The culmination of weeks of waiting outside St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington came just after 7pm last night to the relief of hundreds of journalists.
As the world caught its first glimpse of England’s future king, reporters were at last able to contemplate packing up and heading home.
There were at least 90 TV crews from across the globe, around 300 photographers and many more reporters mingling with hundreds of onlookers.
Rosalie Evans, a producer at NBC News, was certainly relieved her stint outside the Lindo Wing was at an end. “We’ve been here over two weeks now – it’s the longest I’ve ever worked on a story with so little information to report!
“It’s certainly been a long haul. We’ll stay on for a morning or two to close the story, then pack up and fly home. It’ll be nice to get out of here”
Much to the anguish of those within the now guarded media cordon, the Duke and Duchess delayed their expected 6pm appearance until 7.15pm. ITN and Sky News broadcasts referred to “palpable tension” in the air as the long-awaited moment approached.
As reporters and photographers chatted nervously amongst themselves, The Sun’s open-top ‘Royal Baby Bus’ parked up outside the hospital ahead of its tour of the UK and reps from the tabloid passed around free Union Jack flags to gee up the expectant crowds.
“We’re just down here to help create some atmosphere, it’s such an historic moment” enthused one of the ‘Sun Girls’.
“This royal birth has really brought the nation together, and that’s something we have to celebrate. At The Sun we’re delighted to show our support – everyone should be proud to be British today”.
Meanwhile, national and international broadcasters offered concluding thoughts about the royal progeny..
For Sky News’ Mike Swift, Monday night’s announcement was the turning point: “You could almost hear a collective sigh of relief go up when the birth was announced”
“Everyone was just totally drained by that point, and desperate for news so to hear that was great. There’s been a great camaraderie between the broadcast crews here but I think we’re all quite grateful it’s over”
The emergence of the Duke and Duchess was greeted by a wave of noise as reporters and photographers strained to make themselves heard above the cheers of the crowd and the frantic yells of their fellow journalists.
Within minutes the couple was on their way to Kensington Palace, leaving photographers to pick through their best shots and broadcasters to close out their coverage at last. Step ladders were hurriedly packed away, wires collected up and cameras shut down as journalists rushed to Paddington for a quick getaway.