(Originally published by the Daily News on June 22, 1982.)
LONDON — With her husband, Prince Charles, at her side, Princess Diana gave birth yesterday to a 7-pound, blue-eyed boy who “cried lustily” as he came into a world where he may someday reign as the King of England.
The as-yet-unnamed child, second in line to the 1,000-year-old throne, was the first born to a Prince and Princess of Wales in 77 years.
Weighing 7 pounds, 1 ½ ounces, he was born at 9:03 p.m. (4:03 p.m. New York time), about 16 hours after Diana, 20, was admitted in labor to St. Mary’s Hospital.
As Charles left the hospital, he was engulfed by a cheering crowd. He told them he was “relieved and delighted” by the birth of a healthy son. A woman with long red hair pushed forward and kissed him on the cheek, and someone asked, “Was the baby like his dad?”
“No, he’s lucky enough not to be,” the prince replied, adding it was “a bit difficult to tell at the moment.” Asked if his son is the prettiest baby in the world, Charles said: “Well, he’s not bad.”
The new dad said his son was “in marvelous form, just marvelous” and described the infant as “fair, sort of blondish.” Diana, Charles said, was feeling well, “but she’s tired.”
Queens Elizabeth was said to be “absolutely delighted” after her eldest son, the 33-year-old heir to the British throne, telephoned her with the news of the birth of her third grandchild. The rest of the royal family also was informed, including an “overjoyed” great-grandmother, Queen Mother Elizabeth, 81, and Charles’ brother Prince Andrew, a 22-year-old helicopter pilot with Britain’s task force in the Falkland Islands.
In a bow to modern fatherhood, Charles had kept vigil at his wife bedside in the five-story wing of the hospital, awaiting the birth of the child who could one day succeed him first as Prince of Wales and perhaps as monarch.
The boy will be known as Prince (first name) of Wales. His father remains just Prince of Wales.
A thousand well-wishers stood in intermittent rain outside the hospital, and crowds gathered at Buckingham Palace, where according to tradition, news of the birth was announced in a handwritten notice posted on the gate.
Diana had said the baby might be born on her birthday, July 1, but she was admitted to the hospital between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. (midnight to 1 a.m. New York time) Monday “in the early stages of labor,” Buckingham Palace announced.
A palace spokesman said the princess was in “the best of health.”
The scene outside the hospital soon took on a carnival atmosphere. Hawkers sold strawberries and cream to the waiting people, some of whom said they had been at the hospital since before dawn.
Queens Elizabeth went ahead with a scheduled tour of a Royal Air Force base at Wittering, Cambridgeshire, but kept in touch with Diana’s progress through a special hotline radio link between the hospital and the queen’s Andover aircraft.
The royal baby pushes the queen’s second-eldest son, Prince Andrew, into third place in royal succession.
The baby is in line to become the most English monarch since Queen Elizabeth I, who reigned from 1558 to 1603 and whose ancestry was almost entirely English.
Diana, a descendent of four English kings, became the first English bride for an heir to the throne in 303 years when she and Charles were married at St. Paul’s Cathedral on July 29, 1981.
Published via News wire services
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