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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Missing Boy Scout Found Alive; Latest on the Royals
Aired June 21, 2005 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JODY HAWKINS, BRENNAN HAWKINS' MOTHER: People are saying that the heavens are closed and God no longer answers prayers. We are here to unequivocally tell you that the heavens are not closed, prayers are answered and children come home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, found alive, 11 year old Boy Scout Brennan Hawkins, missing for four days alone, no food, no water, in the rugged terrain of northeast Utah. We'll get all the latest on how he is doing on and his amazing story of survival with Kristie Swain, a neighbor of the Hawkins family who joined in the search, Kevin Prusse, Brennan school principal, and CNN's Ted Rowlands live on the scene.
And then Britain's Prince William is turning 23 years old today, what's the latest on the world's most eligible royal and his love life and how is he getting along with Camilla. We'll go live to Dickie Arbiter, the former press officer of the queen, Robert Lacey, the bestselling royals biographer, Hugo Vickers, another bestselling royals watcher and Patrick Jephson, Princess Di's former private secretary. All next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Also joining us on the phone is Bruce Davis, a close friend of the Hawkins family, bishop of their church ward, they are Mormon. Helped in the search effort as well. Ted, how did this all happen? How was he found?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he was found by a couple searchers. And there were thousands of them that have come up here to this out-of-the way rugged terrain to look for Brennan Hawkins. And today one of those searchers on an all-terrain-vehicle came across him, he was standing on a path about five miles away from where he was last seen at the Boy Scout camp, he was in an area where searchers thought was a remote possibility, but wasn't on their target list at first. They had been there during the first days of the search and then they went back today. And when they went back, they found him. He was cold. He said he was thirsty and he said he wanted to see his mother and he did just that.
They reunited the family and tonight he is resting comfortably with his family at a Salt Lake City hospital.
KING: He looked pretty well there in the scene we're showing in a kind of a wheelchair. Was he disoriented at all, Ted? ROWLANDS: Well, he was speaking right away to the searchers that found him. He spoke to his mother and his father when he was reunited with them. He didn't want to talk about specifics of how he got lost and where he went, but he was communicating with them. He ate. He took their granola bars and he took all the water that they had. He was obviously thirsty, dehydrated and in good spirits. And it's just an amazing end to a story that could have gone any -- in many different directions.
ROWLANDS: This family has been so positive throughout. They were confident. I don't know how confident everyone was, but they sure were right. They knew their son. They said they would find him alive and they sure did.
KING: Kristie, you took part in the search. Where were you when he was found?
KRISTIE SWAIN, NEIGHBOR OF HAWKINS' FAMILY: I was at home. We had gone all day Sunday and all day Monday and needed to get home for some family commitments today, but we were overjoyed when we heard that Brennan had been found.
KING: Do you know him well?
SWAIN: On the playground duty at the school that he used to attend. I do know him from the school. I know him from the neighborhood. And he's a cute, cute boy. We love him so much.
KING: His father described him as a quiet, shy boy. Is that the way you know him?
SWAIN: Yes, that is true. He has a couple of very close friends and he doesn't do a lot of conversation with adults, but he's just a cute kid. We're so happy he's found.
KING: Kevin Prusse, the principal at Brennan's school, the Leo J. Muir Elementary School. What's the biggest city near there?
KEVIN PRUSSE, PRINCIPAL AT BRENNAN'S SCHOOL: Salt Lake City. Leo J. Muir is in Bountiful and Bountiful is a suburb of Salt Lake. We're about 11 miles away from Salt Lake City.
KING: What can you tell us about Brennan.
PRUSSE: Brennan, like Kristie mentioned, is a quiet boy. I've seen him and talked to him in the lunch room, in the classroom and in the halls. He's a quiet boy but he's a fun loving boy, a cute kid. He's one of my students. And I have 460 of them. And I love them all, just like they were my own children. I have an 11-year-old son. And so I was out searching for him yesterday with Kristie. We just happened to get on the same search team and was glad when I found out that he had been found today.
KING: Are you wondering how he survived? PRUSSE: I am, especially we were about -- Kristie and I, the area we were searching yesterday was about a mile from the lake he was found at and it was very treacherous. It was mountain slope that was about a 35-degree angle. Lots of trees we had to climb over and through. So, it was amazing that he had gotten that far.
