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TODAY   |  November 17, 2010

Can Kate Middleton handle spotlight?

Tom Bradby, the journalist who got the first interview with the newly engaged Prince William and Kate Middleton, and CNN’s Piers Morgan weigh in on the intensity of the media scrutiny Middleton has signed herself up for.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

VIEIRA: All right, Natalie Morales , thank you very much . Piers Morgan is the former editor of News of the World and The Daily Mirror , a judge on NBC 's " America 's_Got_Talent" and host of the upcoming " Piers Morgan Tonight" on CNN . Tom Bradby is ITV 's royal correspondent , who scored the big interview with Prince William and Kate . Good morning to you both.

Mr. PIERS MORGAN (CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight"): Good morning.

Mr. BRADBY: Good morning.

VIEIRA: Tom , if I can start with you. First journalist in the world to sit down with this couple. William said to you -- described them as two ducks in the water, you know, on the surface very calm, but underneath the feet are going like crazy. How would you describe their demeanor, both on camera and off?

Mr. BRADBY: Well, quite helpfully, we had quite a long time together, so there's half an hour beforehand where things were pretty relaxed. By the time we got down into the room, Kate was pretty nervous. I think in all our minds when William 's parents got married, there was just sort of toe curl at the awful interview where, you know, if you remember Prince Charles said, 'You know, whatever love is,' and it was played back and played back over the years and haunted them. So we all sat there beforehand kind of conscious that we didn't want to end up like that. So there was a sort of deliberate attempt to relax, all us, actually. And just -- and I said, 'Look, this is your happy day, you know, I normal cover politics here.' I said, 'This is not a Rottweiler interview , it's a conversation, people are curious about you, they want to know about you. I've just got to lead you through it.' And I said, 'It's your happy day, I just, you know, pray I don't muck it up.' So hopefully I didn't.

VIEIRA: Yeah. Do you think that they were coached at all, particularly Kate , or Catherine , I guess we should call her right now, to make sure that there were no gaffs?

Mr. BRADBY: No, they definitely weren't coached, I know that for a fact. I mean, William is quite a polished media performer actually these days. And if you think about it , you know, the queen's never done an interview ; Prince Charles rarely does interviews and they tend to be a bit stilted. William quite happily does live interviews now. You can throw any question at him, he doesn't bother. You know, he's actually very, very polished so he doesn't frankly need any media training. Kate didn't have any, and you know, she was nervous. I mean, this is a massive, you know, first-ever interview on TV and it's something that you not only do you know hundreds of millions of people probably are going to watch, but will be played back for years and years to

come. It's hard to think of a more intimidating......in which to conduct an interview for all of us. So under those circumstances, I thought she did really pretty well actually.

VIEIRA: Yeah, I did, too. Piers , I mean, you've covered the royals extensively over the years.

Mr. MORGAN: Mm-hmm.

VIEIRA: You actually spent some time with Princess Diana and Prince William when he was just 13 years old. And you described their relationship as very close, and the great sense of humor between the two of them . And William spoke specifically about humor and Kate . So in any ways, do you see any similarities between the relationships on any level?

Mr. MORGAN: I do. I mean, I had an amazing lunch with William and Diana when he was about 13 and a half, and I was struck by the closeness of their relationship, for one. She told him everything. But also this sort of crazy royal humor they all have where they lead such ridiculous lives in this mad goldfish bowl. And the only way they can sort of deal with it is to have this wild humor. And you saw it with William saying, you know, 'I'm a wonderful cook' and all this kind of thing. Being quite -- apparently quite boastful, but obviously he's not really like that. William is a very independent-minded guy. He's very -- I think that interview that Tom did -- I mean, first of all, Tom , congratulations on a great interview scoop. Obviously it would have been a bit better if I'd done it, but you know...

VIEIRA: OK, OK.

Mr. MORGAN: ...but it wasn't bad. It wasn't bad.

Mr. BRADBY: Naturally, Piers . I'm sorry.

Mr. MORGAN: But actually I think to be serious, what is great for Britain and I think for the world actually, we're in this terrible recession at the moment, everyone's suffering, people are losing their jobs and stuff, along comes a good old-fashioned British royal wedding . And it's going to be the biggest event not only of the century, but the millennium. This is going to be the big one and I think the Brits are all there going, ' This is the one thing we can do that the Americans can't do' because you don't have a royal family .

VIEIRA: That's right . And you sort of -- this is our royal family .

Mr. MORGAN: Yeah.

VIEIRA: We've adopted them. Tom , during the interview , Prince William was very careful to say that these -- this couple, they're going to forge their own way, that no one should expect Kate to be like his mom. So what can we expect from Kate going forward?

Mr. BRADBY: I think -- one of the reasons I think it's taken them so long to get here is that they've put a lot of thought into this and, you know, Piers knows better than anyone that the Charles / Diana years were kind of crazy, really. And William , you know, had a clearer, better view of that than anyone else. And he -- you know, one thing I'm absolutely in no doubt about, he doesn't want to repeat that. Now, you know, famous last words. But, you know, I'd be staggered, I'd eat my hat if they ever got divorced. Now, obviously one can't guarantee they'll be happy -- I hope they will, I'm sure they will -- but I just think they'll never get divorced because they -- you know, he wants to be like his grandparents to be there through thick and thin . They know that divorce is not an option so they've thought a lot about this. They've been careful about it, they've been thoughtful about it. They're going to do it in their own way. Yes, they'll come forward and do these occasions, you know, yesterday, the wedding, they'll do all that, but they'll retreat very gratefully as soon as they can into private. And I -- you know, both of them, but particularly William , a very, very quiet reasonably focused on wanting to lead the life that he wants to lead that they want to lead.

Mr. MORGAN: And I think -- I think...

Mr. BRADBY: And he's very ruthless actually about pushing away pressures.

Mr. MORGAN: What is really significant, I think, is the -- there was apathy growing about the royal family . I could sense it. Young people weren't really that engaged with them. What is so great about this announcement is I think everyone is now re-engaged with the royal family and the monarchy. And that's great for Britain , it's great for the royal family , It think it's great for America . Americans love a good old-fashioned wedding. And what better than this handsome, young prince and his beautiful Catherine , as she now is, to walk down the aisle next summer. I think everyone's going to be feeling great about this. And that's why as a Brit , I feel very proud. I was really proud of them yesterday, and having known Diana quite well I think she'd have been looking down on them thinking, 'My boy's done really well. She's a really lovely, special girl.'