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Queen Elizabeth Turns 80

Aired April 24, 2006 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, Britain's Queen Elizabeth turns 80. Is she on the throne for life?
Prince Harry makes headlines for a lap dance. And, debate over whether he should lead troops into the line of fire.

Plus, Charles and Camilla are newlyweds no more. We'll get into it all with our panel of royal watchers in London, including best- selling biographer Robert Lacey and the queen's former press secretary Dickie Arbiter, all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We are also joined in London by Patrick Jephson, the former private secretary to Princess Diana and best-selling author in his own right, his most recent book, "Portraits of a Princess, Travels with Diana."

And, Hugo Vickers, the best-selling author and veteran royal watcher, he's the author of "Elizabeth, the Queen Mother," the First Comprehensive Biography of the Queen Mum published after her death in 2002 at age 101. He attended Sunday's service of thanksgiving for the queen's birthday at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

One note before we begin. Tomorrow night, a very special interview, it will be the only place you'll ever see him interviewed, Mark Felt, "Deep Throat," his one and only interview tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE.

Robert Lacey, the queen is now 80 years old. Is she going to live forever? Is Charles ever going to be king?

ROBERT LACEY, BIOGRAPHER: Is she going to live forever? Well, we hope so because not all of us are happy about the prospect of Charles becoming king. I'm not one of those. I think he's going to make a very good king.

But, I think she's going to go on until the end. She took an oath at the beginning of her reign, before the beginning of her reign, in fact, when she came of age that she would serve her country for the rest of her life.

She's a very religious woman. I think she'll stick to it and I think there's every chance that we'll be celebrating birthdays like this for another 20 years, certainly I hope so.

KING: Dickie Arbiter, how do the people in Britain measure a queen? For example, what makes a good head of state? DICKIE ARBITER: That's a very difficult one to answer because the queen doesn't have any powers. She reigns but she doesn't rule. The ruling is done by the government of the day.

I think the popularity of the queen can be gauged really by what we saw on Friday and your CNN viewers around the world saw the coverage from Windsor, probably about 20,000 people turned out into a very small area to see the queen on a walkabout, on a day when she turned 80.

She stopped and talked to crowds. She took flowers from children and got a rapturous welcome all the way down on her walkabout, which lasted about 50 minutes.

And, opinion polls have suggested, done by various television networks that over 55 percent still want her to stay on the throne and not to retire or even to abdicate, which is not in our constitution anyway. So, I think, you know, generally the consensus is that she is a very popular lady and she is the monarchy.

KING: She also, Patrick, is she not a very robust queen? She appears to be in extraordinary health.

PATRICK JEPHSON, AUTHOR: Well, a lot of people seem to think, Larry that the queen is getting younger. She certainly seems to be in extremely good health. We all hope she remains that way for a long, long time to come.

But just to add to something Dickie said there, I think one of the other reasons that she has been such a successful head of state is that we don't really know what the queen thinks about anything very much.

She has managed to be reticent on almost every major issue of the day. That enables her loyal subjects to have their own opinions without thinking that in any way that they're in conflict with hers.

And, while just by remaining on the throne, she's a great symbol of continuity, which has been an enormous benefit to our constitution during turbulent times in the past. The fact that we don't know what she thinks about great issues of the day is also strangely comforting and it certainly works in a head of state.

KING: Hugo, Prince Charles described her as being a figure of reassuring calm and dependability in a world of sometimes bewildering change and disorientation. Yet, in his biography, his autobiography in 1994, he complained of an unhappy childhood and suggested that his royal parents were rather distant. Who's changed?

HUGO VICKERS: I think his public statements have changed. That's for certain. I think that there's a very strong wish that Buckingham Palace, which represents the queen and Clarence House which represents the Prince of Wales should try to unite as best they can.

There's always been a bit of a conflict between the monarch and the heir to the throne and it was very nice and indeed to use the same word reassuring to hear him say those things.