KING: Bruce Davis is with us on the phone in Salt Lake City, a close friend of the Hawkins family and is bishop of their church ward. Was there a massive Mormon effort behind this, Bruce?
BRUCE DAVIS, HAWKINS FAMILY FRIEND: Well, there was a tremendous community effort that included our ward, the community and all individuals involved near and far. The outpouring was just spectacular.
KING: How do you explain the optimism of the family?
DAVIS: Well, the Hawkins family are deeply religious. They are very close knit family. They have great faith and to the credit of Toby and Jody, they never gave up. This just goes to show there is a God in heaven, he answers prayers. People do rally to support and love one another. And the spirit around here is just very high and overwhelming.
KING: Would you explain what the bishop's role is?
DAVIS: Well, I'm actually a counselor in the bishopric. The bishopric, under the direction of the bishop in a ward, you might compare that to a parish in the Catholic Church. It's a small geographic area in location or community. The bishop has the responsibility for the temporal and welfare of the people within that ward. And Bishop Showalter has been vital role play in this whole experience. Supported by his ward and all the people in the community.
KING: How well do you know Brennan?
DAVIS: Very well. Our families are extremely close. We enjoy activities together. We live very close. We're neighbors. Toby, his father and I, run in the mornings. We participate in marathons together. We hunt and fish together. And just two weeks ago, our families were on camping trips together where Brennan was a participant.
KING: Brennan have brothers and sisters?
DAVIS: Brennan does have brothers and sisters. He is one of five children, he being the second youngest.
KING: Did you ever give up?
DAVIS: No, I never gave up, because you can't give up in a situation like that. But I knew as each hour went by, the success rate of an individual out in that wilderness being that high and that cold at night, without food or water, dwindles. So, I knew that it was critical that we find him quick. But I've got to say, Toby and Jody never gave up. And I'm just thrilled that he was found.
KING: How do you explain that he survived?
DAVIS: Well, number one, I think our heavenly father preserved him. And, number two, I believe it's because of the prayers of everybody, whether they were searching or whether they were home around the world. Many, many prayers. I also believe it's because of the training that he's received from his father and his family.
KING: And the Boy Scouts?
DAVIS: Absolutely. The Boy Scouts were tremendous in helping him to gain that experience.
KING: We'll be back with more with Kristie Swain, Kevin Prusse, Bruce Davis on the phone and Ted Rowlands, include some of your phone calls and we'll catch up on the royals. Tomorrow night, Priscilla Presley. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAWKINS: We have never known men of such integrity, faith and honor in our lives. The Bardsley family, we love you. People say that the heavens are closed and God no longer answers prayers. We are here to unequivocally tell that you the heavens are not closed, prayers are answered and children come home. We love you, we thank you.
KING: We're back with our panel. We'll take a few phone calls in this segment as well. Ted, do you know any injuries, any report of how long he'll be in the hospital?
ROWLANDS: Well, according to the physician, the head physician down at Salt Lake Children's, he has some minor bumps and bruises, he's dehydrated, but given what he has been through, he is in remarkable health and they expecting him to make a full recovery. When he will be discharged, that has not been released. Whether it will be tomorrow or if they'll hold him over for longer, we don't know. But the bottom line is that an 11-year-old who has spent the last four days out in these conditions made -- has come out of it remarkably.
KING: Waterbury, Connecticut, let's go to a call. Hello.
CALLER: Hello. I've been watching the story. I heard the father say his son did not want to go on this camping trip and was wondering why they let him go.
KING: Do you know about that Kevin?
PRUSSE: I have no idea. I know that Brennan is a shy boy but I had not heard that.
KING: Bruce, had you heard it? Bruce? DAVIS: Yes?
KING: Had you heard that he didn't want to go?
DAVIS: I have not heard that he didn't want to go, but I do know that Brennan is shy and is a little bit reluctant to change.
ROWLANDS: Larry, I think ...
KING: All right. Ted, you have the answer?
ROWLANDS: Yeah. I think what the caller is referring to is something that Brennan's father said, that he had reservations about coming up on the trip, specifically because of the temperatures and I think that he was just -- he worked through it and his father was sort of lamenting about it and picturing his son out in the cold each night and saying that his son was worried about specifically that. But I don't think that he didn't want to come on the trip. It was his decision, I believe, to come along.
