Oh boy! How the entire British media went ballistic about the royal arrival

24 Jul,2013


Ranjona Banerji, who was in England to cover the Wimbledon tennis championship and a short holiday thereafter (which explains a few misses of her column on Tuesdays and Fridays), has been witnessing all the frenzy about the birth in the British royal family. Here’s her despatch:


After days of reporters baking in the hot sun and features editors tearing their hair out, the “royal baby” finally conceded to arrive at 4.24 pm after 10 hours of labour but it was announced to the public only at 8.30 pm. In the meantime, a series of inane and nonsensical stories have been put out, which included statements like this from Sky News online: “Former Midwife Clare Byam-Cook told Sky News: “The Duke and Duchess will be as excited as any other new parents”.”

Meanwhile, according to The Guardian, reporters started interviewing each other in desperation.


But once the announcement was made, the news media was finally given something to go on. Unfortunately for television, the nature of the beast means banal speculation is foisted on viewers. Lots of expert commentators who know nothing share their expertise. The parents will be happy, tired, overwhelmed, the baby will have a name, the baby will behave like other babies and here are some other babies… which last bit of news is usually the first sign of giving up.


Since I have nothing to tell about the baby you want to know about, I shall now tell you about the baby you are not remotely interested in. For Sky News, it was baby Henry who was born 20 minutes before “Baby Cambridge”.The funniest scene on Sky News was when the main anchor Eamonn Holmes almost choked on his early morning breakfast when a “parenting expert” talking about how a nursing mother’s breasts can feel like cabbages!


Newspapers in Great Britain put a lot of thought into their headlines. The Sun wins this one, changing its masthead to “The Son”. The Daily Telegraph, Star and Daily Express got stuck with “It’s a boy”. The Daily Mirror went with “Our little prince”. The London Times was gracious with “Welcome to the world”. The Daily Mail focused on the first in line to the British throne with a picture of Prince Charles and the headline “Oh boy. One’s a grandpa”.


The Guardian was profoundly portentous with “A birth a boy, a prince, a king”. The Independent headlined with British prime minister David Cameron’s war on child pornography on the internet but had flyer saying “Special delivery”. The Financial Times had the baby as its lead picture captioned, “Royal arrival”.


The i, the very successful tabloid version of the Independent went with a grand “Born to Rule” while the free tabloid Metro just said, “Oh boy!”.


The biggest news spins for the media will now be the name (bookies are betting on George), when the parents will show themselves, which royal will visit first and so on. The newspapers told the public that the baby was born four hours before the announcement but even till Tuesday morning, TV channels were going with the time of 8.30 pm. Somehow, that equation between TV and print never changes!




The only thing competing for space with the royal arrival is the British weather. After weeks of baking hot sun, the island finally saw some rain. The connections with the birth have not yet been made but perhaps one only has to wait!


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One response to “Oh boy! How the entire British media went ballistic about the royal arrival”

  1. Nita says:

    Hey Ranjona ,I think they made it into a happy look forward content .And y not. Life will be back to normal.
    Unlike our media who will carry on even at the expense of digressng from the mai issue ..NAMo obsesion is a case in point.