July 22, 2013
Guests: Tom Sykes, Belinda Luscombe, Andrew Roberts, Autumn Brewington, Dan
Gross, Peter Foster
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oyez, oyez, oyez! We`ve got a prince here today! God
save the queen!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.
And we`re following the breaking news from London tonight, where probably
the most anticipated birth in the world took place earlier today. The baby
boy was born just over five-and-a-half hours ago to the Duchess of
Cambridge, wife of Prince William.
Here`s what we know. The new royal heir, who is third in line now to the
throne, weighs eight pounds, six ounces. He was born at 4:24 London time
today, which is 11:24 on the East Coast here in America. There`s no word
yet on his name, but he already has a title, Prince of Cambridge.
The palace says both mother and child are doing well. Prince William was
present for the birth -- very modern fellow there. Buckingham Palace says
Queen Elizabeth -- and that would be the baby`s great-grandmother -- is
delighted with the news, and Prince Charles said he was enormously proud
and happy to be a grandfather for the first time.
Prime Minister David Cameron -- he was elected, by the way -- celebrated
the royal birth just moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It`s wonderful news from St. Mary`s
Paddington. And I`m sure right that across the country, and indeed right
across the commonwealth, people will be celebrating and wishing the royal
couple well. It is an important moment in the life of our nation. But I
suppose above all, it`s a wonderful moment for a warm and loving couple
who`ve got a brand-new baby boy.
It`s been a remarkable few years for our royal family, a royal wedding that
captured people`s hearts, that extraordinary and magnificent jubilee, and
now this royal birth, all from a family that have given this nation so much
incredible service. And they can know that a proud nation is celebrating
with a very proud and happy couple tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Well, that was David Cameron, of course, who, of course, leads
the Tory party in Britain.
For more on the royal birth, NBC`s Michelle Kosinski is standing by in
London. Michelle, anything new on this? I know this is the big story,
healthy baby. It`s a boy which, allays the issue of what would have
happened if it was a girl, who would then be the only -- first in history
primogeniture beneficiary, I should say, of being a girl.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Right. That would have been the
first time in a thousand years of British royal history that that happened.
It`s interesting how the entire world kept saying, Oh, it`s a girl, it`s
definitely a girl. People were quoting friends of theirs who work within
the palace or are close to the family saying, I know it`s a girl. There
was one brokerage -- betting firm that actually paid out already, paid out
And it seems like the way this all started was that the Duchess of
Cambridge was incorrectly quoted as almost giving away the gender of her
child, and all the headlines the next day were splashed out with, Did Kate
give it away?
Well, that was incorrectly done. She actually didn`t say what was
reported. But that seemed to have stuck. So now that it really is a boy,
it adds to the excitement, adds to the surprise that this is a prince. It
will be the first Prince of Cambridge in nearly 200 years. As you
mentioned, we don`t yet know the name of the boy.
Another big surprise was that the announcement came four hours after the
birth. That`s still a question that remains. Was everything OK at the
time? You know, this was a very large baby, nearly eight-and-a-half
pounds. The palace said that mother and child are doing fine, but people
are curious about why it took such a long time for the announcement to come
At least now everyone knows everything is OK and that Kate and baby will
stay in the hospital, along with Prince William, through the night --
MATTHEWS: In my day of having -- or wife -- my wife, Kathleen, having
children, our three children, you could tell it was a boy for sure, but you
couldn`t tell for sure it was not a boy. Is that still the case?
KOSINSKI: I don`t know. But I love the way everyone that you speak to has
their own theory, and they really go by their own family wisdom. It`s
especially been interesting. So many questions have arisen over, Oh, the
Duchess is late. What does this mean for the health of the child?
And here in the U.K., I`ve been told by a number of people that the date is
more flexible, that they`ll give you a date, but then it could happen two
weeks after the fact. But everybody kind of has their own personal stories
to go by, comparing it to the royal baby.
I think this is the first time I`ve ever played HARDBALL about the royal
KOSINSKI: But it just goes to show that the world is really interested in
this. And you know, we all know that the press has been camped out here
for weeks. I think that just added to the excitement, kind of made it --
you know, added some fun to it because back home, all the viewers are
watching day to day. There`s kind of nothing to report. But then again,
there kind of is. And the fact there isn`t anything to report then becomes
part of the story.
But this is exciting for Britain. Everyone is now responding. And in
fact, one of the most recent statements came from Prince William himself,
who had a five-word statement, "We could not be happier." I think the
queen may have beaten him, though, with what seems to be a one-word
statement, "Delighted," although we haven`t really gotten the official,
official word from the queen.
So it`s a good day for Britain. I mean, they`ve had such a great year-and-
a-half, really, since the Olympics. And then before that, there was the
royal wedding. I mean, they`ve been winning big sports competitions. They
could not be happier. The buzz here is really hard to describe in words.
