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Royal baby born: Cheers outside Buckingham Palace

Royal baby born: Cheers outside Buckingham Palace
Members of the public celebrate outside Buckingham Palace in London after an easel was placed in the forecourt with the announcement of the birth of a baby boy to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. (Clive Gee / Associated Press)

LONDON — A few hundred people were crowded up against the gates of Buckingham Palace Monday, waiting for official confirmation of the birth of a baby boy to Prince William and his wife, the former Kate Middleton.

Cheers went up whenever the palace guards, sweltering in the evening heat in their red uniforms and bushy black hats, performed maneuvers in the palace forecourt.

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Helicopters buzzed overhead, onlookers streamed into the plaza before the palace, and many sat on the monument of Queen Victoria. Union Jacks hung from posts lining Pall Mall, the broad avenue leading to the palace from Trafalgar Square.

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Tourists seemed to outnumber British subjects, but were no less enthusiastic about the royal arrival.

"I wanted to be a witness — it's just so exciting," said Yemi Badero, 23, a social worker from Lagos, Nigeria, who is in Britain on vacation. "It's an important event, an important occasion."
Badero had watched the duke and duchess' wedding on television in 2011.

"They're definitely a different generation, in a good way ... a little modern and sophisticated," she said.

Following tradition, the public announcement of the House of Windsor’s newest arrival was withheld from the crowd until Queen Elizabeth II and senior members of the royal family had been notified. It was then posted on paper on an easel at Buckingham Palace and on social media networks worldwide.

The crowd pressed forward, trying to take pictures of the easel with their cell phone cameras.

The child was born at 4:24 p.m. London time, about 10½ hours after Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, entered St. Mary's Hospital in central London in the early stages of labor. Palace officials said the infant weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces.

The newborn is third in the line of succession after his grandfather, Prince Charles, and father, William.

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Twitter: @HenryHChu

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henry.chu@latimes.com

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