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Funereal Procession For Queen Mother Arrives At Westminster

Aired April 5, 2002 - 05:10   ET


RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning from London and welcome to viewers in the United States to CNN's extended coverage of the ceremonial procession of the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

As the coffin and body is moved from St. James Palace, where she has been lying, receiving the respect of the family and friends, to Westminster Hall in the center of London, where she will lie in state to receive the respect of the British people.

In our coverage this morning, we will be showing you all the pictures and all the events taking place as royal family marches and walks behind the coffin and the procession.

It will take roughly half an hour to 45 minutes for that journey to be made, and crowds have been lining the streets in London all morning for what promises to be the largest ceremonial event seen in Britain in 1965 and the state funeral of Sir Winston Churchill.

Sixteen hundred members of Britain's armed forces will also take part, representing every rank and every division of the British forces.

And with me to give analysis and insight into this, Robert Jobson, CNN's royal correspondent. Good morning to you.


QUEST: A sad day in Britain, but a celebration of the life of somebody who played such an important part in British public life.

JOBSON: Indeed, this is a celebration of a lady that served the nation so well through 80 years of service.

QUEST: And with that in mind, what are we expecting today? Because the British royal family are determined, to some extent, to make this a major occasion, a major, perhaps even more so than Tuesday, which is the actual funeral.

JOBSON: Without a doubt this will be the moment of pomp, of pageantry. This will be the moment where everyone can remember the Queen Mother.

QUEST: And members of the royal family, all members of the royal family will be involved, including, we'll see pictures in a moment, but including Princess Anne, the princess royal, an unusual departure from tradition.

JOBSON: Indeed. I mean the royal family is, everything is about tradition. But the princess royal wanted to take part in this procession and that's what she asked the queen to do.

QUEST: And royal salutes are now being fired from Green Park, just a couple of miles away. Those gun salutes will continue throughout the duration of the procession. The carriage, the gun carriage that will carry the coffin and the crown of queen, the Queen Mother, will also be put onto the gun carriage, which will then make its way through the center of London.

Also with me this morning, Reverend Mark Jones (ph), who is from the, one of the army chaplains. He joins me to give analysis on some of the military aspects of what we're going to be seeing.

Reverend, good morning to you.


QUEST: All the members, all the major members of the armed forces are represented, perhaps showing the importance of the royal family and the armed forces.

JONES: They're very important to the royal family. The royal family take very seriously their commitment to the armed forces and the armed forces respect and honor the royal family and the Queen Mother, too. So many of the regiments that she personally was associated with and was colonel to will be represented there.

QUEST: And there we see members of the household cavalry who will be lining the route of this procession. As I say, some 1,600 members in total of the royal, of the armed forces will be involved.

Robert Jobson, the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, who will be walking behind the cortege, has been very much affected by not only the loss of a grandmother, but somebody who played such an important part in his life.

JOBSON: Indeed. I was with one of his aides the other day and they said it was like losing his mum, quite frankly. He was devastated at the loss, and particularly upset that he wasn't there to hold her hand in her passing moments.

QUEST: The queen herself, Queen Elizabeth II, was there in the final moments. She had been out riding in Windsor Great Park and was called back in the last couple of hours, and, indeed, the reports, I believed, was holding the Queen Mother's hand at the time she passed.

Big Ben chimes quarter past 11 in London, which is the signal for the Barrow (ph) party to form. The Barrow party who will take the coffin from a St. George, the royal chapel, and place it on the gun carriage.

The Barrow party made up of two confinements, the pall bearers and the first battalion in the Irish Guards, who will also be part of this procession.

Reverend Jones, the Irish Guards, the First Battalion, an important, particularly important battalion for the Queen Mother. Every St. Patrick's Day she used to present them with shamrocks.

JONES: Yes. She was the colonel in chief and took a very lively and keen interest in what the Irish Guards, or, as they are called, her micks, are involved in. Certainly this year she was unable to present the shamrock, so Prince Edward did it on her behalf. But she was very keen on the Irish Guards.

QUEST: And, indeed, some of those shamrocks were actually taken to the royal chapel at the, for the last four days when the Queen Mother has been lying, having been brought there from Royal Lodge Windsor, where she passed away.

The troops and the horses that actually form the procession with the gun carriage coming from the king's troupe, the royal horse artillery, the most senior of perhaps military officers. They take precedent in any form of British ceremonial occasion. Ironically, it was called the king's troupe after King George VI determined that it should be so named.

And the royal family now arriving, having come from Buckingham Palace.

Robert Jobson, you saw there the Duke of Edinburgh leading the royal family in uniform and the Prince of Wales just behind him, the rest of the royal family arriving now. There's the Duke of Kent. There he will go into the chapel where a prayer will be said before the body and coffin is brought to the gun carriage.

As I was saying, it was the king's troupe, the Royal Horse Artillery, it was the king, King George VI, who determined that what had been just the royal horse artillery, one day when seeing them on parade he said I want them to be known as my troupe, hence being called the king's troupe. And Queen Elizabeth II decided that name should stay.

These are the troops that fire ceremonial guns and gun salutes on royal occasions. The last time, of course, they were involved in a procession like this, the royal funeral of Diana, Prince of Wales.

Robert Jobson, it's not a state funeral, but it's as jolly close as near it.

