Writer and biographer Michael d'Antonio cracked up laughing along with the rest of the CNN panel on Monday, as they gossiped about President Donald Trump's desperate need to be worshiped with the pomp and circumstance of royal life.
"We all witnessed the pomp and pageantry today. We've seen when the president goes over there's always pomp and pageantry," said CNN host Don Lemon. "You say this could be one of the biggest moment for this president because he's sitting with the Queen. Why is that so important to him?"
"It's the moment of his life!" d'Antonio said. "I think he already has in his mind what the cover of People magazine is going to look like when it comes out. He's got all of the photos laid out in his head."
Lemon cut in because fellow guest Mehdi Hasan was cracking up.
"I'm laughing because Michael is right. I'm wondering what the Queen is thinking," Hasan chuckled. "She's not laying out any photos from this trip, I can assure you."
"Of course she's not," d'Antonio followed. "One thing I do have empathy for the president on is his mother is not alive. This would have been a great thrill for her. It's — you know, her abject worship of the royal family was decidedly un-American and sort of unScottish. She came from a community that was cleared during the 19th century; the poor people were driven off the land. They didn't have any fondness for the Royals. But she was transfixed by this, and it's a matter of style over substance. I also think the president probably saw the kind of life he wishes he had."
He and Lemon laughed about the idea of Trump loving the royal real estate and the "formality" of worship.
"You've got the inspection of the guards, bearskin hats, the state banquet, the elaborate ceremony," Lemon said. "And yet you have this president breaking diplomatic norms and inserting himself into UK Politics. He criticized Theresa May's handling of Brexit. He's due to meet with her tomorrow. Praising her rival. What do you make of this?"
Hasan noted that in 2016 when former President Barack Obama commented about Brexit, Republicans "lost their minds" and then-Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) went on the attack.
"Trump is pushing not just for Brexit over the last year or so, but for the most catastrophic, no-deal Brexit," Hasan continued. "A man who knows nothing about the European Union giving trade advice, political advice to Theresa May, encouraging her rival for a long time. Boris Johnson now loves Donald Trump; he's attacked by Donald Trump too."
He noted that very few people in the UK actually like Trump and his approval rating is at 21 percent, while Obama's is at 72 percent.
Lemon noted that it seemed like the Queen was giving a kind of history lesson on NATO and the role of the world coming together around the values of institutions.
"The Queen gets to say whatever the Queen wants to say. That was deliberate and purposeful," New Yorker Staff writer Susan Glasser said. "If there is one thing that has united many Europeans, it is the idea the president of the United States that the president has been attacking American alliances and institutions that the United States built up in the wake of World War II. It's hard to say whether Trump listens and registers and listens to messages like this."
She also agreed with the others on the panel it was very clearly the best day of Trump's life.
"The Queen of England paying him the formalities of Buckingham Palace," she said, was likely Trump's greatest moment. "My guess is he's OK with it or doesn't even register it unless that becomes the dominant narrative. If the tabloids in Great Britain tomorrow, if they say Queen disses Trump maybe he would pay attention."
She did note that he was clearly trying very hard to be on his best behavior today.
Watch the full panel below: