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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Mallard Sentenced to 50 Years; Prince William Turns 21

Aired June 27, 2003 - 21:00   ET

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We the jury, having found the defendant, Chante (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Mallard, guilty of the offense of murder, assess her punishment at confinement in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for a period of 50 years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, the sentence in that shocking Texas murder case of a woman who slammed into a man with a car, and then left him wedged in the windshield to bleed to death. Reaction from one of the people who prosecuted the case, Richard Alpert. And from Chante Mallard's defense attorney, Jeff Kearney. Also joining us, Nancy Grace of Court TV, the former prosecutor, defense attorney Chris Pixley, and Jean Casarez, who covered the gripping windshield murder trial for Court TV.

And then, Princess Di's boys are becoming men. Prince William has just turned 21, amidst rumors of a long distance love, reports of some bad behavior and a bizarre security scare at his gala birthday bash.

And meanwhile, hell-raising Prince Harry just gets out of high school. Is he ready to start acting the royal part? It is all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We're going to spend five minutes with the prosecutor, five minutes with the defense attorney, and then our three-member panel will join us for a segment, and then we'll get to the royals. We'll start with Richard Alpert, the prosecutor in that now famous case in Texas. Were you satisfied with the sentence, Richard?

RICHARD ALPERT, PROSECUTOR: I'm very satisfied with it. I think the jury did the right thing.

KING: Were you surprised at 50 years?

ALPERT: Well, we asked the jury to consider a life sentence, so I can't pretend I'm surprised, but I never take it for granted that a jury's going to do what they do. I think we gave them the evidence they needed to return that verdict.

KING: Would you say this case was prosecuted vigorously, and if so, why? ALPERT: Well, I'd say it was, and I'd say the reason why is very simple. Every case in the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office is prosecuted vigorously.

KING: Were there any -- was there any discussion about possible extenuating circumstances, she never committed a crime before, this was -- had she stopped and called it in would not have been the crime it was. Was any thought given to that?

ALPERT: Of course, if she had stopped and did the right thing and called it in, then it still possibly could have been a crime, but the outcome would have been different. It was her indifference to Mr. Biggs that helped us make a decision that this was a case we were going to prosecute and definitely take to trial.

KING: Were you surprised how quick the verdict came in?

ALPERT: It didn't feel quick from where I was sitting. It seemed like a long time.

KING: Did you talk to any of the jurors, by the way?

ALPERT: Yes, I did. I got a chance to meet with them after the verdict was returned. And I was very pleased to see that they were attentive. They noted the arguments of both sides, they were very complimentary of both sides. But I think from what they said in the end they saw through the state's theory the case was correct, and I don't think they we were willing to thrust Ms. Mallard out any sooner than the sentence they gave her.

KING: What part of this case in your opinion, Richard, was drugs?

ALPERT: What part of it was drugs?

KING: In other words, what impact did drugs have in this case?

ALPERT: I think that the importance of the drugs in this case, I think it is indicative of Ms. Mallard's attitude. I think she's a person that basically just sought pleasure in her life. I don't for a second believe that her conduct was caused by the use of ecstasy. As we pointed out to the jury, if ecstasy had that effect, we'd have a lot more people in garages right now.

KING: Do you think because she was a nurse's aide that the jury might have held her to a higher behavioral standard?

ALPERT: I think given that she had to have some comprehension of the seriousness of her acts, I think absolutely, the fact that she was educated, that she was a nurse's aide, that she had a supportive family, that there really was no reason for her behavior in her background, I think all of that affected the jury's verdict.

KING: Thank you, Richard. Richard Alpert, prosecutor, Tarrant County, Texas. Now let's go to Jeff Kearney. Jeff was the attorney for Chante Mallard. What was your reaction, Jeff, to the sentence? JEFF KEARNEY, ATTORNEY FOR CHANTE MALLARD: Well, obviously we were very disappointed. And when you have a client get 50 years, you don't feel very good.

KING: Are you appealing this case?

KEARNEY: Well, the case will be appealed. There are several appellate issues in the case, but I will not do the appeal. I think she'll have an appointed lawyer do that.

KING: What's a key appeal issue in your opinion?

KEARNEY: Well, it was the stretch that the state used to apply the murder statute to this particular conduct, and I think that is going to be an issue on appeal. There are no cases in Texas in the case law to support this kind of stretch for felony murder to cover this type of conduct.

KING: What should the charge in your opinion, have been?