But you know, when you go back to the U.S. and you see -- I find myself
surprised to see Kate`s picture all over U.S. magazines regularly. And I
think to myself, Wow, the interest really is that high here, that her face
is selling these celebrity magazines. And you know, you talk to people
that you know, and they might even roll their eyes about coverage of the
royal baby or act like they have better things to talk to. But then almost
immediately after, they`re asking you about the royal baby.
Just kind of one of those things that happens I guess, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Well, hang in there, Michelle. We`re joined right now by London
bureau chief for the DailyBeast Tom Sykes, and The Washington Post`s Eugene
Robinson is sitting here with me. We (ph) covered over there for years in
the London bureau in the 1990s.
Let`s go -- let`s go to Gene, my friend. Let`s talk. Let`s gossip. This
is fun. I was always rooting for her, maybe because she`s beautiful, but
just because I always liked her looks. There`s something about her seemed
regular and also beautiful, as well. And he sort of dropped her for a
MATTHEWS: Come on, let`s talk about that! And then she -- then she had a
big comeback, like Bill Clinton, a big comeback. What was all that about?
EUGENE ROBINSON, "WASHINGTON POST," MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It`s a great
romantic comedy, you know? It`s -- that was a -- that was a (INAUDIBLE)
Who knows what happened, actually, inside the relationship. But she`s a
very attractive person, a commoner, not a -- not a --
MATTHEWS: No royal lineage at all.
ROBINSON: And they make a very attractive couple. This is a good period
for the British monarchy. I was in London during the early `90s, when
Prince Charles and Princess Diana`s marriage was falling apart and all the
stuff was coming out on tape and overheard and everything was being leaked.
And they were for a while in separate courts, essentially, in London. That
was a bad patch. And after they separated, it got even worse.
MATTHEWS: Annus horribilis.
ROBINSON: Annus horribilis.
ROBINSON: Windsor Castle, the queen`s favorite castle, actually caught
fire that year. It was a very, very bad year. This is a good year. This
is a good period. The family is extraordinarily good at branding and at
self-renewal. And they pulled it off.
MATTHEWS: Tom, they seem to be working every generation on the gene pool.
I mean, they brought in Diana to help William along there. And now they`re
bringing another attractive -- at least attractive, obviously a beautiful
woman. They just seem -- is there ever going to be an average-looking
queen again, or is it just -- are we in the age of television and "People"
TOM SYKES, THE DAILYBEAST: Well, I think you`re absolutely right, Chris.
It`s good that they`ve brought in some good, hearty peasant stock in the
shape of the Middletons --
SYKES: -- to revitalize that hopelessly inbred royal blood. It`s
exactly what they need, and it`s exactly what the royal family needed.
Kate Middleton has kicked this family into the 21st century. Make no
mistake about it. You know, everything has been led by her, absolutely
every decision they`ve made.
You know, one of the very telling things early on, when they moved to this
little farmhouse in Wales and they had this little life -- on the first
day, this woman showed up and said, Hello, I`m your new housekeeper. And
Kate looked at her and said, I`m sorry, I didn`t hire a housekeeper, like,
thinking it was some kind of tabloid sting or something, you know, and
said, you know, I`m really sorry. And she said, No, no, the palace hired
Kate rang the palace and said, What are you doing hiring me housekeepers?
They said, You need a housekeeper. You need someone to do your shopping.
You need someone to clean the house. She said, You know what? I can do my
own shopping, thank you very much. Me and William can load the dishwasher
ourselves. You know? That`s fine. Please don`t send us any more staff.
And actually, that was why there were a lot of those pictures of Kate doing
her shopping in the kind of local supermarket because she was just, like, I
don`t care. If I have to take a protection officer with me, so what? I`m
going to do my own shopping. I don`t want someone doing my shopping. You
know, she`s very adamant about them sort of staying in touch. And you
know, Kate`s really got that kind of common touch thing down to a tee.
MATTHEWS: Oh, God! I think you`ve got -- you`ve been drinking the Kool-
Aid, Tom. I mean, this -- Oh, great, she`s like us. She`s out shopping.
Gee, whiz, isn`t that wonderful? Hang in there, Tom. I`m giving you a
little hard time on some of this royal stuff.
But Gene, the way people live today, thank God, we live pretty long. And
men even live not as long as women, but live pretty long. If you look at
Queen Elizabeth, she`s not quitting the ranch. She`s going to be around.
She`s not going to abdicate. She`s going to be around forever.
ROBINSON: She will never quit.
MATTHEWS: And Charles will be in his 90s, or close to it, by the time he
gets the throne. You bet he and Camilla are going to grab it for a week,
if they can get it. When`s it going to be Will`s turn? And then when it
will be his highness, the prince -- or Prince of Cambridge`s job?
ROBINSON: A long, long time.
MATTHEWS: We`re talking 80 years here!
