The Web      Powered by
powered by Yahoo!


Return to Transcripts main page


Panel Discusses Royal Announcement

Aired February 10, 2005 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, a royal wedding bombshell: Prince Charles to marry his long-time companion, Camilla Parker Bowles April 8. Why now, al of a sudden?
And can a divorced prince married to a divorced commoner become king and queen? We'll ask Joan Rivers. She knows and socializes with Charles and Camilla.

Best-selling royals biographer Robert Lacey, he met and spoke with Prince Charles yesterday.

Princess Diana's former chief of staff, Patrick Jephson. The queen's former press secretary Dickie Arbiter. Plus, later, Darren McGravy, Prince Charles and Princess Di's former chef, royals biographer Hugo Vickers and "People" magazine's London bureau chief Simon Perry all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Let's begin with Robert Lacey, best selling author, veteran royal watcher in London. You spoke with Prince Charles yesterday. Did this come up?

ROBERT LACEY, ROYAL BIOGRAPHER: No, it didn't, surprisingly. He didn't confide this great secret to me. I was at the Oxford at the Islamic institute there. He has got a great interest in Islamic affairs. He has actually helped design this rather wonderful new college.

He was in absolutely top form. And I suppose being wise after the event, I would say there was an extra spring in his step. He was looking very happy.

I have to say that as he left, having -- he'd worked the room for about an hour and a half and talked to everybody and being so attentive and done what he does very well and better than he's given credit for, I think, it did strike me, how sad now to go home and he's going to open the papers tomorrow morning and there will just be some sort of fuss about his finances or the old Diana thing raked up and wouldn't it be nice if he could have somebody there publicly to support him? And now he's got that.

KING: Joan Rivers as a friend of both, were you surprised?

JOAN RIVERS, COMEDIANNE: I was surprised, and I was screaming in my kitchen, I was so excited! They are so right together. They are so terrific together and they complement each other. This should have happened 35 years ago. KING: I was going to ask you, you know them this well, and they know each other so long ago, were both marriages a mistake?

RIVERS: I don't know. I met them both after the marriages, so I don't know. But you know, sometimes you're just destined for somebody. It's like marrying your old high school sweetheart. You just see them together, Larry, and go, of course, they're right.

KING: Patrick as the former secretary to Princess Di, what do you make of this?

PATRICK JEPHSON, PRINCESS DIANA'S FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF: Well, I think Larry, people are quite naturally pleased for the couple as individuals. Everybody deserves a second chance. And I think that on a human level, they'll find there's a great deal of public goodwill towards them.

But the sag is, the history being what it is, this is going to touch a lot of raw nerves for a lot of people. And traditionally royal weddings are supposed to remind us what unites us. This one, I think, will have the unintended secondary effect of reminding us, also, that we didn't get here by the happiest route. And people's support will be tinged by reservations when they remember how we got here.

KING: Does it sadden you?

JEPHSON: I'm not saddened on a personal level. I think that Charles and Camilla do have an extraordinary track record of loyalty to each other. But it does sadden me when I think of the unhappiness that others had to endure, that Diana had to endure as a consequence of this pre-existing relationship. And I saw firsthand on many, many occasions the unseen presence of Camilla Parker Bowles in so much of Diana's day-to-day thinking and her worries.

KING: Dickie Arbiter, as the former spokesperson for the palace, do you think the queen and Philip signed off on this?

DICKIE ARBITER, FRM. ROYAL SPOKESPERSON: Yes, they did sign off on it. I think they were probably getting a little bit tired of innuendoes on television and newspapers about Camilla Parker Bowles being a mistress. I mean no woman likes to open the newspaper and see herself described as a mistress, but that's what she was. And the Prince of Wales was renowned for being a bit of a ditherer and not really making his mind up until really pushed into doing it. And I think his parents said, OK, come on, son, make up your mind and do something about this.

Particularly, in the light of the questions asked at the beginning of this week by a government committee, the public accounts committee investigating how he makes his money and whether only the money he makes and how much is spent on Camilla Parker Bowles and whether any public money is spent on Camilla Parker Bowles.

