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King Charles III Formally Proclaimed U.K.'s New Monarch; Canada Proclaims Charles III New Sovereign; The Queen's Historic Reign; Queen Elizabeth's Iconic Wave. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired September 10, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
In a day of solemnity and celebration, King Charles is formally proclaimed sovereign of the British monarchy.
Following the 70-year reign of his mother, Charles becoming king in a ceremony with ancient roots, acknowledging the tremendous task ahead of him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING CHARLES III, BRITISH MONARCH: In carrying out the heavy task that has been laid upon me, and to which I now dedicate what remains to me of my life, I pray for the guidance and help of almighty God.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: It's the first time this ceremony has been seen on television. His wife, Camilla becoming queen consort and Prince William now the Prince of Wales.
Thousands of people are gathered outside royal addresses including Buckingham Palace, trying to catch sight of the new king on this momentous day.
And just moments ago the new king held an audience with the Archbishop of Canterbury, his first as king. You can see right there.
We've got full coverage of today's events. Scott McLean is at Windsor Castle, Isa Soares is at Balmoral, Scotland and Richard Quest is at Buckingham Palace.
So Richard, you first, you know, what will we be seeing, potentially, for the rest of the day?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: I think the rest of the day is taken up with official meetings with cabinet members, with ambassadors, religious leaders -- all the sort of things that Charles, both oath taking and pledging of allegiances, all these things have now taken place this morning so Charles has to now get his feet under the table and actually start doing the work.
And at the same time, that of course, remember, we've talked so often about this being two sides of the same coin.
The celebration if you like and intrigue of a new reign, a new king, a new enlightened era, if you will, coupled with the sadness, solemnity of the loss of Queen Elizabeth.
And we've gone backwards and forwards between that today with cheering for one and somber for the other. And it will be like that for the next week or so.
WHITFIELD: Yes. And Richard, it's not just for the people who are gathering, people who are watching on television, who are feeling like that juxtaposition of going back and forth.
But I wonder, too, for the king. I mean remember when we first saw him emerge and he was shaking hands with people in the crowd. He is smiling. It seems like it was probably an awkward moment for him because he is mourning the death of his mother. Yet at the same time he's greeting people knowing the task at hand, the weight on his shoulders.
QUEST: Which is exactly what he said in his speech, Frederica. The great weight that's been placed upon me.
Lesson number one, crucial fact. This man has been preparing for this since day one. For the last 50-odd -- 60 years he has known this was a moment he was been going to happen. He has been taking more responsibility from the late queen as she became more infirm.
So Charles hasn't sort of strolled and wandered into this without knowing what he was doing. That said, you're right. You have this incredible ability to actually recognize the duty, to get on with it, while at the same time mourn the loss that you did with the Queen mother, he did it with his father, now, of course, he has to do it with his beloved mother.
WHITFIELD: Scott McLean at Windsor Castle, what have you been seeing as the crowds continue to gather there?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey Fredricka.
Well, of course, after King Charles III came out from Buckingham Palace and mingled with the crowd and -- yesterday and after Prince Andrew and Prince Edward did the same at Balmoral Castle, people here are obviously hoping that they might catch a royal glimpse of their own, so they've cleared out this area.
Though I should say that officially on the record they have told us nothing about who or when somebody might be here if they are coming at all. This area has been cleared out from the many well wishers who've been
coming through these gates. There's a lineup that stretches all the way down the road.
Of course, on the grounds of the Windsor Castle estate is Prince William, now the Prince of Wales. His family just moved here recently so that they could have more privacy, more of a normal life. In fact their kids just started school here, about a 15-minute drive from here just this week.
Also interesting enough, only about 600 yards away from that house is Harry and Meghan's U.K. home, Frogmore Cottage, as well. So a lot of people have said that they hope that maybe this terrible event of the Queen's passing might be the spark that might lead to some kind of a reconciliation between the brothers.
