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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Is the Royal Family Feuding?

Aired May 30, 2001 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: Could it possibly be a royal family feud? Find out why Prince Philip is apologizing to his son, Prince Charles. And meanwhile, Fergie's former aide is just convicted of -- get this -- murder. And Prince Edward and counter Sophie, could they become royal outsiders?

Joining us from Oslo, where he's covering the queen's visit, renowned royal biographer, Robert Lacey. In London, Harold Brooks- Baker, the publishing director of Burke's Peerage. Also in London, Hugo Vickers, another top royal biographer. And in Washington, the one and only Kitty Kelley, whose book "The Royals" was a runaway bestseller. They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE!

They never go away, do they -- the royals? And now we have this article that provoked all of this, written by Graham Turner in the "London Daily Telegraph," in which Prince Philip called Prince Charles "precious, extravagant, and lacking in dedication and discipline that he will need to make a good king." That's his father speaking.

Today "The New York Times" reports that Philip has made a personal call and written a letter of apology to his son, saying he never made or authorized the comments. "The Times" also reports that Prince Charles had scrapped plans to write a warm tribute to his father at a coming gala for Philip's 80th birthday, and apparently tension has existed for a long time.

Robert Lacey, do you buy this? Do you think Prince Philip thinks that of his son?

ROBERT LACEY, ROYAL BIOGRAPHER: I think Philip has certainly thought it in the past. There have been some very bad periods between the father and the son. Of course, back in '90s after the death of Diana, Philip -- sorry, Charles was involved in documentaries, and actually, an authorized book in which he made it pretty clear that he felt he had not been parented with the consideration that he'd liked, and that his father had been too severe. He was quite open, really, about the gaps between himself and his parents, the fact that he turned to Lord Mountbatten before his death as a sort of surrogate parent.

What we have to remember, though, about this Graham Turner article, is that it doesn't quote Prince Philip directly. What it's quoting is what Prince Philip's friends say. And what's happened since is what Prince Charles' friends have said by way of rebuttal. And all these royal friends tend to complicate the story.

KING: That sounds awfully tabloidish. Harold Brooks-Baker, do you believe, as you know the situation, that Prince Philip feels that way?

HAROLD BROOKS-BAKER, PUBLISHING DIRECTOR, BURKE'S PEERAGE: I think that the distinguished bureau chief of "The New York Times" in London, got it right when he said Prince Philip has been an irascible person all his life. There is nothing new here. He says to people he hardly knows rather amazingly, awkward things. I have heard him say things that would shake the world. Of course, he's probably said some very unattractive things to his son, but I don't think you should take them too seriously. This, in many ways, is simply a tea cup problem.

KING: Ha-ha. Hugo Vickers, do you agree? ?

HUGO VICKERS, ROYAL BIOGRAPHER: I certainly agree that it's a tea cup problem. And equally, I think that there have been certain problems between father and son. I think one of the things, though, that I have discovered in course of researches that I've made is that Prince Philip really was very much, in his early days of Prince Charles's life a part-time father. And I think that he realized when his son was born that he had a very sort of oversensitive son who needed to be given confidence.

And perhaps his methods of trying to give him strength, toughening him up, were up not the right ones. You know, in so much that if you have a plant in a greenhouse, some of them need to be stressed, and some of them need to be nurtured very gently. And I think in that sense, he may have got it wrong. And I think, certainly, the prince of Wales perceives that his father got it wrong.

KING: Did you see Charles as precious or extravagant or lacking in dedication, Hugo?

VICKERS: No, I think he's extremely dedicated. I think he works extremely hard. If I have any particular complaint, it's really that some of the people that are advising him seem to spend their whole time spinning. I mean, for example, where did these stories come from, that Prince Philip apologized to the prince of Wales? I mean, clearly, it's somebody in his office, I would imagine, who has thought it's good to tell the newspapers about it. I mean, it certainly wouldn't have been Prince Philip's office. That, I can assure you.

KING: Kitty Kelley, you bring an American point of view. You also wrote an exhaustive, extensive biography about the royals. What do you make of this saga?

