Royal Baby Fever
The summer months in London are peak season for travelers. In addition, during my travel dates it was the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the end of Wimbledon, and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, was due any day with her first child.
While the entire world was on the edge of their seats anxiously awaiting the birth of the royal baby, I had the chance to be on the forefront. I watched London prepare for the most anticipated birth since Prince William. Souvenir shops filled their windows with Prince William and Kate memorabilia, restaurants and cafes alike were planning celebrations and themed menus, while “Royal Baby itineraries” filled tourist’s schedules. Even pubs got in on the excitement.
The Duchess of Cambridge, a pub named after Kate herself, is preparing to brew a special ale titled “Heir Raiser”. I was surprised to find that although there was much excitement throughout the city, many local Londoners were not as aggressive with promoting the newly royal parents. Everyone seemed to respect William and Kate during this long process and merely just wanted to celebrate the birth and be involved.
Londoners are filled with excitement to welcome the newest member of the royal family. I discovered that even some betting agencies were cashing in on the royal fever by placing bets on the name of the child. Ladbrokes, a British based online gaming and betting company, took over 50,000 bets within hours after Kate went into labor Monday morning, while another betting agency, Paddy Power, sent real life-sized royal babies around London, on the Tube and in front of St Mary’s hospital in Paddington, London.