Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Military Operation in Syria; U.N. Considers Resolution against Syrian Government; Inside the Media Village; The Wedding Music

Aired April 25, 2011 - 16:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: I'm Becky Anderson at Buckingham Palace, as we kick off a special week of coverage, counting down to the royal wedding.

Also tonight, tanks roll onto the streets of Syria, as a crackdown against protesters takes a worrying turn.

Plus, the great escape -- hundreds tunnel their way out of a prison in Afghanistan.

And a life caught on camera -- we'll take a trip down memory lane for the royal groom-to-be.

These stories and more here tonight as we connect the world.

Well, we're live at Buckingham Palace as excitement builds to fever pitch for the royal wedding of the century.

Tonight, we'll take you behind the scenes for a look at all the last minute preparations.

We begin, though, in Syria this hour, where the government is slamming an iron fist on weeks of dissent, launching a major military option in the town where the uprising began. Thousands of troops stormed Daraa before daybreak, reportedly going house-to-house, some firing indiscriminately, as tanks took up positions around town.

Well, residents describe a trail of bodies in the streets and say medics were unable to help the wounded because snipers were -- and I know that -- "shooting at anything that moved."

Human rights activists say at least 25 people were killed.

Well, the Syrian regime has quite a different account. It says the people of Daraa invited the army to come hunt terrorists.

CNN, as a network, isn't allowed to report from inside the country, so Rima Maktabi, my colleague, is following developments from Abu Dhabi and she joins me from there with the very latest -- Rima.

RIMA MAKTABI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, a bloody day for the people of Daraa started at 4:00 a.m. local time and hasn't ended yet. The city is besieged by the Syrian Army -- no electricity, no phone calls.

I spoke to witnesses early in the morning. One man was crying. He said, tell the world what's happening in Syria, tell them about the massacres. And the people are saying we are civilians, unarmed, and have nothing to do with radical Islam or the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, the government is saying that the people of Daraa are the ones who pleaded the army to intervene and save them or protect them against the Islamists and the radicalists -- Becky.

BECKY ANDERSON: And that's the picture today.

Remind us, Rima, just how important Syria is in the region.

MAKTABI: Syria is a key player in the Middle East and any change in the regime of Syria will shake the balance of power there.

Let's take a look at this report.


MAKTABI (voice-over): The stakes are high, not just from Syria, but its neighbors. The Damascus regime holds key cards when it comes to war and peace in the Middle East. It supports and is highly influential with hardline Palestinian factions and Hamas, whose leader, Khaled Mashaal, lives in Damascus. It actively supports Hezbollah, the Shiite militia in Lebanon that has become a major political player there. The United States accuses Syria of delivering sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah, which is believed to have some 40,000 rockets ready for another conflict with Israel.

Then there are the Golan Heights -- Syrian territory captured by Israel in 1967. The Assad regimes have been the most hostile in the Arab world to peace with Israel. As Henry Kissinger once said, "The Arabs can't make war without Egypt and they can't make peace without Syria."

Syria also has a strategic alliance with Iran, helping spread its influence among Arab countries. Iran is one of the main sponsors of Hezbollah.

And finally, Syria's border with Iraq means that it has become an entry point for insurgents but also home to hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have fled the violence there.


MAKTABI: Who is the alternative to Bashar al-Assad's regime -- a question posed by people in Syria and probably across the world -- Becky, back to you.

BECKY ANDERSON: All right, Rima Maktabi reporting from Abu Dhabi for you there.

We, as I said, are not allowed to report from Syria.

Well, Western nations appalled by the deadly crackdown are now debating how to stepping up the pressure on the Syrian regime. The United States says it's considering a range of options, including targeted sanctions against senior officials accused of rights abuses.


JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: But we're certainly looking at different ways to make clear to the Syrian government how appalling we find this behavior to be and to encourage them, both as we have by speaking out against it, but in other means, to stop the violence and to move toward serious reform.


BECKY ANDERSON: Well, diplomats at the United Nations, meantime, are working on a draft resolution that condemns the violence in Syria and calls for an independent investigation.

Let's bring in our senior U.N. correspondent, Richard Roth, for the details.

It would be wrong to say this has been a fast-moving situation, because it's been going on for weeks now. But clearly, we're seeing the ratcheting up of diplomatic pressure against the Syrian regime at this point -- Richard.

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT: That's right. At the United Nations has not been involved in too many of these Arab revolutionary places of turmoil. It's difficult, inside the Security Council, to forge unified agreement. As the violence increases, though, in Syria, some members of the Security Council, notably the United Kingdom, France and Portugal, have been working on a statement that they are going to -- they've already circulated and they'd like to have Council action on Tuesday. It condemns the violence in Syria and it also says that there should be restraint on further violence and urges Secretary-General Ban -- Secretary-General Ban's call for an independent investigation to be taken up.

Secretary-General Ban's spokesman, Martin Nesirky, commented on what the top diplomat at the U.N. would like to see in Syria.


