Duchess of Cambridge gives birth to boy

photo courtesy: NBC News

Palace officials say Prince William's wife, Kate, has given birth to a baby boy. The 8-lb., 6-oz. boy was delivered at 4:24 pm London time.

Kate was in labor for about 15 hours at St. Mary's Hospital in central London. 

No name has been chosen for the baby yet. It could take up to a month for the royal couple to announce a name.

Kate - also known as the Duchess of Cambridge - gave birth in the private Lindo Wing of the hospital, where Princess Diana gave birth to William and his younger brother, Prince Harry. William attended the birth.

The baby will be third in line for the British throne - behind Prince Charles and William - and is anticipated eventually to become king.

"Both my wife and I are overjoyed at the arrival of my first grandchild," said Charles, the Prince of Wales. "It is an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine and we are so thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy. Grandparenthood is a unique moment in anyone's life, as countless kind people have told me in recent months, so I am enormously proud and happy to be a grandfather for the first time and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing the baby in the near future."

The medical team was led by royal gynecologist Dr. Marcus Setchell. The child is the first for William and Kate, who married in 2011 after a long courtship.

Prince William and Kate are both 31.  They met at St. Andrews University in Scotland in 2001 where they were both studying art history.

The prince proposed to Kate while on a private holiday to Kenya in 2010.

They were married on April 29, 2011 in a lavish ceremony at London's Westminster Abbey.

William was made the Duke of Cambridge by his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and Kate became the Duchess of Cambridge. 

Palace officials say neither the duke nor duchess claimed to have known the baby's gender before Kate went into labor. Earlier this year, Queen Elizabeth took steps to update a century-old rule to make it easier to grant the child the title "princess" if it was a girl. Otherwise, a daughter would have only been allowed to receive the title of "lady."

If the baby had been a girl, she would have become only the sixth woman to be crowned Queen in her own right in over 1,500 years of the British monarchy.

In England, thousands of people have been placing wagers, regarding any possible detail related to the baby. Interest around the world surged as Kate drew closer to her mid-July due date.  In addition to keeping the world awaiting, the royal baby watch also kept the monarchy rather restless.   "I hope it arrives soon because I'm going on holiday," Queen Elizabeth joked during a recent visit with schoolchildren.

The Associated Press and NBC News contributed to this report.