Loading articles...

Canadian countdown to royal baby more mellow than for royal wedding

Anticipation over the birth of the royal baby is stirring excitement among some Canadians, but the heir’s imminent arrival so far hasn’t sparked the same frenzy that surrounded his or her parents’ wedding.

The Duchess of Cambridge went into labour overnight but it’s unclear when the Royal Family will welcome its newest member.

Carolyn Harris, an expert on royal history at the University of Toronto, says the lack of a clear due date has kept royal-watchers from planning any elaborate celebrations as they did for the wedding.

But she says interest has been building in recent weeks and will peak once the child is born and its gender is revealed.

In Toronto, a TV screen in the lobby of the Royal York hotel is set to the BBC for the latest updates from London — part of a special display that includes a guestbook where well-wishers can leave a message for Prince William and his wife Kate.

A second guestbook was brought out just after noon and every few minutes, another person stopped to add a message for the royal parents-to-be.

A spokeswoman for the hotel said the display has been up for two weeks but has drawn more attention in the past few days.

Sonya Singh said some guests have even asked whether staff have insider knowledge of the birth, since several members of the Royal Family have stayed in the hotel when in Toronto.

Teresa McCrae, who is visiting from London, Ont., left a message wishing the royal couple a “happy family.”

She says the royal birth is “exciting,” but admits she’s not making as big a fuss as she did for previous milestones in the monarchy.

McCrae organized a celebratory breakfast for the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, watched Diana’s funeral with friends and hosted a pre-dawn viewing party for Prince William and Kate’s wedding.

But she’s made no such plans for the imminent birth, citing “a busy summer.”

Still, she says. “I think when we hear, everyone will be excited.”