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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo
Queen Lies In Rest In Scotland Ahead Of Next Week's Funeral; Zelenskyy: Ukraine Retakes 6,000 Sq. Km. Of Territory This Month; An Enduring Monarch And A Changing Parliament. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired September 12, 2022 - 17:00 ET
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BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Bianca Nobilo, live from Buckingham Palace in London.
You've been watching special coverage of a speech by the U.S. president focused on tackling cancer. We're now going to leave that and bring you the
latest from London, as the world remembers the Queen Elizabeth the III.
We begin in Edinburgh, where the Queen is lying in rest ahead of her final journey. Her children, Princes Andrew and Edward and Anne, the princess
royal, stood guard around her coffin in a vigil held in the past couple of hours. A moment of private family grief, shared publicly at St. Giles'
Cathedral in the Scottish Capital.
Members of the public are being given a chance to pay their respects for the Queens coffin is flown to London on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, the
king let members of the royal family in a procession along Edinburgh's Royal Mile, as the Queen's body was taken to the cathedral. Before that,
the king made his first address to parliament, vowing to serve the nation selflessly, as his mother had done before him.
The Queen's funeral will take place a week from now. It will mark the culmination of a somber and moving first few days for the reign of Charles
Max Foster has more.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The new king processing behind his mother's coffin. In lockstep with his siblings, along
Edinburgh's cobbled royal mile. The silence only broken by royal salutes and gunfire one a minute, from the city's iconic castle.
Inside St. Giles, members of the royal family and household as well as Scottish politicians representatives of the military, and Scottish civil
society paid tribute and remember the Queen's love of Scotland.
REV. CALUM I. MACLEOD, MINISTER, ST. GILES CATHEDRAL: So, we gather to bid Scotland's farewell to our late monarch, whose life of service to the
nation and the world we celebrate, and whose love for Scotland was legendary.
FOSTER: The late monarch's casket draped with a royal standard of Scotland and the nation's crown that she received here in 1953 -- a sendoff full of
Scottish symbolism and her son taking his first steps as Scotland's king.
Just shortly after, Charles III meeting Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, leader of arguably the most rebellious of his nations.
Sturgeon wants to eventually secure another referendum on Scottish independence, challenging the unity of the kingdom. But in her address to
the king at the Scottish parliament, she pledged her loyalty.
NICOLA STURGEON, SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER: Your majesty, we stand ready to support you as you continue your own life of service, and as you build on
the extraordinary legacy of your beloved mother, our queen, Queen Elizabeth, queen of Scots.
FOSTER: The encounter with the Scottish leader came after an event at Westminster where the king and queen consort received letters of condolence
from both houses of parliament. There, Charles III reiterated his loyalty to Britain's democratic values.
KING CHARLES III, UNITED KINGDOM: Her late majesty pledged herself to serve her country and her people, and to maintain the precious principles
of constitutional government which lies at the heart of our nation.
This vow she kept with an surpassed devotion. She set an example of selfless duty which with God's help and your counsels I am resolved
faithfully to follow.
FOSTER: Monday was Scotland's day to express their condolences. On Tuesday, the king heads to Northern Ireland and he visits Wales on Friday,
a unifying bid before a final farewell to the late queen at the state funeral on Monday.
NOBILO: Let's get more on the days proceedings. Richard Quest was watching events unfold in Edinburgh while Max Foster joins us here in London.
Richard, starting with you what's the mood been like all day, what else struck you the most about what you've seen?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: What struck me is the way in which the crown, and people have shifted their emotions from a moment of
delight, or pleasure at seeing the new king when he was walking about, meeting people, just seeing him in the back of the car, to the great
solemnity of seeing their king standing in vigil with his siblings around the coffin and catafalque of their mother. And that geopoly of emotion
which I think goes backwards and forwards as we have over so many days and we're continue to do so.
But we've got a taste now of what the public morning will be like. What we've seen in Edinburgh, the numbers of people coming along, the way the
responded, it's given us a very good idea of what will happen when the much bigger event takes place. Edinburgh is in tonight national. London will be
grand and international.
NOBILO: And, Max, Richard was just talking about the two different tones, the solemnity about the Queen's passing, and also jubilant that we're
seeing for King Charles III. King Charles addressed parliament for the first time this morning, both houses, the House of Lords and the House of
Commons. The relationship between the sovereign of parliament has quite a turbulent past.
How big of a deal is obviously all this?
