of herself during a private viewing at the National Portrait Gallery on January 11, 2013 in London, England.

  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge meet artist Paul Emsley after viewing his new portrait of the Duchess during a private viewing at the National Portrait Gallery on January 11, 2013 in London, England.

  • The Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge leave the King Edward VII Hospital where she has been treated for hyperemesis gravidarum, extreme morning sickness, on December 6, 2012 in London, England.

  • Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrives at the King Edward VII Hospital in central London on December 6, 2012, where Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was admitted for severe morning sickness.

  • MORE: Potential Baby Names For Will And Kate

  • Elizabeth

    <strong>FAMILY TREE:</strong> Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth and Prince William's grandmother. <strong>MEANING:</strong> <a href="http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/0/Elizabeth#qwA1pvxW5c1iTKTx.99"><em>Elizabeth is of Hebrew origin and means God's promise or God is my oath.</em></a> <strong>WHY WE LIKE IT: </strong> Why wouldn't you want to be named after one of the most powerful women in the United Kingdom? Even though sources report that the couple has decided to use <a href="http://hollywoodlife.com/2012/06/11/prince-william-kate-middleton-baby-plans-name-princess-diana/">Elizabeth as one of two middle names</a>, Elizabeth not only honours the baby's great grandmother, but Kate Middleton's middle name is Elizabeth as well.

  • George VI

    <strong>FAMILY TREE:</strong> King George VI was King of the United Kingdom from 1936 to 1952. <strong>MEANING:</strong> <a href="http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/1/George#zuPdDDIpXvFRlxtj.99">Originally of Greek origin, the meaning of George is "farmer". Also there is the story of Saint George, a knight who became the patron saint of England and achieved legendary status after his struggle with a fire-breathing dragon.</a> <strong>WHY WE LIKE IT: </strong> Besides being a dragon slayer, the name George <a href="http://www.britroyals.com/royaltree.htm">goes back to the Royal family's history books since 1660</a>. George VI was also the last male figure in power — this title currently belongs to Queen Elizabeth II.

  • Diana

    <strong>FAMILY TREE:</strong> Princess Diana, The Princess of Wales and Prince William's mother. <strong>MEANING:</strong> <em><a href="http://babynamesworld.parentsconnect.com/meaning_of_Diana.html">Diana is derived from either an Indo-European root meaning 'divine' or from the Latin word 'diviana.'</a></em> <strong>WHY WE LIKE IT: </strong> After Princess Diana's tragic car crash in 1997, Diana would be a wonderful tribute to remember Lady Di. Again, sources say the couple plan on using Diana as a middle name, but we would love to see Diana used as the first name.

  • William Jr.

    <strong>FAMILY TREE:</strong> Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and father. <strong>MEANING:</strong><em> <a href="http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/1/William#kRsY6f1d4xSc9wCW.99">William is of Old German origin and means protection.</a></em> <strong>WHY WE LIKE IT: </strong> Maybe a reason to follow in his father's footsteps, William Jr. may be a suitable name if the couple had a baby boy. Prince William has always been known for his <a href="http://www.biography.com/people/prince-william-9542068">good grades, his love for sports and being a philanthropist.</a>

  • Margaret Rose

    <strong>FAMILY TREE:</strong> Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, was Queen Elizabeth's sister. <strong>MEANING:</strong> <a href="http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/0/Margaret#TXLuZUx8EPt4sFuw.99"><em> Margaret is of Greek origin and means pearl.</em></a> <strong>WHY WE LIKE IT: </strong> Keeping it in the family, we like that fact that Princess Margaret was the Queen's youngest and only sibling. Margaret lived a life of controversy when it came to her love life and divorce, but <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1384429/H-R-H-The-Princess-Margaret.html">she was remembered for her affection and love for her family</a>, according to The Telegraph. Plus, so many good nickname possibilities!


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Speculation over the royal couple's choice of name has run wild in the time since the Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy was announced, with Brits betting on front-runners with and without strong historical precedents.

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By choosing a polka-dotted dress for her hospital departure, Kate has inadvertently opened the flood gates to another wave of comparison to a woman she has never even met.

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Sin City has officially extended an offer for the royal baby to visit once he's of age. Do you think baby George's uncle, Prince Harry, will come along?