JOBSON: It's technically a royal ceremonial funeral, but the reality is it's just a few technical differences. This really is a state funeral for a lady that served the nation so very well and with such dignity and duty for why on 80 years, really. And I think it's going to be a mark of total respect. And the only difference between a state and a royal occasion like this, it would have been, the gun carriage would have been pulled by sailors on a full state.

But no, nothing has been spared here. You can see there the Chelsea pensioners turning out on an occasion like this and even the policemen in London, wearing their white ceremonial gloves for this occasion.

QUEST: The crowds in London in their thousands clearly nothing on the scale that we saw for Diana, Princess of Wales, but nonetheless, many people turning out for this final procession. And, indeed, we're expecting tens of thousands who will visit and pay their last respects to the Queen Mother once the formal lying in state begins, which will be in just several hours time, and there'll be three days of it, Robert, I believe, of lying in state for her until Tuesday and the funeral.

JOBSON: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think the scenes here are different than those of the late princess, but of course there are a number of people who are actually watching this on television at home. There are numbers of stores that are closed and a lot of people are here to pay their respects.

QUEST: And a significant departure from tradition, Princess Anne will be joining the royal party as they walk through the procession. That is different. Tell me why.

JOBSON: Well, normally it's only male members of the royal family and, indeed, male members of the royal household and personal staff that are allowed to walk behind the procession. But the princess specifically asked the queen that she wanted to do this and the queen granted her wish.

QUEST: And that was Westminster Hall, where the Queen Mother will lie in state. Members of the House of Commons will line up on one side of the hall, members of the House of Lords will line up on the other.

Now we're just waiting for the coffin to be brought from the royal chapel. Reverend Jones, an enormous amount of interest and, to some extent, a wish by members of the armed forces to take part in this procession.

JONES: Yes, I think the connections that the Queen Mother held with many regiments over many years, almost from the First World War on when one of her brothers was killed, means that the armed forces will want to pay their respects to her, not only as their colonel in chief, but as the former consult to the sovereign.

QUEST: And here we have the lining up, the start of the procession.

JONES: And the king's troupe who are on horse artillery, as you say, so named by the husband of Queen Elizabeth, lining up and awaiting the coffin to be brought out onto the gun carriage. And it will be raised onto the gun carriage in a ceremonial fashion and carried aloft. And the idea, of course, behind that is that the guns are so important to the king's troupe who are on horse artillery, and also that it can be raised that as many people as possible will be able to pay their own respects to the Queen Mother as she passes down the middle across horse guards parade and into Whitehall.

QUEST: And the royal family now preparing to get into position. There we see members of the Queen Mother's household. Robert Jobson, well, there you see Sir Alistair Rad (ph) on the left and William Tallon, so-called Back Stairs Billy, one of her most loyal servants that was with her for 50 years. He's there, and other members of the household.

Her head chauffeur, Mr. John Collins. Her head chef, Michael Sealy (ph), Graham Richards and, indeed, all members of the royal family will be there. Let's now join the procession.

Pallbearers representing the various regiments upon which the Queen Mother was colonel in chief. The Black Watch, the Royal Anglier (ph), the Royal Lances, the queen's Dragoon Guards, the queen's Royal Hashars (ph), the King's Regiment, the Light Infantry and (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

The crown, which was placed upon her head when she became queen, with the Koh-i-noor diamond at its very center. You can see Prince Edward there in the mourning dress on the right there. And he's got Peter Phillips, the princess royal's son, standing behind him. These senior royals like the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, they're all in naval uniform, which is the senior service, and there's the crown.

It's a scene I never thought I'd actually see. It's a very sad moment, I think, but also a moment of celebration.

The coffin draped in the standard of the Queen Mother, which combines not only the royal standard, but of the queen (UNINTELLIGIBLE), but also of the Bows Lion (ph) family. You can see on the left the lions, on the right the bows, combined together to give the royal standard of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

Besides the pall bearers who are standing to the side, also there will be 11 members of the First Battalion, the Irish Guards.

Reverend Jones?

JONES: Of course, the Irish Guards formed by Queen Victoria and the Queen Mother took a very deep interest in all that the Irish Guards did. They were very much her regiment and she particularly went out of her way, whether they were in Northern Ireland or in Germany or wherever around the world to be present on St. Patrick's Day.

QUEST: Richard Jobson, we can now see -- I think it's (UNINTELLIGIBLE). But there you see Prince Michael of Cannes (ph).

JOBSON: Prince Michael of Cannes.

QUEST: .... who, of course, was a great favorite of the Queen Mother. He was from behind the Queen Mother (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and standing right next to him is Prince Harry. And this really must be a very emotional time for him, evoking memories of the time he went behind his mother's coffin nearly five years ago.

Now, the procession prepares to begin its half a mile journey. Sadly from not just St. James Palace, but that's just opposite Clarence House, where the Queen Mother lived the last 50 years of her life, making this last journey to Westminster Hall, where she'll lie in state.

Let's join the procession.

And now the final moments before the gun carriage will be upheld by the king's troupe, the Royal Hollis Artillery (ph), part of the household division which also is part of the household cavalry and the five regiments of the foot guards. Because of its guns it has pride of place, pride of precedence at these occasions. They also fire the royal salutes on major ceremonial occasions such as, for example, the queen's official birthday.

