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A Bad Year for the British Royals

Aired December 16, 2003 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: What a year for the royals -- bizarre rumors of a new scandal, a real-life royal baby, not one but two security breaches at Buckingham Palace, that bombshell book by Princess Di's ex-butler, Paul Burrell, and now a new bid for a full public inquiry into Diana's death by the father of the lover who died with her.
Joining us to go over all that, plus the latest royals news, Darren McGrady, personal Diana's -- he was Princess Diana's personal chef for five years and not a fan of the Burrell book; Robert Lacey, the best-selling author of numerous books on the royals; Dickie Arbiter, former press secretary for Her Majesty the Queen; and Harold Brooks-Baker, publishing director of "Burke's Peerage."

They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Darren McGrady will join the panel at the bottom of the hour. And at the end of the show tonight, Michael Buble, that wonderful singer from Canada who's caused such a splurge across the continent of the United States and across the world, will be with us with a special Christmas treat at the end of the program.

Let's get right into it, gentlemen. This week in Scotland, Mohammed Al-Fayed launched a new bid for a public inquiry into the car-crash deaths of his son, Dodi, and Princess Di. He thinks it was murder. What do you think of his claims, Robert Lacey?

ROBERT LACEY, AUTHOR, "MONARCH": I've not got much time for them. I was watching only this afternoon a video which pulled all together his conspiracy theories. I think they stem from his understandable hurt at the loss of his son, possible disappointment at being denied the chance to get his own back on the British establishment.

I think, though, the claims he's making would not really carry much weight if it weren't for all the things you've just been alluding to. After last year's Golden Jubilee, this year has not been a good year for the royals. There have been the break-ins. There have been these scandals, these allegations that Prince Charles was homosexual. None of these things would have been taken seriously, I don't think, if it hadn't been for the general atmosphere of sleaze and incompetence that somehow has surrounded all the revelations of Paul Burrell. And no, it hasn't been a good year for the royals.

KING: Dickie Arbiter, what about Mohammed Al-Fayed and his charges? DICKIE ARBITER, FORMER PRESS OFFICER FOR THE QUEEN: Well, he's always believed in a conspiracy theory. And like Robert, I don't believe in conspiracy theories, either. There was a very, very comprehensive inquiry in France. There was an investigation. And whether he likes it or not, they came to the conclusion -- and I think everybody -- a lot of people do believe that conclusion -- that it was an accident that should never have happened, but it did happen.

But he is a grieving father, and only the other day, I was saying, that, Yes, grieve, but grieve with dignity and grieve in private. This is not a conspiracy. This was an accident.

KING: Harold, didn't British authorities announce an inquest would be held into Dodi's death?

HAROLD BROOKS-BAKER, DIRECTOR, "BURKE'S PEERAGE": Well, it was certainly expected that there would be one, and it is under British law anticipated that one will be forthcoming. But for some strange reason, they keep putting it off. However, I think the Al-Fayed problem muddies the water a great deal because, after all, he is one of the most controversial men in the world. He is, in fact, the only billionaire in the world whose sources of fortune are unknown even to people in the city and on Wall Street.

Furthermore, he is, of course, very, very controversial in the business world, and there are many people who might have tried to get at him through murdering his son. That's far more realistic possibility if, indeed, there is such a thing as a conspiracy, which none of us agree with.

ARBITER: Larry, there are a couple of other issues here, as well, concerning Mohammed Al-Fayed. He's tried for years to get British citizenship, and this has been denied him. So he's very anti- establishment, as far as that is concerned. He's also very much against the Inland Revenue. Aren't we all? None of us likes to pay taxes. But it seems that he had some sort of deal, and as far as he's concerned, the Inland Revenue -- your sort of IRS -- have reneged on that deal. So he's a very bitter man, and he's a man who's really got an axe to grind. And he's not going to stop. He's trying in the Scottish courts to try and get an inquiry.

KING: But Robert Lacey, delaying the inquiry in London only fuels his theories, doesn't it?

LACEY: You're absolutely right there, Larry. The royal family are dragging their feet over this. You rightly said that the royal coroner announced earlier this year that there would be an inquest. The very next day, he said, Well, perhaps it won't be immediately. The royal family feel exactly as Dickie has said, that it was a very sad accident and there's nothing to be gained from rehashing it. It is known that the boys, Princes William and Harry, feel very distressed about it. Diana's own family have no doubt at all that it was an accident, just like an accident killed Princess Grace. People don't expect princesses to die in car crashes, but these two did.

