katie couric and queen elizabeth

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Find out what Queen Elizabeth thought of Katie working on a special about her reign.

In honor of Queen Elizabeth, we’re sharing this excerpt from Katie’s memoir, Going There, in which she recalls meeting the queen while covering her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. At the time, Katie was preparing to launch her syndicated talk show, Katie.

We had a full year to prepare for the syndicated show. Our gap year, as I came to think of it, quickly got stuffed with glad-handing, lunching, and meet-and-greets designed to excite the local GMs and convince everyone Jeff was fully on board.

I also popped up in various places on ABC to keep myself in the public eye. The highlight was a special I did for 20/20 called “The Jubilee Queen,” commemorating 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. I caught up with Prince Harry at a polo match in Brazil (still in his wild-oats-sowing phase—a strong aroma of alcohol and cigarettes seemed to ooze from every pore). On the subject of his social media–aware “granny,” I asked Prince Harry if she’d friended him on Facebook. He said she hadn’t, then asked if she’d friended me (um, no, unfortunately). At Clarence House, Prince William opened up about how difficult it was to not have his mother at his wedding, telling me he was “just very sad she’s never gonna get the chance to meet Kate.”

I donned a fascinator (which looked more like a Frisbee-shaped matzo) for a Buckingham Palace garden party: tea and scones on 40 acres for 8,000 guests ranging from landed gentry to “commoners,” a sea of fanciful bonnets in all shapes and shades. Eventually, the queen approached in a peach coat with big buttons and a matching hat, one of her handbags dangling, in trademark fashion, from her forearm. I curtsied and told her what an honor it was to meet her. Then I said, “We’re working on a special about you, Your Majesty.”

To which she responded, “There’s a lot there.” That was clear (and we hadn’t even seen The Crown yet).

Excerpt(s) from GOING THERE by Katie Couric, copyright © 2021 by Katie Couric. Used by permission of Little, Brown, an imprint and division of Hachette Book Group. All rights reserved.

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