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Vice President Dick Cheney Faces Another Heart Procedure

Aired June 29, 2001 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, he is a heartbeat away from the presidency, and he's heading to the hospital, again. For very latest on Dick Cheney's health, we will talk with counselor to the vice president Mary Matalin. And then, joining us in L.A., actor Buddy Ebsen. He's 93, and he's had a pacemaker for four years.

From Honolulu, entertainer Jim Nabors. He has a pacemaker too.

Back in L.A., the Reverend Robert Schuller, a heart attack survivor. In New York, a genuine lifesaver. Dr. Wayne Isom, chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Weill Cornell Medical Center. And in Seattle, presidential historian Richard Shenkman.

And then, a kiss isn't just a kiss when it involves Prince Charles and longtime lover Camilla. We will assess the state of this and other royal fairs with best-selling royal biographer Robert Lacey; the publishing director of Burke's Peerage Harold Brooks-Baker; best- selling biographer Hugo Vickers; and historian and royal watcher Philip Hoare. It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. We begin with the Dick Cheney matter. A little while ago, we talked with Mary Matalin, special counselor to the vice president. And I began by asking her how she heard about Dick Cheney's current problems.


MARY MATALIN, SPECIAL COUNSELOR TO THE VICE PRESIDENT: The vice president told the president on Tuesday and shortly thereafter told his chief of staff and me.

KING: And your first reaction?

MATALIN: Well, my first reaction of course was personal. Larry, you know the vice president and love him as all do who do know him. And I had a personal emotional reaction. But he quickly assured us that this was preventative. It was not in response to a problem and went through what was going to be happening.

And he is so comfortable with this. And, as you know as a fellow heart condition person, if you are -- the best people are those who monitor themselves. And they know how to deal with it. And he is very much a model patient. KING: How did he pick it up that the irregular beat? Did he describe what the feeling was like?

MATALIN: There was no feeling. He is totally asymptomatic. This arrhythmia occurred over a 34-hour period when he was wearing a portable EKG, if you will, to find such arrhythmia. It was only five seconds out of 34 hours. But it is common in folks with his heart condition and previous heart attacks.

So he tested proactively to look for it. And the test tomorrow will be to verify he does have potential for irregular heartbeats. And if it does, then he will the pacemaker plus, as he has been calling it, which is an insurance policy to prevent future arrhythmias. It is not in response to any current problem.

KING: I spoke to his doctor today. And they are very confident that this thing -- I think 26,000 people in America now have this -- is going to work wonders anytime he may get this. And he might not even know he had it.

MATALIN: Right. Well, he might -- he didn't know that he had it. It is not sure that he does have it. Arrhythmia is something millions of Americans have. It is not necessarily always dangerous.

But it doesn't matter. This is an insurance policy, whether or not it is ever triggered by an irregular heartbeat. It is in there. And there is no risk to having it. And there are all kinds of benefits and prevention to having it.

KING: Is this what -- this is what Bill Bradley had, isn't it, Mary?

MATALIN: I think he had a -- listen to me like I know what I'm talking about -- I think he has had irregular heartbeat that -- this device of the vice president's does two things. It is both pacemaker and a defibrillator. So it accounts for any kind of irregular -- I'm not exactly sure that Bill Bradley had that.

KING: I don't even know, I guess it is hard to ask a question you know the answer to, but what is his attitude?

MATALIN: Well, again, you are living proof of this, if you are a person who lived with, as he has for 25 years, a heart condition, you do learn to live with it. And you're constantly amazed at modern medicine. And it provides faith for millions of Americans, the means to live productively and vigorously.

And look at you. You haven't missed any work that you haven't wanted to take vacation on, have you, Larry?

KING: No, I do. I'm a workaholic. So is he.

MATALIN: No, he is not really. He's not.


KING: He goes home goes home at regular hours, right?

MATALIN: He -- well, he has a very well paced schedule. And he works smart. But he loves his family. Now his number of grandkids is growing. He loves to spend time there. He has a very paced and balanced life.

KING: What do you make of all the political talk? Will he be asked to resign? Will he have to cut way back on payload, on his workload, rather? Will he not run in 2004? All premature?

MATALIN: Well, yes, that is premature. And I think he has proved over the years, not just in relative to this campaign and this administration, that I guess if you can go through a war and serve at high places that he had in the past, secretary of defense and whatnot, that this is not a stress-related condition he has. He has heart disease.

