CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Figure Skating Olympic Champions Discuss Their Controversial Win; Insights Into the British Royal Family
Aired February 14, 2002 - 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, exclusive: The Russian pairs champions talk about being at the center of one of the biggest Olympic controversies ever. And we'll hear their side of the story for the first time. And with them, their legendary coach and outspoken defender, as well.
And then: more grief for Britain's royal family. Insights into the heartbreak of Queen Elizabeth's sister, the late Princess Margaret and the monarchy's struggle to survive the 21st century. Joining us from London, best-selling royal biographer Robert Lacey; in Washington, best-selling author Kitty Kelley; back in London, the publishing director of "Burke's Peerage," Harold Brooks-Baker and best-selling biographer and veteran royal watcher Hugo Vickers.
They're are all next with phone calls on LARRY KING LIVE.
We begin with the saga, the story that won't go away of the figure skating dilemma in Salt Lake City. And joining us from Salt Lake City, Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze. They are the Russian gold medal winners in figure skating. With them is their legendary Russian skating coach, Tamara Moskvina. We thank them all for joining us.
If I speak a little slowly, it's because they understand and speak some English, but we won't speak quickly.
Elena, we'll start with you. What are your feelings right now about this whole mess?
ELENA BEREZHNAYA, RUSSIAN PAIR GOLD MEDALIST: Well, right now it's getting to everything getting better. But first two days, it was some disappointment, because whenever we would turn on TV and hear everything about our skating, our medals, all this thing. It was sourness to hear them. But right now, we are feeling much better, because we look again at how we skated and how fit we are. We are winners, and we deserve the gold medals, and we are so happy about our medals.
KING: And Anton, how do you feel?
ANTON SIKHARULIDZE, RUSSIAN PAIR GOLD MEDALIST: I feel the same way. But I want to say, you know, we feel we deserved this gold medal, because pair skating is a very hard thing of -- from figure skating. And we have a lot of differences in our free program, what the judges need to see. And we have a lot of parts of our free programs, which been much better than Jamie and David. And I feel I'm Olympic champion in figure skating.
KING: All right, Tamara, you are a famous coach. You even coached the American entries in this.
TAMARA MOSKVINA, RUSSIAN PAIRS SKATING COACH: Yes, I did.
KING: What do you make of the fact that so many people think Canada deserved it?
MOSKVINA: I think that two pairs were with very strong character. They are nearly equal. And in pair skating, in our sport, this is subjective sport. So five judges gave priority to the Russian couple, and four judges to the Canadian couple. And it was on the contrary in other competition.
And I compare that with the other businesses, like, what you prefer, LARRY KING LIVE or Tom Brokaw's show? I don't know. They are different people. Different suggestion, different opinion. This is the freedom of opinion.
But I have other suggestion. Why should we speak about this controversy? Let's make the best pair ever. Let's say Larry King and Tamara Quinn. What do you think about such pair? We'll dispute everybody.
KING: Elena, you feel in your heart that you deserved to win. What happened, though, when they keep showing the tape of what seems like a miss on your part, and everyone says that the Canadians skated perfectly. How do you react to that?
BEREZHNAYA: Well, you know, starting again, for first two days, it was awful, but now I think about, what if everybody will ask in Moscow or in Europe asking them how people win the war? We don't know. Asking people in Moscow, well, see their opinion. So we are right now in North America, and everybody, of course, have -- the whole stadium was half Canadian fans and half Americans. So we are Russians. That's why everything...
KING: All right.
BEREZHNAYA: Yes. We are not in our own country. That's why, I think.
KING: Understandable. But Anton, do you think that in your competition you did make a mistake?
SIKHARULIDZE: Yes, I make a small mistake in my free program, but the judges give us small marks for technical merit. Marks for Jamie and David was bigger than ours for technical merit. But we have two marks, technical merit and artistic impression. And we had bigger marks for artistic impression. That's why I don't even understand what's going on, why it's such a big scandal from nothing.
KING: Well, Tamara, in others words, Tamara, artistic impression counts more than the skill of just what you say you will do?
MOSKVINA: No, the sum of the two marks counts. It was bigger for Elena and Anton. But there are other criteria in the artistic impression mark. It's the speed, the flow, the originality of the program, the artistry, the musicality. So that's why there are many criteria and many judges -- the majority of the judges gave the priority to Elena and Anton in this respect.
