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London (CNN) All eyes are glued Tuesday to the hospital where Catherine Duchess of Cambridge and husband Prince William welcomed their first child as a joyful public waits for its first glimpse of the new royal heir.
The boy was born at 4 24 p.m. Monday weighing 8 pounds 6 ounces. A name has not yet been announced for the child who is third in line to the British throne.
The royal couple remained in the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in London overnight but hopes were high they'd make an appearance as early as Tuesday.
If so they will likely appear holding their son on the same steps where Diana Princess of Wales and Prince Charles gave the world its first sighting of Prince William 31 years ago.
It may be awhile though. A royal source said William Catherine and their new baby are expected to leave the hospital either after 6 p.m. (1 p.m. ET) Tuesday or on Wednesday morning.
William and Catherine thanked hospital staff for the tremendous care the three of us have received in a statement issued via Kensington Palace on Tuesday.
We know it has been a very busy period for the hospital and we would like to thank everyone staff patients and visitors for their understanding during this time they said.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said Mother son and father are all doing well this morning.
The queen's gynecologist Marcus Setchell is at the hospital carrying out medical assessments of Catherine following the birth Kensington Palace said earlier.
Bells gun salutes
Meanwhile guardsmen at Buckingham Palace played the Cliff Richard song Congratulations to mark the birth of the royal baby at the Changing of the Guard. The military ceremony much beloved of tourists involves a new guard exchanging duty with the old guard in the palace forecourt.
Royal baby What's next
Crowds were gathered again outside the palace a day after they thronged there to see the formal notice announcing the baby's birth.
Multigun salutes will also be held Tuesday afternoon to welcome the new royal heir. The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Green Park is expected to release 41 rounds while the Honorable Artillery Company at the Tower of London will sound 62 rounds.
The bells of Westminster Abbey where William and Kate were married in April 2011 will peal for more than three hours in keeping with royal tradition.
It's not yet known where William and Catherine will take their baby after their discharge from hospital but it may be hard to escape the world's interest.
The news of the boy's birth announced about four hours after the event Monday prompted cheers and celebrations among the crowds of well wishers outside Buckingham Palace. At least one group of well wishers brought flowers champagne and a card for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.People gather outside Buckingham Palace in London to read the notice announcing the birth of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge's baby boy on Tuesday July 23. The news was placed in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in London on July 22. Catherine Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to the boy at 4 24 p.m. July 22. He weighed 8 pounds 6 ounces. A name has not been announced for the child who is third in line to the British throne. A man reads a copy of British tabloid The Sun renamed The Son on July 23. Empty bottles of alcohol sit outside Buckingham Palace in London on July 23. Crew members of the British warship HMS Lancaster celebrate the birth of the royal baby on patrol in the Caribbean in a handout photo released July 23. Crowds push forward to see the birth announcement on Monday July 22. People clamor for their chance to see and photograph the birth announcement that was placed on a golden easel by the queen's press secretary on July 22. The London Eye Ferris wheel on the banks of the Thames is lit up in red blue and white to mark the birth of the boy on July 22. The fountains at Trafalgar Square are lit blue to signify the birth of a boy on July 22. Royal fans celebrate the announcement of the birth of a boy to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at St. Mary's Hospital in London on July 22. Hayley Simmonds an employee at the British restaurant and grocery Tea Sympathy celebrates the birth on July 22 by hanging a sign in the store's window in New York. Karen Milne left of Scotland wears a mask of Catherine Duchess of Cambridge as she and friends celebrate the royal birth at Ye Olde King's Head English Pub in Santa Monica California on July 22. Revelers crowd against the railing of Buckingham Palace in London after an official notice proclaiming the birth was put on display on July 22. Crowds gather outside Buckingham Palace on July 22 after the announcement of the birth. The queen's press secretary Ailsa Anderson left and Badar Azim a palace footman place the official birth announcement on a golden easel in front of Buckingham Palace on July 22. Crowds gathered outside Buckingham Palace cheer as Anderson places the birth announcement in front of the palace on July 22. A town crier reads the announcement of the birth outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in London on July 22. Two of the gynecologists who attended to the duchess Marcus Setchell center and Alan Farthing right leave the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital on July 22. Media gather outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in London on July 22 as they await news of the birth. Crowds gather outside Buckingham Palace in London as news of Catherine Duchess of Cambridge's labor arrives on July 22. A Buckingham Palace official on July 22 hands the birth announcement to a colleague in a car to be driven from St. Mary's Hospital in London to Buckingham Palace. Police guard the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London as crowds gather and await news of the birth of the first child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on July 22. Royal supporters are interviewed by a television crew outside St. Mary's Hospital on July 22. Crowds gather behind a barricade outside St. Mary's Hospital as they wait for news of the birth on July 22. Hospital staff look out over a gathering crowd at St. Mary's Hospital in London on July 22. Royal fan Teba Diatta stands outside St. Mary's Hospital with a cake decorated for the occasion on July 22. Royal supporter Margaret Tyler holds decorative balloons as she waits outside St. Mary's Hospital in London on Saturday July 20. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Photos Reaction to royal baby What's it like to raise a royal baby Will Queen Elizabeth step down Royal notice placed on gilded easel
Social media networks were also abuzz with the news which made headlines around the world.
'We could not be happier'
The new parents spent some time with their baby before calling family members starting with the queen to announce the birth a Kensington Palace source told CNN royal correspondent Max Foster.
We could not be happier said Prince William according to the Kensington Palace source.
Prince William remained at Catherine's side throughout the labor and the baby was born naturally not via a cesarean section the source said.
Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well read an official bulletin placed on a gilded easel outside Buckingham Palace where the queen had returned Monday afternoon.
