i Editor's Letter: Royal baby frenzy


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The Independent Online


Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – and to all new parents. i wishes you and your children health and happiness.

One in four of the 2,000 people born in Britain yesterday is  expected to live beyond 100 – which will be helpful for the new Prince of Cambridge, who sits behind Charles and William in line to the throne. But for some years yet he can be untroubled by such thoughts.

Following yesterday morning’s announcement that the Duchess had gone into labour, our morning news conference saw i staff argue about how much royal baby coverage would be too much. One of the more revolutionary members of the news desk proposed that we run just 100 words on the impending birth. A royalist editor meanwhile warned of the need to keep calm until the child’s safe arrival. The Prince’s birth is a story of consequence – but we have adhered to i’s principle of brevity, so no glossy supplement I’m afraid.

The frenetic interest in the royal birth was described as a circus. But if the Duchess of Cambridge tired of the throng blocking the street outside her maternity suite she should enjoy the following 1840 news report from The Times. Three years into her reign, Queen Victoria gave birth to Victoria the Princess Royal. In attendance were Prince Albert, the Duchess of Kent and four doctors.

Also: “In an adjoining room, the door being open, were his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Bishop of London, the Lord High Chancellor, Viscount Melbourne, First Lord of the Treasury, the Earl of Erroll, Lord Steward of the Household, Viscount Palmerston, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Lord John Russell, Secretary of State for the Colonies, and the Earl of Albermarle, Master of the Horse...”


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