KING: Tamara, does it bother you that apparently there's some trouble inside the French judge's quarters, and reports that the French judge may have been pressured to vote that way? How do you react?
MOSKVINA: Unfortunately, after the winning of Elena and Anton, we had no time to listen to the speculation, especially what's going on. We were celebrating the medal. And what is going on among, what you say, French Federation or whatever, doesn't bother us, because this is not our business. We did our job, skating, skated perfectly. I trained them very well, together with training the American champions, so our part's done. The rest is not our business.
KING: Elena, have you spoken to the Canadians at all, and how do you feel for them?
BEREZHNAYA: Well, we didn't really spoke yet after all this thing. And -- but I -- for them, I feel -- you know, somebody has to win, somebody has to lose. And that's rules. There's just one gold medal. We have just one gold medal, that's it. And if you can, I don't know, accept that, you aren't strong enough.
KING: Anton, there are reports in some circles, stories that the possibility of giving them a gold medal as well, gold medals for both of you. How would that make you feel?
SIKHARULIDZE: You know, I'm a skater, and I'm here to show how we skate for audiences and for people. I'm not in this politics. Because it's very difficult for me to say now how I feel. But I want to say just one thing: They are great skaters and great competitors, and a couple years already every competition, we're close like this. And all the time, only one judge make us first, them second, or them first, us second. That's why -- I don't know, I can't say anything about medals. It's not my business. I'm not political. I'm skater. I want to just skate.
KING: Tamara, do you think the sport has been hurt by this?
MOSKVINA: I don't think so. Because it's always when there are couples of the same level, this is just little mugging. Even in other sports like, say, in speed skating, .1 of a second or .01 of a second decide. So in this case, it was very close battle, and the attention to this sport is drawn by this happening.
But I say that the reaction of the public was appropriate. They rooted for the North American, and we are happy with that. We can't say anything, because we don't have Olympic Games in Russia. If the battle will be between, let's say, American couple or a Canadian couple, there was no such noise and such speculation. Sorry, Russians dominate for many years, probably that many people are not happy with that.
KING: Elena, we asked this last night of the Canadians, so we'll ask it of you and Anton. Are the two of you involved with each other?
BEREZHNAYA: In love, are you in love with each other?
SIKHARULIDZE: It's a big secret. We are really, really big friends.
KING: But you're not in love with each other? You're not romantic? Or are you?
BEREZHNAYA: Of course we are romantic, because, you know, you can't skate...
SIKHARULIDZE: Without being romantic.
BEREZHNAYA: ... without any romantic. Of course we are, and we are -- today is Valentine's Day, so everybody...
SIKHARULIDZE: Congratulation, everybody, with Valentine's Day.
KING: Thank you both very much for appearing with us, Elena and Anton, and thank you, Tamara, for joining them.
SIKHARULIDZE: Thank you.
BEREZHNAYA: Thank you.
KING: All they did, folks, was skate. You can be upset about a lot of decisions, but all they did was just skate.
When we come back, we'll talk about the royals and what's going on with the monarchy. Tomorrow night, Bill Maher is back for our -- one of our regular Friday night sessions. We've got a great show coming, too, on Saturday on Larry King Weekend. The chief aide to Dick Cheney is coming on, the brilliant film producer Mike Medavoy, and Don Rickles.
We'll be right back on the royals. Don't go away.
KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.
And now the prime subject of the evening, the royals. They never go away. In London is Robert Lacey, the best-selling biographer and veteran royal watcher. His new book for the queen's golden jubilee is "Monarch: The Life and Reign of Elizabeth II." It is now out in Britain. It will be out in the United States in April.
In Washington, Kitty Kelley, best-selling biographer, author of "The Royals," currently working on a book on the Bush family dynasty. In London, Harold Brooks-Baker, the publishing director of "Burke's Peerage." And also in London is Hugo Vickers, the best-selling biographer and veteran royal watcher. His book on Prince Philip's mother, "Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece," will be out in the United States next month.
Robert Lacey, what has been the impact of the death of Princess Margaret?
ROBERT LACEY, ROYAL BIOGRAPHER: Very interesting. Confused, I think. The British public's reaction, to start with, was rather muted. But during the week, feeling has grown. There's been a lot of interest and tension about the health of the queen mother and whether she's going to be able to make it to the funeral.
