Giant Blue Rooster In Trafalgar Square Leaves Londoners Bemused And Befuddled

Trafalgar Square in London has a new statue — a giant blue cockerel. It’s the latest work of art to adorn the Fourth Plinth, a nineteenth-century base flanking Nelson’s Column. The other three plinths all have statues but the Fourth Plinth never got one, and so in recent years it’s become home to a series of temporary sculptures.

The giant blue cock, as the British media can’t resist calling it, has caused a bit of a stir. The cockerel and the color blue are both symbols of France, and this is a square dedicated to one of the British Empire’s greatest victories over Napoleon. German artist Katharina Fritsch, who created the sculpture, said she wasn’t aware of the symbolism. As London Mayor Boris Johnson says (he’s the blond guy with the awful haircut in this video) it could mean a lot of things, such as the British victory in the Tour de France. At the very least, the royal blue hue ties into London’s recent baby boy mania.

The Huffington Post has more photos of the giant rooster.

7 Travel Options For Those Obsessed With The Royal Baby

In anticipation of Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge’s firstborn, Great Britain has had baby fever. Now that the royal baby has finally arrived, the travel industry is taking advantage of the frenzy. Even Heathrow gave out special T-shirts yesterday. Nothing like a baby to stimulate the economy after all.

It might take awhile for the royal baby to become king. Meanwhile, we commoners can take full advantage.

1. Fly for Free (If You Are a Baby)
Infants fly free of charge today on RyanAir. Time to make a last minute travel decision and buy a ticket before the day is up. The bottle of milk will probably be an extra charge, however.

2. Sleep Like a British Baby
Kate isn’t the only one popping out a baby this year. According to Visit England 700,000 babies will be born in England this year, which is why the tourism board has opted to put an emphasis on baby themed travel options. Maybe the most notable is the Grosvenor House Hotel where you can stay in the Premium Park View Suite. In celebration of the royal birth the suite has been turned into a quintessential English nursery, including a hand-painted doll house toy closet. But sleeping like a royal baby isn’t cheap; the room runs $3,428, and that’s without a babysitter.

3. Hope You Have the Right Name
If you are extra lucky and happen to have the same name as the baby — which has yet to be announced — check in at the Jury Inn within 24 hours of the name announcement and you might score a bottle of Prosecco. There’s already a bottle of bubbles on ice at 25 of Jury Inn’s hotels around the UK.

4. Get the Royal Treatment
Playing off of the baby’s placement in royal succession, on the day the little royalty was born, Virgin America promised a special deal to its own “third in line” passengers on the day of the baby’s birth. While Kate is certainly busy being pampered and sleeping off the pains of labor, if you were third in line for your flight on Virgin America, you would have been happily treated to a special pass to the airline’s Clubhouse, complete with bubbly.

5. Study Up on Royal Baby History
Even if you can’t afford a night in a royal baby suite, you can at least buff up on your royal baby history. The Museum of London celebrates is celebrating the occasion with the ‘”A Royal Arrival,” an exhibit showcasing baby clothes and memorabilia from the last 400 years of UK history. Admission is free, which leaves plenty of extra cash for royal baby souvenirs.

6. Have a Proper Royal Baby Shower
Ok, so you couldn’t manage to get a slot to give birth at the Lindo Wing (or pay for it), but at the very least you can throw yourself a royal baby shower. Expecting mothers can reserve the Royal Baby Shower Package at St. James Hotel and Club, which includes a baby shower-themed tea, complete with delicate English cakes, and a pregnancy spa treatment. You’re feeling more royal already aren’t you?

7. See a Private Photo Exhibition All About Royal Babies
While waiting for new royal baby pictures online, you can go to the Athenaeum hotel which is hosting The Royal Child photography exhibition. You’ll find 40 rarely seen photos of all kinds of royal children from Victorian times to present, but just like any good royal experience, it comes at a price: the private exhibition, shown over high tea naturally, will run you £60 ($92).

Scenes From The Royal Baby Watch In London

Update 3:38 p.m.: Buckingham Palace has confirmed that Kate Middleton has given birth to a baby boy. An official announcement of the birth has been placed on an easel outside the palace.

Camera crews and tourists from across the world are anxiously waiting outside both Buckingham Palace and St. Mary’s Hospital, where the Duchess of Cambridge entered the hospital in early stages of labor. Once the bundle of joy arrives, a notice of its sex and birth weight will be delivered by motorcade to the palace, where it will be posted on a board. As the world waits for the official announcement, here’s an idea of what the scene looks like over in London:


Video: London Street Art In Shoreditch

While simply walking around London, Bucky Turco and Aymann Ismali of ANIMAL came across two artists who were working on a striking mural of two birds. The artists in this video they captured, Bailon and Sliks, are both from Sao Paulo. The wall they were working on is called the Shoreditch Ad Wall. The Shoreditch Ad Wall, much like the Bowery Mural in New York, is home to a rotating display of original art. If you like good street art, be sure to track down this wall and see what the latest mural is the next time you’re in this London neighborhood.

[Thanks, ANIMAL]