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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Queen Elizabeth II Dies At 96, Charles Becomes King; Biden Visits British Embassy, Signs Queen's Condolence Book; World Remembers Life & Legacy Of Queen Elizabeth II; Queen Elizabeth II Dies At 96; Charles Becomes King. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired September 08, 2022 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: As you pointed out, the two sides are supposed to present a list of names. Given the level of disagreement between these two sides, it is unclear whether they're going to be able to agree on any of those names -- Erin.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: You're right, and of course that that deadline coming in, to continue with that process even as an appeal is pending.
Evan, thank you so much for your reporting, and thanks so much to all of you for joining us.
Our coverage of the death of Queen Elizabeth II continues now with AC 360.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
It has been a momentous day. Looking at live video from outside Buckingham Palace and the crowds that are still there, at 1:00 AM local time, hard to overstate the magnitude of this moment.
In the entire history of the British monarchy, Elizabeth II who died today at age 96 after 70 years on the throne was the longest reigning Queen or King ever.
It is also impossible to overstate the void that people in Britain are feeling tonight at the loss of the only monarch most have ever known, her reign spanned 15 British Prime Ministers, 14 American Presidents, seven Popes, the end of the Soviet Empire, the decline of her own, and its rebirth as Modern Britain.
The people you see there outside Buckingham Palace and gathering elsewhere as well, Windsor Castle, had been gathering since this afternoon in the rain on word that the Queen at Balmoral Castle in Scotland had been put under medical supervision.
The arrival a short time later of Royal family members at Balmoral only underscored the gravity of the hour and the family's single- minded response to it.
The image of two of the Queen sons, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, Edward's wife, Sophie and Prince William at the wheel, all together in the same vehicle, sometimes contentious, but always message-conscious family, the message this image sent was clear.
Then the clouds began lifting, rainbows formed outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. They signaled hope, but delivered only sadness just a short time later.
The news coming in a simple message behind a humble frame in keeping with the quiet power the note conveyed, it read: "The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow."
People grew quiet at the news until the refrain was heard that had not been sung since the time of Elizabeth's father, George VI.
COOPER: That spontaneous outpouring for King Charles III, which no doubt was repeated across the UK was accompanied by the most joyful noise imaginable, at so sad a time.
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
COOPER: Across England, bells rang, flags lowered to half-staff, conversations all turning to the same subject and not always in sadness.
According to the Royal family, Elizabeth II held more than 21,000 public engagements during her reign. She gave nearly 200 garden parties at Buckingham Palace, which were attended by more than 1.5 million people. Meaning many Britons aren't just mourning tonight, they're telling their stories of actually meeting the Queen.
Britain's new Prime Minister spoke for the nation today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIZ TRUSS, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which Modern Britain was built.
Our country has grown and flourished under her reign. Britain is the great country it is today because of her.
Through thick and thin, Queen Elizabeth II provided us with the stability and the strength that we needed. She was the very spirit of Great Britain, and that spirit will endure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And for all the timelessness those words convey, Elizabeth II was from the beginning, very much of the moment.
The coronation, televised, a first; her travels made possible by the brand new jet age. The kingdom that she inherited awkwardly moving from a colonial past to a rocky future, she oversaw the end of her own empire, the birth of a Commonwealth, the end of the Northern Ireland conflict, and sadly all that comes with enduring family turmoil and tragedy as perhaps the most private public figure on Earth.
COOPER: Her son, the new King issued a brief statement. It reads, "The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty, the Queen is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family. We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much loved mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world."
He concluded by saying, 'During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge, with the respect and deep affection, in which the Queen was so widely held."
The Kingdom and the country that she leaves, reborn and remade more than once over her reign, faces new challenges, certainly that her son will now have to navigate.
Rising prices, growing poverty, war in Europe, and a sense once again that Britain's best days are behind it, a notion she addressed in a rare public message at the start of the COVID pandemic, invoking her childhood during the Second World War and the song that helped Britain get through it, "We'll meet again."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEEN ELIZABETH II: We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return. We will be with our friends again, we will be with our families again. We will meet again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joining us now from, London CNN Royal correspondent, Max Foster; CNN chief international anchor, Christiane Amanpour.
Max, can you just talk about the gravity of this loss and how it is being felt across Great Britain tonight?
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: I spent time walking through the crowds here and trying to make sense of it and it feels like a nation that's slightly lost. People don't know what to do with themselves.