And I know that the royal family, at the start of the week, were themselves a little uncertain. They obviously felt deeply affected by what had happened and by the loss of Margaret, who was such a lively force in the family. But at the same time, as they marked their mourning, they didn't want Britain to feel that they were enforcing some sort of feeling on the whole country because, frankly, feelings here have been a bit ambivalent about Princess Margaret. She's had the challenge that Diana never had, of having to grow old as a princess and confront the reality of life. But I think tomorrow we're going to see a moving, though private ceremony.
KING: Kitty Kelley, wasn't Margaret maybe one of the first of the 20th century kind of rebels?
KITTY KELLEY, AUTHOR, "THE ROYALS": Oh, big rebel. She was always known as the hip princess, the one that hung out with rock stars, went to restaurants and theaters and dances. But you know, I agree with Robert. Over here, Larry, there's been very little coverage of the death of Princess Margaret. Had she died 30 years ago, even as a woman 71 years old, it would have been front-page news. Now, some of that could be that editors now are much younger, but it also shows, I think, that the impact of British royalty in this country has diminished quite a bit.
KING: Harold Baker, what about Margaret made her, in her time, in your opinion, so fascinating?
HAROLD BROOKS-BAKER, "BURKE'S PEERAGE": Well, because she was unbelievably beautiful, very intelligent, very charming. Everyone loved her. And if she had died -- I agree with Kitty Kelley -- years ago, she would have been remembered by everybody as the most beautiful woman in the world. Certainly, one of the most beautiful women in the world.
But you see, the thing is that she lived, in a way, too long to keep up with the tradition that she set. And Princess Margaret was a rebel, but the sad thing about her life was that it was definitely without a cause. She was kept waiting for a job that she could never have, and she had no job of her own.
Once again, we're faced with a decision for Prince Harry on what he can do, what sort of constructive job he can have in order to keep him from falling into the same trap. KING: Hugo, she also had to give up a love, did she not?
HUGO VICKERS, ROYAL BIOGRAPHER: She did. She did, indeed. When she was very young, she fell in love with her father's equerry who was later with the Queen Mother, Group Captain Peter Townsend. But I've always thought, actually, that the most tragic aspect of her life really was the death of her father when she was only 21 years old. And she was very, very devoted to him. And after that, in a sense, she no longer had the family around her in the same way. She no longer lived at Buckingham Palace, Windsor, Balmoral and Sandringham. Of course, she was always very welcome to go there. But in a sense, I think all the problems that stemmed came from that. I mean, that was the worst thing that ever happened to her in her whole life.
KING: What, Robert, is the effect, do you think, on the queen losing her only sibling?
LACEY: Oh, very bitter. We know that when the queen recently went to actually see the coffin of her sister in Kensington Palace that she wept. Now, this is a woman who is not known for weeping. She's a very emotional woman. This idea that she has no emotions is not true. But normally, she keeps them under control.
No, from a very early age, she and Margaret were joined at the hip. I mean, do you remember -- I'm sure Americans remember how often in their childhood, they wore the very same clothes. They were known as the little princesses. They were role models for their generation. Elizabeth, of course, was always the good, neat, tidy one, Margaret the naughty one. And of course, as their lives unfurled, in adult life, that became more dramatic.
KING: What do you think, Kitty, the effect is on the Queen Mother, who -- she will attend that funeral tomorrow. You're not supposed to lose children before your time. But I guess if your child is 71, maybe it ain't the end of the world.
KELLEY: Oh, I'm sure that it's very, very hard for the Queen Mother. I think it's probably even harder for the queen because two years ago, the queen was heard to say that her worst fear in life was that she would lose the Queen Mother and then she'd lose Margaret. And she said, "And then I'll have nobody," because these are the two women with whom the queen can really be herself. And I think it's going to be devastating for the Queen Mother to go there and to bury her child. That's got to be the worst thing for a parent.
KING: Harold, what did Queen Margaret die of, and was she very sick? Seventy-one is not old.
BROOKS-BAKER: Well, she abused her body very badly with cigarettes and with cocktails. I mean, after all, George VI and George V both died of cigarette smoking, and she really should have sworn off this dreadful habit many, many years ago. It is a question of what in the world you can do with somebody who is as determined as Princess Margaret was. But nevertheless, it's tragic to see.