But I quite agree with the point you're making. By not allowing this inquest to be held, which law requires it must be held one day, it's...

KING: So why aren't they doing it?

LACEY: ... fuels people's theories of -- because for these reasons that I'm saying, because they're putting family feelings above what someone like Mohammed Al-Fayed feels, and it is a bad decision, I think. I certainly feel that, and I think many other people feel it, as well.

KING: Harold, on this program, Paul Burrell's book was racked around pretty good. He was on this show, and then the panel criticized him very much. I've read reviews of the book, though, and they say that except, of course, he did print some secrets, it's laudatory of Princess Di. It's a salute to Princess Di. How do you react to that, Harold?

BROOKS-BAKER: Well, I think that you must take into consideration that the royal family doesn't think that books of this sort should be written. And it is a breach of loyalty on the part of a servant to get involved in this kind of business deal. Certainly, even when the little children's book came out about the life of the Princess Elizabeth, who is now queen, and her sister, the Princess Margaret Rose, and there was nothing controversial, the royal family was very upset with the nanny who wrote it.

There's a long history of the royal family feeling that this is their area, their private life, and why should they have to share it with people who are making money out of it? I would tend to agree with that. Certainly, this is a family that gives much of its life to the people in the commonwealth, which, after all, circles the globe and represents 54 countries, and in 16 of those countries, the queen is head of state.

You cannot remove from the queen and her family every bit of privacy in the world. It is completely unfair. And the Burrell book tries to do that. I mean, are we supposed to know what kind of toothpaste the Prince of Wales uses every morning as he gets up? This is ridiculous. There must be some chance for a private life.

KING: Dickie Arbiter, what about...


KING: I'm sorry. Go ahead.

ARBITER: Yes. Yes. What we've got here, Larry, is a book according to Paul Burrell. What we don't hear is from the silent witness. Unfortunately, she died in 1997. Now, Burrell was a next- door neighbor of mine when I worked at Buckingham Palace and when he worked for the princess. And time and time and time again, he said, I will never write a book. In 1997, after she died, in 1998, not long after that she -- you know, we got into that year, at the collapse of his trial, he said, I will never write a book. More recently, he said, Well, circumstances have changed.

And here's a man who's gone back on his world. And when asked, Are you going to write another one, he said, Well, I don't know. It wasn't a no. It wasn't a yes. But it was, I don't know. And based on the history of having written the first one, you've got to accept there will be another one.

KING: We're going to take a break, and when we come back, we'll ask about the sexual allegations about Prince Charles. We'll also be including your phone calls. Darren McGrady at the bottom of the hour. Michael Buble sings "White Christmas" later in the program. And tomorrow night, Bill Maher returns for his regular visit to these shores and this podium.

We'll be right back. Don't go away.


KING: Robert Lacey, what about the allegations from the former servant, George Smith, about the sexual proclivities of Prince Charles, that he is bisexual?

LACEY: Well, these relate to one incident that George Smith says took place. George Smith we better give some background on. He's a former royal servant -- yet another one. In this case, he was a Falklands veteran who came back from the Falklands war down in the South Atlantic with shell shock. He was taken under the royal wing by Prince Charles. He was looked after. He had a series of nervous breakdowns, and in the course of these, he made a number of allegations against people. One of them was a member of the royal staff. He said he'd been sexually assaulted by him.

In the course of the inquiries into the George Smith story, it turns out he's made seven, eight or nine allegations of rape against royal people and non-royal people. All of these have been investigated by the police, and there's been -- the police have decided not to proceed because the evidence is unreliable.

However, this particular sensational revelation, or allegation, rather, caught the attention of the British media. He was paid a lot of money to repeat it several times. For my money, it is just a matter of money. It's an example of the way in which the British royalty have become an Aunt Sally (ph). And of course, the British press, while protesting their loyalty to the monarchy, are only too happy to run these stories and increase their circulation.

KING: Dickie, what about Michael Fawcett, his links to several scandals? He was one of Prince Charles's most trusted aides. He Had to resign after an internal inquiry. How big a story is that this year?