But I think that, you know, we are very fortunate to have a queen and I think that the wonderful thing about the queen is the fact that she has calmly represented Britain for these 54 years and we have implicit trust in her.

And when occasionally, you know, Republicans put their heads over the parapets and say "Wouldn't it be nice to have a republic," I think the answer really is that there are an enormous number of countries in the world that would give their eye teeth to have a head of state like ours.

KING: Robert, wouldn't, you know, she's a loving mother let's say, wouldn't she like her son to be king? Why not consider abdication?

LACEY: Well, she is a mother. She's perhaps a cool mother but she's also queen as we've heard from the rest of the panel and that's a job and it carries all sorts of traditions with it. And one of those is that you're in the job until you die.

And, you know, the idea, for example, of how could you have a solemn coronation of a new heir to the throne of Prince Charles in this case with the queen sitting on the side with her gold watch having retired? I mean that's all right for republics. It's not what a monarchy is all about.

It's old-fashioned and it's irrational but, you know, monarchies are all about the lump you get in your throat when the national anthem sounds and the sorrow when a monarch dies and the sense of passing time is also about the organic nature of the British constitution.

KING: By the way, we will be taking calls shortly, so if you want to get in, get online early. Dickie, would you describe the monarchy as secure?

ARBITER: The monarchy is very secure. I'd just like to add something that Robert said just now. A lot of people seem to forget that the queen came to the throne through abdication. It was the abdication of her uncle, who claimed he couldn't do the job without the support and help of the woman he loved, namely Wallace Simpson.

Now, abdication is a dirty word within the royal family. There is no mechanism other than through Parliament where abdication can actually happen. And, as Robert said earlier, she did say in 1947 when she came of age she is going to do this job, and I'm paraphrasing now, for the whole of her life, whether it be long or short. So, the whole of her life could be as long as her mother lived to 101. That's another 21 years.

The monarchy is extremely strong in this country. As the rest of the panelists said, republicanism raises its head above the parapet every so often. It represents probably about 15 to 20 percent. It fluctuates between those figures.

It's fairly meaningless and every time somebody pops up they can't actually say what they want to replace the monarchy with. Yes, they want a republic but what do they mean by they want a republic?

Would they want an executive president or do they want a president that does similar things to the monarch? Whatever way you look at it, they haven't quite decided what they want. What they have said though recently is that there is no contest until such time we lose the queen and that's going to be a long time ahead.

KING: We'll take a break and be right back. We'll be taking your calls in a little while. We're going to talk about Harry and William and where they're going. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. Patrick Jephson, someone, the queen had a very good sense of the public reception. She could read the public well. She did misread the death of Diana did she not?

JEPHSON: Well that's the general perception I think, Larry, and certainly the day or two after Diana's death there was a sense of a lack of leadership from the royal family generally. But the remarkable thing was that on the day of Diana's funeral the queen spoke to the nation, she said from her heart, and that was what was needed.

The Windsors and their predecessors have survived as a ruling family for the best part of 1,000 years and that was a good example of the queen recognizing that some pretty dramatic action had to be taken to get the ship back on course again.

She did that and, as many people saw also, as Diana's coffin passed, the queen bowed her head in respect. And certainly for me, as very much a Diana man, the queen's -- the things that the queen said that day and the fact that the queen so obviously showed her own personal respect for Diana's memory put a lot of that damage right. But it was certainly I think rather an uneasy few days for the queen and her advisers.

KING: But, Hugo, she did seclude herself that first day did she not?

VICKERS: No, she didn't seclude herself at all. She went to church, as you remember but the point is that the queen happened to be in Scotland at that time. And I think what we do appreciate now is that her main concern was to give strength to her two grandsons, Prince William and Prince Harry and evidently that worked extremely well because, as you know, they acquitted themselves extremely well at the funeral and walked in the procession behind their mother's coffin.

I think it was this question that it was a rather long week from a sort of media point of view, so on the first day they attacked the paparazzi. On the second day, they attacked the drunk chauffeur at the wheel of the car.

