Ring the bells, sound the horn and celebrate like you’re a card-carrying member of the Royal Family: The long-awaited arrival of William and Kate’s first child is finally here.
Prince William and his glowing wife Kate Middleton have announced the birth of their first child — the great-grandson of Queen Elizabeth II. The declaration is bound to set of celebrations across the Commonwealth, from England to Australia to here in Canada.
An official announcement reads:
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24pm.
The baby weighs 8lbs 6oz.
The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth.
The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news.
Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well and will remain in hospital overnight.
The highly anticipated birth is to be celebrated in Canada in grand fashion. Toronto's CN Tower will mark the child's arrival this evening. A light display has long been in preparation — pink lights to mark the birth of a girl, blue to mark the birth of a boy. The famous Niagara Falls will also be set aglow in celebration.
Carolyn Harris, a Toronto historian who writes a blog about the monarchy, says the birth is a matter of great celebration in Canada.
“The royal birth will be well received in Canada as William and Kate are very popular here because of the success of their 2011 tour,” Harris told Yahoo! Canada News.
“There is a long history of celebrating royal babies in Canada. When word reached Fort Louisbourg in 1752 that King Louis XV of France had a new grandson, the Duke of Burgundy, the inhabitants celebrated, enjoyed free wine, artillery salutes and a fireworks display.”
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If you think this birth will cause any less of a celebration, prepare to be disappointed.
The marriage of William and Kate has brought about renewed interest in the Royal Family and gave fresh public faces to the monarchy. When the couple was married in 2011, the wedding was watched by as many as two billion people around the world.
The couple's visit to Canada later that year garnered massive attention, and the two are now comfortably considered Canada's favourite members of the Royal Family. Their exploits, covered in tabloid magazines and on celebrity blogs, reach far beyond the traditional group of monarchists.
There is little doubt this love will be passed along to their progeny. The child has been anxiously anticipated since Middleton's pregnancy was confirmed last December.
Considering the child's place in line to the throne – third, after father William and grandfather Charles – there is more than a little riding on the child when it reaches adulthood.
For now, the little noble can focus on being a wee baby, adored by parents, grandparents, crown-adorned great-grandparents and loyal subjects alike.
Congratulations, William and Kate. May your beautiful son have all the health and happiness this world can offer.
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