ARBITER: Well, any story surrounding Michael Fawcett is a pretty big story. For years, there was always sort of suggestions that he was into one scam or another. There was a question of gifts being sold on and keeping the money. He has been the center of so many stories within that particular household. Certainly, when I was there, I heard so many stories, but nothing was substantiated. There was a number of investigations. Nothing could be proven, and he was allowed to continue. And then about four years ago, something came to light. He left in a hurry, but he came back within 48 hours. Again, allegations made, not substantiated. And finally, you know, we had -- earlier in the year, we had a suggestion that he was moving a lot of royal gifts, selling them, and the money was going wherever. And he had to go, but he hasn't actually gone, you see, because he's not employed directly by the royal household or by the Prince of Wales, but he is still employed to mastermind parties. He masterminded Prince William's 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle in June, the one the notorious Allen Barshack (ph) gate-crashed -- that security scare. And he masterminded a party at Clarence House. He's still there. He's still on the scene.

KING: And Harold, is there any question about Prince Charles ascending to the throne? There were some rumors in the press that he might acquiesce in William's favor.

BROOKS-BAKER: Well, I think that every time somebody is photographed, including the Prince of Wales, with a frown on the face, that picture gets carried around the world immediately. It reaches every front page of every newspaper, from "The New York Times" to "The Washington Post." And after all, as the famous racing car driver, Chuck Goldsboro (ph), said in Baltimore the other day, it doesn't -- it isn't possible for anyone who is famous these days to show anything except a bland expression on his face.

I don't think that you have to worry about the Prince of Wales becoming king, if he wishes to become king, if he's still alive. The queen will be around for another quarter of a century, we hope, and she cannot leave the throne until she dies. So there's no reason to think that we're going to be here talking about this in 25 years' time, when, sadly, the queen may be called to her reward.

KING: Let's include some phone calls. Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. I have two questions.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: First, did Cannon and Chance know about your birthday surprise? And my question for Bob Lacey is, why did it take Paul Burrell so many years to produce Diana's letter that she knew about her own death? And...

KING: All right. Do you know the answer to that? The kids did not know about the surprise or they would have told me. Go ahead.


LACEY: Well, it's wonderful the way in which the doings of American royalty are getting mixed on the show with those of British royalty.

KING: Yes. True.

LACEY: The question -- well, what's the difference? I mean, the king is the king, isn't he, either side of the Atlantic.

No, to answer your question seriously, you are referring the extraordinary letter which was really the selling -- the big selling point of Paul Burrell's book, in which Diana, shortly before her death, in these very paranoid months after her separation from Charles, wrote down her belief that she -- that she was the victim of a conspiracy to organize a car accident that would leave her mentally damaged.

I've no answer to your question, madam. I think the whole world would like to why Paul Burrell didn't produce this letter to the authorities immediately after Diana's death. He said, in some way, he didn't trust the French to handle it properly, but it's, certainly, in the eyes of loyalists in this country, a major example of the way in which Paul Burrell likes to have his cake and eat it, and produced it actually at a moment that was not to do with the judicial process into Diana's death, but into selling his own book.

KING: We'll take a break and come back with more calls. Darren McGrady, Princess Di's personal chef from 1993 to her death, will join us at the bottom of the hour. Don't go away.


KING: Let's get some more phone calls. Cincinnati, Ohio. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. How are you?

KING: Fine.

CALLER: I'd like -- I have two questions for the panel.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: One, do they -- do all of them believe that the princess was murdered? Do you believe that there's any truth to this? And my second question is, will Charles ever marry Camilla?


KING: Dickie, do you want to take the first one? Does anyone -- do a lot of people in London believe that -- Dickie Arbiter, that she was murdered?

ARBITER: It depends the question you ask. If you go into public opinion polls, like all public opinion polls, the question you ask and you'll get the answer that you want. I think most people, most thinking people believe that it was a tragic accident that never should have happened. Unfortunately, it did. The French inquiry proved conclusively. We're waiting for an inquest in this country. But I think most thinking people believe that it was an accident and should never have happened.

KING: And Harold, what about the impending nuptials? BROOKS-BAKER: I think that most people now accept as a real possibility that the Prince of Wales will marry Camilla Parker-Bowles. No one seems to object to it, as was the case in the past. And nobody is comparing Camilla Parker-Bowles with the late Diana, Princess of Wales. It is not certain, but I think most people believe that it is very likely that a marriage will take place one day, when things are right. For the poor royal family, nothing has been right for more than about three days at a time in the last couple of years, so maybe we'll wait a long time. But we will, in my opinion, see it happen.

KING: Farley, Alabama. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. My question is, why was the princess kept in a wrecked car for so long, when there was a hospital eight minutes away? Any other member of the royal family would not have been treated that way, and there would have been an immediate investigation if it had been anybody else but Diana. That's my question.