FOSTER: Well, I think it's reassuring to everyone because everyone wanted to hear that he was going to continue in the Queen's vein, and the respect
of the democratic structure as existed under the previous monarchy.
So, that idea that there's three branches of government, three branch of parliament and the monarchy is one of them, but that parliament is not
going to get involved in the day to day. So you very much spoke to a continuation of that model.
I think there were, obviously, some politicians in the house of commons slightly -- there's going to be a meddling king but again, he's reiterating
as he's done in all of his public speeches, he's going to continue in the vein of the queen, and stay away from contentious issues and indeed
NOBILO: And on the note of the stability of the constitution, Richard, you are in Scotland. We know there is this big push for Scottish independence
from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who made remarks today to get the impression from where you are in speaking to be people even if they're
split when it comes to the even overwhelming support for the monarchy still?
QUEST: Oh, yes and the main protagonists for independence, Nicholas Sturgeon yes, has made it quite clear that they do expect that the monarchy
will remain, but it will be a monarchy of where the king of Scotland in a similar relationship, for example, to many of the king's other realms, that
he has. I don't see any problem with that.
Is there a movement to defend a straight the king in the monarchy from of Scotland? No, I don't get that impression at all. I get the impression that
they just don't like the English and the Welsh another bits of the U.K., and Westminster.
So, does it shift the argument, no, I don't believe that either. Thank, I whatever happens in the moments of grief, morning for the Queen. I pretty
much guarantee you, once politics gets out and running again in a matter of days, weeks, months will be back to square one.
NOBILO: I suspect you're absolutely right.
And, Max, in terms of the days, weeks that are coming. We're starting to build up here in London, a security presence is growing by the hour, behind
us down towards the streets around here. What can we expect to see in the next day or so?
FOSTER: We're expecting an enormous crowd. So many movements going around here. It's one example, the logistics. You know, these are people trying to
organize the procession primarily that's their first concern, on Wednesday.
So, once before it's going back to London, tomorrow, then it'll rest in Buckingham Palace overnight. On Wednesday afternoon, it'll be a big, grand
full procession from here up to Westminster hall, where the Queen will lie in state and then advice on queuing. And they're expecting long lines,
miles, and miles.
They're warning people, you might have to wait overnight, but you're not going to sit down because the queues going to be moving all the time. .
Once you get there there's going to be airport security, you allowed one small bag to get into the hall. Immediately, if you got the wrong stuff
with you after queuing all that time.
But I think it's going to be really difficult process, but it'll be interesting to see how many people come out. There certainly planning for
people to have to queue up to 24 hours to get in. So, up to five miles worth of cues.
NOBILO: Yeah, I remember reading earlier today, the facts will be a 24- hour operation as well so people will be able to come and pay their respects to the likely at any time of the day or night.
Richard, the final question to you, do get the impression that people will be flying into the country and traveling from far and wide to be here for
the funeral in a weeks time?
QUEST: Yes. Absolutely. First of all, you've got the world leaders, we just have no idea how many there will be, but an indication is that the
U.S. president has already been told that he can't bring his delegation. Of course, he can bring other people on the plane. But a delegation who will
attend the funeral will not be possible.
The three of us all know the abbey holds up to two and a half thousand people. It's going to be packed. So yes, there are warnings about public
transport in London. One of the police's biggest fears, is that the city will fill up.
Look, I covered the Queen mother's laying in state, all those years ago. I walk the line, and went through there. They were worried with the Queen
mother that nobody was going to show up. That was the fear before she passed away. Who'd want to come and pay their condolences?
But there's no such fear this time around. It's going to be a question of managing the large numbers from overseas, international dignitaries and
ordinary people paying their respects.
NOBILO: Richard Quest in Edinburgh, thank you so much. We'll be seeing you in London again tomorrow.
And Max Foster with me, thank you.
NOBILO: Still to come, we'll check some other news making headlines this hour, including Ukraine's lightning counteroffensive, how it's been able to
recapture so much territory in so little time. And we'll have much more of course on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, including a closer look at
today's most memorable moments from St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh. Stay with us.
NOBILO: Ukraine's president hand-delivered flowers to the British ambassador's residence in Kyiv today. Volodymyr Zelenskyy paid tribute to
Queen Elizabeth, signing a book of condolences.
President Zelenskyy says that Ukraine has retaken 6,000 square kilometers of territory from Russia this month. Not only are Ukrainian troops making
gains around Kharkiv and Kherson, they're also now seizing the town in the Donetsk region.
