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Profiles of the British Royal Family

Aired June 8, 2002 - 15:00   ET


RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Next, on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS, a royal drama of storybook weddings, messy divorces and salacious scandals.


ANNE-MARIE O'NEILL, SENIOR EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: It's a big, wealthy, ancient tradition that has the problems of every day families.


QUEST: A reluctant monarch who's ruled her empire for half a century.


ROBERT JOBSON, ROYAL COMMENTATOR: There's always been an ominous responsibility that you're one day going to be sovereign of Great Britain.


QUEST: A princess of the people who captured the world's heart.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She had to die before people had realized what she had done.


QUEST: The young princess saddled with carrying on the royal legacy.


CHARLES ANSON, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY TO THE QUEEN: And it's not fair for anybody as young as that to be constantly in the goldfish bowl.


QUEST: As Britain celebrates Queen Elizabeth's golden jubilee, a look inside the House of Windsor now on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.

PAULA ZAHN, HOST: Welcome to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. I'm Paula Zahn. Queen Elizabeth II has guided the British monarchy for 50 years through social change, scandal and crisis. And though her children have stumbled in and out of the headlines, Queen Elizabeth has remained a symbol of stability and dignity. No easy feat in the decade leading up to her golden jubilee, a decade that saw sensational divorces, devastating fires and the death of Princess Diana, but through her sons, William and Harry, a new generation and a new day for the House of Windsor.

Over the next hour, a special look at the world's most famous royal family. Here's Richard Quest.


QUEST (voice-over): London comes alive. A jubilee of royal proportions as Great Britain celebrates 50 years of rule by Queen Elizabeth II.

It's been a turbulent tenure to be sure from royal weddings to royal rumps. The Windsors have experienced scandals divorce, fire and death on questions on whether the monarchy is outdated, a romantic relic of imperial times long past. But now amid regal festivities, the tide of royal fans and subjects sends an unmistakable message.

ANSON: I think what has become clear from the huge crowds on the street for the queen is that they do appreciate the sense of continuity of steadiness that the queen gives by having been in that role for a very long time.

QUEST: It's a sense of continuity shouldered by a family with a rich and storied heritage. Seventy-six-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 name Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and took on a more Anglican one instead, Windsor.

Throughout the decades, the Windsors embodied British resolve. In World War II, the beloved Queen Mother, mother of the future Queen Elizabeth, refused to leave Windsor castle even as bombs lit up the London sky. Sadly, the Queen Mum didn't leave to see the lights over London. She died eight weeks ago, age 101, a bittersweet touch to a luminous celebration.

O'NEILL: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) royalty is something we are not, you know, being able to look at something that we are not. It's flashy, it's wealthy, it's this kind of family inheritance. It harps back to another era. It's a big, wealthy, ancient tradition that has the problems of every day families.

QUEST: A family whose private lives play out in a very public way.

O'NEILL: The appeal of the Windsors is that they're basically a live soap opera to the rest of the world. We expect such dignity from them and sometimes it doesn't always work out that way.

QUEST: But with the fanfare and adulation, it is clear. There is love for the royal family, love for the tradition, the pomp and the ceremony.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are still fascinated by the queen partly because they don't know her really very much. And she doesn't live her life -- her private life in a public way.


QUEST: Coming up, a close look at Queen Elizabeth. She was not born to be monarch, but at an early age, controversy would change her life and the course of history.

Also ahead on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS, the future of the monarchy.


O'NEILL: Since Diana's death, I think William has really become certainly the media's focus, certainly the people's focus.


QUEST: The young man who would be king as PEOPLE IN THE NEWS continues.



QUEST: An ancient oath, a solemn promise, it's 1952 and Elizabeth takes to the throne. The culmination of events that have their roots 15 years before finally coming to path.

Princess Elizabeth was never meant to be queen, daughter of the then Duke and Duchess of York. To be sure, hers was destined to be royal without the responsibility of the top job. That changed when the young princess was just 10 and the crisis that had gripped the British royal family -- whether Edward VIII could marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson -- came to a head.

KING EDWARD VIII: A few hours ago, I discharged my last duty as king and emperor. And now that I have been succeeded by my brother, the Duke of York, my first words must be to declare my allegiance to him.