MARTIN NESIRKY, U.N. SPOKESMAN: The secretary-general has been quite clear on what -- what needs to happen on the human rights front in -- in Syria. First and foremost, that -- that the killing and the shooting has to stop. And, secondly, and fundamentally, people have the right to -- to demonstrate peacefully, without fear of reprisals or, indeed, of lethal fatal intervention by security forces.


ROTH: The Portuguese ambassador to the U.N. telling reporters at the U.N. today, it's time for a clear condemnation by the international community. India's ambassador saying, oh, it's a good idea. We should be asking for restraint and asking for calm.

The problem is, as we saw with the Council's failure to come up with a simple statement even on Yemen's violence, that Russia is going to be Syria's ally on this and is very determined to block any type of Council condemnation of its ally and business partner, Syria.

So that's what's the situation in the Security Council, Becky.

Also, elsewhere, the United States and others are trying to get the Human Rights Council in Geneva to condemn what's going on in Syria. And the U.S. and some other countries would like to block Syria from becoming a member, again, of the Human Rights Council later this year, later in May.


ROTH: That is still a pending issue -- back to you.

BECKY ANDERSON: Richard Roth at the United Nations.

We're going to get some analysis on exactly what is going on across the region in just a few minutes time here on CNN.

Richard, thank you for that.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD on CNN live from Buckingham Palace, as we count down to the royal wedding at the end of this week.

Later in the show, we're going to give you a look behind the scenes down behind me. We'll take you inside the media village that is -- well, it's more like a media city.

Next up, though, the best in kingdoms from other shores.

Can monarchies in the Gulf survive what is this ongoing unrest?

Stay with us.


BECKY ANDERSON: Well, less than four days to go until these two say "I do." And excitement here in the British capital is building. Coming up, we're going to have the latest details for you on the forthcoming royal wedding, from the music you'll hear during the ceremony on Friday to a behind the scenes tour of CNN's impressive setup across from Buckingham Palace and an interview with the man who took iconic photos of the royal groom when he was just a wee nipper.

Well, one guest who won't be at the wedding is a prominent member of Bahrain's royal family, Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa. In a letter to Britain's Prince Charles, the heir to the Bahraini kingdom declined his invitation, citing ongoing political unrest in his country.

Well, the Gulf state has come under global scrutiny in recent weeks over its violent suppression of pro-democracy rallies.

Well, Bahrain has had help in its crackdown from other Gulf kingdoms rallying to protect the small monarchy.

Mohammed Jamjoom now explains why the island has become such a battleground.


MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When military units from the Gulf Cooperation Council rolled into Bahrain in March, it changed everything. The Peninsula Shield Force did more than just help the Bahraini government put down protests that had gripped the island state.

THEODORE KARASIK, INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST AND GULF MILITARY ANALYSIS: The Arab revolt of 2011 has forced the GCC to become more cohesive and function as one when it comes to the foreign and domestic security environment. Sending a force into Bahrain was a necessary evil for the GCC in order to protect the monarchy in Bahrain, because if a monarchy falls within the region, this might create a domino effect against the rest of the monarchies.

JAMJOOM: The Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC, a group of six Arab monarchies straddling the Persian Gulf -- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Nothing in recent memory has united its member states more than their coordinated response to the current wave of Arab uprisings.

At the forefront of this new emboldened push, Saudi Arabia. The conservative kingdom sees any threat to Arab monarchies as a threat to its very survival.

KARASIK: You see the Saudis being downright aggressive when it comes to the regional security order, particularly with the GCC states and -- and also with Iran's intentions. They're playing hardball now.

JAMJOOM: The scariest scenario for the Saudis?

An aggressive Iran gaining advantage in this climate of protest. What's more, the Saudis feel they can't rely on the U.S. after Washington allowed Arab regimes allied to it to fall, which is why they're boosting coordination with other GCC member states on the military and diplomatic fronts, to confront both internal and regional threats. The deteriorating situation in Yemen is of particular concern.

KARASIK: Yemen is really, in a human systems term, a cancerous tumor on the Arabian Peninsula. And something dramatic, surgically, needs to be done.

JAMJOOM: Even before the anti-government movement had gained so much momentum in the region's most impoverished nation, Yemen was already considered by many to be on the verge of collapse. An intermittent rebellion in its north, a separatist movement in its south and a resurgent and resilient Al Qaeda that's made Yemen its regional hub.

The GCC has hosted talks with opposing sides in Yemen's political crisis -- an attempt to get the parties to agree on a peaceful transition that could help stabilize a country the GCC views as the soft underbelly of the region.

(on-camera): Just one more challenge for a regional body unaccustomed to contending with so many.

Mohammed Jamjoom, CNN, Abu Dhabi.


BECKY ANDERSON: How many of these Gulf states, then, fit into the bigger regional picture?

To answer that question, I'm joined now by a regular guest on the program.

Fawaz Gerges is professor of Middle Eastern politics and international relations at the London School of Economics.

There have been continued calls for dialogue with Bahrain. The West, to a certain extent, wary of losing what it sees as its sort of fulcrum against this -- this growing influence of Iran.

How does the GCC in these -- these Gulf states -- fit in at this point?

