The Web      Powered by


Return to Transcripts main page


Profile of British Royal Family

Aired April 9, 2005 - 17:00   ET


GERRI WILLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Gerri Willis. PEOPLE IN THE NEWS in a moment, but first here's what's happening now in the news. Some Iraqis are telling the U.S. they want American forces to leave. Thousands of protesters gathered today in Baghdad where Saddam Hussein's statue was toppled exactly two years ago. And Reuters reports the U.N. has halted its campaign against a deadly virus outbreak in Angola after residents attacks its teams. The attackers apparently feared the doctors were spreading the disease. The (INAUDIBLE) virus has reportedly killed at least 180 people out of the total 205 cases in Angola since October.
Former President Clinton will spend two years as the top U.N. envoy to countries recovering from the south Asia tsunami. He'll mainly be making sure that the billions of relief dollars donated by nations and individuals goes where it should.

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles are now husband and wife. As we've been telling you all day today, the company (sic) tied the knot today during a private civil ceremony in Windsor, England. The union was blessed at a chapel service in Windsor castle. Along with a new husband, Parker-Bowles now has a new royal title, the duchess of Cornwall.

And an Oregon national guardsman is in a race against time to challenge the Pentagon's stop loss policy and avoid a tour in Afghanistan. We'll talk with his attorney next hour. I'll be back with more headlines in about 40 minutes. PEOPLE IN THE NEWS starts right now.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR, PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. Hi. Welcome to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. I'm Paula Zahn. The wedding of Britain's Prince Charles and his long-time companion Camilla Parker-Bowles is shining the spotlight once again on the saga that is the house of Windsor. Over the next hour, a look at the trials and tribulations of the world's most famous monarchy, beginning with Charles, his new bride and their tumultuous love affair. Here's Richard Quest.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He is the heir to the throne, regal, stern and destined for duty. She is the outdoorsy socialite who long ago captured the prince's heart. Now after more than three decades of heartbreak and drama, the two have finally tied the knot.

CAROLINE GRAHAM, BIOGRAPHER, "CAMILLA: HER TRUE STORY": People always say why on earth did Charles pick Camilla over Diana? Diana was this beautiful, young gorgeous fairytale princess and Camilla is this sort of rather frumpy, dowdy matronly kind of woman that looks like she hasn't had a good wash in a week. And the answer is that Camilla and Charles have always been soul mates.

QUEST: From the time he first met Camilla, the prince of Wales knew she was the one, much to the dismay of many in British aristocracy.

ROBERT JOBSON, ROYAL COMMENTATOR: I think Camilla is from the gentry, the British gentry. She's not an aristocrat in any sense of the word. She's somebody that is a bit of a chancer (ph). She's done rather well for herself.

GRAHAM: When she started out with Prince Charles, the real aristocracy were going well, goodness, saying, she's mutton dressed as lamb. I mean she's not the real deal.

QUEST: Some of her most notable relatives live across the pond. She shares ancestors with pop stars Celine Dion and Madonna. Though hardly a material girl herself, Camilla Parker-Bowles will soon sit at the highest echelons of royal establishment. It's a far cry from her earlier days as a rebellious tom boy.

GRAHAM: When she was at school, her friends told me she'd sneak out and have cigarettes on the roof of the school building. I mean she was a little rebel, a naughty little girl.

PRINCE CHARLES: I, Charles Prince of Wales, do become your liege man of life and limb.

QUEST: Young Prince Charles was a far more obedient child. With duty and destiny dictating his course, there was simply no room for rebellion.

LADY COLIN CAMPBELL, ROYAL BIOGRAPHER: His parents didn't put him first, but his grandmother did. So he had the classic thing of getting what he wanted from the wrong source.

QUEST: Insulated from others his own age, the prince was an awkward teenager. As a student at Cambridge University, the prince made an effort to be more outgoing, acting in student plays. It was around the time of his graduation that he first hooked up with a girl named Camilla.

