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Though no one actually knows what's happening, the first media reports that Kate Middleton has gone into labor are surfacing. And, frankly, it's about time. We've laughed, we've cried, we've doubted, we've cheered. We probably bought some weird, miniature shoes and we're wasted. It's time to hail the imminent arrival of England's future.
From now until however long it takes to get this little prince or princess delivered, we'll be combing the internet for news and fake news, so you don't have to. Stay tuned right here all weekend for updates on the media shitstorm. Hang on to your silly British hats, folks: it's going to be an understated and probably very elegant ride.
Friday, July 19
12:55 pm: The first report came in from US Weekly who post at 11:30 this morning that Kate and Wills "abruptly departed" Bucklebury (that would be the Middleton family residence) with police escorts around 3 p.m. local time, bound for London.
12:56 pm: E! News confirmed that there was no helicopter involved in Kate's journey to London, which is relevant because according to all reports, Kate will be traveling to the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's hospital via helicopter when she goes into labor.
12:56 pm: E! also claims that a source told them that Kate is two to three days late at this point in her pregnancy.
12:57 pm: This is where things start to get confusing. Paula Ebben, a CBS News anchor in Boston, reports that there IS in fact a helicopter involved: "NEW: Sky News: Kate Middleton has left her parents home for London in a helicopter. Sky reporting it appears #RoyalBaby on the way! #wbz," she tweeted.
1:00 pm Though it's unclear where Ebben is getting her info, Jezebel picked up the story this afternoon. So now we're all just waiting for more info.
1:30 pm: Here's a fun fact while we wait: When William was born, the crowd signaled their appreciation by shouting "Nice one Charlie, let's have another one!"
1:32 pm: The Sun sent Kate Middleton and Prince William lookalikes to St. Mary's hospital because we're boooored. The crowd freaked out a bit and then had a good laugh according to a journalist on the ground.
1:58 pm: This is the Telegraph's live stream. It is video of a door. Sometimes tourists take pictures, and people go in or out. But essentially it's a live stream of a door.
2:05 pm: That's the same door that good ol' Prince William walked out of. He was the first heir to the throne to be born in hospital.
2:12 pm: "Loads of extra police" arrived earlier, according to Twitter.
2:43 pm: Jezebel has updated their initial report that Kate Middleton left by helicoptor to read that she left by car, so the helicopter rumor started by Paula Ebben appears to have been false, at least by internet standards.
2:52 pm: With a five-hour lapse since Kate left her parents' house, media seems to be standing down. False Labor Round 1 is complete! We'll be manning the wire and reporting on the next rumor that seems reasonably legitimate. Stay tuned.
Monday, July 22
2:47 am: Ok, we have labor confirmation via Clarence House, the residence of the DoC and husband. It reads, "Her Royal highness the Duchess of Cambridge has checked into to St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London, in the early stages of labour."
2:50 am Also per Clarence House, "The Duchess of Cambridge is in [St. Mary's Hospital]" after traveling there "by car from Kensington Palace" around 5:30am London time.
The doors, upgraded by two cops
3:05 am: Actual news sources are reporting palace confirmation: The BBC and the Washington Post are on it. Also, a whopping two guards have posted up outside the Lindo Wing doors.
3:26 am: As you might recall, we're waiting for a birth announcement written on a piece of paper. The paper is then delivered by car to Buckingham Palace, where it'll be posted on a royal easel. Here's an approximation of the apparatus:
4:01 am: It's been over two hours since the first twitterings of KMid's admittance to the hospital through a side door, but no new developments as of yet. Here are magazine covers of Princess Diana and her boys to hold us over.
4:53 am: Social media discussion revolving around whether the child will be a Cancer or a Leo. If born today, it's a Cancer; tomorrow, a Leo. Lets hope, for all the sakes, that it's a Cancer.
5:04 am: Several outlets report that "a spokesperson for Kate adds that 'things are progressing normally.'" Just vague enough.
5:11 am: St. Mary's released this dignified and refined statement: "The hospital is delighted that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen to have their baby at the Lindo Wing at St Mary's. Everyone at the trust is exceptionally proud that this historic moment is happening here."