KING: I know we can talk about thanking God and the like, but, Kristie, we still have 12-year-old Garrett Bardsley vanished last August. No one has found him. In fact, his father came to help the family, right?
SWAIN: That is correct. There were thousands of people that came. We are so grateful that people felt in their hearts to come. Thank you, everybody.
KING: Tampa, Florida, hello.
CALLER: Yes, Larry. My question for your guest is what do they think about organizations such as the Boy Scouts using microchips technology to track young people in the woods like this?
KING: There has been thoughts about that. Let's get everybody's thoughts. Kevin, what do you think about tracking methods?
PRUSSE: It was really wonderful to have the GPS systems when we were sent out on the same crew to go and search for Brennan. We had the coordinates from the map. We could use the GPS system to find those coordinates, search through the half mile grid we were to search through. And that we were able to stay within that grid coordinate on the map and not wander somewhere else. And so it was very useful.
KING: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, hello.
CALLER: I wanted to know, did he have a cell phone with him? And when they found him, where was he?
ROWLANDS: No, he didn't. If he did, it wouldn't have worked. You can't get reception up here. We are outside of any cell tower receptions. And he was found in an area which was near a lake about five miles away from where he was last seen at the Boy Scout camp. There was a cell phone involved. One of the searchers had one. One of the things Brennan did after he had water and some snacks was he started playing the video game which was on the cell phone and they got a kick out of that. And that made the searchers thought he was doing quite well for a young man who had been in the brush for four days.
KING: Bruce, any fear of animals?
DAVIS: Well, there's always that fear in the wilderness that this time of year, the animals are quite healthy and have plenty to eat. So, I don't think that was a real vital concern.
KING: Pleasanton, California, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry, I love your show. I heard a Boy Scout leader think earlier he couldn't think of any changes that could be made. I'm wondering if maybe Brennan had carried a whistle, he might have been found sooner.
KING: What do you think of that idea, Kristie?
SWAIN: I think it's an excellent idea. I want to encourage any parent that is going on a vacation in the mountains to have their child wear a whistle. I think that would have helped. I'm not sure, though, if Brennan would have used it unless he would have been taught and encouraged to use it.
KING: He was that shy, you mean?
SWAIN: Yes, exactly.
PRUSSE: My first reaction, after hearing that Brennan was gone was talking to my 11-year-old son, because we're going camping with the Scouts next week and I said we're giving you a whistle in case anything happens so that he can blow it if he gets lost.
KING: Bruce, cell phones in a lot of areas in Utah don't work, right?
DAVIS: Well, there are some remote areas in Utah that don't have cell phone coverage. That is correct. And the mountainous terrain is certainly one of them.
KING: I know Sundance is one of them.
DAVIS: That is correct.
KING: You can't reach people -- Did you know that? Not many people know that. You cannot call Robert Redford. I'm glad to hear that everybody is very happy. Bruce, I guess there will be happy prayers in church Sunday, right?
DAVIS: There will. The family wanted me to express appreciation to all of those that have helped. The Summit County sheriff's department, the search and rescue, the Red Cross, the Swift River Rescue people, the media. If it wasn't for the media, this individual that found Brennan would not have been up there and Brennan would not have been found at that time. So, our appreciation to you and the media, Larry.
KING: Thank you. Kevin, is school out?
PRUSSE: Yes. We're out for the summer. We got out about two weeks ago. But our whole community hags rallied around Brennan, our PTA and students last night put yellow ribbons throughout the city of Bountiful right from the freeway where he will get off the road coming back to his house all the way from the freeway to his house, there are yellow ribbons, balloons and posters all over welcoming him home.
KING: Kristie, what a great name for a city, right?
SWAIN: I agree, yes.
SWAIN: We have many blessings here.
KING: Thank you all very much, Kristie Swain, Kevin Prusse, Bruce Davis and Ted Rowlands.
And when we come back we'll catch up with the royals on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE. In London is Dickie Arbiter, the former spokesman for Buckingham Palace, former press officer to the queen and the prince and princess of Wales.
In London is Robert Lacey, the best selling author and veteran royal watcher. Author of "Great Tales from English History" volumes one and two.
