Kate gives birth to new royal baby

Last Updated May 2, 2015 10:02 PM EDT

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a baby girl Saturday morning in London.

Kensington Palace announced that the yet-to-be-named girl was safely delivered at 8:34 a.m. (3:34 a.m. ET). Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, was present for the birth of the couple's second child.

The baby weighs 8 pounds 3 ounces, according to the palace, which also says that mother and daughter are doing well.

The baby comes nearly two years after the birth of Prince George, formally named His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge.

As with George's birth, the British royals have taken a more modernized approach with the couple's second birth announcement, sending an email to journalists a minute before posting the big news on Twitter. The official announcement is then placed on an easel outside of Buckingham Palace. This all happened after Queen Elizabeth II, senior royals and Kate's parents, the Middletons, receive the news first.

So where does the new addition fall in the line of succession? The baby, regardless of gender, will be fourth in line to the throne - essentially serving as the backup or "spare" if anything happens to the first-born in the family.

When George came into the world on July 22, 2013, he catapulted ahead of Prince Harry to become the third in line to the throne -- right behind his grandfather, Prince Charles, and his father, William. Kate and William's newborn is now fourth in line, pushing Harry to fifth place. Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth II's second son, now shifts to sixth in line to the throne.

In 2013, Britain changed a centuries-old ruling on gender that put boys before girls in the line of succession. Under the old system, a princess' succession spot could be replaced by a younger brother. Reports said William and Kate didn't know the baby's gender prior to birth.

An easel is placed in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace announcing the birth of a baby girl to Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, in London May 2, 2015.
An easel is placed in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace announcing the birth of a baby girl to Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, in London May 2, 2015.
Reuters/Steve Parsons/pool

There's been a lot of buzz surrounding William and Kate's second baby, but not nearly the media frenzy that surrounded their first-born child in 2013.

Kate's second pregnancy was announced on Sept. 8, but her due date remained a mystery. In March, she reportedly told a charity worker that she was due in mid-to-late April, which is already a big month for the British royals: Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21, and William and Kate's wedding anniversary is April 29.

Kate, 33, and William, 32, made plenty of appearances over the past several months, maintaining their official duties until March, with Kate looking quite fashionable at every stop.

In December, the royal couple came to the United States, where they visited the Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum, attended a black-tie gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and took in a Brooklyn Nets game. While there, they met Beyonce, Jay Z and LeBron James.

In early March, Kate visited the set of "Downton Abbey." During her tour of London's Ealing Studios, she met with "Downton" cast and crew members and watched a scene being filmed for the series' upcoming sixth season.

Her final public appearance before giving birth took place at the end of March, when she and William toured a community center in South London. After that, she was spotted picking up a few last-minute items at Zara Home in Kensington High Street, London, just a short walk away from her home at Kensington Palace.

On April 28, she was spotted driving away from Buckingham Palace, where she reportedly took George for a swimming lesson in the palace pool.

Things were a little bumpier earlier on, with Kate experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness), the same condition she had during her first pregnancy with George. The morning sickness forced Kate to scrap plans for her first solo royal tour to Malta -- though she soon started feeling better and resumed her royal duties.

The Duke of Cambridge started paternity leave in April, taking a break from his new job as an ambulance helicopter pilot. He expects to begin flying rescue missions this summer, while continuing to maintain his royal duties and engagements.

Ahead of the birth, William and Kate sent boxes with croissants and pastries, along with coffee, to royal fans waiting in tents outside St. Mary's Hospital.

The former Kate Middleton and William got engaged in October 2010 during a trip to Kenya and were married in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011. senior editor Alex Sundby contributed reporting.