GRAHAM: Charles and Camilla first met on a wet polo field back in 1970. According to legend, Camilla went up to Charles and said my great grandmother was your great grandfather's mistress, so how about it?

QUEST: There is truth to Camille's presumed chat up line. Her great grandmother Alice Kepple (ph) was indeed King Edward VII's mistress at the turn of the last century. But Charles and Camilla had more than family history binding them together. They both relished horses, hunting and the outdoors. The two were said to be mad for each other and marriage was a possibility. GRAHAM: The wife that he chose had to be a virgin and of course, Camilla she certainly was by no means a virgin and when he proposed the first time, she knew that, A, she couldn't accept his proposal, and secondly, she didn't want that kind of life for herself.

QUEST: The prince, having been turned down, followed his family's tradition of military service. He was away on naval duties when he heard that Camilla had married Andrew Parker-Bowles, an officer in the queen's cavalry. Though Camilla was involved with her own marriage, it was only a few years later before the prince and his old flame were back in touch.

GRAHAM: Andrew Parker Bowles was a womanizer. He had his own girlfriends and when Camilla resumed her relationship with Prince Charles, it was something of a feather in Andrew's cap. Having your wife sleeping with the future king of England is something that, it might sound extraordinary to ordinary people, but in that circle, it's actually a little bit of a social kudos if you will.

QUEST: In fact, Andrew and Camilla chose the prince as godfather to their first born. They would go on to have a second child. And all the while, Camilla maintained her friendship with Charles and even helped him find a suitable bride.

SIMON PERRY, DEP. EUROPEAN BUREAU CHIEF, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: There's no doubt she vetted his girlfriends and did give the nod to Diana and even chaperoned her in those early days.

QUEST: On July 29, 1981, the world tuned in to see the wedding of Charles and Diana. But even amid this fairytale fanfare, Camilla was never far from Charles' heart.

GRAHAM: On the eve of his wedding, Prince Charles gave Camilla Parker-Bowles a bracelet entwined with the letters G and F for Gladys and Fred, which was their nicknames for each other and they indeed still call each other in private those names to this day. And Princess Diana found this bracelet and knew the nicknames because she'd heard him talking to Camilla on the telephone and was absolutely devastated.

QUEST: Within a year, Princess Diana gave birth to an heir to the throne, Prince William. On the surface, they seemed like a happy family. But by Prince Harry's birth in 1984, Diana had grown convinced that Charles was fooling around with Camilla.

PERRY: She confronted Charles and said why is this woman always around? She said that Charles came back to her with, do you expect me to be the only prince of Wales that doesn't have a mistress?

QUEST: By 1992, Charles and Diana had separated. Divorce though wouldn't come for another four years. In the meantime, the public would hear all the torrid details of a royal marriage dying from the inside out. And if there was any doubt about Camilla's role, that disappeared in 1993 when the tabloids printed graphic transcripts of reported phone conversations between Charles and Camilla. The next year Charles admitted adultery in a TV interview. The queen mother banned Camilla from the royal residences. The following year it was Diana's turn, this time to sit doe-eyed before the BBC's camera.


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

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

QUEST: After these revelations, Camilla became a national pariah. While shopping in a supermarket, angry patrons hurled dinner rolls at what they saw as the scheming other woman. In the middle of it all, her own husband divorced her. Camilla's social shut out was complete and yet things were about to get even worse. When we come back, a national tragedy and an uphill battle for acceptance.

GRAHAM: Diana had just died. This beloved character had gone off in the most horrendous way and Camilla was just loathed.


QUEST: By 1995, Princess Diana was at the height of her popularity. Camilla was a lady in disgrace, derided as the spoiler of the fairy tale marriage. But with the help of Prince Charles, the woman that Diana had called the Rottweiler set out to redeem herself.

