April 23, 2018 03:29 AM

Let the royal baby countdown begin!

Kate Middleton arrived at the hospital to welcome her third child with husband Prince William, the palace confirms Monday.

“Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London earlier this morning in the early stages of labor,” the statement reads.

“The Duchess travelled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital with The Duke of Cambridge.”

The royal mom was admitted before 6 a.m. (U.K. time) to the same hospital where she gave birth to Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The new royal baby will be the fifth in line of succession after Prince Charles, William, George and Charlotte. Prince Harry — currently fifth in line to the throne — will be bumped to sixth in line.

The news comes just days after members of the royal family gathered to celebrate the Queen’s 92nd birthday with a concert bash at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Saturday night. Kate was absent from the festivities as she her due date neared.

Kate Middleton
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Kate Middleton

The Middleton family has lots to celebrate as Kate’s sister, Pippa Middleton, is reportedly expecting her first child with husband James Matthews.

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A group of devoted royal fans have been camped outside the hospital since April 9 in anticipation of the royal baby’s birth. Terry Hutt, 83, and John Loughrey, 63, are among the supporters who have a clear view of the famous door to the Lindo Wing, where Will and Kate will debut the royal baby.

“I know the routine so we wanted to get here for the best view,” Hutt tells PEOPLE. “We’re excited, over the moon.”

For Loughrey, who has wanted the birth to occur on St. George’s Day, is crossing his fingers that Kate does indeed have the baby on the national day of England today.

“I had a sense it was going to be today,” he says.

Adds Hutt: “We are going to celebrate later with fish and chips.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Karwai Tang/WireImage

Prince William and Kate Middleton

The soon-to-be mother of three first announced her pregnancy in September in a statement from the palace.

“Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their third child,” the statement read. “The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news.”

RELATED VIDEO: Royal Baby Watch: Here’s What to Expect When Kate Middleton Gives Birth to Baby #3

Just like her previous pregnancies, Kate suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum during her first trimester, which led her to miss Prince George’s first day of school. But she resumed her royal duties by her second trimester, keeping up a busy schedule until the weeks leading up to the birth. At an event in February, Kate joked that William was “in denial” ahead of the arrival of their third child.

Ruaridh Connellan/Barcroft via Getty Images
Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Kate gave birth to daughter Charlotte in May 2015 only two-and-a-half hours after being admitted to the hospital. And just 10 hours after she gave birth, she appeared on the hospital steps looking stunning as she introduced the baby princess to the world.

The arrival of Will and Kate’s third child could be historic: If the baby is a boy, he will not displace big sister Charlotte in the line of succession, thanks to a measure that passed just after Will and Kate’s 2011 wedding. Up until this change, a younger son would usurp his older sister’s place when it comes to inheriting the throne. 

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