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Royal baby: Media abuzz with news of Kate's labour

Kate and William's first child topped news agendas across the globe even before the royal baby's arrival.

The impending birth dominated the world's media from the moment the Duchess of Cambridge's labour was announced at 7:30am.

Social networks and blogs were swiftly awash with discussion as websites and TV stations across the globe turned their focus onto the main event.

British news outlets pushed political debate, showbiz revelations and sporting results straight down the schedules and their foreign counterparts swiftly followed suit.

The Sun led coverage in the UK with the headline "Heir It Comes!" on its website.

"At last! Wait is finally over," roared the Daily Mail's online publication, while other news sites offered constant live updates, endless commentary and pictures documenting the Duchess's closely-watched pregnancy.

Newspaper websites from France to Australia brought the royal birth to the top of their home pages, while The Washington Post offered readers an online "royal baby name generator".

Meanwhile hundreds of lenses were trained on St Mary's Hospital in London where the world's media has been camped out in anticipation of the birth.

Photographers were poised with cameras at the ready to capture the first images of the infant while broadcasters aired live coverage from outside the the Lindo Wing.

The subject accounted for seven of the top 10 trending topics on Twitter within a couple of hours, while hundreds of mothers logged on to parenting website Mumsnet to give their opinions on the news.

Broadcaster Piers Morgan tweeted: "Keep Calm...and Carry On. £Kate" and added: "My money's on an Australian cricket birth - all out by tea."

Labour's former deputy prime minister John Prescott joked: "Great to hear the Duchess of Cambridge has gone into labour. Is she an affiliated member?"

One Mumsnet user, writing under the name Iwaswatchingthat, posted: "I feel sorry for her. I really did not want anyone except my mum and dh (dear husband) to know I was in labour and just wanted to get on with it.

"It must be awful to think that the world is all imagining her huffing and puffing."

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn wrote: "Glad it's been confirmed. Soppy cow that I am I've just had a little cry over the news. In my defence I'm 8 weeks pregnant with my first and my emotions are all over the place!"

Another user, Gobbolinothewitchscat, added: "Seriously, it's a shame she's in the early stages. Best to stay at home as long as poss."

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