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tv   Nightline  ABC  November 16, 2010 11:35pm-12:05am EST

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tonight on "nightline," a very british wedding. for the first time, kate middleton speaking out with her husband to be and future king william by her side. and we've got all the details. the queen. it's the fairy tale end to a very modern courtship. tonight, we have the inside story of what really happened, and how an ordinary couple is trying to live an extraordinary life. plus, meet the parents. what not to do when meeting the queen. don't pet the dogs, don't wear a
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clip-on bow tie and definitely don't use the word toilet. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with cynthia mcfadden, terry moran and bill weir in new york city, this is a special edition of "nightline," a very british wedding. november 16th, 2010. >> good evening, i'm terry moran. and we're going to begin with the big announcement. prince william, second in line to the british throne has proposed marriage to kate middleton, his girlfriend of nearly nine years. dharting the course of the british crown for a new generation. prince charles is thrilled, buckinghall palace says the queen is delighted, and the parents of the bride to be say they are extremely fond of their future son-in-law. and for the first time today, we heard miss middleton tell her side. it's a love story. let's remember that. because this story takes place not just between two young
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lovers in the magical private space all young lovers create -- >> katherine, can you tell us how prince william proposed to you and can you spare us no details? >> reporter: this is love in the flash and glare and gossip of the world's media. love on the battlefield of modern fame. royal love. but love all the same. >> i took her up somewhere nice in kenya and i proposed. >> very romantic. there's a true romantic in there. >> there is. >> reporter: he is prince william arthur phillip lewis of wales. she is katherine elizabeth middleton, known to all as kate. and today they told the world they are getting married. first on twitter. and then, they sat down to answer questions. >> and you knew you were going to day this of day one the whole day? >> i'd been planning it for awhile. as every guy out there will know, it takes a certain amount of motivation to get yourself going. so i was planning it and it just felt really right in africa.
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beautiful time. >> it was a total shock when it came. and very excited. >> reporter: theirs has been a long, public courtship. and today, there was natural joy and maybe a bit of natural relief, too. from their loved ones. prince charles. >> obviously thrilled. thank you very much. practicing for long enough. >> reporter: and kate's mom and dad, former flight attendance and self-made millionaire in the party planning business whose little girl is all grown up and marrying a prince. >> we've got to know william really well. we all think he's wonderful and we're extremely fond of him. they make a lovely couple, they're great fun to be with and we've had a lot of laughs together. we wish them every happiness for the future. >> reporter: and from william's grandmother, queen elizabeth, a statement from buckingham palace. she is absolutely delighted. for her part, the bride to be was very careful recalling her first meeting with the queen.
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her fee yan say's grandma. >> i first met her at peter's wedding. she was very friendly. and it was fine. >> reporter: for nearly nine years now, since they met in college, prince william and kate middleton have dated, split up, dated somewhere, produced mountains of tabloid coverage, and, they say today, really gotten to know each other and themselves in the process. >> when i first met kate, i knew there was something very special and i knew there was possibly something that i wanted to explore there. but we ended up being friends for awhile and that just sort of was a good sort of foundation because i do general little believe now, especially, that being friends with, you know, one another, is a massive advantage. and it just went from there. >> reporter: and what about all the ups and downs? >> actually, it made me a stronger person. you find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn't realized or, i think you can get quite consumed by a relationship when you're younger and i really
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valued that time for me, as well, though i didn't think it at the time. >> reporter: and now, she's got the ring. and what a ring it is. sapphire and diamonds. william brought it along to kenya, where he popped the question. >> i carried it around with me for about three weeks before that, and i literally would not let it go. i kept ahold of it, i knew i'd be in a lot of trouble. >> reporter: it belocked to his mother, princess diana. >> it's my mother's engagement ring. i thought it was nice. obviously, she's not going to be around to share in the fun and excitement of it all. >> reporter: diana. almost 30 years ago now, in the summer of 1981, she was the girl in the fairy tale, marrying her prince. there was so much pomp and splendor, so much hope. >> all couples on their wedding day are royal couples. >> reporter: that's how the archbishop of canterbury tried
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to sum up the magic of the moment, that the royal wedding was the story of a couple, too, that every couple's story can be a fairy tale. that's not how it turned out, of course. in the fierce glare of all that fame, on the battlefield of royal love, that marriage failed. and was there in prince william's eyes today as he stood there facing all the cameras, a wariness of the power of the media beast that's taken such a toll on his young life. but today, this is a love story. >> it has to be said, you both look incredibly happy and relaxed. >> we are. we are. we're like sort of ducks, very calm on the surface but little feet going underwater. >> reporter: they know how the world will scrutinize them, and they both spoke of diana today, her enduring fame, which prince william almost seemed to want to protect his fiance from. >> i would love to have met her, and -- and she's obviously, she's an inspirational woman to
