The customary formal bulletin announcing the royal birth was displayed on an easel outside Buckingham Palace, although in a break with tradition the news was first conveyed in a press release from palace officials. Gun salutes signalled the birth in the capitals of Bermuda, the UK, New Zealand, and Canada; the bells of Westminster Abbey and many other churches were rung; and iconic landmarks in the Commonwealth realms were illuminated in various colours, mostly blue to signify the birth of a boy.
The Duchess and her baby, accompanied by the Duke, left hospital on 23 July, and the baby’s name was announced as George Alexander Louis the following day. William took the full two weeks’ paternity leave from his job (as a RAF search and rescue pilot) allowed by the Ministry of Defence.
Prince George’s birth marked the second time that three generations of direct heirs to the British throne have been alive at the same time, a situation that last occurred between 1894 and 1901, in the last seven years of the reign of Queen Victoria.
On 3 December 2012, Clarence House announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were expecting their first child. At less than twelve weeks, the announcement was made earlier in the pregnancy than is traditional because of the Duchess’s admission to hospital with hyperemesis gravidarum. During this time, a couple of Australian radio jockeys attempted to ring up the Hospital, where Catherine was spending the night. They tried to put on fake British accents and mimicked the Queen and Prince Charles. The nurse who answered their call later committed suicide.
Before the birth, there was speculation the event would boost the British national economy and provide a focus for national pride. Welsh composer Paul Mealor, who composed “Ubi Caritas et Amor” for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess, composed a lullaby entitled “Sleep On”, with lyrics by Irish composer Brendan Graham. A recording was made of it by New Zealand soprano Hayley Westenra as a gift for the baby. Commemorative coins were issued by the Royal Mint, Royal Canadian Mint, and Royal Australian Mint; the first time a royal birth had been marked that way.