KITTY KELLEY, AUTHOR, "THE ROYALS": Well, I tend to disagree with what's been said. Larry, I think that these quotes represent fairly and accurately what Prince Philip feels about his son. I think he does indeed regret that his friends spoke so openly. But I think on the eve of his 80th birthday, Prince Philip sees the monarchy in the hands of his son almost as if the monarchy is walking to the wall for one last cigarette.

KING: Really?

KELLEY: Yes, absolutely. He's put in so many years, he cares very much about the monarchy, and I think that he really has severe doubts about his son, as King Charles III, carrying it off.

KING: Do you have those doubts, as you've read the picture?

KELLEY: Well, I think that the monarchy has become less and less influential and important, so there is a very little that can be done to make it look worse or more foolish than the royals have done in the last 10 years. But I think that Philip does indeed worry that his son is perhaps too self-indulgent, and doesn't have the sense of responsibility that he, Philip, and the queen brought to their rule.

KING: Robert Lacey, since there is no real power inherent in this, unless do you something embarrassing, how could you be a bad king?

LACEY: Well, it's not really what Kitty's talking about, in terms of power. They haven't had power. The importance of the royal family is not that they exercise power, but it is about setting an example and behaving in right sort of way. I spoke to one of Prince Philip's aides about this this morning, and he said these are two men with very different views on life, and they do have strong disagreements. Much of what Kitty says is, in one sense, true.

On the other hand, they're a close family. Philip and Charles see much more of each other than the average father and son, and what this man said to me is: "What father and son don't have differences?"

And if it's a family difference, doesn't one generation worry about how the next one is going to do it, and whether he's going to do it well?

KING: But, Harold, also, wouldn't a father, being a father, want his son to be king?

BAKER: I'm certain that he does wish his son to be king. But Prince Philip has been saying things of this sort about lots of different people all his life. Prince Philip and I share a common cousin in France, and she said that even when he was a teenager, he was carrying on like this. There's nothing really wrong with Prince Philip being really rather outspoken and sometimes very rude. Why should he treat his son, or indeed, all of his sons any differently?

KING: Harold, if you have a common cousin, are you royalty?

BAKER: I'm afraid I'm very far from that. It's a cousin by marriage.

KING: We will take a break and come back...

BAKER: But I can tell you, Larry...

KING: Yes? BAKER: I can tell you, Larry, that this sort of thing is making a republic knock on the door of monarchy, and that is not a good thing for Great Britain, nor for the world.

KING: We'll get their thoughts on that and other things going on in the always interesting royals. We'll be taking your calls as well. This is LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be right back!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We see the queen arriving in Norway yesterday, that's where Robert Lacey is -- Lacey, by the way, is doing a book for the queen's golden jubilee.

Hugo Vickers, as we start with you in this portion, Hugo has a new book out, not yet out in the United States, on Prince Philip's mother called "Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece." And he has cooperated with you on this. That is correct, Hugo?

VICKERS: Yes, absolutely. He certainly did. He and his sister were keen that a book should be written, while they were around to help. And because they are aware and indeed if they have been watching this program, would be even more aware of some of the things which people say behind our backs as it were, and, so they were keen to be able to put something on record. And I was the lucky guy who was given the task of doing it.

KING: Hugo, what about speculation about Prince Philip, that he has not been exactly the best parent, he is a very a good grandparent apparently to Di's two boys, but not a very good parent. and there were even rumors about him having affairs with younger women. Any truth to that?

VICKERS: Listen, I think that, as I said before, I think that he has been -- everything he wanted to do is to be a good parent. And, you know, a lot of people that I spoke to talked about the amount of time that he spent with his children when they were very little. His mother used to say that as I know, what great joy you will take in all Prince Charles's little doings when he was first born.

Apparently there were stories about him telling the nannies, you know, and the nurses and things, how to bathe the children and so forth. He was very, very, involved. He is a very, very active man. The difference actually, between him and Prince Charles, as he himself has definitely said on record, that is he is a pragmatist, and Prince Charles is a romantic. They approach the world from those two different standpoints. And that is one of the differences between them.