QUEST: With Edward now gone, her parents became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. And the young Elizabeth became a child apart. Her life would be dominated by duty -- and the knowledge that one day it would all be hers.

JOBSON: 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 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.

QUEST: Her nickname was Lillibet, after early unsuccessful attempts to say her own name. And Lillibet she remains today, even using it on the card accompanying the flowers on her mother's coffin.

In those early years at Buckingham Palace, it's said, she prayed that her parents would have a son -- someone who would take the future burden from her shoulders.

During World War II, when the children were sent to live at Windsor, Elizabeth was expected to play her part. Princess Elizabeth ended the war as part of the Civil Defense Services, driving an auxiliary vehicle, wearing a uniform. After the war, it was back to life in the gilded cage -- and marriage to Prince Philip of Greece. If not exactly arranged, it was a marriage deemed suitable for the future queen of England.

For Prince Philip, it set the seal for a lifetime spent walking behind his wife -- for 50 years always referred to as "my husband and I." At their golden wedding celebrations, the queen paid tribute to the man who's always been her rock.

QUEEN ELIZABETH: He has quite simply been my strength and stay all these years.

QUEST: Within a year of the marriage, Princess Elizabeth gave birth to a son and heir: Charles Philip Arthur George. A daughter, Anne, and two more sons, Andrew and Edward, were to follow. But for the sake of the throne, it was Charles, who was the most important. The lineage of the Windsors was established.

And so in 1952, a year after her father's death, the queen's coronation took place in Westminster Abbey where British monarchs have been crowned for more than a thousand years, since William the Conqueror in 1066. Elizabeth's enthronement was a long, solemn ceremony where she pledged her life to the service of her country.

QUEEN ELIZABETH: God help me to make good my vow. And God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.

JOBSON: 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.

QUEST: A devoted monarch, to be sure -- but with duties that some say limited her role as a mother.

JOBSON: I think Prince Charles made it quite clear that he felt that he was brought up in an unemotional, dysfunction state and Princess Anne was quite categoric in saying that she felt she had a very normal upbringing, and the queen was a good mother. So I think they're somewhere in between.

QUEST: As a somewhat awkward adolescent, Prince Charles excelled at solitary pursuits, learning to fly airplanes as a teenager. O'NEILL: I think that Charles was a shy man when he was growing up, and he did struggle in college, and he was very private and always seemed to be a little less comfortable in his own skin.

QUEST: Her parents, determined that he should have a more normal upbringing, insisted Charles went to university, where, although still shy, he acted in student plays.

PRINCE CHARLES: I think I got quite a large one here. It's very, very large indeed.

I, Charles, Prince of Wales, do become your ...

QUEST: Anointed Prince of Wales in 1969, the ceremony threatened to be disrupted by Welsh nationalists who also detonated bombs around the province. Controversy and the royals have never been far apart.

Like his Uncle Dickie Mountbatten, whom he loved dearly, Charles chose a career in the navy, eventually commanding his own ship, HMS Bronington.

In the decades since he left naval service, he's devoted his life to his favorite subjects, agriculture, architecture and his charitable trusts. Still, with the queen showing no signs of slowing down, he waits in the wings to take over.

He was seen as the world's most eligible bachelor. Wherever Charles went, there would be attractive women waiting to say hello. Many were rumored to be the next wife, only one, Camilla, ever got close. And yet, it would be another 20 years before Charles and his true love came together. In between, there would be much love and heartache.


QUEST: And when we return, a fairly tale wedding and a nightmare marriage.

O'NEILL: In Diana, he found a young beautiful woman who indeed was embraced by the English people. In that sense, she was the perfect choice. In the sense of a marriage, she was the wrong choice.




QUEST: She was a bright jewel in the royal crown.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She had such quality, such style, such beauty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She brought some sort of freshness into the royal family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not so sure there will ever be another Diana ever.

QUEST: Diana, Princess of Wales, for a long time, the most woman in the world.

MARK SAUNDERS, LONDON PHOTOGRAPHER: I don't think she ever really understood quite how famous she was.