GRAHAM: She had many of Prince Charles's advisers helping her through this quite troublesome time and she became the patron of the National Osteoporosis Society which is a charity that's still very dear to her heart. Her mother died of it.

QUEST: Though careful never to appear before the cameras together, Charles and Camilla gradually gained acceptance as a couple in London's highest society. In July of '97, Charles threw a 50th birthday bash for Camilla and among the friends in attendance, Camilla's ex-husband and his second wife.

GRAHAM: He's very close to both Camilla and Charles to this day. They are still great friends. They see each other all the time. He's always condoned the relationship.

QUEST: Her close friends may have been forgiving, but the British public still had a long way to go in approving Camilla. And a national tragedy would soon provide another obstacle to Camilla's acceptance.

GRAHAM: Diana had just died. This beloved character had got off in the most horrendous way and Camilla was just loathed. At one point went in the street and was shouted out by people.

QUEST: Camilla stayed out of the public eye. Within a year of the funeral at a closed door meeting, she made a break through as she had tea with Charles, Prince William dropped in for a visit. It was Camilla and the young prince's first meeting. Though she told friends she required a stiff drink after the encounter, the two reportedly got on well. CAMPBELL: That, I think, allowed the British public to feel that, oh, well, maybe we can accept her too, and so there's been a ground swell of acceptance.

QUEST: Prince Charles was now openly making it clear that his relationship with Camilla was in his words non-negotiable. The couple chose another family affair to face the media glare as a couple for the first time.

It was here at the Ritz Hotel in London that we got confirmation of sorts that Charles and Camilla were now an item. They were attending a birthday party. The press had been tipped off at the end of the evening, the couple would appear together.

QUEST: The photographers' flashes were so intense, TV stations ran the footage in slow motion to prevent the strobe light effect from sparking seizures in epileptic viewers. In later photo calls (ph), it was Charles and Camilla who took things slowly, carefully seeking and gradually gaining at least some public acceptance. At Queen Elizabeth's jubilee celebrations in 2002, Camilla was allowed to sit in the royal box, but not permitted to sit next to Charles. Protocol and tradition continued to be formidable barriers.

GRAHAM: The turning point for Prince Charles came in November 2004 at a very large society wedding in London of Lady Tamara Grovenor and Edward von Cutsen (ph), who was Prince Charles' godson. And when he announced that he would be bringing Camilla, they insisted on her not sitting beside Charles for protocol reasons, Prince Charles then said to his advisers and also to his mother the queen, this is crazy. Enough is enough. I've been with this woman 35 years, I want to marry her and that was when the wedding plans first went into motion.

QUEST: But a photo call of the happy couple, Camilla sported an eight carat diamond engagement ring, one that belonged to the late Queen Mother.

GRAHAM: The queen mother hated Camilla and I think while she was alive, the question of Charles marrying her was totally out of the question. The queen mother remembered the abdication crisis of Edward and Mrs. Simpson and while she was around, no way would Camilla marry Charles.

QUEST: Royal servants had only eight weeks to plan this wedding, to lay the groundwork for what can only be described as arrangements that turned into farce. Charles and Camilla had originally intended to get married amidst the splendor of Windsor Castle, but that's when the problems started. The authorities discovered that the castle doesn't actually have a license where marriage ceremonies could be conducted. To get a license would mean anyone else could else wed there for the next three years and that was too much for the royal family.

The queen caused quite a stir when she announced she would not be attending the marriage ceremony itself. She did attend a church blessing after the civil wedding. Though not an actual wedding ceremony, the blessing presented the appearance of a proper Cinderella wedding and unlike a civil ceremony, the camera crews were allowed. Image management remains a priority in the royal family.

As husband to the Prince of Wales, Camilla will forgo the title Princess of Wales, a designation so deeply associated with Princess Diana. Instead, she will be known as the Duchess of Cornwall. The prince's office says that when her husband becomes King Charles III, Camilla doesn't want the title of queen. Instead she'll be known as the princess consort.