Prince, the prince is there, the young prince is there, Prince Harry and Prince William. The Duke of Edinburgh is standing behind the coffin. And behind the immediate members of the royal family we'll see the great grandchildren and the various other relatives, including Commodore Timothy Lawrence (ph), Prince Michael of Kent, the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Danielle Chatto (ph).

There's also Viscount Lindley (ph), of course, other grandson who will be, like Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, mounting a vigil perhaps on the eve of the funeral on Monday evening around the coffin inside Westminster Hall. That vigil, of course, a repeat of a previous occasion.

JOBSON: It's a repeat of the vigil by the sons of King George V in 1936, when they stood guard, heads bowed, around the king's coffin for 20 minutes.

QUEST: Perhaps somewhat unfairly, Robert, we always think if the grandchildren as being the children of the current Queen Elizabeth II. But, of course, Princess Margaret's children was who are suffering a double bereavement, having lost their mother only seven or eight weeks ago, now long their grandmother.

JOBSON: It's very, very sad, indeed. I think Viscount Lindley has certainly been through an awful lot lately. And here we have the senior members of the royal family right behind the coffin. Prince Charles, stoic, really, I think. He's had a terrible time. The loss of his grandmother has affected him greatly. We haven't see so far, I don't believe, the princess royal. She's wearing a naval uniform. She's, I see her just to there, she's just behind, next to the Duke of Edinburgh.

QUEST: Indeed, between the Duke of Edinburgh and the Earl of Wessex (ph).

JOBSON: She's right behind the couple.

QUEST: Princess Anne. They're all wearing their naval uniform except for Prince Edward, of course, who was briefly in the Royal Marines. But he never actually finished his course. And the rest of the royal family, they've all been serving in the Navy. It's 11:30 in London. The procession begins. London can rarely have seen an event on this scale in the last 40 years. Reverend Jones, all the forces, all the branches of the forces represented here.

REV. MARK JONES, BRITISH ARMY CHAPLAIN: The senior service (ph) are (ph) maybe (ph) leaving the (UNINTELLIGIBLE), followed by the royal princes in naval uniform, all of whom, of course, have seen service, active service for some. And following on behind the coffin.

QUEST: The music that we're hearing, the slow lament of a funeral procession.

JONES: Important, really, between troops who are marching can actually hear the beat, keep the beat. But they will be under immense pressure. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) royal family are being looked at. But I'm sure that many of the troops are feeling that they, too, are being judged on the performance that they give in honoring Queen Mum.

QUEST: The procession now makes its way up The Mall. And Diana Muriel is outside Buckingham Palace -- Diana.

DIANA MURIEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Richard, I'm joining you here from outside Buckingham Palace, where the crowd is waiting for the Queen to depart from Buckingham Palace in the next few moments. Of course, now, the main ceremony underway. The processions have started.

Just by me in Green Park, the minute guns are firing. They will fire every minute on the minute for the entire duration of the procession, which is expected to be precisely 28 minutes. They're being fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery under the command of Major Simon Paul (ph).

Here in The Mall, the crowd is gathering. They're moving up towards Westminster. Many people moving across the park to see the arrival of the procession at the other end. A very somber moment, as the crowd has been waiting here -- some of them for many hours -- to watch this whole procession.

They came early in the morning. The roads, of course, all around this area have been closed off since 6:00 this morning. About 60 feet have been closed off, and the police are lining the route to ensure that the crowds don't cross at inappropriate moments.

We've had the various bands marching into position, leaving the barracks just beside Buckingham Palace, moving up The Mall to get into position ahead of the start of this ceremony. And many thousands of people now lining the route.

Some of them carrying banners, many of them with black mourning bands on their arms as a sign of respect. And a very great air of sadness and sympathy, although a general appreciation by the crowd that here was a woman much loved who had lived a very, very long and full life. And they just want to be here to say goodbye.

I don't know whether you could hear that, but that was another one of the minute guns sounding. As I say, they will continue sounding during the course of this entire procession.

The chief pallbearers in the procession are the Irish Guards. And the Queen Mother was Colonel in Chief of the Irish Guards -- one of her favorite regiments. Every St. Patrick's Day, she would present them with a bowl of shamrocks here at Clarence House in London. The guards that have been chosen -- the 12 guards that have been chosen to carry -- the pallbearers, they have been chosen to match each other perfectly at shoulder height for when they finally pick the coffin up and carry it into Westminster Hall to place it on the catafalque to lie in state over the next four days. And that's the time when people can come and pay their respects in person. The first time that the general public will be able to come close to the coffin of the Queen Mother -- Richard.

QUEST: Diana, we hear again those guns going off. The minute guns that you referred to coming from Green Park, fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery. Robert Jobson is with me, CNN's royal commentator.

The queen is not walking this procession. Why not?

JOBSON: Well this is really -- the moment is -- the queen will be driven to Westminster Hall, because she will be there to greet the coffin and her mother as it arrives very shortly, really. But, also, it's the call of the male members of the procession, male members of the royal family to walk behind the procession, which is a matter of tradition, as only that the Princess Royal was given special permission by the queen that she's in this procession.