FAWAZ GERGES, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Well, the reality is Saudi Arabia and The Gulf Cooperation Council have decided to suppress the oppositional movement in Bahrain. And also, the irony is that the West's response, as you know, Becky, has been very muted because the Gulf is one of the most strategically critical theater for the world economy. It has more than two thirds of oil reserves that is -- it is a critical theater. And that's why the American response, the British response, has not been as vocal as the Western response toward Libya or Yemen or Syria.

But the reality is now Saudi Arabia is calling the shots in the Gulf, in its neighborhood. For the first time ever, Becky, Saudi Arabia now is thinking a proactive policy. It's thinking matters into its own hands because it no longer can trust the United States to basically protect its traditional allies.

You're seeming an entirely different playground in the Gulf.

BECKY ANDERSON: I want to talk about the West, or, perhaps, Washington 's dilemma when it comes to Syria, which is the story that we started the show with today.

Syria isn't seen by -- as an ally by Washington, but it's certainly a big regional player.

How do you read what we have seen coming out of Syria today?

GERGES: Well, the situation is extremely volatile in Syria. And, in fact, it has reached a point of no return, Becky. The Syrian government has decided to basically escalate the fight against the opposition, to basically try to suppress the oppositional movement. Now, it's all-out war. There's a fierce struggle for power in Syria between the opposition, between the protesters and the government. And the Assad regime has basically thrown everything. And we shall wait and see whether the government can basically crush the opposition.

The next few days and the next few weeks will be decisive in basically showing which particular side will gain the upper hand.


GERGES: I think even -- even if the opposition loses the first round, there will be a second round and third round -- Becky.

BECKY ANDERSON: And what will those second and third rounds look like, Fawad?

GERGES: As bloody, as volatile. There is really no return. There is -- a major rupture has taken place in Syria. We all have been surprised by the intensity and the depth of the opposition and the uprising in Syria. Even the Syrian regime itself has been shocked by the intensity of the opposition. Multiple segments of opinion in Syria have risen in protest against the Assad regime.

This is -- now Syria is in play. Syria is no longer immune to the mutating democratic virus in the Middle East, not just the Gulf, Syria, Yemen, Libya, the entire Arab world -- Becky.

BECKY ANDERSON: Fawaz Gerges is a regular guest on this show, wrapping up our look this hour at the regional unrest in the Middle East.

Fawaz, as ever, we thank you.

Well, coming up on the show, the countdown to the royal wedding. CNN is up and running just outside Buckingham Palace. We're going to take you on a tour of our new digs.

Plus, the sounds of the ceremony -- Max Foster has a preview of the music being prepared for the marriage of William and Kate.

That coming up after this.


BECKY ANDERSON: What you're seeing is the view from Buckingham Palace of the media center right outside, as we all anticipate the royal wedding at the end of this week.

And if you look very closely, you might see my back and that of my colleague, Max Foster, and our guest with us in the studio this hour.

We are still four days away from the royal wedding, but the media village where I am sitting is already alive with activity. Hundreds of news organizations from all over the world have descended on London. And we are all sharing space just across from Buckingham Palace.

Have a look at this.


BECKY ANDERSON: This is the nerve center for what is one of CNN's biggest broadcasts in years. There are a couple of hundred people here.

Let's go and talk to the man who's made it all happen.

Jeff, walk me through exactly how big a deal this is and how it compares to things you've done in the past.

JEFF KEPNES, CNN SPECIAL EVENTS SUPERVISOR: Well, we've done conventions. We've done major funerals in the United States. We've done the pope's funeral. I mean this is right up there.

BECKY ANDERSON: And you've covered big events before.

Just how big a deal is this?

KEPNES: This is just huge. I mean the size of this whole media village, it's -- it's massive. So this is as big as it gets.

BECKY ANDERSON: So there are more than 7,000 accredited journalists, some 40 broadcasters, another 10 rooms like this across this media village for what is a media extravaganza.

Let's go and see who else I can find.

You'll recognize this face.


BECKY ANDERSON: Cat Deeley, of course.

DEELEY: Thank you.

BECKY ANDERSON: What are you looking forward to?

DEELEY: Oh, I couldn't wait until the actually day. It seems -- there seems to be so much buildup now, you know what I mean. And we've come here and this is the first time we've come here in a tent. And everybody's kind of fevering away and all the rest of it. So the actual day is what I'm looking forward to. I'm looking forward to the kiss. I want a full-on smacker on the lips.

BECKY ANDERSON: Cat Deeley getting with a program.

And this is what we call the live shot position. It's three stories. There are 22 studios and another 20 live shot positions. And it's from here that you will see the coverage of the royal wedding.

Let me show you around. Take a look in here. This is one of two studios that CNN have got set up.

And this is Brooke Anderson, my namesake.

You've just come off the air.


BECKY ANDERSON: What do you think of the setup?

BROOKE ANDERSON: It is so stunning and beautiful. And the British flag has been hung everywhere. It's all over the city, everywhere I turn. But you can just tell that there is royal fever all around.

BECKY ANDERSON: So what does the media village look like for those who live there, at Buckingham Palace?

Well, follow me around. And that is the outside of it. I'm told, though I can't confirm, that the structure was originally going to be white, but the queen decided it should be green to go with the trees.