5:26 am: Fun fact! Prince William was briefly nicknamed "Wombat" thanks to how he looked. Most of Twitter wants more of a Simba deal for this kid.
5:34 am: Prince Charles told Sky News "no news yet."
6:23 am: It's been nearly five hours since Kate was admitted into St. Mary's, which means we need coffee. We're keeping an eye on the wire and will report when everything goes down for real.
7:04 am: The Daily Mail reports that it has an image of "the moment Kate and her royal protection officers went through at the Mary Sandford entrance of the hospital." But if you were hoping to see pics of the Duchess as she entered the hospital, no such luck.
7:19 am: Palace can confirm that the couple arrived closer to six and there's speculation that there was a test convoy that arrived earlier, hence the rumor that Will and Kate arrived at 5:30am, London time.
7:29 am: @RoyalReporter notes that William and the couple's two private secretaries are at the hospital. Charles, Camilla, the Middletons, and the Queen are not.
The Mary Staford entrance via Instagram/@Grazia_live
Gathering crowds via Twitter/@HuffPostUKPics 8:04 am: And here is what's waiting at Buckingham Palace. No royal easel in sight yet...
8:29 am: Here's The Telegraph's front page from Prince William's birth on June 22, 1982. Best part? "Queen 'absolutely delighted' by lusty blue-eyed baby."
8:37 am: To mark the arrival of Baby Cambridge the Greater London Authority has ordered the fountains of Trafalgar Square to be lit in pink or blue, depending on a lady babe or boy babe. There's a 41 gun salute lined up too, regardless of gender.
8:45 am: Amy Odell of Buzzfeed Fashion tweeted, "Apparently the person putting the notice of the royal birth outside the royal palace will be wearing a pink and blue dress."
8:52 am: US Weekly has the music beat on lock. They tweeted that "Close protection officers just delivered a laptop and an iPod to the hospital—playlist alert!" No telling what this unconfirmed factoid means for the KMid's stage of labor.
9:00 am: Meanwhile, on the Lindo Wing live-camera.
9:10 am: Apparently, the moment the announcement (which will include the word "prince" or "princess" and possibly the child's weight) is posted to the Great Royal Easel, it will be simultaneously disseminated across the official palace twitter feeds.
9:17 am: The Kate Middleton coverage has broken its first newscaster. The BBC's Simon McCoy, says, "Plenty more to come of it here, none of it news because that'll come from Buckingham Palace... But that won't stop us." Solidarity, bro.
9:50 am: Here's a handy infograph about the line of succession once this baby is born. Note Harry gets knocked to fourth place. And here's a heady NYTimes post about why we care even if we don't care.
Image via Instagram/@ABCKaitlyn
10:18 am: Behold, the first print paper announcing KMid's labor, hot off the press.
10:25 am: Natalie Morales of NBC 'grammed an image of increased police forces at St. Mary's hospital. Portending the near future? (Recall, last time "loads of extra police" arrived, we still had to wait three days until anything noteworthy happened.)
10:51 am: Quick sibling update folks: Prince Harry, the future royal-nugget's Uncle, is reportedly at his base at RAF Wattisham with his Apache Army Air Corps squadron, as well as in the dreams of hundreds of twitter users. Pippa Middleton is allegedly in the hospital, along with her mother. If that's true, those Middletons are the perfect picture of English restraint. And stealth.
11:08 am: And the Queen's hanging out at Buckingham Palace.
11:21 am: If you loved Prince William's birth announcement in the Telegraph from 1982, you'll like Prince Albert's announcement from 1841. No one is described as "lusty," but it does feature the longest sentence of all time in a newspaper.
11:26 am: "Wild rumors" of a birth sprung up at the hospital "an hour and half ago," but didn't result in any confirmation, says @RoyalReporter. Still, Sky News royal reporter is convinced (a) that it's a girl and (b) that her name is Margaret. He writes, "reckon in next three hours—baby Margaret!"
11:33 am: Aw. Buckingham Palace made a funny.
