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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

Avery Sunshine is known for her irresistible combination of soul, jazz and gospel influences. She’s traveled the world entertaining audiences with her powerful voice, inspiring lyrics and infectious spirit. She joins host Shawna Renee on "The Soul Lounge" to perform and share the stories behind her new album, "The Sun Room."