It is infinitely treatable. He knows when to treat it. He hasn't had to pull back on hi workload relative to this procedure. The doctors have said there will be absolutely no work restrictions or recreation restrictions.

He is planning to have the 4th of July vacation with family at his Wyoming ranch and go fishing. So there is none of that.

Resigning is kind of a silly question. He would resign if he -- for whatever reason didn't feel he was contributing to the fullest extent possible. But he is. And the president regularly acknowledges that. And if that wasn't the case for whatever reason, he is not here to prove anything. It's not a career move. He thinks he is a good public servant and he is contributing mightily.

KING: All right, finally, he goes in tomorrow morning. Will you be there?

MATALIN: Well, it will be staffed. I will be a part. I will be monitoring it. But it is really what's going to happen after the procedure. It's not anymore chatter from me or his staff, but from the doctors.

They will answer each and every question until there is none left. The public deserves, not only deserves to know the health of their vice president and their president, of course, but also, Larry, I think, like you, this vice president is an inspiration because he says to people, "Look. Look at my life. And if you just deal with heart disease in a prudent way, you can lead a vigorous and happy life."

KING: And he will be released I think late tomorrow or Sunday, right?

MATALIN: Right. No, tomorrow for sure. It's an outpatient.

KING: Definitely.

MATALIN: Yes. KING: Mary, thank you so much. Have a good weekend. And wish him our best.

MATALIN: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Mary Matalin from the White House. We will be back with more. Don't go away.



DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If there were any inhibition on my ability to function, if it were the doctors' judgment that any of these developments constituted the kind of information that indicated I would not be able to perform, I would be the first to step down. I don't have any interest in continuing in the post unless I'm able to perform adequately.



KING: Let's welcome our panel. Dr. Wayne Isom is in New York. He's chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Journalistic interest, he performed bypass surgery on me and many, many others. I\n Seattle is Richard Shenkman, presidential historian, History News Network. Buddy Ebsen, one of the famed actors and dancers for years in Hollywood and television, as well, 93 years old now and has had a pacemaker for four years. The Reverend Robert Schuller is the evangelist and television pastor who survived a heart attack. And his wife underwent triple bypass. And in Honolulu, the wonderful Jim Nabors, actor, who also has a pacemaker.

Let's start with Dr. Isom. What, Doctor, is an electrophysiology study that they are going to do tomorrow?

DR. WAYNE ISOM, CARDIOTHORACIC SURGEON: Well, they are going to put a catheter up in his heart. They will bring it through a vein in the leg and pass it up to the right atrium, or chamber, in the court. And they are going to test the electrical system of the heart and see if they can induce the same rhythm that he had on that 24-hour, 34- hour EKG and see if they can stimulate it and see if it will stay in that state.

KING: And they do that why?

ISOM: Well, they want to make sure that this is something that needs to be treated. A lot of people have these arrhythmias or extra heartbeats. It is called a premature ventricular contraction. And that is not dangerous. My wife gets it if she drinks too much coffee.

But if you start if you start putting two or three or four together, then it can be a problem. And you want to take care of it. Sometimes medications take care of it. But this internal defibrillator takes care of it much better.

KING: Is this defibrillator -- I assume they put it in -- I spoke to his doctors today. The likelihood is they will put it in. Is it a pacemaker?

ISOM: Well, it has pacemaker potential too. This is sort of a new development. In years past, if you needed a pacemaker, you needed it because the heart was too slow, and would you have a separate pacemaker to speed the heart up.

This is a device that if the heart is too fast, it will shock the heart and bring it back into a normal rhythm. The newer development now is that it is -- in fact, I brought one with me. I thought you might like to see it.

It is about this size. And it goes up here in the pectoral area. And it has two components. Rather than having a pacemaker one side and defibrillator on the other, it is all right there together.

KING: Now, they make an incision. They put it in, and they just attach to it something?

ISOM: Well, it's a little incision ordinarily right below the clavicle, or the collarbone. And it is about this long. It's not very long at all. It is done under local anesthesia so that you can put it right under the skin, or right by the pectoral muscle, or this muscle leading up in your chest.

And that is where the battery is in essentially the computer. A catheter is passed through a vein in the axillary area, or in the shoulder area, and passes down into the heart itself, into one of the chambers of the heart.

KING: Is there any danger in the procedure?

ISOM: Well, there is danger in every procedure that we do. But, this is a this is pretty straightforward. Ordinarily, it's not even done in an operating room. This done in an electrophysiology lab. And cardiologists do it.

KING: And he will go home tomorrow night.

ISOM: Sure.

KING: Let's start with some of the people with pacemakers. Then we'll get Richard in. And we'll get Robert Schuller in as well.

Buddy, you have had a pacemaker how long?

BUDDY EBSEN, ACTOR WHO HAS PACEMAKER: Well, I just heard the man say about four years.

KING: You have had it four years.

EBSEN: I think so, yes.

KING: Why did you get one?

EBSEN: Well, I had that fibrillation or whatever you call it. My heart, it got the jitters.

KING: Did you feel it?

EBSEN: Yeah, I felt it. I felt weak. And I was constantly feeling my wrist to see if...

KING: To see if you were alive.


KING: What, did the pacemaker help immediately?

EBSEN: Yes, it did. It did. I didn't expect that they would put a pacemaker in because they were so confident that it wasn't in the rest of my makeup. So they said, "Yeah, we'll take care of it. The heart will start again," because they take it out. You know, they play with it.

KING: But you have been fine? In fact, you danced right after you put it in, right?

EBSEN: Yeah. I danced. And, as a matter of fact, I would say to the vice president, if he wants to learn to shim-sham-shimmy, I will be very happy to teach it to him.

There see in Mr. Nabors at age 89 dancing after getting his pacemaker. He is now 93, but he was 89 then. And that is Buddy Ebsen. Look at that, the amazing Mr. Ebsen.

Jim Nabors, how long have you had a pacemaker?

JIM NABORS, ACTOR WHO HAS PACEMAKER: I've had one for about a year-and-a-half now. And someone asked while ago what it feels like to have the fibrillation there. And all I can tell you it feels like having a fish in your chest, and it flops around.

But, anyway, I had one. And it's helped me. It helped me immediately. And I can't dance like Buddy. But I still go out and do my concerts.

KING: Is yours a defibrillator or just a pacemaker?

NABORS: It's a defibrillator.

KING: So you have what Cheney will get? What Vice President Cheney will get tomorrow, you now have?

NABORS: Yes, right.

KING: And it works fine.

NABORS: Yeah, my doctor at UCLA, Dr. Guzy (ph). He adjusts it. And whenever I needed it, it kicks in there. KING: Has it been tough, Reverend Schuller, living with heart disease? You have had a heart attack. You have heart disease.

REV. ROBERT SCHULLER, HEART ATTACK SURVIVOR: Well, I didn't think I had heart disease. But I have got a stint up one artery.

KING: You have heart disease. Yes do you.

SCHULLER: I'm part of noble company, I mean, my golly. And with you and you and...

KING: I mean, do you worry a lot?

SCHULLER: Not at all.

KING: You have faith, a good word to use with you.

SCHULLER: Well, I have enough projects that are dreams in the process of being fulfilled that fill me with optimism and enthusiasm. And that is an enormous help to the system.

KING: What do you make of how Mr. Cheney is handling it?

SCHULLER: Oh, I think he is handling it wonderfully, calm, quiet.

KING: How is your wife doing?

SCHULLER: Fantastic.

KING: We will take a break. We will get Richard Shenkman's thoughts as we discuss more of this ongoing story of Richard Cheney and his heart. At the bottom of the hour, the royals. Over the weekend, highlights of interviews with Jack Lemmon. Janet Jackson on Monday. Don't go away.


CHENEY: It detected some minor periods, very short periods, one to two seconds each, of rapid heart rate. I can't feel anything when it happens. I'm asymptomatic. Nothing shows externally with respect to that. But it does raise the possibility that I may need to have implanted sort of -- I think of it as a pacemaker plus. It is called an ICD, an implantable cardio defibrillator.



KING: Let's bring in our presidential historian from Seattle Richard Shenkman. Do we have any precedent for this?

RICHARD SHENKMAN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: We don't have any precedent, the vice president constantly going in and out of the hospital like this, no. This is unique. KING: What do you make of it, Richard? Do you think it will have to lead to decision? Or can we keep on doing this every few months for four years?

SHENKMAN: I think we can keep going on this. This is a little bit analogous to the 1950s when you had Dwight Eisenhower in and out of hospital quite frequently. This was a president who the country respected. They liked him. They even loved him.

I think the country has similar attitudes towards Dick Cheney. I think, in fact, that, if anything, there is a little bit more confidence in Dick Cheney being in charge than the president himself. So people are going to want to have him around.

You know, in the '50s, people didn't want to see Eisenhower leave even when he was convalescing from a heart attack because it was going to be Richard Nixon who was going to be president then. Well, in this case, if Dick Cheney leaves, it is George Bush all on his own. And I think there's a little bit of concern about that.

KING: Dr. Isom, how concerned should we be over his past medical records, early heart attack in his thirties, bypass, angioplasty, had it all?

ISOM: Yeah, he has. But he has done well with all of it. He has had no problems. I think this day in time with the diagnostic procedures we have and with the ability to treat things like arrhythmias using the stints or even more surgery, if he had to have more surgery, that can all be done. And they will do well.

KING: So you have no doubt that he could, everything going according to norm, continue on for four years at the pace he is on?

ISOM: Sure. Sure. I think there would be no problem.

KING: Buddy, do you feel your pacemaker? Are you aware that you have...

EBSEN: No. I just go through with life and live according to my past. And, as I say, I -- sort like the suspenders, I get hooked on them. So I'm very careful when I put on the suspenders.

KING: Do you go off when you go in an airport? Do you click off the machine?

EBSEN: I don't go in an airport anymore.

KING: Do you, Jim, when you go through an airport kick off the machine?

NABORS: No, I have never noticed it going off. They have never said anything yet.

KING: Do you feel yours?

EBSEN: Oh, yeah. I feel it when it kicks in and kicks out. And, it really -- I must say I have a tremendous amount of more energy than I did before.

KING: You actually feel better right away?

NABORS: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

KING: Now, is that customary, Dr. Isom, when someone gets a pacemaker or a defibrillator it kicks right in?

ISOM: Well, there are two things. One is if it is going too fast, your heart is not working effectively. And it will kick in. It will give it a shock and get the heart back into a regular or slower rhythm.

With a pacemaker, if your heart rate drops down to 20 or 25, you will feel lousy. You won't feel well at all. And with this component of it, depending how you have the pacemaker component set, it will maintain the heart rate at 60 or 70, whatever you consider normal. And you won't feel that way. If you dropped yours down to 20, you would feel dizzy and feel weak.

KING: Reverend Schuller, how important is attitude? You talk about attitude a lot every Sunday.

SCHULLER: I think it's all important. I think health of body is definitely related to health of spirit. We have to eat right. We have to exercise right. We have to think right, too.

KING: Obviously, Vice President Cheney does that. I mean, he works at it.

SCHULLER: Oh, yes, absolutely. Positive mental attitude I think is a single ingredient that we need to adopt for physical spiritual fitness.

KING: You agree, Dr. Isom?

ISOM: Oh, yeah. You can -- there is no question about a positive attitude. You can tell the difference when patients come into surgery, major surgery. If they come in with a positive attitude, they do well. They are out in a few days.

KING: Our old friend, Mr. Peel (ph), was right, right?

ISOM: Absolutely.

KING: We will come back with our remaining moments, get comments from all of our panelists, and ask Richard Shenkman about the future of all of this right after this.


CHENEY: When I go in tomorrow, the first thing we will do is the test. And assuming the test shows what we think it will show, then we will go forward and actually implant the device as well. I would expect to return home tomorrow afternoon. It's basically an outpatient procedure. I will be sedated during the time of the procedure. But I'll return home tomorrow night, and I would expect to be back at work on Monday if everything goes as planned.



KING: Richard Shenkman, is it wrong to speculate politically?


KING: I mean is it premature?

SCHULLER: ... not after four heart attacks being in and out of the hospital. I think it's just natural. People are going to do it whether some gods on TV tell them, "No, stop speculating." You can't help it. It's natural. It's human.

KING: So, we have to cover it and have to think about what happens tomorrow.

SHENKMAN: I think we do. You know, the problem is it is almost like you're breaking some taboo. For instance, on my web site today, I posted a list of seven vice presidents who died in office. I felt a little queasy about doing so because I thought, "Oh, what is somebody going to read into this?"

But I think we can hold a rational conversation about it. I think Cheney this morning certainly was very rational, matter of fact, about it. And that is really the way you have to go about it.

KING: Jim Nabors, you're feeling well. You had a you had a transplant, didn't you?

NABORS: Yeah, I've got a new liver.

KING: You have got a new liver and you've got a defibrillator. You look great.

NABORS: I'm hanging in there.

KING: Is everything OK, the liver working?

NABORS: Everything is wonderful. I seem in really good health. I've got a lot of energy. And I think the vice president is going to feel lot better about himself. And I wish him the very, very best.

KING: And you are certain that with that attitude he will do well?

