OTR Interviews

Prince William and Kate Middleton Will Bring the Royal Family Into the 21st Century

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 28, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Now you get to hear what Prince William and Kate Middleton are really like from one of the guests who will be at the ceremony. Ben Elliot knows the royal couple firsthand. After all, he's family. Griff spent some time with Ben, who is the nephew of royal stepmother Camilla Parker- Bowles.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFF JENKINS, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Ben, there's a wedding in town. Are you invited? Are you going?

BEN ELLIOT, DUCHESS OF CORNWALL'S NEPHEW: I'm going with all the bells and whistles on. So yes, I'm going.

JENKINS: What is all the buzz? What are you hearing about this wedding? I mean, what is -- what is this royal wedding doing on London society, something that you're very well connected to?

ELLIOT: Well, I think not just London society. I mean, at the moment, everyone's very, very excited. People who two, three weeks ago were kind of pooh-poohing the whole thing, thought this wasn't their kind of bag, are genuinely excited. Every single person I've spoken to this morning is talking about it. I happened also to be in India last week and in China the week before. The only question anyone asked me was, Are you going to the wedding? And you know, What's it going to be like? Imagine this, a million people in mall. I mean, the noise come midday on Friday is going to be really, really exciting.

JENKINS: And you'll be inside that Westminster Abbey, just sort of taking it in. Even for someone who, you know, is connected in the royal family, you ...

ELLIOT: Well, there's a slight distant connection. My aunt married the Prince of Wales. I feel as a humble British citizen privileged to be at Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding. I know them both a little bit. They're marvelous people. I have -- all my dealings -- personal dealings with them have been -- I just think they're really fantastic people. And I think that's what the reaction that the great British public will be imbibing and celebrating on Friday.

JENKINS: Tell us a little about them. Did you go to school with...

ELLIOT: I'm older. You can probably tell. I look a little ... a little bit older. I went to the same school, but five years beforehand, as Prince William. I didn't go to the same school as Kate Middleton. I have friends who were at university with them. And we're not close friends, but I know them pretty well. And I can honestly they have incredible manners, incredibly warm, very generous.

And there's one specifically with Prince William that I'll remember forever. When my grandfather, my late grandfather died, we had a funeral at my family's home in the southwest, in Dorset. And he -- and this is a mark of the man -- made sure that he went and thanked every single person who was involved in that, even though he probably didn't know any of those people at all. So I think he has real grace, real elegance, and real manners, which comes from one's heart and soul.

JENKINS: What does this couple mean for the future of the monarchy? A lot of people have talked -- how do you perceive it?

ELLIOT: Well, look, there's -- I mean, every day, and particularly at the moment, you see it on the stand, polls are whether the monarchy is -- you know, the British public is supportive of the monarchy. They are universally supportive. I think I saw an ITN poll yesterday which said 67 percent of the people were happy that the British still have a monarchy. And these were British citizens.

Secondly, they thought that the royal wedding itself was a rejuvenation of that institution. And look, it's not just a great thing for this country here. It's also a great thing that we can be proud of internationally and abroad. And as I think we talked earlier, I've got friends and relations in America who are wildly excited about it.

So it's a good thing. I think they're a very modern couple. They're not really into pomp and ceremony. I think that they're probably in awe of what's going to happen Friday. But then, as they've told everyone, they want to live a very private life in the first two years as they -- as they, you know, start their marriage.

JENKINS: Can you tell me what you would expect will be the impact on William and Kate -- you know, when we're looking back five, ten years, do you think the younger people are identifying with this modern couple?

ELLIOT: I hope so. I mean, I -- you know, I'm a big fan of the institution of the monarchy. I think they provide real constancy, and we should be very proud of them. A young couple, a young modern couple, will bring more people behind them, almost. I mean, lots of people don't know these people very well. And as I said before, the first two years of their life, he wants to continue being a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot, you know, at the Welsh Sea. ... So are we going to get to know them that much more? I'm not entirely sure. I think they go to Canada a month after they get married, on their first official royal tour of duty. But they are modern people. They're very approachable. And also, for their age, they're of a different generation of all the other people in the royal family. So that will make them more open, I think.

JENKINS: Last question. What will England be like when he's the king?

ELLIOT: Well, I think it's going to be quite a long time. I mean, let's be clear about this. I mean, his father has been waiting a long time. And judging by the good Windsor genetics, it seems that the queen, God bless her, will likely live for a long time yet. So we're talking about something that might not happen for 30, 40 years, at which stage, he'll be, you know, a man right at his -- in the middle of his middle age.

I don't know. What I do think, and I think everyone who deals with him thinks (INAUDIBLE) no pomp and ceremony. He's very straightforward, very direct, wants to put people at ease all of the time. And I saw last night some of the descriptions from his fellow trainees who are doing search-and-rescue in the helicopters. They talk about him getting heavily involved in every menial task. This is a mark of the man. So if that's anything to suggest how he'll be a king, I think he'll be very approachable and very open.

(END VIDEOTAPE)