News / Europe

Britain on Royal Baby Watch

  • People gather outside a floodlit Buckingham Palace in London to mark the birth of a baby boy to Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, July 22, 2013.
  • The London Eye on the banks of the Thames is lit up in red, blue and white to mark the birth of a baby boy to Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, London, July 22, 2013.
  • An easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace carries an official document to announce the birth of a baby boy, at 4:24pm to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at St. Mary's Hospital, July 22, 2013.
  • Members of media give live reports across from St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London, July 22, 2013.
  • British police officers guard the entrance of St. Mary's Hospital exclusive Lindo Wing in London, July 22, 2013.
  • Royal fan Margaret Tyler waits outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, where Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is expected to give birth, in London July 20, 2013.
  • Women pretending to be pregnant and wearing masks of Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge pose outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, where the Duchess of Cambridge is expected to give birth, in London July 18, 2013.
  • A bookmaker agency employee poses for the photographers with a board of odds regarding the royal baby's name near St. Mary's Hospital, London, July 17, 2013.
  • Royal fans sit outside St. Mary's Hospital in anticipation of the birth of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's, first baby in central London, July 16, 2013.
  • Representatives from a betting company wear baby masks outside St. Mary's Hospital in London, July 12, 2013.
  • Cards depicting the 'royal baby,' either as a boy or a girl, are shown outside St. Mary's Hospital, London, July 11, 2013.

Britain on Royal Baby Watch

Reuters
Photographers are camped outside the hospital, social media are buzzing, and stores are touting baby goods ahead of the expected arrival this week of the future heir to the British throne.

Britain is officially on baby watch with Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton awaiting the imminent arrival of their first child who will be third in line to the throne.
 
The couple, known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge since their sumptuous royal wedding in April 2011, announced last December that a baby was on its way after Kate was admitted to hospital for four days suffering from severe morning sickness.
 
With the due date looming, the duchess stopped official duties last month while Prince William, a helicopter search-and-rescue pilot and grandson of Queen Elizabeth, is on standby at an air force base in north Wales to rush back to London.
 
The couple have remained vague about the exact date the baby is due other than to say mid-July and the arrival will be announced in a combination of the traditional and modern - via Twitter, websites and with a notice outside Buckingham Palace.
 
However in a sign the baby's arrival was getting closer, royal officials announced that the baby would be known by its given name and would have the title His or Her Royal Highness Prince/Princess of Cambridge.
 
The Palace also revealed on Monday that the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips and her husband, rugby player Mike Tindall, were expecting their first baby in the new year.
 
Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty Magazine, said the duke and duchess were a private couple and, while aware of the massive global interest, were trying to limit public exposure.
 
“Privacy is key for Prince William as he saw the way his mother, Princess Diana, suffered at the hands of the paparazzi, and he wants to make sure this does not happen to his wife or his own children,” Little told Reuters.
 
The baby is to be born in the private Lindo wing of St. Mary's Hospital in London where Prince William was born 31 years ago. Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in 1997 after splitting up with Prince Charles, also had Prince Harry there.
 
Prince Charles, the heir apparent, was present for the births of his sons and Prince William, second in the line to the throne, plans to be there for his first child.

Moment in World history
 

Prince Harry (L), Prince William (R) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Trooping the Colour ceremony in central London, England, June 15, 2013.Prince Harry (L), Prince William (R) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Trooping the Colour ceremony in central London, England, June 15, 2013.
x
Prince Harry (L), Prince William (R) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Trooping the Colour ceremony in central London, England, June 15, 2013.
Prince Harry (L), Prince William (R) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Trooping the Colour ceremony in central London, England, June 15, 2013.
Whether a boy or girl, the baby will be third in line to the throne, pushing Prince Harry into the fourth place in the royal list, as the government has changed the rules of succession. Previously male heirs took precedence over females.
 
The baby is due to be delivered by Marcus Setchell, the Queen's former gynecologist, in the private wing where a normal delivery costs 4,965 pounds ($7,400) and each extra night  around 1,000 pounds.
 
Mark Stewart, a photographer specializing in royals, was one of the first to set up in the press pen to get a front row spot for when the royal couple and baby emerge from the hospital.
 
“Globally there is huge interest in the royal baby, particularly in America, and I wanted to get a front row seat to world history,” said Stewart whose ladder is chained in place.
 
The gender of the baby remains unknown with the couple saying they do not know who is coming despite wide speculation in March that it was a girl after Kate, 31, accepted a baby gift saying: “Thank you, I will take that for my d...”
 
Bookmakers have had a field day cashing in on speculation of the baby's gender, possible names, and even hair color.
 
William Hill has a girl at favorite at 4-7 with the top names Alexandra, Charlotte, Elizabeth, Diana and Victoria. They are taking odds of 5-4 for a boy with George and James favored.
 
“The name will be traditional. This is a future monarch. You won't get a Princess Kylie or Prince Wayne,” Little said.
 
With the popularity for royal family riding high in Britain and overseas after the royal wedding and last year's Diamond Jubilee celebrating Queen Elizabeth's 60 year reign, retailers  are cashing in on the new arrival.
 
Stores are stocking “Born to Rule” sleepwear, palace shops are selling sleepsuits modeled on a guardsman's outfit, and Prince Charles is selling baby shoes from his country estate.
 
Celebrity jewelry designer Theo Fennell has created the most lavish baby gift so far - a bejeweled, 18 carat white gold bracelet with a nappy cream holding charm for 10,000 pounds.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid