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The Royal Baby is a nickname given to George Alexander Louis, the newborn of Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton and Prince William. As her due date approached in July 2013, people across social media sites began anticipating the birth with several related hashtags and live streaming feeds of the hospital’s entrance. He was born at 4:24 p.m. (GMT) on July 22nd.
In September 2012, rumors about Kate Middleton’s pregnancy began circulating online after she reportedly chose a nonalcoholic drink while attending a state banquet dinner in Singapore. On December 3rd, 2012, Middleton’s pregnancy was officially confirmed by the Buckingham Palace after she was admitted to the hospital with severe form of morning sickness known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
Name & Birthdate Betting
Following the announcement of Middleton’s pregnancy in December 2012, online betting on the baby’s name, weight and godparents began on Paddy Power. On the first day, Mary and John were the top-voted names for each gender. By late June, additional pools had been created to include the baby’s hair color and hour of birth, and by July 13th, Paddy Power reported that more than £300,000 ($500,000 USD) of bets relating to the baby had been placed. Later that week, William Hill estimated the value of the betting pool to be more than £20,000 ($30,728 USD) while Coral reported £995,000 ($1.53 million USD). Around the same time, representatives from betting companies began showing up outside St. Mary’s hospital with chalkboards and printed signs (shown below) to update spectators and reporters on that day’s stakes. In the hours after Middleton went into labor on July 22nd, Ladbrokes reported that more than 50,000 new bets were placed.
Middleton Goes into Labor
On July 22nd, 2013, London-based photographer Jesel Parshotam tweeted that Middleton had arrived at the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London. He and colleague Darren Sacks were camped out at the back entrance of the wing when a BMW pulled up. They chose not to photograph the duchess’ arrival out of respect and instead chose to tweet the information. Approximately two hours later, Kensington Palace issued an official confirmation that she had gone into labor.
Kate Middleton has gone into hospital… #royal #worldexclusive
IkonPictures</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23LindoWing&src=hash">#LindoWing</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23RoyalBaby&src=hash">#RoyalBaby</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23RoyalBabyWatch&src=hash">#RoyalBabyWatch</a></p>— Jesal Parshotam (therealjesal) July 22, 2013
On July 22nd, a number of hashtags relating to Middleton and her baby trended on Twitter including #GreatKateWait (shown below, left), #RoyalBabyWatch (shown below, right), #LindoWing and #RoyalBaby. A handful of news sites highlighted the Twitter response to the baby’s birth including Fox News Insider, the Huffington Post Canada and CTV News. Men’s blog EveryJoe featured a collection of 19 tweets from people unimpressed by the media blitz surrounding the birth. Additionally, The Huffington Post, USA Today and Business Insider among others compiled celebrity reactions to the baby from Twitter including Jersey Shore‘s Nicole Polizzi, Perez Hilton and CNN’s Piers Morgan.
At 4:24 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time, Middleton gave birth to a baby boy. According to an official announcement, the baby weight 8 pounds and 7 ounces. The birth was announced by an email press release and is third in line for the British throne, behind his father and grandfather, Prince Charles. After the birth, the hashtag #itsaboy trended on Twitter. The Onion shared a handful of satirical “first photos” of the baby, depicting him as a horned, winged demon.
Live News Coverage
After Middleton went into labor, a number of news sites and gossip blogs offered live updates from the hospital including Sky News, Hollywood Life, ABC News, Hello!, the Daily Beast, The Telegraph and fashion blog What Kate Wore.
Second Royal Baby
On September 8th, 2014, the official Twitter account for Clarence House, the residence of Middleton and Prince William, sent out a tweet announcing the couple is expecting their second child.
In less than 24 hours the tweet gained over 8,000 retweets and over 5,000 favorites. The hashtag #RoyalBaby also became a trending topic on Twitter. It also tweeted out a link to a longer press release about Middleton’s second pregnancy which reads:
“Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their second child.
The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news.
As with her first pregnancy, The Duchess is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Her Royal Highness will no longer accompany The Duke of Cambridge on their planned engagement in Oxford today. The Duchess of Cambridge is being treated by doctors at Kensington Palace."
The news was covered by many major news sites the same day including The BBC, The New York Times and The Guardian. The same day Buzzfeed posted a collection of the best reactions to the news online.
London Evening Standard – Duchess of Cambridge baby: the photographer who broke the news
Fox News Insider – Twitter Reaction: See What Everyone’s Saying About the Royal Baby
The Huffington Post Canada – Royal Baby Reaction: Twitter, Media Go Ga-Ga Waiting For Baby Cambridge
Business Insider – The Best Celebrity Reactions To Royal Baby News On Twitter
The Telegraph – Duchess of Cambridge gives birth to the future king – live
New York Times – Prince William and His Wife, Kate, Expecting a 2nd Royal Baby
Prince of Wales – The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their second child