To celebrate the birth of Britain’s first Princess since 1950 landmarks across the capital have been bathed in pink light.
The as yet unnamed Princess’s birth was announced this morning at the top of London’s iconic BT Tower, with a rolling pink banner which proclaimed ‘It’s a girl!’
Then, as night fell on the Capital Tower Bridge was lit up in a vibrant shade of pink, much to the delight of Londoners and tourists alike.
Following the announcement of the birth Westminster Council tweeted: ‘Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, landmarks in Westminster will be turning pink tonight to celebrate the new #RoyalBaby’.
The Golden Jubilee Bridge and the London Eye have also been lit up in the the Princess’s honour.
Meanwhile Hilton London Paddington, the fountain at Merchant Square in Paddington Basin were both lit up in pink while pink bunting was hung outside St Mary’s Hospital.
The London Eye even offered couples that share the same first names as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge a free rotation today to celebrate the day the baby was born.
Couples named William and Kate were able to claim free tickets for a rotation on the iconic London landmark.
William and Kate’s new daughter, a younger sister for Prince George, who was born at the same hospital in July 2013, is fourth in line to the throne.
Although she is unlikely to ever become queen, it is not unheard of for a second child in the direct line of succession to accede to the throne.
Mostly recently the Queen’s own father, King George VI, replaced his elder brother, King Edward VIII, who abdicated over his love for the ‘unsuitable’ American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
Thanks to a recent change in the law, the couple’s daughter cannot be superseded in her claim to the throne by any younger brother who may yet come along.
The Succession to the Crown Act, passed in 2013, means that male heirs no longer precede their elder sisters in the line of succession
A 2012 intervention by the Queen also means that the new baby will automatically become an HRH – Her Royal Highness – and be permitted to take the title of princess.
As the second child of the second heir to the throne she would, until then, only have been a Lady.
Her arrival will shunt her uncle, Prince Harry, down to fifth in the order of succession. Her great uncle, Prince Andrew, will fall out of the top five for the first time to sixth.
Many royal watchers had been desperately hoping for a girl – the last to be born in the direct line of succession was Princess Anne back in 1950.
Both Prince Charles and William’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, both openly longed for a girl to add to their family.
HOW THE PALACE BROKE THE NEWS
It was a very modern Royal birth, with Kensington Palace keeping the public informed about events in a series of succinct tweets.
But it was also marked in more traditional style, with a formal announcement posted on an easel at the gates of Buckingham Palace.
Four hours after a tweet announced the new arrival, two liveried footmen emerged from the Palace to place the paper document, signed by the delivery team at St Mary’s Hospital, on the same gold-painted easel that was used for the birth of Prince George and Prince William.
It was a very modern Royal birth, with Kensington Palace keeping the public informed about events in a series of succinct tweets
The honour fell to George Oates, 26, from North Yorkshire, and Simon Garnett, 30, from Cumbria, who wore red waistcoats and black tails as they carried the special announcement to the front of the Palace.
Eschewing social media, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall expressed their ‘absolute delight’ through a statement issued by Kensington Palace.
But politicians, Church leaders and celebrities all rushed to their Twitter feeds to swell the deluge of messages of congratulations.
David Cameron tweeted: ‘I’m absolutely delighted for them.’ Ed Miliband posted: ‘Wishing them lots of joy and happiness – and hopefully some sleep!’ And Nick Clegg said he and wife Miriam wished them ‘all the best as their family grows’.
London Mayor Boris Johnson tweeted: ‘Huge congratulations to the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their baby girl. I know Londoners will join me in wishing them well.’
Ukip leader Nigel Farage encouraged a toast, but took the opportunity to make a Eurosceptic point, saying he was happy the baby’s weight had been announced in ‘proper’ imperial measurements.
Good wishes also came in from US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, as well as the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand and the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. One of the most inventive was from the crew of HMS Lancaster, known as the ‘Queen’s frigate’, who formed up on deck to spell out ‘Sister’.
Neither the Queen, who was on an official visit in Yorkshire, nor Prince Harry, who is in Australia, made an immediate comment.
One of the most inventive ‘congratulations’ was from the crew of HMS Lancaster who formed up on deck to spell out ‘sister’
Trafalgar Square lit up pink to celebrate the birth of the royal baby girl – the as yet unnamed child is now fourth in line for the throne
Meanwhile all around the globe people were raising a glass as the royal princess’s birth quickly made headlines around the world.
News outlets on every continent announced the birth of Britain’s princess, with most favouring a simple headline of ‘It’s a girl!’ in a various languages.
However in Australia, where Prince Harry is currently attached to the army, the NT News, based in Darwin in the Northern Territory, joked on Twitter: ‘Royal baby born – read all about it here or just get on with your life, commoners.’
It later tweeted: ‘Royal baby born – no word on when the p*** up starts at Harry’s place.’
The Sydney Morning Herald picked up on the presence of town crier Tony Appleton, with a headline of ‘Oyez, oyez, oyez’ A Royal Princess: (Unofficial) Town crier on the steps of St Mary’s Hospital announces the news of the royal birth’.
The story also had top billing on the front page of the New York Post website, with the first line reading: ‘A princess is born.’
The BT tower celebrated the news with a rolling purple banner which read ‘it’s a girl’ this afternoon in central London
USA Today posted: ‘Prince George meets his new baby sister!’
The New York Times and Washington Post gave the story less billing and a more serious tone.
CNN’s website started its story with: ‘The wait for the second royal baby is over. And it’s a princess!’.
In Israel the Jerusalem Post ran the headline ‘Mazel Tov! Will and Kate welcome a new baby girl’.
The Times of India went with: ‘The fourth in line to the British throne is a girl.
The New York Times produced a dry Biblical take on events in a later version of its story, with correspondent Steven Erlanger writing: ‘Lo, and it came to pass at last on Saturday morning, unto Kate, who was late, a child was born – a baby girl, who will be fourth in line to the British throne.
‘There was much rejoicing in the land, especially among the many who had placed their bets on her having a girl, while others await a further windfall, if they guess right on what name will be chosen.’
The Hilton Hotel in Paddington is lit up in pink tonight to celebrate the birth of a royal princess just around the corner at St Mary’s Hospital
The Merchant Square Fountain in Paddington Basin has been lit up as part of city-wide celebrations following the birth