With all the chatter in the media the past few weeks about the pending birth of the first off-spring of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, better known as Prince William and Princess Kate to many, it almost makes me wonder if there is anything else worth talking about this week?
Most of the national news sources are reporting that the birthing process has begun, and Kate Middleton was admitted to a London hospital shortly before 6 a.m. EDT today. For sure, the birth announcement of the new royal will follow many of the traditional modes that have been established for centuries. According to the Today Show [Ref 1]
- Queen Elizabeth will be the first to hear. Prince William will call her personally.
- A royal aide will walk outside of St. Mary’s Hospital with the official birth announcement where it will be carried from the hospital through the streets of London to Buckingham Palace to announce a child has been born. The two-mile ride will be broadcast live from a helicopter.
- The declaration will be displayed on a golden easel behind the palace gates where we learn of the gender and, possibly, eye and hair color. Prince William’s birth in 1982 was announced on the same easel.
- There will be a 41-gun salute in London Street Park and 62 cannon blasts from the Tower of London.
- Finally, [perhaps in one to three days] the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will appear on the steps of St. Mary’s Hospital with their new bundle of joy.
And this time around, Kensington Palace will send “royal tweets” once the baby is born with all the important details. An army of photographers and news reporters have been camped out at St. Mary’s hospital in London since July 1st which should give readers one indication of how important this royal birth is to the legacy and vitality of the British monarchy. Thirty-one years ago when Prince William was born, FaceBook, Google, and LinkedIn were non-existent, and very few people were using a lesser known tool called email, then known as Arpanet. Today, Twitter and other social media outlets have been buzzing with photos, jokes, gags, and just about anything you can think of as the world waits for arrival of the royal bundle of joy.
And that’s the good news. One of the struggles of the new parents is to usher in a new era for the monarchy. The British monarchy is seizing the moment by using Twitter as one of its communication vehicles. My guess is some other social media tools will be exercised as well. For sure, it’s difficulty to accuse the monarchy of being “frumpy” as they attempt to stay lock-step with the times, as they deliver improved communications with their subjects and the rest of the world! The royal baby watch continues.
Oh by the way, Prince William will be the first member of the British Royal Family to take official paternity leave. Twelve (12) hours and counting. Labor is progessing…..
1. The Today Show, www.today.com