QUEST: Young and old alike lining the Mall in central London. Children being brought and told, You were the there the day of the ceremonial procession. The start of the final resting place for Queen Elizabeth. Born in the reign of Queen Victoria, lived through two world wars, helped and led the British people through the Second World War, famously saying, "Now I can (UNINTELLIGIBLE)."

A woman whom many thought rescued the monarchy after the abdication crisis. Without question, she rallied the nation and certainly gave her husband, King George VI, whose statue the entire procession will walk past very shortly, the support he needed to take the job which he was never born to do. And certainly has given the queen -- she certainly gave the queen great support throughout her 50 years of reign.

Diana Muriel outside Buckingham Palace. Any moment now, the queen will be leaving to head towards Westminster.

MURIEL: That's right, Richard. At 42 minutes, the queen is due to leave Buckingham Palace and we expect it to go like clockwork. At the moment, we're seeing the procession continue down the Mall. They're walking at a pace of 70 paces a minute. That's a pace that's dictated by the speed at which the horses are walking. In fact, it's slightly faster than the normal funeral pace.

As they pass the soldiers on parade, they are reversing arms and bowing their heads. A very unusual salute, as only conducted at funeral services. The parade marshal's job is to make sure that the procession continues to move at the right pace during the course of the procession. They want to make sure that they arrive at 28 minutes time from leaving at Westminster.

During the practice, which took place early on Thursday in fact, they arrived 29 minutes later at the Westminster Hall. So they're going to have to slightly speed things up this time.

Now the black Irish draft horses that you can see pulling at the front -- pulling the gun carriage at the front -- those, of course, from the Irish Guard's regiment, chosen specifically for this purpose. Now the Queen Mother was very much involved with the rehearsals for this. This wasn't a procession that's been pulled together in the last two days. This is something that's been planned and thought about for many, many years, and indeed rehearsed.

And she saw a video of this funeral procession in rehearsal. And when the procession passed, the statue of her husband, King George VI, one of the horses shied. And the Queen Mother, I understand, ordered that that horse not participate in the procession on the day because she did not want a repetition of that event when they passed the statue of her beloved husband, King George VI.

So in just a few minutes time, we expect to see the Queen leave Buckingham Palace, to be accompanied in the car by Lady Sarah Chatto, formerly Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, daughter of Princess Margaret. And she will be accompanying the Queen to Westminster in the car.

They will arrive at Westminster precisely three minutes later. They're taking the route of Birdcage Walk, which runs parallel to The Mall, because of course The Mall taken up now with the processional party moving towards Westminster.

So very shortly we should see the Queen leave Buckingham Palace.

Richard, back to you.

QUEST: Diane Muriel was just saying the difficulty of marching at this slow pace and the importance of the music that the soldiers, the airmen, the sailors are able to hear.

That's The Mall looking down Buckingham Palace.

The flowers on the top of the coffin and the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) "In loving memory, Lilibet." Lilibet, the Queen. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that's what she referred to as a little girl and I think that's a particularly poignant and moving tribute to see from a daughter to a mother. "In loving memory, Lilibet."

Reverend Jones, the difficulty of -- I mean look at that precision of marching -- the difficulty.

JONES: There's no doubt that the Garrison Sergeant Major for London District (ph) will have his work cut out bringing the three services together. And also contingents, of course, of the Queen Mother's regiments of which she was honorary commander or commander- in-chief (ph) from South Africa, Canada, other parts of the Commonwealth, New Zealand, Australia, bringing them all together in these final days.

Being led by the Foot Guards (ph) as they come through Hall of Scots to -- onto Whitehall. The Foot Guards of Grenadiers (ph), the Cole Streams (ph), the Irish Guards, of course, Scotch Guards and the Welsh Guards. So all nations represented here at the funeral.

QUEST: And let's take a moment to listen to the music and the thoughts. Beethoven's "Funeral March," we listen (UNINTELLIGIBLE).


QUEST: Diana Muriel, if you're with me, the Queen is now leaving Buckingham Palace.

MURIEL: That's right. We've just had the salute from the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace and the standing of the rivey (ph). The Queen has just left the palace in her Rolls Royce. She is taped (ph) turning right into Birdcage Walk and will drive parallel to The Mall on the other side of the park up towards Westminster. She will arrive there at approximately three minute's time where she will join other members of her household and the family at (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- awaiting the arrival of the procession party -- Richard.

QUEST: And the princes now making their way. Horse Guards into Whitehall through the heart of government. They will shortly be passing the Cenotaph where every Queen Mother made it such a point and purpose to lay a wreath of remembrance on Remembrance Sunday.

"In loving memory, Lilibet." The white flowers on the top of the coffin from Queen Elizabeth II. Simplicity. The crown, including the Koh-i-noor diamond, the crown worn by the Queen Mother at the coronation (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

The crowds have built from the course of the morning. And what a spectacle in London.

JOBSON: I think be most remembering that every part of this ceremony has been -- was reviewed by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. She knew exactly was what -- what she wanted and there you see her great grandson (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I think she'd be particularly proud of the way both Prince William and Prince Harry are just standing up to this given the experience they had to go through five years ago that they look so much different now. They -- so much stronger, taller than they did back then five years ago.

If you've just joined us, you're watching live coverage from London on CNN. This is the procession of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, being followed by members of the Royal Family as the coffin is moved from the Royal Chapel to Westminster Hall.

