Transcript for Covering the Royals: Barbara Walters Looks Back
these years of reporting on the british royal family, it's been an honor and a privilege for me to have a front row seat for so much of the imperial pomp and circumstance. Beginning with princess anne's wedding to mark phillips -- at london's westminster abbey. With this ring, I thee wed. To the fairy tale wedding of the century, I covered the most glamorous and elaborate weddings ever. My longtime colleague, the late peter jennings and i, had to yell above the din of wedding bells over london's st. Paul's cathedral. You can now hear the sound of the bells, which have been going for almost two hours. I was going to say, she became the princess of wales, and we became deaf. The crowd, the cheers. What must it be like for this barely 20-year-old girl. 750 million people around the world watched as prince charles, heir to the british throne, took the beautiful 20-year-old lady diana spencer as his bride. Who could forget the moment when the princess stepped out of that glass carriage? A vision in white silk taffeta and a 25-foot train. Magnificent. I have never seen a train like this. I've never seen a royal wedding like this. And she does look like a fairy princess. She wanted it to be so special, and it is. I pronounce that they be man and wife together. Princess diana and I became friends, though I never had the chance to interview her. But I did sit down with her then 36-year-old husband, prince charles. The prince who has been waiting all his life to be king, grappled with his role as heir to the throne. I recall an interview you did in which you said that you felt sometimes a need to justify your own existence. Oh yes. Yes, yes. Otherwise, I might just sit back and believe what people tell me, you know, how marvelous you ar and this, that and the other. You have to say to yourself, you know what, I'm not that marvelous. Well, yes, I think that otherwise you'll get big-headed. And you need to administer a little bit of self-kicking occasionally, just to remind yourself. My next encounter with royal matrimony, this time at westminster abbey, was the wedding of prince charles' younger brother, prince andrew, and the love of his life, sarah ferguson. To love, cherish and obey. I told the new duchess that americans were very fond of her and enjoyed her spontaneity. All these men around here -- we love you! A man called out, "i love you." I'll see you later. You seem to us to be a breath of fresh air. Well, I just try and be myself and natural and normal. B wondered how this breath of fresh air handled the challenges of being a member of the most famous royal family in the world. What is the toughest for you? Without the support of my wonderful husband, there's no way -- because you could really imagine, because he's so fantastic, and really just guides you through it and teaches you and shows you. It's such a nice marriage. I think we're all very romantic. Sadly, sarah's marriage would not last. The. It's official. Fergie's marriage is ending. In 2002, I sat down with her again. What are the mistakes you think you've made in your marriage? I think I made innumerable mistakes very early on by simply not understanding quite what i had taken on. The palace, the responsibilities, all the things you had to do. Yes, yes. It's the worst feeling in the world to have your whole soul and your whole life on the front pages. You put on so much weight, you had not a friend in the world, really. And you've managed to, apparently, let down the monarchy. Like sarah and andrew, the prince and princess of wales also divorced. A year later, diana died in paris. I was sent again to london -- this time, sadly, to cover the funeral of this beloved figure. The card says "mummy." This is a unique ceremony. It is unprecedented in history. The prime minister said thatt should be a national event that would envelope as much as possible her personality and the people of this country. Princess diana's death were mourned around the world. Was a testament to the love that the so-called people's princess had on our collective psyche. 15 years later, prince william was again at the abbey. This time, for a much happier occasion. His wedding to catherine middleton. I want you to wake up the kids, because this is the kind of thing they're not going to see again for, like, 20 or 30 years. Bands and music and a ceremony. It's a love story. They say it's a fairy tale, and it is. Nobody does it like the british. This is really exciting. And now, the baby. With the change in the laws of succession, william, kate and their much-anticipated delivery, will be the story of the monarchy in the future. And I can't wait to see it all unfold. ♪ Let me play among the stars ♪
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