KING: Kitty, in your research, is Prince Philip a good husband? A faithful husband?

KELLEY: Yes. Larry, I would like to first go back to the parent business. I think Prince Philip has been a terrific parent. Really terrific. I agree with Hugo on that. And as a matter of fact, someone who IS not his biggest fan is the queen mother, and yet she says herself that Philip is a much more involved parent than her own daughter, the queen. So I think he has been great parent.

And as far as a husband -- he promised, how many years ago, over 50, to be Elizabeth's liege man for life. I think he put the queen first, and foremost, in everything. And whatever he has done, with other women, have been -- discrete. He is still married. He is still there for her. And in that sense, he has been a strong and good husband.

KING: Robert Lacey, would you agree with that?

LACEY: I wouldn't want to differ from what Kitty said at all in that respect. I remember a story I was told of a great naval friend of Prince Philip's, who was called to him just before he got engaged, a man called Mike Parker, who'd served with him in World War II. And Philip wanted to ask him to join his staff, and he said "my whole life now is dedicated to being the supporter of this, my wife."

We saw in those pictures there, him coming down the steps, always one step behind, although interestingly, as Kitty says, and Hugo says, he is a very hands on parent. And one of the interesting things about this couple in the way they work, is that in public, Prince Philip is one step behind, but in private, he really rules the family in a very old-fashioned way, and that is how the queen likes it.

KING: Harold, is he also, as has been reported, a very good grandfather?

BROOKS-BAKER: I think he is a superb grandfather. In a way, Prince Philip has come into his own with this new generation. And I think you will see that he will become more and more in love with his people, and vice versa. The Prince Philip you see today is a very changed person, but he is very aware of the fact that the monarchy has a rather large number of opponents, and the kind of nonsense that the press has built up against him in the last few weeks does no one any good, except a republic.

And a republic is not something that the majority of the people in this country wish.

KING: We'll take a break. We'll talk about that. We will talk about Sophie and her embarrassing of her relative, embarrassed about herself, and Fergie's apparently an assistant of -- convicted of murder -- and we'll take your calls as well. It's all about the royals! Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Now we look at Prince Edward and Sophie, and Sophie's embarrassment. We will ask Hugo to begin this. Apparently, this -- if this were -- if you wrote this as a comedy, it would be farce.

Thane Bettany, her 71-year-old gay uncle and godfather, has told the press he wants a sex change operation. He's too old to have it paid for by national health, so there are rumors he wants Prince Edward to pay it. It costs $15,000. He is said to be Sophie's favorite relative, and was a prominent member at the wedding. What do you make of this, Hugo? .

VICKERS: Well, the only thing I can make of that is to show you that he was indeed at the wedding -- operation of this kind, I think it is entirely up to him. And I can see exactly the line that is being taken by the press on this one. And they put forward some story which will only be half really read and half understood about somebody, having to do with sex change operations, appears superficially to be amusing.

It's probably actually rather sad and rather difficult for him, and whether or not Prince Edward wishes to pay for it or whether he doesn't wish to pay for it, I don't believe for a minute. I don't suppose Prince Edward has very much to do with him.

However, it is another example of what we have talked about on this program and many times in the past, especially at the time of the princess of Wales was killed, this kind of nonsense that surrounds members of the royal family, and it's almost sort of an attempt to pick one off after another. And you know, with the case of princess of Wales with Diana, you actually see how far it actually can go. And...

KING: That is a good point.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: That's a good point. It's probably wrong to laugh, he is 71 years old, he's entitled to his feelings and whatever problems he has faced in life.

But, Kitty, are all of these stories possibly due to maybe resentment about the royals? Maybe a lot of people just don't like the fact that they are royals.

KELLEY: Yes and no. I think that the royals have brought an awful lot on themselves. And especially Sophie recently, because with her sitdown, remember with the crossdressing Arab reporter.

KING: The sheik PR disaster.

KELLEY: Yeah.

