Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Princess Diana's final years
Aired July 1, 2004 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, inside Princess Diana's final years. New revelations and intimate secrets uncovered of her search for true love and new details of her tragic last night alive with the man behind the Diana audiotapes, her biographer, Andrew Morton.
But first, Saddam Hussein defiant in his first day in court today. Video of the historic event and a dramatic eyewitness account from CNN's Christiane Amanpour -- one of only three journalists inside the Baghdad courtroom.
It's all next on "LARRY KING LIVE."
KING: Christiane Amanpour is with us in Baghdad, but I want to start with Noah Feldman at our New York bureau. Noah's the former adviser to some members of the Iraqi governing council, a New York University law professor, and author of "After Jihad: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy in America."
Noah, at an arraignment, the charges are presented, the lawyer appears with the defendant, and the plea is entered. It usually takes about five minutes. What was different today?
NOAH FELDMAN, FMR. ADVISER TO MEMBERS OF THE IRAQI GOV. COUNCIL: Well, for one thing, Saddam didn't have a lawyer. For another, he got a general headline of what the charges were going to be against him. But he didn't have to enter a plea. He didn't have to say whether he pleaded guilty or not. And last of all, Saddam had a little surprise in store. He engaged in a 30-minute colloquy with the judge which was entirely unscripted.
KING: And is that allowed in Iraqi -- in the Iraqi constitution that that's the way arraignments work?
FELDMAN: I actually don't think that the business about the exchange between Saddam and the judge is a normal part of the procedure. I think really the judge was just so surprised by the unusual situation that he engaged in the conversation with him and allowed him to have some words.
I think probably the judge is trying to show that, in a rule of law situation, the defendant will be allowed to have his opportunity to speak. KING: Christiane Amanpour, what was the scene like? And were you surprised at the length of it?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTL. CORRESPONDENT: No. Can I just try to set the record straight on this issue? When Saddam Hussein was visited by the judge the day before when legal custody was transferred from the U.S. Occupation Force to the Iraqis, he was then -- he then asked could he ask some questions? And at that transfer process, he was told, "No. You will have your opportunity in court tomorrow."
So, this was not unscripted; this was entirely allocated. We were told that it would take 30 minutes. That this was Saddam's first chance to talk to the judge, ask him about what was going on. And the judge had allocated these 30 minutes to answer any questions. And that's, in fact, what took place.
And you know, when you describe him as defiant and combative, I think that this is a really interesting case of where the video clashes with reality. On your video screens, you're seeing just one shot, and that is a head shot close up of Saddam Hussein. You're not seeing when he walked in, looking very broken at the beginning, quite sort of weak and wondering what he was doing. He only became more animated as the proceedings got underway.
And he was engaged in a lot of back and forth with the judge on procedural matters. He seemed, at some points, not to fully understand that he was in Iraqi legal custody. He kept asking the judge, "Are you doing this on behalf of the Occupation Forces?" And the judge said, "No, this is a court." He sort of preliminarily read him his rights, told him what this was about, that he did have the right to get a lawyer.
Two times at least Saddam talked about having legal representation, and then, of course, he didn't have to sign any plea or enter any plea. The judge, at the end, asked him whether he would sign the court record, notifying the court and putting it on the record that he had been read his rights. And at that point, Saddam Hussein said, "No, I won't do that without my lawyers."
KING: Here, let's watch briefly Saddam challenging the authority of the judge. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SADDAM HUSSEIN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I hope that you remember you are a judge empowered by the people. I don't care if you convict me or not, that's not what's important. What's important is you remembering that you are a judge empowered, then don't mention anything -- occupying forces. Because your people -- because your people don't like that.
You -- I rule in the name of people, yes, that's great. Then you rule in the name of people. You are an Iraqi judge.
(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: Noah, his lawyer was angry that he wasn't allowed to be present. Do you know why he wasn't allowed to be present?
FELDMAN: I do not. It's not necessary under ordinary Iraqi criminal procedure for a lawyer to be present at this early point, precisely because a plea doesn't have to be entered. But I think that Saddam already gave a bit of a preview of what his defense is likely to be, although I'm sure the lawyers will sharpen it up. He's going to challenge the legitimacy of the tribunal, and he's going to claim that he's still, in some sense, the rightful president of Iraq.
KING: Yes, but isn't that going to -- he's treading thin water there, isn't he, because he's in their court challenging their right to be a court?
FELDMAN: It's true.
KING: It's not going to get him far.
