On Tuesday, after escaping from the sweltering heat of the Kensington Central Library, I decided, since I had a couple hours to kill before meeting up with Al and nothing better to do, to go check out the scene outside of St. Mary’s Hospital, where the Duchess of Cambridge was giving birth to the Royal Baby. Let’s be clear: I found the media coverage of this particular event bordering on the absurd. All of the media’s breathless speculation about the birth, while providing zero new information, was ridiculous, and, as I heard someone put it today, the media acted “as if Kate were the first woman to give birth, ever, in the world.” Nonetheless, I found all of the hubbub kind of intriguing, and, again, I don’t have a job, so why not join the crowds of weirdos standing outside of the hospital?
I took the Tube to Paddington and walked to St. Mary’s from there. Since it’s a working hospital, they didn’t shut down access to it, but police officers – or, should I say, bobbies – were working to keep the entrances to the hospital clear, since, you know, it’s a hospital.
The press had gotten there in the wee hours of the morning to stake out the “good” spots (i.e., those directly facing the Lindo Wing, where Kate was giving birth), but the rest of the place was pretty much fair game for average Janes like me to wander around and take in the scene. And the scene was pretty weird. I got there at around 5:30 PM, so a full twelve hours or so after Kate herself had gotten there, but there were people who had been camped out near the Lindo Wing all day and all night, waiting for – what, exactly? It was actually unclear what we were all waiting for. I think the hive mind had decided that we were all standing outside the hospital in case an announcement of the birth was made, but some of the more misguided/simpleminded people in the crowd seemed to think that Kate and Wills themselves would make an appearance, mere hours after the birth of their child. Needless to say, that did not happen. Nor did a whole lot else. There were a few false alarms, including when another thin, brown-haired lady exited the Lindo Wing. Everyone gasped and then sighed in disappointment, and I felt pretty bad for that lady, since she had probably just had a baby herself and didn’t deserve all the glares of disappointment she got upon emerging from the hospital and not being Duchess Kate.
Anyway, I saw a lot of Royal fanatics milling around, many of whom were draped in Union Jacks and other crazy getups. Some people had gone to great lengths to get on TV, or so it seemed. For example: there was a girl who had baked and decorated a cake, presumably for Kate and Will, although no one had eaten it, and by the time I got there, it was sad and melted and she was walking around holding it rather forlornly. There were a lot of foreigners in the crowd, too, probably because tourists, like me, don’t have anything better to do than stand still in the heat and watch the front of a building. I stayed in the scrum for a little over an hour, and then decided to throw in the towel. As I left, I caught sight of Natalie Morales, of Today Show fame, and she is so pretty, you guys. Then, with my Natalie Morales sighting accomplished, I left the premises, feeling satisfied.
And that, my friends, was my experience with The Royal Birth. Hear ye, hear ye.
In case you missed it, here are the Royal Parents unveiling the Royal Baby. Pretty adorable! And here’s an article about why it’s cool that Kate didn’t try to hide her postpartum body in a sack (a la Princess Diana in 1982). Go Kate!