ROBINSON: William and the baby have long, long princehoods to look forward
ROBINSON: -- because the remember, the queen mother, Queen Elizabeth`s
mother, lived into her 100s. And Queen Elizabeth keeps going strong. She
doesn`t believe in abdication. She doesn`t believe in leaving --
MATTHEWS: So what will Charlie --
ROBINSON: -- a job that she has done for --
MATTHEWS: When`s Charlie likely to get it, 20 years from now?
SYKES: So the date -- the date -- the date you`re reaching for, Chris --
MATTHEWS: Gene --
SYKES: The date you`re reaching for, Chris, is 2070. That`s when this
child will be on the throne if William has decent innings. And the reason
I know this is because we`ve got a feature in tomorrow`s "Newsweek" all
about, you know, what will the monarchy look like in 2070. We`ve got all
these fantastic people to contribute their ideas of, you know --
MATTHEWS: How`d you do --
SYKES: -- what the monarchy will be like.
MATTHEWS: Tom, I love your math. Did you do it like Elizabeth II will
last to 100, and then Charles will come in and make it to 95, and you`ve
done it that way? Is that how you`ve done it?
SYKES: Yes. Yes, I mean, they`re a very long-lived family. You know, the
queen mother lived until like she was, like, 102, I think. You know,
there`s no reason why the queen shouldn`t go on until she`s 100. She`s got
no intention of abdicating.
You know, once in a while, I call the palace when I`m having a slow news
day and say to them, Do you think the queen`s going to abdicate at any
stage soon? And they always say the same thing. They say, Oh, well, Mr.
Sykes, if I refer you to the queen`s speech where she said she would
dedicate her entire life to the service of the British people, the key
words in that phrase are "entire life."
SYKES: She`s not going anywhere, Chris! She`s not going anywhere.
MATTHEWS: OK, so Tom, while you`ve got the hot hand here, what do you tell
a kid like the now alive (ph) his highness Prince of Cambridge -- at what
point do they tell him he only has one job, which is to have an heir? And
he`d better have one at a reasonable time in his 20s, for example, or at
latest early 30s. When do you tell the kid, That`s your only role in life
is to procreate?
SYKES: But you know what, Chris? Like, I`m sorry, but all of us, our only
role in life is to procreate, right?
SYKES: I mean, that is the purpose of being on earth is to -- the monarchy
is simply a formalized version of that, you know? You know, I don`t see
what the big problem is. You know, if none of us have kids, the human race
is going to be wiped out anyway, so --
MATTHEWS: Let me offer (ph) a republican, in a British sense --
(INAUDIBLE) It seems to me what they`ve done is --
SYKES: It`s a very bad day to be a British republican.
MATTHEWS: I know. I agree with that.
SYKES: It`s a very bad day to be a British republican.
MATTHEWS: OK, Tom --
SYKES: Sorry. Carry on.
MATTHEWS: OK, here`s the situation. I think what`s made the royal family
last 50 years or so has been their rejuvenation of the family through
marriage. I mean, I guess Diana, who we all loved, had some kind of
ROBINSON: Oh, did she ever!
MATTHEWS: OK, but --
ROBINSON: It was much deeper than that of this current royal family.
MATTHEWS: But basically, this is a fairy tale where the king, or the
prince in this case, goes out looking for the most attractive --
SYKES: -- the Spencers --
MATTHEWS: It is a fairy tale.
ROBINSON: Except that they`re more noble than --
SYKES: -- marrying Charles because they thought the Windsors were a bit
common. So I mean --
SYKES: But whatever. Carry on.
MATTHEWS: OK. You are a Brit --
ROBINSON: Well, the Windsors were arrivistes. And in fact, the Windsors -
- where did Windsor come from? You know, their real name is Saxe-Coburg --
MATTHEWS: I know that.
ROBINSON: -- and they changed their name to Windsor around World War I
MATTHEWS: Well, Battenberg didn`t do too well, either, so it became
ROBINSON: It wouldn`t do --
MATTHEWS: I know.
ROBINSON: -- to have a German surname.
MATTHEWS: Well, they do have German (INAUDIBLE) My point is they`re new --
they`re new arrivistes, if you want to call them that. The young women in
this case, the beloved "people`s princess," Diana, and now the new Kate
Middleton, have been loved on sight. The first time we got to know them
and saw them in "People," we fell for them. They`re obviously very
beautiful women. And now we move on to a royal family which is more and
more governed for its success by the latest bride.
ROBINSON: The family does what it must.
ROBINSON: The family rebrands itself, as it must. And it has done so
successfully for hundreds of years --
MATTHEWS: And this is a cast (ph) --
ROBINSON: -- and will go on and on and on. They`re very good at this
fairy tale stuff.
MATTHEWS: OK, let me go to Tom because I think you`re on a roll here.
