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Royal Baby: How International TV Networks Covered the News of the Birth

Kate Middleton Pregnant P
Getty
Kate Middleton

Some Canadian and French channels on Monday reported wall-to-wall on the birth announcement of Kate Middleton and Prince William's first child, while coverage in Italy and Germany was less intense.

British TV networks, as expected, dedicated much coverage to the news of Kate Middleton and Prince William's royal baby late Monday. 

But some networks in other countries also jumped on the news, with extensive coverage.

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France's BFM, the country's all-news network, was offering wall-to-wall, CNN-style coverage with a "Royal Baby" tag -- in English -- at the bottom left of the screen late Monday. The news coverage also saw the British flag and engagement picture of the royals sprucing up the screen. BFM mostly showed split-screen pictures of live reporting and live air shots of crowds in front of Buckingham Palace in London.  

1tele also provided wall-to-wall coverage, with graphics, such as "It's a boy!", in English. 

Government-owned France 24 did wall-to-wall coverage as well, with a live feed from Buckingham Palace.  

The news was also the top story late Monday night on all the major French newspaper websites, such as Le Monde, Le Figaro and Le Parisien.

Other channels stuck with their original programming, with TF1 airing CSI Miami, France 2 showing Death in Paradise and France 3 offering weather programming amid a heat wave, with Paris temperatures of 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Kate baby wait ended Monday afternoon Canadian time, with broadcasters breaking into regular coverage to offer news of the baby boy.

Earlier in the day, Canadian media outlets online featured “royal baby watch” webcams aimed at an entrance of the St. Mary’s Hospital in London where Middleton and Prince William had gone early Monday.

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Canadian broadcasters used correspondents on the ground in London outside the hospital and Buckingham Palace, including Ann MacMillan for the CBC and Melanie Nagy, Ben O’Hara-Byrne and Tom Walters for CTV National News. Only Global Television appears to have sent its main news anchor, Dawna Friesen, to London.

The Canadians relied on so-called royal watchers or insiders to add color to the ongoing coverage. Canadian networks also relied on helicopter shots outside Buckingham Palace, overlaid with commentary by correspondents in London and experts. 

In Germany, the networks largely didn't interrupt late-evening programming for the royal baby news, keeping it for late newscasts and websites. 

TV network RTL covered the news online, proclaiming: "Kate and William are parents. Hoooooray! The royal baby is here!"

Public broadcaster ARD was more formal, using English for its online headline: "It's a boy!" It added in German (with the words "royal baby" remaining in English, without translation): "The 'royal baby' is born." Fellow public broadcaster ZDF said: "It is a prince."

Germany's largest tabloid, Bild, used a large font on its website, along with a picture of Prince William and Middleton plus the sounds of baby crying to share the news. "It is a boy!" its three-part headline said. "He's doing well! Royal baby finally arrives!"

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In Italy, the royal birth was the second story on most online news sources Monday night. The websites of major newspapers La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera led with the pope's arrival in Brazil, though the royal birth was also given substantial coverage.

On Italian television news, the birth was mostly mentioned briefly at the top of the programs, which then focused on the pope and local political news before coming back to the London story with more in-depth reaction near the end.

Italian gossip magazine FAMA sent out a news release late Monday, saying it would have Middleton on the cover of this week's issue. The headline read "The Sweat Secret," and the magazine seemed to imply it had an exclusive interview and video.

Meanwhile, Facebook reported Monday night that the royal birth created plenty of buzz on the social network. The top five countries buzzing about the baby within an hour of the birth were the U.K. followed by the U.S., Canada, Italy and France. 

Georg Szalai in London and Eric J. Lyman in Rome contributed to this report.