CAMPBELL: Camilla will become queen whether she is known as queen or not. Unless there is an act of parliament, I promise you there will be no such act of parliament, whether she calls herself a bar of soap, her royal highness the princess consort or Queen Camilla. She will still be queen of England.

QUEST: If not completely innocent, Camilla has nevertheless survived public anger, royal distemper and the fury of the press. Now after 35 years, the hiding in the background, of trying to keep her lover secret, at last she's become a member of the family at the highest level, an accepted pillar of society, she's finally taking her place beside her soul mate.

ZAHN: Camilla's engagement ring is made of platinum with a square central diamond and three diamond baguettes. Replicas of the ring are selling like crazy in Britain.


ZAHN: Britain's royal family has seen its fair share of scandal, suffering and tragedy. Throughout it all, though, there has been one constant amid the turmoil, Queen Elizabeth.

They're a national tradition and an international spectacle. For generations, the British royal family has basked and sometimes wilted in the public spotlight.

ANNE MARIE O'NEILL, SENIOR EDITOR, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: The appeal of royalty is something that we are not. It's flashy. It harks back to another era. It's a big, wealthy ancient tradition that has the problems of everyday families.

ZAHN: In 2002 sparks flew over London. It was a celebration of royal proportions as Great Britain commemorated 50 years of rule by Queen Elizabeth II.

CAMPBELL: They're beyond fame. They're iconic characters and everybody feels that they know them.

ZAHN: But sparks of a different kind have been flying throughout her turbulent tenure. From royal weddings to royal romps, the Windsors have experienced scandals, divorce, fire and death and questions of whether the monarchy is outdated, a romantic relic of imperial times long past.

JOBSON: We're going to have to wait and see if Prince Charles deserved any respect and personally, having met him, having been close to him in terms of his entourage, I don't think that he's anywhere near earning respect the queen has deserved.

ZAHN: But the crowds that gather in the streets of the queen's public appearances send a strong positive message.

PERRY: What she and her family sum up, I suppose, is a way of connecting with something that is a family that also sums up our country.

ZAHN: Now another tempest is sweeping the monarchy. Prince Charles' marriage to long-time lover, Camilla Parker-Bowles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People don't really know what she feels about her son, her son's marriage.

ZAHN: It's just the latest drama in a reign that has endured for over more than half a century. 78-year old Queen Elizabeth is the fourth monarch from the house of Windsor, a manufactured name created by King George V, the queen's grandfather during World War I. The family dropped their Germanic Saxs Cober Goppa (ph) and took on the more Anglican one instead, Windsor.

O'NEILL: They are basically a live soap opera to the rest of the world. We expect such dignity from them, and sometimes it always doesn't work out that way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The truth is, the reason we like selling stories about them is because it sells newspapers. They do us a damn good service by actually behaving badly.

ZAHN: Controversy in the house of Windsor is nothing new. In 1936, newspapers trumpeted the abdication of King Edward VIII. He had fallen for American divorcee Wallis (ph) Simpson.

KING EDWARD VIII: A few hours ago I discharged my last duty as king and emperor.

CAMPBELL: His younger brother, who was the duke of York, became King George VI, and he had two daughters, Princess Elizabeth, who is the present king of England and Princess Margaret Rose who became Princess Margaret.

ZAHN: There was concern the new monarch, a timid man with a passion for needlepoint, lacked the fortitude to be king especially as war with the Nazis went (ph). It was his wife, the future mother of Queen Elizabeth, who is widely credited with giving her husband strength and spine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apparently whenever there was a nervous moment, she used to grab his hand, hold his hand and just rub his hand just almost to say without any conversation, be calm, you can do it.

ZAHN: When German bombs lit up the London sky, the queen mother refused to evacuate Buckingham Palace.

CAMPBELL: She was supremely intelligent and she had great world wisdom and she had what Diana had and the queen and Prince Charles don't have, which is an instinct for what plays well with the public.