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Your sex life will never be the same. In my day. What, not breast-feeding?

From diet tips to "little baby, little problems," sleep-deprived and super-stressed new parents have heard it all. And they want you to stop it.

As Britain's Prince William and his wife, Kate, move along on their parenting journey, it seems even the queen has had a what-not-to-say moment. According to a special edition of Us magazine on raising royals, she exclaimed soon after William's birth: "Thank goodness he hasn't ears like his father!"

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All of a sudden, there's a lot more interest in Carole Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge's 58-year-old mom and the only biological grandmother of the littlest future king of England.

With Kate and her mom extremely close, and the new parents both eager to live somewhat of a normal life, you can be sure Grannie Middleton will want to be very hands-on in her new royal role. Here's what you need to know about Carole.

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...as told by GIFs. See them here.

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The Telegraph reports that the couple hasn't yet finished decorating a nursery because they are waiting for the completion of their new apartment within Kensington Palace. According to E! Online, this 20-room space, also known as Apartment 1A, will be ready for the growing family in August. Prior to the renovations, this vacant area was serving as an office and storage space.

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The royal baby is here! Now that we've seen him and his parents have said some sweet words about the birth, we're left wondering... what is his official title?

Until Will and Kate choose a first name, the royal baby will officially be titled as "HRH Prince of Cambridge." It makes sense, given that his father is titled "Prince William, Duke of Cambridge" and Kate is titled "Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge." In fact, the royal baby's title will be the first time "Prince of Cambridge" has been used in 194 years! Find out more about his royal title here.

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Kate Middleton gave birth to a son on Monday afternoon, but the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have not yet made their baby name choice public -- and if precedent is any indication, it could be a week or even a month before their selection is announced.

On leaving the hospital with his wife and newborn on Tuesday, Prince William said the couple are "still working on a name," assuring an eager public, "We'll have that as soon as we can."

In the meantime, the baby name frenzy, that's been brewing since Kate's pregnancy was announced, is at its peak. Find out which royal name is the favorite!

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Baby nailed that wave. on Twitpic

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Preliminary thoughts upon “meeting” the Royal Baby for the first time:

He waves! Our first Royal wave.

Kate didn't fall down the steps while holding her son. I held my breath just in case. After all, she was wearing heels.

Kate made absolutely no attempt to appear like anything other than a woman who has just given birth. Okay, her hair looked better than most new mothers, but

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Kate Middleton and Prince William left St Mary's Hospital at 7:14 pm BST on July 23 with the royal baby boy in tow.

The duchess arrived at the hospital early in the morning on July 22 through a secret entrance. She gave birth to the 8-pound, 6-ounce baby at 4:24 p.m that day, more than a week after his rumored due date.

"I'll remind him of his tardiness when he's a bit older," Prince William joked to the press waiting outside the hospital. Kate stood beside Will holding her newborn son while wearing a bespoke blue dress by British designer, Jenny Packham. See photos here.

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Though he may never escape the glare of the limelight, we hope the newborn son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be comforted by his many blessings: a beautiful home, famous friends, thousands of adoring fans and… oh yes, a hefty billion dollar inheritance. Read more about it here.

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Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog just became the latest heavyweights to congratulate Prince William and Kate Middleton on the birth of the royal baby.

Walt Disney Studios posted a video on Tuesday of Kermit and Miss Piggy on the set of the upcoming Muppets movie, "Muppets Most Wanted." Watch it here.

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When asked about the royal baby, the first-time grandmother said he's "absolutely beautiful."

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The majority of British residents would be comfortable if Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge's firstborn child grew up to be gay, according to a new survey.

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Kate's mother and father, first-time grandparents, arrived at the Lindo Wing shortly after 3 pm on Tuesday.

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Within Will and Kate's first day as parents, revelers celebrate at Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey tolls bells and royal artilleries launch gun salutes. Australia has already dedicated a building to the royal baby.

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middletons

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Queen Elizabeth's imminent vacation may speed an announcement along.

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Royal tots in Belgium, Tokyo and beyond just got a new playmate to join their exceptionally exclusive kids' club.

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Protection officers were spotted dropping off not one, but two pizza pies at the rear entrance of St Mary's Lindo Wing.

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The bells will ring from 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm in London. Watch and listen here.

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