SCHULLER: Oh, absolutely. People all over the country are praying for him. And we don't know how to measure prayer. But we know it makes a difference.

KING: Don't hurt.

SCHULLER: Don't hurt.

KING: Buddy, are you in a good shape?

EBSEN: Am I in good shape? I think so. My wife thinks so. And, who cares? I'm about to outlive my insurance policy. I don't know which way to root, you know.


KING: That is funny. Dr. Isom, how are you people keeping people like Buddy? What's going on? Are we going to all live to 100?

ISOM: Well, maybe longer. Maybe longer.

KING: Are you going to be out of business soon? Are they are going to be doing cardiac surgery differently?

ISOM: There are going to be some changes. There already is with the some of the newer devices and newer changes. But I was down in Disney World over the holidays. And everybody I saw there, they were all overweight. They were eating french fries, even the kids, too. So not anytime soon I don't think.

KING: If they do that, they will keep you in business.

ISOM: That is right.

KING: Thank you all very much. And our best wishes, of course, to Dick Cheney. We will be following that on CNN all day tomorrow.

They're back in news again, the royals. We will talk about it right after this.


KING: We can't escape them: the royals. They're back in the news, happened Tuesday night, June 26th, as the pair, Camilla Parker- Bowles and Prince Charles met at a London event organized by Camilla in support of National Osteoporosis Society.

Camilla greets Charles with a kiss on the cheek. In return, he sees her there, he kisses her lightly on both cheeks and mouthed, "Hello, you." She doesn't curtsy and the tabloids go nuts.

We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, they've been with us frequently, always good to see them, Robert Lacey, the best-selling biographer and veteran royal watcher, working on a new book for the queen's golden jubilee in 2002. It will be titled "Royal: the Lives of the House of Windsor."

They're all in London, as is Harold Brooks-Baker, publishing director of Burke's Peerage. Hugo Vickers is the best-selling author and royal biographer, Philip Hoare, the best-selling biographer and BBC consultant.

OK, Mr. Lacey, why is this important, this kiss? .

ROBERT LACEY, ROYAL BIOGRAPHER: Well, it's one more stage in the reestablishment of Prince Charles, I think, in the national reputation in Britain. And particularly, of course, the rehabilitation of Camilla. About 10 years ago she was being pelted with bread rolls in a country supermarket.

Now people are actually saying, why don't they get married? Why doesn't he make an honest woman of her? And, of course, it shows very careful PR handling by Prince Charles's staff in St. James' palace.

KING: Harold, do you believe that that kiss was orchestrated?

HAROLD BROOKS-BAKER, BURKE'S PEERAGE: I think that it definitely was orchestrated. We know it was orchestrated. And what I think is curious about this is that it was the late princess of Wales, adored around the world, who changed the etiquette and protocol of the royal family. We have never seen Prince Philip and the queen kissing in public. It was not considered possible. Certainly today, anything goes, as long as it is reasonably elegant.

KING: It was Princess Di that changed that?

BROOKS-BAKER: She certainly did change it. You remember on her wedding trip in Egypt, on the Royal Yacht Brittania, she met the president of Egypt and kissed him in public. That was the beginning of a change in royal etiquette and protocol that has spread throughout Europe, in all nine of the monarchies.

KING: Hugo, what has been the public reaction to this display of affection?

HUGO VICKERS, ROYAL BIOGRAPHER: Well, as usual, there have been a lot of pictures in the paper and it's been on the television a lot. I think one of the most significant parts of it was not so much that they kissed, because it's actually quite normal to kiss somebody if you meet them in public, and actually, in fact, members of the royal family do kiss each other and have always done so if they meet in public. But the fact is that they very rarely do.

What I thought was much more significant was the fact that she didn't curtsy to him, because technically, as a subject, you would do that. And even members of the royal family curtsy to each other. I thought that was rather interesting.

KING: Philip, why don't they marry?

PHILIP HOARE, ROYAL WATCHER: Gosh. Well, up until this point, maybe they were too scared, perhaps, of what maybe the British public would make of it. What I find remarkable about the whole situation is if you look back four years ago, to have imagined this point, at time of Diana's death would have been unconscionable.

It reminds me very much, historically, in a way, of an incident with Princess Margaret when she was in the depths of her affair with Peter Townsend. And during the coronation in 1953, Westminster Abbey she went up and brushed a fleck of dust from Townsend's jacket, and this was seen as a tremendously intimate gesture, which suddenly sort of was telegraphed around the world as an example of their intimacy. KING: Robert, has -- have things changed that much, and did Princess Di, do you agree that she kicked off this change?

