Beyond the Headlines

"Is she preggers?"

Posted: Dec 4, 2012 11:41 AM ET Last Updated: Dec 4, 2012 11:41 AM ET
The beauty, and the curse, of being a "veteran" reporter, is that just about every story we come across reminds us of another from our past.
The news that William and Kate are expecting their first child - a story making headlines around the world - brought back vivid memories of a day, more than 25 years ago, when I was covering Prince William's mother, Diana.
It was 1986. Prince Charles and Princess Diana were touring EXPO 86 in Vancouver during their first visit to British Columbia as a couple.
Now these Royal tours are tightly controlled, especially for the media. We're told where to go and when, and we are not allowed to stray from our corral.
On this day, Charles and Diana were visiting a few of the EXPO pavilions. A pool camera and reporter were allowed inside, while the rest of the reporters and camera crews on the Royal tour were kept outside, in a roped off area, a short distance away.
Charles and Diana were visiting the California pavilion when suddenly security officers started running toward the pavilion with great urgency. Police on motorcycles, with sirens wailing, cleared the roadway. An ambulance suddenly appeared.
Obviously something had gone wrong inside the pavilion and, watching this scene unfold, panic spread through the ranks of the reporters stuck outside. Had the Royal couple been attacked? Was there an assassination attempt? You can imagine the questions that raced through our minds. And reporters hate not knowing what's going on.
It seemed forever before a spokesperson for the Royal family emerged to brief us.  Princess Diana had fainted. Immediately, booming voices rang out from the Fleet street reporters sent over from London to cover the tour.
"Is she preggers?" one demanded with a strong English accent. "Is the princess with child?" another shouted. The spokesperson calmly replied that, to the best of his knowledge, the princess was not with child, she was simply not feeling well.
I've since covered other Royal tours but that was my first exposure to the all consuming coverage the Royal family faces in England. How, to some tabloid reporters, nothing in their lives, is off-limits.
It seems not much has changed over the past 25 years. In fact, judging by the decision of some tabloids to publish those topless photos of Kate, the tell all - take no prisoners,  approach to covering the Royals has only intensified.
And it's likely to get even worse now that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant.
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About the Author

Brian DuBreuil is a veteran journalist with CBC News. He has won two Gemini awards for his work, and neither involved dancing or singing on a reality show.

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