11:39 am: And so did Prince Charles. He told well-wishers in Yorkshire, "I'm very grateful indeed for the kind wishes for my rather slowly-approaching grandfatherhood."
11:57 am: Should you be entirely unenthused by the spectacle, but scrolled all the way down here anyway, this is your reward: A list of "25 Things Way More Exciting Than The Royal Baby," courtesy of Buzzfeed.
12:02 pm: The Gaurdian posted comparison of the crowds awaiting a royal in 1982 versus 2013. Guess which one has better hair?
12:17 pm: Because it's easy to forget, BBC's Peter Hunt reminds us what we're looking for. "We'll know a baby has been born," he tweets, "when one of Kate's officials emerges from the Lindo Wing with a medical bulletin in their hands." If even they somehow sneak past the legion of lenses, KMids will crush Beyoncé's birther conspiracy theories.
12:25 pm: The Standard spoke with Jesal Parshotam, the photographer who broke the news. Here's his explanation as to why there are no photos:
"We had decided in advance we were not going to take a photo of her. I made that decision—she's a woman in labour. I just wanted to photograph the commotion and convoy of cars. That was a personal decision we both made. To take a picture of her would have been over stepping the mark."And here's his description of the event:
12:52 pm: The Guardian brought back its home page feature from the royal wedding two years ago that kindly asks its readers if they are "Royalist?" or "Not a Royalist?" The latter will remove all Kate Middleton babytalk from the site. Wicked smart.
1:01 pm: Kate Middleton has now been in labor for 12 hours. It's 6:00pm in the UK.
1:06 pm: Helicopter lands at Buckingham Palace.
1:22 pm: The Atlantic has made its predictions on when this child will rule based on things like math, but precluding certain morbid events. Parse it yourselves, we don't math while blogging.
1:29 pm: "The nightmare scenario for print reporters is that we have to go to press with our first editions in about 3 hrs with Kate still in labour," tweets Richard Palmer, royal correspondent of the Daily Express in London. Plus, with only a few hours of daylight left, and the fact that the easel "is only a daylight thing," the fear is palpable, even through Twitter.
1:42 pm: Peter Hunt of the BBC recants his previous tweet about mysterious helicopters landing at Buckingham Palace. Is he getting too cagey to trust, or are there actually hospital workers peering out at them from the hospital doors?
2:00 pm: We're at 13 hours of labor, and sweets/food fights are breaking out around the Lindo Wing, twitter jokes are getting more and more horrible, and if we see one more Lion King reference, we will find you. It's time to remember why we're all here. Because when we were 13, we lusted after the lusty Prince William. Remember? He had hair then, and he was single mostly. To William:
On another note it's going to be a banner year for Young Monarchs magazine.
2:32 pm: Has the royal baby been born yet?
2:37 pm: We have confirmation that neither Pippa Middleton nor their parents are in the hospital. "[Kate] very much wants just her husband to be there," NBC News royal expert Camilla Tominey told E!. There "are no plans for Duchess Kate's mother and sister to join her in the delivery room." #wheredidyouputpippathen?
3:02 pm: CNN has taken to broadcasting live from a random woman's delivery room. (Her name is April.) The scoop: Nothing is funny while you're in labor.
3:05 pm: Arguably the most exciting and perplexing part of this whole business—the royal easel—has been demoted. It will still happen in daylight, but a press release will go out beforehand, so as to not make people wait. Peter Hunt of BBC explains, "William and Kate's officials say they've made this change so the birth announcement can be made as 'quickly and simply as possible.'"
3:27 pm: General murmurings across the Telegraph live feed is "five minutes."
3:29 pm However.
3:32 pm: IT'S A BOOOOOOY.
3:39 pm: The announcement document is en route to Buckingham Palace.
3:41 pm: Her Royal Highness and her PRINCE are both doing well and will remain in hospital overnight, palace says.
3:42 pm: We're following this to the easel. It's only right.
3:45 pm: Hand-off complete.
3:47 pm: "Her royal highness the Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4:24 pm today. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well."
4:05 pm: We leave you with this man who inexplicably ran out of the hospital screaming words possibly and ringing a bell. Do with it what you will. We're going to sleep.