UK prime minister sends well wishes to the royals

UK's Prime Minister David Cameron wished the royal family well as they prepare to welcome their second baby.

FILE: Britain's Prince William (L) and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, arrive at Westminster Abbey in London, on June 4, 2013, for a service to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Coronation Service. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - The United Kingdom's Prime Minister David Cameron has wished the royal family well as they prepare to welcome their second baby.

Excitement is mounting outside the St Mary's Hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton is in the early stages of labour.

Her husband Prince William has reportedly taken paternity leave and is with her in the maternity ward.

William was born at the same hospital to the late Princess Diana in 1982.

The baby's gender is not known but bookmakers are tipping the child to be a girl, with Alice, Elizabeth, Charlotte and Victoria the favourite names. James and Arthur are the favourite boy's names.

In keeping with tradition, the official announcement of the birth will be made by placing a notice on an easel at the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

Kate, 33, and William, 32, met as students at St Andrews University in Scotland, married in a spectacular ceremony at Westminster Abbey in April 2011 and have since become global stars.

When Kate leaves hospital after giving birth, the couple will initially return to their London residence, Kensington Palace, for a couple of days, before heading to Anmer Hall, their country mansion on the queen's Sandringham estate in Norfolk, to the northeast of London.