As the Royal Baby prepares to make his or her appearance, the excitement and interest is giving a boost to media, papers, bloggers, the fashion industry and more. One perhaps unlikely star in the #LindoWingWatch show is Twitter's new live-feed app Periscope! Launched just over a month ago, the app allows iOS users to alert all their followers (via Twitter) of their live broadcast. This might seem an amateur's tool, but this second arrival of a Cambridge HRH is a little different from Round 1, and the circumstances have made it ripe for Periscoping to take off.
In 2013, the press were allowed to set up in front of the Lindo Wing on July 1st. One of London's hottest summers on record, photographers, reporters, cameramen and more spent hours under the glaring sun waiting for Kate to come to the hospital and have her first child. There were 24-hour live feeds of the Lindo Wing door, and reporters snatched at anything to have something to say as the days ticked slowly by. Prince George was not born until the 22nd of July, but for the unhappy group stuffed into the press pens, those twenty-two days likely felt closer to a lifetime.
In a bid to avoid the same circus, Kensington Palace changed the rules for this Lindo Wing Watch. Since The Duchess of Cambridge was due mid-late April, no press was allowed to set up until the 15th of the month. Positions are assigned, to bypass the jostling of 2013, triggered by a first-come, first served policy, and no broadcasting is to take place until Kate is confirmed to have been admitted to the hospital.
Most of these rules are for everyone's benefit, and the media and Palace alike seem pleased with the parameters, and the more organized results. Nevertheless, fans are desperate for more up-to-the minute news, and thankfully Twitter had solved the dilemma. Enter Periscope, which has become the royal reporting tool de rigueur. One by one, press began using the app and the airwaves are now thick with transmittals from the frontline.
If you have Twitter and an iPhone, simply download the app, and you will be presented with a list of everyone you follow on Twitter who also has the Periscope app. You can then choose whom you wish to follow. When any given broadcaster begins a live-feed, you will get a little chirping bird noise to alert you a broadcast is beginning. Tune in, and presto, you are transported to the Lindo Wing for an instant update. The app allows users to interact with the broadcaster, and many of the reporters are happy to field questions from fans. Android users have been left a little in the cold with this Apple-only feature, but if you do not have an Apple phone, I believe you can download the Periscope app to your computer.
Who should you follow? My recommendations...
Max Foster: (@MaxFosterCNN) The veteran CNN anchor has really nailed the whole Periscope process, delivering relaxed and fluid reports. Max fields questions really well, and diffuses the occasional royal-hater with tact and humor. As most television reporters are, Max is easy on the eyes, a fact has not gone unnoticed by more than one viewer. But, ladies, before you dump Prince Harry and change those Tumblr handles to @FosterForever, he is married, as he has injected this status into more than one commentary. Cool it, and stick with Harry...
Tim Ewart (@EwartRoyale) Tim interviews Victoria Murphy and Emily Nash with regularity. He is pleasant and constant, and, he parries the occasional offensive tweet with good grace. Double points from me.
Simon Vigar (@SimonVigar5) Truthfully, I am not sure I am always awake or concentrating when Mr. Vigar broadcasts, but I see his name popping on my iPhone, so if you want frequent updates, he is worth a follow.
James Whatling (@JWhatling) James broadcasts in the wee hours for me, so I only catch him if I am restless, but sleepy. I know I have never given his Periscopes their just dessert, but James takes many of the most beautiful photos you see on this blog, so I am always pleased to see him pop up.
Paul Harrison (@SkyNewsEditor) Paul is still favorite in royal circles, even though he has moved to loftier reporting. He isn't on the royal beat anymore, but we all remember him fondly from the days he covered Kate and, of course, the first GreatKateWait. Frankly, if you are interested in politics, his Periscopes are still quite interesting--he is following the British elections and I am loving it!
Emily Nash (@emynash) Super cute reporter over at The Sun, Emily will occasionally do her own Periscope, but is often a guest. The girls in general haven't exactly taken to Periscope, but they often star in the boys' productions--appropriate. You are more likely to catch Emily on Tim or Max's feed.
Lastly, Jesal Parshotam (@therealjesal) stole the show tonight when he gave an after dark tour of the area around the Lindo Wing, including taking us behind the hospital to the back entrance Kate used when she slipped in at dawn when in labor with George. He showed us where the photographers are waiting, and the possible entrances the Duchess might use this time. It was really, really fun and informative. It just won hands down--the best Periscope of the Great Kate Wait.
Obviously, as soon as Kate is admitted, every journalist and photographer will abandon Periscope for their high def cameras, but I think the app will continue to be a major player in royal reporting as media will likely broadcast live all number of royal events, and importantly for us fashion watchers, the royal arrivals. Instant fashion for all!
If you are on Twitter, follow From Berkshire to Buckingham @HRHKateBlog. Occasionally, I say something sarcastic or acerbic. :)
Hopefully, we will have a new baby very soon!