LADY COLIN CAMPBELL, BIOGRAPHER, "THE REAL DIANA": I think in some ways she was like Jackie, someone who's absolutely perfect for the time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She'll never grow old, just as the movie icons, Jane Seymour and Marilyn Monroe, they never grew old.

QUEST: They announced Frances Spencer. The future princess was born on July 1, 1961. Her parents, the daughter of a baron, Frances Roche and Lord Althorp, who would become the 8th Earl Spencer.

There were older sisters, Sarah and Jane, and a younger brother, Charles. The family lived a life of aristocratic luxury. They spent their early years at Park House, a 10-room mansion on the queen's country estate at Sandringham in Norfolk.

The boy next door turned out to be her future husband. Charles was 12 years older than Diana, so she played with royal children more her own age, Charles' younger brothers, Andrew and Edward.

Diana's privileged upbringing did not though guarantee a happy childhood. In 1969, her parents dragged the Spencer children through a bitter divorce.

CAMPBELL: She was being pulled back and forth between both parents, who were using her and her brother, Charles, in a war of attrition. And she was effectively a hostage in this war.

QUEST: Her father, who by then had inherited the title Earl Spencer, won custody of the children. So when Diana was 13, she and her siblings moved to the Spencer family home at Althorp, a 14,000- acre country estate 75 miles north of London.

At age 16, Diana's path once again crossed with that of the Prince of Wales. He was then 28.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was your instant impression about her there?

PRINCE CHARLES: Well, I remember thinking what a very jolly and amusing and attractive 16-year-old she was. And I regret fun, actually -- and full of life, literally. And I didn't want your sort of behavior.

PRINCESS DIANA: Pretty amazing.


QUEST: By 1979, Diana was 18 and bored with life at Althorp. She moved to London and found work as a nanny, and then as a kindergarten teacher.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you go into teaching? What made you -- what prompted you?

PRINCESS DIANA: Well, I adore children. The suit appeals me.

QUEST: In the summer of 1980, a phone call changed the course of her life. It was Prince Charles asking her for a date. She watched the prince play polo and spent time with him on the royal yacht, Britannia. Soon, Diana was seeing the prince and that meant dealing with the press.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How well are you coping with all of the press attention?

PRINCESS DIANA: Well, as you can see, you can tell.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you're very up with it quite well though because it must appoint a strain with all of us after you.

PRINCESS DIANA: Well, it is naturally.

MARLENE EILERS, ROYAL GENEALOGIST: Can you imagine coming out of a door and finding 60 photographers, all flashes in your face and not having ever seen this before? No matter what she did, the press wanted to be there.

QUEST: Just six months after their polo outing, Charles proposed to Diana after a candlelit dinner for two at Buckingham Palace.

PRINCE CHARLES: I'm amazed that she's been brave enough to take me on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I suppose in love.


PRINCE CHARLES: A little bit in love.

QUEST: The palace announced the engagement and Diana was the first English woman in 300 years asked to become Princess of Wales.

LADY RAINE, DIANA'S STEPMOTHER: And they both look so happy, don't they, darling? Diana looks beautiful.

EARL SPENCER, DIANA'S FATHER: They look very lovely...

LADY RAINE: She looks beautiful.

EARL SPENCER: ... very lovely. She's never looked better.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think she's just the right person for him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why have you come here today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To try to get a glimpse of Diana and Charles.

QUEST: The world got more than a glimpse; crowds packed the London streets and millions watched worldwide on television as Charles and Diana exchanged vows at St. Paul's Cathedral on July 29, 1981.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I, Diana Frances...

PRINCESS DIANA: I, Diana Frances...

JAYNE FINCHER, ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHER: Everybody had gone completely Diana mad. It was amazing the sort of mania about her.

QUEST: Gone completely Diana mad and it didn't end with the wedding.

SAUNDERS: I don't think she understood the worldwide demand. I don't think she ever really understood quite how famous she was.

QUEST: Less than a year after the royal wedding, and heir to the throne. Diana gave birth to William Arthur Philip Louis on June 21, 1982.

Two years after, his brother, Henry Charles Albert David, called Prince Harry. He came into the world. These appeared to be happy times for the royal couple. But soon there were indications of strains in the marriage.

