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World Media Camped Out At London Hospital For Royal Baby

6:46 PM, Jul 2, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Betting on Royal Birth Soars as Kate Middleton's Due Date Nears

Pregnant Kate Middleton, Getty Images

Maria Puente, USA TODAY

Over there, it's called "door-stepping." American journalists call it a "stakeout." Whatever the term, it means the world media are camped out and waiting en mass outside the London hospital where the royal baby will be born.

And soon, it is hoped. The parking, never generous in crowded, ancient London, is even worse in Paddington, home of St. Mary's Hospital, now that "no parking" signs - for all of July - have gone up around the wing where Duchess Kate's first baby is expected to arrive any day now.

The Duchess of Cambridge, 31, is expected to give birth to a future monarch, boy or girl, in mid-July, or maybe early July, or maybe even late July. You can never tell with babies.

So to be sure not to miss anything, the media have begun to assemble a forest of stepladders and other equipment for cameras across the narrow street from the front door of the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's.

On a 24/7 watch, they'll be ready when Kate checks in, goes into labor and gives birth. They'll be ready to record history when doctors and possibly proud Papa and Grandpapa, Prince William and Prince Charles, emerge to announce that a new third-in-line to the throne has arrived. And of course, they'll be ready and wild with excitement when the duchess and the newest royal emerge to pose for the cameras a day or two after the birth.

Meanwhile, reporters and cameramen will be gathered around the front gates of Buckingham Palace to see the traditional note announcing the birth posted on an easel.

The last time this happened was 31 years ago, in 1982, when William was born in the same hospital to Princess Diana and Prince Charles, with similar scenes of celebration, clicking camera shutters and jostling journalists.

The British media and the American media, not to mention the world media, may not be exactly alike, but they seem to share a keen interest in the royal baby, from the most reckless tabloids to the most august prestige papers to even confirmed anti-monarchist media. Chances are, even The Guardian has a photographer waiting outside St. Mary's.

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