Could they have picked, could Will have fallen for someone any more perfect
for the role than the woman we`re looking at right now, who`s just become a
SYKES: She absolutely ticks every single box that there is, you know? But
the thing is -- the thing you`ve got to remember about the Windsors, the
Saxe-Coburg-Gothas, whatever we want to call them, the British monarchy --
I don`t think there`s an institution in the world that`s been managing the
press for longer than they have, except maybe the papacy. I think possibly
the papacy, you know, have been doing it a little bit longer.
But the royals have been managing the press fantastically well, you know,
with one rather major blip called Princess Diana, for, you know, since the
press has existed. So they know exactly what people are looking for. And
yes, Kate ticks all those boxes.
I mean, you know, the complaint that you get about Kate when you do get
complaints is the kind of complaint that Hillary Mantel made, that she`s
almost too perfect, that she`s like this kind of sort of prefabricated doll
that`s, you know, just dressed up, you know, and is just totally compliant,
and blah, blah, blah.
And there is oddly -- I mean, although we love Kate, there is something
oddly kind of 1950s about her, you know. I mean, there is, the kind of,
you know --
MATTHEWS: Tom --
SYKES: How many pairs of L.K. Bennett (ph) shoes can one woman own? I
mean, I don`t know.
MATTHEWS: Look, I`m with you on this. And I take none of the -- I put no
sting in it. I think she`s wonderful.
Anyway, we`re back -- we`re going to be -- we`re back with Michelle
Kosinski, Tom Sykes and Eugene Robinson in just a moment, by the way.
We`re holding this guy on for a while.
And the royal baby is here, of course. It`s the son, a boy. The title is
Prince of Cambridge, his highness Prince of Cambridge. His name will be
announced, we`re told, in due time.
Well, this is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Well, there`s some of the headlines there from papers in England
already as they celebrate the arrival of a royal baby who`s now third in
line to the British throne.
We`re back with NBC`s Michelle Kosinski over in London and Tom Sykes of the
DailyBeast and "The Washington Post`s" Eugene Robinson. And we`re joined
now by "Time" magazine`s Belinda Luscombe.
Belinda, thank you for joining us. You know, a lot of us in America, as
much as we read "People" magazine and keep up with all these incredible
magazines that keep us up to date with celebrities, especially the British
celebrities in this case, had no idea how powerful the tie was until
Princess Diana was killed in that car accident.
And it brought it home to people in the news business. You couldn`t put
this aside. You could say fluff, you could say personality press. But in
effect -- in effect -- it was in our souls, especially with women.
And I learned that it wasn`t about Lady Di, Princess Di, being attractive
or anything like that.
BELINDA LUSCOMBE, ARTS EDITOR, "TIME": Yes.
MATTHEWS: It was about her being a woman, about being a mother and having
gone through hell.
And, in this case, it`s much more is delightful, obviously. But the
identification of the American people with a British royal who is a woman
is awesome, I think, more than a pretty prince or something. It`s about a
mother who is also a future queen.
LUSCOMBE: I totally agree, Chris.
And it`s going to be I think interesting to see now how we treat her as
she`s a mother, because, as you know, even since Princess Diana`s day,
motherhood has become a much more judgmental place. And every motherhood
decision that people make is judged much more harshly and much more
There`s a lot more scrutiny. So, I would say, for Kate, she may want to
think that the honeymoon, especially with the American people and all those
mommy bloggers, it may well be over. She`s got a lot of choices to make.
One false move, and people will be coming down on her, I would say.
MATTHEWS: Yes, let me go back to Michelle, my colleague.
Michelle, as a beat over in London, how big do you think it`s now going to
be, the royal coverage as part of your role over there just keeping up with
KOSINSKI: Do you mean NBC`s role or are you talking about the press across
the board, Chris?
MATTHEWS: Either way you want to do it.
KOSINSKI: Well, I think, you know, we were all talking about this. We
have been endlessly talking about this, because it has been a big global
It`s not like -- even if someone didn`t want to get involved with it, it`s
like you can possibly ignore it. I think you just said that. It`s
everywhere and people want to know about it. We know that because we see
the number of hits online. So, we were talking earlier, you know, oh,
great, the baby`s here, the baby`s here. And now we can sort of if we want
to maybe move on to other things. But wait a second. Now the baby`s here.
The baby`s going to be here forever, baby`s going to get older, go to
school, get married, have more babies.
KOSINSKI: So, this is really -- it is a part of -- I don`t want to say
it`s a part of our lives, but it`s part of our culture and it`s part of
what we like to look at.
One of my favorite scientific studies I think that I have ever read was
very telling. And it said -- it studied some chimps. And it found out
that the chimps when they were given videos of chimps to watch within their
chimp group, they didn`t want to watch the regular chimps.
They wanted to watch the celebrity chimps, the chimps in their own group
who had an extraordinary role, who were bigger, stronger, who did crazy
things, who tried to get attention.
The point was, even, you know, low-level primates like to watch
KOSINSKI: We, as people, like to watch people who have an extraordinarily
We just do. It must be in our systems that we like to watch people who are
in positions that we could never possibly be in and see how they react to
it. So, it is a strange feeling --
KOSINSKI: -- looking at the extent of coverage, especially in the
British press, just because there are so many newspapers that are in fierce
competition with each other.