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look up to, obviously, on this day, and going forward to and things, you know, it's a wonderful family, members who i have met have achieved a lot, and, you know, very inspirational, so -- yeah, i do. >> there's no pressure, because, like kate said, you know, it's about carving your own future. no one is going to try to, you know, no one is trying to fill my mother's shoes and what she did is fantastic. it's about making your own future and kate will do a very good job of that. >> reporter: her job, her life, is now to be a royal, to carry on her country's ancient institutions in the madness of modern media's relentless focus. and her husband will guide her. >> her and her family, i really want to make sure they have the best sort of guy dance and chance to see what life has been like, or what life is like in the family and that's almost why i have been waiting this long, i wanted to give her a chance to see and back out if she needed
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to. because i'm trying to learn from lessons done in the past, and i wanted to give her the best chance to settle in and see what, you know, what happens on the other side. >> and i'm also glad that i've had the time to sort of, to grow and understand myself more as well, so, hopefully -- >> does that mean i've done well? >> good job, yes. >> good. >> reporter: these are hard times in britain, as elsewhere around the world. but a royal wedding just has the affect of gladdening hearts, as david cameron said today. >> well, good morning. this is incredibly exciting news and i'm sure that the whole country will want to pass their very best wishes to the happy couple and wish them a long and happy life together. i was given the news in a cabinet meeting, i was passed a piece of paper and announced the news and there was a great cheer went up and a great banging of the table. >> reporter: no official date has been set for the royal wedding, buckingham palace says
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sometime next summer in the meantime, they have each other. their love and their friendship, all those inside jokes and things every couple has. >> there's a story that goes around that you had a picture of him on your wall -- >> it wasn't just one. there was like, ten. >> he wishes, no. i had the levis guy on my wall. not a picture of william. sorry. sorry. >> it was me in levis, honestly. >> reporter: they seem to have the gift of laughter with each other. >> did he get down on one knee? >> that's going to say a secret, peter. >> reporter: and they'll need it. this royal couple, these young lovers. >> and it looks like a bright future, indeed. all the best to them, god bless. and when we come back, well, for the better part of nine years, the prince and his fiance have maintained private lives despite living in the public eye. now their love story is coming into focus, and we'll have a look.
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today, the love story of prince william and long-time girlfriend kate middleton took the happiest of turns, but their engagement was hardly a foregone conclusion. it wake with a thousands or so years of baggage, royal traditions that no longer govern, but remain just the same and will affect their lives. and sometimes even true love is prone to near death experiences. nick watt has our report. >> reporter: as a young girl, so the story goes, kate believed that only a prince would be good enough. somehow, she's got her wish. she's been with her prince nearly nine years. and now, she's making her his princess. some say he made her wait too long, some dubbed her waity katie. but finally, it's happening. and for british royalty, this match is historic, huge game changer. >> it's a great moment. a real breakthrough.
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>> when prince william does marry kate middleton it will be an absolute break with royal protocol, tradition, history. >> reporter: because kate is what the brits once called a commoner. no land or titles. she's like you and me. her mother was a flight attendant. her father, a self-made millionaire. a generation ago, someone like her would never have the chance to marry a prince. >> she would have been called a commoner and he would have to go looking for a nice princess of denmark. >> reporter: so, how did this happen? well, in 2001, william arrived at st. andrews, a cold coastal college town in scotland. hundreds of young women, kate among them, came, too. depends on who you listen to, but the first time they met was either over breakfast or when she was modeling in a fashion show. >> she was modeling on a cat walk. >> he was sitting with his friend at the time and he turned and he said, wow, kate's a
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knockout. she's gorgeous. and i think that was really the turning point for them. >> reporter: she's not bad looking. >> no, she's not at all. she's very, very gorgeous. and i think more so in the flesh. she has this wonderfully radiant skin, very beautiful, very fresh-faced. she has a great figure. i very much see her becoming a star light just as diana dade. >> she's very beautiful. she's got a lovely smile and a lovely manner about her. and i think that friendship obviously turned into something else. >> reporter: within a couple of years, they moved in together. for years, they've lived in sin, as they call it, another gigantic break from royal tradition. >> they've been living together, they have a cottage somewhere where they play house, but they'll be able to play palace somewhere, i assume. buckingham, in fact. >> reporter: in 2007, they broke up, but only briefly.
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she was hounded. but she said nothing. loyalty fit for a queen. >> i think people like what they see of her, but they don't know her. >> reporter: because, until today, we've never even heard kate speak. >> she's got the right priorities. she's prepared to put herself second to the job in a way, for example, that diana was never willing to do. >> reporter: there will, of course, be the comparisons to diana. they are both young, beautiful, princesses. but kate will never try to be diana. >> people feel that there can never be anyone like that again. she was the most extraordinary icon of the last part of the 20th century. kate middleton is not going to be that. >> reporter: william and kate are a new breed of royal. he's learned from his parents mistakes from the royal rules, from their essentially arranged marriages that often went wrong. charles always loved camilla.
