Supporters of a 23-month-old boy who suffers from an undiagnosed degenerative brain disease have used the birth of the royal baby to promote a campaign to extend his life.
Almost 200,000 people have urged British courts to allow terminally ill toddler Alfie Evans to be moved to a hospital of his parents’ choosing.
Earlier this month, hundreds of protesters stood outside the children’s hospital where the toddler is staying to show their support.
This morning, crowds gathered outside the hospital as doctors inside began the process of switching off Alfie’s life support.
His family requested people ‘set off the hospital fire alarms’ to give them more time.
The Duchess of Cambridge went into labour earlier this morning with her third child.
Kate was taken to the Lindo Wing just before 6am, Kensington Palace said.
She gave birth to a baby boy, who will be fifth in line to the British throne, at 11:01am on Monday.
Several UK national newspapers began Facebook live streams soon after the news was made public.
However, many of the these pages were quickly besieged by comments from supporters of Alfie Evans.
The toddler has been at Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool since December 2016 as his parents fight an ongoing legal battle to access treatment that could extend his life.
Alfie suffers from a ‘catastrophic and untreatable neurodegenerative condition’ and the hospital have said it would be futile to continue treating him.
But Kate James and Tom Evans, from Bootle, want to take Alfie to Vatican-linked Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital in Rome, where Italian doctors have offered to help him.
Kate and Tom even personally met with Pope Francis to ask him to intervene in the legal battle that is stopping them from seeking more treatment.
But In February, British courts ruled doctors should stop treating the toddler, against the wishes of his parents.
The case has generated widespread following, with many outraged that Alfie’s parents are not being allowed to access treatment for their son.
And many are using the birth of the latest royal as a way to draw attention to Alfie’s legal fight.
The Metro newspaper had to pin a message to the top of their stream to ask people to focus on the royal baby.
The Mail Online and The Daily Mirror’s livestreams also both quickly became inundated with calls of support for Alfie.
Alfie’s parents have already lost legal fights at the High Court, the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and ECHR.
Most recently, an ECHR spokesman said: ‘The European Court of Human Rights has rejected the application submitted by the family of Alfie Evans as inadmissible.’
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital said: ‘This signals the end of a very difficult and protracted legal process.
‘We understand that this decision is very distressing for Alfie’s family.
‘Our priority is now to work with them to agree the most appropriate palliative care plan and we would ask that their privacy is respected at this time.’