Royal baby preoccupies world media

A notice formally announcing the birth of a son to Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is erected in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace
Image caption The birth was announced on a formal notice outside Buckingham Palace

Media across much of the world have been swept along by royal baby fever, particularly in North America, where newspapers dwell on what the future holds for the youngster.

Meanwhile, a German daily says the baby's young parents are a "source of hope" for a "stale" monarchy, while a French newspaper says the birth has stirred British republicans into action.

There is scant coverage in some regions. Only one pan-Arab TV station mentioned the birth - as the last item in its morning bulletin.

'Tot headed throne-ward'

"As unabashed monarchists, we're delighted with this latest addition to the Royal Family," declares the Toronto Sun. "While we respect the view of our fellow Canadians who prefer that we become a republic, similar to our American friends, we believe tradition is important. That includes Canada's tradition as a constitutional monarchy."

"Baby Windsor's future is bright, if somewhat claustrophobic," says Toronto-based The Globe and Mail. "Baby Windsor could follow the path of his great-great uncle and decide he doesn't want to be king... But, all things continuing in a conservative direction, that tot is headed throne-ward. How claustrophobic it must be to have a path laid out for you from birth."

Image caption Close attention was paid to the story at this New York British-themed restaurant

New Yorkers are spending a "royal bounty on balloons, booze, bets" to celebrate the royal birth, reports the New York Post. "New York City - which you might presume is too cool for such Anglo trivia - is experiencing its own jolt of excitement... Restaurants, bars and shops across town report a flurry of sales related to the new prince."

"What will the royal baby's life be like?", asks Roya Nikkah in The Wall Street Journal. "Wherever the royal baby son goes... so too will the world's press, desperate to photograph and debate the latest baby-gro, buggy, lock of hair, milk tooth and smile."

But, "as William has demonstrated, when the press overstep the mark with his nearest and dearest, he takes no prisoners", the paper adds.

'Source of hope'

This birth "introduces an absolute novelty into the history of the British monarchy", writes Thomas Kielinger in Die Welt. "Even if Kate had given birth to a girl, the baby would have become an immediate successor to the throne... This explains why this time there was a heightened sense of expectation."

"First the marriage, now the baby: Prince William and Kate are a source of hope for the stale British monarchy," writes Carsten Volkery on the Spiegel Online website. "The young, presentable parents are restoring the Windsor firm's ability to face the future."

French daily Liberation lists ways in which the birth of the royal baby is different from that of just any baby, including the fact that it stirs republicans into action. "Yours wakes you up in the night, but this baby wakes up the British republican camp. It is a paradox, but at each major royal event they launch a communications plan to benefit from the excitement." However, the current campaign "has not found much of an echo", adds the paper.

"The frenzy will not end with the birth of the heir," predicts Russian daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta. "Bookmakers are already accepting bets on the first word that the royal baby will say and even the name of its future first girlfriend or boyfriend. Amid the excitement, the British are prepared to place bets on the smallest details related to the heir."

'Souvenir economy'

"The Great Kate Wait is over, and the UK - and Australia - has a new third in line to the throne," reports The Sydney Morning Herald. The paper's readers weigh in, too: "The pressure on the young royal couple right now must be extraordinary: 'Does one use cloth nappies or disposables?' for example."

In China, Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily reports that royal birth betting and memorabilia are fuelling Britain's "souvenir economy". Business opportunities brought by the royal baby have "injected vigour and vitality into the market", the paper says. But it concludes that this will not be enough to turn around the UK's ailing retail sector.

Image caption Crowds of well-wishers greeted the birth in central London

Meanwhile, leading Chinese news portal Sina is running a royal baby page which features thousands of comments. A Sina online poll solicits suggestions for the best name for the new arrival. Edward, Philip, David and George are proving popular.

"What is the secret of the British royal family, because of which we were all in labour yesterday?" Boaz Bismuth muses in Israeli daily Yisrael Hayom. "Who cares about Cameron, Hollande, Nasrallah or Obama on a day on which a new hero is born to the royal family? The kingdom is dead? Long live the kingdom!"

Indian newspaper coverage of the birth is largely factual, and coverage in the Pakistani press is scant. But Pakistani journalist Naheed Mustafa tweets: "Today's news: someone you will never meet had a baby you will never know."

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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