Ask not where I was when I heard that the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant, ask rather where I was when Miss Khloé Kardashian, of the Californian Kardashians, shared her views on the joyous news with the world:
‘Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!! A royal baby!!! awwww so sweet’.
Not to be beaten, our very own Cheryl Cole quickly joined in the orgy of cooing:
‘I’m sooooooo excited that we’re having a royal baby !!!!Congratulations to Kate and Wills !!!!!!’
Everywhere there is a celebrity, Piers Morgan is quick to follow:
‘Congratulations to every magazine editor for calling Kate Middleton’s pregnancy – especially those who did covers on it 11 months ago.’
And not to be outdone, Jeffrey Archer was on the airwaves quicker than he churns out another trashy novel:
‘I for one, hope it’s a girl’.
Mr Steerpike hopes for matters of testing new succession laws.
Where celebrity leads the way, politicians are never far behind. David Cameron’s cherubic grin was soon on televisions, squealing with excitement as he recalled how a note was slipped into a meeting. Of course there is no link between his exultant joy and the fact that this news will nicely distract from the ongoing Leveson debate and Wednesday’s potentially rocky pre-budget report. Ed Miliband had the news broken to him by the BBC’s Norman Smith, leaving it to his spinner Tom Baldwin to crack bad jokes about the Labour leader not being the father. Ed was quickly on Twitter smoothing feathers and I’m sure Nick Clegg said nice things too.
Interestingly the response from the pro-union Better Together campaign did not leave the politics aside, carefully addressing the earl and countess of Strathearn, as William and Catherine go by north of the border. Kate was last seen on St Andrews day in full tartan: ‘The Firm’ are clearly very much on board for the upcoming referendum.
And it wasn’t long before President Obama took some time out from leading the free world to add his two cents ‘on the welcome news this morning’. Only Tom Watson, never one to over egg a pudding, saw his attempt to politicise the happy news spectacularly backfire live on TV. Lumbering up in the House, he was the first to tell the Commons that the royal couple were ‘accepting their first child, expecting their first child’ and that the press should respect the couple’s privacy. The fluffing of the line would have been bad enough, but Watson had not got the measure of the man he interrupted to score his point. Labour’s Jim Dowd MP replied, ‘I’m hardly going to disagree; I’m just taken aback by the sheer irrelevance of the question.’
Watson can take umbrage at the fact that he was not the only one to fluff his lines. The BBC Six O’clock News told millions that the ‘Duchess was admitted’ to hospital ‘with severe vomiting. The queen and prince Phillip are delighted’. Steady now.