And, then on the third day and subsequently, they attacked the queen and that's where it rested until, as Patrick just said, she came down the moment actually that she stepped out of her car and went to look at the flowers.

That mood sort of dissolved. And then when she made her excellent speech that evening she was really I think acting as a sort of matriarch and was telling the nation to pull themselves together to unite for the funeral and I think it was extremely effective.

KING: All right, Robert Lacey, Prince Harry has graduated. They call it passed out from Sandhurst. Is he now a full-time member of the military?

LACEY: Yes, he is and, of course, the issue at the moment is Iraq basically. He's in a regiment that as part of its rotation goes to Iraq. He has said that if he can't be put in harm's way he'll resign his commission.

I think there's a bit of posturing going on here. He clearly has to say this and clearly believes it. On the other hand, the British government and particularly the ministry of defense and his superiors, and Patrick would know more about this being a military man, but have a responsibility to the other people that are in danger with Prince Harry.

And, obviously there's no need to tell you Iraq is not a conventional war and he'll become a trophy capture and there's all sorts of reasons why it's probably not possible for him to go, certainly not in the front line there.

KING: What do you say Patrick?

JEPHSON: Well, I've got to say, Larry, my initial reaction when I read what was a front page story it would be interesting to know what the source of it was that Harry was effectively holding his superiors to ransom by saying "Either you let me do what I want or I will resign."

I mean it's a great sentiment, a great brave sentiment and I'm sure it's true. I'm sure he would want to serve alongside the members of his regiment. On the other hand, when I was in the navy I recall that officers of that rank are generally expected to be quiet and do as they're told.

So, I think as Robert says there is a bit of posturing on both sides. This is a problem that was foreseeable. I hope it was foreseen. I suppose in the midst of it all the person I feel most sorry for is Harry's commanding officer because if anything happens to Harry it's going to be his neck and his career that's on the line. I hope that in all the behind-the-scenes negotiations and discussions his interests are also being protected.

KING: Dickie Arbiter, does the public expect him to go where his fellow soldiers go?

ARBITER: It's an interesting question, an interesting point you make there. Let's go back to 1982 at the time of the Falklands War in the South Atlantic. The Duke of York was a serving naval officer. He flew helicopters. He flew Sea King (ph) helicopters and he flew in the thick of battle.

He was second in line to the throne. The war went on between March and June, 1982 before Prince William was born, so in effect the Duke of York was second in line to the throne.

Harry, wherever he is posted to, is second in line to the throne and, quit frankly, I don't think there is a problem, you know, there is a likelihood of any young man getting captured. Yes, he could be a trophy capture.

But the Duke of York over the weekend in a documentary on one of the television networks said that his mother, the queen, was able to understand how the people of the United Kingdom felt when their kids went off to fight the war in the Falklands, how the parents feel when their kids go off to fight the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, having had a son herself fighting a war in the South Atlantic. So, she can empathize with parents.

I don't see a problem with Harry going off into the army. That's his chosen career and if he didn't want -- well, he wants to and if the army didn't want to and don't want him to go off to war, then they shouldn't have taken him in, in the first place.

KING: We'll take a break and come back. We'll ask Hugo Vickers about William. And then we'll be including your phone calls on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

Don't forget tomorrow night a first and only, he's never done an interview and he will not do one after this, Mark Felt, "Deep Throat," his only interview ever tomorrow night right here. Woodward and Bernstein will also join us. Don't go away.


KING: All right, Hugo Vickers, what about Harry? Was he at a strip joint? What's going on with him?

VICKERS: He did indeed attend an establishment which was called the Serpentine Rhino Club near Slough. I think that that was just basically, you know, the end of a grueling course at Sandhurst. He went out for an evening with the lads and I don't personally feel it probably did him any harm at all but, yes, he was there. There's no question about that.

KING: Is he going into service too?

VICKERS: Prince William was not present at that club. Prince William is going through Sandhurst at the moment and he will be there until December.

