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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
It's a Boy! Britain's Royal Baby Arrives
Aired July 22, 2013 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. I'm John Berman, in for Jake Tapper this week on THE LEAD.
Cigars all around, everyone. It is a boy, Catherine, the duchess of Cambridge, giving birth to a son just a few hours ago, 8 pounds, 6 ounces. It happened at 4:24 local time in London. That's about 11:24 Eastern time here, a lot going on, this breaking at this very moment.
Let's get straight away to Max Foster in London. He's been covering this story from the beginning, practically delivered this baby himself.
Max, you're now hearing for the first time from the family.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the first comment from the family from Prince Charles.
"Both my wife and I are overjoyed at the arrival of my first grandchild. It's an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine. And we are so thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy."
"Grandparenthood," says Prince Charles, "is a unique moment in anyone's life, as countless people have told me in recent months. I'm enormously proud and happy to be a grandfather for the first time and we're eagerly looking forward to see the baby in the near future."
BERMAN: A grandfather now for about 4.5 hours. Prince Charles he is first in line to the throne. Now there is a baby at eight pounds, six ounces, baby Cambridge, as he's being called, who is third in line to the throne.
Max, what details do we have about the delivery itself?
FOSTER: So it was a normal labor. They're not using the word natural, which is interesting.
They are saying it was not a C-section. It wasn't a C-section. And there was a gap between having the baby, which was about half past 4:00 our time, and the announcement. And that was because they wanted to spend some time with the baby. They had quite a decent bit of time it seems and then they wanted to make their own calls to the family. They informed the royal family and the Middletons themselves and then there were the formal notifications of course to the prime minister, the archbishop of Canterbury. That was done by aides.
But Prince William was with the duchess throughout and it seems to have gone really well. They're saying everyone is very well. They're thrilled. He's an 8-pound boy. He's healthy, she's healthy. It's all gone as planned. We have got a town crier here declaring the birth as well, so a bit of theater and lots of cheering from the royal fans who turned up here as well.
BERMAN: Thank you, Max Foster, outside the hospital, eight pounds, six ounces, a healthy baby and a very big baby, at least by modern standards right now.
Let's go to Becky Anderson, who is outside Buckingham Palace right now, where the formal announcement was just posted.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Just really moments ago we saw that gilded easel and then the birth notice which is left at the Lindo wing at St. Mary's Hospital only really sort of minutes before. That is not a long journey but they did it under police escort so they were really whisked through from the hospital with the birth announcement. It was put on the gilded easel, a bit of pomp and ceremony for you.
The first time that happened was when Prince William was born back in 1982. Before that, royal births were really posted just on a note on the railings there. You see the crowd, it is not enormous. People have been coming and going all day. But the problem was that nobody knew when this would happen.
I hazard a guess and you see the pictures as they officially announce the baby boy, eight pounds, six, happened about five hours ago. Like I said, nobody knew when this would be. So it was difficult really for people to decide when they would come. But you're seeing the crowds gather and I know that Matthew Chance is out there sort of closer to Buckingham Palace than we are here, several yards closer at least.
Matt, what can you see and what can you hear?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, a great deal of excitement, of course, of this news.
The easel, as you mentioned, as been placed outside with in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace with the official announcement. People have crowded around the gates of Buckingham Palace there behind me to try to get a photograph of that, try and get a glimpse of the sort of pomp and ceremony that's been taking place around this announcement of a royal birth. I get the sense as well that the crowds are actually swelling. It has been a very hot day. There have been hundreds of people out here despite the heat. But I get the sense over the course of the past half-an-hour or so since the announcement was made that the crowds are actually swelling outside Buckingham Palace. People coming, I expect to see that easel, see that official announcement, and to celebrate what has been a widely anticipated birth here in this country, Becky.
ANDERSON: And Prince Charles saying tonight, the prince of Wales saying tonight he and his wife are overjoyed at the arrival of their first grandchild.
"Grandparenthood," he said, "is a unique moment in anybody's life."
And, John, it's interesting. He was asked a week or so ago by a number of people, crowds when he was sort of out and about in the U.K. whether he was looking forward to being a grandfather and he said to a couple of members of the crowd, well, have you got any advice for me? And one of the ladies who was there who said "Spoil them and enjoy it but give them back at the end of the day," to which he laughed. I'm talking here of the prince of Wales, a new grandfather today.