KING: Or "sheik" -- depends on how it's pronounced.

KELLEY: Or sheik, yeah.

And so unfortunately now her uncle has become targeted, and I agree. I think that's sad, and it's private, and it really is -- it's his to work with.

KING: Should, Robert Lacey, should Sophie give up any private work, PR work and just do royal duties?

My own opinion is she should. I think the PR business is -- risks all sorts of conflicts of interests. It is said that when Prince Edward gave up the Marines -- a nice, safe, conventional military course -- his father, Prince Philip, actually suggested that he should become an accountant, and I think it's possible to see there are some jobs like that which a royal can do. There is in fact currently in Buckingham Palace a committee looking at this, and I myself hope they decide that when it comes to jobs like the media and PR, the royals should stay out of it and leave it to rats and hacks like the rest of us.

(LAUGHTER)

KELLEY: Robert, do you...

KING: Harold -- Kitty, do you want to say something? And then I want to ask Harold a question.

KELLEY: Well, I remember when Edward -- Edward took leave of the Marines, Philip was very, very upset. And he wrote to the commandant in charge. He was very upset that his son had done that, because it was the first time that a son of the monarch was not going to have that kind of military background that Philip thought was so important.

Earlier we talked about what kind of a man he is. He is a product of the World War II generation. Philip is tough. He's pragmatic. He's straight ahead. He seems to have only one speed.

I remember when I was interviewing a friend of his and said, "Can you explain why he blows up so much?" And the man said to me, "When you have only one tool and that tool is a hammer, everything becomes a nail."

KING: Harold, should Sophie give up anything outside of royal duties?

BROOKS-BAKER: I think that the point of all these minor catastrophes should be that the British family should follow the Japanese family and certain other royal families. It would be so easy for Prince Edward and his wife to give up the HRH in front of their names, become private citizens and do whatever they wish. On the other hand, if they wish to work entirely for the monarchy and support the queen, then they should keep these titles and give up PR work.

It's very, very simple, and they will come to that, I think, in the very near future.

KING: We'll talk about Fergie when we come back, and then we'll be taking your phone calls. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: I want to talk about our friend Fergie, but let's take a call first. Fort Lauderdale, Florida for our panel, hello.

CALLER: Hello. I have a question for Ms. Kelley.

KING: Yes. CALLER: I'm wondering how does she give the direct quotes of the royal family when we know they're very private, and I'm sure they don't talk in front of the servants. How does she quote them directly like she does in her books?

KELLEY: Well, I did a lot of that from interviews and from friends of the royals. And in this situation, the one we open the program with, it's obvious that Prince Philip's friends spoke very openly and very, very directly, and they do, do that.

KING: St. Louis, Missouri, hello.

CALLER: Yes. Larry...

KING: Yeah.

CALLER: ... am I -- oh, I'm talking with you now. Larry, I want to comment on this relationship of father and son, Philip and Charles. I mean, it's so obvious that the relationship this -- Charles flaunts his relationship with a woman that is totally unacceptable in his life. His marriage destroyed Princess Di and the kingship. And then we wrestle with the fact that, well, should he be king? Any father would try to counsel his son and help him. Charles is not qualified to be king, and his father, Philip, knows that. And why don't we tell it like it is?

KING: Robert, do you want to comment on that? Robert Lacey in Oslo.

LACEY: Well, I think frankly that's talking about events as they were 10 years ago. There is such a thing as redemption. I think Prince Charles in his reaction to his wife's tragic death, the way he's brought up the boys since has enormously recouped his popularity in Britain, and more than popularity, respect.

He's now seen as a human being, and I think actually Philip sees it that way. And I think the travails he has been through make him a better king. And I also think we're probably going to see a Queen Camilla. She's becoming ever more acceptable to people in Britain. And the sort of stories that Diana put around, people are now seeing in perspective, and certainly the boys themselves get great pleasure out of having Camilla as a stepmother, and they spend most of their weekends together.

And I think that this is going to make a new sort of unit in the future that will show the British royal family representing the country in a new way.