So there's been a lot of raking up over the past few weeks. And he was just told to get on with it. KING: Hugo Vickers has just completed a biography of the late queen mother entitle, "Elizabeth, the Queen Mother." It will be published in the fall. What do you think she would have thought of this, Hugo?

HUGO VICKERS, ROYAL BIOGRAPHER: Well, she liked Camilla actually. And, you know, she took a very Edwarian attitude to things, men could do what they like, women couldn't which is why she criticized the Princess of Wales.

But I think that, you know, people always said that she was dead against it. I'm not so sure about that.

But this was on these situations which at least had to be resolved in the present queen's lifetime, the present queen's lifetime. If it hadn't been resolved one way or the other, it would have been a very serious issue at the beginning of a new reign. To that extent, I think it's good that it's been resolved.

KING: Joan, you're our expert on things worn. What do you make of the ring?

RIVERS: I think it's appropriate. Does that make sense?

I'm so tired of hearing about how Camilla was such a terrible thing in that marriage. You know, Diana also had lovers all through, which you've now discovered and read about. So, let's not make her a saint and let's not make Camilla the sinner. I find this really very distasteful.

KING: I'm going to get back to that. What do you mean by appropriate?

RIVERS: I didn't get a close look the at it. She's not Jewish, so it's got to be in good taste. If it was one of my girls, I would say not big enough. But I'm sure for her, it's fabulous.

KING: Joan -- or Robert, do you think that's a good choice of words, appropriate?

LACEY: For the ring?

KING: Yes.

LACEY: Yes. I think it's a wonderful -- actually, I rather prefer it to the ring that he bought Diana, which was rather garish. I think this solitaire diamond with the diamonds with it. It is apparently a royal heirloom from the royal collection. That, in itself, is a symbol of approval by the queen. She wouldn't allow Charles to hoist this out of their admittedly pretty well-supplied treasury if she didn't approve. And it's another way of bringing her into the family.

KING: When we come back, we'll get into titles. We'll also be taking your phone calls throughout the program.

You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


TONY BLAIR, PRIME MINISTER OF ENGLAND: I'm delighted for the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles. It's very happy news. And when the cabinet heard it this morning, they sent congratulations and good wishes on behalf of the whole government. We all wish them every happiness for their future together.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think Mrs. Parker Bowles was a factor in the breakdown of your marriage?

PRINCESS DIANA: Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.


KING: OK, Patrick, they're going to be wed in a civil ceremony on April 8th at Windsor Castle. There will be a prayer and dedication service afterward. After the marriage, Camilla will be known as her royal highness, the Duchess of Cornwall, not the princess of Wales. And if and when Charles becomes king, she will be known as the princess consort, not the queen. What do you think of that?

JEPHSON: Obviously, a great deal of thought will have gone into these titles, Larry. Certainly quite a bit of a comment here is raising eyebrows about the elevation of Camilla to her royal highness status at this initial stage.

I think it's also worth pointing out that duchess of Cornwall was one of Diana's titles. So I think it's been a very carefully judged compromise, that Camilla's status is now clearly right at the top of the royal tree, but people are aware that there's a great deal of sensitivity attached to the title princess of Wales. To which, theoretically, she is absolutely entitled, just as theoretically, she'll be entitled to the title of queen.

KING: Yeah. What do you make of it, Dickie, good idea?

ARBITER: Well, it's a very useful compromise. I mean, quite frankly, she is, when they marry, she is the princess of Wales, because she is marrying the prince of Wales.

KING: It seems logical.

ARBITER: It is very conveniently put to one side -- yeah, and it's very conveniently put to one side, and they take the secondary title, duchess of Cornwall.

There's a precedent for the title princess consort. If we go back into our history, Queen Victoria's husband was prince consort. And therefore, it seems a logical title to use, because there is a sway of opinion in this country that she should not be queen. And if you look to opinion polls of yesterday -- well, when I say yesterday, of past weeks and months, there was definite feel that she should not be queen. And this is why they've come up with this compromise, princess consort.

KING: The children are happy. Hugo, do you think most of the people in Great Britain are happy?

VICKERS: Well, it seems to me they're divided in three ways. Some people are unhappy, some people are happy, and quite a lot of people don't care at all.

