11 FEBRUARY 1938, Page 21


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] Sia,—Janus drew attention in your last issue to the fuss the British Press made over the expected birth of a child to Princess Juliana. I do not know why succession in the House of Orange should be a subject for more anxious curiosity on the English- man's part than is the birth of an heir to, say, the Belgian throne. There may be reasons, partly historic, partly senti- mental. I write because 29 years ago when Princess Juliana's birth was expected at least one English provincial newspaper (I was junior sub-editor on its staff) laid what were then considered lavish plans to meet the occasion, and kept its staff on duty far into the morning during a protracted period of waiting. It was my first (and most impressive) experience of having to gauge the interest of the British public in first tidings of Royal births in foreign lands.

Other times other methods ; but without doubt the same motive prompted the Press in 1938.—Yours faithfully,