And of course, the one good thing about the sad death of the late Princess of Wales, Diana, is that she died at the height of her glamour and popularity. She did not live beyond that. That was sad, but in a way, perhaps a little bit better.
KING: We'll take a break and come back. We will be including your phone calls, as we continue our discussion on the royals. Bill Maher tomorrow night, Don Rickles on Saturday night on Larry King Weekend, Art Linkletter on Monday.
We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES: I think one of the fondest memories I shall have of her was of sitting at the piano, playing away with a large, very elegant, cigarette holder in her mouth. And as I say, we shall all miss her dreadfully.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. We'll be including calls momentarily. Hugo Vickers, the best-selling biographer and veteran royal watcher, part of our panel, three in London, and Kitty Kelley in Washington.
Hugo, what's the reaction in Great Britain?
VICKERS: Well, it's interesting people say that it's been muted. But 16,000 people have left messages on the Princess Margaret condolence Web site, which is a new way that people have of expressing their sympathy. And also, I think it's been very interesting that, particularly the coverage in our newspapers, the huge supplements, a real revelation to young people of how beautiful she was. And I didn't think any politician would have got quite so much coverage, frankly, if they had died as Princess Margaret has in the last week. It's been really rather extraordinary.
KING: Kitty, how did Princess Margaret get along with Princess Diana?
KELLEY: Not well at all, Larry, especially in the last few years. The divorce upset her quite a bit. You know, it was interesting, I...
KING: But she was divorced.
KELLEY: She was divorced. And in the line of protocol, actually, it was Princess Margaret who was supposed to curtsy to the Princess of Wales. But Princess Margaret's butler told me that that would never happen -- ever, ever, ever -- because while that might be so on paper, Princess Margaret was royal and never let you forget it.
She was very, very angry about -- she adores Prince Charles. She adored Prince Charles, I should say. And so her allegiance was not with Diana at all. And she absolutely went ballistic over Sarah, Duchess of York. I mean, she just -- she threw out a bouquet of flowers that Sarah had sent her.
KELLEY: So she really was much against both young women.
KING: Now, both those women, Harold, were kind of mavericks, in a way, not part of the royal inner court. And Margaret was herself a maverick in her time. So why would she not like mavericks?
BROOKS-BAKER: Well, I think it's very -- was very difficult for Princess Margaret to accept the idea that people who are not born royal were brought into the family, and people who acted in ways that she had not understood in her childhood. Her way of rebelling was very elegant, and it was very old-school. And I think that it's a great loss.
But no matter how many people remember Princess Margaret, the fact remains that young people hardly knew who she was. And this is true in great Britain, as well as the United States and on the continent.
But nevertheless, this is a turning point for the monarchy, and we have to ask ourselves, will the monarchy continue? Will there be a monarch in years to come? And if anything happens to the Queen Mother, people will ask that question more readily. It's a very lonely throne indeed that Queen Elizabeth II is about to sit on for the next few years.
KING: Hugo, why would anyone -- and this is asked logically -- want to be royalty?
VICKERS: Well, I don't know. The fact, of course, with Princess Margaret is she was born to it, and she was indeed very royal.
And can I just correct one thing? I can't accept that she didn't like the Princess of Wales. I remember talking to Princess Margaret one evening about this, and she said how the Princess of Wales was very affectionate and used to throw her arms around her neck. She was actually quite fond of her. And the Princess of Wales was also very fond of Princess Margaret. I think perhaps towards the very end, particularly after the "Panorama" interview, then there was -- then she felt she'd really gone too far. But I think more or less everybody did, too.
KING: Let's get a call in. Vancouver, hello.
CALLER: Hi. Yes. I wanted to ask a question?
KING: Go ahead.
CALLER: I just wanted to know whatever happened to her first true love?
KING: Robert, what happened to her first true love? LACEY: Her first true love, Peter Townsend, group captain. Well, the initial reaction to the romance between the pair was that he was exiled to Brussels, where he became an air attache. Then he came back. When it was -- when the two -- the pair decided that marriage was not for them, Peter Townsend again went abroad. And he, in fact, married a Belgian tobacco heiress. And as is the way of the media, it was remarked that she bore a striking resemblance to Princess Margaret.
And it was also said -- and I'd be interested to hear what Hugo thinks -- that the announcement of the engagement of Peter Townsend to the Belgian lady actually prompted the engagement of -- or the announcement of the engagement, at least, of Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones, who of course later became Lord Snowden.