FELDMAN: It's not going to be a winning argument, but I think the real audience is the Iraqi people. If he can say to the Iraqis, "Look, the things I did, I did as president." If he can say to the Iraqis, "The invasion of this country was illegitimate," then he can re-raise some of the issues that otherwise in Iraqis' minds have probably been mostly settled over the course of the last year.
And since Iraqis did not, for the most part, oppose the Kuwait War, for example, he may find on at least some of those claims some degree of sympathy for his position.
KING: Christiane, does he have a lot of support still in Iraq?
AMANPOUR: Not really. I mean, there's, as you know, this insurgency going on. There are former Saddam loyalists, former military officers, and all his other Republican Guard types who have joined this insurgency we're told. But on the streets, he doesn't have a lot of support. And it is true that he could possibly turn this into a political platform.
But the legal system there around this tribunal says to me that they have taken a lesson from the Milosevic trial -- Slobodan Milosevic, the former dictator of Serbia -- has essentially turned his trial at the tribunal in The Hague into his own political platform. And here, they say they won't allow that. So, it'll be interesting to see how, in fact, a trial shapes up. But this is many, many months ahead of us.
KING: Noah Feldman, are we going to find a jury of his peers?
FELDMAN: Well, the tribunal's rule does not require a jury. Instead, we're talking about a panel of judges. So, we're not going to have a jury, and it would be a little difficult to imagine who his peers will be. But they will be Iraqi judges, it would appear. And -- so, in that sense, they will, in fact, be Saddam's peers in at least one relevant way. KING: What do you make of one of the charges of going to war with Kuwait? As the leader of his country -- I mean, it may seem weird, but didn't he have the right to do that?
FELDMAN: It depends if the war is considered by the tribunal to have been a legitimate war under international law. And it's asking a lot for a tribunal of Iraqi judges to conclude that the war was illegitimate. That's asking them, essentially, to condemn what their entire country did, albeit under Saddam's rule.
So, I think that's a pretty surprising charge to have brought. And I wonder if it's not motivated by desire to show that the U.S. was justified in going into Iraq because Saddam himself was such an international outlaw.
KING: Christiane, do you expect everything to work so that it's shown to the world that he gets a completely fair trial?
AMANPOUR: Well, that's what they're hoping. And of course, it's still a work in progress. There are American experts, lawyers from the Department of Justice, who are helping the tribunal here to set up the legal process and the legal procedures.
Just a note on the Kuwait issue, that was what got him really going. He said to the judge, "How could you, as an Iraqi, consider that even a crime?" I was doing that on behalf of the Iraqi people. And he was very insulting about the Kuwaitis. And the judge pretty much reined him in saying, "You can't use that language. This is a court of law, and that kind of language is not permitted."
What you don't get to see on the tape is how the judge -- in my opinion, having been in that courtroom -- was in control, for the most part. It wasn't as if this exchange between them spun out of control. And the judge was very methodical, very calm: brought him back into line on occasion; reprimanded him on occasion; explained things to him on occasion. And as I say, this was planned, this 30-minute exchange between them.
KING: And Noah Feldman, do you expect a fair trial?
FELDMAN: I expect an attempt at a fair trial, and I really hope that the attempt succeeds. I think it will be very difficult to show the public, though, that the trial is fair, given that the outcome, if not foreordained, is relatively highly likely to be guilt in the end. So, that's pretty difficult to show.
Part of that of that making it fair will be to allow Saddam to do things like, at some point, challenge the justice of the court's jurisdiction over him. He doesn't necessarily have to get to do that every day that he appears, but he has to have one shot at that, because that's part of what a fair trial includes.
KING: Thank you, Christiane Amanpour, great work all day today. And thank you, Noah Feldman, for enlightening us in lots of areas.
When we come back, Andrew Morton, the author of "Diana: Her True Story," has a new book, "Diana: In Pursuit of Love." He'll be with us, and then a panel. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUSSEIN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): The seventh charge was against Saddam Hussein as a president of the republic and the commander of (sic) chief of the army. And the army went to Kuwait. OK?
Then, in the former capacity, then is it permissible to charge an official title and the person is to be dealt with in violation of the guarantees that are afforded by the Constitution, this is the -- this is the law that you're using to -- to use against me now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Joining us now from Toronto is Andrew Morton, the author Princess Diana trusted the most, who wrote her 1992 international best-seller, "Diana: Her True Story." Now he's back with an extraordinary new study of Princess Di's last five years of life. The book is "Diana: In Pursuit of Love." This program is even in the book twice based on appearances he made and appearances Paul Burrell made. Today, by the way, would have been Di's 43rd birthday. And she will be dead seven years come September. What -- how did this book come about, Andrew?