KING: I'm going to take a break. I want to come back. We will talk about Fergie and take more phone calls. To test your knowledge on the royals, log on to my Web site at www.cnn.com/larryking. We'll be right back. I'll reintroduce our panel, talk about Fergie and take your calls. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: We are back discussing the royals. Let's reintroduce our guests. In Oslo, Norway, Robert Lacey, author, royal biographer. He's in Oslo covering the queen and he's writing a book for the queen's golden jubilee.

In London is Harold Brooks-Baker, probably the foremost expert on who is royal in the world, publishing director of "Burke's Peerage."

In London, Hugo Vickers, royal biographer. He's got a new book not yet out in the United States on Prince Philip's mother, called, "Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece."

And Kitty Kelley, the best-selling author who wrote the book, "The Royals" is writing a new book on the Bush dynasty. That's the Prescott and -- Senator Prescott Bush -- and President George Bush and President George W. Bush.

Now, about Fergie, her aide her personal assistant Jane Andrews worked for her for nine years, found guilty of murder. How has England reacted to that?

BROOKS-BAKER: I think with great sympathy. After all it wasn't the duchess' fault that her friend got into this trouble. It probably wasn't even her friend's fault entirely. It is a very sad thing that could happen to a lot of people who had been through great traumas. The British public is sympathetic. I hope that the American public will also be sympathetic. It isn't right to beat somebody down because he is virtually out.

KING: Hugo, has Fergie, in a sense redeemed herself, though? She has worked hard in public. She's pinch-hit for me on this show. She appears as a spokesperson for products. She's conducted herself very well in public. She's a great mother. She still retains her relationship with her ex-husband. How is she viewed now?

VICKERS: Well, there are a lot of questions there. It is very interesting. I mean certainly I have always thought that the duke and duchess of York had no respect for the institution of divorce, since they spend so much time together. She certainly is a good mother, she certainly has worked hard.

But I'm not totally sure that she is well thought of let's say in the higher echelons of the establishment. I think she is still treated with certain amount of caution. I mean, the press, yes, the press, I guess, do like her quite a lot, some of them, but they would turn on her as quick as anything, as usual.

KING: What do you think, Robert Lacey about Fergie?

LACEY: I think she has redeemed herself. Again, here we are using this word "redemption." I think a lot of the reputation of the royal family is still in mired in what happened in the 1990s, and the way in which the different individuals with the sad exception of Diana, have emerged from this and rebuilt their lives is very interesting, and I think actually it's therapeutic when people look at it and think about it. And, certainly until very recently, people would say that Fergie has actually emerged from all that mess rather better than Andrew. And we shall see. Andrew is about to leave the Navy. There is some controversy in Britain as to whether this job he's got as an ambassador for Britain in trade is going to go down well. He seems to have some of the weaknesses of a "playboy" prince, which his wife has rather avoided.

KING: Now, Kitty, she recently sat in, she even -- she hosted the news, she anchored the news at KTLA, a local station here in Los Angeles earlier this month, in fact, there we see her.

KELLEY: Larry, I feel sorry for her now with this recent business, because this will drag her in to something she really doesn't want or need to be dragged into. I'm sure that her assistant will want to subpoena Sarah Ferguson to testify to her good character, and this is the last thing that Fergie needs.

KING: But she does want to host shows. She does want to be a host. She'd like to host a talk show or news or something. She's very interested in media work.

KELLEY: Indeed. She has been for a long time.

KING: And do you agree with the guest, that she has kind of come out all right?

KELLEY: I think in America she has. I don't think she really has in the U.K.

KING: And what do you make that she still kind of lives together with Andrew?

KELLEY: I think it is great. It's probably great for their kids. It gives the kids a feeling of security. And I think it is probably good for Sarah and Andrew until one or the other of them decides they are going to have a committed relationship.

KING: Let's take a call. Millbury, Massachusetts, hello.

CALLER: Yes, what's the relationship between Fergie and the queen? Especially recently, it seems to be a little bit warmer.

KING: Warmer, who wants to take that? Hugo?