But I think that what's interesting about this title of royal highness, it's the royal highness bit, which is a significant bit with the title, because what you must realize is that that gives her precedence before Princess Anne and after the queen. And indeed before the countess of Essex. After the queen dies, she will be the first lady in the land. That's because of the royal highness bit, not because of the duchess of Cornwall, princess consort stuff that they thought up.

KING: Let's check in for a couple of minutes with Darren McGrady in Dallas. He was Princess Diana's personal chef from 1993 until her death. Prior to that, he worked as chef at Buckingham Palace. He has a Web site called, and on his Web site today Darren posted the following -- "Nine years after he divorced Princess Di, the prince has finally listened to her." What did you mean, Darren?

DARREN MCGRADY, FORMER CHEF TO PRINCE CHARLES AND PRINCESS DI: Well, the princess said right from the start that he should make an honest woman of her, Darren. She should really make an honest woman of her now. It's time. And I believe that's right. I believe that's what the princess would have wanted.

Having said that, I think that had the princess still been alive today, we would have had a lot of comforting to do at Kensington Palace this morning.

KING: Because she loved Charles so much?

MCGRADY: I think she still did, but you know, we're past that now. And it's interesting, the title that she's been given. You know, we may be over the princess, a lot of us, but a lot of us still aren't. And I think there's been a lot of damage control at Buckingham Palace at suggesting a name, a title for Mrs. Parker Bowles. And I think duchess of Cornwall is fine. I think that one (UNINTELLIGIBLE) equilibrium. I think that had they gone for princess of Wales, then that would have caused an uproar amongst the people that still thought a lot of Princess Diana.

KING: Joan, I know it bothers you, but don't you understand that there are some hard feelings since there was, the way the marriage broke, Joan? RIVERS: Oh, of course there are hard feelings. But you know, I'm looking at the pictures you're showing, Larry. This is not a floozy. This is not a 28-year-old guy with a girl with big breasts who thinks she's Pamela Anderson. This is a wonderful, settled, middle-aged couple. And how nice to be allowed after 35 years -- for God's sakes -- murderers get out in 17. To be allowed after 35 years to get married and get on with being the best person that you love, to be with them. I think it's wonderful.

KING: Do you think, Darren, they might let her be the title of queen when eventually that comes?

MCGRADY: I really do, Larry. I think that's going to happen. It's interesting the wording in the announcement today. It says that when the prince of Wales becomes king, it's intended that his wife will be the princess consort. Well, nine years ago, the prince of Wales didn't intend to get married again.

KING: By the way, if he wants to call her queen, can he, Darren?

MCGRADY: I think he will do and I think in the nine, 10....

KING: He's the king. Can't he proclaim her queen?

MCGRADY: Yes, he can call her whatever he wants to. Like Dickie said, you know, the princess of Wales, she is officially the princess of Wales, although not by title.

KING: Darren, thank you very much. If you want to go on his Web site, it's Darren McGrady's Web site,

Let's get in a quick call. Toms River, New Jersey, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: I'd like to ask a question to your panel tonight.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: Last summer, Cindy Adams had in her column in "The New York Post" that Camilla Parker Bowles was suffering from lung cancer. Nothing has been said in the papers or on the news today about that?

KING: Robert?

LACEY: That was pretty well discredited at the time. Where that New York paper got the story from, we don't know. But there's not been the slightest evidence of all the medical rushing around that would have gone with the reality of lung cancer.

I'd just like to go back to one point about this princess consort title. I actually don't agree with Dickie about this, that it's a happy parallel. Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, was given this title so that he could look in state papers and actually do -- participate in government in a way that, for example, Prince Philip, the duke of Edinburgh, does not.

I, myself, think she should have just stayed duchess of Cornwall. After all, it's good enough for Prince Philip. He is the duke of Edinburgh. He only got his princely title later. And I think -- I suppose the one interesting thing about this announcement, she's going to be princess consort, is that it proclaims very strongly a secondary message in all of this, that Prince Charles intends to be king. He's envisioning that. In a way, it's his retort to the people who say, why not step aside for William? He's saying no. And to prove it, we've arranged what my wife is going to be called when I become king.