ANDREW MORTON, THE MAN BEHIND DIANA'S AUDIO TAPES: Well, as you mentioned, it's 13 years now since I wrote "Diana: Her True Story" with Diana's collaboration. There's an awful lot unsaid and left out. And the five years of her life as an independent, kind of semidetached member of the royal family, I think are fascinating. And I think I brought some new insights to that. The kind of jigsaw puzzle of her life has been shattered and the pieces have been scattered. I've tried to put the jigsaw puzzle back together again.
KING: Let's get to some of the things you get to. In the book we learn about secret love letters between Camilla and Prince Charles. How did she come across -- how did you come across them?
MORTON: Well, I was very skeptical about her claims that Charles was actually having an affair with Camilla when she first told me about them. And she was furious with me. And she was at Balmoral, the queen's Scottish estate and purloined a few letters from Prince Charles' briefcase, sent them down to me via an intermediary. But she read them first. And I think for her, playing her own personal detective was a bit of a shock. Because what happened was that she then realized that her husband, effectively, was madly in love with another woman, and that love was reciprocated. The letters said words like, "I love you with all my heart and my body." "Your besotted old bag," Camilla wrote. She dismissed Diana as "that ridiculous creature." So Diana really felt for the first time that the marriage was truly over. All the suspicions were accurate.
KING: Was she in love with Prince Charles?
MORTON: Camilla was, and certainly Diana was, yes. KING: No, no, was Di, at the time she learned of this, madly in love with her husband?
MORTON: No. I think that there's a period of estrangement there. They were very much at war with each other during 1991/'92. And at the same time she still harbored feelings for him.
KING: You also titled chapter seven "They Want To Kill Me." What's that about?
MORTON: Well, this is the famous, in fact the only major television interview she gave, and she was -- I used to think that it was because she was concerned about Prince Charles, to get her revenge on Prince Charles. What I discovered during my investigation was that, in fact, she was in fear of her life, that she was convinced that the security forces, the British security forces were out to get her. And so she gave the interview in order to, as it were, defeat the men in gray and speak over their heads to the public.
KING: She feared her phone being tapped, that she was under surveillance. Were any of these fears, in your opinion, warranted?
MORTON: Oh, absolutely. On one specific occasion in 1992 she was at Windsor Castle with the queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles to discuss their marriage and Prince Philip, during the course of that conversation, said, look, we have a tape recording of you discussing the serialization of Andrew Morton's book. Now the only reason they could have gotten that tape recording was if her phones had been tapped. And other examples abound. I mean at Kensington Palace there was a policeman there who was having a conversation with a loved one, put the phone down, the phone rings again, picks it up, and the conversation's replayed to him. So it wasn't just Diana that it was happening to. Surveillance, phone tapping, that concern was there all the time.
KING: Did she have, between '92 and '97, which is what your book covers, a few love affairs?
MORTON: She had a number of significant love affairs.
KING: A number?
MORTON: With Oliver Hoare, the married art dealer, particularly with a heart surgeon Hasnar Khan, and obviously as we know with Dodi Fayed. I think the significant thing about Dodi's relationship with Diana was it's the first relationship where she wasn't hiding men in the trunks of cars as she did in the early days. She was actually prepared to be photographed in the open with him.
KING: What about Mr. Hewitt?
MORTON: Well, James Hewitt was a figure from the past. I think he got his marching orders in something like December 1991. But he was around from what, something like 1986. And certainly as some people would say, Diana got her retaliation in first. Because she always blamed the failure on the marriage because of Prince Charles' relationship with Camilla. Others would say that, well, actually Diana was dallying, too.
KING: How was she as the public figure she was, able to do all these dalliances?
MORTON: Well, with considerable care, and with difficulty. I mean, it's kind of something hilarious, almost like slapstick occasions where she would bring out a boyfriend to Kensington Palace, hidden under a blanket or hidden in the trunk of her car, park at the rear of her apartment at Kensington Palace. But that was outside Princess Margaret's front door. Now she was kind of annoyed about this, and she would be looking through the curtains like some nosy neighbor, seeing -- watching the extraordinary goings-on. So what Diana thought was secret was very, very public. Certainly to the inmates of Kensington Palace.
KING: We'll be back with more of Andrew Morton. His book "Diana: In Pursuit of Love." And then our panel will join us. We'll also be including your phone calls.
Extraordinary show coming Saturday night. We'll feature Ross Perot and some men who served in the armed forces who were held prisoners of war and a distinguished look at the men and women who serve us in the military. Incredible night Saturday night on LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be right back.