ZAHN: The queen mum didn't live to see these lights, celebrating her daughter's 50th anniversary as queen in 2002. She died just two months before at age 101.

CAMPBELL: Many fans of royalty speak about Queen Elizabeth, the queen mother's extraordinarily long life as having been a good thing. And they make note that the queen is actually quite an old lady now, but that she could go on for a very long time still.

ZAHN: Even amid the scandal and tabloids, Queen Elizabeth strives to carry out her royal duties. It's a job her mother once called an intolerable honor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no question that it's a difficult job to do, but I think for the moment she made that decision that she was going to serve the country and the people. That's all she has really wanted to do for the rest of her entire life.

CHARLES ANSON, QUEEN'S FORMER PRESS SECRETARY: People are still fascinated by the queen, but partly because they don't know her very much. She doesn't live her life, her private life in a public way.

ZAHN: Coming up, a close look at Queen Elizabeth. Even as a child, controversy would shake her life and change the course of history.


ZAHN: She is the fourth longest-serving monarch in British history, a living icon of modern royalty. But as a child, Princess Elizabeth was never meant to be queen.

Daughter of the then Duke and Duchess of York, she was destined to be royal without the responsibility of the top job. That changed when the young princess was just ten. With the abdication of Edward VIII, her parents became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

From that point forward, young Elizabeth's childhood would be dominated by duty and the knowledge that one day it would always be hers.

ROBERT JOBSON, ROYAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's always been an ominous responsibility to actually take on the -- to actually be thinking as a child that you'll one day your going to be sovereign of Great Britain. And her parents both were very conscious that they wanted her to have an easier time of it as possible because they knew what was going to happen in her adulthood.

ZAHN: Her nick name was Lillabet after early, unsuccessful attempts to say her own name. In those early years at Buckingham Palace, it's said that she prayed her parents would have a son, someone who would take the future burden from her shoulders.

During Warld War 2 when the children were sent to live at Windsor, Elizabeth was expected to play her part. She ended the war as part of the Civil Defense Services, driving an ambulance, wearing a uniform.

After the war, it was back to life in the guilded cage and marriage to Prince Phillip of Greece.

LADY COLIN CAMPBELL, ROYAL BIOGRAPHER: He has not a drop of Greek blood in his veins, because his grandfather was a Danish prince who was imported into Greece to become king of Greece. A Greek prince who looked like a viking god. He was tall, blonde and beautiful.

ZAHN: If not exactly arranged, it was a marriage deemed suitable for the future Queen of England.

For Prince Phillip, it set the seal for a lifetime spent walking behind his wife. Within a year of her wedding, Princess Elizabeth gave birth to a son, an heir, Charles Phillip George. A daughter Anne and two more sons, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward followed.

But for the sake of the throne, it was Charles who was most important. The lineage of the Windors was established.

In 1953, a year after her father's death, the queen's corronation took place in Westminster Abby where British monarchs have been crowned for more than 1000 years, since Wiliam the Conqueror in 1066.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II, QUEEN OF ENGLAND: God help me to make good my vows. And God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.

ZAHN: Through her inherited status, the Queen is sovereign of 16 commonwealth countrise from Australia to Canada, Antigua to New Zealand. But it is her role in Britain that occupies most of her duties.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE; If you like, Buckingham Palace is her office. Where she comes to work there's a president or head of state coming to town, she'll meet him at Buckingham Palace, but she spends most of her time at Windsor Castle. That's her home.

ZAHN: Throughout her 52 year reign, Queen Elizabeth has worked with ten different British prime ministers. When she first took the throne, Tony Blair, the current prime minister, had yet to be born.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She has a relationship with Tony Blair because she meets with him every other week on a Friday and they chat about what's going on. The queen is there to listen to what Mr. Blair says, but she's actually listened to prime ministers since Winston Churchill.

