‘We wish the child well’: Peers praise monarchy after royal baby birth

Political leaders in the Lords lined up to praise the monarchy this afternoon, as parliament embraced royal baby fever with a parade of tributes to the new prince and his family.

With the Commons already having dispersed for the long summer recess it was up to members of the upper House to convey politicians' approval of the new arrival.

"Royalty carries burdens as well as privileges and those burdens will fall on the young prince's shoulders all too soon," Jonathan Hill, the leader of the Lords, told a packed Lords chamber.

"Our queen, raised to the imperial court in the first half of the 20th century, today sees a child who is not likely to succeed to the throne until well into the second half of the 21st.

"When that time comes, one thing is certain: the new prince could not have a better example of duty and service than that set by his great-grandmother and indeed his great-grandfather.

"We wish the child well, we wish the parents well for his upbringing and we offer Her Majesty the Queen our continued loyalty and warmest congratulations."

Jan Royall, the leader of the opposition in the Lords, echoed his congratulations. She pointed out that although the coalition's Succession To The Crown Act 2013 ensuring gender equality will not be applied to defend the rights of a princess this time around, "even so the Act is the right thing for parliament to have done in the modern age".

She added: "We on these benches wish the duke and duchess and the new prince long life and lasting happiness."

Tom McNally, the Liberal Democrat peer who is the deputy leader of the Lords, said the Lib Dems wished the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their son "a long and happy life in the service of this country.

William Laming, convenor of the independent crossbench peers, said the House was meeting on a "very happy occasion".

"Your lordship's House has time and again demonstrated a particular interest in the wellbeing of children and families so it has given us very great pleasure to learn of the safe delivery of a son to the duke and duchess of Cambridge.

"We wish the baby a very long and fulfilled life."

David Urquhart, the Rt Reverend Bishop of Birmingham, said Britain was "basking in wellbeing" as the royal birth followed a series of sporting triumphs at Wimbledon, the Tour de France and in the Ashes.

"In all this warmth we remember a new stage has begun for a young family," he told peers.

"The infant has no idea what symbolic authority may one day be his and so meanwhile we pray his royal highnesses will be guided and sustained as they take up the joys and challenges of parenthood."

Two motions were unanimously approved by the Lords, one addressed to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the other to the Queen.

The latter message stated:

We, Your Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, beg leave to congratulate Your Majesty, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of a son to Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge; to signify our great pleasure at this happy event; and to assure Your Majesty of our continued loyalty and devotion.