KING: Hugo, is that true?
CLINTON: Well, I don't know. I wouldn't really connect the things in quite that way. But what I do know is that she remained on very good terms with Group Captain Peter Townsend, and he used to come and have lunch with her. And the final answer to the question as to what happened to him is that he died about four or five years ago. He was living in Paris. I met him several times. He was a very, very nice man, very gentle.
I mean, his great tragedy really was, of course, that essentially, on paper, he was -- he was everything that she should have married. He was a distinguished war hero, highly decorated, much liked by the family. But he did have this unfortunate thing that he was married. And Princess Margaret -- again, another sort of interesting dilemma in her life is the fact that she, as an unmarried princess, was not able to marry a divorced equerry and lived long enough to see Princess Anne, a divorced princess, being allowed to marry with very little comment an unmarried equerry. And that's the sort of change of the times in which we live.
KING: Kitty, Peter Townsend was a dashing man, wasn't he?
KELLEY: Dashing. I think he was absolutely divine. He was discreet and a gentlemen. And it really -- Princess Margaret said that it was really Townsend who said no to the marriage because he realized that he couldn't afford her in many ways, financially. If she had married him, they would have had to leave England. She would not have been considered part of the royal family. She would not have had her title. She wouldn't have had her royal allowance. And he knew, in the end, what that would really do to her.
He was also a very, very discreet man. When he wrote his autobiography, he never really returned to England once he left. He came back one time to say goodbye to Princess Margaret. A few years ago, a couple of years before he died -- and he died of stomach cancer -- and they met at Kensington Palace, and there were a couple of friends there so that it would be easier, but she, herself, felt it was a goodbye.
When he wrote his book, he said that he wanted to be cremated, the same way that Princess Margaret has said that she wants to be cremated, and he said that he wanted his ashes scattered over France. And he said, if a south wind picks them up and flies them maybe toward England, well, so be it. He'll be gone. He won't know, and he won't care. And that's...
KING: We'll take a break, we'll come back with more with our outstanding panel and more of our phone calls on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE CHARLES: I remember so well, she used to play the piano incredibly well. And she had an extraordinary ear. She could pick up and play by ear almost any tune. And she sang like an angel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. Take another call. Washington, D.C., hello.
CALLER: Yes, hello. I have two questions. I'd like to know first of all why the -- Prince Charles and Princess Margaret were not able to show or to have the same type of courage that the Duke of Windsor had in marrying the person he actually loved, as opposed to making everyone else around them miserable. And I'd like to know what the reaction in England would be to the death of Charles' lover, Camilla, because, quite frankly, I just find that whole thing abhorrent that...
KING: OK, I didn't hear the end of that sentence, but let's take them one by one.
Kitty, you want to take the first part?
KELLEY: The first part was what again?
KING: I lost it. The first part was -- oh, why did they accept...
KELLEY: Oh, right. Why didn't they marry the person they loved instead...
KING: Yeah, why didn't they just do what the duke did, and say, arrivederci?
KELLEY: Well, look at what the duke had to give up. He had to give up his throne and everything that went with it.
KING: But love conquers all?
KELLEY: Well, I believe that, too. I believe that, too. But Prince Charles -- Prince Charles, by the time he was ready to make up his mind, the woman he loved had already married someone else. So he settled for the arranged, proper, right kind of marriage that he felt would work for them. And listen, this is the way the royals have been doing it for years. They go into arranged marriages. In fact, only until the 20th century has it even been accepted that you might marry for the person you loved.
KING: Harold, about Camilla, what are the feelings in Great Britain? How would they feel if she had left us?
BROOKS-BAKER: I think it's very clear that Camilla Parker-Bowles is becoming more popular every day. She'll never reach the heights that Diana, princess of Wales, did, but she's certainly liked, because she clearly makes the prince of Wales happy, and his presentation to the outside world is getting better and better.
Sixty-seven thousand people work for the prince's trust, and many of them would have no jobs if it weren't for him. He is probably doing more good than any other single man in the country, and he clearly feels happier and more relaxed with Camilla Parker-Bowles, and the people wish him well. This is a big change in the way that the House of Windsor used to act.
