'He's got his mother's looks and way more hair than me'
Royal couple calm and jovial amid media glare
Published 24/07/2013 | 05:00
OUT he came to meet the world in a storm of flashbulbs and cheering. The newborn heir's first experience of life outside St Mary's Hospital came at 7.15 last night. Swaddled in white, he lay in the arms of his proudly beaming mother; at her side, beaming just as proudly, his father. How at ease they looked together, and how relaxed, for a moment of such intensity.
Kate Middleton was wearing a light blue dress with white polkadots, reminiscent of the outfit worn by the Princess of Wales when she greeted the public following William's birth.
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, was in a light blue shirt unbuttoned at the neck, sleeves rolled to the elbows, and chinos.
After a few moments on the front steps, Kate passed the tiny heir delicately to her husband, and the couple strolled towards the crowds.
The media fired questions. The din was constant. The royal parents seemed to be the only people present who were remotely close to calm. William smiled. "He's got a good pair of lungs on him, that's for sure," he said of his son. "He's a big boy, he's quite heavy. We're still working on a name so we'll have that as soon as we can."
The new father was more than cheerful – he was jovial. "He's got her looks, fortunately," he said. ("No no, I'm not sure about that," said his wife bashfully.)
Nodding to his son's hair, William added: "He's got way more than me, thank God."
Kate said: "It's very emotional, it's such a special time. I think any parent will know what this feeling feels like."
How about nappy-changing?
"We've done that already," said William breezily. "He's done the first one," added Kate.
Prince William acknowledged his son's overdue birth and the increased anticipation it had caused: "I'll remind him of his tardiness when he's a bit older, because I know how long you've all been standing here. Hopefully the hospital and you guys can all go back to normal now and we can go and look after him."
An aide confirmed later that the couple have no plans to hire a nanny. Then, with an ease that will no doubt have left many fathers scratching their heads, William slipped his baby son into a car seat, popped it into the back of their Range Rover – and got behind the wheel to drive to Kensington Palace, where Kate's sister Pippa and the other Middletons were waiting to hold a family celebration.
For the crowd, teeming behind crash barriers, it had been reward for a day of frenzied patience. At 3pm, Kate's parents had arrived, then, at 5.30pm, two more visitors.
A cry of excitement spread. "Who is it? I can't see! Who is it?" Then, from the press pack, came a chorus of shouted questions, drowning each other out. All that could be made out was, "Charles! Charles! Charles!" Accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales had come to the Lindo Wing to pay his first visit to his grandson.
After shaking a few hands, the Prince turned to the crowds, gave a smile, and, with his wife, waved. But not for long. He could wait no longer. The two ducked indoors.
Queen Elizabeth is "thrilled" at the arrival of her first great-grandson, according to a guest at a Buckingham Palace reception. Louise Butt said the monarch told her that "the first born is very special". (© Daily Telegraph, London)