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The celebrations for the arrival of the new prince whose title will be His Royal Highness Prince (the baby's name) of Cambridge were hard to miss in the capital.
The fountains at Trafalgar Square were dyed blue the BT Tower a London landmark flashed the words It's a boy and the London Eye was illuminated in patriotic red white and blue.
Further afield Canada where the British monarch is head of state turned its side of the Niagara Falls blue to mark the birth and the CN Tower in Toronto was lit up the same color.
Betting on a name
The baby is third in line for the throne now occupied by the Queen Elizabeth II. Her son Charles will succeed her followed by his son William.
Many bets are being placed as the wait continues for the baby's name to be announced. British bookmakers Ladbrokes have James as favorite followed by Henry and George Philip Alexander and Richard.
Queen Ella King Terry What's in a royal nameThe royal baby What happens next Royal baby's famous Aunt Pippa Royal baby's 'fun' Uncle Harry The first child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Prince William and Catherine was born on Monday July 22. Speculation is rife as to what name they will choose for the new heir to the British throne. The British royal family tends to opt for very traditional names often referencing monarchs of the past. Queen Elizabeth II is seen here in 1951 with Prince Philip and a young Prince Charles and Princess Anne. George is the current front runner should the new baby turn out to be a boy. There have been six previous King Georges the most recent being the current queen's father though he was known by friends and family as Bertie. Prior to the birth announcement of a baby boy Alexandra was hotly tipped as the frontrunner should the baby be a girl with Charlotte running in second place and Victoria after Queen Victoria as third favorite. Before Catherine gave birth to a baby boy experts said Diana could be a potential middle name if the new arrival was a girl in tribute to Prince William's mother the baby's grandmother who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997. Certain choices are believed to be off limits as first names Edward is unlikely to be picked since King Edward VIII caused a scandal in 1936 abdicating the throne in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. In recent years some minor royals have moved away from regal to more fashionable modern choices. Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn named their daughters Savannah and Isla. British bookmakers also took bets on some more unusual names including Alberta perhaps in recognition of the Duke and Duchess's hugely successful trip to Canada in 2011. You can even wager at odds of 500/1 that William and Kate will name the royal baby Elvis after a monarch of a completely different kind the King of Rock 'n' Roll Elvis Presley. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 What will royal baby's name be
The baby's name may be announced when the family leaves the hospital CNN's Foster reported. William's name was announced a few days after birth his brother Harry's on departure from hospital.
Some British parents have delayed naming their newborns in recent days in hopes of either copying or avoiding the royal name he said.
It was a long wait for the media camped outside St. Mary's Hospital but when the news of the birth finally came the excitement of the moment was huge.
The Sun newspaper Britain's best selling tabloid daily changed its masthead Tuesday to The Son to mark the occasion above a picture of the official birth announcement while the Daily Express and Telegraph emblazoned It's a boy across their front pages.
Members of the royal family also expressed their happiness at the safe delivery.
Both my wife and I are overjoyed at the arrival of my first grandchild. It is an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine and we are so thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy Prince Charles and wife Camilla said in a statement.
Photos House of Windsor babies
The official British Monarchy Twitter feed said The Queen and Prince Philip are delighted at the news of the birth of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby.
Charles Spencer brother to the late Diana Princess of Wales welcomed the birth of the baby. We're all so pleased it's wonderful news he said in a statement.
My father always told us how Diana was born on just such a blisteringly hot day at Sandringham in July 1961. It's another very happy summer's day half a century on.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said I'm sure that right across the country and indeed right across the Commonwealth people will be celebrating and wishing the royal couple well.
It is an important moment in the life of our nation but I suppose above all it's a wonderful moment for a warm and loving couple who got a brand new baby boy.
Tributes around the world
Thanks to a change agreed by the leaders of the Commonwealth countries in 2011 and passed into law this year the baby's place in the order of succession would have been the same regardless of gender. Previously boys automatically trumped female siblings so a first born daughter could be pushed out of line by a younger brother.
The British monarch is also head of state in 15 Commonwealth countries including Australia Canada New Zealand Belize and Jamaica.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered his country's congratulations on the birth of a future king.
The arrival of the newest member of the Royal Family a future Sovereign of Canada is a highly anticipated moment for Canadians given the special and warm relationship that we share with our Royal Family he said in a statement.
Barack and Michelle Obama also gave their best wishes.
The child enters the world at a time of promise and opportunity for our two nations the president and first lady said in a statement. Given the special relationship between us the American people are pleased to join with the people of the United Kingdom as they celebrate the birth of the young prince.
And Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said It is a happy wonderful news for the United Kingdom as well as the world. I would like to send my heartfelt congratulations.
In a statement on the Kremlin website Russia's President Vladimir Putin congratulated the queen on the birth of her great grandchild and sent wishes of good health to the family.
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The royal birth is expected to be good for business.
The UK based Centre for Retail Research estimates retailers will sell $121 million worth of royal related baby toys and souvenirs. Merchandise ranges from diaper covers and clothing to a prince potty chair which of course is in the shape of a throne.
On Twitter topics related to the royal baby jumped to the top of the trending list in the United Kingdom on Monday morning. Worldwide hashtags such as RoyalBabyBoy and Will Kate were trending later Monday.
Facebook registered more than 3.5 million mentions related to the royal baby since Catherine's admission to the hospital early Monday with traffic peaking in the minutes after the birth's announcement.
In a nod to modern times Clarence House called for people to send news and images of any other new arrivals using the hashtag WelcometotheWorld.
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CNN's Dana Ford Sarah Aarthun Zarifmo Aslamshoyeva Susannah Palk and Alla Eshchenko and journalist David Simpson contributed to this report.