At last Kate and William’s baby, the third in line for the British throne, has been born. Journalists and tv cameras have been posted outside the hospital where the birth took place for weeks to make sure they had a good place. The Americans got there first, and camped out for a full 23 days in anticipation. I can only imagine what the American coverage was like. Here it felt like 24/7 non-stop, during which, as one reporter eloquently put it, “Never has so little been said by so many.”
But finally the baby arrived – late as first-borns often are, but by all accounts healthy and robust. The news here reported that when the birth was announced a cheer went up outside the hospital. But also in Times Square in New York City.
One story that I love and I doubt made the U.S. media occurred outside the hospital after the new prince was born. One reporter began interviewing people among the hundreds gathered on the street outside. ”Have you heard it’s a boy?!” she excitedly asked an observer. ”Yes,” he replied, “and it’s black.” The reporter was completely flummoxed and stood there with a stunned expression on her face. As a result, everyone else around also stopped talking. The reporter never did recover her aplomb, and finally simply addressed another observer asking “Have you heard it’s a boy?” To her relief, the response was a more prosaic, if less creative, “Yes, and isn’t it just wonderful!”
I’ve been thinking of various appropriate responses with which the reporter might have responded. I don’t know if I would have been fast enough on the draw either, but in theory I would have said “Oh, wouldn’t that have been just wonderful? almost as good as if it had been a girl.”
But I rather suspect that life is full of one-liners one doesn’t think of in time.
Now we are waiting for the baby’s name. I’m hoping for Mike.