Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Impatient Brit papers want 'Kate wait' to end

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AS of Saturday afternoon, there were few duller spots on the Internet than the live cam that Britain's Telegraph newspaper is aiming at the Lindo wing of St. Mary's Hospital in west London, where the duchess of Cambridge is expected to deliver the heir to the British throne... sometime. Presumably, maybe, sometime soon.

The scene: A red-brick hospital building, with an entrance through Georgian-style doors. Every once in a while, a passerby passes by. The random motor vehicle blurs by. Otherwise... nothing.

"How much longer will the world have to wait?" the Telegraph asked, perhaps a bit peevishly, noting the former Kate Middleton's due date was actually Friday.

That's the nature of waiting for births, royal or otherwise, and it appears to be driving some of the British media a bit crazy. The Sun tabloid, perhaps best known for its topless Page 3 pinups, found look-alikes for the duke and duchess, William and Kate, and sent the faux royals to the hospital, where they reportedly briefly fooled the assembled media into thinking the real couple were arriving for delivery.

The Mirror, helpfully suggested Kate and Will could call their baby Hyacinthe or Theophilus, after some of his or her more exotically named ancestors. The paper was also growing a bit testy, leading its extensive coverage with this complaint: "We are two-thirds of the way through July and still no royal baby."

It should be said that some of the more buttoned-down British media are playing the birth relatively low-key. It takes some hunting to find news about the royal pregnancy on the homepages of the Independent or the Times. The BBC went looking for Londoners who were eagerly anticipating the birth... and found mostly American tourists.

And the Guardian noted, perhaps not very enviously: "Guess what? America does royal-baby mania bigger and better."

British tabloids, the Guardian's Diane Roberts observed, might be expected to "carry breathless, witless, content-free rubbish on the (apparently) imminent arrival."

"But," she continued, "will somebody explain why the American media is panting like wild dogs over what some genius has dubbed 'the Great Kate Wait'? 'Woman has baby' is not, strictly speaking, new, any more than 'dog bites man.' Now, if a woman has a litter of meerkats, that's page 1. Nevertheless, a couple of hundred alleged journalists are now loitering in the indecent heat outside a London hospital, waiting for a pregnant lady to turn up and do her thing."

-- Los Angeles Times

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 21, 2013 A6

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