The challenge domestically to keeping a lid on the helicopter flyovers and bugged baby buggies, said Richard Palmer, royal correspondent for the Daily Express, is the wild card of foreign competition. Limits in Britain on reporting that a woman is pregnant before she reaches her 12th week, for example, meant that U.S. commentators were buzzing about the “royal baby bump” before the domestic press could enter the fray. And in a world where European and American tabloids unbeholden to the palace don’t always play by the rules — and where everyone with a smartphone is a potential paparazzo — the British press is fearing the worst. “We’re treading a tightrope all the time with the royal couple, and that’s only going to get thinner with the baby,” Palmer said.
For the press, any retrenchment by the young couple couldn’t come at a worst time. Cover stories and inside montages of Shopping Kate, Official Kate, even Dog-Walking Kate have driven print sales and online hits in a manner not seen since Diana’s heyday. The feeding has been no less frenzied in the United States. Since 2011’s blockbuster royal wedding, the Duchess has graced the cover of People magazine more times than any other celebrity.