Kate, Prince William and their newborn baby travel home to Kensington Palace yesterday evening
Couple say they are ‘still working on a name’
William jokes his new son ‘has a good pair of lungs’ and tells crowd his child has Kate’s looks and more hair than him
Kate's parents Carole and Michael were the first members of the family to visit their daughter and her young son
Duchess says: ‘It’s been emotional’
William aces his first test of fatherhood as he gets the car seat right first time
Prince Charles and Camilla came two hours later and said the baby was 'marvellous'
Couple release new statement thanking St Mary's Hospital staff for how they have looked after 'the three of us'
William stayed in a separate hospital room overnight on Monday to be close to Duchess of Cambridge and their son
By REBECCA ENGLISH, ROYAL CORRESPONDENT and MARTIN ROBINSON
The world has seen the royal baby for the first time as the future king left hospital with his ecstatic parents yesterday evening, who revealed they had not yet chosen him a name.
Prince William and Kate waved and smiled broadly to the waiting cameras as they held their prince on the steps of the private Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in London, 26 hours after he was delivered, weighing 8lbs 6oz.
Speaking for the first time since giving birth, an obviously moved Duchess of Cambridge said: 'It's been very emotional. Any parent will know what this feeling is like.'
As they left St Mary's carefully cradling their precious child, the Duke of Cambridge followed the steps his parents Charles and Diana took with him 31 years ago, when he was born there on June 21, 1982.
'He's a big boy, quite heavy. We're still working on a name,' he told reporters, adding: 'Well he has a good pair of lungs on him, that's for sure.'
Kate and William hold their prince outside the Lindo Wing in a genuinely historic moment for Britain
Confirming that the prince was overdue, William said: ‘I will remind him of his tardiness when he is older.’
With a huge smile he then added: ‘He’s got her looks thankfully’ to which the Duchess responded ‘No, no, no I’m not sure about that.’
The Duchess wore a lilac purple dress, with her long hair falling in waves around her face. The new father wore a blue open neck shirt rolled up to his elbows with black trousers.
She revealed that her clearly hands-on husband had already changed his first nappy.
The couple then returned to the hospital as William held his son, swaddled in a blanket, before bringing him out again in his car seat.
The Prince was heard to affectionately call Kate 'Poppet' as he ushered her back to the Lindo Wing.
William then visibly breathed a sigh of relief when he successfully installed his baby on the back seat with his wife, before driving them home to Kensington Palace cheered on by a huge crowd.
Their child is now third in the line of succession, displacing Prince Harry to fourth and the Duke of York to fifth, although he may not become sovereign for half a century or more.
Kate held her new son closely to her chest as she waved to the impressive crowd
The Duke, Duchess and Baby Cambridge travelled home to Kensington Palace, and will spend two weeks there while William is on paternity leave.
Palace officials confirmed for the first time last night that the couple will not have a nannyand rely upon their families help instead, saying: 'They have both got families that will care hugely for this baby.'
Duchess of Cambridge with her son who was born on Monday, but was thrown into the spotlight yesterday
Huge crowds of well-wishers and journalists from all over the world have been waiting outside the west London hospital ward for weeks, first to be there when Kate went into labour and now as the couple left with her firstborn child.
Meanwhile, last night the Queen told guests at a Buckingham Palace reception she was 'thrilled' at the birth of her great-grandson.
Earlier the royal baby's grandparents met him for the first time, and soon afterwards Kensington Palace confirmed the Duke, Duchess and baby would leave hospital.
Kate's sister Pippa was said to be there waiting for her.
William calmly carried his new baby to the Range Rover which he drove home himself with his wife and child on board
Carole and Michael Middleton were the first to arrive at the private Lindo Wing at around 3pm yesterday, with Prince Charles and his wife Camilla following them at 5.30pm after being rushed to London by helicopter after two-days carrying out official duties in Yorkshire.
Before mounting the St Mary's Hospital steps, the smiling Prince of Wales asked journalists who have been stood outside for almost three weeks: 'Have you been there long?'
When he left around 10 minutes later, Charles said the baby was 'marvellous' and told journalists: 'You'll see in a minute'.
Soon afterwards Kensington Palace confirmed: 'Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge will be discharged this evening.
'The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their son will travel home to Kensington Palace.
'Their Royal Highnesses would like to reiterate their thanks to the hospital for the care and treatment they have all received'.
Prince William carefully placed his new son in the back seat of the awaiting car in preparation for their journey back to Kensington Palace
Earlier doting grandmother Carole Middleton described her grandson, the future king, as 'absolutely beautiful' after she and her husband visited him.
The Duchess of Cambridge's parents said their first grandchild is 'absolutely beautiful' and his parents are coping 'fabulously'.
The Middletons spent just over an hour with their daughter Kate and son-in-law William, and a smiling Mrs Middleton, speaking about mother and baby, said: 'They are both doing really well, and we are so thrilled.'
When asked by the world's media, who have been camped outside for nearly three weeks, how the proud parents were doing, she replied: 'Fabulously.'
Asked what the first cuddle with her grandson was like, Mrs Middleton, who had been ushered forward by her husband to speak to the press, said: 'Amazing, It's all coming back.'