There's been this seismic shock. They knew it was coming one day. They just didn't expect it now, and it speaks to the presence the Queen had in our lives.
She was always there. I would always look to her in moments of crisis, and she would appear and she would put out a statement or give a speech with no -- continuity was there, things would carry on as normal. That was what she was there for.
She is not there now at this ultimate moment of national grieving, and I literally think people just don't know what to do with themselves. They're just down there wandering about.
The formalities will begin tomorrow. King Charles will come to London, as I understand it. He will take residence here at Buckingham Palace, and he will address the nation, and he will -- well, imagine doing that after the death of your mother, but imagine having to convince the nation and 14 other countries that you are worthy of replacing her.
It's an incredibly difficult challenge for him emotionally, personally, professionally, but also, you know, the country wondering whether or not he can fulfill that position.
COOPER: And Christiane, I mean, the majority -- you and I we were talking about this earlier today, the majority of British people have not known a Great Britain without this Queen. She's been a symbol of continuity and stability for 70 years, one of her Secretaries called her a constant North Star for the country.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Yes, Anderson.
Imagine just the idea that one person was at the helm of this one country and its satellites around the world for 70 years. I mean, it just really defies belief. Such an amazing span of history in which so much was achieved, so much was lost, so much peace and so much war, so much turbulence, just so much history completed in the last 70 years.
And as Max says, you know, people, we saw it when we were standing outside the Palace, so many people coming as they heard the news. And when I was wandering around, I was just struck by how that famous -- The Mile as we call it that looks down from Buckingham Palace, all the way to Admiralty Arch in Trafalgar Square, the scene of so much pomp and circumstance, it was packed this evening with black cabs, those symbols of London, really, and they all had their lights on and they were all standing just still, not moving, obviously not taking passengers, but in tribute to the Queen.
And I'm also struck by the continuity, just hearing in my ear without even seeing those images and sound that you are showing of people singing "God Save the King." You see, it is, as they say, here, "The Queen is Dead, Long live the King," the continuity is built in.
And as sad as it will be, and it is true, we will never see the same in our lifetime or in anybody's lifetime, I believe that she has been the last of the long reigning leaders. We've never obviously seen it in politics, and we will never see it again in this regard.
But what's going to happen now is this highly choreographed, highly planned formalities that are going to play out over the next couple of weeks culminating in her State Funeral.
COOPER: Yes, Christiane, we were playing the crowd singing spontaneously "God Save the King," I hadn't realized, "God Save the Queen" was the British National Anthem.
[20:10:08] COOPER: So the country's National Anthem automatically changes upon
her death, and Charles is -- named as King -- to "God save the King." It's such a unique idea, I think, for many around the world that your National Anthem would change from one second to the next.
AMANPOUR: Yes, but I mean, that's the way it is. And frankly, you know, it was "God Save the Queen." That was the big change, after generations of Kings.
She is one of the very rare British Queens who was monarch, and to be frank, the Queens of this realm have been phenomenal. Elizabeth I, the great first Elizabethan era, what was called the Golden Era in this in this realm. Then you had Queen Victoria, who really did reign over the Empire upon which it was said the sun never sets on the British Empire.
And then Queen Elizabeth II, who outlived all of them in terms of the length of her reign, and who presided over a different kind of triumph, if you can call it that, the triumph of letting go of colonialism, letting go of the Empire, of being there, as Britain moved into the modern era.
All the while, of course, the idea of the monarchy, perhaps being more and more questioned now, after her passing, because in many, many parts of the world, that is not a modern institution, even though here it was a constitutional monarchy reigning over a full democratic process.
COOPER: Max, Christiane mentioned that the continuity, even the Queen, dying at Balmoral, a house which was bought by Prince Albert for then Queen Victoria, his wife, from one generation to the next. The real estate of this family remains the same, the importance of that place for the Queen.
Can you just walk us through, Max, a little bit about -- I mean, we talked a little bit about what will happen over the next several days. You said King Charles is expected to make a statement tomorrow, and then the funeral plans for The Queen.
FOSTER: Yes. So what will happen is this is the delicate tiptoeing here is, this is about remembering the legacy of The Queen, as Christiane suggests, one of the great Queens, arguably one of the greatest, arguably the greatest monarch ever.
So, that's what a lot of the focus will be, but it also has to be about looking ahead to the King Charles monarchy as well. So, you'll see that alternating from day-to-day, the tone changing and reflecting one or the other.