Becky Anderson, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: That's your look behind the scenes at our new home outside of Buckingham Palace.

I don't have to reintroduce myself, do I?

My colleague, Max Foster, is going to be spending quite a bit of time here, as well.

He joins me now live in the studio.

Also joining us tonight, an esteemed member of the British press, the royal photographer, Ian Pelham Turner, who first photographed Prince William when he was, of course, just a baby.

I'll come to you in a moment, Max.

Ian, this media setup, you've been around for some four decades in the media/press pack, as it were. I know you're a royal man, as far as the -- the press is concerned.

But have you ever seen anything like this?

IAN PELHAM TURNER, ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHER: I've never seen anything like this in my life.

BECKY ANDERSON: So goes the (INAUDIBLE). TURNER: I'm very impressed about it. I'm extremely impressed. CNN I love anyway, but this is something awesome. It really is. It's -- it's the sort of -- the type of thing that's, I mean, I've worked on the other weddings, obviously. And I've never seen such a media circus like we've had in a month. And the Americans. We -- you know, we work with a lot of American TV stars.


TURNER: And it's fabulous. We really are -- we're enjoying ourselves tremendously (INAUDIBLE).

BECKY ANDERSON: Excellent. That's good.

Max, you know, the media setup is one thing. The preparations for the wedding, of course, are something quite different.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: I mean everything about this is epic, isn't it?


FOSTER: From the cake to the cavalry, it's just massive, the preparations enormous. And just consider the music. You're going to have bands out there, outside Buckingham Palace, all along the route. In the Abbey, you're going to have -- it's going to be a world class concert. It's going to be unbelievable.

We've had a chance to catch up with some of the players involved.



MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The service at Westminster Abbey will have music to match this most regal of settings. No state occasion can begin without a fanfare from the Household Cavalry. Their outfit is the oldest in the British Army. And they take their place in British history once again for the royal wedding.

(on camera): Once she's inside the church, Catherine will come through the choir screen there with her father, past the choir stalls, where the choir will be standing. And we expect her to come up here, to the high altar, where she'll meet William and be married.


FOSTER (voice-over): Bringing a sense of spirituality to the proceedings will be the boys of the Chapel Royal Choir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really exciting. It's quite an honor, actually. So I'm looking forward to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 50 years, this will be like major history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm so lucky that I got to participate in such an event, which only happens once in a long time.


FOSTER: And to add to the music of church and state, a personal friend of Prince Charles, Christopher Warren-Green, will conduct the London Chamber Orchestra, playing here at a recent concert.

CHRISTOPHER WARREN-GREEN, LONDON CHAMBER ORCHESTRA: Both Prince William and Miss. Middleton are very active -- actively involved in what they want for their wedding. And they have great taste in music, very strong ideas.

FOSTER: No pop singers are expected at the wedding, though we are assured Catherine and William do have a wide range of musical tastes.

WARREN-GREEN: I also have an all-embracing taste in music. I don't drive home after conducting a Milo symphony and listen to a Milo symphony. I usually drive home and listen to jazz or The Beatles or -- actually, I quite like heavy metal.



FOSTER: The interesting thing there, Becky, I wonder if you can read into the guest list, Elton John (INAUDIBLE) invited. There is going to be some pops -- pop music, surely, at some point.

But can they play -- they must be playing it, mustn't they, out there?

BECKY ANDERSON: Well, we do know that after the wedding, of course, there's going to be a big doo held by the queen, of course...


BECKY ANDERSON: -- at Buckingham Palace. And after that, there is, of course, a party which is going to be hosted by Prince Charles. And one assumes that pop music...

FOSTER: Yes. And we're not getting any information.

BECKY ANDERSON: -- will be played...


FOSTER: Pop music. We want pop music at the royal wedding.

BECKY ANDERSON: What else can we expect from you this week, because you've been on this beat now for months, haven't you?

FOSTER: Yes. Well, everything.


FOSTER: We're going to get some information tomorrow on the flowers.


FOSTER: They're not saying too much about that, but it is actually quite interesting. You'll see something very interesting along the aisles there in the Abbey. Also details on the reception you were just talking there; the cake; and, also, where -- we get this drip, drip of information so we'll see what we get.

BECKY ANDERSON: I was just reminded, the Westminster Abbey, of course, is quite the most phenomenal setting.

FOSTER: It really is. But if you're a guest, you have to be in the top tier to actually see anything, because there's a massive screen, isn't there, down the middle?

So all the guests at the back -- the majority of the guests -- don't see anything. And they have to arrive, what is it, two hours early, three hours early?

BECKY ANDERSON: Oh, dear. I think they're in by about sort of 9:15 in the morning.

FOSTER: You need to be in the royal family or the Middletons to really enjoy yourself.

BECKY ANDERSON: Or be watching us, obviously...

FOSTER: Yes, absolutely.

BECKY ANDERSON: -- because we have a much better view.

Back to you shortly.

Thank you, Max.

Back with you, of course, after the break.

It's not just the music for this event. Max met some of the musicians and you saw those, of course, a little bit earlier on. You're going to get more from Max as we move through this week.