The queen, of course, is a great-grandmother today. Again, she has a number of other great-grandchildren, but this is going to be a very special one for her. It's to one of her favorite grandchildren, if not her favorite, to William, this the third in line to the throne now, a baby boy. We don't have a name and we may not have a name for a number of days if not weeks.
We will, though, see the royal couple, one assumes, either tomorrow or the following day on the steps of the hospital where the baby was delivered earlier today -- back to you.
BERMAN: Becky, it's got to be a happy time for the entire family, as you said, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth, and, of course, it's a big deal for the entire country. As you say, the crowds are starting to gather at Buckingham Palace as they get this news.
We do understand the prime minister, David Cameron, the head of government there, not the head of state, because that's the queen, but the head of government will make a statement shortly and we will bring that to you the minute we see it.
I want to get a sense of what's going on right now inside the royal family.
And for that, we a royal expert like no other to bring in right now, Victoria Arbiter, who grew up -- she's the daughter of the former press secretary to Queen Elizabeth, knows a lot about this family.
Victoria, what do you think is going on right now inside this family?
VICTORIA ARBITER, ROYAL WATCHER: I think there's going to be a lot of celebrations right now.
The queen does have two great-grandchildren already, but they're both girls. This is her first great-grandson, much anticipated. This is the very reason I think William and Kate didn't want to find out what kind of baby they're having before because of the level of excitement that has just erupted over the U.K. as we found out it's a boy. I think the queen is probably -- she has been known to enjoy a gin and Dubonnet.
I bet she is toasting her new great-grandson as I speak. And really the family will be giddy with excitement just like any family is that has a new baby.
BERMAN: In previous generations, the fact that it is a boy is would have been, I guess it's safe to say, a bigger deal, but now the laws are being changed so that had it been a girl, it would have eventually been the monarch as well. But what difference does it make in this day and age that it is a boy, any?
ARBITER: Well, no, it doesn't make a difference, other than show that really Kate is quite the most brilliant royal. As you mentioned, over the centuries royal women have struggled painfully over the fact that they didn't produce a boy first or a boy at all. Here we are with Kate having a boy straight out of the gate.
BERMAN: Hang on one second. This is the prime minister, David Cameron.
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Well, it is. It's wonderful news from St. Mary's Paddington. And I'm sure that right 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 got a brand-new baby boy. It's been a remarkable few years for our royal family, a royal wedding that captured people's heart, 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.
BERMAN: That was the British prime minister, David Cameron, right there, speaking for the first time, the head of government talking about the birth of this new baby boy, baby Cambridge.
We won't know the name for a few days, eight pounds, six ounces. He of course noted it is a wonderful moment for the couple, William and Catherine. He said it's also an important moment for the nation.
I want to talk about that point with Victoria Arbiter.
An important moment for the nation. Do you think that's so, Victoria?
ARBITER: I think so, simply because this is the first time since 1894 that the reigning British monarch has three direct heirs to the throne living. The queen is enjoying an incredibly optimistic time in her reign.
It's bigger than it has been in years. I think really for her to look ahead and see the future of the monarchy, it seems safe because of this popularity, because of William and Kate. We have got Charles III next, then William V, then this baby and this baby is perhaps the first sovereign of the 22nd century.
I think given that she's the second longest reigning monarch in history, she served 61 years, it will be exciting for her to see the future mapped out before her.
BERMAN: It is a long future. I was thinking before this baby Cambridge may not take the throne for another 70 years or so. It could be a long, long time before this baby is actually the monarch.
ARBITER: That's right. The Windsors have really some impressive genes. The queen is 87. She's very robust, she is going strong. She doesn't look like she's going to be going anywhere any time soon. Charles will be 65 this year, he's very healthy and he's robust as well.
If we have the queen to still serve a minimum of five years, she could possibly go 10, then we have got Charles, he could go 10, 15 years, depending when he goes, and then we have got William, who is only 31 at the moment. So, as I say, it could be a good 60 or 70 years before this baby finally is crowned.
BERMAN: In for the long, long haul.
Victoria Arbiter, thank you so much.