King Charles, I expect to travel around the United Kingdom, seeing the different nations within the UK. There will also be reflections on the Commonwealth, reflecting that he will be a monarch in 14 other countries as well.
Balmoral is a private estate. They are all there at the moment, the family together, putting their differences behind them, Prince Harry is up there with other members of the family as well, and that would be very heartening to the Queen, I think, to see, in particular William and Harry, coming together at Balmoral, which is of course, where she comforted them when they heard about their mother, Diana's death.
So, that is a very comforting, safe space for them. I think the difficult moment will start tomorrow when they have to leave Balmoral and come to London and move on, not entirely, of course, from their personal grief and family grief to addressing the national grief, and this is the great challenge of any monarchy.
They aren't just a family, they belong to the nation as well and they have to share themselves with the nation as well. So, I think we'll see Prince William, who is now known as the Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge. He will also have a high profile role over the next few days, bringing the nation together.
King Charles will be expected to bestow the title of Prince of Wales to Prince William, so Kate will become the Princess of Wales as well. We'll see all of this play out over the next few days as we transition over a period of about two weeks to a new monarchy in tumultuous times you described so eloquently at the top of the show.
This is a country in economic chaos, some political chaos as well because there is a new Prime Minister, who is untested in terms of mandate. It is going to be a big test for the UK and a huge test for Prince Charles -- King Charles as he is now, to try to bring everyone together. That's his duty.
COOPER: Christiane, before she was Queen, when she was a 21-year-old Princess, she said on a broadcast that was heard around the world, "I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service."
It is remarkable to hear that now given what we know of thankfully, she had a very long life, but it was a life completely devoted to service.
AMANPOUR: Anderson, there is no doubt about it, which is why she is so universally respected even if a monarchy in today's world may be somewhat anachronistic. In this country, it was put to work for the people, for brand Britain, for the business of Great Britain.
It was also in other words, not just a gilded family on a gilded life, but it was really Britain, it was brand Britain, and she being at the center of it and being almost irreproachable in terms of her own conduct, her own devotion, her own professionalism.
I mean, let's just face it, she had a job to do and she did it. She was a professional. She was a working woman, and she absolutely made that monarchy respectable and respectful to the extent that people are calling in, you know, to any Brit they know from around the world and offering condolences, as if it was our own family member who had gone. But it's not that. It is that everybody sort of wants to reach out in
France, for instance, which has had its, you know, years and years of history, war, peace. And even now, since Brexit, you know, you go back to that sort of inherent kind of competition there.
President Macron has announced that some flags over public buildings will be held at half-mast, that the Eiffel Tower has been turned out in respect and condolences.
You know, people like the Prime Minister of India from the country that was so huge in terms of the British crown, the jewel in the crown until it created its own independence in 1947. He also sent a message and I think I said it earlier many hours ago, incredibly, Narendra Modi talked about the handkerchief, the cotton handkerchief that the Queen showed him recently on a State Visit that she had been given as a young woman by Mahatma Ghandi, the father of Indian independence.
I mean, it's just -- I can't even believe I'm saying those words. She has lived out all those people. Imagine that. Fourteen American Presidents -- presidents and kings and leaders all over the world.
COOPER: Well, also when she got off the plane from Kenya, Winston Churchill was one of the people greeting her.
AMANPOUR: Her first Prime Minister. Again, imagine that. She came of age in the most cataclysmic period of history in you know, in the modern era, the Second World War. Lived with her parents in the Buckingham Palace, which was also at one point of time, of the Nazi, you know, the Luftwaffe and Britain and London was not spared the Blitz, six years of this, you know.
We think some of the crises we have to endure right now are hard six years of that. It was her family that kept this country together. And it was Churchill that kept the spirit of the allies and certainly this country together to victory. And the Germans have paid tribute to that, by the way to her role in keeping the two countries reunified after that period.
COOPER: Yes. There will never be another like her.
Christiane Amanpour and Max Foster, thank you.
More now on the idea of monarchy, as matriarch, it is, after all, the Royal family and for seven years, Elizabeth II was at the head and the heart of that family.
Randi Kaye has more.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): She was the Queen of England and the head of the Commonwealth, yet those weren't Her Majesty's only titles.
