The Duchess of Cambridge is in the early stages of labour and was admitted to hospital at just before 6am today as she prepares to give birth to the future king or queen.
Prince William is with his wife at the private Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London, where he himself was born in 1982.
'The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted this morning to St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London in the early stages of labour,' a royal spokesman said.
'The Duchess travelled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing with The Duke of Cambridge'.
Kate and William, who spent the weekend at Kensington Palace, travelled without a police escort.
Sources told MailOnline that Kate went into labour naturally and things are 'progressing well'.
This morning there is a strong police presence around the hospital and two police officers guarded the entrance to the private wing.
Palace officials chose to make the announcement that Kate has gone into labour public in an attempt to balance her ‘dignity’ with the fact that social media makes it almost impossible to keep her baby's imminent arrival a secret.
The couple’s child will become third in the line of succession, displacing Prince Harry to fourth and the Duke of York to fifth.
As a result of recent, long-anticipated changes in the law, the baby will also be made an HRH (His or Her Royal Highness) and given the title Prince or Princess of Cambridge.
If she is a girl she will, one day, become Queen, just as a boy will become King.
He or she is also destined to become a future head of the armed forces, supreme governor of the Church of England and head of the Commonwealth, which covers 54 nations across the world, and subsequently head of state of 16 countries.
The birth is also a momentous event for the present Queen personally.
The last time a still-serving monarch got to meet a great grandchild born in direct succession to the crown was nearly 120 years ago.
Queen Victoria, who reigned until 1901, was still sovereign when her great grandchild Edward VIII, who later abdicated, was born third in line in 1894.
William and Kate’s baby will be the great great great great great grandchild of Queen Victoria and the present Queen’s third great grandchild.
The couple still do not know the sex of their baby, bucking the trend of 75 per cent of British parents who now choose to discover the gender of their child.