After many weeks of waiting, the royal baby is on the way. Kensington Palace officials confirmed Monday morning that Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, had been admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital in London in the early stages of labor.
According to the palace, the Duchess traveled by car to the hospital, accompanied by her husband, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, the grandson of the current British Queen, Elizabeth II. Sky News reported that Kate was taken in through a side entrance at around 6 a.m. London time.
The couple’s spokesman said, “Things are progressing as normal,” while Sky News’ royal correspondent Paul Harrison said the Duchess’ condition had been described as “very well”.
“It seems it was a very orderly arrival,” Harrison reported. “There were two vehicles. A Ranger Rover-type vehicle, and behind it there was an Audi vehicle.
“Prince William had said from the beginning that he wanted to be alongside his wife when she went into labor.”
The child, whose gender is unknown, would be third in line to the throne of Great Britain, behind Charles, Prince of Wales, and William.
Representatives of the world’s press had been gathered for days outside the private Lindo wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, where the birth would take place. The Duchess’ exact due date had been a closely guarded secret, but the general sense was that the royal baby’s arrival was overdue by at least one or two days.
Protocol requires that the queen be informed about the birth before the general public is told.
Following a time-honored royal tradition, the world will first read about the birth from a small bulletin posted in front of Buckingham Palace. It was the exact way officials announced the birth of Prince Charles in 1948 and Prince William in 1982, though this time around the monarchy has moved with the times and added social media as an easier way to reach more people.