Also in Great Britain, Hugo Vickers, best selling author and veteran royal watcher, his latest biography, "Elizabeth, the Queen Mother" will be published in the fall. And finally, also there, Patrick Jephson, the former private secretary to Princess Diana, best selling author, his most recent book, "Portraits of a Princess, Travels with Diana."
Prince William is 23 today. Dickie, how's he doing?
DICKIE ARBITER, FORMER ROYAL PRESS OFFICER: Well, treating 23 with little fuss, actually, moving seamlessly from 22 to 23. I think his concern more is for his graduation on Thursday. It's not every kid that can graduate from university with your grandmother and grandfather watching you, and a special grandmother being the head of state, namely the queen. So it will be a big day for William on Thursday with his graduation. Not only the queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, his father, the Prince of Wales, his stepmother, the Duchess of Cornwall. And of course the media will be there in full flood.
And what is interesting coming out of this, once the graduation is over, he will go with his father in the afternoon to the local police station to thank them for all their help and support in the protection in the years that he was at St. Andrews and then on Saturday, the gloves are off. While he's been at university, the St. Andrews pact, the St. Andrew's deal, where the media have kept out of the way, let him get on with the studies, been there when there's been a press facility. But come Saturday, the 25th, the gloves are off and William is out on his own in terms of the media. And unfortunately, they're going to be hunting him down and looking for him and trying to take photographs of him at every opportunity.
KING: Robert Lacey, how did he do academically?
ROBERT LACEY, ROYALS BIOGRAPHER: Well, brilliantly, by royal standards. That's why the queen's going there, quite apart from being a grandmother, obviously. And Charles is going to be there and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall as we call her now down in England and Duchess of Rothesay, as she is known up in Scotland, because that is Prince Charles' title in Scotland, he is Duke of Rothesay. Prince William got an upper second. This whole episode, I think, of four years at St. Andrews has been a great success in royal terms.
The press, as Dickie has said, has stuck to the bargain. We'll see what happens next. William is the first member of the royal family actually to win a place at a university on his merits. His uncles, Charles and Edward -- his father, Charles, and his uncle, Edward, went to Cambridge. Their academic grades didn't really entitle them to go there. But William insisted he wanted a fair deal and the whole country, and I think the whole country, really is celebrating this.
KING: Hugo, geography is an unusual major. Explain that.
HUGO VICKERS, ROYALS BIOGRAPHER: Well, yes, it is. But it's quite useful for a prince to have a good knowledge of geography, because he is going to be spending a lot of time going round the country and around the world. So I would imagine that's quite a good thing to be studying. I think St. Andrews was also a good choice of place for him to go. Because by and large, of course, people know where it is. But we're a little bit vague about where it is. It seems a long way away. So he sort of seemed to be quite nicely isolated up there. That's also probably been a help. Perhaps my geography is not very good.
KING: Patrick, he's going to New Zealand. Why?
PATRICK JEPHSON, FORMER SECRETARY OF PRINCESS DI: Right now, the British and Irish Lions rugby team is touring in new sealed. It's very big news both here and in New Zealand. And the prince has a reputation of being somewhat of a rugby fan.
It's a great way for him to move from the academic world into the world of public duties, because it's a happy occasion. It's a sporting occasion. There's going to be a lot of goodwill. And I think that he'll find that he gets a very warm reception down there.
KING: Dickie, from looking at him, he's obviously his mother's son, is he not?
ARBITER: Yeah, he is very much his mother's son. And when he does public engagements, we'll probably see a little bit of his mother coming out just to carry on from what Patrick said a few moments ago, yes, he's going to be watching rugby, but he's also going to be representing the queen next month at two ceremonies, one in Wellington, one in Auckland, to mark the 60th anniversary of the ending of the Second World War. And these will be two major events for him. He has never done anything like that before. And to actually go to what we call a realm, because the queen is head of state of New Zealand and to undertake engagements on behalf of her is the first step in his grooming for kingship.
KING: Does he -- Robert Lacey, does he live with his girlfriend, Kate Middleton?
LACEY: That's going to be interesting in the future. He has been living with Kate Middleton in the last two years at St. Andrews. He apparently met her right at the very beginning and it has been a pretty constant relationship since then. That, of course, is the question in the future. There are no plans for them to be living together so far as we know, but, obviously, it's something that the press is going to look for and pry into. And that's an obvious area where there are problems ahead.