I've also been asking them about what they've made of Prince Charles' speech yesterday and today as well. And a lot of people say that this seems quite reassuring. Here's a little taste of what people told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm very impressed with how King Charles is dealing with the world -- with our country so far. And I think he's going to be a great king.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Charles hit everything. He hit everything. And I think people may be a little bit worried that the -- as they called it, the Firm, wouldn't be run as strong. But I think it will be with Charles. I think he will now. I think he's a changed man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLEAN: You know, one of the things that people say about the Queen is she seemed to kind of stay above the fray. In fact in 70 years as queen, she never gave one single press interview.
And so Charles now having done plenty of interviews, having had a little bit more controversy and a little bit more baggage coming into this role obviously has that to overcome but almost every single person that I've spoken to, Fredricka says that look, they are happy to put that into the past and they are happy to embrace King Charles. And most people say that he will be a good king if you give him some time.
WHITFIELD: Scott, thank you so much. Pretty profound words coming from the very young and the very seasoned there.
All right. To Isa Soares now. so Isa, at the time, just prior to the Queen's death, family members gathering in Balmoral. And now, other gatherings taking place there today. What is happening?
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Frederica, Yes, I think what we're seeing is the other side of the coin that Richard, you and Richard were just talking about, much more somber, much more muted. We have seen a steady stream of people coming here this Saturday taking the time, of course, to pay their respects to the Queen, pay tribute to the Queen.
Because it's important to point out, not only was she a monarch she was seen as a matriarch here and she was seen Fredricka, more importantly, as a neighbor. She was part of the local community. People bumped into her, she walked her corgis, she drove her Land Rover. I even spoke to her butcher yesterday.
He said she was common to the shops. So people really was respected and minded (ph) the Queen and must I say King Charles too. Wonderful words from those who have met King Charles and bumped into him here at Balmoral which, of course, you knew their summer residence.
But we have seen that mutedness, that somber mood here today. And in particular, we've seen members of the royal family, in particular the siblings of King Charles III -- Prince Edward, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew.
They went today to a private service to a church just down the road, 10 minutes or so with their grandchildren. They were there for about 20 minutes or so. They came back but Fredricka. They left their cars just behind where I am and they took a moment really to just take in all the tributes, all the messages, the drawings, the paintings that people that print out -- have drawn, taken the time to really express their feelings for their mother and grandmother.
There was one moment I would like to highlight that we saw Princess Eugenie, that's Prince Andrew's daughter, shed a tear, wiped her face and her father having witnessed that embraced her, put his arms around her.
I mean it's important to point out while they may be incredibly happy that their uncle or brother has taken the throne, of course, this is very much still a family grieving.
Like you said, when Richard said, not only a family grieving but also a king grieving his mother. So very much the other side of the coin that we're expected to see today going all the way to Wednesday.
WHITFIELD: Right. All right, Isa. Right. Well, family members knew it was coming. I mean 96, at the same time still a shock and hard to grasp.
So Anna Stewart, you know, while this is very bittersweet, how hopeful do people seem to be in the new monarchy?
ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I almost feel there was a pivotal point yesterday when we saw King Charles address people outside Buckingham Palace. He reached about, he spoke to people and then, of course, delivered that address to the nation. It was at that point that we could really see a bit of happiness, a bit of joy, a bit of hope and optimism about the future of the monarchy. I'd say up to that point it really was more of a royal grief. And what we've been seeing as the hours have passed over the last two days is this incredible transition from people, who are still grieving, there's still some more grief.
I've still had tears today but as the days are moving on, we're getting more of a next chapter feel as people are both sad but looking very much to the (INAUDIBLE) of Prince Charles. I was actually on the mile as he left the official proclamation of the king. He's heading back to Buckingham Palace and there were huge cheers.
It almost had hallmarks, actually of the platinum jubilee which was only three months ago for the Queen and it's that continuity. So while people are mourning the loss of their queen, they're now beginning to look forward and that's the continuity of the monarchy.