We are seeing the crowds beginning to gather there in a little bit higher numbers outside Buckingham Palace, where the formal notice was posted on that easel just a short time ago. It is a boy and as you can see, Prince Charles says he's overjoyed at the royal birth. He's been a grandfather now for nearly five hours.
I want to go to our Becky Anderson, who is outside of Buckingham Palace enjoying the celebration I think with everyone over there right now.
ANDERSON: There's been a real sense of anticipation here about the arrival of this baby and the really sort of strange thing was it's been over a period of nearly three weeks.
Max Foster, the royal correspondent, as you rightly pointed out, has practically helped give birth to this baby. There's been a bevy of correspondents outside the Lindo wing of St. Mary's Hospital, where the baby was born.
We were never told the exact due date, nor were we told whether we had gone past that date. So for about three weeks there's been a sort of sense of excitement. So, it's almost with a sense of relief I'm sure that the duchess of Cambridge has given birth, after what was sort of 10 or 11 hours of labor and certainly a sense of relief to a certain extent by journalists and by the general public here that it was a safe birth, that she had no problems.
So, yes, the crowd's beginning to swell. You're not seeing the crowds that we saw for the royal wedding nor the jubilee to which David Cameron, the prime minister, just referred, saying it's been a fantastic period of time for the royal family over the last couple of years.
But my guess is you will begin to see these crowds swell over the next couple of hours as the gilded easel there with the official notice of this royal birth posted to it in the forecourt. And at the best of times, Buckingham Palace is a tourist attraction. But, as you see there, there is an added attraction here this evening as we see that official notice.
So, John, absolutely, it's with a real sense of excitement that the crowds are beginning to gather outside Buckingham Palace, right in the center of London tonight. You're hearing cheers once again, keep hearing that every sort of five or 10 minutes.
BERMAN: And these are delightful pictures to look at right now. They held on to the news about four hours before announcing to the world that a boy was born, a baby boy, baby Cambridge, as he's now known, eight pounds, six ounces.
They waited four hours because they wanted to spend some time alone.
We will come back to talk more about this, the big news with the whole world watching. We will be right back.
BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone.
You're looking at the crowds gathering outside Buckingham Palace. They, of course, are reacting to the news -- it's a boy. Third in line to the throne now in England, in Great Britain, the United Kingdom, a baby boy has been born, "Baby Cambridge" -- 8 pounds, 6 ounces, to the duchess and duke of Cambridge.
The baby was born at 4:24 local time. That means 11:24 Eastern Time. Just about five hours ago. William and Kate spent some time alone with the baby.
They held off announcing the news for about four hours so they could have that private family time like so many young couples do now with their children. That's such precious time, you never get it back.
But then, they announced it to the world. Now, everyone knows that there is a baby.
I want to bring in right now, Ken Wharfe. He's a former bodyguard to Princess Diana. He was the author of "Diana: Closely Guarded Secret." He also was a bodyguard to a young William and Harry when they were young princess.
Thank you so much for being with us right now. Of course, one of the things, Ken, that is happening today -- people are realizing, of course -- is there is one grandparent who is not here. That, of course, is Diana, the princess of Wales. She is not here right now.
Do you think her presence is being felt, though, by this family -- particularly her son William, who she was so close to?
KEN WHARFE, AUTHOR, "DIANA: CLOSELY GUARDED SECRET" (via telephone): Yes, I think that William will be having a great deal of thinking about this because, you know, let's not forget that Diana, you know, sort of moved this royal family into the 21st century with her modernizing style. We've seen it now post her death, William and Kate have continued that, and with constant references to Diana's unique style of royalty.
And Diana did modernize it in the same way we've seen a modernization of all the European monarchies. So, you know, there would be -- if Diana were here today, and that's always the question people asked -- I mean, she'd be absolutely delighted with it.
But the work that Diana continued is now being carried on by her son William and Harry in the same way. They are really modernizers of the monarchy. And I was listening to your interviewees earlier on who are saying how changes are happening, how the monarchy is moving forward into the 21st century.
And the one thing for certain is Kate and William will be the instigators of that. And I think it's very exciting time now, we now have a son, a future king of the United Kingdom, when will that happen, who knows? I mean, Belgium recently sort of changed their style and the king abdicated in favor of the son. And so, who know what is will happen?
