LONDON — Under early evening skies illuminated by a blitz of camera flashes, Prince William and his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, stepped out of the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital on Tuesday and briefly introduced the world to their newborn prince, who stands one day to inherit the British throne.
‘‘He’s got her looks, thankfully,’’ a cheerful William told reporters as he held the baby, still unnamed, in his arms. Asked if his son has hair, he said, ‘‘He’s got way more than me, thank God.’’
In a moment that brought recollections of 31 years ago — when Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prince Charles had walked out of the same wing of the same hospital with Prince William in their arms — the couple, both dressed in blue, cradled their infant and gave the members of the media what they had waited for.
As the little prince wailed, Prince William — who said he had changed the first royal ‘‘nappy’’ — quipped, ‘‘He has a good set of lungs on him, that’s for sure.’’
He said the couple were still working on a name. ‘‘We will have that as soon as we can. It’s the first time we have seen him really, so we are having a proper chance to catch up.’’
‘He has a good set of lungs on him, that’s for sure.’
The duchess, looking robust after giving birth on Monday, said the birth had been ‘‘very emotional.’’
‘‘It’s such a special time,’’ she said. ‘‘I think any parent . . . would probably sort of know what this feeling feels like.’’
And then, in a scene somehow bizarre in its normalcy, the couple casually put the newborn in a baby car seat, which William placed in the back seat of his vehicle with mom before taking the wheel himself for their drive home to Kensington Palace.
The family appeared before a waiting throng after Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, visited the hospital late Tuesday afternoon to meet Charles’s day-old grandson.
Charles smiled and waved to the photographers and well-wishers who had camped outside the hospital for hours to await the public debut of the baby prince. The eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, Charles is first in line to succeed her, followed by his own first born, William, and then William’s newborn son.
‘‘Everything’s marvelous. You’ll see in a minute,’’ Prince Charles said while exiting the hospital with his wife, suggesting that the debut of the newest heir to the throne was imminent.
Among those who gathered outside the hospital to await the prince’s emergence was Margaret Tyler, a 69-year-old London resident known for her home stuffed with more than 10,000 items of royal memorabilia. ‘‘I’m not going to miss this,’’ she said as she waited. ‘‘When they walk out that door, that will be our history.’’
Catherine, the former Kate Middleton, gave birth to an 8-pound, 6-ounce boy on Monday afternoon, with William in attendance. The proud parents spent the night together in the hospital, and a spokesman from Kensington Palace, their royal household, said in a statement that, ‘‘Mother, son, and father are all doing well.’’
Earlier Tuesday afternoon, the baby’s maternal grandparents stopped by for a visit. ‘‘He’s absolutely beautiful,’’ Carole Middleton, Kate’s mother, told reporters, adding that Kate and William ‘‘are doing fabulously.’’
Middleton said her first cuddle with the baby was ‘‘amazing.’’
The bells of Westminster Abbey — the church where William and Kate were married — tolled for three hours Tuesday to honor the new heir. The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery rode past Buckingham Palace, offering a 41-gun salute to the baby prince, while the Army Reserve Regiment fired a 62-gun salute from the Tower of London’s Gun Wharf.