KING: No, but is -- is Prince Harry -- where does Harry go?

VICKERS: Oh, well Harry -- well Harry at the moment is on his way to Bovington Camp and then, of course, we've been discussing the whole question of where, you know, whether he's going to go to Iraq or Afghanistan with his regiment. Prince William, as far as I know, is going to go into the guards, into the Welsh guards I think after he leaves Sandhurst.

KING: Robert Lacey, was there much of a commotion over his doing a lap dance?

LACEY: Well, I think most people in this country would be very disappointed if a young blood of the royal family didn't go off with a lap dance or enjoy the company of a lap dancer from time to time. It's an honorable tradition in British royal history.

And, I would agree with Hugo. I hope we're going to have more of these incidents. I think young princes should spend more of their time in lap dancing clubs. After all it keeps us all in business talking about it doesn't it?

KING: Dickie, how is Camilla doing?

ARBITER: Well, she's doing pretty good. I know we talked about a year ago on how she was going to do after the wedding. She's done a tour of the United States, as you well know.

It was almost two tours that one, the East Coast where she had a bit of criticism from New York newspapers and, you know, a lot of people wanting to glad hand them at receptions and then the West Coast, which was environmental and all very friendly.

The recent tour in the Middle East was I suppose a triumph. What is quite interesting with these tours is that on several occasions the Prince of Wales is referred in speeches when talking about Camilla as "my darling wife," which to the best of my knowledge is a term that he never used in public when talking about Diana.

So, she is doing well. I think most people will agree that she is doing pretty good but most people will agree that if there was a demise in the crown tomorrow that they would not be prepared to accept her as queen just yet.

KING: What goes, what's happening, Patrick, with the inquest into Diana's death that still going on?

JEPHSON: It's still going on, Larry, and I was at the opening of the inquest nearly two years ago now. And, at the time, the opinion certainly among acquaintances I have in the police force, was that this investigation was going to be rapped up within a matter of months, if not weeks.

Now, of course, it's dragged on for a long, long time, which has led a lot of people to think that perhaps there's more to this than meets the eye. Perhaps there really is some evidence of foul play where Diana's death is concerned that's being investigated.

The truth is we don't know. There are a lot of leaks and so- called informed guesses about what the inquiry is going to reveal. But until it report, until the coroner pronounces on how Diana met her death, then all of that is speculation. Some of it is pretty wild. Some of it is rather mundane. I'm going to try and wait and see what it actually says. KING: Hugo, what's the controversy over the Diana memorial fountain?

VICKERS: Well, the Diana memorial fountain, I attended the opening of that. I was doing a commentary on it. That was probably its finest day. It was a lovely day. The queen was there and the Spencer family were there. But since then, it's been a complete disaster.

It's been closed on several occasions and I wouldn't be at all surprised if the whole thing didn't come to grief frankly. It was an ambitious project but it's not been a success I'm afraid.

KING: What's the beef?

VICKERS: I'm sorry?

KING: What's the beef?

VICKERS: What's the?

LACEY: The beef.

KING: Yes, I mean what -- it's an American term.

VICKERS: Oh, I'm sorry. Well, the thing is that for days it doesn't...

KING: What's the argument about?

VICKERS: It's not the argument. The trouble is it doesn't work frankly. It was an ambitious project. It's not actually a fountain, you see. It's a kind of a flowing water thing which goes round, which children were meant to sort of bathe their feet in and the whole thing was -- I mean people were falling over. They were slipping and the thing was -- every single thing, Larry that could have gone wrong with that thing has gone wrong from a health and safety point of view.

It's not even a particularly good looking thing. I think it's a great -- it's a great shame. I mean it was a well intentioned idea because the idea was to have something which children in Hyde Park would enjoy and have a lot of fun with and it hasn't worked.

KING: So that's the beef right? I get it. We're going to go to phone calls by the way.

I understand the queen has been dropped to number 192 among the wealthiest people in Great Britain is that correct Robert?