ZAHN: For generations, the royal family maintained a high degree of privacy. But in 2003, a reporter from the Daily Mirror got a job under false pretenses, as a palace footman. His report described the monarch in a more mundane way.

SIMON PERRY, PEOPLE: Pictures of her eating her cornflakes from tuperware. And having the radio on the side and she and the Duke of Edinborough no doubt had their breakfast. Here is a woman who while is a queen and lives in a grand palace and all the rest, has a relatively simple outlook. And she walks the dogs, has simple pleasures like watching television.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She likes to bet on the horses, and she lives a pretty normal life. It's difficult for us to equate that, but she is a normal person.

ZAHN: While the queen holds lofty ceremonial status, it's her children's unceremonious behavior that gets most of the attention. Her reign may ultimately be remembered for its scandals.

But her time is not up, and she continues to rule with dignity, amid the kudos and criticism. The head of an ancient tradition trying to adjust to a modern time.

ANNOUNCER: Coming up, a tale of two princes, one, the future king.

UNIDENFIIED FEMALE: He likes people to call him William or Wills, and he doesn't want to know about your royal highness.

ANNOUNCER: The other, a play boy in waiting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Diana used to call him the naughty one. And when you think about it, that really hasn't changed so much.

ANNOUNCER: Princes William and Harry when PEOPLE IN THE NEWS returns.


ZAHN (on camera): Welcome back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.

Prince William and Prince Harry, the sons of Charles and Diana. One born to be king, the other born to duties all his own. Young, rich and royal, they are the great hope of a dynasty that has been battered. As William and Harry deal with the remarriage of their father, Prince Charles, a look at Britain's young royals.

(voice-over): If polo is the sport of kings, you might say this is a match of princes. Prince Charles has played the game for his entire life. His two sons, Prince Wiliam and Prince Harry also excel on the field. It's a love of sport passed from one generation to the next.

But the legacy for these princes is far greater than any polo game. They are the future of the monarchy.

Theirs is a family business steeped in tradition and tarnished by scandal.

Prince Charles waits patiently to succeed his mother in the top job. But it's Prince William, second in line for the throne, who may restore the royal luster with a common touch.

INGRID SEWARD, MAJESTY MAGAZINE: He likes people to call him William or Wills, and he doesn't want to know about your royal highness or sir. And that in itself makes it easier for people to relate to him.

ZAHN: While the burden of the monarchy will one day be William's alone, Prince Harry shares his brother's high profile. It's a brother's spotlight where the younger prince doesn't always shine.

Just months ago he created a furor when he showed up at a costume party wearing a swastika.

JOBSON: The son of the Prince of Wales, the grandson of the queen, the monarch of Britain dressed up as a Nazi is appalling.

ZAHN: Both princes are destined for lives of high function, though they were raised amid a spectacle of dysfunction.

July, 1981, millions of people around the world tuned in to see the fairytale wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With this ring...

PRINCE CHARLES: With this ring...


PRINCE CHARLES: ...I thee wed.

ZAHN: Just 11 months after the wedding on June 1, 1982, Diana gave birth to a baby boy: Prince William Arthur Phillip Lewis. The fairytale continued when two years later Prince Henry Charles Albert David, also known as Harry, came into the world.

On the outside, it appeared to be a happy family, but young William was acting out.

ANNE-MARIE O'NEIL, PEOPLE: William as a toddler was a little horror. He was known in the British press as the basher. He used to throw tantrums.

BRIAN HOEY, BIOGRAPHER: And he'd said I'm the king of England. If you don't obey me, I'll have your heads cut off.

ZAHN: But as the older prince mellowed with age, the younger was just getting started.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Diana used to call him the naughty one. When you think about it, that hasn't changed much.

ZAHN: If the prince's naughtiness was amusing, their parents' misbehavior was far more serious. Shortly after Harry's birth, rumors circulated that Prince Charles was fooling around with old flame Camilla Parker Bowles.