We're going to take a very short break at this point.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN.

We'll be back after this.


ANDERSON: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. I'm Becky Anderson in London. Let's get you a check of the headlines this hour.

Syria's crackdown on demonstrators is intensifying. Army tanks rolled into Daraa today, where an activist says seven protesters were killed. Syrian state news reports that army units entered the city to restore tranquility and security and end the operations of, quote, "extremist terrorist groups."

Well, a desperate situation in the Libyan city of Misrata. A "Sunday Times" correspondent tells us Moammar Gadhafi's forces are decimating civilian neighborhoods with random tank fire and missiles.

Gadhafi has appeared on state television in footage said to have been taken hours after part of his compound was flattened in an air strike. NATO says the target was a communications headquarters used to coordinate attacks, but Libya's government calls it an attempt on Gadhafi's life.

WikiLeaks has released almost 800 documents about the terror suspects held at the US prison Guantanamo Bay. The new papers feature assessments of detainees by military intelligence officials. They say that most of the 172 detainees are considered high risk and pose a threat to the US if released.

Thousands protested in France and in Germany to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. The demonstrators said the situation in Japan shows the ongoing risk of nuclear power.

Those are your headlines this hour.

All right. Well, it took them five months to dig their way to freedom. Taliban militants have pulled off what has been quite an extraordinary prison break in southern Afghanistan. Some experts believe the massive security breech would have been impossible without collaborators inside the jail. Nick Paton Walsh reports.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They left in a hurry, but not too much of a hurry. For hours in the dead of night, about 470 Taliban insurgents left their cells in the Kandahar jail and filed down the corridor, the prison guards not stopping them. Into this room they went, down this hole and, crawling one by one, out through a tunnel.

The prison is to the west of the city, and the Taliban over five months were able to dig from a nearby house hundreds of meters up into the prison compound. The "political block" a polite name for the most important prisoners. From here, the Taliban claim as many as 106 commanders escaped, some speeding away in minibuses, others on foot.

Police say there's a manhunt on but, so far, not many arrests. And the questions are already ringing loud about the reliability of Afghan security forces, in this case, prison guards. It is a disaster, indeed, for the Karzai government.

WAHEED OMER, SPOKESMAN FOR AFGHAN PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI (through translator): For the government of Afghanistan, for the people of Afghanistan, it is bad news.

WALSH (voice-over): Bad news because NATO wants to begin handing over security to Afghan forces, and bad news because hundreds more insurgents are on the loose, exactly what NATO doesn't need as the traditional fighting season approaches.

This is the Taliban's second hit on the same jail in three years, the last attack using a car bomb to breach the walls. And it is also, perhaps, their answer to NATO's claim they're broken in this, the Taliban's heartland.


ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh reporting for you, there, from Kabul.

Ahead on CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN, our royal wedding coverage continues. We're going to take a trip down memory lane and find out what it was like to take pictures of the groom-to-be when he was just a few months old. That right here, next, on CNN.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello from San Francisco. I made this portrait of the royal couple from 137 toothpicks and glue. It took three painstaking weeks to make, but it was a labor of love. I wish Prince William and Catherine Middleton much love and happiness forever.


ANDERSON: Well, from the moment he was born, the cameras were ready to snap. Prince William is one of the most photographed people in the world. Here's a look at his life so far in images.


ANDERSON: Well, photographer Ian Pelham Turner is back with me here in the studio. You got a glimpse, there, of a few of the pictures taken of Prince William since he was, really, a very little boy. When did you start snapping shots of that young man?

IAN PELHAM TURNER, PHOTOGRAPHER: I took baby William when he three months old, and it was probably one of the most awesome days of my career. I hadn't eaten for two weeks beforehand because I was so scared that something would go totally and utterly wrong.

In those days, you had seven minutes to work with the royal family. They sat down, you weren't allowed to talk to them, you weren't allowed to direct them in any way, shape, or form, and as soon as they sat down, on went the stop watch. No pressure at all.


ANDERSON: The logistics are a nightmare. Talk me through -- I know we've got some of the shots that you have taken of William. Talk me through them.

TURNER: It was a frightening time because, first of all, you weren't allowed to talk to them. And for four of the seven minutes, William -- Diana had William's teething ring right in front of her face. So, this was a shot taken afterwards.

After the seven minutes, Diana decided she wanted to have some more photographs taken by herself. This is the favorite shot of the -- when Diana -- I made a nose like I was dying, because she had to move her teething ring. She turned around towards me, she moved the teething ring away, William went to grab the teething ring, and I was royal photographer.


TURNER: It's -- in one fraction of a second, it made my career. I'm not complaining. I'm not complaining.

ANDERSON: Let's have a look at the next one. Let's see what's coming up next. I know that you've -- you're -- you've been doing this for a very long time --

TURNER: I have.

ANDERSON: -- but look at this one. You can't get much better than that.

TURNER: Again, this -- you can't get much better than that. And all these shots at the moment are going to be seen as part of a royal exhibition we're doing at the Milestone Hotel in Kensington shortly.