They like to push the envelope with the way we do coverage. I mean, NBC
and American news outlets, we pretty much dial it back. And we`re OK
sometimes with reporting things after it`s all played out and the actual
truth has come out of it. Not so much with all the British press. They go
wild with rumors and speculation and make up their own stories when there`s
nothing really to report.
So it`s at times a little disturbing, because you have to realize that
these are human beings. And I think what touches me is as I`m standing
here outside this hospital, upstairs, way up there, there is a little
hospital room, a very nice hospital room, and there`s a young mother and
father in there and everybody is watching them, and they have to be half-
excited and overjoyed and half-nervous and scared, like, oh, my God, we`re
parents now. We have to take care of this baby, regardless of how much
help they`re going to have.
So it`s a little odd to remember that these are human beings that the whole
world is watching. But they`re part of British history.
KOSINSKI: They are legitimately a part of the history of this nation. And
royal history is very interesting. And, hey, we all want to look at it.
MATTHEWS: One last question on that front, on the chimpanzee front.
MATTHEWS: How do you get to be the "it" chimp?
MATTHEWS: Let me go back to Gene.
MATTHEWS: Yes. Go ahead.
KOSINSKI: You do things that are crazy.
KOSINSKI: You try to get attention. And those are the celebrity chimps.
KOSINSKI: I`m not -- go look up this report.
MATTHEWS: I believe you.
KOSINSKI: I found it to be fascinating, it explained a whole lot.
MATTHEWS: And we all come -- we all come from originally some link way
back where to those celebrity chimps somewhere.
ROBINSON: But, you know, you want to see a frenzy of insane coverage, from
my experience, in London? Let William and Kate hit a bad patch in their
marriage. And let somebody find out about it. And it will be nothing like
this. It will be a shark feeding frenzy.
MATTHEWS: You mean they didn`t speak at Ascot.
ROBINSON: Because when Charles and Diana were going through that, it was
MATTHEWS: OK. I got to -- I got -- Tom Sykes, last word on the importance
of today, Mr. Sykes over there.
SYKES: Well, I think that the main thing that I`m worried about is that
the headlines tomorrow are going to be that an NBC reporter has been locked
in the tower for comparing William and Kate to celebrity chimps.
SYKES: But, hey, hopefully, she will be OK.
SYKES: It`s -- you know what? a super day. It`s a super day here in
London. You can hear on the streets -- you can just hear the excitement.
People are thrilled. People are thrilled.
But you know what? We`re not stupid, you know? And we do know that it`s -
- you know, it`s a kind of show, you know? And it`s a little distraction
from what`s going on in people`s real lives.
MATTHEWS: I agree.
SYKES: But it is an important one. And it provides a sense of continuity,
MATTHEWS: Well -- well, it was a big day for me already hearing from
Michelle Kosinski with that anthropology.
And, also, for the first time in my life -- I never thought the day would
come to hear Martin Bashir, who proceeds me, rooting for rich people.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, thank you, Michelle Kosinski.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, Belinda Luscombe.
Tom Sykes, you`re something.
And Eugene Robinson.
Up next; the special relationship between the U.K. and the U.S., two
countries separated, as Winston Churchill once said, by a common language.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL.
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have sent their
congratulations to the duke and duchess of Cambridge already.
In a statement, the president writes: "Michelle and I are so pleased to
congratulate the duke and duchess of Cambridge on the joyous occasion of
the birth of their first child. We wish them all the happiness and
blessings parenthood brings. The child enters the world at a time of
promise and opportunity for our two nations, given the special relationship
between us. The American people are pleased to join with the people of the
United Kingdom as they celebrate the birth of the young prince."
Well, Michelle Kosinski joins us. She`s NBC News` correspondent over in
London from St. Mary`s Hospital. She`s bureau chief there. And joining me
also now is Andrew Roberts, a British historian, and Autumn Brewington, who
covers the royal family for "The Washington Post."
Michelle, I`m wondering about how we`re leading this story. Is "NBC
Nightly" going to lead with the story tonight?
KOSINSKI: I don`t actually know.
We have been tied up with what we`re doing here. But that is such a great
question. I`m curious to know too whether this is the top story of the
night. I mean, it`s been breaking news all over Twitter. We have seen so
many headlines on it already. I wouldn`t surprised, but then again I don`t
really know a lot of what else has been going on in the world today. There
just might be something that trumps it, but I`m not sure, Chris.
MATTHEWS: I don`t think so. I think, looking at it from our news bureau
over here, it looks like you have got the big story of the night.
Let me go to Autumn Brewington.
And what are going to be the side stories here, the stories where people,
journalists look for something added besides, guess what, we have got a
AUTUMN BREWINGTON, "THE WASHINGTON POST": So, now we`re looking for what`s
his name, what didn`t we know during the four hours that they were able to
be have some private time while the media circus was going on? We`re just
interested, what other details can we find out?