KING: We are going to take a break. When we come back, we'll look more at the royal family picture. We'll also be taking your phone calls for Dickie Arbiter, Robert Lacey, Hugo Vickers and Patrick Jephson. Priscilla Presley will be -- is our special guest tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE. we'll be right back. Your phone calls included. Don't go away.
KING: It's Prince William's 23rd birthday. Hugo Vickers, he goes to the army, right?
VICKERS: Yes. And that of course is a very good and traditional training for princes. Many of his predecessors have done that and the Prince of Wales, as you know, went into the Royal Navy. And again, that's a very good training because we, the general public, don't quite know what they're up to when they're in the army. They are learning all sorts of useful skills, ways of dealing with other human beings and so forth. And also, they can, you know, be traveling in different places and again, we don't quite know where they are. So, it's a very good idea and I'm sure he'll enjoy it enormously.
KING: Now, Patrick, his younger brother, Harry, is in the army already -- explain that.
JEPHSON: Well, Harry didn't go to university and, of course, the armed forces depend on recruiting officers directly from school just as they do from university. I think it illustrates the two different ways you can go into the services here. Harry is at the Military Academy at Sandhurst. There's no word on how he's doing, but my guess is: He's doing pretty well. There's recently been a certain amount of concern here about security at the academy.
KING: Yes. I know. Somebody broke in?
JEPHSON: A rogue journalist managed to -- Yes.
But so far as we know, he's getting on with his training there and I'm pretty sure that it will be a very good preparation for the public life that lies ahead for him.
KING: He will -- when you say the press is going to lay off him, Patrick -- now he's open game, rather, starting Saturday. What does that? They follow him everywhere he goes?
JEPHSON: Well, not necessarily. I mean, there has been a pact while the boys have been both at school and at university. The press have not subjected them to the kind of close scrutiny that has become traditional here. But now that William is out and doing public duties, then he is going to be the next item on the royal agenda so far as the media is concerned.
They already know a lot about him. They already fill magazines and newspaper stories about him, but now they're going to get more of a chance to see what sort of a person he is, what sort of a future royal operator he's going to be. So, there's going to be lots more to write about. It doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be bad. It's not necessarily something to be dreaded. It's an opportunity to be seized and...
JEPHSON: I'm sure that William, who follows the media very closely, will be able to do that.
KING: Dickie, how well do the boys get along with their stepmother?
ARBITER: They get along pretty well. I think we need to stop calling them boys. They're young men. You know, they're in their 20s now and they get on pretty well in public. There's always a show of affection between the two -- in William, at a polo match over the weekend, giving his stepmother a kiss on each cheek.
The thing is, William is never going to do anything that he's going to upset his father, in terms of his marriage to the duchess of Cornwall. As far as William is concerned, if his father is happy, then he's happy for his father and when it comes to a public showing, he will not put a foot wrong and if it means, as he did at polo, giving her a peck on the cheek, then so be it.
KING: Let's take a call. Seattle, Washington. Hello.
CALLER: Yes. Do the young men ever -- are they ever in contact?
KING: Yes. Go ahead.
CALLER: Yes, are the young men ever in contact with any of Diana's family and do they ever discuss Diana in public?
KING: Robert Lacey?
LACEY: They are in contact with their uncle Charles, who is Charles Spencer, Diana's brother. There is not the close contact that might have been expected at the time of Diana's funeral when Charles Spencer very publicly stood up for his blood relations and made this point that these are Spencers, rather than royals.
I think most of us here would say that over the last years since Diana's death, they have actually proved these boys to be more royals than Spencers and while they have a polite relationship, I don't think there's any evidence that it's particularly close.
KING: Bainbridge, Georgia. Hello.
CALLER: Hello. I was wondering if after William graduates he would possibly take over as the head of the board of directors for his mother's memorial fund.
ARBITER: Well, I don't know. I think -- I mean, I don't know the answer to that question, to be honest and I'm not sure it would necessarily be a good idea. The fund has gone through all sorts of crisis and problems. But, I mean, he could do it. I mean, he's obviously, in a sense, he's very much mixture of his father and his mother and that is always going to be the case.
