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Royal baby: Kate goes into labour

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Prince William (L) and his wife Catherine, seen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on June 5, 2012.AFP/File

Prince William's wife Catherine was admitted to hospital Monday in the early stages of labour, Kensington Palace said, with her first child who will be third in line to the British throne.

The couple were driven from the London palace to the private Lindo wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, central London, arriving at around 6:00am (0500 GMT).

The baby will be directly in line to inherit the throne after Queen Elizabeth II's eldest son Prince Charles, and William, Charles's eldest son.

"Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted this morning to St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London in the early stages of labour," Kensington Palace said in a statement.

A spokesman added: "Things are progressing as normal."

Kate is being tended by a top medical team led by the queen's former gynaecologist Marcus Setchell, assisted by his successor Alan Farthing.

The world's press have been camped outside St Mary's for the past three weeks in anticipation of the birth.

According to the palace, the next statement will be issued when the baby is born.