Queen Elizabeth II was also a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She had four children with her husband, the late Prince Philip; three sons, including Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward, and one daughter, Princess Anne.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Returning home, the young couple were reunited --
KAYE (voice over): More than 70 years ago in 1948, her first son, Prince Charles was born. Two years later came Princess Anne. Three years would pass before she was crowned Queen Elizabeth, life became rather busy for the monarch.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II: Today is another landmark because television has made it possible for many of you to see me in your homes on Christmas Day.
KAYE (voice over): She waited more than a decade after becoming Queen to have more children. Her third child, Prince Andrew was born in 1960 and the youngest, Prince Edward arrived in 1964.
Charles, who will now be King was the first Royal heir to earn a university degree. He later served in the British Royal Navy and became a helicopter pilot.
He married Diana Spencer in 1981, and the couple had two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. They divorced in 1996, long after The Queen had reportedly received word of his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, whom he later married.
Still in 2018, the Queen declared it was her sincere wish that Charles be the future head of the Commonwealth.
Princess Anne, whose official title is the Princess Royal, reportedly bonded with her mother the Queen over their love of horses and was the first British Royal to become an Olympian competing in the 1976 Olympic Games as an equestrian.
COOPER: A couple of years before that in 1974, she was the target of a failed kidnapping plot.
PRINCESS ANNE: I think, public figures have always been in danger to some degree.
KAYE (voice over): She went on to marry twice and have two children. Her son Peter was born in 1977 and daughter Zara came a few years later. Their parents chose not to give them Royal titles.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This wedding has made her very happy.
KAYE (voice over): The Queen's third son Prince Andrew, the Duke of York married Sarah Ferguson in 1986 and had two daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie. The couple divorced in 1996.
In 2019, Prince Andrew was caught up in a scandal involving convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew stepped away from his Royal duties after an interview with the BBC about his relationship with Epstein. One of Epstein's alleged victims had accused Prince Andrew of sexual
abuse and filed a civil suit against him. Andrew denied any wrongdoing.
PRINCE ANDREW: But there I can tell you categorically, I don't remember meeting her at all.
KAYE (voice over): Buckingham Palace also released a statement at the time, "It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation."
The Queen's fourth child, Prince Edward rose reportedly closest to the Queen. He and his wife, Sophie, the Countess of Sussex, told Sky News a few years ago, they spent most weekends with her.
Prince Edward and his wife have two children, James and Louise, who apparently at one point didn't know her grandmother was the Queen of England.
SOPHIE, COUNTESS OF SUSSEX: Louise had no concept really that the Queen was and her grandmother, were one on the same person. So, it wasn't until she was at school, where other children were mentioning and saying, "Your grandmother is the Queen," and she would come home and say, "Mommy, they say Grandmama is The Queen." And I said, "Yes."
KAYE (voice over): Beyond her four children, the queen had eight grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. Charles and Diana's two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, are perhaps the most well- known. After Diana's sudden death, The Queen consoled her grandsons, and all of England in a very public way.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II: It is not easy to express a sense of loss, since the initial shock is often succeeded by a mixture of other feelings -- disbelief, incomprehension, anger, and concern for those who remain.
We have all felt those emotions in these last few days. So, what I say to you now as your Queen, and as a Grandmother, I say from my heart.
COOPER: Joining us now is CNN Royal historian, Kate Williams.
Kate, as a historian, I mean, there is so much history here to talk about, can you try to just put this day into some perspective?
KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL HISTORIAN: As a historian, I mean, this is one of the most significant days and will go down as such, one of the most significant days of the 21st Century.
The Queen, her reign spanned the second half of the 20th Century. It really is the end of an era, not just the end of the Elizabethan age, but really the end of a Britain who was crafted by the post war ideal, The Queen, so imagine that she was born in 1926, the age of the flapper. Many women didn't have the vote, lived through the 30s, the Great Depression, the Wall Street crash in '29, and then World War Two, and how much that shaped her as a person.
Her service, she was out there serving driving ambulances -- ready to drive ambulances, out there really serving just like other girls, that's what she wants to do, and then became Queen in 1952. Pitched into this whole new world, a world she hadn't expected for many years yet to come and became the monarch in a time when Britain's influence was changing.
The Empire was crumbling, and the Empire under the Queen, what she wanted was a unity of nations, the Commonwealth, and to think she has been Queen for over 70 years, the longest reign in British history and was the head of the Commonwealth for seven decades.