CNN's Melissa Bell has exclusive access to the other town claim by Ukraine over the weekend. We warn you, her report contains some disturbing images.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The tank spoke to a hasty Russian retreat, as Ukrainian forces fled eastwards over the weekend,
triumphantly raising the flag over Kupiansk on Saturday.
Local police forces providing CNN with exclusive access to a key town now meant to be under Ukrainian control.
We still feel uneasy because we've bombed for four days in a row says, Vasyl, and nothing certain yet.
Which only became clearer as we headed further in to Kupiansk.
A first artillery strike -- too close for comfort. Then a second, much closer.
That was the sound of artillery landing just next to our car, our armored car. We can't come into Kupiansk hoping to get to that flag to see where it
had been planted only yesterday, but as you can see, this Sunday afternoon and it's still the scene of some pretty fierce fighting. We're hearing the
sound of outgoing artillery fire. That was the sound of incoming.
The policeman tells us our car was deliberately targeted. Time for us to head back to those parts of Kharkiv region, now fully under Ukrainian
control after a six long months.
PAVLO, UKRAINIAN SOLDIER: Generally, people are happy. They're feeding soldiers, cheering, celebrating. They feel great, feel like redemption.
Yeah, they're eager to advance.
BELL: But in villages like Zaliznychne, Ukrainian investigators know all too well what they'll find after Bucha and Borodyanka, that were under
Russian control for only a month.
Yes, according to our information we are recording war crimes in almost every village, he says.
This, the body of one of two civilians killed in late February, an early victim of the invasion, and evidence now of what six months of Russian
occupation have cost.
Melissa Bell, CNN, Kharkiv Region.
NOBILO: A senior U.S. official says Russian forces have largely ceded their gains in the Kharkiv region and many are crossing back into Russia.
CNN's Clare Sebastian spoke to security expert, about how this counteroffensive in the east and south as reshaping the whole battlefield.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ukraine's counter offensive has reshaped the battlefield in a matter of days. They've taken more territory
in the past week than Russia has since April. So, the question is, had they do it?
We're going to bring in Neil Melvin, who is director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute, which is a think
tank here in London.
Now, what we're looking at here, is a map of what Ukraine has retaken, this section here essentially an area twice the size of greater London really in
the past week.
Tell me, how did they do?
NEIL MELVIN, DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES, RUSI: Yeah, I mean, there's been a dramatic change in quite a surprise. Everyone had been
focusing on the south, down here around the Kherson, when they're pressured Ukrainian -- this as it turns out, was a deliberate strategy to try and
pull the Russians away from the north, and then Ukrainians have found the gap in the Russian lines, they pushed in here really quickly, they've moved
very fast the got behind the Russians in the Russian front has collapsed. This area has turned to Ukrainian control.
SEBASTIAN: And it's still continuing, we're hearing they're continuing to take settlements? Where do you think the offensive sort of moves next?
MELVIN: Well, the challenge for Russia now is their front line has collapsed, so their troops are retreating often disorder, they need to try
and draw won their, to stop the attacks and what they've been able to do is minimum hang on to the area called Luhansk, which is in this Donetsk area,
which has been there and they've dominated since 2014 when the first war began. They can't let the Ukrainians there they're going to try to pull
back and regroup and Ukrainians will keep advancing until they hit the new frontline. Russia will try to hold them there.
SEBASTIAN: How we got into the point that Ukraine has managed to back Russia into a corner like this, what difference has the western supply of
weapons made here? I want to zoom in on this region as well.
MELVIN: I think what we've seen really is a number of things, first of all the Russian initial attack didn't have enough troops. Now they've run out
of momentum, the running out of troops, running out of replaceable equipment using these new NATO standard artillery and rockets that have
come in. Ukrainians have been destroying all of the supply lines, stocks of these weapons.
So, it's been a slow process and something very quick as the Russians collapse and they run out. So, a lot of what the Ukrainians have done
effectively, they've combined the different parts of the army, the air force, ground troops, rockets. They've moved very quickly. So, the Russians
don't have enough forces to control this very long frontline, and Ukrainians are punching through that.
SEBASTIAN: That's what we see this. With the red, Russian territory on august 28th, and by September 11th, --
MELVIN: Exactly, Ukrainians came through here, they pushed on towards Kupiansk, which is the key sort of infrastructure point and they struck
south. And this key town, Russians had to basically flee in disorder, and then try to regroup beyond the river.
