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

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora