As the media-feeding frenzy around the birth of the newest member of Britain’s royal family continued with the royalist Sun newspaper changing its masthead to The Son, bets worth hundreds of thousands of pounds were said to be riding on what the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would call their newborn son. He has already been given the title of Prince of Cambridge.
Would it be George, the bookies’ favourite? Or any of the other nearly half-a-dozen names floating around including James, Louis, Alexander and Arthur? Apparently, the couple had prepared a shortlist but it was constantly changing as they were deluged by suggestions from friends.
The unprecedented media hype drew protests from republican campaigners who thought it was “lunacy” to devote so much time and resources on an event that, they said, was of little interest to millions of ordinary people.
“You’re doing disservice to your viewers,” Graham Smith of Republican Campaign told a BBC anchor provoking an on-air row with a royal historian who called republicans “killjoys” and lacking a sense of history.
As the news of the birth spread, Trafalgar Square was lit in blue to indicate that the third-in-line to the throne was a boy while the BT Tower left nothing to imagination with a neon message flashing: “It’s a boy”.
Soldiers fired guns in the air and bells rang at Westminster Abbey to mark the occasion as crowds, mostly tourists and die-hard royalists, gathered outside Buckingham Palace where the bulletin announcing the birth of the royal bay was displayed on an easel.
The announcement came late on Monday evening, more than four hours after the Duchess gave birth, and caught the world’s media napping just as they were preparing to wind up for the day.
An Indian doctor Sunit Godambe was reported to part of the team which helped deliver the baby. Dr. Godambe, who grew up in Mumbai, is a consultant neonatologist at St Mary’s Hospital where the Duchess gave birth.
In a statement, the royal couple thanked the staff for the “tremendous care the three of us have received.”
Meanwhile, road closures and diversions meant that ordinary visitors to the hospital had a difficult time. Sky TV reported patients on crutches and in wheelchairs “battling against a sea of cameras, photographers’ ladders and reporters from around the world”.