MATTHEWS: Well, what about the name? When you look at the naming, it
seems like there was a long pattern in the beginning of the 20th century
back and forth, Edward, George, Edward, George, Edward, George.
MATTHEWS: Is there any compelling nature to that rhythm, where they have
to go back to that?
At the beginning of the 20th century, the really senior royals had eight
first names or eight given names. And so now we can expect four. But it
might be a couple days before we actually find out what William and Kate
MATTHEWS: And which name they use is sometimes different to which is the
BREWINGTON: Yes. Yes. That`s -- so, the queen`s father was King George
VI, but his first name was Albert. And he was known to his family as
MATTHEWS: Yes. And I think Edward VIII was David, I think.
BREWINGTON: Yes. Well, that`s -- his family called him David, yes.
MATTHEWS: What`s the betting out of Ladbrokes right now, the betting,
betting for the -- for the name? Where is it heading, to another Charles
or where are we headed?
BREWINGTON: They were -- I think they were looking at George? I haven`t
seen it for a few minutes.
MATTHEWS: OK. That`s very British, St. George, of course.
You can`t go wrong with George.
BREWINGTON: Yes. Yes.
MATTHEWS: Let me go back to Andrew Roberts -- or newly to Andrew Roberts.
Your thoughts on how this story is going to grow over the next week,
because I get a feeling they`re not going to stop with this story. It`s
going to be, first of all, natural delivery I think is a big story, a
healthy baby with a healthy mother.
ANDREW ROBERTS, BRITISH HISTORIAN: Well, that`s right.
And it was -- a lot of people saying that she was too posh to push have
been proved totally wrong --
ROBERTS: -- because she spent 10 hours pushing and she`s pushed out a
very big baby, in fact, the same weight as I was when I was born.
And so I think that we can see that she`s actually not too posh to push. I
think, as your correspondent mentioned, the name is important. George of
course, as well as St. George, is the name of the queen`s father. And,
therefore,, that would be a nice tribute to the queen.
And, also, I think that the continuing interest in the story will become
part of the story itself. The fact that there are so many Americans, for
example, who are tuned in watching this story seems extraordinary for an
MATTHEWS: Well, I think, isn`t it -- while you`re still on, Andrew, I
think it`s the language. And I always worry about our country getting into
two-language situations. I think everyone ought to learn English as a
first language and then have another language, maybe the land of your birth
or your ancestry, but sticking to English as the working language of the
In Britain, even among the Welsh and the Scottish and the Irish, everybody
basically speaks English. And I think that has resulted in a United
Kingdom to this extent. Isn`t it important and isn`t it to our special
relationship that we speak -- we can read each newspapers, like each
other`s movies, like each other`s music? It ties us.
And the way it`s then extended, both because of American power and of
course because of the British empire, to Canada, Australia, 18 percent of
Indians speak English as well, has been an extraordinary development across
the whole globe.
MATTHEWS: Isn`t that why golf is popular?
ROBERTS: Golf, did you say?
MATTHEWS: Golf, the game of golf.
ROBERTS: It might be popular with you. What do you mean?
MATTHEWS: No, it`s -- I think one reason is because we all cover these
golf tournaments and there seem to be so many English-speaking golf
ROBERTS: Oh, I see.
ROBERTS: Yes, but you don`t watch cricket. That`s all in English as well.
MATTHEWS: Well, we have got a game almost as slow, almost as slow.
MATTHEWS: And we have built it up ourselves over here.
Let me go to Autumn on this thing.
What is the role of the British monarchy today in British life? Is it just
to read the pretty pictures -- look at the pretty pictures? Is there any
role in America in British leadership? Can they -- I remember that Charles
would always talk about bad architecture or the need to improve
architecture or these sort of odd, off-the-wall sort of obsessions. Is
there any way the British people are led by the British royal family?
BREWINGTON: Well, that`s -- what you just said is exactly it. They`re led
by the British royal family.
It`s a constitutional monarchy. So, they have the officials whom they
elect, but they also have this family, which from the time of the queen`s
parents, you know, it`s really been instilled in the queen and the way that
she has led her family is that they are supposed to put forward, you know,
the face of the best of British life.
And so, you know, ordinary Britons today might not have any interaction
with the royals, but they can look and see the royal family as something
that`s above politics, a real continuity, and, you know, a real part of
MATTHEWS: Yes. Are they allowed to vote?
BREWINGTON: The royals?
BREWINGTON: I think everybody but the queen.
She sort of -- when she does her ceremonial things and she reads her speech
at the beginning of Parliament when she opens Parliament, those remarks
that she`s reading have actually been written for her by the government.
MATTHEWS: I see. OK.
Thank you, Michelle Kosinski.
Thank you, Andrew Roberts.
And, thank you, Autumn Brewington.
