Approximately 2,000 babies were born yesterday, up and down the country, however one is significantly different from all the others. At 16:24, the 8lb 6oz (3.8kg) a baby boy was delivered at the £5,000 a night Lindo Wing, St Mary’s hospital, Paddington.
Tradition had dictated that the announcement would be made by placing of a note written on official headed notepaper on an easel outside of Buckingham Palace, however at around 20:15 plans had changed and the worlds media were informed that the birth had in fact taken place 4 hours earlier and that mother and baby were doing well.
The baby who has yet to be named officially, but unofficially referred to as ‘Baby Cambridge’ is third inline to the throne and due to the fact that he is a boy, will not be taking advantage of the new laws in the UK that permit a baby of any sex to be heir to the throne, whereas previous babies had to be male in order to be in line for most important job in the country.
Ever since the news broke yesterday morning, the world stood still, glued to their television sets waiting to find out who their future king or queen would be, and if there is one country that comes close to the love that we have to the Royal family it is the Americans. Good Morning America on ABC ran coverage in line with the BBC in the sense that they had cameras covering every aspect of the birth, apart from the birth itself. Within an hour or so the leader of the USA, Barack Obama sent this message to the new parents:
“Michelle and I are so pleased to congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the joyous occasion of the birth of their first child.
“We wish them all the happiness and blessings parenthood brings. The child enters the world at a time of promise and opportunity for our two nations.
“Given the special relationship between us, the American people are pleased to join with the people of the United Kingdom as they celebrate the birth of the young prince.”
Other heads of state, political leaders and key leaders of faiths also sent their congratulatory messages that focused towards the joys of being a parent, and the hope that a new life brings.
With the details of the birth itself being kept secret hundreds of photographers had been camped outside both the home of HRH Dutchess of Cambridge and the hospital since the beginning of July when the 9 months had come close to coming to an end. However since the Royal couple left home at the crack of dawn, much of the worlds media were still in bed, except for photographer Jesal Parshotam who saw them arrive at hospital. Naturally he told the world that HRH had checked in to hospital, but he was then presented with a dilemma, does he take a photograph that would no doubt then feature on every front page of websites/newspapers, or does he allow the couple some privacy?
Jesal took the courageous decision to do what was right and did not photograph Kate saying “She was a woman in labour, and taking a picture of her would have been over-stepping the mark.“. Personally I believe this to be the correct decision, and does credit to all photographers out there. Cameras are going to be taking pictures of this new born by the bucketload over the next few days, weeks and not to mention years, and so whilst the photograph may have been worth hundreds of thousands, it was a private moment, and it was good that it was kept that way.
Unlike the majority of parents these days, Kate and William decided not to take advantage of modern technology and keep the sex of their new born unknown. Not only did this provide bookmakers up and down the country from opening up the bets for whether the newborn was a boy/girl, as well as what name s/he would take. Thats all very well and good, however there is something that has been bothering me about the notice that was placed on the easel in front of Buckingham Palace.
If you look at the message closely you can see that the message is printed on official headed paper with space left for the medical team to add their signatures and weight of the baby. Therefore its safe to assume that this document will have arrived in hospital when Kate was admitted. In which case, why is the sex of the baby typed and not a space like the weight?
On the other hand, if the notice was printed out at the hospital, then all the information would have been known at time of printing, so there would have been no reason not to print the babies weight rather than handwrite it in.
Maybe Kate and William did know after all and just kept it a secret?
Since this was the first senior Royal baby to be born in such a social media rich environment twitter was a rush with a peak of 25,300 tweets per minute containing the #RoyalBaby, #RoyalBabyBoy and #RoyalBabyWatch hashtags after the news broke. Twitter has since written a post on their blog containing some of the facts and key tweets of yesterdays events. The most popular tweet was that of Clarence House at 07:37 confirming that The Duchess had gone into labour. This particular tweet was retweeted 6,686 times and favourited 2,272 times. What is even more astonishing is that Twitter remained up and running and didn’t suffer a meltdown!
There are many people in the UK who are opposed to the British Monarchy, and I think that these people are reducing in number each year that goes by. What with the Diamond Jubilee, The Queens part in the Olympics 2012, The Royal Wedding, and now Royal birth, the Royals are uniting us all together in times of joy and happiness, and with the credit crunch, redundancies, shortage of jobs – we are in need of a bit of happiness.
The Metro published in todays edition several interesting figure related facts, here are a couple of them:
- 6 – The time the royal vehicles were seen arriving at St Mary’s hospital yesterday.
- 12 – The number of days royal fanatic fan Terry Hutt, aged 78 had camped outside the hospital.
- 16 – The baby will one day be head of state of 16 countries.
- 31 – The age of both babies parents.
- 41 – Royal births are celebrated with a 41-gun salute.
- 2,000 – Approximate number of babies born in Britain yesterday.
- 6,265 – The cost in Pounds of a one night stay and delivery package at the private Lindo wing, including a suite of two rooms but excluding consultant’s fees.
- 30,000 – The amount in Pounds taken in baby name bets by the bookmaker Paddy Power in the three hours following the news that Kate was in Labour.
I personally wish the whole Royal family Mazel Tov on the birth of their new child, grandchild, great grandchild and hope that we can share in many more joyous occasions that our future head’s of state have.