BYU London Centre students witness royal baby pandemonium

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BYU London Centre students Chandler Hoffman and Emily Lloyd row through the Serpentine river, not far from Kensington Palace. Hoffman and Lloyd have made extra stops in this area, hoping to see the recently announced baby bump. (Courtesy Chandler Hoffman)

Emily Lloyd, a student at the BYU London Centre, starts her mornings in London with a jog past Kensington Palace. While the gardens are beautiful, they’re not what she is paying attention to. She’s looking for the most recent development from England’s royal family: a baby bump.

Princess Kate and Prince William announced they are expecting their second child just a few days into the London Centre’s fall program. The duchess was reported as making her first public appearance this week since the announcement, as she has been battling severe morning sickness from the pregnancy.

“I was in the Centre when I overheard the girls talking about the announcement of the second royal baby,” said Chandler Hoffman, a junior from Laguna Niguel, California, studying public health. “They were all very excited and said they were lucky to be in London on such a historic day.”

Students at the London Centre, located just a few blocks away from Kensington Palace, have already made multiple attempts to see the growing royal family. A majority of the students left their studies for a few hours on the night of the announcement to wander Kensington Gardens, hoping to get in on the action.

Britain's Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, attend the ceremonial welcome ceremony for Singapore's President Tony Tanon on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. Princess Kate recently resumed her royal duties after being out with morning sickness from her second pregnancy. (AP Photo/Leon Neal)
Princess Kate Middleton and Prince William attend the ceremonial welcome ceremony for Singapore’s President Tony Tanon on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. Princess Kate recently resumed her royal duties after being out with morning sickness from her second pregnancy. (AP Photo/Leon Neal)

The students aren’t the only ones wanting to see the Duchess of Cambridge and her new baby bump. Lloyd, a junior from Salt Lake City studying graphic design, said she sees photographers anxiously waiting outside Kensington Palace on her daily morning jogs.

“It’s on the covers of every magazine and is the topic of on every radio station,” Lloyd said. “I think most people are just excited to see Will and Kate grow as a family. It will be exciting to see the baby grow up with older brother George. I think it reminds people of Prince William and Prince Harry growing up together.”

Like Will and Kate’s adoring subjects, the London Centre students have fallen in love with the royal family. This isn’t the first time this has happened, however. Some students from years past themed their whole trip around the arrival of a royal baby, according to Zoë Hale, a senior from Provo, studying social science teaching. Students from her program had the chance to see the royal family leave the hospital after Prince George’s birth.

Hale and her classmates, who studied in London during summer term of 2013, received their acceptance to the London Centre around the same time Princess Kate’s first pregnancy announcement. Students downloaded apps on their smartphones to receive notifications regarding the baby’s upcoming arrival and secretly hoped Prince George wouldn’t arrive while they were traveling out of the city.

The day before a trip to Paris, the students received an update that the royal couple would be leaving the hospital with their new baby within the hour.

Hale and other students dropped everything they were doing, ran to the tube (underground railroad) and then to the hospital, Hale said. The students could see Princess Kate, Prince William, and new baby George, she continued. She went on to say they witnessed Prince William put George in his carseat then drive away as a family.

BYU London Centre student Zoë Hale peeks over her copy of the Daily Telegraph, July 23, 2013. Zoë and her four roommates witnessed the royal family leave the hospital with newborn George during their semester abroad. (Photo courtesty of Zoë Hale)
BYU London Centre student Zoë Hale peeks over her copy of The Daily Telegraph, July 23, 2013. (Courtesy of Zoë Hale)

“They waved as they drove right past us. We were so close that if I stuck my arm out straight, I would have smacked the windshield as they drove past,” Hale said.

According to Hale, hundreds of adoring fans lined the streets, some even standing on window ledges to get the best view of the royal family.

Lloyd, Hoffman and Hale all agreed when asked about the public’s feelings for the royal family. Thanks to their well-managed private life, elegance and charm, the British people seem to love them, Lloyd and Hoffman said.

“I did not expect myself to fall in love with them,” Hoffman said. “But since I have gotten to London that has definitely happened. … I don’t know many people who wouldn’t want their royal lifestyle.”

“I’m pretty sure any of us would volunteer to become the new nanny!” Lloyd said.

Royal baby number two is expected to make his or her debut appearance March of next year.

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