Up next: The royal family is as popular as ever in Great Britain, as we`re
seeing right now. And the birth of the royal baby is a real boon to the
country in economic terms. Of course, for tourism, everybody wants to go
to Buckingham Palace.
We will be right back. And you`re watching HARDBALL, believe it or not,
the place for politics.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
An eight pound six ounces, Britain`s newest member of the royal family
couple some serious weight, pun there, with England`s economy. According
to the Center for Retail Research, England`s economy stands to inherit a
little bundle of economic joy with today`s news. Tourists could spend
about $240 million on food and alcohol in celebration -- just in
celebration. And more than $130 million could be spent on memorabilia.
Not a bad stimulus for a country that`s been struggling to regain its
economic footing right now.
And get this -- high net worth of the analysts say the royal baby could
inherit as much as $1 billion in his lifetime. What`s the real value of
the royal family for Britain? Can it be measured in dollars and cents or
pounds and pence?
Well, Dan Gross is a columnist and global business editor at "The Daily
Beast", and Peter Foster joins us on the phone. He`s the U.S. editor of
"The Daily Telegraph".
Well, gentlemen, I guess we`re going to find out right now. Let me start
with Dan on this whole question. It seems to me that when Americans, when
they retire like my parents did, the first thing they do is plan a two-week
trip if they`re lucky to Europe. And the first stop is London, for a lot
of reasons. It`s the most familiar. They figure it`s going to be clean
and simple and traditional, and no surprises and they can speak English
wherever they go.
Now with a beautiful royal family enhanced by the new boy, the new heir to
the throne, what`s that going to do to the sellability of Britain?
DAN GROSS, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, look, I think stimulus is defined as
getting money off the sidelines and getting it spent that would otherwise
not be spent. And from that perspective, this is a pretty successful
stimulus. I mean, just think of the money that American news organizations
have spent on hotels and overtime and food covering this, and that`s really
just the beginning.
And what it shows is that forget about the domestic market. For the
international market, which, you know, when people come to visit, that`s an
export. The royal family is a very big draw, whether it`s people watching
the wedding on TV or online or people coming to visit Buckingham Palace or
any of other royal sites in royal London. It`s a huge generator of
economic traffic, and you know, it really doesn`t require all that much I
would say on going investment. The infrastructure in many cases was built
MATTHEWS: Peter Foster, how much does glamour have to play a role in this?
Because I wonder whether there would be this kind of interest in what
Camilla is up to. I don`t think so. It`s what -- they`re interested in
this beautiful young couple having a child as they were with Charles when
he married Diana in those early halcyon days of their marriage, the
Does it to have to now meet a standard of glamour as well as tradition?
PETER FOSTER, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: I think that`s right. It`s a long-term
investment. We talk about the short-term stimulus being something in the
range of $400 million. Put that in perspective, the Olympics brought in
nearly U.S. $15 billion in addition business. But this is a great long-
term outcome for the brand, the royal brand, which as you were saying is
what brings Americans to Britain in the droves.
We Brits always found it extremely baffling the Americans so love the royal
family, the pomp and circumstance. But you have been for a long time,
people went to rally (ph) over Victoria`s son, Albert Edward in 1860. And
it`s the same deal now.
I think, you know, William particularly looks very much like his mother.
This is the continuation of a tradition. When the boys come over to
America, they draw big crowds and huge interests. And in some ways, this
ensures the longevity of the brand for years to come.
So short-term stimulus certainly but actually had, this is the kind of
couple -- she`s absolutely picture perfect, isn`t she, Kate?
FOSTER: Are going to keep rolling into Britain and God knows we need them.
MATTHEWS: Dan Gross, is the royal family worth millions, up to a billion,
it`s been estimated, the young boy will get in his lifetime? Is it worth
it for the British economy to pay the royal family these enormous sums for
basically just being themselves?
GROSS: Well, I don`t think they`re going to pay him a billion dollars.
He`s going to inherit property that is worth that. They do pay some taxes,
although that`s on a voluntary basis.
I think, you know, from a branding perspective, you know, companies and
countries spend lots of money on advertising campaigns and things that will
attract and improve their image. If this is one of those things that does
it for Britain, I guess it`s money well spent. I also think, you know, you
can`t -- it`s difficult to calculate the importance of confidence and
people feeling good about themselves.
Britain has labored these last many years under a kind of economic lack of
GROSS: The consumer confidence level is negative and has been so for many
months. They have austerity. What they need is people to feel better
about themselves so they`ll spend more, borrow more, invest a little more.
This is the sort of thing that can get people to do that on a more
sustained basis or if it`s something that contributes to that, then it`s a
MATTHEWS: Well said. It adds to the nation`s morale and good feeling.
Anyway, thank you, Dan Gross. Peter Foster, as well.
Back with more on the royal baby, third in line to the British throne.
This kid`s going to be king some day.
This is HARDBALL, the place for politics.
