It's a boy! Duchess of Cambridge 'doing well' after giving birth to third child

The Duchess of Cambridge has safely given birth to her third child, a baby boy, this morning.

Both the baby, who weighs 8lbs 7oz, and the Duchess are 'doing well', the palace said. A name is yet to be announced.

The Duke of Cambridge was present at the birth, which took place at 11.01am, after travelling with his wife to St Mary's Hospital in central London earlier this morning.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, pictured in 2017, now have three children with another boy joining George, 4, and Charlotte, 2.Reuters

Bookies' favourites for boys' names are Arthur, Philip and Albert. All are highly traditional royal names and it is thought the couple will not opt for a more modern option reflecting the Middleton side of the family.

The boy will share a birthday with St George's Day.

Royal fans waited outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, central London, for news of the birth.Reuters

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the boy's great-grandparents, as well as Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families 'have been informed and are delighted with the news', the palace said.

The Prime Minister offered her 'warmest congratulations' to the family.

The archbishop of Canterbury also gave his congratulations to the couple. 'May God bless them and all of their children with love, happiness and health,' he tweeted.

The Church of England offered a prayer for the new born child.

It is highly unlikely the baby, as the third child, would ever accede to the throne. It is yet to happen in the current House of Windsor and the last time it happened was when the third child of George III and Queen Charlotte, William IV, became king and ruled from 1830 to 1837.

Kate and Will bring up their children together with William particularly determined to protect their privacy, an issue close to his heart after the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in a 1997 Paris car crash as her limousine sped away from chasing paparazzi.Reuters

Under previous rules the baby prince would have leapfrogged his older sister Charlotte to become fourth in line to the throne. But the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 removed the automatic preference for male offspring, meaning royal children now inherit the throne in strict order of birth.