First visitors for Britain's baby princess

3rd May 2015, Comments 0 comments

Prince William and his wife Kate showed off their new baby daughter to close relatives on Sunday as Britain eagerly awaited the name of the new royal princess.

Kate's mother Carole Middleton and her sister Pippa were the first to arrive at the couple's Kensington Palace apartment in central London followed by William's father Prince Charles and his wife Camilla.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, their firstborn Prince George and the new arrival were expected to spend the next few days at Kensington Palace before travelling to Anmer Hall, their secluded 10-bedroom mansion on Queen Elizabeth's Sandringham country estate.

Betting on the new baby's name meanwhile saw Charlotte overtake long-time front-runner Alice as the bookmakers' favourite with odds of 3/1.

Britain's Sunday newspapers carried big front-page pictures of the new baby and fourth in line to the throne with many running souvenir pullouts.

"Sleeping cutie," said both The Sun and the Sunday Mirror, with a close-up of the child, who was born on Saturday.

The birth is "a reminder of the things that really matter in life", added the Sunday Telegraph.

Tourism chiefs said the baby was expected to boost visitor numbers to London.

"Royal connections and attractions are key drivers that attract people from the UK and abroad to the capital," said London tourism boss Gordon Innes.

- Landmarks lit up in pink -

To mark the arrival, many of London's hotels and restaurants also celebrated with regal-themed afternoon teas and London's landmarks including Tower Bridge and the Trafalgar Square fountains were lit up in pink late on Saturday.

Newspapers said Queen Elizabeth II was seen attending church Sunday at her Sandringham residence in Norfolk, eastern England.

While the baby has met her only aunt, she is yet to meet her uncles. William's brother Prince Harry is on attachment with the Australian army.

Although Charlotte was Sunday's new favourite, Alice remained a popular bet at 4/1, followed by Victoria at 5/1, Olivia at 6/1 and Elizabeth at 7/1.

The new baby is fourth in line to the thrones of Britain and 15 other states including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica.

The new princess is behind Queen Elizabeth's eldest son Charles, 66, his eldest son William and his eldest child George in the line of succession.

However, the baby is the first major royal who cannot be overtaken by any future younger brothers following changes to the monarchy's rules to remove gender bias.

She is also the first princess born into the British royal family since Princess Eugenie, daughter of the queen's second son Prince Andrew, 25 years ago.

British Prime Minister David Cameron led the congratulations.

"Kate and William are a remarkable couple. They're loving, wonderful parents and this will be such a precious time.

"The whole country celebrates."

- Cheers at first glimpse -

Kate gave birth within three hours of being admitted to St Mary's Hospital in central London on Saturday.

In a mix of old and new, the birth was announced in a tweet from Kensington Palace and a proclamation on a gilded easel at the Buckingham Palace gates.

William was present for the birth and the princess weighed in at eight pounds and three ounces (3.7 kilogrammes).

William then brought George to the clinic to meet his little sister.

It was the first time since his own birth at the hospital in July 2013 that George had been seen at a public event in Britain as his parents have shielded him from the media.

A beaming William and Kate then left hospital carrying their newborn.

They were cheered by hundreds of well-wishers who had gathered outside the hospital's private Lindo Wing along with the massed ranks of photographers from the world's media.

The sleeping baby was wrapped in a woollen shawl as a relaxed-looking Kate cradled her in her arms.

William, 32, then drove his wife, 33, and daughter the short distance to Kensington Palace.

Gun salutes will be fired across London on Monday to mark the birth.

© 2015 AFP

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