KING: The book is "Diana: In Pursuit of Love."
The guest is Andrew Morton.
What did you learn about the last hours?
MORTON: I learned that Diana, a woman who had fought so hard to be in control of her life, ended her life out of control. And the -- one of the savage ironies of her life is that evening she was due to have dinner with Dodi's uncle, as well as Dodi, at the Ritz. And in fact he had a prior engagement. So all the story -- stories about Dodi about to propose, I think are false. Because you don't go asking someone to marry you with your uncle in tow.
KING: Would that proposal have been accepted?
MORTON: I think that Diana told her friends what they wanted to believe. Some thought it was just a summer fling. But, Countess Spencer, her step-mother who I spoke to for the book, said that she spoke to her a few days before she died, she's never known her so much in love and so happy. And more than that, Diana from the boat phoned her local parish priest and asked him, can a Muslim and can a Christian marry in a Christian church?
He said, yes, as far as he was concerned, Diana and Dodi were very much in love. So it's kind of one of those parlor games that we can play forever and it seems to me the balance is in favor of them possibly getting hitched.
KING: Do you buy anything of the idea of a plot to kill her?
MORTON: I think she was conspired against. Conspired against in her early married life to deceive with regards to Prince Charles' relationship with Camilla, and conspired against after her separation to denigrate her and to down -- and to -- really to put her down. But, as for conspiracy to murder her in Paris, no, not at all. It was a drunk driver driving too fast.
KING: Were there any -- is it true there were pictures taken of her at the scene?
MORTON: Yes, there were pictures taken of her by paparazzi photographers. And what kind of really shocked me was that as she lay dying in that Mercedes car in the underpass, those pictures had been sent electronically to New York, to London, and they'd been sold to newspapers, so even before she got to hospital, several million dollars had been made by the paparazzi who were there. In actual fact those pictures are now almost like a plague. They've never been seen.
KING: All right. Now, why did not one of these tabloids that paid for them, print them?
MORTON: Because they felt that if she'd been injured, they would have printed them. But because she was dying, and died that night, they found it was just -- their readers would be appalled by it.
KING: What do you make of Paul Burrell and his writings?
MORTON: Well, I think Paul is entitled to write his memoirs. Diana lived her life in compartments and he occupied a small compartment for part of that time. But, for me, you know, I think a lot of it is unreliable and I'm rather disappointed by that.
KING: Because, unreliable why?
MORTON: Because he's always placing himself at the center event where he wasn't even there. I mean, he told you a few months ago that he knew all about my first book, "Diana: Her True Story," because Diana discussed it with him. Well he didn't even work at Kensington Palace, he worked at Highgrove, and Diana didn't let him into the secret at all.
KING: Do you like Diana?
MORTON: I admired her. I thought that by the end that she was moving forwards in a very courageous way. And given the forces that were against her, I think she made sense of her life in a way that other people would have been overcome by.
KING: What would you say was her biggest fault?
MORTON: Self-pity, and a willingness, really, to believe the kind of nonsense that some of the soothsayers would say to her.
KING: What are your thoughts about Charles? MORTON: Well, towards the end of their -- her life, the relationship with Charles is far more nuanced. It seems that they -- the kind of animosity was falling away. The way that they marked their separation with regards to the treatments of the boys was notable by the way that they were so civilized. And I think that Diana, towards the end, felt a lot more sympathy towards Charles. And even felt a little bit of sympathy towards Camilla, because she thought that, is he ever going to marry her at some state?
So, in a way, you know, there was this kind of a kind of an emotional reconciliation.
KING: Speaking of that, are they going to marry?
MORTON: That's our latest parlor game. I think Prince Charles, if he'd had his wish, would never have got married, because as the heir to the throne, he had to produce his own heir. But, once someone who used to work for a long time said, if he had his polo ponies, and his cars, and his private plane, he'd be a happy man. I think that some -- the prospect of Camilla and Charles marrying would create too much division inside Britain. I think that Charles is happy as things are today.
KING: Would Princess Di be proud of her boys?
MORTON: Absolutely. I think Prince William, particularly, has shown a kind of perception, and an intelligence and maturity way beyond his years. Let me give you an example. When Diana was kind of discussing her future with him, he suggested to her why don't we sell your royal gowns for charity, and she did that. And they raised millions of dollars to charity. And in a way, in her life, William became one of her advisers. And she always took what he had to say very seriously.
KING: Andrew Morton's our guest. We're going to break and when we come back, we'll be joined by an outstanding panel to discuss his new book, "Diana: In Pursuit of Love." We'll also be including your phone calls. Don't go away.
