British royal baby dominates world media — like it or not

Members of the media interview another member of the media 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,
Members of the media interview another member of the media outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, where Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is expected to give birth, in London.

From live TV coverage of a hospital door to a gaggle of royal baby experts, the world’s media was in a frenzy 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 the hospital around dawn 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 most popular 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 5 a.m. 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.

International TV crews from around the world were broadcasting regular, breathless updates as temperatures in London hit their hottest for the year at 91F, 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 Jack livery.

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 packed.

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 filters 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.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…