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CNN PRESENTS for August 27, 2005 CNN

Aired August 27, 2005 - 17:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: Next on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS: Royal drama, messy divorces and salacious scandals.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're basically a live circle (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to the rest of the world.

ANNOUNCER: The 35-year affair that rocked the House of Windsor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Camilla went up to Charles and said "My great grandmother was your great grandfather's mistress, so how about it?"

ANNOUNCER: Inside the romance and marriage of Prince Charles and Camilla. Also, the private side of a matriarch struggling to hold her family together.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walks her dogs, has simple pleasures like watching television.

ANNOUNCER: Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II. And the British monarchy tainted by the scandal of their own.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's fair for anybody as young as that to be constantly in the gold fish bowl.

ANNOUNCER: Growing up royal, princes William and Harry. Now, from the pages of "People Magazine" and the Network for News, some of the most fascinating people in the news.


PAULA ZAHN, HOST: Hi, welcome to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS I'm Paula Zahn. A royal wedding, a golden jubilee, and a prince who would be king, the saga of a House of Windsor, blessed by birth, cursed by scandal. Over the next hour, the triumphs trials and tribulation of the world's most famous monarchy, beginning with controversy surrounding Prince Charles and his new bride, Camilla Parker Bowles. Here's Richard Quest.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's 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 say why on earth did Charles pick Camilla over Diana. Diana was this beautiful, young, gorgeous fairy tale princess and Camilla is the 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 me Camilla, the Prince of Wales know she was "the one" much to the dismay of many in British aristocracy.

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

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

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

GRAHAM: When she was at school, one of 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, OF WALES: 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 theme of getting what he wanted from the wrong source.

QUEST: I insulated from others his own age, the prince was an awkward teenager.

PRINCE CHARLES: Do I believe I have it.

QUEST: 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. And 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 Camilla's presumed chat up line. Her great grandmother, Alice Keppel, was indeed Kind Edward VII's mistress at the turn of the last century. But, Charles and Camilla have 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 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 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 the 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 onto 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 into see the wedding of Charles and Diana. But even amid this fairy tale fanfare, Camilla was never far from Charles' heart.

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 the bracelet, knew the nicknames, because she'd heard him talking to Camilla on the telephone, and was absolutely devastated.

QUEST: Within an 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, well, 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 who doesn't have a mistress? QUEST: By 1992, Charles and Diana 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 recorded 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 breakdown 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 shutout 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.






(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) QUEST: By 1995, Princess Diana was at the height of her popularity. Camilla was a lady in disgrace, berated as the spoiler of the fairy tale marriage, but with the help of Prince Charles, the woman Diana called the "Rottweiler" set out to redeem herself.

GRAHAM: She had many of Prince Charles' advisers helping her through this quite troublesome time and became the patron of the National Osteoporosis Society, which is a charity that's still very dear to her hear, 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 Charles and Camilla to this day. They're still great friends, they see each other all the time. He's always condoned this relationship.

QUEST: Though 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 for Camilla's acceptance.

GRAHAM: Diana had just died, this beloved character had gone off in the most horrendous way, and Camilla was just loathed. At one point she was in the street and 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 breakthrough. 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, ah, well, you know, maybe we can accept her too, and so there's been a groundswell of acceptance.

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

(on camera): 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.

(voice-over): The photographers' flashes were so intense, TV stations ran the footage in slow motion to prevent the strobe-like effect from sparking seizures in epileptic viewers. In later photo calls, 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 Grover and Edward Van Cutson, who is Prince Charles' god son. 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 advisors and also to his mother, the queen, this is crazy, enough's enough. You know, I've been with this woman 35 years, I want to marry her, and that is when the wedding plans first went into motion.

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

CAMILLA PARKER BOWLES, PRINCE CHARLES' WIFE: I'm all right. QUEST: At 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 when she was alive, the question of Charles marrying her was totally out of question. The queen mother remembered the abdication, she (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of Edward and Mrs. Simpson, and while she was around, you know, 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.

(on camera): 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 can be conducted. To get a license would mean anyone else could get wed there for the next three years and that was too much for the royal family.

(voice-over): The queen caused quite a stir when she announced she would not attend 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 proper Cinderella wedding. And unlike the civil ceremony, the camera crews were allowed. Image management remains a priority in the royal family.

Camilla will forego the title "Princess of Wales," a designation so deeply associated with Princess Diana. Instead she would be known as the Duchess of Cornwall. The prince's offices 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 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 of hiding in the background, of trying to keep her love a secret. At least, 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.



ANNOUNCER: Coming up next on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS: These royal relatives have a history of scandal.

ANNE-MARIE O'NEILL, SR. EDITOR "PEOPLE MAGAZINE": It's a big, wealthy, ancient tradition that has the problems of everyday families. ANNOUNCER: A look inside the House of Windsor, and the woman who rules it.

And later, the heirs to the British throne grappling with adolescence, tragedy, and the tabloids. Princes William and Harry come of age.






ZAHN: Britain's royal family has seen its fair share of scandals, suffering and tragedy, but through it all, there has been one constant: Queen Elizabeth.


ZAHN (voice-over): They're a national tradition, and an international spectacle. For generations, the British royal family has basked and sometimes wilted in the public spotlight.

O'NEILL: The appeal of royalty is something that we are not, it's flashy, it harks back to an early 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 Windsor's have experienced scandals, divorce, fire, and death, and questions of whether the monarchy is outdated. A romantic relic of imperial times long past.

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

ZAHN: But the crowds that gather 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 longtime lover, Camilla Parker Bowles.

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

ZAHN: It's the latest drama in a chain has endured for half a century. Queen Elizabeth is the fourth monarch from the House of Windsor, a manufactured name from King George V, the Queen's grandfather, during World War I. The family dropped its Germanic name, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and took on the more Anglican one instead, Windsor.

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

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

ZAHN: Controversy in the House of Windsor is nothing new. In 1936, newspapers trumpet the abdication of King Edward VIII, he had fallen for American divorcee Walla Simpson.

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

CAMPBELL: His younger brother, who was the Duke of York of the day, became King George VI, and he had two daughters. Princess Elizabeth, who is the present queen 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 loomed. It was his wife, the future mother of Queen Elizabeth who is widely credited with giving her husband strength and spine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God save the king.

JOBSON: 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 Anna 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 from the moment she made that decision that she was going to serve the country and the people, that is all that she's really wanted to do for the rest of her entire life.

CHARLES ANSON, QUEEN'S FMR. PRESS SECRETARY: People are fascinated by the queen, but partly because they don't know her really 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.


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