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AMERICAN MORNING WITH PAULA ZAHN

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani Knighted by Queen Elizabeth

Aired February 13, 2002 - 07:50   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Just this morning in London former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani was knighted by Queen Elizabeth. He was given the honorary knighthood for his leadership during the crisis following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

And CNN's senior international correspondent Walter Rodgers is standing by outside Buckingham Palace and has more for us now on what happened earlier today.

Good morning, Walter. Good to see you again.

WALTER RODGERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thank you. Good morning from Buckingham Palace Paula. A few hours ago Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York was honored. Now he's not just the mayor of the world, he is also a knight of the British empire. It is an honor, which was bestowed upon him by Queen Elizabeth II. This is one of the honors, which a British monarch can bestow on non British citizens.

Also honored today was Bernard Caret (ph), the former police commissioner of New York and Thomas Van Essent (ph), the former fire chief of New York City during the September 11 crisis. They were honored, given CBEs, commanders of the British Empire. What's involved here is merely they were presented with medals. Of course, there was no dubbing with the sword or anything quite that formal, but Queen Elizabeth did spend considerable time with Giuliani and his colleagues from the police and fire department. They laughed and joked, but the actual presentation ceremony was merely an open box with a medal in it presented to all three of them men - Paula.

ZAHN: So what are we supposed to call him now, Walt?

RODGERS: Don't call him late for dinner Paula, but you can not call him sir. That honor does not go along with this - with this award. This is a limited knighthood, of course. Giuliani is, of course, an American citizen. He could not be dubbed a knight by getting down on his knees before a foreign sovereign and thus he is not called a knight. He got a very nice medal. He can wear it only on white tie occasions and when he signs his name, it's no longer just Rudolph Giuliani, it's Rudolph Giuliani, KBE, Knight of the British Empire. But because he's an American citizen, he does not get the full knighthood as say Paul McCartney who is now Sir Paul of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Spain - Paula. ZAHN: Well when you get KBE behind your name, you're allowed to hang around with Prince Andrew, the shot we just saw. Any other - quickly, any other privileges that come with this title?

RODGERS: Well Giuliani is going to be quite honored here today. That is to say he's now at a lunch with the Lord Mayor. He's going to have a meeting with the Prime Minister, honored in an additional respect, he's going to go through question time at (UNINTELLIGIBLE) excuse me, at the Palace of (UNINTELLIGIBLE). What's important in all of this, of course, is that the Londoners are seeking information and counsel from Giuliani on how to bring down the city's horrific crime rate.

You're six times more likely to get mugged or robbed or assaulted in London than you are in New York City and of course, the London authorities are looking to Giuliani for some information and counsel on how to bring down their crime rate, Giuliani's obviously the man to do it - Paula.

ZAHN: Hope he will have some impact there. Thanks so much, Walt Rodgers, appreciate that report.

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