LACEY: Yes. Every year the Sunday Times here brings out something called the Rich List and when it first came out 20 years ago the queen was always put right at the top of it.

Then they did a bit ore research and discovered that well actually she doesn't actually own Buckingham Palace and she doesn't actually own the paintings inside or the crown jewels. Those all belong to the nation and she got lowered down the list.

She -- last year she was indeed 175. Now she's 192 with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Richard Branson, all sorts of figures, much wealthier than she is. But she's got a few bob to rub together. I don't think we need to feel too sorry for her.

KING: We'll take a break and when we come back go to your phone calls. I'll reintroduce the panel as well. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: Another reminder -- Mark Felt tomorrow night, Deep Throat. His first and only interview ever. Tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE. Woodward and Bernstein will join us.

Our panel all in London, Robert Lacey, the best selling author and veteran royal watcher as is Dickie Arbiter, former spokesperson for Buckingham Palace, Patrick Jephson, the former private secretary to Princess Diana, and Hugo Vickers, the best selling author and veteran royal watcher as well. To the calls, San Vicente, California. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. What happens to the queen's clothes after she decides she doesn't want to wear them anymore and if she passes away? And my other question was, does she preselect her dress for her funeral, god forbid that happen?

KING: Robert?

LACEY: Does she preselect her dress for her funeral? I'm a bit lost on that one.

KING: Well, what prompts it is they're so conscious of how they are in state, they are a head of state, they might want to know how the public will look at them when deceased.

LACEY: Good question, yes. Because indeed they do take a great deal of interest in their own funerals, and the queen mother has always said to have been rather miffed when all the details that she'd worked out for her funeral were then taken over by the committee running Diana's funeral, who died, of course, before she did, quite unexpectedly.

The question of royal clothes is a fascinating one because, of course, royal clothes are sort of like sacred vestments. It is said that sometimes the queen hands them down to other people. Certainly they're very well preserved in wardrobes in Buckingham Palace. And that was certainly the case with the queen mother, with the result that since the queen mother has died, there have been some rather fine exhibitions of her dresses when Buckingham Palace gets opened in the summer. But I don't know if any of the other of the panel know more about this. Dickie perhaps.

ARBITER: One of the things that does happen with the Queen's clothes, people will say I've seen that dress before, I've seen that coat before. She tends to get them remodeled. She's very frugal. You might see the same color outfit, but it might have been slightly remodeled.

She doesn't actually get rid of anything and if it does, it goes close to the family rather than going out of the building.

KING: Why on Earth does the queen have to be frugal?

ARBITER: Well, that's the way she is. She always has been.

KING: But what are you saving it for?

ARBITER: It's not a question of saving. It is just in her character. Not like you and I that, you know, we've got money and it runs through our hands like water. She's just like that.

KING: Grand Prairie, Alberta. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, thanks for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: My question is about Prince Edward and Princess Sophia. They had a child a while ago. Where is this child, how old is it and why haven't we seen many pictures of it?

KING: Hugo Vickers, do you know?

VICKERS: We have seen some pictures. She's called Louise. There were certainly a lot of problems over the birth this child. And indeed Sophie, her mother, very nearly died. And at one time, she was in one hospital and the baby was in another. And poor Prince Edward was racing between the two.

We also saw some photographs last summer, in somewhere like Sardinia on holiday with their daughter, but she's still very young. And obviously she doesn't yet take part in state occasions such or indeed large family occasions such as the services in St. George's Chapel yesterday. She's still too young.

KING: New York City. Hello.

CALLER: Good evening, Larry. Point of information, your panel has discussed the relationship of her majesty and Prince Charles. What about the other three royal children and their, two of whom have present spouses?

KING: Patrick Jephson, what about the other kids?

JEPHSON: Well, one way of looking at the royal family is to see them as -- almost as a corporation. And while the queen is the chairman, it's as if children run their own subsidiaries. There's quite a lot of independence given to them in the way in which they organize their working lives.

