Royal Baby Fever in London

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To be honest, I don't usually think too much about the royal family. Yes, I watched snippets of Williams and Kate's wedding, but I'm in no way a huge fan of the symbolic monarchs of a country that is not my own.

But I do not live under a rock, either, and so it's been impossible to avoid Royal Baby Fever in the past couple of weeks — especially considering I spent the week leading up to the long-awaited royal birth in London.

Buckingham Palace

Local media and royal fans alike had been scoping out St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington for days before Kate actually went into labor — there was actually one super fan who slept on a bench for 12 days waiting for the newest prince or princess to be born.

St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington
Media gathers across the street from the wing where Kate gave birth, hiding from the sun under umbrellas.
St. Mary's Hospital Paddington where the royal birth took place
People gathered across from the Lindo Wing to snap photos.

And once the announcement came last night that the baby was born? London went crazy.

Royal Birth

The Evening Standard was actually reprinted (the first version just reported that Kate had gone into labor). A crowd gathered to cheer at Buckingham Palace when the official birth announcement was finally placed outside. And buildings all over the city were bathed in blue to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Cambridge.

Thames at night
The Thames at night, with bridges lit up blue to celebrate the new prince.
London Eye royal birth
Even the London Eye was lit up in red and blue in celebration.

Today, I decided I owed it to my journalistic curiosity to head over to Buckingham Palace to check out just how excited people actually were. At the very least, I figured I would see the birth announcement and maybe get a few shots of the palace.

What I was met with was a mass of humanity.

Buckingham Palace royal birth

Buckingham Palace royal birth

There was a line snaking along the Palace gates of people — everyone from visiting tourists to local business men on their lunch breaks — waiting to snap a photo of the birth announcement behind the fence.

Buckingham Palace royal birth

Buckingham Palace royal birth announcement

Hundreds more milled about outside the Palace, holding up newspaper covers declaring “OH BOY!”

Buckingham Palace royal baby

News media from around the world had tents set up across from the Palace beneath gigantic Union Jacks.

Buckingham Palace royal baby

At 2 p.m. across the street in Green Park, there was a 41-cannon salute (along with a 62-cannon salute at the Tower of London) to celebrate the royal birth. The park was packed with well-wishers.

Green Park royal baby

Royal Baby
The cannons were pulled by horses (who are probably royal, too).

I decided I should probably wait in line to see the birth announcement, simply because it's not everyday that a person gets to see one. And because perhaps I was being sucked into the pomp and circumstance of the whole day.

Royal Baby birth announcement
Waited in line about 20 minutes to see this.

Royal Baby birth announcement

I'm sure the royal baby souvenirs will soon follow — once the prince's name is announced, of course — but I won't be here to be amused by those.

I actually am glad I was here for the birth, though. As far as the royal family goes, this is history in the making.

 

(And here's a short video for you of what I saw today:)

——

What are your feelings on the royal birth? Excited? Indifferent? Tell me in the comments!

 

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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39 Comments on “Royal Baby Fever in London

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  1. I agree that I am not super into the Royal news, but it is great you were there to experience another culture. I guess their Royal events are like the Presidential inauguration, which happens more frequently with thousands of people who flock to DC to watch. I am not one for crowds, so I tend to steer clear of such events. Love you pictures.

      It’s definitely a different sort of celebration. There are some people here who love the royal family more than their own! Though, plenty of Americans love them, too…

      It was cool to be a part of it in a small way, though.

      I agree with Angela. The Royal family was never a big interest of mine when I visited the UK. I was more interested in the historical landmarks like Westminster Abbey or St. Paul’s Cathedral. London was cool just for the sheer size of it and because of the enormous crowds. Even more interesting was the National Gallery. It is completely free to visit and you get to see some fantastic works of art! If you are ever in the UK again try visiting Edinburgh, Scotland. Not as crowded as London but a nice city nonetheless.

        I love Edinburgh as well as London! And yes, London is a great city to explore, especially if you like museums!

    You cover it beautifully Amanda!

    I was in London today too! For work though so didn’t see any of this! Are you coming up north on your travels to the UK?

    Helen

      Thanks, Helen! I will not be heading north just yet – I’m off to Paris and the rest of mainland Europe next. But I will likely be back in London and the UK in September or October. So perhaps then!

    You have the cutest voice!

    Since Kate went into labour I have been watching snippets of the news, keeping an eye out for when she gave birth and for a name (none yet). I sooo love the way we celebrate things in London to do with the Royal Family. A few months ago the Queen was going out and I was just crossing from Victoria to Green Park tube on foot & didn’t realise, I ended up having to wait for the Queen to leave and even then had to be escorted by a yeoman across the street! Insanity, but lovely!