KEARNEY: This was clearly a reckless manslaughter. That was our position all along. The problem is that his honor, Judge Wilson, did not give us an instruction to submit that issue to the jury.

KING: Knowing Texas as well as you do, do you think that's a strong appeal issue?

KEARNEY: I don't know right now. There are no cases either way on the issue. So we know certainly it's going to be something we will take to the appellate court.

KING: Do you think the key witness in all of this may have been Brandon Biggs, the son of the deceased?

KEARNEY: I'm going to tell you what, that is a fine young man. And his testimony was extremely compelling before this jury. All of the jurors, almost every one of them, I would say, were crying, tears running down their face during his testimony.

KING: How much thought was given to your client taking the stand?

KEARNEY: There was a great deal of thought given to that, and a great deal of preparation went into that decision. We felt like that there was so much good in Chante Mallard, things that we saw, things that we liked in her, things that we thought she could communicate to the jury, that we thought it was important for this jury to hear from her.

KING: But she didn't take the stand?

KEARNEY: Yes, she did. She took the stand in the punishment phase of the trial.

KING: In the punishment, but in the regular phase? KEARNEY: No, I think from -- in the regular -- the first phase of the trial, the guilt/innocent phase what we call it here in Texas, no, there was a decision made early on that she would not testify in that phase of the trial. Because really what the conduct that the state alleged in the indictment, there was really no dispute that the conduct occurred. The issue was whether that conduct was murder.

KING: Were you surprised at how strong the prosecution came down, especially in closing arguments?

KEARNEY: Well, no, not at all. These are experienced prosecutors, aggressive prosecutors. This certainly being a high profile case, they put a great deal of work into it. And we knew we'd face vigorous prosecution.

KING: Your client's reaction today was what?

KEARNEY: Oh, total disappointment. She was hoping for certainly a better result than that. We all were. She was very emotional, hard to talk to. I told her -- I talked to her for a good while and told her I'd be back tomorrow morning to talk to her.

KING: When did they take her on to prison, do you know what prison she goes to?

KEARNEY: No, she'll go into the Texas penitentiary system, and then be assigned to one of the particular units. It will probably be 30 days or so before they actually move her to the prison system.

KING: Is there a mandatory time she has to serve?

KEARNEY: In Texas, she will have to serve one-half of the sentence at least in calendar days. In other words, she'll have to do 25 years calendar time before she would be eligible for parole.

KING: Texas has let a lot of people out sooner, though, right, with overcrowded prisons?

KEARNEY: No, they will not even consider her for an early release on parole until she has actually done 25 years.

KING: Thank you very much, Jeff, for sharing your thoughts with us. Jeff Kearney, the attorney for Chante Mallard, sentenced 50 years today and they tacked on 10 too for tampering with evidence.

We'll take a break and get the thoughts of Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley and Jean Casarez, who covered this for Court TV right from the get-go. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRANDON BIGGS, SON OF VICTIM: Yesterday, a jury convicted Chante Mallard of murder. Today the same jury handed down Mrs. Mallard's punishment. The past 15 months have been filled with sadness and anxiety and grief, but today the healing process begins. Today the Biggs family can move on to try and live their lives as normally as possible. We want to thank the prosecution team for their tireless work on behalf of Greg Biggs, and finally we would like to offer our forgiveness to Chante Mallard and our sympathies to the Mallard family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Joining us now from New York is Nancy Grace, anchor of "Trial Heat" on Court TV and former prosecutor. In Atlanta is Chris Pixley, defense attorney. And in Fort Worth is Jean Casarez, she's a reporter for Court TV and an attorney herself, indeed a member of the Texas Bar.

We'll start with Jean. Were you surprised at the sentencing?

JEAN CASAREZ, COVERED TRIAL FOR COURT TV: I really wasn't. The prosecution's case was absolutely overwhelming. We've heard it for the majority of these five days. They did not leave a stone unturned in this case and the jury obviously saw that also.

KING: Chris Pixley, your reaction.

CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Larry, it's an awfully stiff sentence. And i think in one respect it's kind f a reminder that what Chante did after the accident may have been actually more important to this jury than her decision to drive under the influence.

As Jeff Kearney said, maybe this was really a reckless manslaughter case. Certainly if it was a simple vehicular homicide, had she come to the aid of Gregory Biggs after she struck him, even if he hadn't survived, Larry, you're looking at probably a maximum of 20 years in prison. And given she didn't have a criminal record or past record of driving under the influence, probably only a ten-year sentence when you get down to it.

