- - Monday, July 22, 2013

LONDON — It’s a boy!

Cheers and shouting echoed through the square at Buckingham Palace and in the streets around London’s St Mary’s Hospital, as crowds who had been waiting throughout the day welcomed the new addition to the royal family and the nation’s future monarch.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, remained in the hospital as Kensington Palace announced in a press release the birth of their first child. A notice was later placed on an easel at Buckingham Palace.

“I am delighted for the couple and wish them well. I am also excited as this baby is our future King,” said Patrick Nicholls, 56, a London contract supervisor.

“The birth can only be a good thing in this day and age with all the misery and doom and gloom around. There will be a lot of interest in the royal family now and it will boost the economy in lots of ways, it will help a lot of businesses,” Mr. Nicholls added.

Kensington Palace officials said the boy was born at 4.24 p.m. at the hospital’s Lindo Wing, more than 10 hours after 31-year-old Catherine was admitted in labor. The future sovereign weighed 8 pounds 6 ounces.

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The arrival of the newborn prince has sparked a frenzy of excitement as hundreds of journalists from the world’s media and crowds gathered to wait for news of the birthMonday, standing in the hot sun for the announcement.

Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, and their son Prince Charles and his son Prince Harry were said to be “delighted” at the news.

Words of congratulations poured in from around theworld. Australia sent congratulations earlier in the day while in Canada, there were plans for the CN Tower to light up in blue in celebration of the birth of the prince.

Both mother and baby were said to be doing well and will remain in hospital overnight, according to a statement released by Kensington Palace.

He will be third in the line of succession, behind grandfather Prince Charles and father Prince William.

Meanwhile, there is still speculation about the royal baby’s likely name. British bookmakers have taken bets on more than 100 different names: The favorite has been Alexandra for a girl and George for a boy. The baby’s official title will be his Royal Highness Prince of Cambridge.

Whatever name is chosen, it is sure to be copied in the near future by Britons wanting to keep things traditional and follow in royal footsteps.

Over the last 15 years, the British have been heavily influenced by the younger royals when it comes to baby names.

Royal names William, Harry, Beatrice and Zara have all increased in popularity since 1996, according to research carried out by the U.K. Office of National Statistics (ONS).

In fact, Harry was the No. 1 boy’s name in Britain, according to the most recently available ONS figures from 2011, up from No. 17 in 1996.

Similarly, the name William has moved up the rankings into 10th place, from 21st position 15 years ago.

“We do see that royal names continually trend among British mums. They are traditional and timeless, and mums go back to them for their own babies,” said Sarah Barrett, managing editor at BabyCentre UK.

“William and Kate will go for a more traditional name because I think that is more their personality, we know that Kate is quite down to earth, but also this baby is heir to the throne,” Ms. Barrett added.

She said that other royals like Princess Anne and Prince Andrew were able to be more adventurous with choosing names for their children, Zara and Eugenie, as they are less likely to be on the throne.

A recent survey carried out among more than 2,000 expectant British parents revealed 22 percent plan to give their baby a royal name.

The survey respondents chose Harry, William, Charles, Sophie, Kate and Elizabeth as the most popular royal names for their babies.

“The fact is that every parent wants their child to go on and do great things and many feel a strong regal name will help them achieve these things,” said George Charles ofVoucherCodesPro.co.uk, who carried out the research.

Mr. Charles said he was surprised celebrity names appeared to hold less appeal these days than royal names.

Respondents were asked if the recent buzz about the royal birth sparked their desire for a more traditional first or middle name for their child — 82 percent said yes.

It is likely the young prince will be christened in a similar fashion to his father at a private ceremony not long after his birth.

Prince William was baptized at 44-days-old by the archbishop of Canterbury in the traditional setting for such events — the white and gold music room at Buckingham Palace.



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