Following the birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s first born on Monday, British news blog the Huffington Post featured a breaking news story with the headline: “Woman Gives Birth to A Boy”.
The article read: “A married woman of childbearing age has given birth to a baby boy. The event followed nine months of pregnancy. “Both mother and baby are doing well,” a spokesman for the woman said. It is now expected that the baby will grow up.”
Despite the slight omission of the baby in question being third in line to the British throne, the article perhaps summed up the frustration of millions who have struggled to comprehend the wild media frenzy that followed the birth of the boy The Telegraph coined “the most famous baby in the world”.
Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was born on Monday at 4:24pm BST at St Mary’s Hospital in London, weighing 8lb 6oz. Kate had arrived at the hospital at 6am in the early stages of labour, accompanied by her husband.
With newspaper deadlines looming, the nation’s media had lined the streets outside the hospital all afternoon, desperate for an update.
It wasn’t until past 8pm they received the news they were desperate for via a press release. In line with tradition, the announcement was also displayed on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.
The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Harry were said to be “delighted with the news”. The Prince of Wales said in a statement that he and the Duchess of Cornwall were “overjoyed”, adding: “I am enormously proud and happy to be a grandfather for the first time.”
Prince William and the Duchess spent Monday night at the hospital, and emerged with the newborn to a blare of cheering and camera flashes on Tuesday afternoon. With a squashed face faintly resembling Yoda from Star Wars, Prince George got his very first taste of the limelight.
His miniscule hands peeped out from the top of his blanket, giving the world his own unique royal wave.
His relaxed father joked about his son’s abundance of hair in comparison to his own, and added: “It’s very emotional. It’s such a special time. I think any parent will know what this feeling feels like.” Pressed on the subject of what the baby’s name would be William told a journalist to “wait and see”.
It wasn’t until Wednesday evening the Prince’s name was announced, and in so doing the future king completed a hat trick of newspaper headlines; three consecutive days on the front page without even breathing a word.
Noticing the bulge of William’s iPhone in the back pocket of his jeans as he and his family turned back up the stairs to the doors of the hospital, I couldn’t help think how much less of a gulf there seems to be between the royals and the masses these days. Despite the media circus that surrounds them, Will and Kate just seem like a decent, well-rounded young couple. All that has happened this week is that they have become parents, a beautiful thing in itself.
I wondered how the glam and glitterati of the modern era might shape the upbringing of their son, and on the announcement of his name as “Prince George” I was instantly reminded of Hugh Laurie’s dull-witted, gluttonous, sex-obsessed portrayal of George IV in TV series Blackadder.
Hopefully the likeness starts and ends with the name, and the newly christened George Alexander Louis can keep clear of temptation and controversy. With parents as kind and level-headed as Kate and William, I’m sure he’ll be just fine.