The huge, huge 54 countries, a huge collection of the world, a huge section of the world's population, and all those Prime Ministers, all those Presidents, she has seen so much of history. She is in all of history than for the 20th and beginning of the 21st Century, and we will never see a rein like this ever again.
COOPER: And she got to meet Paddington Bear as we were -- just in that video.
It is so interesting to me how much has changed obviously in the world and for the monarchy over the last 70 years of her reign, but she was able to keep something of the mystery of the monarchy, which has been an essential part of it, sort of the majesty and the mystery of it. That is something that is harder and harder to do because the world knows a lot more about now King Charles than they did Princess Elizabeth when she became Queen, when she became a Queen.
COOPER: The world knows certainly a lot more about William and Harry and the fractures in the family and all that's gone on. How does the monarchy maintain some of that mystery or majesty without her?
WILLIAMS: Yes, Anderson. This is the key question, and when the Queen came to the throne, people said that she was a workhorse, she'd be respected, but she wouldn't be loved. And the converse has been true. She is both respected, and she is also loved.
She is seen as the nation's grandmother. There is so much affection for her, and those two, being respected and loved are really very difficult and we have a world in which when she started, many people didn't have a telephone -- when she started as Queen, many didn't have telephones, TVs were very rare there.
Many of us bought the televisions to watch the coronation, and now there's television, 24-hour news. There's internet, there's smartphones. People can never be private.
The Queen's Governor said Royals are only private in the womb, and that was in the 20s, and now it's so different, and I think that the Queen's reign in which she has stayed so above politics, no one knows what she thinks, we still don't know what she thinks and we will never know because we won't see her diaries, they're locked away in the Archive. They won't be published until years after her death. So, we will never see them.
We don't know her opinions, but we do feel we know a lot more about the other world's opinions and that when the Head of State is supposed to be politically neutral, is much more of a problem.
So she has been this incredible figure of neutrality and someone who has been a great force for peace and a great force for unity. But really, she has raised the bar very high for those who come after her.
COOPER: Yes. Kate Williams, appreciate it. Thank you.
Coming up next, we have a reaction from the White House and around the world to the Queen's passing.
Also explaining the enduring appeal of Elizabeth II as a global public figure. We'll talk to a British playwright and author about how the late monarch captured and kept the public eye.
COOPER: Showing you a live picture from the British Embassy in Washington D.C. tonight, flowers placed around the British flags as people pay their respects. I want to read you a passage from Queen Elizabeth seconds 1998 Christmas broadcast according now, with age does come experience and that can be a virtue if it is sensibly used. I'd be willing to put past differences behind us and move forward together. We honor the freedom and democracy once one for us at so greater cost.
With Britain and the western world now fighting against extremists at home and helping Ukraine defeat Russia. President Biden this evening signed the condolence book at the British Embassy in Washington.
CNN's Kaitlan Collins is at the White House joins us now with more. So, talk a little bit about how President Biden has been honoring the Queen.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: One mark of respect Anderson has been lowering the flags here at the White House to half-staff, as they did earlier today, not just here, but at all federal buildings. That's something that they're going to do until her burial. That is something that came right before he went to the British Embassy where as he was signing that condolence book, he had brought this card with him. It's often a card that you see President Biden carrying that has his talking points or his short remarks that he's making. He was copying from it in the book, this private message we don't know exactly what he said. But we do know that President Biden first met the Queen back in 1982. When he was a senator from Delaware. He has gotten -- had gone on a congressional trip to the United Kingdom.
He last saw her Anderson is president last year when the G7 summit with world leaders was hosted in the United Kingdom and Queen -- the Queen hosted a private tea for President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. And the President said that meeting went on for a long time. You know, you referenced what's happening in Ukraine. They talked about Putin at that meeting. They also talked about Chinese President Xi Jinping. And in his statement today, he talked about what a stateswoman she was and what she did to deepen the alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom as she met with so many presidents during her time.
He said Anderson that during their meeting, he said she charmed us with her wit, she moved us with her kindness. And she generously shared with us her wisdom talking about the impact that that meeting had on them, of course, one that every president dating back to Harry Truman, with the exception of LBJ had with the Queen.
COOPER: Do we know if the President actually plans to attend the Queen's funeral?
