Gidda Mirren: Royal Baby - How the rest of the world covered the story
The following is a collection of stories and quotations from around the world responding to the birth of George, son of Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, on the 23rd
of July 2013 - an event that met with massive public interest worldwide.
The New Yorker questioned: "Why are Americans so interested in an overseas monarchy that has virtually no power and which now functions primarily to attract tourists?"
In the New York Times, Lauren Apfel bemoaned a "princess culture in which girls … idolize characters distinguished mainly by their trim waistlines, their title, and their ability to wear a diadem." She called for
"women who can be admired for their strength of purpose, their brains, their skills".
The royal baby's gift from the Australian government has shifted from Julia Gillard's knitted kangaroo to a donation for a research project to save the Australian desert rat, the bilby. The Northern Territory, meanwhile, has announced it will be giving the baby Crocodile George. Crocodile George will live with
crocodiles William and Kate, gifts to celebrate the couple's engagement.
Tehran's take on the event was somewhat different from that of the rest of the world's media. State TV
revealed that public opinion in Britain was heartily against the royal family and exposed the Queen as an iron-fisted dictator.
, aiming at an English-speaking audience outside Iran, did make a sensible point: "Today, the British public – grinding under massive austerity budget cuts, unemployment, poverty wages, social deprivations and crumbling services – are thrown scraps of feelgood comfort from the much hyped event."
The capital, Ottawa, joined the global welcome for the new Prince of Cambridge, lighting up the country's
parliament in blue on Monday evening.
The Monarchist League of Canada suggested that "everyone consider holding a Canadian royal baby wedding shower some time during this summer – a simple, inclusive neighbourhood celebration, with guests raising a glass, giving a few dollars to a charity and signing a card".
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democrat party, said: "I don't care about the heir. The British monarchy … destroyed our state.
The birth of another British monarch, who will suck our blood, cannot bring us any kind of happiness." Elsewhere, the Russian newspaper Kommersant
's website initially wrote that the baby was the "first child of Charles and Kate".
The baby's birth was preceded by earthquakes in Gansu province, so many newspapers' front covers featured the first baby born in the Gansu area instead. Elsewhere Chinese fortune tellers predicted George's future. Mak Ling-ling took no risks: "It's likely he will have to go overseas, perhaps representing the army or going to a boarding school." Au Chung-tak said: "He will achieve harmony with his siblings".
mocked the media frenzy in the UK - but many French newspapers bought into the hype. "Everything you need to know about this birth," read the headline in Le Parisien
dedicated articles to "l'arbre genealogique des Windsor" (the Windsor family tree). One commentator suggested the French were missing their own royal family, who were rather unceremoniously ditched over 220 years ago.
Sudarsan Pattnaik, noted sand artist and winner of last week's international sand art competition, created a sculpture for the royal baby with the message "Welcome Baby Cambridge". Plans were initially placed on hold owing to heavy rainfall in the state of Orissa, where he sculpts.
The Indian mystic and healer Larrah Shah has said Prince George will run in an election for president or
prime minister "and will probably win it". She predicted that he would improve international relations, particularly with Arab countries.
Islamabad-based Daily BBC Record London Ltd
(no relation to the BBC) has investigated the royal baby's family tree and made this discovery: "The baby's relations will stretch from a simple Parisian actress via the
Dracula princes in Romania, to even an Islamic sultan from Seville in Spain, who descended from the Muslim prophet Mohammed, experts say."
Suretha Erasmus is a South Africa-based genetic counsellor who has created images of the royal baby as a teenager. He believes George will share many of Diana's facial features but will have his mother Catherine's
The website AllAfrica
published a piece about the dangers of pregnancy in Africa and whether the duchess would have survived there. "Every day, around 800 women die from causes linked to pregnancy and childbirth. And it will come as little surprise that the majority of these deaths occur in poor countries … 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries, largely in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia."
Aus: Gidda Mirren: Royal baby: how the rest of the world covered the story, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/jul/26/royal-baby-prince-george-world-media-reaction, 26.07.2013
Task I: Multiple Matching
In which country's coverage of the royal birth can the following aspects be found?
|1||a criticism of the state of affairs in Britain
|2||the British royals presented as a globally branched-out family
|3||a mixture of ridicule, excitement and nostalgia in the media
|4||an alternative version of the young royal family
|5||anger about unsuitable ideas of femininity
|6||a mistake concerning the members of the royal family
|7||praise for the worldwide popularity of the royal family
|8||the difficulty in putting the birthday present on display
|9||the focus on omre pressing problems in large parts of the world
|10||a whole country asked to pay tribute to the baby
|11||a potentially dangerous present that arrived too late
|12||the celebration of a new life born in less happy circumstances
Match each country with the correct aspect.
Note: For each country
, there is just one aspect
There are two aspects
in the list that don't fit
any of the countries.
|aspect no.||$ $||$ $||$ $||$ $||$ $||$ $||$ $||$ $||$ $||$ $
|South Africa||$ $