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LONDON — The royal baby is here! British palace officials announced that Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a baby girl on Saturday at 8:34 a.m. (3:34 a.m. ET).
The news prompted a huge cheer from a throng of royal watchers waiting outside the hospital where the duchess gave birth.
"Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well," the palace said earlier, adding that Prince William was present for the birth. William had driven his wife to London's St. Mary's Hospital to deliver the couple's second child at 6 a.m. Saturday. The parents and newborn left the hospital around 6 p.m. Saturday evening for a couple days at their residence, Kensington Palace, and will then go to their country home in east England, according to Reuters.
"May our princess be long-lived, happy and glorious," shouted a town crier dressed in an elaborate costume who clanged a bell at the door of the hospital.
William was seen briskly walking out of the hospital at about 4 p.m. on Saturday, and returned a short while later with the couple's first child, Prince George.
Onlookers erupted in cheers as William exited.
"How's your daughter? How's she doing?" a woman in the crowd yelled to him.
"I am very happy, thank you," William responded as he went to Kensington Palace to pick up Prince George. When he returned, he was carrying George in his arms. Both father and son were wearing blue sweaters on top of collared shirts, and both William and George waved, much to the crowd's delight.
The birth announcement triggered a flood of of happy and congratulatory messages, including ones from the new baby's grandfather Prince Charles, Prime Minister David Cameron and the Royal Navy's HMS Lancaster, known as the Queen's Frigate.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were "absolutely delighted" at the birth, according to a spokesman for Prince Charles.
"Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their baby girl. I'm absolutely delighted for them," Cameron said in a tweet.
President Obama and the first lady also sent congratulations to the couple. Obama said in a statement, "On behalf of the American people, we wish the Duke and Duchess and their son George much joy and happiness on the occasion of the arrival of the newest member of their family."
The baby, weighing 8 pounds 3 ounces, was the first princess to be born into the British royal family in a quarter century, the last being Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's daughter, Princess Eugenie.
The princess is fourth in line to the throne and bears the title of Princess of Cambridge.
William said in March that he couldn't wait for the baby's arrival, describing his first child as a "life changer" while the second would be "a game changer."
Prince Harry, though, had said that in the event the baby was a girl he would "love to see [William] try and cope with that."
William and Kate, 33, announced they were expecting their second child in September 2014. She suffered from acute morning sickness early in her pregnancy — just as she did while pregnant with George.
— Cassandra Vinograd, F. Brinley Bruton and Elizabeth Chuck
The Associated Press contributed to this report.