There you see Prince William, very stone faced, towering above the other members of the Royal Family. And Princess Royal in front in her Navy uniform. The Duke of Edinburgh there leading his family, very much the leader of -- the head of that family in terms of the personal side of things. He looks immaculate in his uniform. And he was very, very close to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. And he was with her at Sandringham when the news came through that Princess Margaret had died.

And what we can see in the background with the crowds, people shedding tears.

JONES: Absolutely, I think many people remember the Queen Mother, not so much the times in her early life but that familiar face which used to turn up and smile. And it's such a sad occasion, really, as well as one of celebration of her life.

QUEST: Reverend Mark Jones also with us here.

JONES: There's the coytage (ph) turns onto Pascals (ph) was an event which the Queen Mother would know from Trouping the Color.

QUEST: And the Queen now arriving at the Palace of Westminster. She will be greeted on her arrival.

JONES: There is the Prince of Wales.

QUEST: Very emotional. Clearly very, very emotional and upset about this, but he's returning to put (ph) on a brave performance for his grandmother. The Queen arrived -- as she arrived outside the north door besieged by the Lord Great Chamberlain, the Earl of Cholmondeley.

The War Memorial in the center of London.

JONES: And I think the Royal Marines walking past, followed by, of course, the Senior Service (ph), the Royal Navy. And of course a very poignant moment every year for the Queen Mother, as you said, Richard, when she would attend the laying of the official wreaths in commemoration of the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) not only from Britain but throughout the Commonwealth.

QUEST: Diana Muriel at Buckingham Palace, join us.

MURIEL: Yes, Richard, just a word about the gun carriage. It's known as the George Carriage, and it was first used at the funeral of King George VI, of course the Queen Mother's beloved husband. It weighs one-and-a-half tons and it's six-foot long. And over the last few days, it's been polished and refurbished. They fitted new rubber tires with special rubber tread onto to it so that it's almost silent as it makes its way along the processional route to Westminster.

On top of the gun carriage, you can see the coat of arms of the Queen Mother as well as the (UNINTELLIGIBLE), and also this marvelous crown, her crown which she hasn't worn for 50 years. The last time that she wore it was on the opening of -- the state opening of Parliament in 1952. Of course this was the crown that she had at her coronation in 1937 but only wore it very, very infrequently. So this is the first time that this crown has been on ceremonial duty in 50 years -- Richard.

QUEST: Diana Muriel, thank you.

The procession makes its way through central London coming onto Whitehall, leaving Horse Guards Parade. And it will be particularly poignant when that gun carriage does pass the Cenotaph.

There the crown that Diana was talking about with the diamond at its front, the Koh-i-noor, priceless (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The crown encrusted with jewels. It was brought from the Tower of London, where the crown jewels are kept. Brought late last night to the Royal Chapel.

JONES: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) regiments, which the Queen Mother was involved with, walking beside the coffin at the Queen Mother's request.

JOBSON: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Prince William, again, as I say, towering above everyone. I think is one of the major, major moments of his life. And one -- you see behind them you see actually members of the royalty of diplomatic (UNINTELLIGIBLE) department, bodyguards to the members of the royal family, and for those served Elizabeth, the Queen Mother herself.

QUEST: And members of the Queen Mother's personal staffs, including the (UNINTELLIGIBLE), the private secretary, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

JOBSON: I think the Queen Mother was adamant that all her staff, both members of her household and members of her (UNINTELLIGIBLE) would be there to walk behind this procession. Some of them -- many of them have served her for decades. It's a major change in their lives. We saw them crying when the news broke.

William Tallon there has been with her for 50 years, page at the back stairs, is a delightful man, would be there on the celebrations of her every year (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

QUEST: The senator (ph) in white. Procession about to make its way past. It's here in November on Remembrance Sunday that the Queen and the Queen Mother, only in recent years did she ever miss actually laying her own wreath, when ill health meant she was unable to perform that duty, but considered it so much a part -- she used to stand in one of the buildings there, sort of opposite there in Whitehall. You'd see her on the balcony with the members -- the other members of the royal family.

Minute guns in Green Park. Venerable (ph) uniforms being worn, Reverend Jones.

JONES: Yes, the skull (ph) tunic for the guards and highly (UNINTELLIGIBLE) breast plates for the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Regiment. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and the (UNINTELLIGIBLE), as well as kilts and tartans, and I guess very well brushed heckels (ph), to denote which regiments they belong to.

QUEST: One of the pallbearers, the commander of the Ark Royal, one of Britain's aircraft carriers. The Queen Mother's last public engagement back in November was the re-commissioning of Ark Royal. And perhaps as a tribute to that great ship and its crew, the commander of the Ark Royal, one of the pallbearers in this procession -- Robert Jobson.

JOBSON: I think the Prince of Wales summed this up quite well, really, when he was going through a television appearance. He thought she would go on and on. And it's absolutely true. You don't expect to see this. It really is a very moving scene. A lady that's served all those years, and whose life has spanned the last century.

QUEST: One of the comments reading in the papers, "We knew she couldn't last forever. We just hoped she would."

JOBSON: And that's absolutely true. And I think when you saw -- I used to go and see her every year for her birthday celebrations outside Clarence House, and she would make sure that she saw as many of the people that she possibly could. And here they are to pay their final respects to her, along with members of the royal family following behind.

