Royal children set for lives to shine in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 08:11 04 May 2015 | UPDATED: 08:11 04 May 2015

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the newborn Princess of Cambridge as they leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 2, 2015. See PA story ROYAL Baby. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the newborn Princess of Cambridge as they leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 2, 2015. See PA story ROYAL Baby. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Yui Mok/Press Association

East Anglia is preparing to welcome a new princess to the region with open arms.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to return to their home at Anmer Hall, on the Sandringham Estate, with the Royal family’s newest member and her brother, Prince George, this week.

The Cambridges’ daughter, who is fourth in line to the throne and will be affectionately known as the spare to the heir, arrived on Saturday morning at 8.34am at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, weighing 8lb 3oz. She was born just 154 minutes after the Duchess, 33, had been admitted to hospital.

The family left the hospital together less than 10 hours later, and spent yesterday at Kensington Palace in central London. It is thought the family may travel to their home in the north-west Norfolk countryside as early as today.

According to reports, the Queen is already in the county at Sandringham, where she is waiting to meet the new arrival, who is yet to be named. Observers pointed out, after the baby’s brief public appearance when she left the hospital, that she appears to share a great resemblance to her great grandmother, when she was a newborn.

The princess’ grandparents have already met the baby. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall spent more than an hour with her, while the Duchess of Cambridge’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, and her sister Pippa also paid a visit. The Prince of Wales –who had said he wanted his second grandchild to be a girl – and the Duchess of Cornwall were said to have been “absolutely delighted”.

When they do arrive back in Norfolk, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, who is now 21 months old, and the new princess can expect a warm welcome, after news of the birth prompted an outpouring of joy through the region.

The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, said: “The Diocese of Norwich treasures its relationship with the Royal family and there will be many prayers of thanksgiving here for the safe delivery of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s daughter. We hope she and her parents will soon be back in Norfolk. God bless them.”

John Cushing, founder, chief executive, director and producer of the Thursford Christmas Spectacular, said: “The fairy tale just gets better. First a prince, then a princess.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Thursford show in December 2010, in what was their first public appearance together since announcing their engagement the previous month.

Mr Cushing added: “It was a real honour for us to welcome William and Kate in 2010; it is something we will always cherish. William has been here several times and we hope to see them all in the future.”

The news has also been welcomed by tourism officials, although the need to respect the family’s privacy was emphasised by Pete Waters, executive director of Visit East Anglia.

Mr Waters said: “It’s great news that the second, third and fourth in line to the throne will all be living in Norfolk – having the county mentioned in Royal stories by the media worldwide can only help raise our profile and hopefully generate interest in wanting to visit.

“What we must always remember though is the Royal family come to their Norfolk home for privacy, and that’s always been respected.

“Like William’s mother, we hope the new princess and her brother have a wonderful childhood growing up in Norfolk.”

Artist Andrew Ruffhead, 62, who is based in Burnham Market, has a keen interest in the Royal family and promoting the region’s tourism industry. Last year he produced a colourful map highlighting some of Norfolk’s links to the Royals.

Mr Ruffhead said: “I am thrilled that a new young Royal and her family will be moving so close to us here in Burnham Market.

“Life is all about family and they, like us, are so privileged to live here in beautiful north Norfolk.”

The Cambridges could announce the name of their daughter today before travelling to Norfolk.

Among the bookies, the names Alice and Charlotte are vying for top spot – with thousands wagered by punters.

See today’s eight-page souvenir supplement

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