It’s Day One of parenting for William and Kate. After the excitement and fatigue and joy of childbirth — emotions shared with a nation — the young couple is expected to bring the prince home and start to care for him.
But the lad’s name — and his likeness — remain a royal mystery. And as the infant child begins a long journey expected to see him someday become a king, Brits — and people from around the world — have been joining the royal family in celebration.
“The whole country will celebrate,” Prime Minister David Cameron said, paying tribute to Prince William and his wife, Kate. “They’ll make wonderful parents.”
After an impromptu party at Buckingham Palace, more celebrations are expected Tuesday, including gun salutes by royal artillery companies to honor the birth. Riders in uniform will trot past the palace to Green Park, where six field guns will fire 41 blank rounds.
Halfway around the world, royalist group Monarchy New Zealand said it had organized a national lightshow, with 40 buildings across the island lit up in blue to commemorate the royal birth, including Sky Tower in Auckland, the airport in Christchurch, and Larnach Castle in the South Island city of Dunedin.
“It’s a Boy!” was splashed across many UK front pages, while Britain’s top-selling The Sun newspaper temporarily changed its name to “The Son” in honor of the tiny monarch-in-waiting.
“REGAL HAS LANDED,” the paper cried. The left-leaning Guardian newspaper provided readers of its website with a “Republican” button so that they could filter out the barrage of royal news if they wanted.
Kate’s parents visit her in hospital
The parents of Prince William’s wife Kate visited her in hospital Tuesday, becoming the first family members to see the couple’s new baby as the rest of the world awaited a glimpse of the future British king.
First-time grandparents Carole and Michael Middleton arrived in a humble black taxi at the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London to visit the unnamed little boy, the third in line to the throne.
“He’s absolutely beautiful. They’re both doing very well and we’re so thrilled,” a beaming Carole Middleton told the massed ranks of international media who have camped outside the hospital for weeks.
Asked if she had suggested a name for the baby, she replied: “Absolutely not!”
Their arrival sparked hopes that the baby would soon be presented to the rest of the world, with palace officials saying William and Kate, both 31, could leave as early as Tuesday night.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge themselves earlier thanked hospital staff for their “tremendous care”, in their first joint statement since the baby was born on Monday.