At 4:24 p.m. London time, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcome their first child, a son, at St. Mary's Hospital. The baby boy weighs 8 lbs., 6 oz., and was delivered naturally after about 14 hours of labor. "We would like to thank the staff at the Lindo Wing and the whole hospital for the tremendous care the three of us have received," the couple says in a statement, shortly before the baby makes his debut. His name – George Alexander Louis – is announced a day later.
Eschewing tradition, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge release the first official family photos with Prince George, which instead of being portraits, are taken by Kate's father Michael at her parents' home in Bucklebury. The couple, who sat in the family's garden for the photos and also posed with cocker spaniel Lupo and the Middleton's retriever, Tilly, believed having her father serve as photographer would be the "best way to capture the couple in a relaxed manner," a Palace source tells PEOPLE.
Following seven years of service, Prince William announces he is leaving the Royal Air Force to better focus on his royal duties and philanthropic work. "He will expand his work in the field of conservation, particularly in respect of endangered species," reads a statement from Kensington Palace. "The Duke will continue to work with his charities on issues relating to children and young people, veterans and serving members of the Armed Forces."
Three months after his birth, Prince George is christened at St. James's Palace in a ceremony led by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. The future heir has water from the River Jordan splashed three times on his head, and Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton recite verses from the Bible as the two lessons. The event is also attended by George's seven godparents, which include Zara Tindall and William van Cutsem.
The royal family – Prince William, Princess Kate and 8-month-old Prince George – embark on a nearly three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia, where they meet with locals, attend charity functions and accompany Prince George on his first royal playdate. "The couple have been bowled over by the extraordinarily warm welcome shown to them as a family by people everywhere they went," says a royal spokesman upon their departure.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Xposure; Michael Middleton; Reuters/Landov; REX USA; Splash News Online