WE EXAMINE how the world’s media digested the news that a royal baby is on the way.
News organisations across the world have reported on yesterday’s announcement that William and Kate are expecting their first child. Reactions varied from an analysis of the way the British press will handle the news to an indepth look at how the prospective parents were raised themselves.
The Sydney Morning Herald picked up on the “debate and delirium” surrounding Kate’s announcement.
Karen Kissanne wrote: “The news is a blessing and a curse for women’s magazines around the world, which will be madly pulling scheduled covers in order to roll out (pre-prepared?) spreads on royal baby bliss and pregnancy misery. But the very illness that has made the pregnancy such hot news will later bedevil the media, as it means Kate is much more likely to spend the next seven months living a private life rather than providing joy for paparazzi. Severe pregnancy-nausea of her kind can go on for up to 14 weeks, and in rare cases can last the whole pregnancy.”
The New York Times focused on how the British tabloids were reacting to the news of Kate’s pregnancy.
Sarah Lyall wrote: “The speculation began virtually the moment Kate Middleton said “I will” to Prince William in April 2011, leaving an industry of tabloid newspapers and gossip magazines with a big black hole where their wedding coverage used to be.”
“But few people could be more excited than the editors of the newspapers and magazines that cover the royal family, who with any luck will have months of things to write about: What will it be, boy or girl? How fat will the duchess look in her pregnancy clothes? What is happening behind closed doors?”
The Toronto Star zoned in on how the British bookies are taking the news, with their opening line asking “Will it be a prince or a princess?”
D’Arcy Doran wrote: “Britain’s bookies began taking bets on the question that always accompanies the news that the Royals are expecting. But for the first time in history it doesn’t matter: Prince William and Kate’s baby will be third in line for the throne regardless.
“Sports betting company William Hill put the odds of whether the baby will be a boy or a girl the same at 10-11. It said the favourite names were Frances and John, both at 9-1 odds, followed by Charles, Victoria and George at 10-1.
“Other names included Anne, Diana, Phillip, Richard and Spencer at 12-1; Mary, Henry and Sarah at 14-1; Carole, William and Edward at 16-1; Alice, David, Victoria, Albert and Arthur at 20-1; and Elizabeth at 25-1, the bookmaker said.”
The Daily Mail ran a feature which examines how the soon to be parents were brought in to the world themselves.
The piece, written by Sam Greenhill, is entitled “Kate, Wills and two very different baby albums: How prospective parents’ births were celebrated by their families”, and focuses on the comparatively different upbringings that Kate and William had.
It begins with a scenic depiction of Kate as a baby, and carries on to describe William’s childhood in the public eye.
The Irish Independent linked the announcement to a psychic prediction.
Mark O’Regan wrote a piece entitled “‘Old Moore’s’ psychic prediction of pregnancy may go down as one of the fastest to come true”.
The article said: “The mystic behind Ireland’s oldest astronomical calendar ‘Old Moore’s Almanac’ yesterday morning insisted that the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant.
“Less than six hours later, the news that Kate Middleton was indeed expecting the couple’s first child was announced.
“And if the Almanac’s predictions ring true, then the world can expect a bouncing baby girl as the latest addition to the Royal Family next July.”
The Times of India noted that the royal baby will be heir to the throne regardless of the child’s gender. An online article, which makes reference to facts reported in the Telegraph, stated: “The royal baby due next year to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will ultimately accede to the throne regardless of its sex after changes in the rules of Royal succession, according to ministers.
“Under the previous rules of primogeniture, any male child would have taken precedence in the order of succession over his sisters.
“That would have meant that were next year’s child to be female, her place in the line of succession could have been taken by any younger brothers.”
The Star Online led with how the news was welcomed in Britain.
The article read: “Britain’s press on Tuesday celebrated the “delightful” news that Prince William and his wife Catherine are to have a baby, but the expectant mother’s bout of morning sickness tempered spirits.
“The couple announced on Monday they are expecting their first child, ending fevered speculation about a baby destined to become Britain’s monarch whether it is a boy or a girl.”
The New Zealand Herald ran a piece which picks up on the media frenzy which has already begun.
Paul Harper wrote: “Reporters are staking out a hospital, news websites have launched live-blogs and a “forensic artist” has even engineered images of a yet to be born child.
“It’s official: Prince William and wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, are expecting a baby.”