VICKERS: Well, I know that when a few years ago, certainly when she was still married to Prince Andrew, the queen was always extremely good to her, and whatever she may have thought privately she would always make time for her, and some people even thought she made perhaps too much time for her but she was always what they called "there for her," but I'm not sure that there has been much contact between them in recent months. I wouldn't think.

KING: Anyone want to add anything to that -- Robert.

LACEY: We do know that Prince Philip does feel strongly anti- Fergie. We have this extraordinary situation every Christmas in England where Fergie, and Andrew and the two girls go up to stay on the Sandringham Estate and there is really no secret now, the fact that while the girls and Andrew go up for the family meal, Fergie doesn't.

Because basically Prince Philip as master of the house doesn't want her there. He feels she has betrayed the royal family. He can't forgive her. He was actually very close and supportive to her, as he was to Diana in the early years of the marriage and one of the things that annoyed him was apparently she didn't take his advice. And so you actually get the situation where she lives on a farmhouse away from the big house.

We also are told, quite reliably, apparently that the queen does come and visit him to show that -- sorry to visit her, Fergie -- to show that her feelings towards her, as after all, the mother of her grandchildren, remain warm.

KING: Pittsburg, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. First I would like to compliment Hugo on his two articles in "Majesty Magazine." I just got the magazine today and read both articles about the duke and his mother. It was great. My question is regarding Sophie and her...

VICKERS: Thank you.

CALLER: You're welcome -- my question is regarding Sophie and her recent problems. It was reported that she stepped down as chairman of her PR firm. But what does that mean? Has she quit working completely, or has she stepped down to a lower profile position, or is she going to be a full time royal wife now?

KING: Hugo, do you want to take that?

VICKERS: Yes. That is a very good question. She certainly did step down in order to reassess her position. I think what Robert said and indeed I think what Harold also said earlier on is correct. I think she will give up this role as the public relations and probably use the skills that she's learned to do more royal duties perhaps in connection with charities and so forth where she can make a very important and noncontroversial contribution.

I think that one must remember also on the other hand, though, that she would have been very much criticized for having married Prince Edward if she immediately gave up her PR work and said, yippee, I'm now a member of the royal family and I only want to just do royal duties. It's very hard to get these things right. This certainly, I think, looking at it in a positive way, a good opportunity for her to reassess her career.

KING: Sounds between a rock and hard place. We will talk about two princes -- Andrew, Princes William and Prince Harry -- and we'll take more phone calls for our panel. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: We are looking at them now with their dad.

Kitty Kelley, what do you hear about William and Harry? William was in, I think -- he was in L.A. recently. Someone spotted him at the Palm restaurant.

KING: I'm not kidding. With friends at the Palm. I'm not kidding.

KELLEY: No. I mean, but isn't that the greatest thing for the Palm? I mean, there is no...

KING: That is where he was.

KELLEY: There is no young man that -- is probably more beloved in the world today than this young man.

KING: What do you -- anything new on him, Robert Lacey?

LACEY: Well, I'm amazed to hear he was in Los Angeles.

KING: He gets around.

LACEY: Well, yes, he is going through this extraordinary experience we have in Britain called the gap year. When kids take a year off between school university, and this has done enormous things for his image and popularity in Britain.

He has been seen working in jungles in Chile, he has recently been in Africa, he's due home, if he's not home already, or in Los Angeles, for his birthday, which is coming up on June 19th. Here is the great white hope. Of course, the problem, without wanting to get too gloomy, is this just can't possibly be sustained.

His father and the previous prince of Wales at this age, 19, were worldwide celebrities, particularly, in fact, the man who later became the duke of Windsor, and, just the pressure of watching, all of us talking about it, all the hopes, place an enormous weight on his shoulders that I suppose is the question mark for the future.

KING: Well said. Harold, what about Harry?

BROOKS-BAKER: I like to go back to William for a second.

KING: OK.