KING: Remaining with us in Toronto is Andrew Morton, the author of the new book "Diana: In Pursuit of Love."
And now joining us all in London, Ken Wharfe who is Princess Diana's personal protection officer from 1986 to 1993. He had a book published in 2002, "Diana: Closely Guarded Secret." Dickie Arbiter, is the former spokesman for Buckingham Palace, former press secretary for the Queen and the Prince and Princess of Wales. Robert Lacey is the best-selling author and veteran royal watcher. His latest book "Great Tales From English History: The Truth About King Arthur, Lady Godiva, Richard the Lionhearted and More" was recently published in the United States. And Hugo Vickers the well-known royal biographer.
All right Ken, what do you make of Andrew Morton's new book? KEN WHARFE, DIANA'S PERSONAL PROTECTION OFFICER: Well, I think that what Andrew said, it actually sort of takes us into an era sort of post-'93. That's at a time when I left. But actually I think that what Andrew said is very informative. It's interesting. Yes, and I agree with all, if not, you know, most of it, certainly.
But, what I find interesting there is that this new life that Diana was looking for, and I think she used the words ambassador was one that actually never really took off. I mean, apart from some work with the land mines in Angola and so forth, it was a period of Diana's life that, in essence, actually faded away somewhat.
I remember talking to Diana about this before I left, and she had meetings then with John Major, the prime minister at the time, and looking towards this new ambassadoral role. But regrettably, it's something that actually never happened. And I think there will always be a gray area in that sense.
KING: Dickie Arbiter, what's your view of what those years were like for her?
DICKIE ARBITER, FMR. PRESS SECRY TO QUEEN, PRINCE CHARLES, DIANA: The years were interesting. And Andrew dwelt quite awhile on the work she did for the Red Cross. It's quite interesting that she did this work for the Red Cross, because I remember doing a day trip with her. In fact Ken was with us at that time in October, 1991. We did a day trip to the International Committee of the Red Cross, and she was fascinated by what she saw. There were examples of all the work that they do, which included land mines.
And I remember sitting with her on the plane coming back and suggesting that, you know, this is something that she should get involved with. And she was quite receptive to the idea, but then sort of cooled on it. And it was only later, after her separation, and in 1993, and we're talking become two years later, that she actually took up the issue with the Red Cross, albeit the British Red Cross, and involved with the land mines.
I'll take issue with Andrew on a couple of points. And I did finish the book this morning. One, he sort of accused me of being a double agent, that I was sort of trading off secrets between both sides. Well, I can assure you, hand on heart, that none of that happened. I didn't talk to the Prince about her, or to her about the Prince.
I think Blondin, your man who walked across Niagara Falls on a high wire in 145 years ago would have been proud of me. I was their last press secretary. And certainly I was walking a tightrope. But I don't think I ever fell off it.
And the other point is about Burrell. I'm glad he did make the point about Burrell not being around in Kensington Palace at the time that the tapes were made. And Burrell was rather dined out on this, but he says that he was given notice to quit his apartment in December '97. But he actually didn't leave until about June or July '98, almost a year after Diana died and he wasn't pushed out. So he wasn't homeless and he wasn't jobless because he was offered two jobs. But he's covered her period extremely well.
KING: Before we talk to Lacey and Vickers, you want to comment, Andrew, on what Dickie had to say?
MORTON: Yes, I do. Dickie, you've read my book too quickly, because I make the point that it was Diana who suspected you of being a double agent, and, in fact, you weren't a double agent. And so your protestations shouldn't be directed at me but I'm afraid the princess.
But, and to return to Ken's point about her role as an ambassadoress. I think one of the ironies -- one of the tragic irony of her life is that when she went away that summer she was fully expecting Tony Blair, who was then the new prime minister, to speak to the Queen about securing her an ambassadorial role, because unlike the previous prime minister, John Major, Tony Blair did agree that she should have an ambassadorial role.
She'd always found it frustrating under the previous administration that both the foreign secretary and the prime minister kind of blocked that.
KING: Robert Lacey, what do you make of the book and the last years of her life as covered by Mr. Morton?
ROBERT LACEY, BEST-SELLING ROYALS BIOGRAPHER: Well, I was more interested by the -- his description of the early years when he was really personally involved with her. Because, Andrew's book "Diana: Her True Story" really was a most remarkable book in its own right, and in the history of the royal family.
I mean, it was essentially the princess' ghosted autobiography. Ghosted by Andrew. And what I found fascinating, what I think historians in the future will find fascinating is how this mechanism was set up.