I think it's a mark of the royal family's versatility that there is practically a royal person for every occasion. So we can assume that the queen keeps a maternal eye on what they're doing or not doing, and it's worth mentioning that the queen's authority over her own family is absolute. They respect her opinion. They care about her eye upon them.

They know that she does her job extremely well and that if they don't do their job extremely well, she'll want to know why. But under her overall direction, they have a lot of independence. And they, I think in their own different ways, have decided how they want to develop their public work and certainly their private lives, which we've all learned rather more perhaps than we might want about.

We already know that the queen takes an affectionate concern over things that happen in her family as any mother or grandmother would.

KING: Virginia beach, Virginia. Hello.



CALLER: Thank you for taking my call.

KING: You're welcome.

CALLER: Hi. Actually, I loved Princess Diana and I still would like to know, do you think we will ever know if there's a link from the royal palace to her death?

KING: Is that speculated about, Hugo?

VICKERS: Sorry, once again I didn't quite hear the question.

KING: Any link from the royal palace to the death of Princess Diana?

VICKERS: No, no, no, absolutely not.

KING: But do people think it?

VICKERS: People will always think these things. I suspect that whatever the inquest comes up with, it won't actually make any difference to what people think in their hearts. They're going to go on with their theories about conspiracy of one kind and another. And you might just say that we might indeed conclude that I myself have got my own convictions on this matter.

But I am, I hope, a reasonably intelligent person and I think I know how the palace works and I would put my hand on my heart and say there is absolutely no connection at all between the palace and the death of Princess Diana. It was a tragic accident.

KING: Vancouver, British Columbia. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. I love your show, Larry. And I would be have interested in the panel commenting on the queen's choice of her commemorative stamps for her 80th birthday. I believe one of them she chose to be Diana and Charles kissing. And no sign of the rottweiler was anywhere on the stamp.

KING: I don't know what she means by the rottweiler. But Patrick, what do you know about it?

JEPHSON: Larry, if I may, I'm going to pass this on to Dickie who is --

KING: Dickie, you're the man on those thins.

ARBITER: All the commemorative stamps and there were eight of them, were all of the queen. Coincidentally one was a photograph taken during a state banquet in Ottawa in 1948. During that visit the queen and Prince Philip made, traveling 18,000 miles and visiting every territory within the country.

The rest of the stamps -- in fact, all the stamps the photographs were chosen by the royal mail. That's the post office in this country. And they presented their idea to the queen who approved them. Their basic reason behind the photographs was that they wanted happy, smiling photographs. They're all pictures of the queen.

There was one shot of her in Britannia. There was another one of her on the Royal Windsor horse show. Another one of her at various occasions. But all in all, there were eight stamps of her and nobody else because they were her birthday commemorative stamps.

LACEY: Larry, can I come in there with an important piece of information?

KING: Please do.

LACEY: The rottweiler, as you know, is a very unpleasant sort of dog. And rottweiler was Diana's nickname for Camilla.

KING: A-ha.

LACEY: That is what your viewer was referring to.

KING: Gotcha. To our rottweiler owners in our audience, we understand your love. Question it, but understand it. We'll be right back.


KING: Before we take some more calls, Robert Lacey, what's the fuss over the publication of some Prince Charles diaries?

LACEY: Prince Charles is in the habit of keeping a private diary and from one extract that's been leaked to the press, it's really quite funny and rather irreverent. He described going to Hong Kong to watch the handover of Hong Kong to the leaders of China, whom he described as yellow old wax works or something like that and made one or two other disparaging comments. He sued the newspaper which published this extract from his diaries. There are seven or eight others which they managed to obtain. And the court ruled, in fact, in his favor, at least for the meantime. The judge I believe is reading the other extracts and seeing if they're in the public interest.

But it's a slightly difficult case in that although they were private diaries, he did circulate them to at least a dozen of his friends. And the newspaper, of course, argued well, they weren't really private if he was handing them around. But so far the court has defended his right to privacy.