WHITFIELD: And Anna, we haven't mentioned but I mean what about the Queen consort? Maybe it's early but have people -- do they feel like they're embracing her in her new role?
STEWART: I'm sorry I think I missed the first half of that question. I think you're speaking about the Queen consort.
There's a huge warmth of feeling to her. And we know this from polling over recent years. And we know, that of course, before the Queen died a few months ago, at the jubilee, that was when Her Majesty said it would be her preference, her opinion that Camilla should be a queen consort. And it really drew a line I think under public opinion, I think there was a lot of goodwill.
And from everyone I've spoken to today considering that we have had decades of difficult opinion I'd say regarding Prince Charles and his relationship with his current wife, given the history of Princess Diana, I think it's quite extraordinary to think that today there is good feeling, there is warmth of opinion about the king and his queen.
WHITFIELD: All right. Anna Stewart, Isa Soares, Richard Quest and also Scott McLean with us earlier. Thanks to all of you. We'll check back with you. Appreciate it.
So King Charles III is not only the monarch of the U.K. but of 14 additional places, including the Commonwealth of Canada where a ceremony was held to proclaim Charles the king. We'll take you there live, next.
Plus, tributes pouring in from far and wide to honor Queen Elizabeth. How her legacy is being remembered, straight ahead.
WHITFIELD: The British commonwealth of Canada also proclaimed Charles III the country's new sovereign with a ceremony in the country's capital this morning.
Joining us now, CNN's Paula Newton live for us in Ottawa. Also CNN's Polo Sandoval is joining us. He's in New York where people have been gathering to remember the Queen and her seven-decade reign.
So first to you Paula. Walk us through what has been happening there.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred, this is a ceremony that pretty much mirrors what just happened in Britain early this morning.
King Charles, now King Charles III, now formally proclaimed the sovereign of Canada. It was done in a ceremony not too far from here, in Regal Hall, that is the king's -- that would be the king's official residence when he is in Canada. And it was presided over not just by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau but Mary Simon who is Canada's governor general, who is now the king's representative in Canada.
I mean look, Fred, a lot of ceremony there, a lot of tradition. For Canadians here trying to take it all in, certainly a lot of affection for the Queen.
And Fred, to remind everyone the Queen said it so often Canada was like her second home, she visited this country more than any other, 22 times. And really Canadians in many instances returned that great affection that she had for this country.
I want you to listen now to a woman who was quite emotional when I asked her what the Queen's passing meant to her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think -- I think she was all our grandmas. She -- she was a constant. Didn't matter what was happening in the world -- wars, horror, poverty, celebrations, successes or failures, she was a constant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Reporter: you could see the emotion there. And while, Fred, that's not shared by everyone universally here in Canada, certainly there was a respect for the Queen and every time she came here, except for a couple of times in the 60s and 70s when there was some political controversy, she was definitely treated with affection.
The issue here though now is King Charles and what kind of king he will be. As you know, Fred, there are Republican currents running through most commonwealth countries. Canada is no stranger to that and we'll see how this discussion progresses.
I will say though for right now, these are remembrance days for the Queen. Canada will have its own remembrance ceremonies, lots of opportunities to sign books of condolence, people laying flowers, really taking in the fact that the Queen has died.
And as the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said himself, a person who's known the Queen since he was a toddler said she has been queen of Canada -- she had been queen of Canada for almost half of its existence, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. So that moment of mourning there in Canada probably taking about the same 10-day period as the U.K. is doing before she is laid to rest.
All right. Thank you so much.
Now to you Polo in New York. So how are people paying tribute to the Queen there?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Fred for ex-pats, British citizens who live in New York, this is as close as they can be right now. So they've come together, and as we've seen for the last couple of days here, it's tea and sympathy. Not to (INAUDIBLE) it's known around here as the unofficial U.K. consulate.
And it's where we have seen a small makeshift memorial here continue to grow since Thursday. We know that people have been coming here for the last couple of days.