KING: We'll take a break, we'll be right back with more. We'll include more of your phone calls. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you feeling, ma'am?




KING: We're back with our panel. Let's include another call. Los Angeles, hello.

CALLER: Hi. I love your show.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: And it was real great when you had Billy Graham on. I've never heard anything about her adult children or ex-husband. And was he paid to keep quiet about his marriage breakup? Because I'm sure he had something that he thought about his marriage being broken up and now this.

KING: What do we know about him?

Who wants to take that?

You want to take that?

Dickie, why don't you take it?

ARBITER: Well, unlike other members of the Household Calvary Regiment, namely, James Hewitt (ph). Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles, is not only an officer, but he's also a gentleman. And what he's done, he's gone on with his life. He's remarried. He happens to be in the Caribbean at the moment, and he's enjoying a second life with a second wife. He is absolutely honorable. He was Godson to Queen Elizabeth, the queen mother. He's been brought up within royal circles. He spent most of his adult life there as Household Calvary Officer, as commanding officer of the Household Calvary Regiment, as part of the polo set, part of the horse set. So he's just one of those rare people that has lived that sort of life but doesn't need to talk about it.

KING: What about her children, Hugo?

VICKERS: Well, the children, yes, we do hear a certain amount about them, particularly Tom Parker Bowles is around about town. And I suppose we shall probably hear more about them. I mean, there are always these extra complications in the matter. But of course, the whole question of children is an interesting one. Prince Charles, if I'd been putting out statements on his behalf, I'd made clear the one thing -- one of the duty of the prince of Wales is to secure the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) succession. And by having two sons, he's done that.

This particular marriage has nothing to do -- doesn't affect Prince William in anyway. In a sense, I suppose, one could look at it as a kind of late light -- late life comfort for the two of them together. But that's why I find it rather strange, this promotion of her, instantly, to being pretty much first lady of the land. That's why I find it all a bit confusing.

KING: Joan, what do you make of the approval of William and Harry?

RIVERS: I don't think -- and I don't know. But I don't think that his royal highness would have gone on and made this decision without the consent of the boys. He's very close to they boys. And I know they like her very much. I've seen them in private situations. And it's been a real extended family. I think they are (UNINTELLIGIBLE) very happy.

KING: To -- Pineville, Louisiana. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: Thank you for this show. I'm so enjoying it.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: My question is or my comment is to Mr. Lacey, and one the first royal books I ever read, years ago, was "Majesty." And just want to tell him, that I so appreciate his unbiased way of writing. And I wonder if he has been asked or if he will do any future biographies soon, because I love your writing stile.

KING: Robert, more books coming?

LACEY: Well, yes. In fact, I am returning to areas I've written about before. I'm actually going to be writing about the Saudi Royal Family and what's going on in that part of the world. So, I think with Camilla and Charles, a certain chapter is closing, and I certainly won't be writing any more chapters about it myself. Thank you very much for the kind things you've said.

KING: Let's spend a couple of moments with Simon Perry, he's London deputy bureau chief of "People Magazine." How did you learn about this, Simon?

SIMON PERRY, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: I had a call on my way to work this morning from a colleague who said the news was breaking. And within the hour, we will summon to the palace and give a in depth briefing on -- on the matter we've been talking about since then.

KING: Is this frenzied time...


KING: Is this frenzied time in tabloidville?

PERRY: It is. I mean, we've got some of tomorrow's newspapers, the British papers that will be out on the streets tomorrow in front of us. And I think, one of them, "Daily Mail" has got about 21 pages. Another one has put an eight-page cutout in a broad sheet section, so that's a lot of words. And at "People Magazine" within the next few days, we'll be putting together a very comprehensive coverage as well. It's one of those stories, hence our discussion tonight, that everyone's talking about around the world.

KING: Is it a belief, or do you know, Simon of the interest?

Do you actually know -- does "People Magazine" know that these two people create enormous interest?

PERRY: Well, I think they do create interest, but there's also the side issues here about Princess Diana, and obviously, who was our biggest cover star of "People Magazine" over the last 30 years. And you know, Obviously, you can't talk about Prince Charles without talking about Princess Diana, and their unfortunate and unhappy marriage. And then, of course, her two sons of whom there's a great affection for around the world. So, I think it's a story that involves all these characters, that -- which is what gives it legs to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) better phrase.