SEBASTIAN: And I just want to show for comparison, this was the map back on April 2nd, when we'd seen another sort of what Russia called, regrouping
after their withdrawal from Kyiv there. But essentially, they had all this territory up here, they take and they were still attacking through Crimea,
down there as you compare that now, to what we're seeing, isn't that loss?
MELVIN: Yeah. I mean, the Russians are saying, that the policing invasion is still going according to plan, but what you see there, as you say a
series of losses for Russia. They're committed troops most of all in Kyiv, then Donetsk, then down to the south. Now they're trying to push back, they
may have lost up to 80,000 troops, 50,000 dead, 30,000 injured, thousands of tanks and armored vehicles.
So, for all of this, period, they've suffered all those losses and now Ukraine is sensing that there's gaps where they can move in further into
the south. That's 15,000 to 20,000 Russian soldiers, in Kherson on the western side of the river.
They can't really get across, Ukrainians are pushing here. It's possible the Ukrainians will do a third attack somewhere along this line, the look
for gaps where the Russians can't now deploy, to stop them, and push in, to keep the Russians on the back foot now up until the winter.
SEBASTIAN: So, Russia says it will press on with its aims, we'll have to see what that means.
Ian Melvin, thank you so much for joining us.
NOBILO: The Russian side is trying to spin these setbacks to something that a planned all along. Moscow claims that this retreat from Kharkiv was
part of their strategy and that it will achieve its goals in Ukraine.
CNN's Matthew Chance looks at how Russian president Vladimir Putin is handling this blow.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're at one people with Russia, this Kremlin propaganda poster. No one's reading it
anymore. As Ukrainian forces tear it down, the words of a celebrated Ukrainian poet, are revealed thinly papered.
Fight and you will win, he writes. It's one poignant moment in a stunning weekend of dramatic Ukrainian gains. In town and villages across of this
war ravaged country's Kharkiv region, Ukrainian troops are being greeted as liberators.
For months, these people have lived under Russian guns. Now it's Ukrainian guns, celebrating the recapture of strategic towns like Izyum, once a key
supply point for Russian troops.
Troops who appeared to have been routed, with equipment destroyed or just abandoned in the face of a lightning, Ukrainian offensive, heavy armor,
ammunition even food and clothes left behind. As Ukrainian commanders say that their Russian enemy is just turned and ran, powerful, humiliating blow
for the Kremlin and its military.
Russian officials are putting on a very different spin.
In order to achieve the goals of the special military operation, as they still call it, the decision was named to regroup Russian troops says this
defense ministry spokesperson. It's an orderly withdrawal, he suggests, of the chaotic route it seems.
But even on pro-Kremlin television, the once triumphant mood seems to shift towards reality and the blame game is now in full swing.
People who convince Putin this special operation would be passed and effective, really set us up, complains this pundit. Someone must have told
him that Ukrainians would surrender, he says.
Six months ago, did anyone really believe we'd be surrendering towns, asked another, and trying to repel a counteroffensive in Kharkiv.
This is a serious army, and their weapons are serious, too, admits a third, in a heated exchanges.
Ukraine's dramatic advance seems to have genuinely shocked Russia.
And that makes its leader, who oversaw Moscow anniversary celebrations in the weekend even more unpredictable and potentially dangerous.
Already, Russian hard-liners are calling for President Putin to act, mobilized troops, and double down in Ukraine, calls he may no longer be
able to resist.
Matthew Chance, CNN, London.
NOBILO: Pakistan is expecting more rain in the days ahead, and that means the monsoon season could stretch through the current month, record floods
have already affected 33 million people, washing away homes, roads, and crops. More than 1,400 people have died, and the damage is estimated at $30
billion. Many people are now dealing with food shortages, price hikes, and authorities want an extended monsoon can expose the most vulnerable to
And still to come on the show, we saw how packed the streets of Edinburgh were today, and London is expecting even more mourners. How do officials
prepare for an event of this scale? That's coming up next.
NOBILO: A warm welcome back to our viewers around the world. There have been moving scenes in Edinburgh today, as the cortege of Queen Elizabeth II
continued on for its journey in Scotland. It was here at the palace of Holyroodhouse, royal residents in the Scottish capital, where the Queen's
coffin remained overnight, after the six-hour journey from Balmoral.