Sean (INAUDIBLE) -- the co-owner of this establishment here says the people come for the healing power of a cup of tea but they stay for the conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just been a constant stream of people coming by, dropping off flowers to show that they're supporting us, and you know, feeling the sense of loss.
I can't but hope that the love for her -- just even a portion of the love that was for the Queen carries on with Charles. And I think he has every chance to do that. I think -- you know, I thought his speech was really great.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANDOVAL: You hear (INAUDIBLE) there touch on one of the angles we just heard from Paula a short while ago which is also that question of what will be next for just the monarchy as an institution. They certainly have hope. They will slowly be -- closely be watching the king.
But, you know, for now it's not only about remembering her legacy, but also celebrating as well. Back to you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Polo Sandoval, Paula Newton -- thanks to both of you. We'll check back with you throughout the day.
All right. Still ahead, thousands gathering to both celebrate the new king and honor the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth. How King Charles' reign will be different from Queen Elizabeth's.
WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. In a formal public ceremony earlier today, Charles was proclaimed
king, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. He will now reign over the U.K. including Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland.
King Charles III is already tending to the business of the monarchy. A short time ago he met with Prime Minister Liz Truss who was appointed by the Queen just days before her death.
Charles is the oldest king to ever take the throne and he follows the 70-year reign of his mother, the longest serving ruler of the U.K.
Let's bring in Sarah Gristwood. She's a historian and the author of "Elizabeth, the Queen and the Crown," and CNN royal historian Kate Williams. Good to see both of you ladies.
Kate, I want to begin with you. I mean give us a sense, if you can, of just how historic this day is, not just for the U.K. but for the world stage.
KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL HISTORIAN: Fred, what a historic day to see the Accession Council, to see the Privy Council televised. I mean this is really so important as a historian having studied this, the Queen's Accession Council, the Privy Council, the moment now when Charles signed this proclamation, signed the documents agreed to be king.
I mean this is a real huge moment. It's a giant transition moment for the U.K. The monarchy is changing what so many of us could never imagine happen. That the Queen would no longer be here and the reign of King Charles III began.
And really I think there's such a sense of gravitas and sense of importance, as you say not just for Britain and the United Kingdom but also for the world and also for the realms of which the monarchy is head of state. You were talking about Canada, Australia, Antigua, Jamaica, the Bahamas -- so many, you know, all these extra countries across the world.
And Charles really, it's his first full day on the job and really it's huge amounts of support for him, great popularity. His popularity ratings have been low, they've soared.
But he does have a lot on his plate. Britain is in an economic crisis and also the Commonwealth there are big questions about the Commonwealth transition and particularly other countries -- these others do they still wish to have the monarchy as head of state.
They said while the Queen was there they had a lot of respect for her but as you were discussing earlier with your correspondent, republican movements are rising, and we expect to see Jamaica, Australia, many countries saying in the next ten years or so within that time that they no longer wish to have the monarch has head of state.
So it's Charles' job to oversee that. In historic and stark moment when he became King Charles III officially this ushers in what he said in his speech was a heavy duty upon his shoulders. WHITFIELD: And Sarah, it does seem like it is going to be a difficult
balance to strike. And you see already that, you know, people, they are still in mourning of the Queen but I kind of feel like there is a bit of an era of excitement that we're hearing from people, just ordinary folks on the street, an excitement about this new king.
So is this an indicator of really what his standing is with the British public?
SARAH GRISTWOOD, HISTORIAN: Yes. Well, good question. Because as Kate said, you know, they used always to be doubts about Prince Charles as their new (INAUDIBLE). But I'm surprised both by how fast we seem to be coming to accept a King Charles, instead of a queen. And how fast he seems to be finding his feet.
He has, of course, had a very long time to think about what he's going to do. But in that speech that -- the address to the people that he made yesterday, you could see very much -- you mentioned balancing act. I think that's exactly what we saw.
