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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Matthew Wade sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his new CD, “Diamond from Coal,” his fourth album with his band, My Silent Bravery.