Anticipation of when the world will get its first glimpse of the royal baby as he leaves St. Mary’s Hospital in London with his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, has reached fever pitch.
Camera crews have been lined up across the street from St. Mary’s Lindo Wing for weeks, waiting for the shot when Kate and Prince William emerge from the hospital with their 8-pound, 6-ounce newborn son.
“This is a new royal family [and] this is a young generation,” said Chris Jackson, royal photographer for Getty Images, the U.S. stock photo agency. “They have to give some visibility [and] Prince William will be giving something to maintain his privacy.”
In line with royal tradition, the new parents are expected to appear on the steps of the hospital and pose for photographs with their newborn, the third in line to the British throne.
Those first shots from cameras’ lenses will be the first of many for the royal baby, expected to be, like his mom and dad, one of the most photographed people in the world.
“Everyone wants to know if it will look like William or look like Kate,” said Omid Scobie, royal correspondent for Us Weekly magazine. “It’s a very important face to get to know.”
The baby’s mom, the Duchess of Cambridge, 31, is believed to be the most photographed woman in the world. She graces the covers of fashion and gossip magazines worldwide, and is mentioned daily in news and entertainment TV shows.
The royal family that Kate married into has always understood that having their babies photographed comes with the job.
Prince William’s parents, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, gamely posed for photographs with him and his younger brother, Prince Harry.
When Princess Diana was killed in a Paris car crash in 1997 that many blamed on overzealous paparazzi, however, the press backed off the two young princes.
That lasted until November 2010 when Prince William and Kate announced their engagement and heightened again in April 2011 when the two wed in a high-profile wedding at Westminster Abbey.
“It’s not just the British paparazzi that are interested in William and Kate,” said Us Weekly’s Omid Scobie. “We have the entire world thirsty for it.”
Now William and Kate must figure out how to handle the intrusive camera lenses, not just for themselves but for their young son.
The family of three will move into a newly renovated apartment in Kensington Palace this fall that is rumored to be equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology to ensure intruders cannot get in and that photographers’ lenses cannot capture private moments.
They will also have round-the-clock security protection to guard them from paparazzi competing for shots of the royal baby, which experts say could fetch as much as $10 million.
Royal watchers say Kate and William would also be wise to borrow a page from Princess Diana and allow the public glimpses of their child with sporadic photos that would, hopefully, satisfy the publics’ insatiable appetite for royal baby updates and lessen the frenzy.