24 Jul 2013

Royal couple show off new prince

7:14 am on 24 July 2013

Prince William and his wife Catherine have left a London hospital and given the world the first glimpse of their baby son.

Both parents talked to the media and well wishers gathered outside St Mary's Hospital in Paddington in anticipation of the couple's appearance.

"He's got a good pair of lungs on him, that's for sure," William said, while Catherine said the couple were "very emotional" after welcoming their first child. Prince William said the couple were "still working on a name".

After speaking for a few minutes, the prince drove the family from the hospital in a black Range Rover to cheers from the crowd.

The baby is third in line to the throne and will be known as the Prince of Cambridge. He will also become head of state of 15 Commonwealth countries including New Zealand.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had earlier thanked hospital staff for their "tremendous care", in their first joint statement since the baby was born.

The couple's first visitors had been Catherine's parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, who arrived in a black taxi at the private Lindo Wing of the hospital.

About two hours later Prince Charles arrived, with wife Camilla, to meet his newborn grandson for the first time.

The 31-year-old Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to hospital in London about 6am on Monday (local time) and the baby was born at 4.24pm after 10 hours of labour. Prince William was present at the birth.

Cannon fire salutes rang out at Green Park and the Tower of London in celebration, while the bells at Westminster Abbey pealed across the capital for three hours.

New Zealand's High Commissioner to Britain, Sir Lockwood Smith, says the royal couple will make great parents and he hopes they will be able to bring the baby to New Zealand.

Bookmakers say the favourite names for the baby are George, James and Alexander. Prince William has been on annual leave and will take two weeks of paternity leave from his job as a Royal Air Force search and rescue pilot.