LONDON — Outside the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, the global media hordes on Royal Baby Watch have marked their turf with duct tape and stepladders like so many predators. But starved for material in a world where Mother Nature and Buckingham Palace are the last two holdouts from the 24-hour news cycle, loitering reporters trying to set a tone of breathless anticipation have resorted to interviewing each other.
Perhaps nothing could be more appropriate. As Prince William and his wife, Catherine , the Duchess of Cambridge — formerly known as Kate Middleton — prepare to carve out a new life for their budding family in the glare of the spotlight, the press is poised to be a major part of the story.
The scene here amounts to a déjà vu of June 22, 1982. Then, another young couple — Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales — stepped out of the same wing of the same hospital with an infant William and into what would become a stormy, love-hate relationship with the press (and each other) that would come to define palace politics for decades. Some — including, reportedly, William — still blame the media for Diana’s 1997 death in a Paris car crash during a chase with rabid paparazzi.