But baby shots like this were absolutely -- William was a dream to photograph, even at that age. He was so photogenic.

The thing that always used to happen is that they became quite competitive at times, Charles and Diana. So, Diana decided she was going to do some, so then, Charles picks up William, puts him on his knee, starts tickling his tummy. What am I supposed to do? Take more pictures of them.

So, the lackey by the side of me with a stopwatch is now getting very confused with what's going on. But that was life at the time.

ANDERSON: Seven minutes are in --

TURNER: Seven minutes.

ANDERSON: And your career depends on this.

TURNER: My career depended on it, because if I got it wrong, I'd have gone to the tower. It would have been as simple as that. I was representing the Commonwealth that day, so that meant 80 or 90 countries, millions -- tens of millions of people were seeing these photographs.

ANDERSON: He -- he's always seemed to me quite a telegenic chap, really.


ANDERSON: Is he? When you're -- you're a photographer.


ANDERSON: What do you see in him, which is--

TURNER: I think that the thing that William has, he is learning how to sort of create great photographs. That what Diana did. When I first started working --

ANDERSON: What do you mean by that, Ian?

TURNER: Well, when I first started working with Diana, for example, she always had her head down. And I was always in conflict with the PR team because I was always knocking people's hats off as I was ducking down to try and get her face.

And little bit by little bit, eventually, she got much more camera savvy and created great photographs. And William's now doing the same thing, because he's now getting that sort of same confidence that is great for photographers. That's what photographers want.

ANDERSON: So, let's fast-forward to Friday.


ANDERSON: That's a big day for photographers, isn't it?

TURNER: It's an absolutely big day for photographers. I mean --

ANDERSON: What will they be looking for?

TURNER: Well, I'm going to be there, as well, so we're all looking for the kiss shot. Everyone's waiting for the kiss shot in London, and that's always the front page shot to go for. So, all the photographers -- all the big photographers -- will be aiming at the balcony, waiting for them to kiss.

ANDERSON: And thank goodness that Charles and Diana, to a certain extent -- because it was only in 1981 --

TURNER: Absolutely.

ANDERSON: That you got that shot for the first time, wasn't it?

TURNER: Absolutely right. And Charles was very awkward. It actually was two seconds, the kiss. When Sarah married Andrew, it was six seconds. So, they're learning. So, we're hoping this time it's going to be at least 15 seconds, for goodness sakes.

ANDERSON: Fantastic. How many of you are there? And I hate to say "you" are there, but how many press photographers will be around on Friday?

TURNER: There'll be lots of press photographers. I'm in a different category because I'm a commissioned photographer. What that means is I'm actually commissioned by the people, so I'm not with newspapers.

But I would hazard a guess there's going to be at least 5,000 photographers working the route there. And it's going to be the usual sort of massive -- sort of sharpened elbows as people try -- get in each other's way. But it's going to be the fracas that we always used to love.

ANDERSON: Yes, the fracas that you love. We've shown our viewers tonight just what's going on here behind the scenes, and it's quite a remarkable setup. Remind our viewers what it takes, oftentimes, to get that decent shot. Because I've seen the press pack out -- and when I talk about a pack, I mean, it's a pack.

TURNER: Absolutely right. Luck. It's luck. I'm probably one of the luckiest people you'll ever meet. All the way through my career, it's been a very, very lucky -- I've managed to capture those moments that's really created great photographs, as well.

But I think a lot of the time -- I never used to do the press packs so much. I was involved in my early days as a news photographer, but after a while, I got segregated out and really used to try and get the exclusive pictures.

ANDERSON: So, do you hope that you'll get the shots of William or William's family in the future? Is that something that you want?

TURNER: I'm aiming towards it. We're in behind-the-scenes talks at the moment to actually sort of do a deal with them. So, we will see how that sort of fathoms itself.

If not, my business partner, Helena Chard, she runs a lookalike agency. So, if we don't get the real thing, we're already looking for William's baby.

ANDERSON: Watch out for those courtesy shots. We'll let you know whether they're the real thing or not. Ian, pleasure to have you with us. Thank you very much, indeed.

TURNER: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Stick with us for the moment. Have you ever met Prince William or have you got anything you want to say to him as he gets ready to walk down the aisle. We want to hear from you. Head to, tell us about your memories, and do remember to let us know where you are writing in from.

You're watching CNN live from Buckingham Palace as we count down to the royal nuptials. Next up, sentiments from across the Atlantic. Why in the 21st century are Americans so in the grip of royal fever? Stay with us.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The royal wedding? I really don't know what you are talking about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're just very happy that such a beautiful couple have come together. At this time when there's so much chaos in the world, we've got something to celebrate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a huge fan for -- of Prince William, so I'll definitely watch it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't care, though. It's nice -- it's a very nice couple and they're really beautiful together, but we don't care at all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Their date is the same as my wedding anniversary, so I am very excited. I will never forget it from now on. And it seems that it's nice hype. It's not over the top.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm so excited to see it. I took the day off work.


ANDERSON: Voices from around the world, some anticipating the royal wedding, some not.

