Baby boom

I hate to boast but I can't help it. Because for once, I'm in the thick of things. I'm where it's at right now. Or to be precise, where the world's media is at. Yes, as

I stand on the balcony of my fourth floor flat, perched precariously on a six-foot ladder, which is in turn balanced on a three-legged stool, if I swivel my neck

90 degrees to the right and peer out of my super-strong binoculars I've borrowed from a soldier friend, I can see that particular stretch of Beaumont Street outside which ranks of paparazzi are braving hypothermia in London's sub-zero temperatures as they wait patiently to snap a photo of a balding gent leaping out of his chauffeur-driven car and stride into a tall Georgian building.

In short, I live two streets away from Edward VII hospital, where Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is recovering from a particularly bad case of morning sickness.

No, I haven't gone to the desperate lengths outlined above to get a glimpse of Prince William or even the Middletons, but if I had, my actions would have been entirely in keeping with the mood of the nation. For such is the hysteria surrounding the announcement of Kate's pregnancy that every last morsel of news, however tiny, however insignificant, is being reported and received with all the importance usually accorded to the discovery of a new planet.

So thanks to various broadsheets, tabloids, radio stations, television channels and of course the internet, we now know that the duchess is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarium, but that there is "no cause for alarm" for she is "hooked on to a drip" and is "getting steadily better" but may need to stay in hospital for a few more days. We also know that Prince William, when he visited her yesterday, looked grim as he alighted from his green Range Rover to perform "a six-hour vigil" at his wife's bedside. But today, "dressed casually in cords and trainers", he looked visibly relaxed when he exited from the hospital and, wait for it, even waved at the photographers assembled outside.

... contd.

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