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NOBILO: The procession began its journey from the palace of Holyroodhouse to St. Giles' Cathedral.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
NOBILO: King Charles III led the procession on foot with his siblings at his side. The streets of Edinburgh are packed with onlookers, standing a
near total silence.
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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: God bless the Queen!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: The procession then arrived at St. Giles' Cathedral for a service of Thanksgiving.
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NOBILO: The Queen's coffin was carried into the cathedral by the troops from the royal regiment of Scotland. She lies at risk here for 24 hours.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I welcome all of you to St. Giles' Cathedral, the high -- this ancient Parish church of Edinburgh. We gather to bid Scotland's
farewell to our late monarch, whose life of service to the nation and the world we celebrate. And who love for Scotland was legendary, let us worship
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: King Charles along with his siblings, Princess Anne, and Princes Andrew, and Edward held a vigil for their mother at St. Giles' Cathedral.
It's an ancient tradition called the Vigil of the Princes.
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NOBILO: After standing guard at their mothers coffin for a short period of time. King Charles and his siblings left St. Giles' Cathedral.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
NOBILO: Thousands of people packed the straight surrounding the cathedral. They applauded the king as his car drove off.
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NOBILO: And that touching nod to the Queen, and her connection with Scotland. Camilla, the Queen consort, seen wearing a diamond brooch, gifted
or by the late Queen. The thistle is, of course, the national flower of Scotland.
Now, the list of dignitaries planning to attend the Queen's funeral, next week, is a huge who of world leaders. Presidents, prime ministers, and
kings and Queens of every corner of the earth of the United States, brazil, South Korea, Jordan, Australia, and many others, and there's strict rules
for how those VIPs will get around.
They won't be allowed to take private cars to the funeral, instead, being transported in special buses. And most being asked to fly on commercial
flights, rather than taking private planes. With so many VIPs and world leaders in attendance, security at the Queen's funeral will be a high
Joining me now is Nick Aldworth. He was the national coordinator of the UK Police Counterterrorism Program. And over the years, he's been involved in
the security planning for the Queen's funeral.
Thanks for joining the program this week, Nick.
NICK ALDWORTH, FORMER UK COUNTERTERRORISM NATIONAL COORDINATOR: Good evening.
NOBILO: So, give us a sense of how you begin to plan something like this, when you have heads of state that ordinarily have gigantic security details
themselves, millions of people probably descending on the capital, and then, of course, securing the choreography of the Queen's funeral itself.
How do you begin to plan such a gargantuan operation?
ALDWORTH: Well, you started a long time ago. My first contact with the Operation London Bridge is more than 20 years ago. With an aging, monarchy
there isn't expedience to look at the eventuality.
Of course, we had some practice in years, with the death of Diana in '97, and the death of the Queen mother in 2002, and our former prime minister
Margaret Thatcher -- who was offered a state funeral. But let's be frank about this, the British particularly those that in the center of London.
We're absolutely no strangers to large ceremonial events.
We're counterterrorism lead for security of London. We were doing 600 a year of varying sizes. We're very used to working alongside in
collaboration with dignitaries. Many of whom have quite significant demands around how their head of state or monarchy, or president needs to be
But the Met police are great at doing that. The challenge this time around, is the sheer scale of it, in what is a relatively compressed timeline.
NOBILO: And while there have to be coordination between the police in various different security details of the head of states, other royals
that'll be attending, Queen Elizabeth the second funeral?
ALDWORTH: Yeah, absolutely. Very well practice in doing that, though. Those contacts have been enduring for many years. And often goes
unreported, just how many VIP visits there are in and out of the U.K.
The challenge will be that the Met police won't have enough protection officers to look after all of these people. And therefore, as you alluded
to in Europe or, they'll be some novel approaches to moving people around. And some request to those who, dare I say not come all mass and probably
not stay for too long, because, you know, once you start saying overnight, you then start to increase the demand for protection of resources.
So, there is a coordinating cell in London, that will be -- speaking to people. Now valley drafting and officers from around the U.K. to support
that protection operation and tailing all of those individuals, alongside the foreign commonwealth office to make sure, they get to a place of
worship on time and with the dignitary according to the sort of event. I have no doubt that it'll run smoothly.
NOBILO: And how do you balance in a situation like this, I suppose it's the age-old question of freedom and security. But the general public and
people who are traveling in from overseas, the ability to be a part of the day, and pay their respects, and get in some kind of proximity to the
funeral, with all of the security concerns and imperatives that you need to address?
