The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

December 4, 2012

U.S. reacts with joy to royal baby news

(Continued)

There's no doubt that many Britons are thrilled as well, and the country's embattled tabloid press certainly views a royal pregnancy (at Christmastime no less!) as a surefire circulation booster and a welcome diversion from a series of press scandals.

But some on Monday expressed a rather blasé attitude to the prospect of a new generation of Windsors seemingly bound for the throne. In the chill of early evening in north London's Camden market, young couples strolling among the stalls received the news of Kate's pregnancy with a shrug.

"I'm happy for them, but I don't really care," said Enya Lonergan, 19, who was visiting from Canterbury, south of London, with her friend Will Nichols, 20.

They could muster little enthusiasm for the news, noting that they had little in common with the royals, particularly in these bleak economic times.

"I don't think about them," Nichols said, adding that — naturally — he'd send them a gift. Or not.

Others said they were not interested and questioned the need for a royal family in the 21st century.

"I don't think it's a good thing," said Stephen Jowitt, 63, as he ambled down Camden High Street. "It reinforces a class system."

The news did provide a boost to one of Britain's national pastimes — finding new ways to wager money. Bookmakers are now taking bets on the gender of Kate's child, what the infant will be named and the color of his/her hair.

Joe Crilly, a spokesman for the William Hill bookmaker, said a high level of betting interest is expected, with favored names including Diana, Philip, Elizabeth and Sarah.

In America, ABC News even offered a poll, asking people to rate likely baby names.

Baby thoughts have been found in some less-than-fully-credible supermarket tabloids for months. They've been trumpeting "stories" about Kate's pregnancies for months, without any apparent basis in fact.

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