I also have to say I found it rather sinister. I mean he's talking about her being the victim of conspiracies he describes at the beginning really a conspiracy that he set up with Diana, and with this very interesting character Dr. James Colthurst who was the crucial go- between, who was her friend, and who seems to me from Andrew's account to have trespassed on his medical knowledge to a rather unfair degree.
I mean, there's one bit I'd like to read. Andrew describes Colthurst watching Diana's emotional pendulum swing back and forth. And he advises her to help with this book, because he realized she would gain some moral strength if she could control a small fragment of her life inside the royal system.
So this book is offered by Colthurst, and I think also by Andrew, to Diana as a sort of psychological crutch. And I find that rather sinister. I mean, I'm not really I suppose blaming Andrew so much. He's a journalist. But I think for a doctor to do this is really quite shameful.
And the idea that this book helped Diana in her life, I think, is quite the reverse of the truth. I think this book was a disaster for Diana, and I think it was a disaster for the royal family. Although, again, I'm not blaming Andrew as the journalist who did his job.
KING: Andrew, you want to comment before we ask Mr. Vickers?
MORTON: Yes. I think Robert's rather overstating the case. At the time, it was just James Colhurst who was very supportive of Diana and trying to work out how best she could get her story out. And she didn't just settle on me immediately, she was thinking about should she go to a newspaper, should she speak to the BBC, what should she do?
And she just kind of -- she knew that I was sympathetic to her. She knew that I was writing stories about her and thinking about doing a book about her and she offered me an interview. It wasn't -- there was no kind of sinister conspiracy at the start. I mean, it was just one of those would you like an interview and who's going to turn that down? And she became more and more enthused about it.
And I think the point I'm making in the early chapters is that she was the one who was driving it forwards, not me. She was the one who was saying how quickly can you get this book out? Can you do it in a matter of days? So it wasn't as though she was the puppet and we were the puppeteers, She was the one who was desperate for this book to come out.
KING: Hugo Vickers your thoughts on the book and the last years of Lady Di?
HUGO VICKERS, BEST-SELLING ROYALS BIOGRAPHER: Well, you won't be surprised to hear as the one member of this team who is not actually acknowledged as a source for this book, I find the whole story pretty depressing. I mean, you talked about what were her faults. I mean I actually think that it was a fault for her to engage in the whole business of writing and commissioning the first book.
I think that I've always believed that the media played a very big part in the destruction of the marriage. I know they were not happy on either side. And I think -- but I think they were both of them very unwise, both the Prince and the Princess of Wales to, as it were, consult with the media, not only with this book, but also with the Prince of Wales and the Jonathan Dimbleby book and of course the interview and then the panorama interview.
So I'm afraid that I agree with Robert, I see this book not as a sort of great stepping stone into a glorious future for her, but actually as a kind of, well almost like a suicide note. I mean, it was a step down.
KING: How about...
VICKERS: It was eventually, you know, well you saw happened.
KING: How about the new book?
VICKERS: Well, I mean, I find it very depressing reading. I find this is a very depressing phase in her life. I thought that certainly there was a time they were a wonderful dream couple on the exterior. I disagree with Andrew, because he feels that she was kind of totally repressed by the royal family and stuck in that position and it was was a wonderful thing that she escaped. I think it's a great shame that they couldn't have worked something out. Perhaps I'm in the minority.
KING: Andrew you want to comment?
MORTON: Yes, I do. I think Hugo, like so many people, gets the wrong end of the stick about this. Because the first 10 years of Diana's life inside the royal family, she was bulimic, she was suicidal, Prince Charles was seeing Camilla. Nobody knew anything about this. And I coming in years after Diana and Charles had decided to go their separate ways, as Prince Charles said in his famous television interview, he said, "I went back to Camilla after the marriage had broken down in the mid 1980s." This book didn't come out until six years later.
So it seems to me that there's no complaint with the media, it was the situation that was at fault there. And nobody knew about it. And I have to say that for someone who covered the royal family during the 1980s, I was staggered when she first -- when Diana first unveiled some of the problems that she faced.
KING: We'll take a break and come back. We'll start to include your phone calls for Andrew Morton, Ken Wharfe, Dickie Arbiter, Robert Lacey and Hugo Vickers on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.
Hedda Nussbaum on Sunday night: Her husband, convicted of killing their daughter, just released from prison.
We'll be right back.
KING: Let's go to calls for our panel. And we go to Toronto, Ontario. Hello.