KING: Robert?

LACEY: Well, that's one of the concerns raised by Mohammed Al- Fayed. The French answer to this is that French ambulance technique is different from those in other countries. The ambulance that went to Diana was not different from that which goes to any other sort of car accident in France, and the policy of the French ambulance service is not to rush immediately to hospital but to try to and do work in the ambulance itself.

This may well be a fault of the system. I'm not defending this. The point is, it's not something that has any special significance to do with Diana herself. The French themselves criticize the way this operates. The French ambulance system is in some way different from the hospital system. And therefore, these medics, for whatever reason, in the ambulance actually halted for quite a period because they wished to stabilize Diana and try and deliver her to the hospital in good state.

If you're a conspiracy theorist, you will see this as supporting Mr. Fayed's point of view, of course.

KING: Tampa, Florida? Hello.

CALLER: Yes, Larry. My question for your panel is regarding the investigation of the latest Prince Charles allegations. Does this actually feed into the tabloid journalism that seems to prevail in Britain, as far as the British media, when it comes to the royal family and almost a continuing soap opera year after year?

KING: Harold?

BROOKS-BAKER: Well, I think that it is a kind of continuation of the original soap opera that goes back to William the Conqueror. So there's nothing new about that.

But on the other hand, we're living in an age where everything that is reported appears all over the world within seconds. And the idea that an embargo should be put on any news in England, even though that wasn't the case on the continent or in the United States, is a waste of time. If you sneeze in London today, you'll know about it in Rome two seconds later, not tomorrow. This is not the era of Wallis Warfield Simpson and the king. We know precisely what has happened almost at the same time it is happening. And I think that it is not possible to keep any secrets, and it is not possible even to keep any lies, the way it used to be in the past.

So therefore, there's a great tendency to make up nonsense, and if that nonsense makes people money, that is, of course, beyond our control.

KING: Robert Lacey, by the way, is the best-selling author and veteran royal watcher. His book, "Great Tales from English History: The Truth About King Arthur, Lady Godiva, Richard the Lionhearted and More," is due in the United States next summer. And his book, "Monarch: The Life and Reign of Elizabeth II," is out in trade paperback. Dickie Arbiter is the former spokesperson for Buckingham Palace and former press officer for the queen and the prince and princess of Wales. And as well in London, Harold Brooks-Baker is publishing director of "Burke's Peerage."

We are going to take a break, and when we come back, we'll be joined by Darren McGrady. He was Princess Di's personal chef from 1993 to 1997. Prior to that, he was a chef at Buckingham Palace. He's on the board of directors at the Pink Ribbons Crusade, a Texas- based charity devoted to carrying on Princess Di's fight against breast cancer. We'll spend some moments with Darren, then he'll join the panel. And all that's ahead. Don't go away.


KING: Joining us now is Darren McGrady. He's in Dallas. Princess Di's personal chef from 1993 to 1997. Darren, you have not written a book, right?


KING: Nor do you intend to, correct?

MCGRADY: I'm working on a cookbook, Larry. But that's just a book of recipe. Not a kiss and tell.

KING: Why were you so angry at Paul Burrell's book?

MCGRADY: I was really disappointed in Paul, Larry. You know, when the princess died we sat together and made a pact that neither of us would talk about the princess' private life and Paul knew so much -- so much good about the princess. So many nice stories that he could have just written book an about that. I'm disappointed he revealed so many things that offended the boys, that caused heart ache to the princess' family and Dodi's father, as well. And I just disappointed in Paul.

KING: Let's see how he responded when he was on this program and asked why he wrote the book. Let's ask. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL BURRELL, PRINCESS DIANA'S FORMER BUTLER: I have nothing to hide. It's throughout. I'll stand by it. I'm proud of it. I think it is a wonderful, moving tribute to the princess. A great historical account of her life and I think I've been very discrete and very loyal. And I'm surprised people think I haven't, but then, have they read it?

Because if they read it, they would know I have been very discrete.


KING: And Darren, a lot of the critics have said it's basically laudatory about Princess Di.

