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Video: Charles to son: Don’t listen to the media

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    >>> made one of the most anticipated announcements in years earlier this week, his son's engagement to kate middleton . now once again captivated by the royal family , prince charles -- nbc's brian williams is with us now. hey, brian. good morning.

    >> it's an interesting conversation, we traveled as far north in scotland as you can go, a place calleded the castle of may, the one-time home of charles grandmother, the queen mum . you mentioned he doesn't give many interviews, especially to visiting americans. more than that, we got a glimpse into his life. we found a guy who's passionate, frustrated and vindicated all at the same time. he's frustrated over what we're doing to the earth, but he's vindicated that his issues over the last 20 years are finally getting talked about. he talks a lot about the environment, but also about his two sons, the media and his next job.

    >> what do you see as the job description of prince of wales?

    >> it isn't a job description , you have to make it up as you go along. which isn't always revealed.

    >> reporter: he is the man who will be king and this week the future monarch saw his family once again in the spotlight when on tuesday came the announcement of the engagement of his son william to kate middleton .

    >> obviously it's a thrill, they've been practicing long enough.

    >> in a rare conversation with prince charles in scotland, we talked about what awaits his eldest son.

    >> reporter: do you have words of advice for your son william upon embarking on this in an even worst media environment?

    >> that's the problem, isn't it? because there's constant lecturing and advice. so it isn't that easy.

    >> reporter: he's under a microscope already and he's just a helicopter pilot.

    >> don't take the advice of the media.

    >> reporter: but how could he possibly --

    >> which is very intrusive, indeed and very difficult. and i feel for him deeply. because in my day, it was definitely not.

    >> reporter: do families like yours talk about how to be a monarch?

    >> no, there's really -- you pick it up as you go along, i think. probably at a very young age and it gradually dawns on you what it is all about or what the implications are. you watch and your learn.

    >> reporter: while all eyes are on william and kate, prince charles , also looks toward his own future milestone. at age 62, when most people are starting to think about retirement, he's still waiting to become king. the people around you said please, avoid the k word, so i've done quite good today?

    >> it's much better now when i think about it. but he's much better -- it's something that if he comes to it, regrettably it can deliver his own currency which is not so nice to say the least. so it's better not to think too much about it, except if it comes, then you have to deal with it.

    >> reporter: and then there's the question of camilla, the dutch chess of cornwall who married charles in 2005 . does the duchess of cornwall become queen of england?

    >> that could be.

    >> reporter: a life defined by royal tradition, but with the unconventional task of raising two sons as a single parent . sounds like the raf. one of your sons?

    >> not yet.

    >> reporter: both william and harry are military helicopter pilots, william flies search and rescue missions with the royal air force , harry is training on army gun ships. for many years you raised two children as a single parent and you have both children in the military. which must wear on you.

    >> it certainly did obviously when harry went to afghanistan. but he was terribly keen to do so and it was very difficult for william , my eldest not to go. but i did say to him, when i was in the navy for five years, i had the same problem, they wouldn't second me anywhere. but harry, i worried the whole damned time and i can understand profoundly what it is that other families are going through, just how agonizing it is day in, day out, worrying about what is happening to your loved one.

    >> reporter: so it's called the man who will be king. and meredith, at 62 years old, what a fascinating glimpse we got into his life, this single father of two sons and what you can't imagine, what you can't envision is him just stopping all of his causes to be the monarch. so it may be a new kind of monarch.

    >> and probably a hard thing for him. brian williams , thank you so much. and you can catch brian entire's interview with prince charles , the man who will be king. stay tuned for harmony, fae featuring the prince of wales and the climb mass crisis. well,

updated 11/19/2010 5:21:22 PM ET 2010-11-19T22:21:22

Prince Charles has reopened a sensitive debate in Britain by suggesting his wife Camilla may take the title of queen when he becomes monarch.

The comments came in an interview with U.S. network NBC recorded in August and due to be broadcast later Friday.

Extracts were aired on British television and received high attention in the week Charles' son Prince William — who is second in line to the throne — announced his engagement to Kate Middleton.

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Camilla legally will be queen if Charles takes the throne, but when the couple married in 2005 officials said she planned to adopt the title Princess Consort rather than the more traditional Queen Consort.

NBC's Brian Williams asked the 62-year-old heir to the throne if Camilla would become "Queen of England, if and when you become the monarch." Charles hesitated as he replied "That's, well ... We'll see won't we? That could be."

The difference is purely semantic — the role of consort carries no constitutional power. But polls have suggested there is hostility to Charles' divorced second wife, whom he married eight years after the death of Princess Diana, being called Queen Camilla.