KING: Now, how big will that civil wedding be covered? How many people do you think will come?

PERRY: I don't know about numbers. They were very coy today. They weren't going to say to much in detail. But they did guide us that it would be largely private and largely family and friends. So, I don't think we can expect the great pomp and circumstance and ceremonial that we had, obviously, back in 1981 with Princess Diana's and Prince Charles' marriage. But -- you know, I'm sure there'll be some heads of state there, and -- but it will be largely friends and close family.

KING: And they are coming to America later this year. Do you know when that trip is scheduled?

PERRY: well, that's the talk. It hasn't been confirmed. There has been some talk about it. If it happens, I believe it will be in the autumn. But as I say, the palace is not confirming that yet. Maybe there will be other plans, with this change of circumstance, who knows. If they do head to America, I'm sure we'll be covering it with great detail.

KING: Is this automatically the front cover next week?

PERRY: Oh, I don't know about that. We'll see. We will give comprehensive coverage and someone else will have to make that decision further up in the magazine than me. But we will be giving it a good coverage of all this, yes.

KING: Thank you, Simon. Simon Perry, the London deputy bureau chief of "People Magazine." We'll be back with panel and more of your phone calls right after this.


KING: In the last segment of the program tonight, by the way, we're going to check in with Clive Davis, the well-known music promoter and business legend in the music field at his annual Grammy Party at the Beverly Hills Hotel along with Alicia Keys and Carlos Santana and Fantasia. And that's going to be the last segment of the show tonight.

In that connection, Joan Rivers in New York, TV personality, entertainer, author and business woman, close friend with Charles and Camilla, will host her TV Guide pre-Grammy show on Sunday as per usual. She will do a superb job looking at everybody coming down and interviewing and doing all the things she does so well.

Robert Lacey is in London, the best-selling author of veteran royal watcher, author of "Great Tales From English History, Volumes I and II." Patrick Jephson is the former private secretary to Princess Di, best-selling author. His latest book is "Portraits of a Princess: Travels with Diana." We did a great show on that book, by the way.

Dickie Arbiter, the former spokesman for Buckingham Palace, former press secretary for the queen and for the prince and princess of wales. And Hugo Vickers, best-selling biography, veteran royal watcher. He's in New York. He's just completed the late queen mother entitled "Elizabeth, the Queen Mother" to be published in the fall.

Someone called and we lost the connection, but wanted to know, we'll ask it of you Patrick, if Diana is called "Her Royal Highness" and that was stripped of her despite the fact that she's the mother of William and Harry. Why are they calling Camilla "Her Royal Highness?"

JEPHSON: Well, I think it is, as Hugo said earlier, perhaps the most significant element in the titles that have been chosen for Camilla. And in royal terms, this does put her at the top of the pecking order. It means that she can expect to be courtesied and bowed to as, in effect, the first lady of the land when Charles becomes king.

I think that so far as a lot of the watching world is concerned, the actual titles don't mean that much. The reality is that she will be the...

KING: No. 1 lady. JEPHSON: Yes. And internally within the royal household, it's the HRH bit that really establishes her in the first rank.

KING: In other words, what she says goes.

Cincinnati, Ohio.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. I was hoping that somebody on your panel could explain how come since Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles are both divorced, he's still allowed to become king, and yet they made the duke of Windsor step down, because he chose to be with Wallis Simpson?

KING: Robert, can you explain that?

LACEY: Well, it's simply a political question. We've been talking a lot about the royal family here. At the end of the day, it's what the British government of the day says about this. And back in 1936, the prime minister of the day, the cabinet, threatened to resign if the king insisted on marrying this American divorcee.

They consulted what was then called the Empire and the prime ministers of Canada, Australia or New Zealand all said they would resign over this. Now, today we have a completely different situation. Down in Westminster, there may not be enormous enthusiasm among M.P's for what's happening, although I think from what they've said publicly, most of them wish this couple well. But there isn't the will to stop it, to stand up and say this should not be allowed.

KING: Was that Prime Minister Chamberlain?

