King: Royal due-date has the world watching

Hearst NewspapersJuly 12, 2013 

The paparazzi have palpitations. The presses are being held. The television networks are ready to abandon Egypt, Syria, Obamacare, the deficit and the Kardashians.

The big news is that any day now, a baby will be born in England that will set the world a twitter. It's time for team coverage.

The oohs and aahs will erupt when a notice is posted simultaneously outside Buckingham Palace and released on social media that a baby has been born, who – now regardless of sex, thanks to a legal fix – will be heir to the British throne.

Lower-case republicans everywhere get this: On that day the biggest news on Earth will be the arrival of a baby, a royal baby. Forget George III and that 1776 unpleasantness which was celebrated earlier this month; there beats in every American heart, every Indian heart and, one dare guess, every Chinese heart an echo of monarchy worship.

One suspects that even on the tundra and in the jungle, hearts will beat a little faster when the news comes out that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and her husband, Prince William, have a heir. Ring the bells at Canterbury and Edinburgh, St. Paul's and Westminster!

But you've been warned: You're in for days and weeks, no years, of baby pandering. Every little milestone will be brought to the world by the royal watchers, suddenly soaring in the journalistic firmament.

Reporting about this baby will be big, really big. Television anchors like Wolf Blitzer will be on screen for days. Every detail of recent royal history, especially the life, loves and death of Princess Diana, the newborn's grandmother, will be exhumed. Roll the tape.

Then the baby news will be unavoidable. Nothing will be spared. The first goo-goo, the first step, the first grazed knee, the first nosebleed and – ecstasy – the first baby tooth and the first pony will dominate the news. The clothes, the school, the Twitter account, the friends, the books and the video games – rest assured that otherwise serious men and women at the top of the journalism trade will spare nothing to bring these items of vital information to the world.

Just you wait when, maybe only weeks from now, the child's great grandmother, a/k/a Elizabeth II, dangles the infant on her knee.

The other monarchies will be lost in the dust of the British royal behemoth.

Actually, the matter of the Baby Royal – due to be born by mid-July – and other crowd-pleasing antics out of the British Isles ought to be studied by business schools. At a time when “branding” is front and center of business theory, how is it that Britain has won the global branding wars? With little of its old imperial power intact, the Brits have a brand that won't quit: the Royal Family.

But is built on top of some other nifty marketing: London taxis, London buses and a plethora of historical bric-a-brac, from bewigged lawyers to men in fancy dress guarding the Crown Jewels – another piece of nation marketing.

In the United States, this should all be very perplexing – the royalist sentiments that cause us to lose our marbles every time a British royal hiccups. George III must be sniggering in his grave at Windsor Castle. When the royal baby is born, some otherwise sane person might propose a U.S. constitutional amendment to give the family back their old job.

God save the Queen and God save the new royal baby!

Email Mr. King at lking@kingpublishing.com.

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