COLLINS: That's a big question. We've posed it to the White House. They haven't said either way earlier. Of course, it was when we had not yet gotten official word that she had passed. And they said it was inappropriate to comment on it at that time. But it is something that has been discussed, of course, in the grand scheme of things as people have grown concerned about her help. And so, it is a question for the White House if he will go the word has been that the funeral could happen in about 10 days or so. So, we'll see if that how that fits with the schedule here at the White House. But also, it's a big question of whether or not it could be what you so rarely see, which is this reunion of the President's Club here in the United States where former presidents, the current president go to funerals or big events like this. Of course, it's a question for former President Trump, former President Obama, former President Bush as well if they would go, they all each paid their own tributes to the Queen today. President Bush saying one of his fondest memories of being an office Anderson was when he and First Lady Laura Bush at the time had tea with the Queen and her corgis.
COOPER: Kaitlan Collins. Appreciate it. Thank you. President Biden is certainly not alone in expressing condolences today. Even though Britain's Empire no longer exists, its global influence and impact still does.
CNN's Erica Hill reports tonight.
JACINDA ADERN, NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER: The last days of the Queen's life captures who she was in so many ways, working to the very end on behalf of the people she loved.
ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In her final public act just two days ago, Britain's longest serving monarch welcomed the new British Prime Minister.
LIZ TRUSS, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built. Our country has grown and flourished under her reign. Britain is the great country it is today because of her. [20:35:09]
HILL (voice-over): Crowd gathering in the UK, many with flowers in hand.
UNDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very emotional, so I wanted to pay some respects.
UNDENTIFIED FEMALE: As I was called Sally Elizabeth, because I was born in the year of the coronation. So, she's been the only Queen I've ever known. And I can't believe it's happened so quickly.
HILL (voice-over): As the world paused in honor of a life dedicated to service. Moments of silence at the New York Stock Exchange, at the UN Security Council, U.S. flags order to half-staff until the queen is laid to rest. President Biden and the First Lady among the many world leaders reflecting on her steadying presence will also remembering how she charmed us with her wit, moved us with her kindness, and generously shared with us her wisdom.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: In a complicated world, her steady grace and resolve brought comfort and strength to us all. She was one of my favorite people in the world. And I will miss her so.
HILL (voice-over): The Eiffel Towers sparkling lights dark Thursday night in tribute, the Empire State Building set to shine in purple and silver. Tel Aviv City Hall, a brightly lit Union Jack.
UNDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's really sad that the Queen died because he did actually quite a lot.
HILL (voice-over): Elton John and Mick Jagger among the rockstars, honoring the Queen, along with sports greats, NASA, even Paddington Bear who famously joined the queen for her Platinum Jubilee last spring.
PADDINGTON BEAR: Thank you for everything.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II: That's very kind.
HILL (voice-over): Gratitude for a woman whose dedication to service and duty guided her as a nation for decades.
TRUSS: Through thick and thin, Queen Elizabeth II, provided us with the stability and the strength that we needed. She was the very spirit of Great Britain. And that spirit will endure.
HILL (voice-over): Erica Hill, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Want to get some perspective on Elizabeth II global impact. Joining us is Bonnie Greer, she's an author and playwright, former deputy chair of the British Museum.
Bonnie is so great to see you there. There are -- BONNIE GREER, AUTHOR: Good to see you, Anderson.
COOPER: There are few people in modern history that really garner such love and respect from around the world. What do you think it was about Queen Elizabeth that earned her that place in people's heart?
GREER: I think first of all, I think what's not talked about enough is that the British people have a deeply unconscious connection with the royal family. They are literally and it's in the last silent movie actors. What the British people do, and I think what we do and to copy them is that we project our own stories onto these people. And that's why tonight in London, and around this country, you see an intense connection with the passing of this great woman. Because what people do is they take this family into themselves.
So, the monarch, and this, this has been the Queen, she's been cleaning all of our lifetimes. This queen embodies the things we need at the moment. And she's very, very clever, very smart about that. She didn't talk a lot. And it's Kate, my friend Kate Williams historian had say, we aren't going to read her diaries. So that what people do, what the British do, and it's very clever, is that they actually build their own narratives around it. And we do that as well.
COOPER: It's such an interesting point you make and spoken far more eloquently than I had been trying to talk about that the Queen was aware of that and really, because she didn't show her what her inner thoughts was. It allowed people to project onto her whatever narrative that they wanted to project, it becomes harder to do that with a King Charles with King William, given how much more the public knows about them that they have expressed there, particularly King Charles has expressed himself in prior years.
