Monday, 22 July 2013

The birth of a baby into a royal family has always generated global interest. It’s no different in our 24-hour news era.

So when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced the birth of their first-born today, it was fitting that the team at Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) quickly turned to Twitter to send out the word to well-wishers everywhere.

The first confirmation that a royal arrival was imminent came at 07.37am BST this morning when the couple’s official Twitter account @ClarenceHouse tweeted that the Duchess had been admitted to hospital.

The scale of the global conversation was immediately apparent. Since that announcement, there have been more than two million mentions of the news on Twitter, with well-wishers gathering around hashtags including #RoyalBaby, #RoyalBabyBoy and #RoyalBabyWatch.

The peak in conversation on Twitter about the news came at 8.37pm in the minutes following the announcement of the baby’s birth, with more than 25,300 Tweets per minute.

As royal-watchers all over came together to share their excitement, the hashtag #RoyalBaby became the gathering place for messages of congratulations. Since the Duchess was admitted to hospital, that hashtag alone has been used more than 900,000 times on Twitter.

Whilst @ClarenceHouse was the official source of information on Twitter, eager photographer Jesal Parshotam (@therealjesal) staked a claim to being the first to break the #RoyalBaby news, sending this Tweet at 5.55am this morning:

After a long day, anticipation turned to celebration as a series of Tweets were sent by @ClarenceHouse at 8.35pm this evening announcing the safe delivery of a baby boy weighing 8lb 6oz at 4.24pm:

Notice of the birth was also displayed on an easel outside Buckingham Palace, and that image was shared around the world on Twitter:

And new great-grandparents the Queen and Prince Philip used their official Twitter account @BritishMonarchy to express their delight at the news:

Tweets celebrating the news were sent from across the globe, with the highest volumes of conversation coming from the USA, the UK, Canada, France and Italy. Once the news had become public, people from all walks of life tweeted their congratulations to the couple.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (@ABCJustin) sent his best wishes:

As did UK Prime Minister David Cameron (@David_Cameron):

Pop star Cheryl Cole (@CherylCole) sent her congratulations via a Tweet:

Dalia Grybauskaitė (@Grybauskaite_LT), President of the Republic of Lithuania used Twitter to send his best wishes:

As did Stephen Harper (@pmharper), Prime Minister of Canada:

And Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM), Prime Minister of Malta:

Lists are a great way to organise Twitter feeds into easily viewable categories. To be the first to see well-wishes from Twitter users around the globe, you can keep an eye on these lists of world leaders, UK MPs, Royal Correspondents and Royal Photographers.

Just one question remains: which names will the royal couple choose for their new arrival? Whenever that exciting bit is announced, be sure to follow @ClarenceHouse for more updates from the Royal Household.