MCGRADY: Yes, I have to be -- let's be honest, Larry. There are a lot of things in there, and like I said, Paul could of written a book. Paul, knew so many good stories, and Paul could have written a really nice book, a book that the boys would have been proud of. That Prince William and Harry would proud of. But instead he choose to go the money way and try to make as much money he could by putting in all of these stories. Not all the stories, Larry. It looks like he's saving some for a second book and, yes, I did read the book. I read the book to see exactly what Paul had written in there. And, you know, he had been discrete. The -- he says that the princess had nine lovers that she put into traps, one to nine. I knew about those, Larry, but they weren't lovers. They were friends. They were friends that were just courting the Princes. They weren't lovers. And do William and Harry really need to know about that?

KING: How close were you with the princess?

MCGRADY: I was a personal chef, Larry. That was all I was. A friend? Well, you know, I kept a secrets that she confided in me. I was there for her and I cooked for her. I certainly wasn't a close friend in the way people like Rosa Monckton (ph), Madam Fletcher Delima (ph) were.

KING: Was she tough on you as a chef?

Was she demanding as -- in what she ate?

MCGRADY: She was a lady, Larry. All ladies are demanding on the chefs. No, she was -- she was wonderful to work for. You know, we had the bulimia problem in the early days. And when I moved across to work with the princess, she was coming through those dark years, Larry. And she was eating healthy. She was patron over 100 charities. You know, we were doing charity luncheons all the time. It was wonderful. And the princess was eating healthy.

KING: When she was bulimic, what problem did that present for the chef?

MCGRADY: It was difficult. I was at Buckingham Palace then. That's when I met the princess when I was at Buckingham Palace and personal chef to the queen there. And she would -- I know as a chef from the foods that she was eating, the foods she was requesting, I knew that things weren't quite right. You know, you can't do anything. You're staff and you're to do as you're requested to do.

KING: Where were you when she died?

MCGRADY: I was at home. I got up in the morning because, obviously, we heard about the news the next morning. And I got up to go into work and I had the food with me, Larry. I had the food with me to take into work because we were expecting the boss to come back. The princess, and the boys. And, you know, whenever William and Harry was home, it was a happy time in the house. And so, we were looking for a few days before they went back to school. So I just turned on the BBC News and I couldn't believe it. What they were saying, that the princess was dead. And I even went into work and took the food with me to work. I just didn't believe what I was see on the news.

KING: Darren, you remain with us as we continue with the panel. Robert Lacey, what do you make of what Darren McGrady says of Mr. Burrell?

LACEY: It has to me the ring of truth. I believe Darren has written articles in the British press in which he describes how Paul Burrell as he was working as a supposed confidential servant of the princess, kept notes on everything. And went to the lengths of faxing all these details to a -- well, an unknown number in America, obviously, known to him. But he was plotting all along to write a book and talked about this. And it's very interesting to get this firsthand testimony. I don't know if Darren can confirm or deny what I've just said there.

KING: Darren.

MCGRADY: Yes, that's right. It is true. He was mailing them, not faxing them. But yes he was keeping notes.

KING: Dickey, what do you make of what Darren McGrady has to say?

ARBITER: Well, Darren has always been a honest bloke. I knew him when I was at Buckingham Palace and ate many of his meals at lunchtime. He's a bloody good cook. I can recommend him if he's going to open a restaurant. But yes, you know, Paul Burrell was so often in the princess' apartment, you know, the whole apartment on his own because she was out, she was away, and he had the run of the place and. You know, probably the most powerful people within a household are valets, dressers and butlers. Nothing goes in or out of the house without passing the butler. And quite frankly, he had the run of the house, had opportunities to take what he wanted. He had opportunity photo copy what he wanted. And he had the opportunity of getting rid of it, in other words, getting into another country.

And when you think about two years ago when the police raided his home and found so much in his roof, you have to ask yourself, why was it there? He claims he kept it there to give it to the boys when they were old enough. They were old enough.

Why did he have it four years after her death?

We know why he had it four years after her death, because people are buying the book and probably buy the second book. Darren is right. You know, he's got so much that he will write another book. I asked him in Paris, nearly 10 days ago, are you going to write another book?

He didn't say yes or no. All he said was, circumstances change. He will write another book. Watch this space.

KING: And Harold Brooks Backer, what do you make of what Darren McGrady had to say?

BROOKS-BAKER: Well, I think it's rather refreshing to know there's still real people with principles left in the world, and one has to wonder why the people working at Buckingham Palace and the other palaces aren't forced to sign very stringent legal papers that they will never to reveal any facts about the royal family. Recipes or are one thing and certainly acceptable. Tittle-tattle is something else again, and can be very harmful and cause the monarchy to fall and be replaced by a dreary republic.