So, as it has been said before, you know, a lot of his skills are things which he has inherited from his mother. I mean, look at the way he sort of stepped in, in closeness (ph) when his father was making rather a fool of himself, frankly, in front of the media. And prince William, very much, saved the day, but whether that means that he should take over the memorial fund, I'm not so sure.
KING: Patrick, it's kind of strange, but he almost looks like a young king, doesn't he?
JEPHSON: Yes. He's definitely got the genes there.
JEPHSON: It's funny, Larry, I can remember when he was 10 years old, when he was with his mother on his very first public engagement and even at the age of 10, it was pretty obvious to anybody watching that he had the breeding.
JEPHSON: So, the training that he does now is on a pretty sure basis.
KING: We'll take a break and come back with more and more of your phone calls on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.
Don't go away.
KING: Before we take our next call, Dickie Arbiter, what's the state of the queen's health?
ARBITER: The queen's fine. She had a head cold. It knocked her out -- well, when I say knocked her out, it knocked her out of three engagements on Monday and Tuesday, but she will be back in harness tomorrow at an investiture at Buckingham palace. These are honors awards and she'll be handing those out to recipients.
And then on Thursday, going up to St. Andrews to see William's graduation and then doing a couple of engagements in Perth with the duke of Edinborough. So, the queen is fine. You've got to remember, and we all tend to forget this, she is 79 and we do demand a lot of her. Just a few weeks ago, after the state opening of Parliament, that very same day, she got on an airplane, flew to Canada for a visit there, got off the plane and undertook engagements as soon as she arrived.
And she was there for 10 days. The weather was atrocious. She was riding around, on some occasions, in open horse carriages. It was raining, she was holding an umbrella and I think we, you know, we demand a lot of her, but she has go stamina and you know, probably a little bit of wariness. She's susceptible to a cold. It's over. She's back in harness tomorrow.
KING: Port Richey, Florida, hello.
CALLER: Happy anniversary, Larry.
KING: Thank you.
CALLER: I would ask to one of the panel, on the -- will the royal family have an investigation into the story about Prince Harry being followed at his school? Thank you.
KING: Robert Lacey?
LACEY: I think so, yes. We've referred to it earlier.
A reporter from "The Sun," one of the tabloids, using the Internet, asked for access to the Sandhurst archives, pretending to be a researcher and apparently, the archivist there said, all right, roll up tomorrow, and he -- without any special checks, he was able to get through the gates. Once he got into the library, he was allowed to put down his pen and walk out. He took photographs around Sandhurst, which he claimed were of Prince Harry. Clarence House said they were not of Prince Harry. That's not really the point. The fact that he got in there so easily apparently has annoyed royal security, the police, who are in charge of looking after the -- all the royals. They've sort of delegated things to Sandhurst, thinking, surely Britain's top military academy can handle it. They couldn't, and so I think there will be inquiries behind the scenes.
ARBITER: There is another point that comes out of this one, Larry, as well, that nobody has really talked about, that the British media will go to any lengths to get photographs of members of the royal family. This was an attempt by a reporter to get photographs of Harry at school -- at military academy. Only a week before, 10 days before, they got photographs of him on maneuvers.
So, they will go to any lengths, and we've got to remember that the media also went to any lengths to get photographs of Diana and we also know what happened to her on that fateful night in Paris on the 31st of August, 1997. I just hope it doesn't -- you know, they don't intimidate the boys too much.
KING: Thompson Falls, Montana, hello.
CALLER: Good evening, gentlemen.
CALLER: I'm wondering what the people of Great Britain think about the new British investigation into the death of Princess Diana?
KING: Yes, what's the thought on that, Hugo?
VICKERS: Well, you know, we've been through this an awful lot, this investigation, and I think that, you know, I don't think that anything that is going to come out of any inquiries or any investigations or any inquests is really going to fundamentally change, first of all, what we already know about that particular night and, secondly, what people themselves make of it. I think people will always make of it what they want to.
I think if you ask what the British people think about it on the whole, I think the British people have sort of actually gone through all that and come out the other side. I think they've made up their minds about it and, you know, there's not going to be any starting revelation. It was a horrible accident and we know pretty much how it happened, and that's about it.
