Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Welcome to the world Baby Cambridge!

AP photo

Orbiting the moon or cruising Woodward Avenue -- no matter where you were yesterday, chances are you heard the news. 

Prince William and Kate have a son! 

Britain now has a third-in-line to the throne. 

If only my grandmother were here today. I’m sure she would be glued to the TV enjoying the revelry surrounding the infant’s arrival. She was a Brit and a royal follower. Not because of the royals’ celebrity status, I’m sure, but because she was proud of her country’s heritage and traditions. My grandmother died long before I was born so I never heard the stories about the royal events that she celebrated as a child. It may be why I’ve always followed England’s news, that and having grown up in Canada, which is steeped in British tradition.

So, when the newest member of the Mountbatten-Windsor family arrived I smiled quietly in my corner of the world.

Prince William and Kate -- like any new parents -- spent the first few hours bonding with their little one before unleashing the official announcements.

Among the first to shout out the news to the crowd of royal followers waiting anxiously outside St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington -- where Prince William and Prince Harry were also born -- was town crier Tony Appleton. A town crier is an officer of the court who is required to share news of importance with the people in the streets. Appleton was voted best town crier of the year -- noted by the patch he wore proudly on his red and gold robe. His traditional garb also included white breeches, black boots and a tricorne hat adorned with plumes of red and blue. As with the 18th century town criers of the past, Appleton carried the official proclamation and the traditional handbell used to attract people's attention. According to historians, town criers shout the words "Oyez, Oyez, Oyez" before making their announcements. Oyez means "hear ye," which is a call for silence and attention derived from the Anglo-Norman word for listen.

They did listen. Then they cheered.

Tourists and well-wishers camped out at Buckingham Palace got the word via the Queen's senior Page Philip Rhodes who -- in keeping with another royal tradition -- was handed the official notification in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace announcing that the Duchess of Cambridge had given birth to a son. The notification was then set up on a gold easel facing the gates for public view. (AP Photo/John Stillwell, Pool)

"This was a great event, yet again our royal family is bringing everyone together," said 27-year-old David Wills, who took a two-mile detour on his run to work to pass the palace.

To the delight of everyone hearing the news, a band of scarlet-clad guardsman at the palace then kicked into a rendition of the song, "Congratulations."

 People everywhere were partying in honor of little lord what's-his-name. Even here in Macomb County -- where a large population of Brits and Canadians have come to live -- businesses joined the parade.

"In the spirit of England and in honor of the royal baby, we're going to make baby blue vanilla bean scones," said Jennifer Colombo, founder of Just Delicious Scones in Roseville. These will be offered along with Colombo's European classic scones that are rich (as in lots of butter) but plain and lightly sweet. Since this is a special day, indeed, to this she will add a sampling of lemon curd and Devonshire cream.

"You would not believe how excited people are," said Colombo, who launched her tea house and scone shop around the same time as Prince William and Kate's royal wedding. For that she made royal wedding scones that sold like hotcakes.

I have no recipe for scones but in honor of the royal baby have put together this collage of celebrations reported for the Associated Press by journalists from around the world.

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