At present Charles is Prince of Wales, but Camilla is known as Duchess of Cornwall rather than Princess of Wales — Diana's title.

Camilla was reviled by Diana-lovers as the old flame who poisoned Charles' first marriage. "There were three of us in that marriage," Diana said in a famous TV interview.

Although Diana acknowledged affairs of her own, many Britons vilified Camilla as a royal home-wrecker.

But since her marriage to Charles the British public has warmed to Camilla, who is perceived as down-to-earth and funny. Those qualities were on display this week when she greeted news of Prince William's engagement with the words: "It's wicked."

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Timeline: A history of British royal weddings

Take a look back at the gorgeous and famous British royal weddings in the last 80 years.

Photos: Kate Middleton’s spot-on princess style

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  1. Princess style

    On the left, Princess Diana wore an elegant pink gown to the opera in Milan in 1985. Kate Middleton chose the same color halter dress for a Starlight Children's Foundation event in 2008.

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    Kate Gosselin’s Style Evolution (Jayne Fincher/Getty; Davidson/O'Neill/Rex via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Whimsical hats

    Princess Anne of England matched a fun orange hat to her suit at the Ascot Racecourse in 2009, the same year Kate paired a matching hat with her lavender coat at the wedding of a British aristocrat. (Samir Hussein/WireImage; Indigo/Getty via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Equestrian chic

    Princess Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco looked ready to ride in 2003 at the International Horse Jumping Show. Kate Middleton went for a similar look with tall riding boots and a crisp white skirt in 2007 at the Badminton Horse Trials.

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    Kate Gosselin’s Style Evolution (Bruno Bebert/Rex; Rex USA InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Classic coats

    Princess Caroline of Monaco looked chic in a classic trench in London in 1973. The same style still looked fresh on Kate Middleton in 2008 as she watched Prince William receive his military pilot's wings. (Popperfoto/Getty; Michael Dunlea/AP via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Holiday wear

    Princess Diana wore a red coat and black hat on Christmas Day in 1993. Kate wore the same winning combination during the 2006 holidays.

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    See Lady Gaga’s Style Transformation

    Kate Gosselin’s Style Evolution (Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty; Anwar Hussein Collection/ROTA/WireImage Photos via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Royal blues

    Crown Princess Mary of Denmark looked elegant in a teal gown at a birthday celebration. Kate Middleton looked equally regal in a blue halter at a charity gala in 2006. (Tim Rooke/Rex; JPI via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Black and white

    Princess Diana dressed in a chic black and white skirt suit at Royal Albert Hall in 1990. Kate dressed similarly to receive her diploma from the University of St. Andrews in 2005.

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    Kate Gosselin’s Style Evolution (Tim Graham/Getty; Michael Dunlea/Getty via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Feathered hats

    Princess Diana wore a feathered hat for outing in Pembrokeshire in 1981, while Kate Middleton wore an almost-identical one to a wedding in 2006. (Jayne Fincher/Getty; Tim Graham/Getty via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Metallic gowns

    Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden wore a beautiful bronze silk gown to a banquet for the Danish Royals in 2007. Kate opted for an elegant chrome-colored gown for the annual Starlight Children's Foundation event in 2009.

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    Kate Gosselin’s Style Evolution (Tim Rooke/Rex; Alan Davidson/Rex via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Feminine florals

    Queen Rania of Jordan chose a delicate floral dress for a Royal Military Academy parade in 2006. In 2007, Kate Middleton wore a similar carefree look on a walk through West London. (MJ Kim/Getty; Ramey Photo via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Fur hats

    Princess Marie Chantal of Greece wore a luxurious fur hat to the wedding of the Dutch Crown Princess in 2002. In 2006, Kate kept warm in a fur hat at the Cheltenham Races.

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    Kate Gosselin’s Style Evolution (UK Press/Getty; Tim Graham/Getty via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Polka dots

    Princess Diana looked glamorous in a red polka-dot dress at the premiere of "For Your Eyes Only" in 1981. Kate Middleton dazzled in the same pattern at the Chakravarty Polo Match in 2006. (Tim Graham/Getty; Rex via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Menswear

    Princess Diana went shopping at Harvey Nichols in 1995 wearing an understated neutral pant paired with a blazer. Kate Middleton dressed almost identically 10 years later out and about in London.

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    Kate Gosselin’s Style Evolution (Rex USA (2) via InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image:
    Jayne Fincher/Getty; Davidson/O'Neill/Rex via InStyle.com
    Above: Slideshow (13) Kate Middleton’s princess style
  2. Mario Testino / Art Partner
    Slideshow (27) A royal couple’s long courtship

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