KING: Twin Falls, Idaho, hello.

CALLER: Hello?


CALLER: Our concern is would England really allow William and Harry to go to war knowing that Iraq likes to cut off heads?

KING: Dickie?

ARBITER: Well, I'm afraid war is an ugly beast, and whatever the war is, if you're in the services, then your regiment or your ship or your squadron goes off to fight that war.

We were saying earlier that the military knew full well, the ministry of defense and the government knew that both William and Harry were interested in military careers. And if they felt the risk was too great and they didn't want to take that chance, then they should have said perhaps that they should not go into the military.

But yes, they are going into the military and they want to serve with their men. They're going to be officers. They're going to be leaders of men. And as being a leader of men, if you're going to stay in the background, you've got to be up front with them. And it's a risk that not only they take, but every other member of the armed services takes when they go to war.

KING: How long do the British soldiers do in Iraq? What's their length of service?

ARBITER: It's -- I think Patrick being a military man, I'm going to pass the buck on this one.

JEPHSON: My guess, Larry, is it's about a year. It depends on what their operations actually involve. But the latest theory is that Harry's regiment would be going to Afghanistan.

But in either case, I would agree with Dickie, if you are going to allow these young men to pursue military careers, then you have to allow them to take the risks that go with that.

As I said earlier, my concern would be those who are responsible for what they do when they're serving on the front line, those who are responsible for any of their -- and any people who are serving in a war zone who take responsibility for their lives, I think that William and Harry are demonstrating very commendable willingness to put themselves at risk.

But it is a bigger issue. And I think your caller recognizes this, that they -- if they were injured, if they were captured, if they were killed, then this would be a very serious issue. A lot of people's careers would be on the line as a result. And there is, I think, a lot to be said for making sure that they are allowed to do what they want but all reasonable precautions taken to make sure that such a crisis doesn't develop.

KING: Right now, let's check in with Anderson Cooper. He will host "ANDERSON COOPER 360" at the top of the hour. What's up tonight, Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, a lot going on.

At the top of the hour, President Bush's approval reached its lowest level today in a new CNN poll. With the White House already in crisis mode, the new chief-of-staff reportedly has a five-step plan to try to bolster the president. Tonight we'll look at the strategy and talk with former presidential adviser David Gergen about whether it's too little too late.

Also terrorists strike again targeting tourists. At least 23 people killed. We'll talk to terror analyst Peter Bergen about whether this has anything to do with the new Osama bin Laden tape from this weekend.

And former talk show host Rosie O'Donnell joins me to talk about how she is trying to help kids whose lives were turned upside down by Hurricane Katrina. All that and a lot more tonight at 10, Larry.

KING: Thanks Anderson, and we'll be back with some more moments and then back to Anderson for "A.C. 360" at the top of the hour. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE, stay right there.


KING: Mustatine, Iowa, hello. Hello.


KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Oh, I am sorry Mr. King. Thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: I have actually two questions. One, how is Queen Elizabeth related to Queen Victoria? And when her sister Margaret was divorced and wanted to get married again, she said no, but her own daughter is divorced and married again.

KING: Who wants to take that. Hugo, you want to take it? VICKERS: Well, Queen Victoria was the mother of Edward VII, and Edward VII was the father of George V, who is the queen's grandfather. So that would mean to say that Queen Victoria was her great-great- grandmother. Yes. And of course, she descends from Queen Victoria as to a great number of other members of different royal houses.

KING: Vineland, New Jersey. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, good evening, Larry and panel. Thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: I understand that the monarchy is head of the church of England. Since Prince Charles and Camilla were not married in the church but they were blessed by the church, and he as a divorced man, will he be able to become head of the Church of England?

KING: Robert?

LACEY: Yes, he will, and that question actually relates somewhat to I think to the second part of the question just before to Hugo about divorce in the royal family. I mean, there's quite a lot of in it the British royal family. Princess Anne is divorced and remarried. Prince Andrew is divorced and has not remarried. Prince Edward so far is the only one who has kept a clean sheet in this respect.