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but was forced to marry diana. the young, aristocratic virgin. william is marrying for love. marrying who he wants to marry. maybe it's taken a nine-year courtship to make sure this is right. >> william is essentially a private young man. he wants to do things on his terms. this entire relationship has been conducted privately. >> reporter: what do we know of him? well, he's elder brother to the wayward party prince harry. and they are, of course, diana's sons. walking behind her coffin as boys. we know william is a qualified search and rescue helicopter pilot. we know he's second in line to the throne. we know he will be king. and now we know kate will be queen. queen katherine, i imagine it. speculation has swirled around
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this couple for years. will they, won't they? i mean, back as far as 2006, they were making commemorative crockery for a royal wedding. then, this past month or so, criteria tick signals. william and kate arrived together at a wedding. apparently a big deal. then, kate's mom was photographed learning how to shoot deer on a royal estate, learning a royal past time, so she could hang with the inlaws. with this engagement, kate is now in a sense public property. a royal in waiting. >> she now has an opportunity to excel and to show us what she's really made of. and that, that is going to be the fascinating part of this story. >> we're both very, very happy and i'm very glad that i have done it. >> reporter: i'm nick watt for "nightline." >> well, and let's hope it only gets better for them. thanks to nick watt for that report. up next, does kate middleton know what she's getting into? cop use coverage of the royal family has given the rest of the world a pretty good idea of
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>> announcer: "nightline," a very british wedding, continues with terry moran. >> well, there are the inevitable bonus that comes with most every marriage. inlaws. jokes about inlaws and their behavior are as old as marriage itself. but few newlyweds manage to link up quite so remarkable and quirky as kate middleton and her new family to be. miguel marquez has our report.
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>> reporter: when kate middleton ties the royal knot, she'll be known round the world aspirin sesz katherine. she'll enter a world few of us could imagine. the royal family. >> if she only knew what she was letting herself into. my golly, i think she might have second thoughts about it. because of course the british royal family has been described as the most dysfunctional family in the whole of great britain. >> reporter: in his new book, it comes out tomorrow, brian has collected some of the more bizarre habits of the royals. >> my book takes a rather affectionate, if amused look, i suppose, as the royal family and tells some of the little oddities about them. >> reporter: kate probably already knows some of them. queen elizabeth, her grand mother-in-law to be, as more than one pet peeve, starting with the royal pelts. those dogs are loved by the queen and no one else. don't think about petting them.
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if you ever pour the queen a drink, she looks two parts begin, one part duvaney. she doesn't like a clinking sound of ice. >> prince phillip invented a machine that created tiny ice balls and they rub gently together. that sort of thing, it's the little things of a family who are in many ways very ordinary. >> reporter: the queen despises brown suits and loafers, but what really gets her going? clip-on bow ties. if you are invited to a formal function, you better know how to tie one yourself. middleton has already learned how delicate the royal landscape can be. she once used the word toilet in front of the queen, inviting a royal backlash. "we don't go to the toilet. we go to the lavatory." when it comes to, ahem, the throne. kate's father-in-law to be, prince charles, always a heartbeat away from the throne,
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has some quirks of his own. everywhere he goes, he takes along a white leathered toilet seat. >> princess ann, prince charles' sister, once gave him a white leather toilet seat. she thought it was hilarious. he thought it was so marvelous and comfortable it accompanies him everywhere he goes, all around the world. >> reporter: so, what does the queen like? i hope princess katherine likes bat catching. at the family home in scland, bats fly around the rafters and apparently that's when the queen enjoys her favorite sport. >> she brings them down with a large butterfly net on a long pole and in britain, bats are protected species, so, she has to release them and they're nocturnal animals so they come back every night and she does it again the next day. >> reporter: but it's not all bats, pomp and circumstance all the time with all the royals. harry seems like a good guy. he likes a good joke and likes a good party, even more.
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then, there's zara phillips, princess ann's daughter, who has her tongue pierced. a royal no-no, but hey, kids will be kids. one of prince andrew's daughters was caught on a beach, topless. the world was amused. the royal family, fair to say, was not. but whatever their quirks, britain still loves its royal family, right? will and kate finally announced the engagement. >> oh, did that? congratulations. >> that w >> reporter: that was the most exciting reaction i've ever seen. >> okay, the family is a little controversy here. but at least the royals aren't boring. will and kate will have a lot to live up and down to. >> that might be the worst thing that can happen for the mon for a can i. perhaps we want them to be hugely dramatic. i find it rather more enjoyable when they behave appallingly. >> reporter: if history is any guide, we won't have to worry
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too much. for "nightline," i'm miguel marquez in london. >> so, will they keep up the ways of their predecessors? we'll have to wait and see. thanks to miguel marquez for that. when we come back, we're going to turn to the first living medal of honor recipient in decades. first, here's jimmy kimmel. >> jimmy: it's national unfriend day eve with leah remini, the shocking eliminee from dancing with the stars, music from trey songz, and the royal wedding of the century. there's going to be tears tonight. "jimmy kimmel live" is nex
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