First let's take the little princess, being called the "royal girl" by the Italian press. Quite a lot of people I've spoken to seem to be under the misconception, if you'll excuse the pun, that the public had been lied to about the birth date. The reason for this is that my Sicilian acquaintances find it incredible [nearly wrote "inconceivable"] that mother and child should have been discharged from hospital on the same day as the birth. I have assured them that this is normal in Britain and have pointed out that this particular mother and baby are hardly likely to lack adequate care at home. It is strange to find myself defending the monarchy but here I am, feeling honour-bound to point out that this is not the 18th century and that members of a royal family with no political power have no reason to lie about a birth. "Ah, but we all know that the rich have their reasons", I am told and who am I to be so sure what century it is anyway? Then there is surprise that the baby has three rather than two names and at the order of them. Diana, say outraged Sicilians, should have been the second name, if not the first. I've stopped arguing on this one and just teach them how to pronounce it.
As for the UK election, there was little coverage here until Wednesday and interest surged, as elsewhere, with the publication of last night's surprising exit poll which, of course, turned out to be spot on. Today the events of the last 24 hours are being referred to as a terremoto [earthquake] in the Italian press and the news that not one but three party leaders have resigned and did so within a mere 90 minutes has been greeted with complete astonishment. [In Italy no one in politics resigns until the whole country is baying for their blood - which usually takes at least a decade - and certainly not over a matter as trivial as having the party they lead wiped out in a general election.]
Meanwhile this newspaper appears to think that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are "regions" of the UK. I give up!