How did Meghan friend Gayle King get a camera into royal baby reveal?
How did Meghan’s close friend Gayle King get a camera into the royal baby reveal at the last minute? This Morning host visited Duchess of Sussex last week – but her PR team insist CBS ‘won’t get exclusive coverage’
- CBS will have a cameraman present when Baby Sussex is unveiled this morning
- They will be the only foreign outlet, alongside two British news organizations
- Footage will be released to the world at 7.40am EST, while Meghan’s close friend Gayle King is expected to be on air with her morning news show
- It is thought CBS was included at the royal couple’s insistence, and it is not clear how the network was chosen, potentially infuriating rivals NBC and ABC
Meghan Markle looked to have given close friend Gayle King an inside track on the royal baby after it was announced that a CBS cameraman will be present when her son with Prince Harry is unveiled to the world this morning.
The network will be the only foreign one present for a photocall at Windsor Castle that will include a photographer and reporter from the UK’s Press Association, and a second cameraman from British broadcaster Sky.
Royal insiders said the move was due to international interest in the story, but did not make it clear how CBS was chosen – potentially causing fury at rivals ABC and NBC.
Typically, only British media are invited to intimate royal events, but insiders said that an American network was added at the insistence of the royal couple.
Gayle King, a close friend of Meghan Markle, looked to have been given an inside line to the royal baby after CBS was announced among the press pack for her son’s first photocall (King pictured attending Meghan’s baby shower in February)
Meghan (pictured at her baby shower) and Prince Harry have only invited British broadcaster Sky and the Press Association to the intimate event at Windsor Castle today, with CBS added at the last minute
It is not known when or how Gayle King met Meghan, but she was among 20 guests at the Duchess’s baby shower in New York that included Serena William (left) and Amal Clooney
Harry and Meghan’s first child, a son, was born in the early hours of Monday after she was taken to hospital after passing her due date
Sky was chosen at random from a pool of three – including ITV and the BBC – to be present when Baby Sussex appears for the first time.
It was thought Sky would be the only cameraman in the room until Tuesday, when CBS was added without official explanation.
It is unclear whether CBS will be forced to syndicate its material to other networks.
On Wednesday morning a royal source denied that CBS would be given any exclusive material from the photocall.
However, being the only foreign network in the room will give CBS significant bragging rites over its rivals.
However, King’s broadcast is expected to include exclusive footage shot just before the birth after she flew to London on Friday last week to film what she called a ‘royal special’.
The 64-year-old journalist was with the couple at their private residence of Frogmore Cottage at the weekend.
It is thought King returned to the US before Meghan was admitted to hospital in the early hours of Monday to give birth.
On Tuesday night she was pictured at a book launch in the United States.
This is not the first time that Harry and Meghan have caught the press out after insisting on private arrangements for the birth of their first child.
On Monday Harry gave an interview to Sky in which he gushed about the birth of his new son at Windsor Castle, just 45 minutes after Buckingham Palace had announced that Meghan was in labour.
While the footage was syndicated immediately, it caught most other networks by surprise as they had not been fore-warned.
Sara Latham, the Sussexes’ new communications chief, later explained there had been a ‘colossal tech failure’ which meant an email informing the press did not reach most inboxes until an hour after it was sent.
She said the email was supposed to have been sent at 1pm, again providing convenient timing for US morning news shows.
King did not attend Harry and Meghan’s wedding as a guest, but was handed reporting duties by CBS and spoke from outside Windsor Castle
Gayle King presents coverage of the wedding of her friend Meghan Markle to Prince Harry
The royal couple were planning on a home birth, but as Meghan passed her due date, they opted for The Portland Hospital in London instead to ensure the child’s safety, insiders said.
Little is known about King’s relationship with Meghan – such as how or when they met – but the pair are known to be close.
King was among just 20 guests to attend Meghan’s lavish five-day baby shower in New York in February, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Amal Clooney and Serena Williams.
Speaking afterwards, King revealed that the group were taught how to arrange flowers which were then donated to charity.
Photographed walking into the event with a polka-dot party bag, King refused to reveal exactly what she had bought for the royal couple.
‘I got something I think is very nice,’ she said.
Meghan and Harry’s insistence on having CBS present for the baby’s unveiling is also thought to have caused upset within the British press, as foreign outlets are not typically invited to such events.
‘It’s a decision that has taken everyone by surprise and has not gone down well in some quarters,’ one source said.
Last month Harry and Meghan’s office announced that while they wanted to keep details of the birth private, they had agreed to a very small photocall at Windsor a couple of days after the baby was born.
Prince Harry announces the birth of his son at Windsor on Monday at 1pm – during the morning news shows in America
Footmen Stephen Kelly and Sarah Thompson set up an official notice on an easel at the gates of Buckingham Palace in London announcing the royal birth
This was confirmed by the delighted prince in person on Monday, when he told journalists that he would see them again in two days.
A small ‘pool’ of British professionals was picked, comprised of one television camera, one photographer and one reporter from the Press Association to ask questions. They will feed the footage, words and pictures to organisations worldwide.
But yesterday it emerged that Harry and American-born Meghan had specifically asked for a US camera crew to be included as well.
Buckingham Palace was not involved in the decision to pick CBS, with sources saying the US network was ‘self-selected’, causing some consternation among other domestic and international outlets.
Last night a palace aide said: ‘There is an international cameraman accredited to the pool facility tomorrow. CBS will provide the cameraman.
‘This reflects the international interest in the story. The international camera spot was self-selected and the pictures will be available for pool use.’
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