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Royal Baby: Will And Kate Are At Hospital! Drat, No They're Not

4:39 PM, Jul 19, 2013   |    comments
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It really did seem, for a few minutes at least, like the royal baby was finally ready for her/his close-up today, and the media mob outside the London hospital went wild with excitement and tweets and twitpics.

"Breaking News, Extra police arrive at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, amid speculation Kate and William on their way," reported The Times' David Brown in a tweet.

Suddenly, the action around the door of St. Mary's Hospital, where nearly 200 media people have been camped for two weeks, stepped up. When a black car pulled up, there were officious men who looked like "security" sporting earpieces.

Out stepped "Prince William" and pregnant "Duchess Kate." Or not. As the cameras began firing and journalists shouted, some people knew it was a hoax immediately.

"HAVE WE BEEN HAD BY A ROYAL LOOK ALIKE??????????? To the Tower with her if we have!" snort-tweeted Victoria Arbiter, royal commentator for CNN.

In fact, boo and hiss, it was all just a stunt by a tabloid (of course), Rupert Murdoch's The Sun, the UK's largest-selling paper and the one that features topless women on Page 3. Afterwards, the paper had a good crow about pranking the world media.

"Oh, the shame of falling for it - for a nano second! Crazy Street really has gone global," Arbiter tweeted.

Royals correspondent Rebecca English of The Daily Mail pointed out the signs of a hoax were obvious. "Of course the biggest clue that it wasn't the couple themselves was that they turned up in a black Mercedes.....slightly tactless," she sniffed in a tweet. (British Range Rovers are more likely royal chariots than German luxury vehicles.)

Also, the idea that the couple would pull up to the hospital right in front of the media mob was a non-starter, too. A side door is more likely.

Still, the reporters stuck at the royal-baby stakeout had to hand it to The Sun: It was a good stunt, and showed just how desperate and bored the "GreatKateWait" has become.

"Great publicity stunt by The Sun. Media all jumped at it. Some comic relief during #RoyalBabyWatch," tweeted CNN's reporter on the scene, Atika Shubert.

Others were miffed. "What an appalling stunt by The Sun newspaper you would think they would know better at a working hospital," tweeted royals photographer Tim Rooke.

Afterwards, everyone went back to waiting and speculating, gossiping and tweeting about whether the royal couple were on their way into London. So far, no sign.

The Duchess of Cambridge escaped London's heatwave last week to stay at her parents' mansion in Bucklebury, 50 miles outside London. Yesterday, the media jumped on the possibility that she may have the baby at a hospital out there; today, the media speculation focused on whether it might be days more before the birth and the church bells ring.

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