GREER: But you know, Anderson, it will kick in, because the failsafe, the fallback is that the British people, a lot of people here complain about the monarchy and who are Republicans, there's not a Republican streak in this country. Because what the people do, and they do it brilliantly, is they project as I say they project on to what they need. Charles now will become what people need now. He knows that, he's prepared for that, his eldest son is prepared for that. That's how they're brought up.
So that in the sense, there isn't a person as we understand it, there is a persona. And what changes here, the changes here going to be enormous. The coinage is going to have to change. The national anthem is going to have to change. The names of the other lawyers are going to have to change. All of this the British people will take in their stride because that's the way it is.
COOPER: Bonnie Greer, we covered the wedding of Prince Harry --
GREER: We did, we did.
COOPER: -- Meghan Markle. I've never forgotten working with you. It was so lovely, and I really appreciate it. GREER: It was wonderful.
COOPER: So nice to be with you --
GREER: It was wonderful.
COOPER: -- on this day.
GREER: Thank you. Good to see you again.
COOPER: Yes, Bonnie Greer, thank you.
More to come, as we remember the life of Queen Elizabeth II, what a life. We'll be joined by a favorite singer of the Queen of the royal family someone who can say they sing God Save the Queen for the actual queen. Mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins started the classical music world shares her thoughts and memories of the Queen, next.
COOPER: Queen Elizabeth life was interwoven with so many famous and celebrated individuals. Our next guest is not only a world-famous mezzo soprano, Katherine Jenkins was also a favorite singer of the royal family and the Queen. She sang for her majesty on numerous occasions including a performance before the queen at her Platinum Jubilee celebration in June, marking Queen Elizabeth II 70 years of service. And it was during that performance that the Queen appeared and waved to all assembled to celebrate her reign. Here's a moment from that electric performance.
And we were pleased to Katherine Jenkins who received her OBE from them Prince Charles, eight years ago could join us this evening.
Katherine, we just heard some of your performance of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. I understand you performed for the royal family on a number of occasions and had the honor of meeting the Queen. Can you tell us about the first time you met?
KATHERINE JENKINS OBE, WELSH OPERA SINGER: I actually met her majesty after performing at one of the it's called the Festival of Remembrance here. It's a service that honors our fallen veterans. And I grew up in a household of my mom and grandmother who adored the Queen. So, meeting here was such a huge thing. And I think that ever since that moment, no matter how many times I've sang for her or met her, you never get used to it. It was always, you know, a massive privilege and a huge honor to sing for her.
COOPER: That first time. I mean, given you know, your family's love and admiration for her, which you grew up with. Were you especially nervous performing for her?
JENKINS: I was always nervous performing for her, it never got any easier. I think, you know, the very first time was, was very daunting. You know, it meant so much to the family. But I think as I've gotten older over the maybe 20 years that I've been lucky enough to perform for her, I've grown in admiration for her and for what, you know, she has done for the country. And so, it actually made it even more nerve wracking singing for her as the concerts went on, I never got used to it.
COOPER: I heard about a kind of a touching moment where you said that the Queen kind of saved you from embarrassment during a meal.
JENKINS: She, you know, there are lovely stories of, you know, I was invited to lunch at Buckingham Palace and she, you know, she acted in a very sort of warm and maternal way, kind of sense to my knees at the situation and helped me. And that was another reason why, you know why I adored her more, because I felt like she really had that connection and understanding people.
COOPER: How do you think you'll remember her?
JENKINS: Well, I think she has, you know, an incredible legacy. You know, the longest serving monarch, which just shows you know, how hard she worked and how much she was dedicated, you know, she worked pretty much right up until the end. But I think will remember her, her service, her duty that she gave her life to all of us. And so, definitely the mood here in London is, you know, it's we feel a sense of loss. It's very solemn and emotional, but also a sense of pride that we were so lucky to have her and live under her reign.
COOPER: We were shown this video with the Queen looks like she's waved at you.
JENKINS: You know, she -- I was very, very lucky to get to perform at her Platinum Jubilee Concert at Windsor Castle. You know, I was thrilled to be there, anyway, you know, it was a wonderful occasion celebrating all that she had achieved. But, you know, now I look back it's even more emotional because that was the last time that I you know, got to sing for her. But as she came around in the car, to sort of wave to all of the public she gave me a little wave which was a really emotional highlight and something I'll always treasure that.
COOPER: Yes. Katherine Jenkins, thank you so much.