QUEST: Reverend Jones, you have met the Queen Mother on several occasions.

JONES: Yes. And she was always very keen whenever she came to my church that the local school and the school children were involved. And, in fact, of course, a lot of the veterans remember her, particularly from the second war, many of whom we can see lined up today close to tears wearing their medals and the Second World War medals. And she was very approachable. She was really everybody's grandmother.

QUEST: There you have Daniel Chatto, who is married to Lady Sarah Chatto, the Queen Mother's granddaughter, Princess Margaret's daughter. He's there representing her. Prince William and Prince Harry very smart and very solemn. And we see there the various flags lowered.

JONES: Many of the British legion, the veterans associations throughout the United Kingdom seem to be here today. Certainly, I saw many of them this morning forming up. And they, of course, will remember her support for them not only during and after the war, but in recent years as servicemen grow older, become more frail and need particular support. And the Queen Mother was very active with her charities and supporting its servicemen. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

QUEST: And now, those of us at Westminster can now actually hear the band, and military bands as the procession makes its way from Whitehall into Parliament Square. And they will enter the Palace of Westminster through New Palace Yard. Queen Elizabeth II already there, being greeted there by the Lord Great Chamberlain (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

This procession will be greeted by the Lord Chancellor, Lord (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Irvine, the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Westminster Hall, the resting place for the lying in state, a very important, ancient part of London. And part of Westminster Hall goes back to the 11th century, in fact. The roof was literally constructed with the reign of Richard II in 1399 -- Robert Jobson.

JOBSON: And it will be there, Richard, that the four grandsons to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, will stand vigil on probably Monday night, the night before the funeral, in silence, head bowed, reminiscent of the scene in 1936 when the Duke of Windsor, then Edward VIII, led his brothers to do exactly the same thing for their father. A real moment of pageantry, and pomp, and celebration, as well as sadness.

QUEST: And those who thought that the Queen Mother may not get the reaction, just look at those crowds. Fifty, sixty deep, as the funeral procession makes its way from White Hall into Parliament square, shortly to pass Big Ben and turn into New Palace Yard. The coffin covered by the Queen Mother's royal standard, along with the Bowes and the Lyons of her personal flag.

"In loving memory, Lilibet," it says on the card on the white flowers of the coffin for Queen Elizabeth II. What a terrible day for the queen. Only seven weeks ago, the funeral of her sister Princess Margaret, and now her mother. All in the jubilee year, 50 years as the reigning British monarch.

Any second now, any minute now, Big Ben, the clock, will chime midday. It will be the sign of the procession to arrive, and that coffin to be taken by the pallbearers and put on the catafalque for the formal lying in state. It will take a few hours before the members of the public are allowed in. Three days have been set aside for members of the public to pay their last respects to the woman simply known as Queen Mum.

A royal salute, Reverend Jones.

JONES: Yes. As you see, the policemen saluting as the body goes past. As so you can see the regiment of foot guards standing to attention.

QUEST: In Green Park the minute gun salute continues. Now the pallbearers take the coffin from the gun carriage and into Westminster Hall. The pallbearers representing the regiments and divisions of which the Queen Mother was colonel in chief, flanked by the First Battalion of the Irish Guards with movements that have been practiced with precision. As Diana Muriel was saying, the soldiers chosen for their dedication and their height, so they would all be the right height for what is a difficult maneuver.

JONES: A very difficult task for the bearers, some of whom of course, might have actually spoken with the Queen Mother when she presented a shamrock to them, so the eyes of all the pressure upon these particular soldiers to perform not only for the Queen Mother, but for their own battalion and regiment of Irish Guards.

QUEST: Now, the coffin will be carried into Westminster Hall, where it will be greeted by or met by Lord Great Chamberlain, Lord Chancellor, the speaker, and, of course, Queen Elizabeth II. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) coffin, certainly the crown on it for first time, and I think this will be the moment that hits her very hard, I think. She spent the last three days with her daughter, and now saying (UNINTELLIGIBLE) farewells to her mother.

Also inside, the archbishop of Canterbury and George Carey and the dean of Westminster Abbey (ph), who will be there, he will say prayers before the royal party leaves and the hall is prepared for members of the public. Now, members of the royal family move into Westminster Hall, the young princes, Princess Ann, in her naval uniform. In Westminster Hall, the hall is flanked on one side by members of the House of Commons; on the other by members of the House (UNINTELLIGIBLE).


The coffin is draped in the standard of the Queen Mother, now being placed on the catafalque, where she will lie in state. Reverend Jones help us understand what is happening.

JONES: The choir on the Chapel's Royal are singing words from the Psalms of the Old Testament, and soon prayers will be said by the dean of the Chapel's Royal, the bishop of London, Richard Charters (ph), (UNINTELLIGIBLE) by the archbishop of Canterbury, who of course, will also attend the funeral service next week at Westminster Abbey.

QUEST: Diana Muriel at Buckingham Palace, who saw the Queen leave the palace just about half an hour ago and watched the crowds and saw the reaction. Diana Muriel, are you with us?