FINCHER: There were signs sort of from about '86 onwards and you would see them and they would look really miserable at times. She would look really, really miserable.

CAMPBELL: She felt that she was in a prison, behind bars. She just couldn't stand being caged any longer.

QUEST: Compounding the princess' frustration, tabloids buzzed with news of an affair between Prince Charles and his old flame, Camilla Parker Bowles. The princess struggled with an eating disorder and depression.

CAMPBELL: The tremendous pressures of world fame on someone who had a very fragile personality to begin with. And she started to collapse and crack up as a personality.

QUEST: But instead of completely collapsing, Diana tried to use her fame and the media to what she saw as her advantage. There were magazines, fashion shows, celebrities and personal appearances. Diana became an activist for dozens of causes. She raised money for cancer, the homeless, leprosy, and the English National Ballet. But she was foremost passionate about children and AIDS charities.

PRINCESS DIANA: HIV does not make people dangerous to know. So you can shake their hand and give them a hug. Heaven knows they need it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The image of her holding hands with somebody with HIV/AIDS, and that shattered a lot of the stigma and prejudice and fear that surrounded HIV/AIDS in the early days.

QUEST: The princess of Wales was a driving force in philanthropy. She had the adoration of the masses and two loving sons. And yet, she was still unhappy. As her marriage continued to crumble, dark clouds formed over the Windsors.

When we return, troubled times not just for Diana, but for the entire royal family.


QUEST: And later on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS, Prince William's little brother sends a shudder through the House of Windsor.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's getting in the spot of trouble, and he can get away with that.


QUEST: Prince Harry's experiment ahead on PEOPLE IN THE NEWS.


ZAHN: Welcome back to PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. The '90s were a dark time for Queen Elizabeth and the House of Windsor. Marital miscues, tabloid tell-alls, fire and death made for a decade of royal pain. Here again is Richard Quest.


QUEST (voice-over): It should have been a time for joy, 40 years of dedicated service to her country. The queen had much to celebrate. Instead, it turned into the worst year of her reign. And for the most part, there was no one else to blame but the royals themselves.

JOBSON: I think it was a very important year in the queen's life. I think it was the year that she realized and the people realized that the royal family was not really a family that one should look up to in moral terms.

QUEST: By 1992, all the queen's children except Edward were married. Most ceremonies, such as the wedding of Prince Andrew to Sarah Ferguson, had been major national occasions. The public still had an appetite for these larger-than-life events. In the end, though, it was the children and their spouses that proved to be too rich even for the British stomach.

Sarah Ferguson loved to live life to the full. Used to royalty but not aristocratic herself, initially she fit in well with the modern royal family. Yet soon the strains showed. O'NEILL: I think the public was fascinated with Fergie because here was this good-time party girl who found herself in the royal family. She didn't really exhibit the required stature or dignity whatsoever.

QUEST: With her husband away on Naval or royal duties, soon scandal beckoned. A series of photos published in early 1992 left the British public in no doubt that Sarah had been playing around. From the pictures of her with the Texan Steve Wyatt, to the famous "toe sucking" pictures that scandalized even a public used to naked women on page three of their national papers.

O'NEILL: I mean, sucking toes. It's not like it was pornographic. It was just so undignified, and the tabloids had such a good time with it that it really was the first time that the royal family was opened up to such ridicule.

QUEST: Andrew and Sarah agreed to separate, and it was only January. Another royal marriage, this time Princess Anne's, was also finished off in 1992.

Although the princess royal, as she was known, and her husband, Captain Mark Phillips, had lived apart for several years, the final decision to divorce was tainted by tittle-tattle. For her, it was love letters from a member of the palace household. For him, it was claims of fathering an illegitimate child.

O'NEILL: That whole year and then all of those scandals really opened the royal family up to criticism and made people wonder: Why are they there? They're not so different from us. They are not really this dignified symbol of our country. So why do we have them? It made them much more vulnerable as an institution.

QUEST: If this was all good for gossip, the breakdown of Charles and Diana's marriage was far more serious stuff. After all, this involved the future of monarchy. Any illusion that the palace had created of a couple in love went right out of the window with two foreign visits, a trip to South Korea, where they were nicknamed "the glums," and Diana at the Taj Mahal, the temple to love, sitting there alone.