So her sentence may have been four or five times longer than it would have otherwise been simply because of her actions after the accident.

KING: Nancy Grace, your reaction?

NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Well, Larry, as we discussed last night, I had at first assumed the jury would give her the maximum of life or 99 years.

But after her performance on the stand, she did seem to show a great deal of remorse, I'm not surprised the jury felt mercy for Miss Mallard. She's looking at about 20, 25 years behind bars. And I think the reason the jury came back with such a strong sentence is 50 years -- that ten years that's tacked on is running concurrent, or at the same time, as the 50 -- is because they went to bed last night, Larry, with the image of their own father through a windshield with his leg amputated begging for his life.

I think that's why the sentence was so harsh.

KING: Jean, if she had stopped right there and called it in, what would have happened?

CASAREZ: I think we'd have a totally different situation because the facts that unfolded after that lay the theory for the felony murder, murder in the first degree. And she did get 50 years. She is eligible for parole in 25, but the trend in Texas right now is that you do not get parole the first time you appear before the parole board.

I was talking to the defense attorney. And he believes for all intents and purposes this will be a life sentence for this woman.

KING: Jean, if it were reckless manslaughter, what's the typical sentence in that kind of case?

CASAREZ: Yes. And the defense wanted a charge to the jury on that. However, the way the indictment was worded, they did not allow for that. That would have been a 2 to 20 year sentence and it's something that they hoped to get, but they didn't.

And actually, they also wanted failure to render aid. That originally was a lesser included offense, one to five years.

KING: Chris, they're going to argue, as Jeff said, the defense will argue in appeal that the murder charge was wrong and that the jury should have had the opportunity to consider the other charge. Do you think that's strong appeal?

PIXLEY: Well, I think what's good about the appeal in terms of the chances that the defense may have is that this is really a landmark case and, you know, all eyes will be on the appellate briefs and on the attorneys and on the decision that comes down.

Unfortunately, most of these appeals, the vast, vast majority of them, Larry, are unsuccessful. And again we're talking about a case with facts that are awfully shocking. We like to think that the appellate court will deal only with the legal issues, but they're going to be moved by these facts as well.

So I don't expect the appeal to be successful. I don't want to doom it already, but I don't expect it to work.

KING: Nancy, were you surprised at the swiftness of both the verdict and the sentencing verdict?

GRACE: No, Larry. Based on these facts I was not surprised at all.

But we keep saying she's going to have to do at least half her time. I always hearken back to the Charles Manson case. Remember he got the death penalty. But as the years progressed, the law changed and that turned into a life sentence. Just think ahead at the prison population in, say, 15 years from now. I can completely foresee her getting out in 12 to 18 years.

And as to the jury charges regarding reckless homicide or vehicular homicide. You know, Larry, about 80 percent of reversals in criminal cases are because of jury instructions. And the law is very clear, if there's any facts to support a charge like vehicular homicide, that choice should be given to a jury.

KING: Jean, do you think the judge erred? Do you think the jury should have had the chance to consider that charge?

CASAREZ: Well I've spoken to a lot of attorneys in Texas, defense attorneys, and they're saying that the judge did not err, that they knew there would not be a charge to the jury under Texas law at this point.

KING: Chris, do you think it was an error?

PIXLEY: So hard to say, Larry. I probably -- probably not. I think, as Nancy said, it is one of those issues that receives an awful lot of attention from both sides. The judge has the basis under Texas law and, so, no, probably not.

KING: But, Nancy, you seem to be thinking that they maybe should have had that opportunity?

GRACE: Well, Larry, I know under Texas law that this case can be upheld on the jury charges as given. In other words, the choice is given the jury. She did not have a vehicular homicide choice.

However, take a look at the U.S. Supreme Court. So many decisions are 5-4. All you need is one judge on that Texas supreme court to tip the scales in favor of Miss Mallard. You can't tell what an appellate court's going to do.

KING: Jean, do you consider this case historic?

CASAREZ: Oh, it is definitely historic. It is historic because of the fact pattern. I don't think we'll ever had another one like it. I think it was historic at least for Fort Worth because of the emotion that we've had in that courtroom since day one. It has been an amazing thing to be within the walls of that courtroom, which I was for Court TV.

KING: Chris, do you share that view?

