LONDON — Kate, wife of Prince William, smiled and waved as she left hospital on Monday after giving birth to a boy who is now fifth in line to the British throne.
The baby was born at 10:01 GMT and weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces. William was present for the birth at St Mary’s Hospital in west London where their other two children, George and Charlotte, were also born.
Kate, wearing a red dress, smiled at hundreds of well-wishers and assembled journalists as she left the hospital clutching her baby just seven hours after the birth. William later put the boy, strapped into a car seat, into a waiting car.
“Thrice the worry now,” William told reporters, holding up three fingers with a smile, as he got into a Land Rover to take his wife and newborn back to Kensington Palace. “We didn’t keep you waiting too long this time.”
“Very happy, very excited, thank you,” he said. When asked about a name for the boy, William said: “You’ll find out sooner or later.” Bookmakers have made Albert, Arthur, Jack and Fred the favored names for a boy.
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, the baby’s grandfather, and other members of the royal family and Kate’s family have been informed and “are delighted with the news,” Kensington Palace said.
When William brought his children to see their brother, Princess Charlotte, 2, turned and waved at the gathering of well-wishers. George, 4, did not wave.
The baby is the queen’s sixth great-grandchild and is behind his grandfather and heir Prince Charles, father William, and siblings George and Charlotte in line to the throne.
A 2013 change to the law means that for the first time in British history, a new prince will not supplant his older sister in the order of succession. Previously younger males would take precedence over older female siblings.
William’s younger brother Harry, who marries U.S. actress Meghan Markle next month, falls to sixth on the list.
The official announcement of the birth was made by placing a notice on an easel in the forecourt of the queen’s London home, Buckingham Palace, a tradition that has been in place since it became the sovereign’s official residence in 1837.
“My warmest congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their baby boy,” Prime Minister Theresa May said. “I wish them great happiness for the future.”
The British royals are rarely out of the media glare, but the baby arrives at a time when the Windsors have particularly been in the limelight.
On Saturday William joined the queen and other senior royals, with the exception of Kate, as the monarch celebrated her 92nd birthday at a televised concert.
The queen also played a prominent role at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London last week, where it was announced that Charles would succeed her as head of the network of mainly former British colonies.
While interest in their third child has been more muted than with the birth of their first, large numbers of photographers and broadcasters from around the globe massed outside the hospital, along with some dedicated royal fans.
The birth also gives Kate’s own family another cause for celebration after it was reported by British media on Sunday that her sister Pippa, who is married to a wealthy financier, was pregnant with her first child.