Duchess Of Cambridge Gives Birth To Boy
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
So, at last we know. It's a boy. He weighs 8 pounds, 6 ounces. And he was born today to William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at 4:24 P.M. local time. The royal family held back the information for some four hours. But they finally posted the news on a framed piece of paper outside Buckingham Palace. And outside the hospital, there was an enthusiastic response.
TONY APPLETON: On this day, the 22nd of July...
SIEGEL: A self-designated town crier, Tony Appleton, took the opportunity to declaim outside the hospital, wearing a traditional outfit with red and blue feathers in his hat.
APPLETON: God save the Queen.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL RINGING AND CHEERING)
SIEGEL: And Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron offered his reaction.
DAVID CAMERON: It's wonderful news from St. Mary's Paddington, and I'm sure that right across the country and, indeed, right across the Commonwealth, people will be celebrating and wishing the royal couple well. It is an important moment in the life of our nation, but I suppose above all it's a wonderful moment for a warm and loving couple who've got a brand-new baby boy.
SIEGEL: NPR's Philip Reeves has been observing the festivities in London. And he joins us now. And, Phil, tell us more about what the royal family has said so far about this birth.
PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: Well, the Queen and Prince Philip say they're delighted. They've issued a statement saying this with becoming great-grandparents again. And there's a rather longer statement from Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, who say they're overjoyed by their first grandchild and described grand parenthood as a unique moment.
SIEGEL: And to be clear, we haven't heard this boy's name yet. We have heard his title, but when will we hear about a name?
REEVES: Yeah, he's going to be called His Royal Highness, Prince - whatever it is - of Cambridge. We don't know what the whatever-it-is is yet.
SIEGEL: That's the working title.
REEVES: That's - yes. And the bookies will be happy with that. They've been taking bets over the last few days. Well, over the last two weeks, actually. George is the favorite. James is high up there. Wayne, Zack, Trevor and Nigel are not in the running at all.
SIEGEL: What about the mood in London right now - for that matter, the mood in Britain?
REEVES: Well, you know, the media worldwide have been talking about this royal baby fever. I'm not sure that absolutely captures it, actually. But I do think a lot of people here are pretty happy with this new baby. My guess is that toasts will be drunk in homes and pubs around the country tonight. And I think also, frankly, people will be remembering, in particular, Princess Diana, who would have been a grandmother today had it not been for that car crash in 1997.
SIEGEL: To put this in some perspective, though, here, Phil, the queen is now in her late 80s. Her son, Charles, would ascend the throne. After him - presumably, after him, his son and then this baby who's just been born. It's a long ways off.
REEVES: It is a long ways off. And I think it's important to remember that there's been a lot of emphasis placed on the fact that this is - this baby, this boy is third in line to the throne. But that is going to likely be many years before he becomes king. It's interesting, too, actually, because the British just changed the rules of succession here. And had this been a girl, she would've had, for the first time, since time began, really, she would've had equal rights of succession to the throne. So that's a bit off the back burner now that it's a boy.
SIEGEL: She wouldn't have been displaced by a younger brother had he been born, which would have been the case in the past.
REEVES: That's right, yes. The British changed the rules, although some of the 15 other realms of which the Queen is head of state...
REEVES: ...hadn't quite worked out arrangements for that yet.
SIEGEL: Thanks, Philip.
REEVES: You're welcome.
SIEGEL: That's NPR's Philip Reeves in London, speaking about the birth of a baby boy today, now third in line for the British crown.