Still, Diana and Charles appeared comfortable together on William's first day at Ludgrove Boarding School. The eight-year-old prince wore a brave face as he moved into the dormitory where he would share a room with 4 other classmates. A popular student, William excelled at sports. But his athletic prowress couldn't save him from getting hit in the head with a gold club. The accident fractured William's skull. He was rushed into surgery.

KITTY KELLY, AUTHOR: Diana was there with him most of the night. Charles, unfortunately, went to the opera.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reality of the situation was, of course, he was doing his duty. He checked with the doctors. They said William was going to be fine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I spoke to Diana herself about this. I knew her reasonably well. And I spoke to her about this some years afterwards. And she said that was one thing she couldn't quite get to grips with as far as the royal family were concerned. They felt parental responsibility should come a very poor second to their royal duties.

ZAHN: Prince William recovered from his wound, but his parents' marriage continued to fall apart. The tabloids brimmed with stories about Charles' relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles and details about Diana's extramarital flirtations. About the only healthy part of the royal couple's relationship was they're mutual love for their sons.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He took his boys hunting, shooting, fishing, the things that traditionally royals did. Whereas I think Diana wanted to give them a broader spectrum.

ZAHN: She introduced her sons to amusement parks and fast food. She also exposed them to heavier issues, the homeless and AIDS clinics. But Diana didn't shield her sons from her crumbling marriage.

SEWARD: William used to give his mother chocolates and flowers and little gifts which is really touching, because he knew she was unhappy. And she did let him witness her unhappiness.

ZAHN: Finally, in December 1992, the announcement everybody knew was coming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE; It is announced from Buckingham Palace that with regret the Prince and Princess of Wales have decide to do separate.

ZAHN: When we come back, coming of age amid publicity and death and dealing with the woman who came between their parents.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They know that Camilla Parker Bowles is a nonnegotiatable factor in their father's life.


ANNOUNCER: Welcome back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. ZAHN: By 1997 the adolescent princes, like everyone else in England, couldn't avoid seeing tabloid reports about their mother. She was linked with several high society gentlemen, including Dodi al- Fayed, the 42-year-old son of a retail magnet (ph).

Just eight weeks after her 36th birthday, she joined him on an excursion to France. The trip was supposed to be a romantic get away.

On a fateful evening in Paris turned the get away into tragedy.

On August 31, 1997, Diana, along with Dodi al-Fayed, died in a Paris car crash. Their car had been last spotted speeding away from paparazzi on motor bikes.

O'NEIL: Charles and the boys were at Balmoral (ph) in Scotland. And Charles heard within an hour of her death that she had died.

JOBSON: Must have been an agonizing couple of hours for Prince Charles not to wake his sons immediately, but to let them sleep whilst he thought of how he would break the worst possible news any son could hear.

ZAHN: September 1997, millions of people around the world tuned in to se the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. For both princes, their mother's passing was a step towards manhood, but they were still schoolboys, and the decisions their mother made in life, particularly when it came to education, still held firm.

JOBSON: It was actually Diana who was the driving force for them to both to go to Eaton. And I think it was her that wanted him to have more of an education based upon a mix of many, many other children.

ZAHN: By all accounts, the princes thrived at Eaton, an exclusive academy similar to an elite American prep school. William left Eaton in June of 2000. And like other teenagers, decided to go on a gap year before university, to Chile, as part of a charity project.

He had his mother's good looks, and wherever he went, admirers would follow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love him. And he said hi and he shook my hand.

JOBSON: I remember being on a trip to Canada, actually, when Prince William went on a walkabouts and screaming girls were amazing. It was as if the Beatles had turned up.

ZAHN: After his gap year, William went to St. Andrews University in Scotland to study art history and geography. The university made every effort to ensure a private life for the prince. The media also kept a gentlemen's agreement made after Diana's death, to give the princes privacy, allowing them space and time to grow up.