But the queen will be there for some time to come and the prince as well -- I think it's very exciting.
BERMAN: You, of course, were there when William and Harry were children. How do you think how they were raised -- they were raised by Princess Diana, by Prince Charles, how do you think that will affect how this baby, as of now nameless -- "Baby Cambridge" were calling him -- how do you think it will affect how he is being raised?
WHARFE: Well, I think you got -- when I was there when William was a young 5-year-old, now he was sort of almost man (ph) at 3-year-old, I mean, Harry was wearing army khaki uniform when he was 3. But great thing was that Diana was instrumental in ensuring that, you know, their childhood was going to be different from what had happened in the past.
And this caused a problem for the Prince of Wales, he wanted to go down the traditional line. But Diana was -- no, no, no, this is going to be different. That's why William and Harry went to a pre-prep school in north London, not far from Kensington Palace. Diana insisted that she took them on the first day and whenever possible right through this junior school program, was there to take them there and then entertain them for tea when they got back.
To be sure when they got back, they went to their friends' house for tea and they invited friends back. She tried this normalcy, I think. And I know I've been one of those commentators that say, well, you cannot get normality within the royal family because the royal family are not normal.
But my goodness me, Diana tried to bring some normality and bring in line with, you know, with normality in herself, with what the man on the street does. So -- and William loved that idea. And he, on the announcement of his engagement, made very close reference to Diana and what fun times he had at Kensington palace, not necessarily staying in behind of the castle turrets.
Diana would take him down into Kensington High Street, and dip into high street stores, buy the burger and chips, and going to the burger bars, because that's what normal did and I think William will want to continue that and really modernize the royal family in the way that makes it popular and that will ensure its longevity for sure.
BERMAN: You talk about normalcy of course, they did take about four hours before they made the announcement that the baby had arrived. To have what kind of time with the baby is a touch of normalcy, the type of normalcy we'd like to see for almost any couple.
Last question here, Ken. You know, it could be 70 years before this baby does sit on the throne and becomes monarch. You talked about modernization inside the royal family. That's a long time for this child who will grow and to be a young man and eventually a man to sort of do what he wants before he has to reign.
WHARFE: Yes, I don't think that that will be on the agenda of William and Kate at the moment. That will -- the monarchy will take its time on that. But the whole point is we have the queen now and the (INAUDIBLE). I can't see her saying good-bye to that at the moment. And Prince of Wales and constitutionally he will be king, and then there's Prince William.
But who knows where he goes? There are so many changes happening. And in the 21st century, life is such a fast moving process. I don't think anyone can seriously predict this.
But one thing's for sure, I witnessed it and was part of it for 16 years, just how rapidly, you know, the British monarchy is modernizing itself.
Great story in the last two years, we had the Olympics here, we had William and Kate's wedding, of course, but then who would have thought that the queen herself would have taken part of a James Bond movie stunt and sort of helicoptered and dropped --
BERMAN: Hang on. Thank you so much, Ken.
We're going to Max Foster right now. I believe we have the doctors we're about to hear from. MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: There we are. John, there are the three royal doctors. They weren't going to say any words but what they did do was give us a bit of a camera moment, the two royal obstetricians and the hospital obstetrician, who delivered the baby in the last couple of hours, last four hours I would say. And so, they have done their job. The royal baby has been delivered. So inside, we can only assume that Kate and William are on their own with the baby and the midwife.
BERMAN: And, of course, as you've been reporting, it all went very well. That sort of a victory lap for the medical team, a very short victory lap from the door to the cars right there, but we saw the successful medical team that all made this happened today.
FOSTER: With big smiles on their faces. It's got to be a good sign, hasn't it?
I got to point one thing out, the wordings. You would just have to look at the wordings with what your brief. They were saying very clear, it was not a C-section but they're avoiding the word natural birth. So some talk here about whether there was an epidural or whatever, but it was a normal delivery. So, it wasn't a C-section. So, I don't think it was necessarily easy but clearly everyone is all smiles, which is a good sign.
BERMAN: Yes, having seen some of those up close, Max, I don't think it's ever actually easy but we're thrilled that it went well by all accounts.
Max Foster, we will come back to you in just a second.