On the one hand he praised his mother's love of tradition, but also her willingness to embrace change. He said, we are now a nation of many faiths, but affirmed his commitment to the Church of England.
And he echoed words quite consciously a number of times, or evoked them, referenced them of that famous speech his mother made on her 21st birthday. My whole life long or short dedicated to your service but he brought in some words his mother wouldn't have used. He said that, you know, he would reign, he would serve us with loyalty, with respect, and with love.
I don't really see his mother, or heaven knows any previous monarchs using that, saying they'll reign with love. So I think it is a balancing act but at the moment he's walking the tight rope very well.
WHITFIELD: That's interesting. I mean Kate, I mean he was groomed his entire life for this moment. And while Queen Elizabeth, you know, really did pride herself on largely staying out of politics, you know, and being kind of above the fray, do you feel as though she has been able to groom him to be, you know, kind of politically impartial? Is that the way he might, you know, reign, even though we have heard him speak about climate change and a few other initiatives? I mean will he back pedal on those things, will he try to be more apolitical?
WILLIAMS: Yes, well, so I was saying there have been concerns about Charles and I think one of the primary ones was that he was a campaigning Prince of Wales, would he be the same as monarch.
The British constitution requires the monarch to be politically neutral. They sign laws. They give the Queen's speech at parliament, and that speech is about what the government will do. Whether they like it or not, they have to give that speech whether they agree or not. And therefore, the argument to the monitors is that politics will go on in the same way and the Queen does not interfere. And that has been a concern about Charles. But I think he made it very clear in the address he gave to the nation, to the world last night, in which he said that when he was prince he gave a lot of time to his charities, to his causes, and he was now going to lay them aside to focus on his work as monarch.
I think that was his aim at trying to assure people that although he may have been a campaigning Prince of Wales, talked about climate change but also other, he actually wrote the famous black spider letters ten or so years ago, in which his letters to various ministers were exposed, in which he actually intervened in political question, and also has discussed international issues as well.
I think he really was saying I won't do this anymore. But I do think that his interest in climate change will remain. The Queen herself before she died was expressing the importance of climate change. I think all of us can agree that's not a -- you know, it's not a -- it's not the party political issue.
So he will mention it, it will be important to him but he will also focus on his neutral constitutional role. That's what he's saying. So let's see how it is.
WHITFIELD: And Sarah, what about on the world stage, do you see this as potentially being an easy transition for him and for other world leaders?
GRISTWOOD: I think the world stage is going to be harder in the sense of what Kate was mentioning earlier. You know, the number of other countries which currently have the British sovereign as their head of state, whether they will or will not wish to continue to do so.
In one sense, of course, he comes to the job quite well prepared, heaven knows he's been around on the world stage a lot longer and widely than many of our senior politicians certainly at the moment, you know, when we're obviously having a -- changes of regime.
But I think that he's always signaled that he is accepting of what comes if other countries no longer wish to acknowledge him as head of state, even wish no longer to be part of the commonwealth.
That is for them to decide. All he can do as -- all we can do is accept it. But my guess is, he'll be out there trying to hold together the Commonwealth that's so dear to his mother's heart really quite quickly.
WHITFIELD: And so Kate, I wonder you know, will he be leading a modern monarchy, will he be the king that answers to, I mean, a growing sentiment particularly within the U.K. of whether the monarchy, you know, is outdated, whether it's time for change, whether it's necessary at all?
WILLIAMS: Yes, the Queen always said that when we're no longer wished for, that is for the people to decide, just as Sarah was saying, it is for the people of other realms such as Jamaica and Australia to also decide.
WHITFIELD: And it may be the case that we see a quite quick succession I think after Barbados removed the monarch as head of state last year. Quite a quick succession of other countries leaving the monarch as head of state. It's constitutionally difficult for some countries but I think the political will and public desire is very strong.