PIXLEY: I do. I do. I mean, we are legislating morality when we put laws like this on the books. We certainly do it in a lot of other forms.

But this was a failure to rescue case, Larry. And I think what really put it over the top was this was not a person, this is not -- Chante was not a bystander who happened to see someone in need and failed to rescue them. She caused the accident, and then she failed to do anything in her power to help. And this is someone who had the training and the background to offer aid.

KING: Nancy, it certainly would be a classic example of preventing others from doing something similar, wouldn't it?

GRACE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Larry. And last night, Larry, after you and I talked, I went home and I thought, would this be too harsh on Chante Mallard to get 50 years or to get life? She was so sad and remorseful on the stand. But then, Larry, I thought of my own father begging for his life and I'm frankly surprised the jury didn't give her life, 99 years.

KING: Thank you all. Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley and Jean Casarez of Court TV on the scene in Fort Worth.

When we come back, we'll meet our panel, with a new panel tonight. Dickie Arbiter, former spokesperson for Buckingham Palace. The life and times of the royals. They are never dull. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: OK, the new "People," best bachelors, 25 hottest bachelors. The prince is one of them. "The National Enquirer" has Prince William, look at this, going wild. Inside a secret birthday party. He's now 21. Let's meet our panel. In London is Hugo Vickers, best selling biographer, veteran royal watcher. Among his books, "Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece," a biography of Prince Philip's mother. In Washington, Kitty Kelley, best selling biographer, author of "The Royals," now working on a book about the Bush dynasty.

In London is Dickie Arbiter, former spokesman for Buckingham Palace, press officer for the queen and the prince and princess of Wales. And in London is Harold Brooks-Baker, the publishing director of "Burke's Peerage."

We'll start with Hugo Vickers. What is going on with William and all these wild stories? A love life with someone who doesn't live in London, crazy birthday parties? What's going on, Hugo?

HUGO VICKERS, ROYALS BIOGRAPHER: Well, the most extraordinary thing that's been happening, of course, was last Saturday night when the intruder managed to scale the walls of Windsor Castle and get into his birthday party, seize the microphone and address the guests as if he was one of them. Of course, the whole business was made more complicated by being a fancy dress occasion. But nevertheless, of course, it was a very serious breach of security.

KING: Is there, Kitty, a serious security problem in London?

KITTY KELLEY, ROYAL WATCHER: Apparently there is. And I know it's serious, but it in one sense was rollickingly funny. You had this 6-foot, 250-pound man in a pink strapless dress, dressed as Osama bin Laden, jumping over walls, managing to crash the prince's birthday party, get on stage, grab a microphone, kiss him on both cheeks, and then go walking off to the bar, and the only way they caught him was because he didn't ask for a flute of champagne, he asked for a bottle. Now, it is serious but...

KING: Dickie, you've been a spokesman for the palace, press officer for the queen and the prince and princess of Wales. Is this a serious security story or is it kind of funny? DICKIE ARBITER, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY TO THE QUEEN: Well, you know, Hollywood couldn't have written a better script, actually, even if it had tried. Yes, it is a serious problem. I think what the police have said, they talked about a breakdown in systems. What they really mean is a breakdown in communication, because you've got a peculiar scenario at Windsor. Within the castle walls, within the precincts of the castle, that's looked after by the Metropolitan Police. They're based in London. It's the London police force. And then outside the castle you've got the Thames Valley Police. So you've got here two police forces not talking to each other, because Thames Valley moved the guy on. They didn't like what he was doing in front of the grounds. They moved him on, and they should have communicated with the police inside the castle and said, look, we've got this guy out here, we've moved him on. Just keep a look out.

And what happened is just a complete breakdown in communications. But again it's a Hollywood script.

KING: And Harold, how did you see this whole madcap scene?

HAROLD BROOKS-BAKER, DIRECTOR, BURKE'S PEERAGE: Well, I agree with Dickie Arbiter, it is a Hollywood script. But the most important aspect of this whole situation is that it should be considered a harbinger of very difficult times ahead. The royal family and the people who protected them have not taken enough cognizance of the problems that it's faced in the past. Remember that Lord Mountbatten (ph) was killed in Ireland in '79. In '74, Princess Anne was almost kidnapped on the mall with her first husband. And that was certainly very serious.

Then there have been attempted attacks on the queen during the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of the color a few years ago. That was, of course, with blanks, but they could have been real. And there is not one palace on the continent, especially in Holland, where royal families -- and remember there are nine of them -- don't have full protection.