O'NEILL: The mess about Charles and Diana overtook all other perceptions of the royal family. You didn't really care that year what the queen had to say in her Christmas address. All you cared about was what other illness Di had developed because she was so depressed with her marriage to Charles, and really it just became a soap opera about Charles and Di.

QUEST: The publication of a semi-official book, "Diana, the True Story," polished the illusion off. The year continued with scandal after scandal. There were more photos of Sarah, tapes of Diana's extramarital flirtations. Leaks and rumors filled the British papers.

ANSON: The private lives of the royal family dominated the news more than their public duties. And the function of the monarchy is to perform public duties. It's not to have their private lives played out in public, but inevitably that happened.

QUEST: Then an event that hit the queen really hard. Her favorite home going up in flames. Windsor Castle is the queen's weekend retreat, the oldest inhabited castle in the world. The queen and Andrew had joined the firemen and households to salvage treasures as the flames consumed the historic building.

(on camera): It wasn't enough that the castle had burned, but then followed a nasty row over who would pay for the renovations and repairs. The public rebelled against the government picking up the $100 million bill, so a compromise was reached. The queen agreed to open up Buckingham Palace to tourists during the summer. The proceeds from that and from the castle would be used to do the repairs. And oh, yes, during the year, the queen also agreed to pay income tax for the first time.

(voice-over): With her family and castle in ruins, it was an ill and sorry-sounding queen who gave a speech that defined her year.

QUEEN ELIZABETH: 1992 is not a year that I shall look back on with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, "it has turned out to be an annus horriblis (ph)."

QUEST: And then, just when you thought it couldn't get much worse, at the end of the year, the announcement that everyone knew was coming, it was just the question of when.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is announced from Buckingham Palace that with regret, the prince and princess of Wales have decided to separate.

QUEST: 1992 will go down in royal annals as a truly terrible year, where scandal and scrutiny pummeled the monarchy. This wasn't the country's number-one family. They turned royalty into an international joke.

ANSON: It's rather like being on a very small boat on a very heavy sea in a big storm. I mean, there comes a moment where you just have to fasten all the ropes down and wait for the storm to pass, and that's what 1992 felt like.

QUEST: When we come back, another royal jolt, one that would stun the entire world with shock and sorrow.


QUEST: 1992. As parts of Windsor Castle crumbled in flames, a royal marriage also headed for ruin. By year's end, Prince Charles and Diana were legally separated, and Diana said the media spotlight was partly to blame.

PRINCESS DIANA: Their attention would inevitably focus on both our private and public lives, but I was not aware of how overwhelming that attention would become, nor the extent to which it would affect both my public duties and my personal life.

I'm going to ask you to respect my children's space.

QUEST: After the separation, Diana appeared more at ease with the press and herself, acting more confident.

CAMPBELL: The freedom that she had once she was out of her cage gave her a feeling of strength, it empowered her.

QUEST: And although Diana said she'd rather not divorce Prince Charles, she received a letter from the queen, which suggested that for the sake of the children, Diana and Charles should be divorced sooner rather than later.

The divorce was final in August 1996, and Diana won a settlement estimated at $27 million, but she lost the right to the title "her royal highness."

After the divorce, Diana focused on causes closest to her heart, making appearances in support of a ban on anti-personnel land mines.

EARL SPENCER, DIANA'S BROTHER: I don't think that people would have signed up to being rid of land mines if she hadn't focused on it.

QUEST: Romantically, Diana was linked to Dodi Fayed, the 42- year-old son of wealthy businessman Mohamed al-Fayed.

CAMPBELL: But he was very soft, he was very sweet, and he gave Diana all the attention she lusted after.

QUEST: They were dubbed "the princess and the playboy," and they were pictured in Britain's tabloid newspapers. In August 1997, eight weeks after her 36th birthday, Diana joined Dodi for a vacation in Paris.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Diana, princess of Wales, has died after a car crash in Paris.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The death of the princess of Wales fills us all with deep shock and with deep grief.