KING: Robert Lacey, there is -- I just saw a headline today. I didn't read the story. I was picking up newspapers at a newsstand. The headline in one of the American tabloids is that Prince Charles and Camilla have married.
LACEY: I have no reason to believe that's true. I doubt it very much indeed. I mean, the problem of Camilla could take up several programs, because, of course, Prince Charles had several relationships with her. He fell in love with her. Well, we are not -- well, he says now that he fell in love with her when they were both single, but when he was about to go away on Naval duty, and while he was away she actually pledged herself to Mr. Parker-Bowles, who became her husband and by whom she had children.
Then they had a second relationship, when Prince Charles' search for a wife was not going well, and he was getting pestered by the press, and he turned to Camilla, by now, with quite grown-up children and sought consolation with her. It was in the middle of this that was causing great anxiety to the queen and Prince Philip that he met Lady Diana.
And we were talking earlier about arranged marriages. Well, it's my belief that the marriage between Prince Charles and Diana was an arranged marriage in the sense that we arranged it. We saw Diana. Camilla, although we knew about her, was a married woman, and we wanted Charles to marry this girl. And he by then was over 30.
And it's all very well saying he should have gone for love, but it was an incredibly complicated situation. And -- you know, you remember the famous words. He said, "whatever love is." I think with the best of intentions, he took a chance. He believed it was the best thing for him and for her and for the country, but, of course, love and reality are different.
KING: Despite a messy life, Margaret married Anthony Armstrong Jones -- and I'll ask this of Hugo Vickers -- her two children, David, the Viscount Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto have done very well, haven't they?
VICKERS: They have. I mean, the most interesting thing is they must have had in a sense a rather turbulent childhood, parents being divorced and so forth. But quite clearly, both parents took a lot of trouble with them, and their both parents, of course, were very interesting, highly intelligent, very creative people.
And indeed, David Linley and his sister Sarah have both made very successful lives. Sarah is very quiet, and she married a nice actor, and they live very much out of the spotlight. And David Linley married a very glamorous, rather rich girl, and he's a highly successful, I would say carpenter, if that's not a derogatory term. I mean, he makes wonderful things with wood.
KING: And what happened to Anthony Armstrong Jones, Hugo?
VICKERS: Well, his career -- I mean, they were divorced in 1978. They separated in 1976. He remarried, and he has again divorced since then. But his career, of course, has been exceptional. I mean, not only as a photographer, but also in the world of design. And he's had a very, very interesting career in his own right.
He's not in very good shape now, I'm afraid. He has also been sometimes confined to a wheelchair. And I don't suppose that -- I mean, again, the tabloids love to say that Princess Margaret and he didn't get on, but actually they were often in touch with each other and regularly saw each other over the years.
KING: By the way, Robert, doubts -- does anyone on the panel, Kitty, Harold or Hugo, think that the American tabloid may be correct about Charles and Camilla?
KELLEY: I don't think it's correct at all, Larry.
KELLEY: Absolutely not. Charles would never -- could never do something that irresponsible without the permission of the queen.
KING: So we have a...
KELLEY: I don't believe it at all.
KING: We have a shock here tonight in that an American tabloid may have been wrong. I find this almost distasteful.
We'll come back with more -- hold it, we'll take a break and come back with more, more phone calls. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE CHARLES: My darling aunt had such a dreadful time over the last few years with her awful illness. And it was hard for let alone her to bear it, but for all of us as well. And particularly she had such a wonderfully free spirit. And she loved life, and lived it to the full.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We are back, as we see Queen Margaret greet The Beatles, who you may have heard of. I believe they all were knighted. Were they all knighted? I don't know. I forgot. They were not all knighted. Who was not knighted? The drummer. Sir Paul McCartney was knighted. Only one knighted? They didn't knight the others? Wrong!
Elmira, New York. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. I have a question for Kitty Kelley.
CALLER: Kitty Kelley, would you be able to compare the life and death of Princess Margaret to that of the late duchess of Windsor?
KELLEY: Oh, what a wonderful question. That was sad. The duchess of Windsor died alone, and no friends, in a comatose state for, I would say, a couple of years, whereas Princess Margaret at least has died in the bosom of the royal family and will be seen off that way. The poor duchess was alone the whole time, and not remembered, except for her very loyal attorney in France. And not remembered with the affection that at least the royal family is showering on Princess Margaret.
KING: Calgary, hello?