Now at 22, William is in his final year at St. Andrews, and royal watchers are speculating about his future.

PERRY: I understand he's going to do some volunteer-type work before he goes into the army early next year, is my guess. He'll probably a short service commission of about three years. And then the royal jobs will start.

ZAHN: Speculation also swirls about William's love life. He has repeatedly been spotted with his flat mate, Kate Middleton.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's as serious a relationship as anyone could have at age 22. We shouldn't get carried away, they're only 22.

ZAHN: If William is the heir, Harry is the spare, waiting in the wings, unlikely to ever succeed the crown, but having to be there just in case. He has turned into the mischevious rogue.

O'NEIL: He's very attractive to women, has a lot of friends. And you know, it just seems like someone you'd have a really good time with.

ZAHN: But Harry was having too much of a good time. There were stories of his underage drinking at Eaton. When he was caught smoking marijuana, the media called him "Harry Pothead." Charles acted quickly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Instead of, when you're holding him out in public for a thrashing, he basically lined up a visit for Harry to a rehab center where Harry went in quietly and toured the rehab center with a former addict. And also sat with a group of addicts and listened to their stories.

ZAHN: This past winter Harry sparked public outrage when he wore a Nazi uniform to a costume party. Though the prince issued a written public apology, the damage was already done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unfortunately, for him, that picture is going to be published periodically right throughout his life. And he's never going to escape it.

ZAHN: Now a military career beckons for the prince who has no ready-made job. When he graduated Eaton in 2003, the palace announced that he planned to attend Sandhurst (ph), Britain's top military academy after his gap year. Just before graduation, he commanded the Cadet Corps Honor Guard at Eaton.

During his gap year visit to Australia, Harry tried to avoid the spotlight, but cameras were everywhere. It was a sign that the freedom from the paparazzi, which both William and Harry enjoyed could be coming to an end.

As the princes reach adulthood, they've also had to come to terms with their father's relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles. William broke the ice in 1998 when he casually but deliberately dropped in on his father while Camilla was visiting. When Charles announced his plans to marry Camilla, the boys offered up their blessings. KELLY: They know that Camilla Parker Bowles is a nonnegotiable factor in their father's life. She's very good for their father. They care about their father. And so if she makes him happy, she makes them happy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE; With this being the last holiday, the last time you'll be together before the wedding, I was wondering whether William and Harry you're planning an kind of appropriate sendoff for your father?

PRINCE HARRY: It's been and done.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Yeah, you missed that.

ZAHN: At a recent ski vacation in Switzerland, the bond between Charles and his grown sons was clear to see. So, too, was his blatant contempt for the press.

PRINCE CHARLES: Bloody people. I can't bear that man. He's awful. He really is.

ZAHN: At this photo-op, Prince William appeared to take the lead, guiding the senior prince through the motions.

PRINCE CHARLES: What do we do?

PRINCE WILLIAM: Try to keep smiling.

ZAHN: But Prince Charles has repeatedly said when his mother passes on, he fully plans to become king, William will simply have to wait.

That wait could be a long time.

HOEY: And if the queen has inherited the longevity genes of her mother, who of course died at the age 101, she's going to reign for another 20, 25 years. Charles is going to be approaching 80 when he becomes king.

ZAHN: Prince William and Harry have been born into their respective roles, both have come of age in an atmosphere different from previous royal adolescents. A degree of privacy punctuated by intense media coverage and speculation. Divorce, death, drugs and dating, the life of the modern princes. And if the natural order follows through, one will be king, the other will spend his life watching. That is the nature of royal duty.

(on camera: Prince William has ruled out any immediate nuptials for himself. The prince says he's too young for marriage and doesn't see himself tying the knot until he's at least 28 or 30. We'll see.

That's it for this edition of PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.


On CNN TV E-mail Services CNN Mobile CNN AvantGo CNNtext Ad info Preferences
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.