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Royal baby buzz: how social media has changed the traditional announcement

The official paper announcement of the royal birth. (The British Monarchy Instagram/the_british_monarchy)Tweet, tweet!

When we saw a tweet this morning about how dilated the Duchess of Cambridge was, we had to stop and think for a minute. Was it a just a joke? Or was it a legitimate account from some person who somehow had way too many details? Welcome to the digital age, folks, where the latter could actually be possible.

The last royal birth that the British monarch welcomed was back in the 1980s when Molly Ringwald was the ‘It’ girl and your crimper worked wonders to give you a faux afro.

Also see: Kate Middleton is in labour! What happens now?

But oh, how the times have changed. The royal baby announcement didn’t necessarily rock the airwaves today but it did rock our Twitter feeds, news feeds, and Facebook timelines. We are in full swing of the digital age where information travels faster than you can type “OMG! TTYL!" and you have cleverly set up an RSS feed for the inbox on your smartphone.

According to Metro, the royal baby announcement will follow typical protocol starting with informing the monarch and senior members of the royal family. Back in the 1982, Prince Charles called his mother from the hospital after Prince William was born, reports the Guardian.

Just moments before the news broke, Peter Hunt, a royal correspondent for the BBC, tweeted that William and Kate have decided to change the royal birth announcement plans. Instead of quickly sending off a messenger to post a bulletin at the Buckingham Palace, the first public announcement will be via a formal press release.

He continued to tweet that if the birth was during daylight, there will still be a bulletin posted on a wooden easel behind the gates of Buckingham Palace but merely to fulfill the tradition.

And so the tradition was kept -- somewhat. If you were watching our live stream of the event, you would have seen several anchors and reporters reporting the birth, gender, and weight of the baby before the printed bulletin ever touched the easel.

Also see: Kate Middleton and Prince William welcome royal baby

For that, we can thank Twitter. Here's what @ClarenceHouse tweeted just moments ago:


Just minutes ago, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall published this note on being new grandparents:

The Prince of Wales said this evening:

“Both my wife and I are overjoyed at the arrival of my first grandchild.  It is an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine and we are so thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy. 

Grandparenthood is a unique moment in anyone’s life, as countless kind people have told me in recent months, so I am enormously proud and happy to be a grandfather for the first time and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing the baby in the near future.”

If that isn't enough, many media outlets are taking note: this is the first royal baby to own a hashtag - a true sign that we are in a new age.

Now, we know that social media is giving more and more people faster access to the royal baby details but one thing is still unclear: When will the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge announce the baby's name? Prince William's name was kept a secret for seven days and the Prince of Wales was a mystery for a month. And will it be a tweet announcement, Facebook post, or formal nation address?

When do you think the baby will be born? And will it be a boy or girl?

Check out our live stream of the Lindo Wing here.