Tag Archives: Royal Baby

Royal Baby gawking

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?

The Lindo Wing

The Lindo Wing

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.

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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.

Assorted nuts

Assorted nuts

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.

Natalie Morales

Natalie Morales

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!

Hot hot heat

Guys, it is hot in London. I told my parents this the other day and they scoffed at me when I reported the temperature (high 80s Fahrenheit), and then I reminded them that, unlike in cushy America, air conditioning DOES NOT EXIST here. Which means there’s no escaping the heat. Plus, Al and I finally put our (sweating, North American) finger on another thing that makes London feel so hot: there’s NO WIND. Honestly, this is the opposite of the windy city. It’s eerily windless. A rare breeze feels like a tiny breath of heaven on my sweating brow. And today is the hottest day of the summer so far: 90 degrees Fahrenheit. (Which, according to my iPhone, is 32 degrees Celcius, for those of you who aren’t familiar with our antiquated American system for keeping track of the temperature).

This also happens to be the day that the much anticipated Royal Baby is being born, although no one in my immediate vicinity seems too fussed about the current state of Duchess Kate’s labor. Hard to tell, though, since everyone is being all quiet and British. I am currently sitting in the sweltering Kensington Central Library, by the way. I came here with the idea that, since the place has free wifi, perhaps I’d be able to work here tomorrow when writing my weekly post for Previously.TV, but, turns out, I can’t access TV shows on the public network here, so I guess I walked here with my laptop in the blistering heat for nothing. But, since I’m here, I guess I’ll make a comment about the biggest noticeable difference between a public library in London and a public library in DC: this one doesn’t smell like pee. Unlike in the US, this library does not appear to be a place for vagrants, drunks, and weirdos to hang out, and the air, while hot, is remarkably urine-scent-free. This is a lot like the difference I’ve noticed between London buses and big city American buses: people behave pretty appropriately on the buses here. I haven’t seen one person clip their nails on the bus, or spit on the floor of the bus, or loudly talk to themselves on the bus. It’s incredible. I know London must have its fair share of weirdos and scary drunks and people who think it’s appropriate to bring smelly bags of seafood onto public transportation, but I haven’t seen them yet (fingers crossed).

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Back to this whole Royal Baby thing: I’m sort of hoping that when the RB is born, everyone in the library will spontaneously break into song (perhaps “Rule Brittania?”). It’ll be a little uncomfortable, sure, but I expect a minimum level of pomp, if not circumstance, from ordinary British citizens at a time like this. Spontaneous song (and/or dance) seems appropriate. Or maybe the government will shoot off canons? Fireworks? RAF flyover? They have to do something besides post a notice on the gates of Buckingham Palace — I mean, talk about anticlimactic. The thing I’m not sure about, though, is whether anyone, except for the media, old ladies, and Americans, actually cares about this birth. I mean, sure, it’s interesting, in that Britain is choosing to continue this weird, quaint system of titles and tiaras and bloodlines and castles and stuff, and we’re getting to see that happen in real time, but really, it’s just a baby. This baby has no idea how famous it is, or what its title means, or that its parents’ every moves are followed obsessively by media, or that people are pinning all sorts of weird, creepy hopes and dreams onto its tiny, bald head. I get the sense most Britons are aware of this, and yet the media is freaking the eff out and swarming the hospital where the RB is being born and speculating wildly about names and Kate’s labor and so on. I suppose it’s too much to ask for the media to just play it cool around this whole royal birth thing, huh?

Well, I’ve written a bunch of words about not a whole lot, partly to kill time to see if the RB would be born as I was typing, but no dice. Back to sweating quietly among other quietly sweating people.