And after that, I think people, there may be an increase in republican sentiment here. Certainly there has been in this country a lot of affection for the Queen, a lot of enthusiasm for the Queen. The Queen really for many has been the monarchy and a lot of people have held off on the wider criticism of the institution because they felt such affection for this woman who had given her life in service and was pitched into the role, age 10, never expected to become queen and has become I would argue our greatest monarch in history.
I think Charles will have a lot of more struggles. And really a lot of people are asking, what is the role of a monarchy and certainly if we head into the recession, economists are saying we're about to encounter in Britain, energy crisis, people being unable to heat their homes in winter, I think people are going to be asking why do we have a monarch with a thousand rooms -- nearly a thousand -- 775 rooms in their palace when we can't afford to heat our homes.
So I think funding in Britain will be key in questions about the monarchy. And I think it will be reducing I think the amount of money to the monarchy, probably will reduce over the next years.
WHITFIELD: And Kate, while you were mentioning, you know, the affection for the Queen we're rolling those images of -- I mean such beautiful images of she with more than a dozen U.S. Presidents, whether it's dancing or walking or laughing, and one has to wonder, you know, what kind of pressure, perhaps Sarah you can speak to this, what kind of pressure the king is feeling about what kinds of moments is he going to be able to create?
I mean how different, you know, will they be? Moments that will show, you know, how charismatic he is. How affable he is. There are so many pictures of her that demonstrate all those things.
GRISTWOOD: Yes. I think in a way it is harder for a man.
GRISTWOOD: I think the early days of her reign, she was this wonderfully glamorous, romantic figure, sort of fairy tale princess. Later years, of course she was the nation, indeed the world's grandmother.
It's a little bit harder for a man, for a king, to find that role. He's -- Charles' predecessor, Edward VII who also claimed the throne, you know, really quite late, found the kind of role as Europe's uncle, you know, sort of a kind of almost international diplomat.
King Charles will probably be feeling his way there. But I have -- I've got a lot more hope than I had a few days ago I'd say.
WHITFIELD: Ok. We'll leave it there. Sarah Gristwood, Kate Williams -- thank you so much, ladies. Appreciate it.
WILLIAMS: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: Among those honoring the Queen, Sir Elton John. He honored her with a moving tribute during his concert in Toronto, Canada Thursday night. The legendary singer who was knighted by the Queen just in 1998 reflected on her life and legacy before performing his hit song "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me". Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIR ELTON JOHN, SINGER: I'm glad she's at rest. She deserves it. She's worked bloody hard. I send my love to her family and her loved ones. She will be missed but her spirit lives on and we celebrate her life tonight with music. Ok.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: This morning the monarchy made it official, Charles III was proclaimed king in a ceremony with ancient roots. He is the oldest person ever to become the British sovereign.
CNN's Bianca Nobilo has a closer look at the years that he has spent in training, some marked by controversy.
KING CHARLES III: I would hope that we might strive for an age of reverence. Reverence for what gives us life and for the fragile world in which we live.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Charles was born on November 14th, 1948 to then heir to the throne Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To Princess Elizabeth, heiress presumptive to the throne a son had been born. Glad news that was soon echoing around the world.
NOBILO: Charles was bestowed a host of titles at a young age but did not become Prince of Wales until 1969 a role he sought to professionalize and redefine.
Many of Charles' predecessors treated the title Prince of Wales as a ticket to a luxury lifestyle. Notably the previous Prince of Wales, the short-ranged King Edward VIII.
While Charles did indulge in partying years the British press giving him the nickname the Playboy Prince he didn't want to wait until he became king to make a difference. Following his studies at Cambridge University, Charles went into the military. After leaving the royal navy in 1976 he founded the Prince's Trust.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: The Prince's Trust is something that he cares deeply about because he's done it for so long, It's one of his first causes, his first charities. But it also speaks to something he feels very strongly about which is youth unemployment.
NOBILO: On top of his own charities he's patron of over 400 more. Dedicated to subjects close to his heart, youth, environment and education. His schedule notoriously intense.