LACEY: Even before Chamberlain. It was Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin.

And just as been going on here, there was all sorts of talking behind the scenes and the outcome was, well, you can't have the woman and the throne. So, we understand there's been talking behind the scenes here. And Tony Blair, whose wife is Catholic, who himself is thought to be privately a Catholic and, thus, against divorce, has chosen not to make an issue of it and to effectively say we move on, and we wish them well. Everyone has come out.

Although, of course, the church in all this, are only blessing the union as they now bless same sex unions. They are not getting married in church. The difference between then and now really, therefore, is really what the church says doesn't count for so much.

KING: St. Louis, hello.

CALLER: Yes, Larry, I was wondering, I was just in Fort Lauderdale and I saw the beautiful Diana exhibit there. And I know Diana wore a lot of her own Spencer jewelry. And I was curious, will Camilla wear any of the royal jewelry that Diana did?

KING: Dickie, do you know? ARBITER: Well, that really largely depends on the queen. I mean, she's got an engagement ring that's come out of the royal collection as Robert Lacey said earlier on. And that sort of speaks for itself, in that it has received the approval of the queen.

Just going back to the title of HRH, yes, she does become the first lady of the land when Prince Charles becomes king, but it is also a sign of approval from the queen, because it is a gift of the queen to bestow the title, HRH. And that means it has her seal of approval.

As for jewelry, well, Diana was given jewelry by the queen to wear and this has been returned to her. And it's very likely that on certain occasions Camilla Parker Bowles, as Duchess of Cornwall, will be given jewelry by the queen to wear on, perhaps, major state occasions or privately, but that is really up to the queen if she decides to give any of the jewelry.

KING: Elmwood Park, New Jersey, hello. Are you there? OK, sorry.

Vancouver, British Columbia. Hello.

CALLER: Oh, yes, hi. I want to ask the question, don't you think it would be ladylike and also on a moral basis that Camilla would apologize to the public and even to Charles' son for causing so much unhappiness to Diana? I mean, after all, really Diana attempted suicide attempts. And really, Joan Rivers, do you think this is such a wonderful couple. If this happened to your daughter, would you think they were so wonderful?

KING: Joan?

RIVERS: Again, we only know and you only know and I only know the outside and one side. You must remember that Prince Charles has sat down and told us his half of it. So, I think you're making a terrible judgment call. We don't know why things were done, we don't know what was going on within that marriage. And it was a very unhappy time for Charles as well as Diana.

She was not a saint. She died in a terrible death with her lover coming from the Ritz Hotel going to his apartment. So, with all due respect to Princes Diana, let's not make her a saint. Let's move on. It's 9 years later. Let's just be happy that 2 people found each other and be together. How nice that is.

KING: Ellijay, Georgia, hello.

CALLER: Larry, great show. I'd like to ask your excellent panel, what does Prince Philip think of the marriage of his son, Prince Charles, to Camilla Parker Bowles.

KING: Do we know, Hugo?

VICKERS: Well, we don't know. But we know officially that he has, you know, joined with the queen in saying they're very happy about it. Prince Philip, I think, on many occasions, has found Prince Charles a difficult character. He is -- they're rather different types. Prince Philip is much more decisive and pragmatic and Prince Charles is much more romantic in his outlook on life. And I think the word dithering was used earlier on. And dithering is something which Prince Philip does not approve of at all.

But I think that he would probably be very pleased, at any rate, that the situation has been resolved. And that as time goes on, all the speculation that we've had over these years should, perhaps, die down. I don't know.

KING: We will take a break and be back with more. And then don't forget we're going to go to the Grammy Party at the Beverly Hills hotel in the last segment. We'll take more of your calls right after these words.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Parker Bowles will not become queen should Charles assume the throne. She will be known as the Duchess of Cornwall and ultimately, the Princess Consort, an acknowledgement, perhaps, that the impending marriage is a sensitive one for the church, the monarchy and the British public which held Charles' first wife, Diana, Princess of Wales, in huge public affection.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The pageantry, the exotic dress, the rituals that breath antiquity are themselves theater. Mostly invented in the last century for the throne of empire. Theater too, that royal wedding, a fairy tale staged, not only for the British, but for a billion yearning viewers around the world.