BROOKS-BAKER: I think there is no real question mark, because, he, William is not like the late duke of Windsor, a very different type of person, he is also far better educated. And, people like him for the right reasons, and not the wrong reasons, which was often the case with the duke of Windsor. Especially, on political grounds.

KING: Yes.

BROOKS-BAKER: The one person who can save the monarchy in this country is the young prince, and I would say that the chances are that he will do it. And I think that you will see that he is just as popular 10 years from now as he is today, probably more popular.

KING: What about Harry?

BROOKS-BAKER: As far as Harry is concerned, he will always be, I think, the great support to his brother. He is somewhat of an unknown quantity but at the same time, everybody likes him, everyone admires him.

And remember, in those two boys, you have the late princess of Wales living on, as you do the prince of Wales. So, it is a very good combination of strength, and these are not playboys. These are boys who are going to contribute a great deal and are contributing a great deal to the country and to the monarchy as a whole.

KING: Ellijay, Georgia, hello.

CALLER: Hello. Will Prince Charles marry Camilla Parker-Bowles and will this damage or help his chances to become king?

KING: Someone said he would. Was it Hugo? Did you say they will marry?

VICKERS: No, that was Robert who said they would. And Robert and I have always rather disagreed on this particular matter. Obviously, neither of us can speak for either of them, really. My feeling is that it is usually women who decide these things. And my current reading of the situation is that she does not particularly want to change the state of players things are at the moment.

I know a lot of people who know her quite well. I have never met her myself, but she is always is said to be somebody who doesn't like to have to do her hair too often, and you know, doesn't want to be too much in public eye. Although, I hear myself contradicting myself by saying, of course, in recent months she has been very much more in the public eye than hither to.

KING: Robert, would you say, definitely, they will marry?

LACEY: I think they will. I think Hugo is quite right that herself, this is one of her I think more appealing characteristics. She is quite modest. She is not grand. She enjoys being a support to Prince Charles. But I think for that reason, as they both get older, they will want to formalize their marriage. Remarriage. It is something that Prince Charles takes very seriously.

He has always insisted that since the death of Diana, his relationship with Camilla is a no-compromise area. He insists on being seen with her, he insists on having her with him at his side, and I think when he is going to be king, as I'm sure he will be, he will want her there properly to do her the honor of being his full partner and wife.

KING: What will they call her? If she marries him and he's king?

LACEY: She will be then Queen Camilla. There is talk of something called a morganatic marriage, which would be sort of a half marriage, using one of his titles. I don't think that is the British way. And I don't think people will want her to be his bit on the side -- his mistress, either.

KING: Someone wanted to say something before I take a break.

BROOKS-BAKER: Larry, I do. Please. I think that, even though I predicted for the last five years that they will eventually marry, people have forgotten that there is the obstacle of the Church of England. Until the Church of England changes its rules and allows divorced people officially to marry, this is not going to happen.

After all, how could the prince of Wales be eventually, titular head of Church of England and like his sister, the princess royal, rush off to Scotland to get married. That would be absurd, and you could not have a king who followed that kind of a route. It is absolutely unthinkable. But, eventually...

KING: We will take a break. We'll be right back with more calls. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back. Cleveland, Ohio. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, I'm calling to say good evening, Larry, first of all to you and your panelists....

KING: Hi.

CALLER: And how very much I'm enjoying the program. And I have a question and this was kind of answered before: how can Camilla marry Charles and become queen if she is a divorced woman. And Charles will become the defender of the faith of the Church of England, when his uncle, King Edward, had to advocate to do that.

KING: Yes. How can he do it? Will he need a change in the church, Robert?

LACEY: No. While Harold is quite correct to say relationship of the royal family with the Church of England matters in this subject, there is nothing in law about it. There is nothing that says that the king cannot be divorced or the queen.

The only thing that the law actually talks about is whether you can marry a Roman Catholic. At end of the day, this is what happened in 1936, it was a feeling among the people as represented by their prime minister at the time that, Mrs. Simpson wasn't a proper figurehead. That, at the end of the day, is entirely what the question will be about Charles and Camilla. Whether the people as represented in parliament by the prime minister feel that this woman is a suitable consort and thus figurehead for the country.