NOBILO: In a typical year he would carry out more than 500 royal engagements. Officials who usually coordinated from his London base at Clarence House (ph).
FOSTER: So he's a perfectionist. He wants to know everything about all of his different projects and causes and roles.
NOBILO: Charles will forever be associated with his marriage to Princess Diana. He first met Lady Diana Spencer in 1977 at her family home (INAUDIBLE). She was 17 at the time. Four years later, they were married.
KING CHARLES III: I'm amazed that she's been brave enough to take me on.
NOBILO: In 1982 William was born and Harry in 1984. Their parents going against the royal tradition of home births.
Cracks in the marriage were soon apparent. Both began extramarital relationships. Charles admitted to an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, who he went on to marry many years later in a quiet ceremony in 2005.
Charles and Diana divorced in 1996. The following year, Diana died in a fatal car crash, alongside her lover, Dodie Fayed, in Paris.
FOSTER: His priority was to look after the boys and there's been a huge amount of criticism over the years of both the Queen and Charles, for the fact that they didn't come down to London and support the nation but they very clearly made the decision to prioritize family over duties at that moment.
NOBILO: In that tumultuous time, Charles did what he had always done, put his head down and focused on his work. His campaigns sometimes sailed dangerously close to the line dividing the monarchy and politics. The infamous Black Spider memos revealed his passionate pleas on issues he was concerned about and gave him the nickname of the Meddling Prince.
FOSTER: The head of state which is the monarch, they have a duty to remain independent. Charles always took the view that he had more leeway before he was on the throne. But he always made it very clear that when he became monarch he would no longer express opinions in that way.
NOBILO: arguably the cause he has championed the most is the environment. His home at High Grove was set up to be an organic farming power house. He talked about pollution issues long before they were mainstream Becoming a leading figure in the flight against the climate crisis and plastic pollution.
KING CHARLES III: Global warming, climate change and the devastating loss of biodiversity are the greatest threats humanity has ever faced.
NOBILO: Charles is now the oldest royal to be crowned king or queen, much of his legacy already written.
Bianca Nobilo, CNN -- London.
WHITFIELD: All right. Much more of our special coverage will continue in a moment.
Plus back here in the U.S., weather whiplash in California. High winds and rain are battering parts of the state after weeks of unrelenting heat. The latest forecast coming up.
WHITFIELD: Queen Elizabeth will be remembered for many things including her hats and her corgis. But perhaps most iconic is her royal wave. Through hard times, wars and family tragedies, Her Royal Highness always had a wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Here is a look back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Wow, through the years.
King Charles now III is formally the new monarch of the U.K.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three cheers for His Majesty the king. Hip-hip.
(END VIDEO CLIP) WHITFIELD: Preparations are now under way for the remains of Queen Elizabeth to be transported back to London. The latest on when the funeral will be and what is next in the coming days when we come right back.
WHITFIELD: All right.
Intense winds in parts of California could worsen and destructive wildfires fueled by an unrelenting heat wave. Red flag warnings are in effect for much of the Pacific Northwest throughout tonight.
The explosive Mosquito Fire in northern California has already burned through more than 33,000 acres and remains zero percent contained.
The state is also dealing with flood threats from the remnants of tropical storm Kay. The storm brought torrential rains, breaking records in some southern California cities including San Diego. More than 5 million people in California, Nevada and Arizona remain under flood watches.
CNN's Allison Chinchar is tracking all of this. Allison, what a contrast of things happening on the West Coast.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: That is right. And there is rain on the other coast. Two. Two different reasons why. But yes also the potential for some flooding across much of the southeast. Really in about the next 24 to 36 hours. You've got rain right now across North Carolina, Virginia and even Tennessee and then look at this large cluster of storms making its way up into Florida.
CHINCHAR: This is also why we have a flood watch in effect for a lot of these counties just because of how much rain is coming across this area that includes Panama City, Tallahassee, down towards Tampa and even Sarasota.