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July 23, 2013

First day of parenting faces William and Kate

LONDON — It's Day One of parenting for Prince William and Kate. After the excitement and fatigue and joy of childbirth — emotions shared with a nation — the young couple is expected to bring the prince home Tuesday.

It is a daunting moment for any young couple, even one with as much support as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

The infant's name — and what he looks like — remain a royal mystery. And as he begins a long journey expected to see him someday become a king, Britons, and supporters from around the world, have been joining the royal family in celebration.

Kensington Palace announced that the Duchess of Cambridge had given birth to the 8 pound, 6 ounce (3.8 kilogram) baby boy at 4:24 p.m. Monday, triggering an impromptu party outside Buckingham Palace and in front of the hospital where Kate gave birth.

More celebrations are expected Tuesday, including gun salutes by royal artillery companies to honor the birth and the ringing of bells at London's Westminster Abbey.

Kate, William and their son spent the night at the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital. Officials have not said when the family will leave.

Tourists and well-wishers lined up outside Buckingham Palace gates Tuesday to take pictures of the golden easel on which, in keeping with royal tradition, the birth announcement was displayed.

"This was a great event — yet again our royal family is bringing everyone together," said 27-year-old David Wills, who took a two-mile detour on his run to work to pass the palace. "I kind of feel as though I am seeing part of history here today."

Halfway around the world, royalist group Monarchy New Zealand said it had organized a national light show, with 40 buildings across the islands lit up in blue to commemorate the royal birth, including Sky Tower in Auckland, the airport in Christchurch, and Larnach Castle in the South Island city of Dunedin. A similar lighting ceremony took place in Canada; Peace Tower and Parliament buildings in the capital, Ottawa, were bathed in blue light, as was CN Tower in Toronto.

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