This is inexcusable, and it is perhaps the best thing that has ever happened, because now you're not going to see this sort of thing ever happen again. It wasn't that many years ago, I think 1982, When a Mr. Fagan (ph) got into Buckingham Palace and sat on the queen's bed as she woke up in the morning. The walls of Buckingham Palace were doubled in height after that. And we now live in very serious times when there are many, many problems around the world and people who are interested in causing others harm.

KING: Kitty, what about the William goes wild aspect of that birthday party? Those pictures in "The National Enquirer" and everything? Was it just him being 21 or should they be concerned?

KELLEY: Well, I haven't seen the pictures in "The National Enquirer," Larry. But shortly before this party, William was found speeding through the estate of somebody and going quite fast, and Prince Charles had to make apologies for him. That showed a side of William that was not as attractive as we're accustomed to.

KING: Hugo, is he in love with someone? VICKERS: Well, I don't know the answer to that question. Let's hope he is. But the fact that I don't know the answer means to say that it is not public knowledge, and that is a good thing. I think he has many attractive girls around him, and a great number of them, of course, were at that party. He's very young. I think that incident in the car on the estate was one of those nonsensical things built up by the press. But he's just young. You know, he's alive, he's having fun, why not?

KING: We'll take a break and I'll ask Dickie about the press and Prince William and the whole press view toward the royals. We'll include your phone calls, of course. This is LARRY KING LIVE, and we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: All right, Dickie Arbiter, how well should the prince be protected, press-wise, or should they let him be 21?

ARBITER: Larry, can I just pick up very quickly on something that you asked Hugo a moment ago? You asked him about -- is William in love? I think we're all young enough to remember when we were 21, and we were in and out of love with a whole host of ladies. And I think William is pretty much the same now. He's not letting on who he's in love with, or if, indeed, he is. But I'm sure he's got a string of girlfriends.

But as far as the press is concerned, yes, I still think there should be an element of protection for him. He's still undergoing his formal education. He's at university. He's got another two years to do. He is No. 2 in line, so he's got his father in between. Let him enjoy his childhood, something his father never had an opportunity of doing because his mother was thrust into the role of head of state in 1952 at the age of 26. And that shouldn't happen to William. He has got this buffer. And he should be allowed to enjoy himself. In enjoying himself, he should be allowed -- you know, he should be allowed freedom from the press, rather than freedom for the press.

KING: Before we take some phone calls, Harold, what does Harry do now? He's through with high school, right?

BROOKS-BAKER: Well, now that Prince Harry has come down through Eton, he is thinking very seriously of taking a year to find himself and to decide when and if he's going into the army. It seems unlikely that he's going to go on to higher education. University doesn't seem to be for him, even though he's a very bright fellow. And of course, to be second-in-waiting is not an easy job. I mean, Princess Margaret waited all her life to see if she was going to be called. Prince Charles of Luxembourg waited all his life to see if he was going to be called. There are many people in this position. Generally, thank goodness, they seldom are, but they don't have a chance to really create a rich life for themselves. Maybe this will be the exception and he will be allowed a life that is completely full.

KING: Well put. Let's go to some calls. Port Richey, Florida. Keeping up with the royals. Hello. CALLER: Yes, good evening, Larry.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: Love you. Love your show.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: I want to ask somebody on the panel, was Camilla at the birthing party for William? And will William eventually go into the military?

KING: Kitty?

KELLEY: Camilla -- she was, indeed, at the party. And William is, supposedly, according to reports, thinking about going into the military. And he and Harry might indeed end up at Sandhurst at the same time.

KING: Hugo, there are stories that he might live in the United States, Prince William, for a while. Any truth in that?

VICKERS: No, that's been very firmly denied. He will not do that. I think the chances are that he will go into the military. The military is a very good training for young princes. It does given them the kind of freedom from the press that Dickie was talking about because they -- nobody quite knows where they are and there's a lot of activities that they can get involved with. And it's a very good training for the kind of duties that they have to do later on.

KING: Ellijay, Georgia. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry. Excellent show. I would like to ask your wonderful panel what is the -- what would be the difference in the leadership style between Prince William and Prince Charles, in the event that they become king?

KING: What differences do you see, Dickie?