ALDWORTH: So, the footprint that the main event will take way, and lying states in parliament building, it's relatively short procession from there
to Westminster Abbey. Since within the Westminster ceremony or footprint, and that has a semi-permanent protective barrier system around, because
that's -- you know, it undertakes that many ceremonies, that it is worth investing in that.
So, the greatest threat here is in some respects is removed. So, the vehicle threat is removed but there still remains like in so many
countries, were played by mobilization of terrorism in the U.K. in the form of lone actors who've radicalized, almost invisible to intelligence
So, those inside the main footprint will I believe be subject to some degree of screening, at different locations, the level of screening will be
greater than elsewhere. But the screening takes many forms, some of which you've seen, some of which you won't. There'll be offices deployed, the
special skills to identify aberrant behavior.
The greatest risk to the crowds in London, and the U.K. more generally are probably the traveling crowds, those who are not inside that ceremonial
footprint which as I say, will be well protected. The police service generally will be increasing for a number of resources that they had on
transport services, for example.
And there is always a call to the British public to be constantly vigilant. And it really is worth noting that overtime, many terrorist attacks have
been thwarted by public information. And so, the public here are pretty good at listening to the advice they've. Given and supporting the overall
NOBILO: And just very quickly to you, Nick, obviously, the Metropolitan Police and the police in the country are going to be overstretched as you
said. I mean, what's the involvement of other forces or the military in this.
So I have no insight into the specific numbers but, you know, the reports I'm hearing our totalitarian of officers being we drafted both from the Met
and by the U.K. to support the operation, I think that's a believable number. I think the issue here is whether you deploy an officer onto an
event like this, it has both the lead in and the tail in event, i.e., that officer has to come from somewhere the day before, you have to go somewhere
the day after. There is a reasonableness that has to be made for the hours that they worked and that's sometimes important involves more people coming
into those vacancies.
Look, we are 120,000 cops in the U.K. We are well-used to these mass events where we have to bring officers in from the U.K. to support each other.
I have no doubts that the right number of resources will be in the right place at the right time.
NOBILO: Nick Aldworth, thank you so much for joining us tonight.
And still to come on the show, a constant and stabilizing presence in Britain's political history. We look back at the Queen's relationship of
parliament and 15 prime ministers.
NOBILO: As British governments rose and fell, Queen Elizabeth II was a constant and stabilizing presence. Her reign began when Winston Churchill
was still prime minister and lasted through 15 British leaders.
Max Foster describes how the Queen navigated constantly changing times.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over0: Throughout her second decades on the throne, Queen Elizabeth had a vital relationship of the
government. Despite an obligation to remain strictly neutral with respect to politics, the monarchy holds vital constitutional duties.
During her reign, the Queen saw 15 prime ministers, all but one of them she officially appointed after a Democratic vote. Winston Churchill was already
prime minister when she took the throne and they had a unique dynamic.
In 1979, she saw a milestone with Britain's first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Tony Blair describe the annual tradition of visiting the
Queen at Balmoral Castle as intriguing, surreal and utterly freaky.
David Cameron was the youngest serving prime minister during her reign, and a former schoolmate of her son, Prince Edward. And during the ten years of
Theresa May and Boris Johnson, the contentious issues of Brexit came to the forefront.
The Queen had appointed her final prime minister, Liz Truss, only two days before she died. The Queen navigated each relationship waltzed commanding
respect from the elected leaders.
TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: When I became prime minister, one of the first thing she said to me as my first prime minister was
Winston and that was before you were born. So, you know, she -- by the time I became prime minister, she had this enormous experience of government, of
politics in its broader sense.
FOSTER: As prime ministers have come and gone, the Queen remained a stalwart figure in parliamentary procedure.
Year after year, the Queen opened parliament one, of the monarchy's most important symbolic duties.
In a speech written by the government, the Queen outlined the priorities of the current administration and introduced the legislative agenda.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II, UNITED KINGDOM: My governments first priority is to ensure sustained growth, to deliver a fair and proper economy for families
in businesses, as the British economy recovers from the global economic downturn.
FOSTER: Last year, she made her first appearance after Prince Philip's death by opening parliament in a pared back ceremony. This year, as her
health declined, Charles and William presided in her stead.
She had been absent from the ceremony only twice before when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
Now as King Charles III assumes his duties as the monarch, a new era begins for the relationships between the crown and the government.
Max Foster, CNN, Buckingham Palace, London.
