News / Arts & Entertainment

British Royal Baby Dominates World Media - Like It or Not

A news cameraman reads a newspaper across from St. Mary's Hospital's exclusive Lindo Wing in London, July 22, 2013.
A news cameraman reads a newspaper across from St. Mary's Hospital's exclusive Lindo Wing in London, July 22, 2013.
Reuters
From live TV coverage of a hospital door to a gaggle of royal baby experts, the world's media was in a frenzy on Monday over the arrival of the future heir to the British throne, offering moment-by-moment coverage if very little actual news.
 
For three weeks photographers from across the globe have been camped outside St. Mary's Hospital in west London waiting for the arrival of Prince William and his wife Kate's first child, who will be third in line to the throne.
 
As Kate, 31, headed to hospital around dawn on Monday, TV stations and news websites from the United States to Australia pulled out articles and picture galleries about every possible aspect of the royal baby from name to gender to lineage.
 
Arianne Chernock, an expert on the history of monarchy at Boston University, said royal births had always attracted a lot of attention. Prince William's birth in 1982 is one of the top 10 highest People magazine cover stories.
 
“What is different this time is that the media has been transformed in the past decade and the existence of operations like Twitter has magnified this tendency for curiosity,” she told Reuters.
 
The lead-up to the birth, dubbed the “Great Kate Wait," has produced reams of stories on every aspect of the royal event of the year. Newspapers ran advice to Kate to speed up the arrival with a hot curry or nipple stimulation.
 
Several British newspaper websites were running live coverage of the main door to the private Lindo wing where Kate was admitted to give birth, with William at her side.
 
However the photographers missed Kate arriving before 0500 GMT on Monday as the couple used an unmarked car and side door.
 
Frustrated Photographers
 
Prince William, 31, is known to value his privacy and that of his wife Kate after the way the paparazzi hounded his mother Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.
 
“Unbelievable. I've stayed here, I've been camping here for 13 days. I've been on the night shift. There was no indication that it was happening,” said Ki Price, a frustrated freelance German photographer camped outside the hospital.
 
Mark Stewart, a photographer specializing in royals, said the amount of media interest in the couple was extraordinary.
 
“This really is one of the biggest turnouts I have seen at a royal event with media from all over the world. It just shows what a global phenomenon they have become,” he told Reuters.
 
Broadcast media prepare to report from outside Buckingham Palace in London where a notice announcing the birth of the baby will be posted, July 22, 2013.Broadcast media prepare to report from outside Buckingham Palace in London where a notice announcing the birth of the baby will be posted, July 22, 2013.
x
Broadcast media prepare to report from outside Buckingham Palace in London where a notice announcing the birth of the baby will be posted, July 22, 2013.
Broadcast media prepare to report from outside Buckingham Palace in London where a notice announcing the birth of the baby will be posted, July 22, 2013.
International TV crews from around the world were broadcasting regular, breathless updates as temperatures in London hit their hottest for the year at 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit), Britain's most prolonged heatwave in seven years.
 
With no update forthcoming, a handful of union flag-bedecked, royal fans camped outside the hospital were happily giving interviews to TV crews from China to Australia.
 
“I'm proud to be British and I would just like to say God bless the royal family and particularly now, Katherine,” said John Loughrey, 58, a former chef, decked out in Union Jacks.
 
A Reuters reporter who took his wife for a checkup at the hospital said nurses were complaining that the media had taken all the disabled people's parking spaces and that the hospital cafe was full.
 
People magazine ran a fake baby's first photo shoot with Prince William, Kate and Queen Elizabeth lookalikes passing a baby between them.
 
Even Britain's left-leaning Guardian newspaper was running a list of articles about the royal birth, although it did give readers an option to press a “Republican” button at the top of its home page to filter out news about the royal baby.
 
“I just had to come back, having tried out the 'Republican' button, to offer my thanks. How bloody marvelous of you. I hope it lasts forever,” one Guardian reader posted on the website.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Paquito D'Rivera, who has won 12 Grammys, is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin jazz and his achievements as a classical composer. D'Rivera's latest project, “Jazz Meets the Classics,” was released this month. He joins us on the latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."