CALLER: Hi, Larry. I'd like to ask your panel if it was hard for Princess Margaret to lose some of the spotlight once Diana and Ferguson -- and Princess Fergie came along?
BROOKS-BAKER: I think it was very difficult for her in one way, because she had known what it was like to be an international star, loved and revered by everybody. And she drifted into obscurity simply because there was no job for her. Because there was nothing really for her to do except to go to endless parties, like the duke of Windsor, and Mrs. Wallace Warfield Simpson. That's a tragic end for people who don't have a real position.
But Princess Margaret is absolutely loved by all members of the royal family, and I think that she'll be remembered forever. But she is a person of the '60s. I used to see her very often at parties in those days, and everybody adored her. Everybody spoke about her.
But the '60s are a long time ago now. And she has had a difficult life. But she certainly has been very nice to all the people who have been around her. I mean, to her ex-boyfriend, yes, to Roddie Llewellyn, who became her boyfriend rather late in life. She was always very nice to him and his wife. She was the opposite of a mean person. She was a very kind, outgoing and loving individual, who in every way was truly royal. In many ways, there are not many royals in the world left of her caliber, who have the kind of devotion that she received. The question now is, where does this House of Windsor go?
KING: What do you do, Hugo, with a life with nothing to do?
VICKERS: Well, you see, essentially, I think that what Harold says is correct, that to some extent it was unfulfilled. But of course, she was very busy all the time. She did have numerous charities every night, NSPCC (ph), she worked with the children, the (UNINTELLIGIBLE), they worked with the ballet, and a great number of other things, too.
But having said that, of course, it was never -- she was never so popularly identified with that work as some of the other members of the royal family, Princess Ann with the Save the Children, or princess of Wales with her various charities. And so in that respect, it was difficult.
But then you see also, I mean, the one time, like I say, her life was unfulfilled. On the other hand, her life was packed with interest in almost every hour of the day. I mean, she was tremendously interested in the arts and culture. And you must remember that in the '50s, the royal family were very much criticized for any sort of being involved with regiments and charities and that kind of thing, and essentially Princess Margaret entered the world of the arts and made a very big contribution in that direction.
KING: Robert Lacey, the queen mother is how old and how is her health?
LACEY: Well, the queen mother on February the 4th became 101 1/2. She's been ill over Christmas, lying down, under medical attention, and she's really currently the focus of attention in Britain. The great issue today, Valentine's Day, has been: Will she be able to make it to her daughter's funeral? And the whole nation was cheered, and it was top of the news when it was shown that she had got in the helicopter and flown all the way from Sandringham in East Anglia (ph) down to Windsor.
We are not going to see much of the funeral tomorrow, because it's a private affair, but I think the whole of Britain is pleased to know that the queen mother will be with her daughter. They used to talk about us four, that was George VI, the queen mother, Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth. Now there are just two, and of course Britain of course is very conscience that the queen mother cannot go on forever, and then the queen will be very much alone in that sense.
KING: Harold, why is the funeral private?
BROOKS-BAKER: Because that's the way the royal family wishes it to be. The queen mother has had a difficult time, of course, because she fell yesterday, but nevertheless she has managed to arrive at Windsor this evening, and she will definitely be at the funeral.
But all funerals of this type tend to be very private. I think obviously for a monarch it has to be a public funeral, but this is something very special. And, after all, even the duke of Windsor and the duchess of Windsor had very quiet ceremonies, and he, after all, had been Edward VIII.
But I think you will see -- I think you will see that the popularity of the queen mother is going to be demonstrated by the people in a very evident way tomorrow. She is the most loved ancient woman in the world today, and I am certain that the whole world wishes and prays for her to have a few more years, even though she is 101.
KING: We'll be back with more on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
KING: Get another call in as we watch Rudy Giuliani being knighted, a non-Britisher, of course, gets a special kind of knighthood from the Queen despite the fact she had lost her sister, right there for that presentation.
The call is from Miami. Hello.
CALLER: Hello there, Larry.
CALLER: I've seen Robert Lacey on your program a number of times. And he looks pretty dapper in spite of the fact that he's not wearing your suspenders. But I have a question for him.
CALLER: In his new book, "Monarch", does he have any new revelations, fresh revelations, on Diana and Charles?