NOBILO: Let's delve a little deeper into the monarch's relationship with parliament.
Joining me now is Robert Craig, an expert on British constitutional law.
Robert, great to have you on the program.
ROBERT CRAIG, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW EXPERT: Great to be on.
NOBILO: It struck me having worked in parliament previously that when King Charles was giving a speech to parliament this morning, there's a plaque
that stood not far from where he stood at marks where the first King Charles was condemned to death because of his extremely fractious
relationship with parliament. So there's often a turbulent relationship in British history, one of push and pull.
Can you describe for our international viewers what the current relationship is between the sovereign and the parliament?
CRAIG: Well, it's completely different. So, King Charles I was executed on the 30th of January, 1649, and still a date that resonates in our
constitutional history. That was a combination of terrible factors, but it brought a massive change in 1688, which is when the system became
parliamentary and the crown's role, the sovereign's role in that system became ceremonial and purely formalistic, and as things got more rigid as
time has gone by.
So, there is still a technical role for the sovereign within parliament, which is to give royal assent two bills that are passed through the House
of Commons, the elected chamber, and House of Lords the appointed chamber. That role is purely formal. It is an automatic sign off.
There is only been one occasion in the last 300 years where it is been refused. That was in 1707 we're Queen Anne was advised by the prime
minister not to sign legislation because of the change of governments. Now even 300 years ago, there was personal discretion. That's how rigid it is,
and that's how much we move on from that period in the 1600s.
NOBILO: And now, despite that consistency and uniformity of roles in between the generations, each one has a different personality.
NOBILO: They are different people. One of the concerns some had about now King Charles is that he was an activist on several issues and he was once
accused of being a meddling prince. There were some who were concerned that he might not be able to dispense with that entirely when assuming the new
rule as king.
But he sort of put in peoples minds at rest, can you talk to us a bit about up that why doesn't so important that he has to change tact now?
CRAIG: Absolutely. He made clear in his speech recently that he was going to pass on the baton. I'm paraphrasing slightly. He was going to pass it on
to others the project they held close to his heart, which by the way one of the most important ones the environment, he inherited from his father, who
had taken the lead in green issues for many decades.
So, there was a tradition within the family, and I think William will take that on, and others will take that on in the family, but Charles has
basically resigned verbally. He made it crystal clear that he is no longer going to be making any kind of public comment on anything to be contentious
politically. And that is -- if you look at William, William has a lot of interest in mental health issues. When he becomes king, he will have to go
quiet on that.
And the reason for that is that the crown is a cipher. It's a blank slate, the sovereign must be silent, precisely because political issues are for a
democratically elected politicians, and that is unbreakable rule. In fact the very power of the democratic politicians is predicated on there being
zero influence, zero power, zero contribution from an unelected monarch.
That's why we are a democracy and that's why it is so important that Charles does that. And he gets it, he quite clearly gets it and he said it.
NOBILO: And despite these prevailing expectations of moderates that they will stay out of the political affairs, that they will behave and only
performs ceremonial duties, can you identify any particular legacy of the late Queen Elizabeth the second in terms of what she's given parliament or
this constitution even if it's just we have forming or consolidating structures. How do you see her role?
CRAIG: So, the only time in her reign when there was the slightest controversy constitutionally was in 1963.
And that happened when a prime minister, Tory prime minister died and they didn't have a replacement ready. In those days, there wasn't actually an
election procedure for the conservative party to choose a new leader. We just had that process in this country.
Now, that's the last time. And she then was forced to rely on advice from people to choose who was going to be the next leader of the conservative
party. There was a bit of a kerfuffle about that because she's our elected, she's chief, she's not supposed to have any. And that's now being fixed.
So, that is the only time that you could say she's made a contribution. She held it well, she took advice, there was something said in public
obviously, but a decision had to be made and it was made, and it was a little bit controversial.
That's as close as it's got in 70 years, and her contribution I guess because of that likely, her contributions a bit strong. Following that
incident, the Conservative Party have now got a system, so does the Labour Party to make sure that they have a leader who is chosen by the party and
in under no circumstances can a monarchy be involved again. That reinforces the central message which is that this is a democracy.
And the constitutional monarch part is a formality only. It is purely superficial, has no real power.
NOBILO: Robert Craig, thank you so much for joining us. Really appreciate it.
And thank you for watching our special coverage from London tonight. Stay with CNN.
"THE SITUATION ROOM" is next.