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British Prince William's Wife Kate in Labor

British officials say Prince William's wife, Kate, is in labor at a London hospital as the world awaits the birth of their first child, who will be heir to the British throne.

The Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to St. Mary's Hospital just after 0500 GMT Monday, but nearly 12 hours later there was still no news for the hundreds of international media camped outside.

Under a new law, still to be enacted by Britain's parliament, the child will be born a future king or queen in waiting.

The child will displace Prince Harry as the third in line to the throne, coming behind Queen Elizabeth's eldest, Prince Charles, and his son, Prince William.

The newborn is also in line to be recognized as head of state in 15 other countries, including Canada and Australia, playing a leading role in charting the future of the Commonwealth.

For centuries, preference was given to male heirs so a first-born princess could be overtaken in line by a younger brother.

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