DIANA MURIEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the crowd now moving back towards Buckingham Palace in quite a bit of ph numbers. The Queen, of course, will be returning to Buckingham Palace very shortly after the end of this ceremony. The catafalque that you can see there, Richard, in Westminster Hall, it's 7 feet high and covered in Braymer (ph) purple and plaid (ph) velvet with gold braid, Braymer (ph) purple, of course, the colors of her Majesty Queen, the Queen Mother, whose ancestry is (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Scottish.

Westminster Hall, of course, was completed in 1019, the oldest building of the royal family's history. It was the original home of the British kings until (UNINTELLIGIBLE) were built, but it's the oldest royal palace in the country, and therefore a fitting place for the body of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother to lie in state. Of course, the lie in state of King George, VI took place here in 1952, Queen Mary in 1953, and Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.

George Carey, archbishop of Canterbury, is now starting prayers -- back to you, Richard.

GEORGE CAREY, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: ... service and for the loyalty and love which she inspired. Hear, Lord, the prayers of my people and grant that we who confess thy name on earth with her maybe made perfect in the kingdom of our son, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Father of all nurses (ph) and giver of all comfort, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) graciously we pray with those who mourn, but casting all their care on thee. They may know the consolation of thy love through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

QUEST: Said as the Queen Mother arrives, the coffin laid on the catafalque, 7 foot high, as Diana Muriel was telling us, designed so people could see and people can see and will see as they come to Westminster Hall, one of the oldest buildings in royal London, scene of the trial of Sir Thomas Moore (ph), and laying in state of the last two centuries.


JONES: And of the crucifer having placed the cross, and of course, Queen Elizabeth was a very Christian lady in all her acts and deeds, and in her personal life with a great spirituality, a great of her Lord. We next to the archbishop the dean of Westminster Abbey, appointed by the sovereign, who will lead the funeral service next week in Westminster Abbey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go in the peace of Christ. Amen.

QUEST: This part of the proceedings, the next few days will be the chance for the British people and of course those from the Commonwealth, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, to say their and pay their respects.

Members of the Household Calvary now entering Westminster Hall. They'll be part of the guard that will pay vigil over the next few days. And of course the night before the funeral itself, Monday night, it will be the vigil of the princes -- Robert Jobson (ph).

JOBSON: I think that will be a particularly moving and poignant moment. Four grandson's there by company lead (ph) Prince of Wales, Earl of Essex, Duke of York will stand there in the eve of the funeral I think possibly for 20 minutes, for half an hour with their heads bowed in solemn and silence in respect to the Queen Mother. It's something they all wanted to do. The Duke of York made that clear yesterday when he said he wanted to be there and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) planning stages were there and they're going to make sure that they pay the respect she deserves.

QUEST: Reverend Jones, what's happening?

JONES: Well the House of Cavalry Regiment, the Lifeguards with their white plumes and Fluzin Royals (ph) with the red plumes, which originally were raised to escort the sovereign and still escort the sovereign on state occasions, but here now keeping vigil as they will throughout the day and night until the funeral service, one at each corner, paying silent homage and tribute.

QUEST: And there we have the various officers of state. The Lord Chancellor, Lord Barry of Irvine (ph), the Lord Great Chamberlain, the Marquess of Cholmondeley and the speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Marty (ph).

Following on, members of the House of Lords, members of the House of Commons, because, Robert Jobson, lying-in-state in Westminster Hall, part of the Palace of Westminster, the mother of Parliament, brings together constitutional monarchy and democracy in one go.

JOBSON: This is constitutional monarchy. As we -- the most important thing there we see the Queen walking in past her mothers coffin, a very emotional moment. She looks to be stoical I think in dealing with this. She has obviously led her family through many trials and tribulations, but this will be one of the hardest things she's had to do.

QUEST: Diana Muriel at Buckingham Palace, we are seeing the Queen leave Westminster Hall. She'll be with you back in Buckingham Palace within 15, 20 minutes one would think.

MURIEL: That's right, Richard. She's on her way back to Buckingham Palace. And standing there, the four guardsmen of the Household Calvary, standing vigil around the catafalque.

One point to notice about one of the gentlemen that's taking part in that, Lt. Col. Paddy Table (ph), 50 years ago his father, Major General David Table, also took part in the -- in the vigil. And the advice that the father gave to the son was not to look at people's feet as they came to pay their respects to her Majesty or to -- at Westminster Hall, because if you concentrated too much on the feet, you'd fall over. And they've got to stand there for quite sometime, several hours together, a very difficult task but one that is treated and received as a great honor amongst all those participating in the vigil -- Richard.

QUEST: And the Queen now leaving the Palace of Westminster to drive back to Buckingham Palace. It's a royal salute for Queen Elizabeth II, and other members of the family now await their turn to leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Indeed they're all going to follow on behind and go back to Buckingham Palace where they will offer their support and condolence to the Queen.

QUEST: The young princes, Prince Harry, Prince William and their father, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.

It's 15 minutes since the cortege, the coffin, the procession arrived at the Palace of Westminster. Now other members of the Royal Family leaving Westminster Hall. The Queen heading back. The Royal Standard flying from the car heading back to Buckingham Palace.

Large crowds in London. Whitehall, past the Cenotaph, the memory of the glorious day, lest we forget. London can't have seen pageantry, pomp, ceremony, and dignity in this scale over the years.