      Haha, thanks Sammi!

      And yes, anything having to do with the royals is always very grand here! It’s very interesting for me!

    Wow – what a great article. You’ve covered every aspect right down to the coloured lights on the bridge! I’ve sworn off TV news these days so I was a bit chuffed to discover this complete with pics. I’d have definitely lined up for a shot of the official announcement. Imagine 20 years from now you’ll be able to tell people you were there! Very cool!

      Thanks so much, Tracey! I tried to be thorough – it’s the journalist in me! Plus, it IS kind of cool to be here for something like this.

    Perhaps it’s the little girl in me that played dress up and dreamed of being a princess, but I have always followed the Royals. Would have loved to be in London for this!

    This is great! I’m not big into the royal baby madness either (you know, those pesky Americans– fighting wars to throw off the yoke of the monarchy and all) but it’s impossible not to get sucked up into the excitement a little. Everyone loves babies!

    It looks like it would have been a lot of fun to be there, just to feed off of the energy of the crowd. Congrats that you had the chance!

      In the end, I was glad that I went to check it out. Definitely not something that happens often!

    What I don’t understand is why some people get annoyed that it’s on the news. It’s a little bit of nice, positive news for a change! I personally love it when anything royal happens, it’s more interesting than politics.

      Haha, so true! Yes it gets a bit silly sometimes, but at least it’s not more rape and murder, right?

    Great photos! What’s funny is that everyone is so civilized, even in the chaos. It’s fun that you got to be there.

    Wow I am so impressed with your reporting on this!!! Even though I think monarchies are outdated I still love Royal Family news haha. I so thought she was having a girl!

      Thanks, Andi! I should have waited for today, though, when they announced the name!

    Ugh. Just why?! I’m British and I couldn’t care less. Another human on the planet: woohoo. I’m not complaining about you writing this; I actually think it’s interesting to see a non-British point of view. I just don’t get why the big deal. They say the British Royal Family brings more money into the country than it costs (which no doubt will be especially the case following this development), but apart from that I don’t see the point of it. I just don’t like the idea that leaders are born rather than elected, especially in a supposed democratic, developed nation. Off with their heads…or at least, their crowns, I say.

      Haha no worries at all, Sam. I know plenty of anti-royalists, too (is that the right term??). I guess the fact that this is one of the last royal families in a “major” country makes people interested in them.

    I am one of the American nuts who sits and watches hours and hours of footage of pre-baby waiting. I loved every minute of Will & Kate’s wedding. I’m starting to think I’m as silly as my husband says I am.

    But I see I’m not alone. I’m part of a huge group of people who find this exciting and wish I could have been in London during all the hoopla. Lucky you, Amanda. I’m envious, and so glad you shared all these pictures so I got to feel some of the excitement.

      You are definitely not alone though, Juliann!

      I’m glad to bring some of the excitement to you through this post!

    I do think that these royal “events” are always overhyped. The royals are just people, after all. They get married and have babies like the rest of us. It’s just their privilege that’s different. That said, I understand the appeal of tradition, particularly nowadays when the only constant seems to be change. And I like to watch reporting about these events mostly because I find people’s reactions (excitement, annoyance, etc.) interesting. In any case, I’d much rather people obsess over royal babies than over Real Housewives or something.

      I’m with you, Melissa – at least the traditions behind the royal family are somewhat interesting (if a bit over-the-top at times).

    I am currently heading a project, and my customer is in the UK. The team makes fun of me using the term Willy-Nilly a lot. So now they’re calling the baby Prince Willy Nilly. Got a kick out of it.

    I never really kept up with the Royal Family, but I do think I would’ve waited in line to get a picture of the birth announcement. It’s interesting how crazy people go over this stuff….baby fever indeed!

      It IS really interesting! I don’t know if I would have waited in line if I didn’t have this blog, though… Haha. I figured it would make a cool story!

    I lived in London just this past year and definitely got a case of Royal fever! The city just comes alive when it comes to royal celebrations. I love it! It also makes for beautiful and festive photos 🙂

      Yes, it’s definitely unlike anywhere else I’ve been when it comes to all things royal. Fun, though. It’s easy to get caught up in it all, regardless of how much you actually care.

    great to hear your in the middle of it, im not royal family fan but I bet the atmosphere would of been amazing!

      It was fun. I don’t know that I would have cared if I actually lived there and had to hear about it all the time, though…

    The royal birth is important to a lot of British people, of which I am one.

    I believe our royal family is very special, and something no other country in the world has!

      It was a fun time to be in London!

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