CALLER: Good evening, Mr. King. My question for Mr. Morton: You have written these books on Diana, and perhaps they've come to an end. What are your plans for the future?
KING: To go back to a normal life, Andrew?
MORTON: To have a holiday. I mean, having said that, I have not just written books on Diana, as many people know. I've written books on Madonna, Monica Lewinsky, and others. And I think, as a professional writer, I think I'll go on writing.
KING: Do you plan any collaborations?
MORTON: Well, not at the moment. I've not -- there's no specific kinds at the moment. I've been very -- I've been very intensively involved in this book on Diana, because it has been a difficult project to do. Because going back to this terrain after a number of years, I've had to readjust my thinking and look at Diana with fresh eyes. KING: Chesterfield, Michigan, hello.
CALLER: Yes, I was just wondering, did anybody specifically take up the mantle of the land mine problems like Diana threw herself so much into it? Did anybody else pick it up as their cause like she did?
KING: I think it -- I guess it would be -- Ken Wharfe, it would be Mrs. Paul McCartney, correct?
WHARFE: Well, I think there's -- I think you're right there. But I think also, as I said earlier on in your program, that it was a period for me that really wasn't the greatest moment in her life, in the sense that, as I said earlier, that it didn't really take off in the way that I believe she wanted to.
But thereafter, where (ph) was at the future, I mean, it's still an issue that's high on the agenda in this country and globally. But to say who's actually followed in the footsteps, I can't say that.
KING: To Mississagua, Ontario. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. How are you?
CALLER: We love your show.
KING: Thank you.
CALLER: I have a question for Andrew Morton.
CALLER: Diana's brother was very impressive with his speech during the funeral service of Diana. Is he in touch with Prince William and Prince Harry?
CALLER: And my second question, I am wondering is the relationship between Camilla and Prince Charles -- was it before Diana and Prince Charles got married?
KING: All right, Andrew?
MORTON: Well, as Charles Spencer himself says, he's more in touch with William and Harry by e-mail and by telephone than in person. But they will be meeting in the next few days when the memorial fountain -- the memorial for Diana is opened in London by the Queen.
And as far as Diana was concerned, Charles had a large room in his heart for Camilla even before they married, and in fact so much so that Diana was going to call the wedding off. And even on their honeymoon, Prince Charles was wearing cufflinks inscribed with C intertwined with C, which rather gave the game away.
KING: Dickie, is there still a lot of interest, seven years later, in Princess Di in Great Britain?
ARBITER: Yes, there is. There is a lot of interest. Quite interesting that after the first two years, the number of flowers that appeared outside Kensington Palace seemed to wane. Last year, there were a lot more flowers than there had been the previous year.
And now, with the opening of the fountain in London's Hyde Park by the Queen next Tuesday, I reckon that this might well be the focal point, because there will be a plaque there. And the idea is for people to go there, children to paddle in the water, people to picnic. And I think people will congregate there and look upon that as something tangible, rather than just going to Kensington Palace each year.
KING: Pleasanton, California, hello.
CALLER: My question is for Mr. Morton.
CALLER: Princess Diana was so pretty. Did she wear much makeup? And also, I'd like to know, were her lashes that long, or were they fake lashes? Thank you.
MORTON: She actually wore quite a lot of makeup for certainly for some royal engagements. But she had the classic English rose skin.
KING: Robert Lacey, do you know if anyone's planning a film about her life?
LACEY: No. There have been films, haven't there? But I think that the most recent TV enterprise was, in fact, the one in which Andrew took part with his -- with his tapes. It seems to me that it is a great challenge for the future. I mean, this is -- this is one of the greatest romances of the English royal history with its -- and it's Shakespearean in its tragedy, isn't it? I think it still waits its great dramatist.
KING: Hugo Vickers, would you agree that this is -- that this is Shakespearean in tone? The whole story?
VICKERS: Yes, I would. I completely agree with that. And I think that -- I mean, I had been told about the presence of Mrs. Parker-Bowles in the life of Prince Charles before the wedding. I was also told that -- whether rightly or wrongly, that the Prince of Wales had no intention of giving her up.
So, when I watched the wedding, it was with a very, very heavy heart, to be quite honest, as can be confirmed by my own diaries at the time. So, yes, I think there's a lot of -- a lot of tragedy involved in it. It's difficult to see -- it's a pity that it didn't work out better. But I mean, there was a man who was entering into a marriage, and he was going into St. Paul's Cathedral and making all these promises and things. And presumably, his heart was already engaged elsewhere. That already is a good seed for tragedy.