KING: Good point. Darren, why is -- hold it.

Darren, why is no confidentiality asked for?

MCGRADY: I'm sorry, Larry.

KING: Why is no confidentiality agreement asked for of the people that work there?

MCGRADY: I don't know why they've not called Paul out on the confidentiality, Larry. We all signed the confidentiality.

KING: You did.

MCGRADY: We all did. Paul did, too. He signed it at Buckingham Palace and when he went to Kensington Palace. We all signed it. To say that he's been discrete with the book, the boys called it a cold and overt betrayal.

KING: Robert Lacey, were you aware there's a confidentiality agreement?

LACEY: Yes, there certainly is. As I understand it when it came to the recent Paul Burrell book, his publishers were very careful not to say crafty in getting a balance whereby they had already prepared a public interest defense. And if they had been sued under the confidentiality agreement which Paul Burrell had signed, they were planning to say, well, to reveal this letter that in which the princess talked of a conspiracy to kill her, is in the public interest and in British Law, we have that as a defense KING: I see.

LACEY: So, that was how it was planned.

KING: Let me get a break and come back with more calls Darren McGrady, Robert Lacey, Dickey Arbiter, and Harold Brooks-Baker and then we'll here wonderful sounds of Michael Buble. Don't go away.


KING: Let's return to the phone calls. Nashville, hello.

CALLER: Good evening, Larry, and good evening to the entire panel. I was curious about the new royal baby, the daughter of Prince Edward and Sophie Reece-Jones. How she is doing and if they have released her name yet.

KING: Dickie, do you know?

ARBITER: Yes, well, the baby is doing fine. There was cause for concern after the baby was born. There was cause for concern for both Sophie and the baby and they were separated primarily because the hospital the baby went to had the kit in order to treat her.

But the baby has been named. Her name is Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary and the surname is now Batten-Windsor. Now a lot of people are saying, well, why did it take so long? They had the names. They had the names all along.

But the concern was for getting Sophie Reece-Jones, the Countess of Wessex back into good shape, into good health, getting the baby right. And getting the two of them together because you've got to remember the baby was removed from the mother almost immediately after birth and spent some time away so there was a bonding period and more important to get the health right before getting the names out to the public.

KING: Brunswick, Maine, hello.

CALLER: Hi, thank you, Larry. Nice to talk to you. Mr. Lacey, I guess, why do you think that the royal family is so against this coroner's inquest if they feel there's nothing to come out of it? And why would the boys be upset if there's something to come out of it?

LACEY: I really haven't got a very good answer for you. I think it's been a terrible mistake. The queen is a very, very reticent person. She is actually a very, very serious grandmother. Actually, perhaps she's done better as a grandmother in some ways as many people do than actually as a parent.

They've let their feet drag. I almost wonder whether they don't hope that this lawsuit of Mr. Fayed's up in Scotland works and pushes things to happen because it is certainly not doing anybody any good. It may well be and I think there's something to be said for this also, that actually, whatever inquest held under British law will not actually reveal very much but I think the quicker it happens, the better.

KING: Darren, what do you think about that controversy?

MCGRADY: I don't know, Larry. I just think that, you know, they say why will it affect the boys? It is six years on and this is one of the main reasons that made me speak out about Paul in his book and then why did he wait six years to bring out this? Why did he stir everything up six years later?

I just think it's -- I personally believe it was an accident. It was a tragic, sad accident but I still believe it was an accident. And, you know, I feel sorry for Mr. Mohamed Al Fayed because, you know, he lost his son, too and if there's a glimmer of hope that he can find it was something more, I can understand that but I believe it was an accident.

KING: Toronto, hello.

CALLER: Hi. It's for the panel. Why did the queen wait so long to help Paul Burrell? She is not a stupid woman by any means and he was publicly vilified and lost everything because of it. I think that's why he wrote the book.

KING: Harold?

BROOKS-BAKER: Well, of course, the queen had been traveling. She has a schedule which keeps her busy from not just during the day, but, I mean, right until 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning and gets up at 6:00 or 7:00 every morning. The problems that a head of state, which, of course, she is, faces as far as time is concerned cannot be understood by you or me very well or the guy on the street.

And the queen tries to do the best possible job by everyone. The last person in the world to hide anything is the queen. But, I'm sure it wasn't until the Prince of Wales briefed her that she understood the importance of this. She has perhaps a slightly old fashioned view of position of servants and what they're supposed to be doing and maybe they choose badly.