LACEY: Yes, I mean, Princess Di holding hands with an AIDS patient, the work she did in the land mines in Bosnia and Angola, actually holding cuddling. It's quite true, as Hugo says, that when the royal family meet they do embrace, and they're a warmer bunch than people imagine, particularly Prince Charles and his sons are a much warmer bunch.

But, note, this is definitely a staged forward in the Camilla- Charles relationship. They appeared in public a few years ago. It's always carefully orchestrated, and the next step must be -- well, are they going to regularize their relationship in some other way.

KING: Now, Harold, if they marry, how big a wedding would that be? I mean, he's been married already, she's been married already. What would that be like? Is there a -- would it look like a coronation? Would it look like the Charles-Di -- what would it be like?

BROOKS-BAKER: It would probably be a reasonably intimate wedding. But one has to remember that the Church of England has not changed its rules on marrying divorced people yet. It's coming. Maybe the Prince of Wales has been given a tip that it is coming very soon by the Archbishop of Canterbury. But it would be unthinkable for him, like his sister, the princess royal, to go off to Scotland and get married in that church. After all, Prince Charles will be, one day, if he becomes king, titular head of the Church of England.

And it would be completely ridiculous for him to take his vows in another church. So I think you'll have to wait, but maybe we won't wait too long. It's quite possible that the Church of England will change in next year so that divorced people can be openly married by any priest.

KING: Hugo, is it out of the question that he would marry civilly?

VICKERS: Well, no, but I don't actually think that he's going to marry her. I mean, I know...

KING: You don't.

VICKERS: Robert, I know, disagrees with me on this one. We've disagreed on this one several times before. I think we must take him at his word. He has always stated that he has no wish to remarry. And I believe this to be case because I don't think that his first experience with marriage was at all a happy one, and I think there's an element of his character that likes solitude. I think he's a bit of a loner, and I think at the moment he has things exactly as he wishes. She's there when he needs her. He meets her in public, they kiss. They go to things, they see each other whenever they like. Why marry her?

KING: And, Philip, do you think the rules of the church are going to change?

HOARE: Gosh, who knows? I mean, one of the criticisms of Charles and Camilla's relationship is that it sets a bad morale example for the -- for the British people. But I don't know. I mean, they are supposedly apart, you know, technically, they maintain separate households. But we understand that they're probably together most evenings, either at St. James' or Highgrove. So there is a degree, I think, possibly a degree of hypocrisy, in a way that that is portrayed, and maybe that's what this kiss is there to circumvent.

KING: We'll reexamine Princess Di -- and is the world doing that and publications doing that? -- with our outstanding panel after this. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. Princess Di would have been 40 years old this Sunday, and there are now, gentlemen, post-death criticisms of Princess Di, revisionism about her saint image, if you will, newspaper reports that in a documentary which will air Sunday in Great Britain, called "Diana: Story of a Princess," the chairman of Britain's National AIDS Trust Michael Adler says that Diana treated AIDS patients like they were in a zoo. And they were many psycho profiles maintaining she was borderline personality, emotional disturbances -- do we have a revisionist history about Princess Di, Robert Lacey?

LACEY: We definitely do. Yes. This borderline personality disorder is the neat syndrome for explaining her. I have tried to understand what this means. The collection of syndromes, being a bit neurotic, putting on a good performance, feeling despairing at times, seemed for me to sum up the human condition pretty much.

And I think it is also slightly demeaning to her. It's saying she was a crazy woman, and I just don't think that was most people's public experience of her, and it just simply doesn't explain the magic and the charisma that she exercised everywhere.

KING: Harold, what do you make of the statement, if true, by Michael Adler that she treated AIDS patients like they were in a zoo?

BROOKS-BAKER: Well, I think it is extremely unattractive. No matter what she did or didn't do, she did more for AIDS patients than anyone else in the entire world. She did more to help remove land mines than almost anyone in the world. No one doubts that there might be people behind the scenes doing 10 times more work than she did, but the point is she did it. And she didn't go down in history as the most loved person in the world for nothing. She accomplished a tremendous amount.

KING: Hugo, is she getting a bum rap?

VICKERS: I think she is. And I'm afraid it's slightly inevitable, because she isn't around anymore and people are bound to look at things in a different way -- and let's face it, this helps sell newspapers and things like that. But I agree with what both Robert and Harold have said, and I think that, you know, she did a remarkable amount of good work for AIDS sufferers, and I don't think that the whole world would have been taken in by somebody unless they had particularly special qualities, and I think she just had those qualities. She had so many, too.