MATTHEWS: Back to HARDBALL.
Let`s go back to London for a minute. Michelle Kosinski of NBC News who
joins us from St. Mary`s Hospital where the duchess of Cambridge has just
given birth to a baby boy, the future king of England perhaps, sort of the
third in line now to the British throne.
Michelle, tell us about what this young boy now faces in terms of growing
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, NBC NEWS: You know, just think of him up there right
now, and for months and months and months at least likely blissfully
unaware of what exactly he has gotten himself into by coming into this
It will be, you know, just the press will crowd this family. From the time
he steps out of here -- well, he won`t be stepping out of here. He`ll be
carried out of here. At least that`s what we`re expecting -- we`ll have
cameras in his face, trained on him. Virtually everything he does and
every move he makes, you know, as much as he is in the public eye.
So, in that sense, you do sort of feel sorry for a child. But it brings
back memories of when Prince William was little, and the first time he was
really shown on camera as a toddler, because they do maintain a good deal
of privacy, especially for a child. And the press can be quite respectful,
at least they were when Prince William was little.
But he was adorable. He was this chubby-cheeked little guy who would run
around and always do sort of the thing you didn`t expect him to do. And
the cameras, of course, ate it up.
I mean, what do we like to look at on line? Animals, children, accidents,
the unexpected. And what a child adds is that element of the unexpected.
Sometimes covering royal events, royal appearances, they`re so scripted.
They can be a little bit boring.
KOSINSKI: You know exactly what is going to happen. You know how it will
go. People don`t want anything bad to the happen, but wouldn`t we all love
something unexpected to happen? People have a laugh about it.
And when Princess Diana got married, I mean, she was so young, she was 19
years old. She would have her moments of making a little mistake or being
shy. Now that Kate was 10 years older than she was, you did get this sense
of this whole thing is very well-maintained. It`s perfectly trimmed and
groomed, and everybody is out there to sparkle and do exactly what we
expect them to do.
Having a kid around, of course, will change that up. The cameras will want
to see how this kid reacts to all the attention. It was funny when William
I remember looking at this great video. It was Prince Andrew`s wedding to
Sarah Ferguson. And Prince William was 4 years old. And he was just so
naughty. He was one of the attendants in the wedding. He was one of the
little boys that walks with the flower girls.
And he had a little sword attached to his sailor outfit. He kept trying to
get the sword out. And he would make face. He would act like he was bored
stiff. He would play with his hat and put it on the back of his head.
And then as everyone was leaving, he was waving and making faces around
trying to get attention, culminating in him what seemed to him nearly
getting run over by a carriage, and the queen breaking out into a run for a
couple of seconds to try to get him out of the way of that carriage. I
think that was the only time I`ve ever seen video of the queen actually
running with arms pumping to save Prince William.
So, you know, we see that also in America. When there is a child in the
White House, starting with the Kennedys, how adorable those moments are.
Because I think first of all, you have the unexpected. You have the
adorable child. And then you get to see the family element.
And it really humanizes the adults involved. You get to see some of that
humanness, those little moments that often aren`t exactly what we might
expect when everything is scripted. Very sweet.
MATTHEWS: Michelle Kosinski, wonderful, colorful reporting tonight. Thank
you so much for coming on tonight.
And we`ll be right back with the end of the show.
MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this:
A hundred years ago, the most important fact in the world is that we the
United States and the United Kingdom spoke the same language; 100 years
from now, the same will hold true. We connect with England and she with us
for the basic reason that both of us speak English.
Neither of our countries likes learning other languages. We love the
beauty and richness of our own, which increases in strength by the way
globally year by year, even if we speak with different accents.
Our actors, the best of them are often English or Australian. Our TV
stars, Michael J. Fox, Dan Aykroyd and all the rest come from Canada, a
country remains even closer in history to London. We share the same movie
stars, the same books, increasingly the same news people and commentators.
We sing and hum the same songs. And when it counts, we are with the Brits
and they with us -- from the Falklands to Iraq and back to two world wars.
When troubles come, our two flags fly as one, Tommy and G.I. Joe go to war
And sometimes we even get the problems that arise between us to the point
of rooting for the other side like in that great memorable scene from "Love
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love that word relationship. It covers all manner of
sins, doesn`t it? I fear that this has become a bad relationship -- a
relationship based on the president taking exactly what he wants and
casually ignoring all those things that really matter to Britain.
We may be a small country, but we`re a great one too. A country of
Shakespeare, Churchill, the Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter, David
Beckham`s right foot. David Beckham`s left foot come to that matter.
A friend who bullies us is no longer a friend. And since bullies only
respond to strength, from now on, I will be prepared to be much stronger.
And the president should be prepared for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Wow. Yes, we`re that close to the rooting for the other guy,
especially when it`s our guy being the bad guy. The special relationship
is for real, and now we have a new baby in the family.
That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.
"POLITICS NATION" with Al Sharpton starts right now.
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