America's first family may have missed out on an invite to Britain's royal wedding but, far from feeling snubbed, the US is showing particular interest in the pending nuptials. A reflection, perhaps, of the historic bonds shared by the two countries. Kiran Chetry now traces the relationship that, just like any other, has had its ups and downs.


DAVID WOOLNER, HISTORIAN, ROOSEVELT INSTITUTE: It's that summer of '39 that you see the beginning of the birth of this special relationship that's been with us ever since.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the time, the spotlight on another royal couple, King George and Queen Elizabeth. The special relationship with the United States begins with letters between the king and President Franklin Roosevelt. And soon after, a visit. The first time a reigning British monarch tours the US.

WOOLNER: This visit, then, comes at a very critical moment. War is imminent. Roosevelt was looking for a way to strengthen US bonds with Great Britain, especially the bonds between the American people and the British people.

CHETRY: Not long after, Winston Churchill is the first to use the phrase "special relationship" as the two countries fight together during World War II, a sentiment often repeated by other prime ministers and presidents throughout the years.

GORDON BROWN, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I come in friendship to renew for new times our special relationship --

CHETRY (on camera): Why is that relationship so special?

BROWN: It didn't start very well 225 years ago when you kicked the British out. But I think there's shared purpose. The same values of liberty, democracy, responsibility to each other, fairness.

CHETRY (voice-over): Yet, the special relationship has not been without strains. The United States would not support Great Britain during the 1956 Suez Canal crisis, and Great Britain refused to support the United States during the Vietnam War.

BROWN: You can have treaties that are broken, but this relationship, it seems to me, is unbreakable because it is based on something more than just sort of an assessment of your best interest.

CHETRY: Close ties between the two countries often correspond with the bonds of friendship between the leaders. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and President John F. Kennedy fighting the Cold War. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Ronald Reagan, united during the fall of the Soviet Union.


CHETRY: But Prime Minister Tony Blair's support of President George Bush's decision to invade Iraq was not without consequences.

WOOLNER: This became very, very unpopular, of course, among the British public, and Tony Blair paid a price for this, politically, and is still paying a price for this to this day.

CHETRY: But as the two countries move forward, former prime minister Brown takes an optimistic view.

BROWN: That despite all the different problems that will arise, this relationship will endure and, perhaps, strengthen in the years to come.


ANDERSON: Well, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, like the Obamas, are not on the royal wedding guest list. Should any of them be? I'm joined again by Max Foster, my colleague, and photographer Ian Pelham Turner. What is all this about the Obamas and Tony Blair and Gordon Brown not being invited?

FOSTER: Well, it's a bit odd, isn't it? Because it's got all the trappings of a state occasion, but it's not a state occasion because William's second in line to throne, not first in line to the throne, and they've tried to get around the guest list issue by -- well, they just invented this new system, really, inviting all the ambassadors.

So the US ambassador is invited, but only heads of state who are crowned heads of state are invited. So it's got a bit complicated.

But the former prime minister thing, perhaps they should have thought about a bit more. They're saying they're inviting former prime ministers who are Knights of the Garter, who happen to be conservatives who are pro- monarchy, and they haven't invited the former Labor prime ministers, so it's a bit sensitive, but that --

ANDERSON: So, essentially, Margaret Thatcher's on and the others aren't?


ANDERSON: Yes, exactly. All right. Listen, we're talking about via Kiran, there, talking about the special relationship between the US and the UK. How much currency do Kate and William wield for the US paparazzi pack at this point?

TURNER: Massive. If -- whatever happens in their lives from now on, they will be tacked totally, 100 percent. And so, even with things like the baby photographs, whatever happens in their future, my personal feeling is that Kate will have ten times the amount of publicity and also the amount of intrusion that Diana did. So, there's a lot of pressure upon her.

ANDERSON: Well, this is important, isn't it? Because the royal family have been very quick to say during this whole period of courtship and, then, engagement between the two, back off. William doesn't want this.

FOSTER: Yes, and Ian'll know better than me, but during Diana's wedding, she said that she didn't have much involvement in it.


FOSTER: I'm continually told, throughout this whole wedding, that Catherine, William have OK'd everything, if they haven't made all the decisions themselves. And it's very clear from Buckingham Palace that this is Catherine and William's wedding and they're all getting involved. I wonder if that is a direct experience of what went --

TURNER: Actually, I --

FOSTER: -- what they had with Diana.

TURNER: -- because I think -- I know, personally, there's a ring of still around where they are in North Wales, and to try and -- and there's actually an agreement with the British media that they don't touch them on their home turf.

But I think overseas crews will crack them before too long, and the same with the Americans as well. There are agencies like Splash, who are experts at trying to get the individual photographs.

ANDERSON: We're talking about photos worth thousands.

TURNER: Oh, absolutely.

ANDERSON: Tens of thousands?

TURNER: Absolutely. I mean, a really great shot -- for example, when Diana was with Dodi, there was a million-dollar price tag on her head. Now, that was 20 years ago. Now, you'd be looking at 4 or 5 million, because -- for the world rights.

ANDERSON: Max, you've been on this beat for months, now. If you were to think about what sort of -- one sort of thing that's really struck you about these two since you've been talking to friends, family, former associates, former -- colleagues at university, what would it be?