KING: So, what do you make of all of this, Philip? Why?

HOARE: Well, I think it's inevitable that after someone's death that someone as hugely, globally famous as Diana that there will be a dip in a reputation. It is a recognized syndrome. You know, as a biographer, I have seen that, you know, with a lot of characters.

But I mean, the thing about Diana is that she is cipher in a way, and it was very interesting, in the weeks after death, I heard Gore Vidal -- I saw him speak in the weeks after her death, and he spoke about how she -- how her -- all reaction to her death was very much a representation of her own unhappiness.

Perhaps in a way, you know, maybe we are happier about ourselves now, and maybe we can do without Diana, but she is a cipher, she is an image, and in a way, that image was sealed by death. But yet inevitably it will be diminished, and will decay too.

KING: Well said. Robert, what do you make of her brother's plan to reopen Althorp to use for corporate events and possibly have paying overnight guests? It was used for conference events before her death, very profitable. It was closed, the business, after she was killed. What do you make of the reopening, possible reopening?

LACEY: Well, these stately homes have to survive. They have to make money, and conferences are one way of doing it. I actually think that for all the criticism of Lord Spencer, he has handled his sister's reputation very well. He has reminded everybody that apart from being royal, she came from one of Britain's great families.

And I think actually burying her as they did on the island is romantic, but it also has avoided the chance of the opposite of what Philip is talking about, and that is a false cult of sainthood growing around her, which would be just as bad as people forgetting her and what she stood for.

KING: And Harold, the Buckingham Palace -- accountants are now claiming the royal family no longer costs taxpayers a dime, that revenues from royal estates turned over to exchequer outstrip royal expenses, that the palace also said royal spending was trimmed, and queen's treasurer says a lot of savings comes from taking cheaper flights and fewer rides on the royal train. All true?

BROOKS-BAKER: It is all true, and the queen and most members of the royal family have always been very, very cautious about wasting money. But I think that these reports miss the most important aspect of this situation. The queen gives the equivalent of 90 to 100 million pounds every year to the people, the chancellor of the exchequer, and if you count up all of the money spent on the royal family, it comes to about 60, 65 million pounds a year, subtract it -- you see, you end up with 30 -- more than 30 million pounds that the queen gives to the public.

She is the only head of state in the world who not only pays for a job that nobody in his right mind would ever want, but she pays far more than necessary.

KING: We'll be back with more of...

BROOKS-BAKER: She's the head of state...

KING: ... Hugo Vickers and Philip Hoare and Harold Brooks-Baker and Robert Lacey on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. We will include some phone calls, too.

Janet Jackson is with us Monday night. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to end by thanking God for this moment, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in this dreadful time, for taking Diana at her most beautiful and radiant and when she had joy in her private life.

Above all, we give thanks for the life of a woman I'm so proud to be able to call my sister, the unique, the complex, the extraordinary and irreplaceable Diana, whose beauty, both internal and external, will never be extinguished from our minds.



KING: The never-ending royals. Houston, Texas, as we go to some calls, hello.

CALLER: Yes. Wouldn't it be nice for Prince Harry and Prince William to have a motherly figure in their lives again?

KING: Hugo Vickers, would it be good for the kids if they married?

VICKERS: I'm not so sure. I think -- I think they are doing pretty well on their own, and they've got a very supportive father. When Princess of Wales was killed, one of the things that we all said was that the best way that he could do to rehabilitate his reputation was by being a good friend to the two boys, and he certainly proved to be that.

I think that they cope pretty well. I don't necessarily know that they need any other figures coming in, frankly, at this point.

KING: Miami, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Yes, good evening.

KING: Hi. CALLER: I'm really concerned about this hypocrisy that the royal family and the people accept as being commonplace and correct. I believe that they should lighten up, because after all they have had wars in the past where they beheaded people just to try to prove a point. Why don't they just lighten up? They are starting to sound like the Jerry Springer group.

KING: Your comment, Philip?

HOARE: Well, yeah, I mean, it does sometimes seem like an extended soap opera. I think the trouble is the way we see the royals is through a tabloid screen, and in a way that is -- everything we see about them, exactly as Hugo and the other guests were saying, that you know, they are normal people, and you know, a kiss is a kiss, you know.

We are -- we do tend to have an attitude and a vision of them and an image of them which is very much exaggerated by the press.