We want to go right now back to Buckingham Palace. You're seeing these aerial shots right now as the sun is setting there. It's getting dark there.
Our Christiane Amanpour is outside amongst the crowds right now and getting a sense of what's going on.
Good evening, Christiane.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, good evening. And, periodically, you hear a bit of a cheer going out from the crowd that has been gathering outside Buckingham Palace. To be honest, they've been honoring since this morning when the news came out that the duchess of Cambridge had gone into the hospital and was preparing to give birth.
Well, now, we know about five hours ago she did. The easel was put out here. Of course, they did break with tradition, or rather break with everything they told us they were going to do, we were all prepared for the first news to come from the palace, from the forecourt, with the easel and the royal proclamation. But they decided not to do that. They decided in the end to go with a formal press release and, of course, that came about four hours after the birth. And, you know, it was a boy -- although one of the story lines for the last many, many months has been -- what if it was a girl? Because this would be a big change for the first time ever, this incredible lure of primogeniture had been overturned by parliament. And that had the baby been a girl, she would have inherited, and she would have been queen even though she wasn't a boy, as it usually happens.
Katie Nicholl is with me. She's a royal watcher, and our royal expert and our royal correspondent.
How disappointed are you that in fact they didn't just let us all wait for the typed message?
KATIE NICHOLL, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: You know what, I thought it was one of those antiquated things we were going to be able to look forward to and then we get a press release. You might as well put it out on Twitter. Ease and simplicity we're told.
And I wonder if Prince William and Kate perhaps wanted to control this announcement. There were a lot of people in that hospital, quite a people in that birthing room, the possibility that news might have been leaked, that might have been why.
AMANPOUR: Indeed. And, you know, it's incredible, as many people have said to us in these long, long weeks and days of waiting, a birth is a birth. And yet this one, everybody is hanging on every single aspect to it. I mean, I don't even dare to go into it, but everybody wants to know exactly how she gave birth, did she have an epidural, did she was it totally natural?
NICHOLL: Well, at 8 pounds, 6 ounces, one wonders if it was completely natural. I don't know that if there would have been an epidural involved in that.
But she's managed to --
AMANPOUR: But that's totally normal these days anyway, epidural.
NICHOLL: Absolutely normal. But, you know, it was relatively long labor. So, she'd done really, really well. And you know, she'd have had to have had a boy here, she'd checked all the boxes, but traditionally and before to the changes to the legislation, she'd have to have a boy really. Diana did it, the queen did it and now she did it.
AMANPOUR: They say here in England, an heir and a spare.
AMANPOUR: And that's being something that really every -- for hundreds and hundreds of years, the royal family has really had to produce a boy and then another one just to be sure. But again, this is -- this would have been a first for the girl taking the line of succession. And the reason it's so interesting is because the royal family and parliament, of course, have set this precedent now, that the whole line of succession goes to the oldest, whether it's a boy or a girl.
AMANPOUR: But we've been talking to a lot of the landed gentry, the titled aristocracy as it's known as here. That has not yet happened in the nobility, in the lords and ladies, the earls, the countesses, the characters who populate Downton Abbey, they still have a boy to inherit the title, (INAUDIBLE) castle.
NICHOLL: Unbelievably sexist in this day and age. You can't really believe that still goes on, but it does. And I think things will change, of course, had this been little baby being a girl, we would have seen her take the thrown regardless. But we have a little boy. He's going to be king.
AMANPOUR: Indeed. And we don't know when we're going to see a picture. We don't know exactly what day, whether it's tomorrow, the day after or after that?
NICHOLL: But the palace has hinted that it's likely to be tomorrow.
NICHOLL: She's going to stay overnight, I think just to recuperate, to have sometime herself, and that very important bonding time with her baby. Once she's out, she's out. That hospital is a retreat for her at the moment.
AMANPOUR: As all of us who had our first borns know, it's an incredible moment. And, of course, we wish them all the love and happiness and all the best.
And we send it back to you, John, right now.
BERMAN: Thank you so much, Christiane.
Of course, we saw a statement from Prince Charles. We have had no statements from the queen himself. When will we hear from them, when will we see the happy new parents? When might we see Baby Cambridge? Those questions answered when we come back.