KING: What does the rest of the panel think? Dickie, what do you think?
ARBITER: I'm inclined to agree with Hugo. I've always said it was a tragic accident. I mean, we spoke about this at length a couple of weeks ago, and I think the police are going to come out with the same answers that the French police came out with, that it was an accident that should never have happened, the fact that both the driver, the princess and Dodi Fayed were not strapped in the car resulted in their deaths. The one person that was strapped in, namely, the body guard, survived, and I think, you know, it's about time that they came up with the investigation, made their findings. The coroner reopens the inquest. We hear his report and the whole sorry episode can be put to rest. Personally, I still do believe it was an accident.
JEPHSON: Well, we do know the investigation is very thorough. It's already lasted longer than was expected. I'm just a little bit wary to hear so many people say that we know what happened. I am not a conspiracist. I actually think it was an accident, but I just think we need to be slightly cautious in pre-judging the outcome of the investigation. The coroner, after all, is not telling us what the outcome of the investigation is. I don't think it would be a bad idea for us to wait and hear what he has to say.
LACEY: Well, of course, this is all complicated by the fact that Diana actually wrote, before her death, this ghastly suspicion that Prince Charles had plotted her murder. Though I am at one with my colleagues on the panel here in believing it was an accident, I also agree with Patrick, that it's essential that this inquiry should be done with every appearance of an open mind and that, I think -- to go back to the original question -- I think people in this country would now like to get on with this and see the best that the British authorities can now do with the French evidence.
KING: We'll be back with more. Hold it, hold it one second. We'll be back with more, pick up right where we left off. Don't go away.
KING: Before we take our next call, someone was going to add something. Who was going to add something?
JEPHSON: That was me, Larry. Patrick.
KING: Yes. Go ahead.
JEPHSON: We know that the coroner's job is to find out how Diana met her death, and I'm sure he will reach a conclusion about that, but what he won't say, I suspect, is how she came to be in the state of mind in which she thought that her husband might be trying to kill her. That, I think, is going to remain a mystery, and it's a point of continuing concern, for me certainly.
KING: Chicago, hello.
CALLER: Yes. Good evening, gentlemen.
CALLER: Why did Princess Diana refuse government protection when she knew that the press and paparazzi would be following her every move?
KING: Dickie, you know?
ARBITER: Well, it was really a case of -- she believed that the protection officers who are part of the metropolitan police, were reporting back to, say, the Prince of Wales or even Buckingham Palace and she felt she wanted to break away, have her own team, completely divorced from any official-dom and I think, really, the best person to answer that and to take it further is Patrick, who was very much part of the that at the time.
JEPHSON: Well, it's true, Larry, that she did dispense with her official police body guards. It was not a part of an attempt to divorce herself from official-dom entirely. I hear what Dickie says about her suspicions of what they were doing. I'm not even entirely sure that's true. One thing's for sure, that Diana did trust that the people intended her no harm, but going around cities, the countryside, with a retinue of bodyguards was not who she wanted to carry out her public duties. She felt she wanted to be closer to the people than that. And it's true, it put her at risk. It, on many occasions, led to embarrassing confrontations with reporters, and it worried me at the time, as the person in charge of her arrangements, that she was putting herself unnecessarily in danger. But that was her decision. And I think she took it for some pretty commendable reasons.
KING: Cleveland, Ohio, hello.
CALLER: Yes. I have a question. I wanted to know, we know that Prince William is getting groomed to, one day, take over. Is the girlfriend -- does the girlfriend have any grooming? Has she been brought up the way that the queen would like for her to be brought up?
KING: Good question. Robert?
LACEY: Yeah, a very good question. No, she has had absolutely no grooming. Kate Middleton comes from a middle-class family. Her parents have a mail-order business, which sells party favors and the sort of things you can send for -- party poppers and so on, to enliven a party. That, I suppose, you could say, is good preparation for one aspect of royal life.
It's quite remarkable how little we know about her, really. Although, in the last few days, we have had photographs of William and her in public together, which clearly show Prince William's affection for her, and clearly show his wish -- he knew that the press photographers were there, I mean, they were the rat pack, chasing him without authorization -- but he didn't have to show quite in the way that he did how fond he was of her.