KING: And why is that, Robert? Why are we so fascinated by it all, everywhere in the world?

LACEY: Well, it's the same reason we're fascinated when a gentleman has to have a heart pacemaker and he's a famous man and it's a great vehicle for us to vicariously share that experience, which of course, touches us all, and when we are looking at Charles and Diana, how does a couple treat each other in a marriage when things don't go well?

What is the situation with Camilla and Charles? I mean Hugo says, they don't need to get married. Other people say they should for the sake of the children. It is, as Philip was saying, soap opera, it's human life written up, and we look at it through the eyes of the media.

KING: On a grand scale. We'll be back with our remaining moments with Robert, Harold, Hugo, and Philip on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Stay there.


KING: Let's get another call. Ormond Beach, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Larry, can you tell me -- does anyone on the panel know how Prince Harry and Prince William feel about their relationship with for their father with Camilla, and Prince Philip, and what their relationship is with Camilla?

KING: Good question. Harold, do you know?

BROOKS-BAKER: I don't know, but the friends and aides of the royal family will certainly lead you to believe that they are immensely fond of her and they have a great deal of respect for the happiness that she is giving their father. No father in history has ever been as much appreciated as the prince of wales. I think it is obvious that it is virtually already one big happy family. KING: Hugo, do you agree?

VICKERS: Well, I think that they do get on well together. But I don't see necessarily -- that is I don't see it as quite a big happy family and I don't think it needs to be that thing. I see this element of distance that I've been stressing before as being quite important for all of them, frankly.

I don't think the boys want another mother figure. I don't think that that Prince Charles wants to surrender his solitude. And from what I have always been told about Camilla Parker-Bowles is the situation may, of course change. I have always been told that she doesn't particularly want to be the center of the limelight. Although of course, there she was last week. So, there are contradictions.

KING: Tampa, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry. Hello, Philip.


CALLER: Philip, when are we going to let our young people decide who they are going to marry? Margaret loved Townsend. Andrew, I'm sure loved (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Charles loved Camilla 25 years ago. Why don't we just leave these people alone, let them pick the people they want to live with for the rest of their lives. I'm sure they would do a much better job than the people that are doing it for them now.

KING: A revolutionary proposal, Philip.

HOARE: I couldn't agree more to be honest. I mean, I just pity poor William, what the hell that man is going to face as he comes in to open life. I mean already you -- now he is finishing his cap year, he will be out now. It'll be open season on William, no matter what sort of amnesty has been agreed with the press. I just -- I am afraid I totally agree.

KING: Does anyone -- Robert, why don't they let them, as the Beatles said, let it be?

LACEY: Well, there is a well-known saying that all of us are animals in the jungle, and the royal people are animals in the zoo. And one feels great pity for them. Unfortunately, that is their function. I think it is absolutely right about Camilla. But at the time that he did, there was this idea that she had to be young, she had to be a virgin and she wasn't just by definition of her love affair with Prince Charles. There are elements of Greek tragedy in this, and we are all persecutors, I'm afraid.

KING: And why do we do it, Harold? Why do we put this upon them?

BROOKS-BAKER: Well, I think that I would somewhat disagree with my colleagues, because, certainly, today, most members of the royal family marry anyone that they wish. You can see very well that Prince Edward married the girl he wanted. She didn't come from a royal or even a particularly distinguished background.

And, most of the other members of the royal family have married anyone they wished. Their cousins on the continent are doing exactly same thing. It has caused a certain amount of confusion, but very few members of royal families are today marrying members of other royal families. That is absolutely the case.

KING: One thing for sure, Hugo Vickers, it never gets dull, does it?

VICKERS: It certainly doesn't. You see, in earlier times it was a thing called the arranged marriage. And, arranged marriages have sometimes been very successful. I think it really depends who is arranging them. I think this is the most important feature. And that is why you need to get it right.

But sometimes these arranged marriages have worked very well, because older people work out where things are likely to -- where people are likely to be in sympathy with each other, and where perhaps (UNINTELLIGIBLE) passions will not survive and may not keep going as well as they should do.

KING: Thank you all very much, Robert Lacey, Harold Brooks- Baker, Hugo Vickers, and Philip Hoare, all from London. We wish the vice president well tomorrow. And we'll see you Monday night with Janet Jackson.

Over the weekend, highlights of interviews with Jack Lemmon,

Stay tuned now for "CNN TONIGHT." I'm Larry King for all of our crews all over the world, good night.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

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