KING: Port Ritchie, Florida, back to the calls, hello.

CALLER: Yeah, hi, good evening, Larry.


CALLER: We should also thank Joan Rivers for all her good charity work for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. And my question is to your panel. Who gave the nickname to Camilla, the Rottweiler, and who is going to be the best man, you think, for Charles? The boys?

KING: Two good questions. Patrick, do you know?

JEPHSON: I don't know who invented it. Larry, I did on occasion hear Princess Diana use it, but I have to say, in a semi-affectionate, certainly a humorous way. And long before she died. It's worth remembering that Diana had reconciled herself to the reality of Charles' relationship with Camilla. And typically of her, she was prepared to be generous-hearted about it.

KING: Robert, who is going to be best man?

LACEY: Well, I think it will be very interesting if it were Prince William, because there's no doubt at all that the boys have been enormously supportive of this marriage. And this goes back to this point that Joan is making. All these people who are being judgmental and looking back to the past and refusing to accept the reality and that time has moved on, don't know what happened in that marriage. I don't know what happened in that marriage. But if you look at the outside, none of Diana's relationships worked, and she had a string of relationships with what appeared to be eligible men. The last relationship, she died when it scarcely started.

Now, those boys did see what was going on. They were on the inside, and it's clear in their behavior they are not judgmental of their father. They knew what it was like to have a mother who screamed and who was neurotic. We know about these things. She was a very difficult woman to live with. As I say, her life indicates she couldn't live with anybody. And the sympathy that the boys feel for their father, and the happiness and calm and contentment he's now getting, suggests to me that it could well be William.

Of course, we hope that Harry when he comes to the -- this is a joke that's being much made -- made much of in the newspapers at the moment -- we hope that Harry will have an appropriate choice of costume for the wedding. Let's say no more than that.

KING: Santa Barbara, California, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hello, thank you. I'm from London. I've always enjoyed your shows about the royal family.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: And I have got a cousin who worked for the royal family for about 12 years. And I can tell you, I wish I was as generous as Diana, but I have a lot of friends, English and American, who loathe this woman, and I want to know what they're going to do, if anything, to rehabilitate her image. There are a lot of people who still blame her for the breakup of the marriage. And also, because of how ambitious she was to be part of Charles' life. I'm sure she loves him, but how much do you think this is ambition to be someday queen, because she's been boasting about her ancestor?

KING: Even though, the caller, the children approve?

CALLER: Well, do they approve or do they just say they approve? I don't know.

KING: Dickie, what do you think?

ARBITER: Well, I think the children do approve. For one thing, they absolutely adore their father, and in their eyes, he can do no wrong. And let's not call them children. Let's not call them boys. They are young men. And they are going to be leading their own lives. Prince William finishes at St. Andrews University in the summer. Harry goes off to Sandhurst, to train to become an officer. And I think as far as they're concerned, if their daddy is happy, then they're happy too, and they approve of this.

KING: What about public approval, Hugo?

VICKERS: Well, yes, I mean, this is really the big question, isn't it? I think we all totally agree that we would like Prince Charles to have as much private happiness as possible, and Camilla also. It's this -- this question of her public role, which I find so intriguing and confusing. You know, the duke of Windsor had to go because he was unable to take the coronation. You saw a picture of the queen going to -- into the house of parliament, to open parliament. I mean, will Camilla going in on the arm of Prince Charles? I suppose she will. Will she sit in a chair at the front of the coronation? I suppose she will. She will wear all the jewels. It's quite interesting, a lot of things which will become clear as time goes on. She is, I mean, the most important thing I think you must remember is we've got a new first lady in the making.

KING: West Monroe, Louisiana. Last call. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Good evening, everyone. Will Camilla receive any type of monetary allowance or a stipend?

KING: Do you know what she gets, Patrick?

JEPHSON: Well, traditionally the prince of Wales' household is funded out of the Duchy of Cornwall. And already Camilla has been pretty well provided for from that source. It's historically where heirs to the throne funded themselves from. And one of the happy outcomes of this decision today is that it puts above board any money that she has been receiving from that source.

