We all remember that famous episode of the BBC sitcom ‘Only Fools and Horses’ where ‘Del’s’ wife Raquel gives birth to their son Damien. Emerging from the hospital delivery suite to announce the good news to the waiting relatives, uncle Albert and Rodney, Albert enquires about Raquel, ‘what is it son?’ to which the overwhelmed ‘Delboy’ replies, ‘it’s a......baby’.
No such ‘faut pas’ outside the delivery suite for the announcement of the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s son. Following tradition, the announcement was made via a formal written statement displayed on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.
For days there has been massive media interest in the birth of the royal baby with the worlds’ media camped outside the hospital. The Daily Telegraph summed up the media ‘feeding frenzy’...... ‘From France all the way to Australia, international television stations appear to be offering their audiences in-depth coverage of the Duchess of Cambridge's condition as the birth of the new heir to the throne gets underway.
News anchors on ABC News entertained their viewers as they attempted to guess the time of birth, the baby's sex and name - with one presenter making the unlikely prediction that the child will be named Rutherford.’
The Daily Mail focussed on describing the public reaction to the royal birth: “They had waited all day, and in some cases weeks, when the news finally came. It’s a boy, they told us – and a massive cheer went up outside the hospital where hundreds had been crammed together to play a small part in a most historic day.
All along the street outside the Lindo Wing, from windows on nearby buildings and on an overhead walkway, they waved flags, held up placards and applauded. Everywhere you looked you could see little pockets of joy erupting.
The dedicated ones had already been here for days, however – those hardy souls who make a hobby of following the royals. Thus, the crowd of well-wishers boasted several faces that would be instantly familiar to Prince William or Kate should they have chanced to peek from their hospital window.
Veteran royal fan Terry Hutt, 78, had been on duty for 12 days, sleeping overnight on a bench – and wearing a Union Flag suit. The former soldier, who served with the Royal Ordnance Corps, said: ‘At night we’re watching the hospital in two-hour stints, like the Army. I’ve lost my voice with all the excitement.’
If only someone was on hand to record the scene in oil on canvas. Oh, actually, there was. Artist Kaya Mar turned up with a specially dedicated portrait of the Duchess cradling a new-born baby on her lap. The baby wore a crown and Kate had a halo.”
From my own perspective, the royal birth pales into insignificance when compared to the birth of Jesus. No media feeding frenzy here or state of the art hospital, just an outhouse, Mary, Joseph and perhaps some animals to welcome the most significant figure in history into the world.
The prophet Isaiah, writing hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, announced his coming with these powerful words: ‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’
While we all offer our congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, we should also pray that as their child grows to maturity, he will develop a personal relationship with the King of Kings.