But the Church of England is a forgiving institution. And it has its commandments to which we all aspire, but we all fall short. And the supreme governor of the Church of England, which is the title given to the monarch of the time, as long as they believe in the commandments of the church, if they fall short in some respects, that doesn't disqualify them from holding that position, which after all is not a theological position. The archbishop of Canterbury is the person who heads the church in that respect.

KING: Is the Church of England -- I'm sorry. Go ahead.

JEPHSON: Well, Larry, just perhaps worth adding that historically the Church of England was invented by Henry VIII with the specific purpose of allowing him to remarry. So while I'm sure that a lot of devout Church of England members regret very much the fact that Prince Charles has been divorced and there will continue to be controversy in religious circles about how that affects his role as future head of the church, historically, it seems relative to this that anything goes.

KING: Dickie, is the Church of England episcopal?

ARBITER: Yes, it is. And just going on to what Robert and Patrick said a few moments ago, there were clergy within the Church of England who were very much against the prince of Wales remarrying, suggesting that it goes against the whole teaching of the church.

There are various elements of the Church of England. There's the high church, which is almost bordering on Catholicism. And then there's this sort of slightly lower church of the Church of England. And yes, the prince of Wales will be supreme governor of the church. It's not a religious title. It is just very much a titular type like the monarchy.

But, you know, the church is bending. Who would have thought 20 years ago that we would have had women priests? The church had been against it. Some elements of the church are still against it. But it is actually happening.

KING: Ellijay, Georgia, hello.

CALLER: Thank you, Larry, very much. I would like to ask your wonderful panel who was the queen's favorite prime minister? And how is the health of Prince Philip? Thank you very much.

KING: You want to take that Hugo?

VICKERS: Yes, I'm glad to say that I can tell you that I saw Prince Philip yesterday. He is approaching his 85th birthday. He is inevitably looking a little bit older, but he's still carriage driving. After the Easter service he walked up the hill perfectly happily. And so he's in pretty good shape.

And as for the question as to which the queen's favorite prime minister is, she's had 10 prime ministers in her lifetime. This really goes back to the whole essence of what the queen is all about, we don't know. One or two prime ministers have stated that they got on terribly well with the queen.

And James Callaghan, who was one of the shortest serving prime ministers, said that the queen does not necessarily offer friendship, but she offers friendliness.

And I can tell you that the queen will support any prime minister that has been elected by the British public and work with them. And perhaps if she doesn't particularly like one or the other, she will take some quiet but very, very quiet satisfaction when they are elected out in the fullness of time.

KING: Thank you all very much as always, Robert Lacey, Dickie Arbiter, Patrick Jephson and Hugo Vickers.

And from all of us here on the other side of the water, happy birthday to the queen. We're going to take a break and come back and give you a special preview of a very special show tomorrow night. So stay right there. Don't go away.


KING: We have a very special show tomorrow night. Recently, I sat down for an exclusive conversation with "Deep Throat," the legendary Watergate source who helped uncover the scandal that forced Richard Nixon's resignation.

And last year after three decades of secrecy and speculation, "Deep Throat" finally was revealed to be Mark Felt, former associate director of the FBI. He is 92 and health has taken a toll on his memory. But his one and only interview since he was unmasked will still intrigue you.


KING: Did you ever during all this time -- were you ever tempted to tell anyone?


KING: Never?

FELT: Never.

KING: Did your family no?

FELT: No, they didn't know either.

KING: Your daughter didn't know?


KING: How did you do that?

FELT: Just maneuvered round and about.

KING: What about when you would read in the papers, this person is "Deep Throat" or that person is "Deep Throat?"

FELT: I put it in the book.

KING: You saved items...

FELT: Yes.

KING: ...about who "Deep Throat" might be?

FELT: Yes.


KING: That's all tomorrow night. You will not find it dull.

"ANDERSON COOPER 360" is next -- Anderson.


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