The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton has given birth to her first child, the first major royal born into a new age of equality.

The child, a baby boy was born at St Mary’s Hospital, in Paddington, west London at 4.24pm and weighing 8lbs 6oz.

Under new succession laws the baby would have remained third in line to the throne regardless of gender, and the gender of any subsequent siblings.

Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg argued strongly for the constitutional change at the start of the year.

Mr Clegg said the old rules belonged to “a bygone era” and reflected “old prejudices”.

The new royal baby will be the Queen’s third great-grandchild. It will be expected to take to the throne following reigns by Prince Charles and then Prince William.

Last week, equal marriage for England and Wales was officially signed into law by the Queen.

The first same-sex marriages will take place by the summer of 2014.

Although the Queen has never formally referred to the LGBT community during her 61 years on the British throne and as head of the Commonwealth, many were keen to recognise the symbolism of the monarch signing into law such an historic piece of equality legislation. She has also ruled as monarch for every single advance in LGBT equality since male homosexuality was decriminalised in 1967.

The current, new generation of royals are known for being far more comfortable when it comes to public displays of support for the LGBT community.

Prince William and Prince Harry both praised the work of Terrence Higgins Trust, Britain’s largest HIV and sexual health charity on its 30th anniversary last year.

In June, it was revealed Prince Harry previously rescued gay former solider James Wharton from the horrors of suffering homophobic abuse from his fellow comrades.

Prince Harry also previously said he might try relationships with men if he “changes his mind” about women, while on a night out with his girlfriend.