She's going to need a big entourage. We don't yet know what her public role is going to be, how she decides to forge what's going to be a completely new sort of royal operation, but it will be funded from the Duchy of Cornwall, not technically from the public purse.

KING: Joan, as you know then, would you bet they'll be happy?

RIVERS: I hope so. I already went out today and bought them a George Foreman grill, so I'm looking forward to good times. I think they're going to be so happy. Again, they're just so right together. I was going to get them a wok.

KING: Robert, what would you bet?

LACEY: I'm sure they're going to be happy together. I mean, this is the triumph of love -- not the fairy tale love which we had with Diana, which proved to be all too unreal. This is sort of used, soft at the edges, worn at the edges middle-aged love finally coming true. And I think all of us who are middle aged just wish them the best.

KING: You're not kidding. We join them in that. And we thank you all. We'll be calling on you again. We'll have another major panel, of course, on April 8th.

Joan Rivers, Robert Lacey, Patrick Jephson, Dickie Arbiter and Hugo Vickers. And earlier, our earlier guests from "People" magazine and the former chef as well, and we thank you for your phone calls.

Now, we have one more segment coming. We're going to go to the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles and talk to Clive Davis, chairman of company of BMG US, one of the major record figures in the world, along with entertainers Alicia Keys, Carlos Santana and Fantasia, as we approach the Grammys. We'll be right back. Don't go away.


KING: Let's head over to the exclusive Beverly Hills Hotel, where Clive Davis is standing by, music business legend, chairman and CEO of BMG United States. He's hosting this annual party in advance of the Grammys. With him, the legendary musician Carlos Santana, who's sold more than 50 million albums. In fact, his album "Supernatural," earned nine Grammys. And our lovely lady Fantasia Barrino. Fantasia is the 2004 winner of "American Idol." Clive Davis served as a judge during the final stages of that competition. Her debut album is out. It's "Free Yourself."

And to close the program, Fantasia is going to sing for us.

Clive, how long have you been doing this?

CLIVE DAVIS, CEO, BMG U.S.: This is the 29th year. I began it when I started Arista Records. Barry Manilow had a number one nominated hit for "Mandy," and I started a party the night before the Grammys so that at that time, Elton John and John Denver and Stevie Wonder could come. And now it's been a great tradition.

KING: Carlos, how important is a Grammy to the performer?

CARLOS SANTANA, MUSICIAN: I guess it could mean a lot of things. My Grammy was always knowing that Mr. Clive Davis, Mr. Miles Davis, Johnny Lee Hooker and Wayne Shorter would call my house. Those are my Grammys, when they call my house, those are the Grammys for me.

KING: Fantasia, you're going to sing in a little while "Summertime." We're going to have Clive introduce it. That's a great George Gershwin song. Are you going to be at the Grammys?

FANTASIA BARRINO, SINGER: I'm not going to be at the Grammys, but it's a good thing that I'm going to be at the Grammy party. That's what's going on. That's the hot thing. So I'm going to be at the party, get to perform tonight with Chaka Khan. So I'm very, very excited.


KING: ... Fantasia will be a nominee next year, wouldn't you bet that?

DAVIS: I would bet it. I would bet it. I just presented her tonight with a platinum album. Her album had sold over a million copies in just five weeks, and it's the hottest album out there. So, next year.

BARRINO: Next year.

DAVIS: We'll see each other right here in this room.

KING: Carlos, I can't wait to get you in our studio and spend a long time with you. And Clive Davis, will you do us the honor of introducing Fantasia?

DAVIS: I will. You know, she was the "American Idol" winner, but way beyond that, as I said when I was a judge, that I would have signed this girl if she was auditioning for me in a basement in Kansas City. She's gotten four-star reviews. Her album is platinum. She's going to perform here Saturday night in the midst of every luminary from Hollywood, television and music.

Ladies and gentlemen, Fantasia Barrino.



KING: We're a little late, folks. Chad and Cadee Condit tomorrow night, the children of Congressman Gary Condit. Right now, standing by in New York, sorry I took a little of your time, go, Aaron Brown, go, please, take it.

AARON BROWN, HOST, "NEWSNIGHT": Thank you, Mr. King. I'll give you a little time any old day.


International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.