Kate Middleton in Labor with Royal Baby: Duchess Of Cambridge In Labor Kate Middleton in Labor with Royal Baby: Duchess Of Cambridge In Labour
The Duchess of Cambridge is said to be "very well" after she was admitted to hospital in the early stages of labour.
Kate, who is thought to be more than a week past her due date, was taken through a side entrance of the private Lindo wing at St Mary's Hospital in London just before 6am.
The Duke of Cambridge travelled with her by car from Kensington Palace, where she went into labour naturally after spending the weekend there.
Crowds form at Buckingham Palace. Crowds await the official announcement at Buckingham Palace
She plans to have a normal birth and the couple's spokesman said: "Things are progressing as normal."
Sky News' Royal Correspondent Paul Harrison said her condition had been described as "very well".
He said: "It seems it was a very orderly arrival. There were two vehicles. A Range Rover-type vehicle, and behind it there was an Audi vehicle.
"Prince William had said from the beginning that he wanted to be alongside his wife when she went into labour."
The Duchess Of Cambridge Goes Into Labour There is a robust police presence at the hospital
It appears officials staged a "dummy run" in preparation for her arrival, following reports of police activity at the hospital last night.
Further officially confirmed details are likely to be thin on the ground until the baby is born.
The arrival will be announced in traditional fashion, with a notice on an easel behind the iron railings of Buckingham Palace.
Terry Hutt Terry Hutt is among the royal fans outside the hospital. Pic: Kat Higgins
The brief bulletin, on headed Palace notepaper, confirms the sex of the baby but usually gives little else away other than that the baby has been "safely delivered" and perhaps the weight.
Well-wishers from around the globe have descended on the palace on the off-chance of catching a glimpse.
Among them is Terry Hutt, 78, from Cambridge, who has been sleeping at the scene for days and is wearing a Union flag suit and tie for the occasion.
The former soldier, who served with the Royal Ordnance Corps, said: "I have lost my voice with all the excitement.
"The health of the baby, and Kate, is the only important element."
Kate is being tended by a top medical team led by the Queen's former gynaecologist Marcus Setchell, who delivered the Countess of Wessex's two children. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge entered to give birth in London The 'Great Kate Wait', as it was dubbed by the press, is reaching an end
The world's press have been outside St Mary's, in Paddington, for days in anticipation of the birth.
Some 250 reporters and crew are packed into a relatively small stretch of the street opposite the hospital. Their patch shrunk even further earlier when "twitchy" police herded them from the road to the pavement.
Earlier, Prime Minister David Cameron sent his "best wishes" to the couple, saying: "It is an exciting occasion and the whole country is excited with them, so everyone's hoping for the best."
Others voicing their support included the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, who tweeted: "My thoughts and prayers are with Kate and the whole family on this enormously special day."
Broadcaster Piers Morgan tweeted: "Keep Calm ... and Carry On. #Kate"
The Duchess Of Cambridge Visits The National Portrait Gallery Kate is thought to be more than a week past her due date
Prince Charles, who is on a two-day visit to Yorkshire, said at York's National Railway Museum earlier that he knew "absolutely nothing" about Kate's progress.
The news that the Duchess was in labour at the hospital was confirmed in a brief statement from Kensington Palace at 7.30am.
The Duke and his younger brother Prince Harry were born in the same wing and the Prince and Princess of Wales famously posed on the building's steps in 1982 holding baby William.William is known to want a daughter, while the Duchess is hoping for a son.
Betting on the name of their first-born, which will be third-in-line to the throne, has produced one favourite with a number of bookies - Alexandra.
Royals William is at his wife's side
Whatever name the couple go with, it is likely to set a trend for the next generation of infants.
The Queen will be informed of the birth in a phone call from William, according to the Queen's former press secretary Dickie Arbiter.
But he said the royal family will not visit because it demands an extra level of security. "The last thing they'll want is to disrupt the hospital," he said.
The birth will be a historic first with three heirs in waiting while the sovereign is fit and well, Mr Arbiter added.
Prince William will be on paternity leave from his job as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot for two weeks. It is not known how long Kate intends to put her royal duties on hold so she can devote her time to the baby.