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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."