There's servants in the palace. I mean, certainly, the queen mother was known to choose servants rather badly from time to time. And the chance is that there will be, I would have thought, a commission of some sort to see that these people are chosen more carefully.

KING: Darren?

MCGRADY: Well, I think only Her Majesty would know why she waited to speak out on this. What the caller is telling us, though, is that Paul wrote the book out of revenge, and it comes through in his book, certainly. The parts that were serialized in the newspapers and the parts that caused the most offense to the boys.

KING: Darren, are you still cooking?

MCGRADY: Yes, I am still cooking. I'm a private chef for a family here in Dallas, Texas.

KING: Aspen, Colorado, hello.

CALLER: Yes, good evening, Larry. Thanks for taking my call. Two questions. First of all, is it true that the Countess of Wessex has been advised not to have anymore children because it would pose such a serious health risk, and No. 2, if Prince Andrew, the Duke of York would ever remarry, wouldn't his wife have the right to be styled as the Duchess of York and what, if any effect, would that have on Sarah Ferguson. As I understand she is styled as Sarah, Duchess of York and I don't think you can have two people alive at a time with the same title.

KING: OK, Robert Lacey, can we handle that quickly?

LACEY: Well, yes, you can, in fact. The new wife would be called -- let's do your first question. I have no idea. I don't think anybody knows such a private thing about Sophie.

On titles, the new wife becomes the Duchess of York and the old one becomes Sarah Duchess. There have been dukes in England who've had several divorced wives, the current one is always called the duchess. The other one is known as Mary Duchess, Sarah Duchess, Elizabeth Duchess. You can pile them up.

KING: How did you like cooking for William and Harry, Darren?

MCGRADY: When I cooked for them, William and Harry were sort of very small. I spent 11 years at Buckingham Palace and so I saw them right from very tiny babies and when the princess used to bring them down into the pastry kitchens just as babies and then right from growing up as little boys just to say "thank you for cooking for us while we've been here."

As they grew older, it was nice talking to them as they would come into the kitchen and when they would just come into the kitchen as children with water guns and fire water guns at you and you'd sort of have to race them out of the kitchen and things. You know, they were princes but they were still children and they were great fun.

KING: Timmins, Ontario, hello.

CALLER: Hi. I actually have two questions for Mr. Lacey.

KING: All right. Quickly.

CALLER: OK. After Diana died, there were tapes released of her and Dodi Al Fayed in the lobby of the hotel. Were William and Harry ever shown the tapes before it was released to the media? And second of all, it was said Mr. Al Fayed said his son was going to propose marriage to Diana. Is that true? Because they said they never found a ring and he said there was a ring at the accident site.

KING: Robert?

Well, to answer them quickly, no. The boys were not shown those videos which were security videos from security cameras. The question of the engagement, Mr. Al Fayed believes an engagement at the offing. Everyone else believed that the ring that Dodi gave to -- well, I say everybody else, we're talking about Diana's close friends who talked about Dodi with Diana. They feel that it was a token of friendship. It was a wonderful summer fling.

KING: All right. We're out of time.


KING: Thank you, Darren McGrady, Robert Lacey, Dickie Arbiter and Harold Brooks-Baker. A special treat awaits you. Don't touch the clicker. We'll be right back.


KING: We have a very special close to tonight's edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Michael Buble, my good friend, the great Canadian singer, what a year he's had. His debut CD, "Michael Buble," just went gold in the United States. He's one of the artists on "Got to Love the Holidays," our CD for the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, which helps a lot of people who can't afford to get new hearts or heart procedures. He also has his own Christmas album out, called "Let It Snow." He's touring all over the world, he'll have another album out next year. It's always great to see him.

He's going to sing from the Larry King Cardiac Foundation CD "Got to Love the Holidays." You saw my wife singing the title song last week. Here's Michael Buble with Irving Berlin's brilliant "White Christmas." Michael.




KING: Hope you enjoyed that little added musical treat tonight.

Tomorrow night, we always have fun with Bill Maher, it's a welcome edition every time he appears with us, about three times a year. Bill Maher tomorrow night for the hour, with your phone calls.

Speaking of having fun and enjoying an hour, "NEWSNIGHT" is next. The host is Aaron Brown -- look at him. Aaron Brown, ready to take over the CNN platform. It is now yours, Mr. Brown. Carry on.


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