ARBITER: Well, difficult question to answer because the Prince of Wales has been doing his role for nearly 30 years now, and he has created a role for himself, a role that hitherto there wasn't for any Princes of Wales. What will William do? Well, just to take on Hugo saying that William will go into the forces, you've got to remember that he is going to be, when he becomes king, commander-in-chief. As commander-in-chief, he will probably have to appear in uniform from time to time. And in appearing in uniform, you should be appearing in your own right.

Now, the Prince of Wales appears in his own right as a naval officer. He was in the navy. He drove a ship, albeit a mine-sweeper, for a while. He flew airplanes. He flew helicopters. He jumped out of airplanes. He parachuted. But primarily, he was in the navy.

Now, William will probably do something similar. He will also -- once he has done his military training, he will then be learning the craft of kingship and probably following in his father's footsteps. You know, his father moves on, he might well take over a role in the Prince's Trust, which is a very successful organization looking after the needs of underprivileged youngsters in deprived areas of the United Kingdom. And now this is something he could do. He might find other charities that he wants to become deeply involved in.

First of all, he's got to finish his university education. He's probably going to have another little bit of a gap before going to military training. And then will start the real role of kingship.

KING: Yuma, Arizona. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: I was just wondering, considering Prince William will be king some day, how and when do they start preparing him for that role?

KING: Harold?

BROOKS-BAKER: Well, I think that he's being prepared for that role this very minute and has been for several years. But you have to remember that it may be many years indeed before he is king because the queen must stay on the throne until she dies. That could give her another 20 years or so. After all, her mother reached 100. Many of the queen's ancestors only died because of cigarettes, like George VI, George V and the Duke of Windsor. So I think that you can see that this long period that he has of probably, oh, 20 years while he waits for the queen, his grandmother, to die, and another, let's say, 40 years for his father to die, if his father decides to stay on the throne for the full length of time, means that it's going to...

KING: It'll be a long while.

BROOKS-BAKER: ... be a very long time. And you and I will certainly not be here, Larry.

KING: Elsobrante, California. Hello.

CALLER: I've read many times of members of the royal family writing to each other instead of talking -- the queen writing to Charles and Diana, telling them to get divorced, Prince Philip writing to Sarah Ferguson to express his displeasure with her behavior. Why do they write instead of talk to each other, like everyone else?

KING: Kitty?

KELLEY: I don't know exactly why, but she's absolutely right. They do write letters frequently. All the time. In fact, the queen has many relatives that she has addressed as "Dear Cousin." I remember when I was doing the research on the royals book, I was surprised to see those letters. And I was also surprised to find out how they really do communicate by letters. And those letters, in the end, are usually turned over to the archives in Windsor. So they're really not public -- unless they're leaked, of course. KING: Hugo, why mail?

VICKERS: Well, I think sometimes there are certain things which need to be said which are better said in a letter than said face to face. And I think that's absolutely right that there is a correspondence. And the letters are not posted. They go through the internal system. And you know, anyone who's fortunate enough ever to see one of these letters -- sometimes they're very interesting. But I think everybody in life, if there's something really important that needs to be said, needs to put it down on paper. And that's one of the ways they operate, certainly.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more phone calls for Hugo Vickers, Kitty Kelley, Dickie Arbiter and Harold Brooks-Baker. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Gulfstream, Florida. Hello.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Hi. Go ahead.

CALLER: You're on?

KING: You're on. Go ahead.

CALLER: I'm calling because my ancestors are all from England. And I am so concerned and anxious to know, Larry and Kitty, about Prince William's faith and spirituality.

KING: Kitty, does he have much faith and spirituality.

KELLEY: Yes, I think the whole royal family does. They're very attentive by going to church a lot. I think, though, that with Prince William, he's a very -- I think he's got a lot of scars, if you will, from his mother's death, and I think he's a very guarded young man. And I think he takes very seriously his role as future king, and that would be head of the church, as well.

KING: Dickie, are they very spiritual, this family?

ARBITER: Yes, very much so. They church every Sunday. It plays a very major part in their lives, going to church and, where possible, going to church as a family. When they're up in Scotland in August and September and the boys are up there, they will go to church as a family. And likewise, at Easter, when they're all together. So it is something. And as Kitty rightly says, he will become head of the Church of England, the Anglican church, unless, you know, the synod changes and there is an act of Parliament to change the sovereign being the head of the church, which there is talk about at the moment.

KING: Pleasanton, California. Hello.

CALLER: Larry, I really enjoy your program. My question is for Kitty. Do the boys drive? And if so, what kind of cars do they drive? Thank you.

