In Person: The Prince & Princess of Wales
In October 1985, the Prince and Princess of Wales were interviewed by Sir Alastair Burnet of ITN News Channel at the drawing room of Kensington Palace, where he recorded the lives of the royal couple since their engagement. ITN presented viewers with a rare and intimate insights of the life of a very special couple. Their likes and dislikes, their children, their work and duties, and their relationships with other members of the Royal Family.
Sir Alastair Burnet interviews the Prince and Princess of Wales
Your Royal Highness, everybody thought Prince William did terribly well when he set off to school and you set him wave a royal goodbye when he went away. Were you a little sad at the moment?
Well I was because its opening another chapter in my life and certainly William's. But he is ready for it, he is a very independent child, he is surrounded by a tremendous amount of grown ups whose conversations are very forth right... Ah, and as you saw, he is more than happy to go down those steps and join the other children. We see a lot of children, but there is always this myth that William being who he is he hardly sees a child... But I have two sisters... Am I have the five children between them and I have lots of friends who have children as well, so we get around.
And he does really enjoy it? I mean what did he say to you that first day when he came home?
Well, he is so excited about it all... And we have a tremendous spurt of conversations of you could understand that... You could understand anything... He was trying to get it all out. But he... He adores other children and am... Very much an organizer, which will probably might be helpful in future years... But he really loved it.
Does he organize himself?
Oh yes... He was so organized that day that he chose his shorts and shirts... And his best bogyman if you want him to smile at the cameras! He's very happy to do that.
And do you find already that Prince William has a well of his own?
Well, he certainly does... I mean he is a typical 3 year old cause I worked with 3 year olds... And very enthusiastic about things, push himself right into it, he is not at all shy, and very polite... extraordinary enough... Where else perhaps Harry is quite and watch his whether he copies William... Wait and see. But he is certainly a different character all together.
Princess Diana during the interview
Ma'am, when you go out on your engagements, launching things and lunching people and so on, it is a great responsibility, but what do you feel your role is? What is your contribution?
I feel my role is supporting my husband, and whenever I can always been behind him, encouraging... And also most important thing, being a mother and a wife. And this what I try to achieve, whether I do is another thing... But I do try.
But you are developing your own interests and your own specialization?
Yes, but that is taking time because I don't want to dive into something without being able to follow it up... Nothing would upset me more than just being a name on a top of a piece of paper and not showing any interest at all. Hopefully the organizations I'm involved with see me two or three times a year if the times... You know... I can do it... I can fit it in... Am I just long to help in all sorts of areas.
Now, when you go out and see your charities and see the good causes, you were struck first by the hospices, weren't you? How particularly, when you first went into one, what did you sense about it?
Yes. I'd always been learnt to believe that it was possibly unhappy place because patients went in there and not always did they come out. So, it was fascination at one side and concern on the other. And certainly, after I've been around with the first board I remember it so vividly, I was struck by the calmness coming out from the patients in their bed, and most of them will... Have gone by now obviously... And it was confronting their illness, they were so brave about it and made me feel so humble.
The institution is developing in this country, and you feel it deserves more support?
I think the word 'institution' makes it sound like a hospital with a long corridor... It's not at all, the atmosphere itself is very welcoming one, homely and giving the person who is perhaps has four hours to live or three weeks to live the best possible feeling of security and understanding in a situation that they can possibly give.
And also Dr. Barnardo's with mentally handicapped children?
You see, I've got two very healthy, strong boys and it's not always the case with the families I've been meeting through Dr. Barnardo's, and I realize how incredibly lucky I am, and I don't know how could I cope if I had a child that was handicapped or mentally handicapped some way. So, for me, am going out there to meet these children and I'm learning all the time, I'm trying to understand, trying desperately to understand how they cope.
You have also taking up the deaf, and you are learning the deaf and dumb sign language?
Well, am trying... Pretty hopeless at that, but I think it's important to show them that you're interested and you're not brazing in and out having seeing them for a morning. I've got all my senses, and they haven't, they're missing one or two... And I'm learning how they adapt, or if they've been deaf and dumb since birth, how they cope and how they deal with the outside world who don't always want to know about them perhaps.
What do you say about when you read in the papers that you are determined, domineering woman?
I don't always read that... Am... People very willing to tell me that, but I don't think I am. I am perfectionist with myself, but not necessarily with everybody else. And those stories arouse long time ago, and keep coming out again and again, but I don't think I am.
You feel hurt by them?
Well obviously one does. You feel very wounded and if it comes out, you think oh gosh I don't want to go out and do my engagements this morning, and nobody wants to see me help panic, but you've got to push yourself out and remember that some people hopefully won't believe everything they read about you, because there is far too much about me in the newspapers, far too much... It horrifies me...When there is something more important like what goes on in a hospice, or there has been a bomb or something... They will put me on the front page.
Video File: watch the complete interview on YouTube.