JOBSON: Indeed not. I think this must for the Queen now traveling back to Buckingham Palace. It is her Golden Jubilee Year, there must be sympathy for her in the loss of her sister, now her mother and anniversary of the death of her father. She really has been stoic in the way she's dealt with this and one must respect her and hope that she can now enjoy, after the funeral, that Jubilee Year. QUEST: And we're hearing applause, which of course is an enormous sign of respect to the Queen that she has weathered these storms. Even managing yesterday to come out at Windsor Castle to talk to members of the public, to look at the flag. And she particularly commented on her way back into the castle that there were flowers there from America, from Australia, from Canada and all parts of the world because many parts of the world viewed the Queen Mother as not just the British Queen Mother but as their Queen Mum as well, the nation and perhaps the world's grandmother.

JOBSON: Indeed, when the Queen, Elizabeth the Queen Mother, became Queen, she -- 1936 she was Queen of many parts of the -- of the globe such as the way that the British empire spread in those days. I think many people will remember her around the world. She traveled extensively, and they had a great affection for her.

QUEST: Reverend Jones, before we return to Buckingham Palace, do you think that the Queen will be able to put this sorrow, to some extent, behind her and celebrate the Jubilee when we get to June and the great celebrations that are planned?

JONES: The Queen is a woman of great faith, I'm told. She has a deep respect for her people, but also for God. It was, after all, in her coronation oath that she was anointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury in York and she said her life, whether it be long or short, would be dedicated in the service of others. And the Jubilee later this year I think is an opportunity for us to celebrate with her.

QUEST: The Queen's car now turns from Horse Guards into The Mall heading back to Buckingham Palace.

Diana Muriel is standing at the Palace -- Diana.

MURIEL: Yes, Richard, a crowd several thousand strong now have moved back towards Buckingham Palace and are waiting outside the Palace gates waiting for the arrival of her Majesty, the Queen. Of course the Royal Standard flying from her Rolls Royce. She's getting very close now to the Palace. They'll be opening the gates very shortly. The Queen's Palace Guard standing to attention on duty at the gate and just inside the gates at the guardhouse.

The crowd very subdued here, Richard, very calm. The Queen has acknowledged their -- the crowd's presence. You've seen her nodding and raising her hand as she drives back down the route heading towards Buckingham Palace. A very somber day, indeed, for the Queen.

Just a few short weeks ago, the death of her sister, Princess Margaret, now the death of her mother, the Queen Mother, and a very tragic start all in all to the beginning of the Golden Jubilee Year, the year that marks 50 years on the throne. Nonetheless, she has an extremely full program, which she is going to fulfill during the course of the year.

The highlight of the program will be a four-day celebration in June. Here at Buckingham Palace there will be concerts, a castle concert and a pop concert, fireworks and services and a whole series of pageantry and display to commemorate 50 years on the throne. But today, a very different mood, one of great sadness, great somberness throughout London as the Queen makes her way slowly at the head of the procession carrying other members of her family back to Buckingham Palace -- Richard.

QUEST: And indeed that procession will be with you any second, Diana, so when you do see, do feel free to jump in.

The other members of the family in there; other representatives leaving. The members of the government, the prime minister, Tony Blair, leader of the opposition, Iain Duncan Smith, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party in Parliament, Charles Kennedy and other senior politicians now leaving Westminster Hall. This has been an occasion when political differences aside. In fact, Parliament recalled earlier this week both the Commons and the Lords both recalled, so that the politicians could pay tribute to the Queen Mother.

And that procession now making its way up The Mall. Diana Muriel, outside Buckingham Palace.

MURIEL: Richard, the crowd now starting to applaud her majesty. She's driving past the Queen Victoria monument. She's just heading towards the Queen Victoria monument at the moment.

The crowd applauding, waving, children being carried a lot by their parents to get a good view of her majesty and the rest of the royal procession as they turn in through the garden gate, as it's called. The garden gate, the side of Buckingham Palace, and the turn to the Palace through that route. The center gate and the garden gate will be used for the return of the royal party.

QUEST: Interestingly, you say children being held a lot by parents to see this. The Queen Mother appealed not just to those of her own generation, but also to those of the younger generation as well. And this will be a day that people will want to remember, similar to the marriage and the funeral of the Princess of Wales. So people will come and say, I was there for the funeral of -- the procession of the Queen Mother.

Politicians -- British politicians now leaving Westminster Hall, having paid their respects to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the coffin being put into place.

Reverend Jones, the -- some final thoughts. The funeral procession, the funeral itself on Tuesday, this has been the main event, to some extent, for members of the public to see.

JONES: It's an opportunity -- the Abbey can only accommodate a few thousand people. And this is the opportunity over the next few days for those who are in London or can get to London and wish to pay their tribute. But the service will be televised.

QUEST: Reverend Mark Jones, many thanks indeed. And a final thought from Robert Jobson. Briefly, this has been a day of memory and celebration. JOBSON: It has. It's been a day of pomp and of grief, of pageantry. But, really, I think celebration of what I think of a great lady who served this nation very well.

QUEST: And that concludes our coverage of this procession. The Queen Mother being lain in state at Westminster Hall. There will be three days when members of the public, visitors and the British people will have their opportunity to pay their final respects to the woman known as Queen Mum. The funeral will be held next Tuesday. And CNN, of course, will have full coverage.

I'm Richard Quest in London. I wish you all a very good day.





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