I emailed Richard Palmer, royal correspondent for Britain’s Daily Express, to get a sense of the impatient atmosphere outside St. Mary’s Lindo Wing.
Amidst photographers’ ladders and tape cordoning off press space, people are getting quite punchy. Palmer gave me a rundown of the best ways reporters are passing time during what has been declared as “The Great Kate Wait.”
“The most amusing way to pass the time,” Palmer told me via email, “was Valentine Low hijacking TheSun‘s webcam yesterday to perform the Babycam Blues in the style of Bob Dylan‘s “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”
Unlike television reporters, those in print are a bit luckier in that they need not be down at the Lindo wing 24/7.
“We don’t have to be down there all the time for presentational purposes and there have been stories to write,” Palmer explained.
Space in the central pen has been held for royal correspondents like himself, so Palmer hasn’t had to worry about camping out and marking his territory, like certain members of the press have had to do.
“Those who have been down there since July 1 and before are developing cabin fever,” Palmer added. “They sit there expounding conspiracy theories about how she can’t be due yet, is having it in another hospital, or how she will be smuggled in through a tunnel that starts about a mile away.
“It’s quite startling when you go down there but it is starting to get to everyone now,” Palmer said.
The palace has never confirmed a due date for the Duchess of Cambridge, though many outlets have thrown out certain dates like July 11th, July 13th, July 19th (today) and July 23rd. Her Royal Highness told a well-wisher in Glasgow that she was due “mid-July.”
A royal source reportedly told the Daily Telegraph that hospital staff at St. Mary’s were told to be on their A-game (and off the booze) a month before Catherine’s due date.
“A small number of staff at St Mary’s who might be called upon when the Duchess gives birth were told they had to remain teetotal for a month before the due date,” the source said.
“They were told the due date was July 19.”
It’s believed that the Duke and Duchess have been staying at the Middleton home in Bucklebury, over an hour’s drive from London.