KING: Thank you.

KELLEY: The boys do drive, and as a matter of fact, Prince Charles, I understand, offered William any car he wanted for his birthday, including an Aston Martin, which Charles himself received on his 21st birthday from his mother. But William wanted instead, I think, a racing bike, a souped-up motorcycle. And Charles said that it was not safe for him at all. But yes, they do drive. They also have drivers and are driven quite a bit.

KING: Fredericton, New Brunswick. Hello.

CALLER: Hi.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: How are you, Larry?

KING: Fine.

CALLER: My question is for the panel. Now that Prince Harry -- Prince William -- sorry -- has turned 21, is he settled on his future of becoming King of England? And has he learned a lot of lessons from his mother, you think, that's going to carry on that's through his role (UNINTELLIGIBLE) king?

KING: You mean the mother's upbringing?

CALLER: Yes.

KING: Harold, did Princess Di do a good job?

BROOKS-BAKER: Well, I think that you have to remember that the short and confusing life of Diana, Princess of Wales, doesn't really give us enough indication of how good a job she was able to do in preparing her children. But she certainly gave them a great deal of love. She herself was the most loved woman in the world. But I think it's perfectly clear that from the very beginning, Prince Charles was the perfect father, and they have benefited constantly by his guidance. The Prince of Wales, in some ways, looks like a secondary character at that time in their lives, but a mother is always first with the heart.

KING: Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: I watch you all the time.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is to Kitty. Kitty, do you think the crown could go straight to William and pass Charles up altogether? And will he still be able to be king if he remarries? Also, do you think that Diana will ever be on a stamp? And I pray that William's fate won't be the same as his mother's. Thank you.

KING: You're welcome. Kitty?

KELLEY: Well, amen to the last one. Now, let's see. What were her questions again? The crown will not skip. It will not go to William instead of Charles. It will be...

KING: Even if he remarries?

KELLEY: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely, it will go to Charles. He's waited a long time. It's part of the line of succession. Polls show that Prince Charles is certainly not as popular as his son, but still and all, he will be king first.

KING: Hugo, why is William so popular?

VICKERS: Well, I mean, you have to look at him to see why he's so popular. He's extremely good-looking. He's tall, handsome. He unites, in a way, the best features of both parents and the best qualities of both parents. If there's still any divide in people's affections for one or the other, these two things are united in Prince William. I mean, I honestly think that if Prince William didn't exist, we'd have to somehow find some way of inventing him. We're extremely lucky to have him.

KING: Atlanta, Georgia. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, Larry. You have a wonderful show.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: I'd like to ask Hugo -- I heard that Prince William was going to go to South Africa to live. Now, is there any truth to that?

VICKERS: I certainly haven't heard any suggestion of him going to South Africa. I think it's extremely unlikely. Sort of what flicks into the back of my mind is, of course, at one time, Lord Spencer was out there. I don't think he's out there so much now. No, I don't think he's going to go and live in South Africa or, indeed, in the United States.

KING: We'll be back with more calls for our outstanding panel on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Back to the calls. Ft. Meyers, Florida. Hello.

CALLER: Yes. Hi, Larry.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: I was wondering if Prince William -- hello?

KING: Yes. Go ahead.

CALLER: Yes. Hi, Larry. I was wondering if Prince William and Harry are in contact at all with Princess Diana's sisters and her brother? Were they even invited to his 21st birthday, and/or have they been to Althorp (ph) to see their mother's grave?

KING: Dickie? Dickie, will you respond?

ARBITER: Yes, indeed. They are in contact. And Prince William's uncle, Earl Spencer, was at the party. I just want to rewind very, very marginally. You asked about was -- Diana and upbringing. She did a terrific job with the boys. I was around for the first 15 year of William's life and 13 years of Harry's, when Diana was so tragically killed in 1997. She taught them the quality of life. She taught them about the good things. She did the good things, which we saw a lot of in the public, and she also told them about the unfortunate and showed them how unfortunate people live by taking them out with her to see people in shelters. So I firmly believe, and I've seen it at first-hand, she did a great job with their lives. The boys are in touch with their uncles and aunts.

KING: OK.

ARBITER: And we do read from time to time they're not, but they are.

KING: Naples, Florida. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. I was wondering if Diana ever made peace with Charles after he stayed with Camilla? And also what was the significance with Prince Philip in walking behind the funeral, if he wasn't that fond of Diana?

KING: Kitty?