QUEST: In the early morning hours of August the 31st, the couple, Diana and Dodi, died in a car crash, as they tried to elude paparazzi photographers on motorcycles.

EARL SPENCER: I called my middle sister, Jane, whose husband works for the queen. And while I was talking to her, I could hear him on the other line, and I heard him just go, "oh no," and then Jane said, "I'm afraid that's it, I'm afraid she's dead." I was sitting there in the kitchen at home, and my three little daughters came running through, and I said, "I got some awful news for you, I'm afraid. I'm afraid aunt Diana is dead." And then one of my little twins looked up at me and smiled and she just said, "not in real life, daddy."

QUEST: In the days after her death, the royal family remained stoically isolated at Balmoral, the queen's Scottish castle. But the public outcry eventually pushed the monarchy to acknowledge the pain. QUEEN ELIZABETH: First I want to pay tribute to Diana myself. She was an exceptional and gifted human being.

QUEST: On the day of Diana's funeral, millions of people lined the streets of London to mourn. A gun carriage carried Diana's body from her home at Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey. Prince Charles and their sons, William and Harry, along with Diana's brother, now Earl Spencer, walked behind.

Attached to the wreath on her coffin, a letter from son to mother.

Diana's grace, her style and kindness epitomized all that the people of Britain wanted from royalty. In their grief, many subjects hoped that the Windsors might learn a lesson from Diana's life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They should take a few steps -- or a few leaves from Diana's book. She said it all, she had done it all. She belonged to us.

QUEST: Though the woman who became known as "the people's princess" was gone, her legacy lived on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To get to the substance of her work, you know, it's almost she had to die before people realized what she had done.

QUEST: To honor Diana's humanitarian efforts, the Princess of Wales Memorial Fund was set up five days after she died.

ANDREW PARKIS, DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES MEMORIAL FUND: We will try to prioritize some of the most disadvantaged people of all, who have to struggle with stigma and prejudice as well as physical suffering, because she did.

QUEST: The foundation, which has raised more than $67 million, distributes funds to dozens of causes that Diana took up -- AIDS prevention, the hospice movement and land mine clearance.

PARKIS: We tried and do that in some of the most difficult areas, for example on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and we feel that that is in the tradition shown to us by Diana, princess of Wales.

QUEST: But it's Diana's living legacy that gets most of the attention. When we return, dealing with their mother's death and coming of age in a very public forum. Prince Harry and the man who will be king, Prince William.


QUEEN ELIZABETH: I would like above all to declare my resolve to continue, with the support of my family, to serve the people of this great nation of ours to the best of my ability through the changing times ahead. QUEST: And with those words ringing in the British ears, no one was left in any doubt 50 years on, and this Elizabethan era is not over yet. The queen intends to stay on the throne. It's her job for life.

ANSON: I know the queen, I've worked for her for seven years, enjoys her work. But even if she didn't enjoy it, she regards it as her duty to do what she vowed she would do.

JOBSON: What will happen, I think, as she gets older is she will hand more and more responsibility toward Prince Charles and her other children, but she will continue to reign as monarch until she dies.

QUEST (on camera): Buckingham Palace. The London headquarters for the British monarchy for more than a century. It was Queen Victoria that first lived here, and ever since then, it's been the home for the monarch.

As Queen Elizabeth II now looks forward to her final years on the throne, however many they may be, so the British public looks forward to the next monarch, Prince Charles, and they consider what will come after him, the hope and the handsome in Prince William.

(voice-over): Take away the name and fiddle the facts, and the very description of Prince William's life could be a sign of modern times. Feuding parents, a broken home, and then being brought up by one parent alone. Prince William probably has more in common with his subjects than most would first see, but there of course the similarity ends. He is being trained to lead.

O'NEILL: Since Diana's death, I think William has really become certainly the media's focus, certainly the people's focus, but in the royal family he must be considered with some import, because he is an heir to the throne.

QUEST: Access to the prince has been carefully controlled. Since the death of his mother, photo ops are few and far between. The children are no longer an accessory to the war between the parents. Now only limited access is allowed, and then only for major activities, such as this service program in Chile in the year Prince William took off between school and university.

