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Birth reporting goes royally mad

Whether you heard about the royal birth from the town crier, read it on Twitter or saw the news on television, the event captured the world's attention - and we haven't even seen the baby yet.

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He is the first royal heir born into the age of the internet and the effect is already evident.

The first-born son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge may not yet have a name - or one that we know, anyway - but he has already been the subject of more than two million tweets since his birth at 1.24am Tuesday, Australian time.

While a front-page welcome from the UK papers has long been a staple of royal births - The Sun renamed themselves The Son for the event - it's been the twitterverse where everyone from the President of the United States to daytime television queens has been able to pass on their congratulations - or crack jokes, as the case may be.

Surprisingly, perhaps, the Australian Prime Minister has not taken to Twitter, instead preferring a traditional press statement: "On behalf of all Australians, Therese and I extend our warmest regards to the new parents, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Prince William holds a special place in the hearts of many Australians.

"Some of us remember his first visit to this country as a 9-month-old baby more than 30 years ago with his mother Diana and father Charles. In more recent times, Prince William demonstrated deep compassion when he met with families in Victoria who had lost everything during the Black Saturday bushfires of February 2009. We share in the joy of the Royal Family, particularly Prince Charles on the birth of his grandson and Queen Elizabeth II on the birth of her great grandchild. This is a happy day for our close friends in Britain and the Commonwealth."

Not missing a beat, Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott also jumped in on the action: "Margie and I join all Australians in extending to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge congratulations and best wishes on the birth of their son. This would be the happiest day in their lives and all Australians share their joy. While there will come a time to contemplate the constitutional duties that await the young Prince, today we simply welcome a baby boy into the world and share the joy of this young family. I am sure that over the course of his life, the Prince will, like the rest of his family, develop a deep affection for our country, as we already have for him."

Meanwhile, other headlines from the UK newspapers include: 'Oh Boy! One's a grandpa' from the Daily Mail; 'A birth, a boy, a prince, a king', from The Guardian; and 'Welcome to the world', from The Times.

The US, it seems, is slightly less enthralled than the rest of us.

At The New York Times, the bub doesn't beat baseball. A good old doping scandal is their top story relegating the arrival of the new royal to number two on the newspaper's website.

On the other hand, CNN was far more enthusiastic. "I can't believe we finally, after all this waiting, know that we have a boy," gushed CNN royal commentator Victoria Arbiter shortly after the birth was announced. "My first thought, I have to say, was this is how brilliant a royal Kate is. There are women throughout British royal family history that have panicked over not being able to deliver a boy. And here we are - Kate did it first time."

Go Kate. If Arbiter's reaction didn't give you a giggle, or at very least make you shake your head, some of the responses from the rest of the world are sure to:

Jokes aside, Kate and William are already on the offensive against the intense interest. According to The Times the couple have already begun their fight to give the Prince of Cambridge a private life. 

And the fact they managed to keep the birth secret for four hours, to enjoy a private moment as a family, means the Twittersphere may have to wait a while longer before learning the future king's name.