KELLEY: Well, the first question, did Diana ever make peace with Prince Charles -- I think there was a guarded communication, is about the best you can say. She at the end was very, very bitter. And after she gave her interview on "Panorama," the royal family seemed to be quite united against her. And as far as Prince Philip -- he, I understand, offered to walk with the boys, and the boys wanted him to walk with them. And it was Prince Charles, his two sons, Prince Philip and the Earl Spencer.

KING: Georgetown, Ontario, Canada. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. How's it going?

KING: Fine.

CALLER: I got a question. I know that Diana's brother was invited to Prince William's birthday party. How was the other royals' reaction to it?

KING: Hugo? VICKERS: I don't know because I wasn't at the party, I'm afraid. But he would have been a very welcome guest. But I would like to pick up, if I could, on that point about Prince Philip. The interesting thing about the funeral procession was that, as I understand it, there was some question in Prince William's mind as to whether or not he really wanted to take part in all that and to walk behind his mother's coffin so publicly after all the shenanigans that had been going on in the press. And Prince Philip is a very wise man, and he said to Prince William, I think that you might regret it later if you don't. And then he offered to walk with them. And I think that's an extremely supportive grandfather. And that's really, I think, how it happened.

KING: Logan, Ohio. Hello.

CALLER: Yes. I was wondering if they shouldn't take some step to prosecute that man that broke into the birthday party. Doesn't that set a bad example if they...

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Oh, yes. What's going to happen to him, Harold?

BROOKS-BAKER: Well, I think that he will not receive life imprisonment, but he will be severely punished. But the trouble with the Barshack is, is that it's not really understood that he has alerted the world to this kind of problem. After all, Barshack could have been a terrorist and we could have ended up today with the one person who wasn't there on the throne, who is Prince Edward.

KING: But he will be punished. San Diego. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: I'm wondering about the current relationship with Prince Philip with his grandsons. He seems gruff. Is there their relationship warm?

KING: Who wants it? Hugo, do you know?

VICKERS: I think he's an extremely good grandfather, and I think they get on with him very well indeed. Prince William enjoys his company, and of course, Prince William has also spoken very warmly about the queen and what her role has been to him in her life. He's watched her undertaking her various duties, and so forth. But it's a good relationship.

Prince Philip, actually, is one of those much misunderstood men because the tabloid press have decided to focus on the occasional times when he says something which they consider to be a gaffe. And so all they do now is just to consider him to be a figure who's slightly bad-tempered and who makes gaffes. The real Prince Philip is a very different man, indeed. And one day, we will know much more about all the things that he's achieved. But as far as being a grandfather's concerned, he's extremely supportive.

KING: Sounds like Hugh is going to write a book about him. Winnipeg. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry?

KING: Yes. Quickly. Go ahead.

CALLER: Yes. I'm wondering, please, if -- is it true, as it's been rumored, that Prince William is seeing someone in Africa?

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Is that true, Kitty?

KELLEY: Well, I understand that he's seeing a lot of people, but there is a young...

KING: There is a young girl from Kenya, right, who came to the party, right?

KELLEY: Kate Middleton? Is that her name, I think? Yes, she did, indeed. And the Africa business -- William is quite taken with the country, and that was the theme of his birthday party. Everyone had to dress in kind of an African garb. He's also studying Swahili, or he's trying to teach himself Swahili. So he has quite a respect and affection for the country.

KING: And Hugo, is Diana's sister working on a book about her late sister?

VICKERS: I sincerely hope not. I didn't know that there was any rumor that she was going to do that.

KING: "Hello" magazine, I think, is saying that.

VICKERS: There's been enough books -- right. Well, I don't think so. I hope not. I hope not.

KING: Thank you all very much. Hugo Vickers, the best-selling biographer and veteran royal watcher; Kitty Kelley, also a best- selling biographer, author of the book, "The Royals"; Dickie Arbiter, the former spokesman for the palace and the for the Queen and the Prince and Princess of Wales; and Harold Brooks-Baker, publishing director of "Burke's Peerage."

And I'll be back in a couple of moments to tell you about what's coming up this weekend. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: This weekend, there'll be two editions of LARRY KING LIVE. On one of them, Katharine Houghton -- we'll repeat that interview with Katharine Hepburn's niece. And then a new series we're going to be running on weekends occasionally called LARRY KING CLASSICS. We'll repeat an interview with Barbara Bush, the former first lady. 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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