It would be remiss not to, not that I’m any kind of royalist, but you can’t fail but be a bit interested in the birth of a future king. I bought today’s papers here in New York to see what New Yorkers had to say.
First, the New York Times. Blink and you’d have missed it. They put a small photo on the front page, a second one, as they normally only carry one rather boring picture on the top left on a normal day. It shows a policeman outside Buckingham Palace and the crowds near the gold trimmed board that officially announced the birth. ‘An heir is born’ it says, followed by ‘Crowds at Buckingham Palace after the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a boy.’ And in true New York Times fashion it refers you to another page. They then deign to provide half a page on a rather snidey, yet bemused overview of the day’s events. They get Lionel Shriver, author of ‘We need to talk about Kevin’, who is US born but now lives in the UK, to do a piece on the baby later in the paper. You get the feeling she’s not keen when she says ‘the firstborn of the Duchess of Cambridge (that’s Kate Middleton to you) being third in line for the throne is of no more import than my being third in line at my local London Tesco’. You kind of wonder why they bothered.
Then the Daily News, a good old fashioned tabloid, sells for 75 cents and really isn’t worth buying normally. Its headline shouts ‘Let’s heir it for the boy!’ and follows with ‘Wills and Kate baby joy’. It then refers you to pages 6-7 and a double page spread shows a very glum looking Queen and a town crier, looking ridiculous. I thought they’d be pretty into the baby thing, but half of page 6 is devoted to a really anti royalty piece called ‘No thrill among moms who feel royally shafted’. Denis Hamill, their columnist, goes on to say ‘the world media fawn over the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who live on public assistance in public housing in Great Britain, where they welcomed another royal layabout son’. Not keen then? It’s a shame it was quite so rude about the royals, as it does actually make some solid points about the poverty many New Yorkers live in and yes, it’s incredibly hard and expensive to raise a child.
And my favourite. The New York Post. The entire front page is devoted to a random baby in nappy, waving whilst wearing a gold crown and holding a silver spoon, next to the headline ‘Crown Jewels. Kate delivers a baby king’. Fabulous. The New York Post loved their front page so much, they tweeted a picture of it and asked readers what they thought. Not quite in the same league as the UK’s Sun tabloid newspaper that renamed itself for the day ‘Son’. Classic.
Now can we obsess about something new, please.