Updated: August 24, 2013 6:30AM
The spectre of Diana . . .
Cigars all around!
A royal baby boy was finally born to Prince William and his former commoner wife, Kate Middleton, at 10:24 a.m. Monday Chicago time, thereby ending a long wait for an overdue baby by an exhausted press and an excited nation sweltering in a rare British heat wave.
But the late Princess Diana is a spectre surrounding the birth.
◆The Di file: Prince Charles, the baby’s grandfather, issued a statement Monday expressing delight at the birth of “my first grandchild.” What wasn’t mentioned was that the baby would also have been the first grandchild of a woman once beloved by the nation: Princess Diana, who died in a horrific traffic accident in Paris in 1997.
◆The foe file: Although Prince Charles said “both my wife and I are overjoyed,” he did not allude to his wife, Camilla, as the baby’s grandmother. Camilla, who was once called the “The Rottweiler” by an irate British public when Princess Di called her the third person in her marriage to Prince Charles, has since been accepted by the nation and eased into warm relationships with Prince William and his brother, Prince Harry.
◆The exclusive file: Sneed’s source claims that Prince William — who was present at the birth of his first child and third male heir in line to the British throne — will pay high homage to his mother, Princess Diana, who is credited with modernizing the monarchy.
◆The Di style: “Her hands-on style raising her sons and being the first to deliver a royal grandchild in a hospital rather than at Buckingham Palace paves the way for Kate Middleton,” said Ken Wharfe, the former lead bodyguard for Princess Diana, to Sneed at the funeral of royal-watcher James Whitaker last year.
Di’s footsteps . . .
Hmmm: Is this a sign that Princess Diana remains unpopular with her main critics Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip?
Sneed stumbled on a broken, circular metal foot marker bearing Princess Diana’s name outside Buckingham Palace. Sneed is told that Queen Elizabeth stood on the spot while viewing Princess Diana’s funeral cortege. The queen was criticized for the way she handled the lead-up to the funeral of Diana, who was divorced from Prince Charles.
◆Sneed snapped a pic of the foot fault during my baby watch stint in London last week.
The royal birth . . .
I got gobsmacked!
Sneed stopped watching paint dry while awaiting the overdue birth of Britain’s new royal baby and returned to Chicago on Sunday — only to awaken Monday to news that the Duchess of Cambridge had gone into labor.
Then at 10:24 a.m. Monday it became apparent the nation didn’t have to change the right of accession law to enable a girl to be heir to the throne.
That’s when Duchess Kate and Prince William became parents to an 8-pound, 6-ounce baby boy — giving the stiff-upper-lip country a reason to cheer.
The name game . . .
Sneed hears the unnamed new HRH prince will be announced sooner than later; a long shot favorite is “Arthur,” the legendary king of the Knights of the Round Table. The royal couple will leave the hospital with their baby Tuesday after permitting a photo op for the press.
The baby gift . . .
The royal family has requested no baby gifts, but barring that, gifts should be sent to a children’s charity; a commemorative silver penny from the Royal Mint will be given to 2,013 babies born in the United Kingdom on the same day as the new prince.
Sneedling . . .
Tuesday’s birthdays: Daniel Radcliffe, 24; Slash, 48, and Marlon Wayans, 41.