LACEY: Well, the essence of my book, "Monarch" is about -- well, not so much Diana and Charles as Diana and the Queen. The book is about the styles of royalty, something we've been discussing this evening. Princess Margaret had one style. Diana had another. And, of course, the clashes between the Queen and the Queen's traditional style and Diana's celebrity-led style came to a head, both in her lifetime and then in her death. So, thank you for giving me a chance to plug my book. There's a lot in it about Diana and the Queen, yes.
KING: We've talked about health tonight. What is the health of the Queen? What is the health, Kitty Kelley, to your knowledge, of Queen Elizabeth?
KELLEY: Tough, strong, strong constitution. This is a woman who takes very, very good care of herself. Barring the unforeseen, she's going to live as long as her mother, and as well. You know, Larry, you noticed in the knighting of Giuliani, the Queen was wearing black. And I would point out that royals never wear black except when grieving. And she is grieving the death of her sister.
KING: Any chance, Harold, that she would abdicate?
BROOKS-BAKER: Abdication is absolutely impossible for poor Elizabeth II because she was anointed with holy oil at the time of her coronation and pledged her word to God, the world, her family, that she would remain on the throne until called by God. I don't see Elizabeth II breaking her word to God nor do I see her breaking her word to any human being. I think that you have to accept that unlike her -- most of her cousins on the continent, she cannot step down no matter how much she would like to. Certainly, it would make her life far more attractive in the crepuscule of life, but that is not to be. We have to live with that fact.
KING: If she has made that pledge, Hugo, and she has her mother's genes, might it be that Charles will never be king?
VICKERS: Well, it might be. We never know what's going to happen. But I certainly agree with everything that's been said about the Queen this evening. She is very strong. She works hard. And she's an extremely good constitutional monarch.
I mean, one of the most interesting things I always think about the Queen is that her first prime minister was a man born in 1874 who had served Queen Victoria as a junior -- I mean, to Winston Churchill -- whereas her present prime minister wasn't even born when she came to the throne. And the Queen has been reading the state papers and digesting them and absorbing them for longer than the whole life of the present prime minister. That makes her a very valuable asset to our country.
KING: Robert, any update on how Harry is doing?
LACEY: Harry is back at school now and doing very well. There is some controversy in this country as to whether it was really fair to expose him to the media as happened. Hugo was just talking there about the prime minister. Our prime minister's son has had problems with drink and there's been very strong clamps placed on the press discussing it.
So, there are quite a number of people who feel that Harry has had a raw deal. On the other hand, Charles has emerged very sympathetically from this and also, indeed, from the events surrounding Princess Margaret. You've been playing these clips from Charles appearing on television. This is the first time a senior member of the royal family has gone on television, expressed feelings in this way. It's done Prince Charles a lot of good, and I think it points to the way the royal family is going to react to things like this in the future.
KING: And, Harold, how is William doing?
BROOKS-BAKER: He is doing very well. There's no question that Prince William is the person everyone would like to see as king one day, especially the young people in this country, and I have no doubt, throughout the commonwealth. But Prince William has all of the attractive abilities of his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and all of the common good sense of his father's family. If he is given a chance, he will probably be one of the best kings this country has ever seen. But he is greatly loved and respected by everybody.
KING: Kitty, we only have 30 seconds. American interest in royalty, remain good or high or lesser?
KELLEY: It remains high, but without the reverence that Americans once had. Royalty doesn't make that much difference in American lives anymore. The "New York Times" says they want the royal family to stay in place for American amusement. I don't mean to make light of that, but that seems to be.
KING: Thank you all very much, Robert Lacey, Kitty Kelley, Harold Brooks-Baker and Hugo Vickers. They're our royalty panel. They're always great to join us.
We have got some outstanding programs coming and we'll be telling you about them. We'll go to break and tell you about what's next. This is LARRY KING LIVE in Los Angeles. Stay there.
KING: Tomorrow night, Bill Maher returns for one of our regular Friday night get-togethers. He is never dull. Saturday Night, we'll meet one of the top men in the administration, chief of staff to Dick Cheney, one of the great Hollywood producers, Mike Medavoy and the incomparable Don Rickles. We'll repeat our interview Sunday night with former governor Ann Richards. And Art Linkletter pays us a visit on Monday.
Thanks very much for joining us tonight. Aaron Brown stands by in New York. He will host "NEWSNIGHT" and he will begin by telling us about his day.
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