And I think that was a message to the world. It may also be a message to the girls of New Zealand where he's heading, just to remind them that he has got a girlfriend back at home. But who knows what lies in the future.
KING: Who knows. The shadow knows. It's an old joke.
Anyway, we'll be right back with our remaining moments and some more phone calls. Don't go away.
KING: North Westminster, British Columbia, hello.
CALLER: Oh, hi. Good evening.
CALLER: It's actually New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada, but that's OK.
CALLER: My question to the panel concerns whether they feel there will be any attempt at restraint and ethics on the part of the press regarding William and Harry now that William will be finishing university, because it is a concern on the part of many people, that we don't want to see William and Harry basically hounded the way their mother was.
LACEY: Well, Dickie has already made this point. I'm afraid I wouldn't trust the British press one iota. And the point is, whatever the British press may do, there is a massive freelance market of paparazzis. They were the people who were really involved in Paris. They were, of course, selling their products, ultimately, to the British press.
This is the free market at its worst. And, I'm afraid, these two boys are commodities in it and will suffer.
KING: To Burns, Oregon, hello.
CALLER: Hi. Thank you, Larry, for taking my call.
CALLER: And I would like to ask your guests, how would -- which way would the Britons be happier, with Charles as king or with William as king? And thank you very much.
KING: OK. Dickie?
ARBITER: Well, the rite of succession follows from the queen to the prince of Wales, and the prince of Wales enjoys a certain amount of popularity here. I think it's a bit unfair to say who would they prefer, William or the prince of Wales. William is still young. William is only 23. He has got a lot to learn. He has got his life to lead. And he has got to be allowed to do it and allowed to enjoy it in the fullness of time. You know, we are talking about when? Twenty years' time -- the queen could reign for another 20, 23 years, if she lives as long as her mother, by which time the prince of Wales will be 80, William will be 46.
I think the jury is still out on that. And the acceptance here really is that the prince of Wales is next in line, and that is the way it's going to be.
KING: Hugo, is Camilla popular?
VICKERS: Well, it's an interesting sort of honeymoon phase that we're in at the moment. A lot of extraordinary things are happening. I saw today, for example, a postcard which said "Charles and Camilla," and there was a picture of them at the wedding.
To my mind, the British public are a little bit fickle. You know, it's wonderful to know that the legend of Diana is as strong as ever in the United States, but there she is, and there she is with him, and you know, we haven't really had anything particularly negative said about her since the wedding. Even "Private Eye," which has been running some rather sort of funny sort of serials over the years by a figure called Sylvie Krin, who's written, you know, the prince of Wales, calling him the heir of sorrows, seems to have dropped out.
All that they could think of doing this week was to show the picture which you showed earlier on in the program of the balcony scene with Camilla on it, and the caption from the queen saying, "there's a pig flying," which is about as far as they can go.
So, is she popular? I don't know that she's that popular, but she certainly doesn't seem to be unpopular.
KING: Patrick, any possibility, Patrick, of the queen stepping down?
JEPHSON: I think that's very remote, Larry, given that she is in good health. She has a very, very strong sense of duty. And, in some respects, I think that the recent remarriage of the prince of Wales has rejuvenated the queen. She has seemed to be enjoying her work as never before. She has been busy traveling around the world. She's going to be at the opening of the commonwealth games.
I think that the queen is very much going to be with us for a long time yet. And I think the prospect of her stepping aside for the prince of Wales or anybody else is not in her makeup. It's not how she thinks. She is in this job for life. That's the oath she took. And I'm sure she'll see it through.
KING: Thank you all very much. Dickie Arbiter, Robert Lacey, Hugo Vickers and Patrick Jephson, our regular panel, joining us from Great Britain on the occasion of Prince William's 23rd birthday today, June 21st -- the longest day of the year. I knew that. I went outside and checked, this long day today.
Priscilla Presley is our special guest tomorrow night.
Aaron Brown joins us to host "NEWSNIGHT." You realized how long today is?
AARON BROWN, HOST, NEWSNIGHT: It's the longest day of the year.
KING: Long. It's long.
BROWN: Did you get the prince a present?
KING: I forgot. You?
BROWN: I always send him a little note or something. You know?
KING: I'll get him a tie.
BROWN: Yeah, I need that. So thank you, Mr. King. We'll chat tomorrow.
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