- More than 500,000 tweets were sent mentioning the Royal baby
- David Cameron and Nick Clegg were swift to celebrate the new arrival
- Cheryl Cole wrote of the baby boy: 'Can?t wait to see him now?
- In break with tradition, news of labour itself was announced on Twitter
By Claire Ellicott
News of the royal birth brought Twitter close to meltdown yesterday as millions from around the world shared their excitement and offered congratulations.
Before the baby?s birth was even announced, an incredible 487million Twitter users had viewed posts about the Duchess of Cambridge going into labour on what is thought to be one of the busiest days the social network had ever experienced.
By 8pm yesterday, more than 500,000 tweets were sent mentioning the royal baby, according to social media monitoring firm Netbase ? and after the birth was announced at 8.29pm, the number rocketed higher by the second.?
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Traditional version: The Queen's Press Secretary Ailsa Anderson, with Badar Azim, a footman, places an official document to announce the birth of a baby boy, while Twitter was going in to meltdown
Online invitation: Clarence House are inviting people to sign a card for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
But just 41 per cent of the posts came from the UK. The US accounted for 29 per cent, followed by Canada and Australia, and two-thirds were made by women.
In a break with tradition, the news of the labour and the birth were also officially announced on Twitter.
A tweet from Clarence House yesterday morning read: ?Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted to St. Mary?s Hospital, Paddington, London, in the early stages of labour.? The message was retweeted, or shared, among users nearly 7,000 times.
Later, as the paper bulletin was posted on an easel confirming the baby?s birth, a further post read: ?Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24pm.? This was retweeted more than 13,000 times, and marked the first time the traditional announcement of a royal birth has been paired with a release through social media.
Contagious excitement: The public outside Buckingham Palace after the offical easel was put by the gates announcing the birth of the baby boy
THE SNAPPER WHO BROKE THE NEWS
Photographer Jesal Parshotam, 24, alerted the world to the impending arrival of the royal baby when he spotted the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William go into the hospital just before 6am yesterday.
An all-night stint watching the back entrance had ended in success and he broke the news via Twitter.
London-based Mr Parshotam said: ?I guess it?s the biggest scoop of my career?.
However, he chose not to take any pictures of the couple, claiming it was out of respect. Either that or he left his lens cap on.
Within hours of the Palace?s announcement that the Duchess had gone into labour, the term ?#royalbaby? had become the most popular topic on the UK site, while the words ?Kate Middleton? were a top discussion in the US.
At least seven topics relating to the royal baby jumped to the top of the ?trending? list, and among the most popular was speculation over the baby?s name.
And as soon as the birth was announced last night, celebrities and politicians rushed to tweet their messages of congratulations to the Duke and Duchess.
From model Cara Delevingne and singer Cheryl Cole to Olympic diver Tom Daley and Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the good wishes came thick and fast.
Prime Minister David Cameron wrote: ?I?m delighted for the? Duke and Duchess now their son has been born. The whole country will celebrate. They?ll make wonderful parents.?
21st century family: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's happy news was released over Twitter and to traditional news media simultaneously
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg wrote: ?Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Good news to make the whole country smile.?
The Archbishop of York John Sentamu wrote: ?Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of? Cambridge. The joy and hope? of the Royal baby boy is a great gift of God.?
As the birth was announced, Stephen Fry wrote: ?The official easel. We really are a marvellously bonkers country.? Earlier, noticing that the word ?labour? was trending on the website, he wrote: ?Labour has never been so popular? ? adding: ?My guess is that it will be a baby.?
Piers Morgan also joined the labour discussions, guessing: ?PREDICTION: A boy, called George, weighing 8lbs 2oz #MysticMorgan?
The Mumsnet discussion forum was also dominated by news of the baby. More than 700 messages were posted within hours yesterday on the single thread ?Kate?s in labour: royal baby on way?.?
THE GUARDIAN'S PARTY POOPERS
The website of the Left-wing Guardian newspaper was dominated by news of the royal baby yesterday ? but offered republican readers a chance to avoid ?royalist? news.
Those clicking on the ?Republican? option had a picture of a smiling Kate replaced by one of pop singer Morrissey.
Guardian Live blogger Peter Walker informed his handful of readers: ?I?m a republican?, lamely adding: ?But I nonetheless, of course, wish all concerned the very best.?
Good news travel fast: Hayley Simmonds and Tristan Layton hanging Union Jack flags from the ceiling of British themed restaurant Tea & Sympathy in New York
Users were quick to advise and sympathise with every stage of the process, with one posting: ?I feel sorry for her. I really did not want anyone except my mum and [husband] to know I was in labour and just wanted to get on with it.
?It must be awful to think that the world is all imagining her huffing and puffing.?
A PUNT FIT FOR A NEWBORN PRINCE
The royal baby will have a punt named after him in Cambridge.
The 22ft wooden boat is being refurbished and will have the child?s royal title carved on each side.
Sam Matthews, of its owners The? Cambridge Punting Company, said: ?We are proud to say that it will be the first water-going vessel to bear the name of the royal baby.
?They can take it out any time ? obviously with parental supervision.?
Elsewhere on the internet, the baby had his own Wikipedia page before he was even born. Entitled ?Royal Baby: Child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge?, the entry had been viewed more than 95,000 times. A number of spoof Twitter accounts also sprung up under the name ?Royal Baby? or ?Baby Cambridge?.