FOSTER: I think they are private people, and you really get that sense. But how do you protect your privacy when you're going to be the most high-profile couple in the world? They're trying to do it. They're trying to give the world the big state occasion, but then, there's lots they're not giving away, and it does depend on how they can control that privacy.

They just have to hide away, a lot, I think. Because, as you're saying, these photographs are so valuable, because they get resold, resold, resold. And Kate Middleton, she's trying not to be the fashion icon that Diana was, but she's almost being shoehorned into that.


ANDERSON: We're four days away from the big day. Last question on photographers and photography, as it were.


ANDERSON: Between 12:30 London time, when these guys get back from the wedding, and 1:25, approximately, when we see them on the balcony for the royal kiss --


ANDERSON: There will be a photographer inside.


ANDERSON: Snapping away. Those sort of shots that all of us who've been married, we know what it's like. It's painful.

FOSTER: Absolutely.


ANDERSON: Two photographers this time, yes?

FOSTER: So, yes, there's a private one, isn't there? And then, there's an official one, as well.

TURNER: Absolutely. All I can say to them is, "Good luck."


TURNER: Totally. Because the pressure on something like that is enormous.

ANDERSON: Yes. You've got 55 minutes, sort it out.

TURNER: I mean, there are photographers' techniques. When, during the Charles and Diana photographs, taken by Lord Lichfield, he used a whistle to control the royal family. And when Albert Watson did Andrew's photographs, he used a trumpet.

So, God knows this time what they're going to use for the queen.

ANDERSON: Lovely, lovely. All right, thank you, chaps.

You've been watching CNN and CONNECT THE WORLD. The royal wedding, of course, will be broadcast live around the globe on television and on the internet, and is tipped to attract a record worldwide audience.

Well, among those hoping to get a particularly close view is our digital producer, Phil Han, who is out and about to join the throngs setting up camp along the royal route. Have a look at this.


PHIL HAN, CNN DIGITAL PRODUCER: Well, believe it or not, I'm going to be calling this tent my second home starting from Tuesday. That's when I'm going to be joining other diehard royal fans by pitching up this tent and camping out on the side of the mall in front of Buckingham Palace to, hopefully, get the best view of this Friday's royal wedding.

Now, I've set up a bit of a dress rehearsal here in my back garden to get a good sense of exactly what kind of materials and supplies I'll be needing to survive four days on the streets of London.

Well, as you can see, I pitched up this tent, which was, thankfully, very straightforward and easy to do. I've also got a very patriotic pillow, which is getting me into the spirit of things. I've also got this mattress pad, as well as a very comfortable sleeping bag, as well as a case of water and a nightlight.

But more importantly, I'll be doing everything with just a laptop and a camera, where I'll be broadcasting straight out of my tent and bringing you the most important, interesting stories from people all over the world. I want to find out what this royal wedding means to them, and why they decided that they want to camp out a good four days before the actual day.

But before I leave you, I've got to mention, I've got lots of baby wipes. It's four days that I'll be sleeping on the streets without any shower or bathroom facilities, so I'm sure that these will be coming in very handy over the next week.

Of course, you can keep up to date with all my adventures on the streets by just following me on Twitter. My handle is @PhilHanCNN. That's it for me. Fingers crossed I make it out alive.


ANDERSON: Well, you may not need these baby wipes, Phil. I believe a shower from the heavens is forecast this week. Let's get the latest on the wedding weather from Guillermo Arduino at the CNN Weather Center. It has been an absolutely glorious day --


ANDERSON: -- here, but it is only Monday, Guillermo.

ARDUINO: I know, I know. It's going to last a little bit longer, but I think that, come Thursday, we will see more clouds, white clouds. And then, we may see a rain shower or two but, according to our prediction, we will see those showers in the evening, if they happen at all, not in the morning.

So, this is what we have in here. It's a 50-50 chance for now. What we do know for sure, Becky, is that it's going to be much cooler. Because look, for tomorrow, 23 degrees, sunny skies. So, the sun is going to continue there. Wednesday, we see some clouds. Then, on Thursday -- and on Wednesday, too, we see a dip in temperatures, but especially on Thursday.

Then, on Friday, it's even cooler. So, that's the main thing you're going to hear about. People are going to say it is much colder now.

Now, as per Phil, he will see a rain shower or two, but maybe we're lucky and we do not see during the ceremony or right before, right after, a shower. I think it's going to be pretty much good weather for the ceremony. Becky?

ANDERSON: That's all right. Well, we hope you're right, Guillermo. I was going to take a bet on it, in fact, so you're going to owe me money if you're wrong. Guillermo Arduino for you.

Be part of CNN's global viewing party for William and Kate's royal wedding. Join Anderson Cooper, Piers Morgan, Cat Deeley, and Richard Quest as we bring you every moment of the London celebration live. That's Friday, 9:00 in the morning London, 10:00 in Brussels and Berlin. That is when it all kicks off right here on CNN.

Well, I'm Becky Anderson, that is your world connected. Thanks for watching. The world news headlines and "BackStory" will follow this short break. Don't go away.