The eagle-eyed photographer who broke the news that the Duchess of Cambridge was in labour on Twitter
Jesal Parshotam spotted the car carrying the Duchess driving into St Mary's Hospital
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Monday 22 July 2013
Amid the flurry of photographers and journalists eagerly awaiting word that the Duchess of Cambridge had gone into labour, one little-known photographer managed to break the news currently gripping the nation.
Photographer Jesal Parshotam was waiting amongst a crowd of paparazzi gathered outside St Mary's Hospital, when he spotted two black cars pulling into the back entrance at 6am on Monday.
Inside the BMW and people carrier were Kate and Prince William, travelling with Royal Protection Officers.
After seeing the Duchess leave one of the vehicles flanked by protection officers, Parshotam and his colleague Darren Sacks were among the first to announce the Duchess' labour, with Parshotam tweeting: “Kate Middleton has gone into hospital...” Sacks added: “World Exclusive Duchess of Cambridge is in Labour !!!”
Twitter users from around the world immediately began bombarding their accounts with questions about Kate's admittance and with messages congratulating the pair on their scoop.
Parshotam said they had chosen to go down to the hospital that night and wait because it was a full moon. “We took a guess", he told the Evening Standard. "It was a full moon so we thought why not come down? We stayed there from 8pm in the evening until about 5.30am.
“We were just standing outside chilling and talking and then it all happened. The cars showed up. They were very, very simple cars — it was very discreet...the protection officers jumped out and they all rushed in. It was a very swift manoeuvre. The Duchess went in and the cars were gone very quickly — within a minute. That was it.”
However Parshotam said he chose not to take a picture of the Duke and Duchess emerging from the car, because she was in labour.
“We had decided in advance we were not going to take a photo of her,” claims Parshotam. “I made that decision — she’s a woman in labour. I just wanted to photograph the commotion and convoy of cars. That was a personal decision we both made. To take a picture of her would have been overstepping the mark."
He described his scoop as one of the biggest moments in his career as a photographer.
“All these agencies from around the world have been camped out since 1 July in some cases and we got it. I don’t think it’s going to get much bigger than this.”
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