KING: We'll be back with more moments with Andrew Morton, Ken Wharfe, Dickie Arbiter, Robert Lacey, and Hugo Vickers right after this.
KING: Port Richey, Florida, for our panel. Hello.
CALLER: Good evening, Larry. My question is for Mr. Morton. Mr. Morton. Her sisters. We don't hear too much about her sisters, and would you also tell me before her father passed away did he know of the problems that she was having? Thank you very much. And I read your book and it's great.
KING: Thank you. Andrew?
MORTON: Well, good question. Sarah McCorquodale, Diana's eldest sister, is the chairman of the memorial fund that has been quite instrumental there in guiding the fund from its kind of early beginnings in the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) at Kensington Palace to the huge international charity it is today.
Her father, who was to some extent estranged from Diana for a time before his death, and they became reconciled, Diana always kind of soft-pedaled with her father. She didn't really want to let him know just how bad the situation was with Prince Charles because of his own illnesses. Because he suffered a very severe stroke. So he had an inkling but it was never let into the full secret.
KING: New Liskeard, Ontario, hello.
CALLER: Good evening, Larry. Mr. Morton, Diana will soon be gone seven years. How do you feel about people still profiting from her life and her death when she's not here to defend herself?
MORTON: Well, I think that Diana is now a major historical figure. And in a recent poll, I think she came behind just Winston Churchill and (UNINTELLIGIBLE), the head of Shakespeare, who if we're talking about -- this is a Shakespearean drama. She's a major figure and I think that we need to understand who she was as a person, where she was headed as an individual and what her life tells us about our own lives. I think the way that people responded to her in life and in death shows what a figure she became.
KING: Ken, you don't have any problem with people writing about her, do you?
WHARFE: Well, I don't have a problem. But the same question has been asked of me on a number of occasions, and similar to what Andrew said I agree with all of that. I say this, that unless people like myself are prepared to put on record, you know, an account of where I sat and where I worked with Diana then we have to rely upon the sort of daily speculative accounts that we get from people that are crying out to say or give their opinion.
I mean, my colleague on his panel, I'll speak from a very authoritative standpoint and that's exactly I did. I think it's right that if the information is going to be discussed, let's get the correct information out there. Because that's crucial. That's important.
KING: Dickie, you agree?
ARBITER: Yes, I do. I think it's important to get the historical fact out right now, and not wait. Years ago, authors used to take their time about writing about historical figures. We're in an electronic age. We're in a fast news age and it's better to get the historical facts out by people writing from a standpoint of authority with impeccable sources, rather than the speculation that we get in day in and day out in newspapers.
KING: Robert Lacey, is there any more to learn about her?
LACEY: Well, I think Andrew has scraped the barrel pretty well. And I say that in the most admiring way. I mean, he carried out the scoop of the 20th century. His second book, when he actually revealed the tapes on which his book had been based. And let me say also about Andrew. I admire, when I look back at the time that first book came out, and he was getting hit round the head by everybody, including me, I think, and it must have been so tempting for him to say, Diana told me this. And he kept mum. And I think that is the great gauge of his loyalty to his source. And it was only after her death that he produced the tapes which in themselves are fascinating. And this book, I think, is also fascinating. But I think three is enough, Andrew, don't you?
MORTON: This is the final word from me. The final chapter. And I think that -- I do sincerely think that the last five years of her life are a fascinating period because it's the only part of her life where she was an independent woman trying to make sense of her life.
KING: Hugo, we only have a minute left. Is there any more to learn in your opinion?
VICKERS: Well, I expect there probably is. But I rather hope not. I'd rather agree with what everybody else has said. You can be sure that something else will come along at some point. I mean, I guess there are other voices that still haven't been heard.
KING: Thank you all very much. Andrew Morton's new book, "Diana: In Pursuit of Love." And we thank Ken Wharfe, Dickie Arbiter, Robert Lacey and Hugo Vickers. Princess Di's birthday was, is today.
We'll be back in a couple of minutes and tell you about the weekend ahead and a great guest coming up next week. Don't go away.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: Tomorrow night we're going to have some fun. Char's going to be here. She is the famed psychic to the stars. We'll have some laughs with Char and hopefully provide some information. Ross Perot and some great veterans of combat will be aboard on Saturday night including the former chairman of the joint chiefs and the secretary of veterans affairs.
And among the guests next week, by the way, Gene Hackman. It is now my privilege, my distinct honor, one of the joys I get is to turn over the platform to Aaron Brown. It's one of those moments that just -- people ask me during the day, what are you going to say tonight? And I say, I have no idea. But I'm so honored to be just present on the same screen.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com