PRINCE WILLIAM: I hope I didn't come across as someone who's, you know, I was trying to be treated different by the staff, or any -- they treated me the same, the locals treated me the same, and I just love being, having no restrictions, you know, because there's no one chasing me around here. It's pretty (ph).

QUEST: More recently, when he started university in Scotland, precious time with William was doled out to the media. The questions are banal; the answers good-humored.

QUESTION: Prince William, how are you looking forward to your first (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

QUEST: And after that, the cameras are turned off. It was Charles' younger brother Prince Edward who felt royal wrath when his production company Ardent didn't obey the rules and continued to film William in the days after.

O'NEILL: Prince Edward's role has changed quite significantly. For years, he was battling to be the working royal. He wanted to be an actor, then he wanted to be a TV producer, and he did so with some success. And then he made the fatal mistake of allowing one of his crews to follow Prince William at college, and that was pretty much the death knell for his career.

QUEST: Prince Charles is not only their father, he's become their protector. Often seen as the dotty daddy, being run ragged by his sons, who give him more than his fair share of grief.

ANSON: I think the two princes probably are quite different in temperament, but they're close to each other. They're very close to their father.

QUEST: If Prince William has a role, it's Prince Harry where there's more work to be done. Sibling to the monarch, with no formal role, all he has to look forward to is a grand title and secondary royal duties. As Prince Edward has recently discovered, you can't get involved in every day business, but you have no hope of ever getting the top job. It's a life at the side.

O'NEILL: Harry is like the spear. He's more rambunctious, he looks like he's got a little bit more mischief in him. He's having a good time, he's getting in a spot of trouble, and you know, he can get away with that.

QUEST: Prince Harry's recent marijuana use sent a shudder through royal ranks. There are many examples of royal siblings that have gone off the rails. Prince Charles took charge, dispatching his younger son to a drug abuse center to learn about how those less fortunate handle the scourge.

ANSON: I think it's just one of those things. One child always takes a slightly different route from the other, and if they get into trouble from time to time, I think people are quite sympathetic. There is a feeling that there but for the grace of God go I, that this sort of problems could easily happen to your own children.

QUEST: For the children, nothing could have been more daunting than that dreadful day in 1997, the death of their mother. The nation howled when they saw the boys being taken to church within hours of the death, and Great Britain wept when days later the princes stoically walked behind their mother's coffin.

Billions of eyes watched as composed, they made their way to the abbey. It was a walk they were to make again a few weeks ago, this time following the coffin of their great-grandmother, Elizabeth, the queen mother.

Getting the balance right between the strictness and discipline needed to be a royal and allowing the teenagers to have a life enjoyed by everyone else has been the goal. Still, the public is fascinated with the royal sons. Of particular interest: The two princes' reaction to Prince Charles' continued relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles.

O'NEILL: While they're not exactly embracing Camilla as their second mother, it's quite clear that they recognize that she is someone who makes their father happy. She did meet the boys several years ago, and has since spent time with them. So baby steps. You know, there have been baby steps toward her acceptance into the royal family.

QUEST: It's easy to see the Windsors as nothing more than a soap opera played out for the world. But that ignores the very fact that this isn't just about royalty, but about monarchy, the constitutional head of a nation and government. The queen has played her part for more than 50 years with perfection, putting duty before family, country before person, and it will be an extraordinary person who can do better.

Through the centuries, Britain's royal family has survived by adapting, gauging the national mood and changing the way members of the family behave. As the United Kingdom celebrates 50 years of Queen Elizabeth's rule, the Windsors again have to decide what do the British people want, and how will the monarchy deliver? The answers to those questions will challenge time-honored traditions and shake the future of the world's most famous royal family.


ZAHN: The queen's Golden Jubilee was highlighted by a four-day- long national party. It was a celebration of rule that rocked, with tributes from Elton John, Eric Clapton, Ozzy Osbourne and Paul McCartney.

Coming up next week, sweeping arrests put the mob and the Gotti name back into the headlines. A look at the teflon don. And that's it for this edition of PEOPLE IN THE NEWS. I'm Paula Zahn. Thanks so much for joining us, and be sure to join me every weekday morning for "AMERICAN MORNING" right here on CNN. Thanks again for being with us.




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