JENKINS: Thank you.
COOPER: The coverage the life of Queen Elizabeth II, next. A look at Balmoral Castle the royal residents in the Scottish Highlands where her own family blue (ph) she was happiest and where she spent her final days as the longest serving monarch in British history.
COOPER: Queen Elizabeth II spent her final days at her home away from home Balmoral Castle, which has been a sanctuary really for the royal family since the days of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert bought it for Queen Victoria his wife. Members of the royal family say it was a happy refuge for Queen Elizabeth where, where she could get away from the rigors of royal life where she could hunt grouse fish. According to BBC it's also where she spent much of her husband Prince Philip's remaining years with him as well.
CNN's Isa Soares has more on the Queen's beloved homeland -- home in the Scottish Highlands.
PRINCESS EUGENIE: I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the highlands.
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Balmoral Castle, located on 50,000 acres in the Scottish Highlands, was the preferred summer retreat of Queen Elizabeth, where many say she felt most relaxed from the rigidity of royal life.
PRINCESS EUGENIE: Walks, picnics, dogs, a lot of dogs as always dogs, and people coming in and out all the time.
SOARES (voice-over): Free from public duty. The Queen could relax and spend time, riding her beloved horses, hiking and playing games like Shiraz with family members who would often make the trip to visit during the summer sojourn.
PRINCESS EUGENIE: It's a lovely base for granny and grandpa to be for us to come and see them up there when you just have room to breathe and run.
SOARES (voice-over): For all the splendor and grandeur of royal residences, Balmoral was known as homey, rustic, full of family photos. There was even a cushion embroidered with the words It's Good To Be Queen.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has described in his memoir, a weakened Balmoral as a vivid combination of the intriguing, the surreal, and the utterly freaky. Were pre dinner drinks were quote, true rocket fuel and the Queen has self would do the washing up, Blair wrote. They put the gloves on and stick their hands in the sink. The Queen asks if you finished, she stacks the plates up and goes off to the sink.
For Britain's longest serving monarch, Balmoral held a sentimental significance.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II: Aw, it's my foot you're standing on.
SOARES (voice-over): It was where young Elizabeth met her then officer in the British Army, who will later become her husband, Prince Philip. It was also at Balmoral that the royal family including Prince Harry and Prince William learned of the death of their mother Princess Diana.
[20:55:08] In happier times, the Royal Family's Annual Ghillies ball was at Balmoral, a Scottish Dance Party, from the time of Queen Victoria helped to thank the royal staff for their hard work. But it was the landscape that held the most appeal for the Queen. The walks along the hills surrounding the property, the hunts, the picnics, and of course, her drives around the estate in her Land Rover. A beloved place of history and of symbolism. A fitting end to her majesty's final days at home at Balmoral.
COOPER: Isa Soares, joins us now from Inverness in Scotland. It's incredible, I mean, it's 50,000 acres of land around that castle. Can you describe the Queen's relationship with the Royal staff at Balmoral, I understand they were quite close?
SOARES: They were very close. I mean, you, as you heard in that piece there, it really outlined what Balmoral meant, really to her from such a young age. And not of course, not just as a young daughter there, but obviously becoming fiancee then becoming a wife, mother and a grandmother. So, the memory she holds there is so close to her heart, like many of us is its home in many ways. This is where she spent much of her residence and of course, the staff are very part of really the furniture in many ways. She got to know them from a very young age. And I think today that's why you, you really feel like the saddest of evenings here, Anderson. I think there's a collective sense of shock and grief, but also of admiration for this incredible monarch and matriarch.
And I think it doesn't matter if you're in London Anderson, or if you're in Scotland, the comments I've been hearing are very much the same. One person said to me today, I can't quite understand why I feel like I'm grieving though I've never met the Queen, and it's because for about 80% of the population here, there's only been one monarch and that is the Queen. And that's why we've seen scenes outside Balmoral Castle of people bobbing their heads laying down flowers, paying tribute to a woman really that is defined their lives, been there constant throughout. As one of the Queen's former private secretary says the Queen was a constant like a Northern Star that's how constant she was.
So, people really today paying tribute of course, to a woman that has defined their lives. Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. Isa Soares, thank you so much. Our coverage continues the next hour, take a look at the Queen's life and pictures. We'll do -- we'll be joined by Royal photographer who spent 25 years documenting the milestones the memories of British royal family.