KING: Eaton Rapids, Michigan, hello.

CALLER: Yeah, there's one thing I have never been able to understand: way back when before he married Diana, he obviously loved Camilla, and she was available for marriage then. Why didn't they get married at that time? That is my question.

KING: Good question. Kitty? Why not, Kitty?

KELLEY: He didn't step up to the plate. This is one of the things that Prince Philip criticizes his son for. He calls him a ditherer, and Charles unfortunately wasn't ready for marriage at the time. And Camilla married Andrew Parker-Bowles. He has gone on the record to say that they have had during their lives three affairs. So it is an enduring love affair, there is no question about that. But Charles just did not ask at the right time.

KING: Kansas City, Missouri, hello. Kansas City, are you there? OK, I'm sorry. We'll try this one.

Kansas City, hello.

CALLER: My question, Larry, is this.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: My question, Larry is this. Why do we expect the royal family to be any less than human than we are, when they are simply present under glass? They are always scrutinized, and everything they do we watch, because we are fascinated with them? If you are a royal, you are expected to conduct yourself a certain way, and if you do not like that title, then you can always leave, and go to another life, and, therefore, you know, I just don't quite understand it.

We had the duchess of York here in Kansas City, and -- Fergie -- and we found her to be a very nice person, not a phony. She was very funny and concerned -- a very concerned parent. So, I suppose, you know, if you don't want this title, you can always leave it, but we are fascinated by people who are only human. Why do we -- why do we expect them to be otherwise?

KING: OK, I have got to break, but Kitty, you want to comment?

KELLEY: We expect them to be otherwise, because they are fantasy figures. And their only role in life is to live happily ever after, and I guess we want them to be bigger and better than we are, because they are royal.

KING: Cinderella and the prince. Some day my prince will come. The king will bestow on me Lordly presence -- I'm just carrying on. We'll be right back with our remaining moments, don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Robert Lacey, do you expect William to be left alone while he attends college again, or will he be bugged every day by paparazzi?

LACEY: I'm afraid I do not. And that is why when earlier, I was pessimistic about his future, I wasn't making reflections on his character, I agree with Harold. He has got some of the most interesting qualities of his mother in many ways, is pursuing his mother's agenda.

He said he doesn't want to be called royal highness for another 4 or 5 years, he doesn't want students bowing to him in the discotheque. He's got his natural touch. The question is, when he's out on a campus and not at Eton College, whether every single student in that university will respect his privacy, whether there won't be one with a camera, whether there won't be one who saw him with a girl and then sells the story to a tabloid, and then what will happen after that. I'm afraid, in that respect, I'm pessimistic.

KING: Harold Brooks-Baker, do you expect the rumors about Queen Elizabeth dividing the family into two tiers to happen?

BROOKS-BAKER: I certainly do, and I think it is high time. It will allow some members of the royal family to be completely private citizens and have any jobs they wish. It will allow others to devote themselves entirely to the monarch, and to the country and commonwealth, which is exactly the way it should be. This should have happened several years ago, and...

KING: ....saying it will happen.

VICKERS: I think...

KING: Hugo, will we always have the royals?

VICKERS: Oh, I hope so. Despite the best efforts of some aspects of -- elements in media I think we will.

KING: I'm running out of time, I'm sorry, don't mean to rush you. I look forward to seeing your book. Kitty, when is the Bush book coming out?

KELLEY: Oh, I hope in the next couple years, Larry.

KING: Still working on it.

KELLEY: Yes, I am still working on it.

KING: And we're always have interest in the royals, will we not?

KELLEY: Yes, I think we will. No question.

KING: Thank you all very much. Robert Lacey, Harold Brooks- Baker, Hugo Vickers, and Kitty Kelley.

We thank them very much for joining us on this edition of Larry King Live.

Very interesting show coming up tomorrow night and again on Friday, when we look at Marilyn Monroe, who would have been 75 years old. "CNN TONIGHT" is next!

Thanks for joining us, and good night.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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