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Soon: King Charles To Lead Procession Of Queen's Coffin To St. Giles'. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired September 12, 2022 - 09:30   ET




POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: At any moment, the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II will begin to make its journey up the Royal Mile to St. Giles' Cathedral.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. One more solemn moment, historic moment, the King and other members of the royal family will then follow behind on foot. Let's go back to CNN's Don Lemon. He is in the U.K. Don, what are you seeing now?

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, thank you, Jim and Poppy. We're going to be following it all for our viewers in the United States and around the world as the kingdom says goodbye to its most beloved leader. It's also ushering in really the start of a new era.

Last hour, here's what you saw. King Charles III and the Queen Consort arriving at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where the procession will begin. That should happen shortly. You're looking at live pictures now. They are -- they inspected the guard there, guard of honor as you say. These are pictures from just moments ago, I should say.

They inspected the guard there just moments ago, the King stood before Parliament for the first time of his reign. Pictures of that on your screen now telling lawmakers that he feels the weight of history as he looks to fill the shoes left behind by his mother.

We have our team across the U.K. now. We're going to start with CNN's Richard Quest. Richard is here with me today. So Richard, the nation isn't just remembering the queen but it's also beginning to mark the start of a new era under this new King, King Charles III.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: And that's what we're going to -- we've seen today. We've seen a relatively celebratory atmosphere when he arrived which will now become exceptionally somber, as the lying and rest takes place in the first procession. This is going to be an extremely moving moment because -- well, let's watch.


QUEST: You see the hearse and the preparations being made.

LEMON: And they are beginning to move the coffin into the hearse. And that hearse will travel up what is called the Royal Mile here.

QUEST: It's a guard there of the Queen's -- the Royal Regiment in Scotland and the lament from the piper.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will hear the guns firing every minute.

LEMON: So the body of the late Queen Elizabeth II is now in the car. And as you see, the King has switched to full military uniform. I'm going to bring in now Christiane Amanpour and Max Foster. No one knows his schedule and what is happening better than our Max Foster. This is what he does. He is our Royal Correspondent.

Max, here we go. This is a -- this procession begins here at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and then goes up the Royal Mile to St. Giles' Cathedral.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: So this is the forecourt. So the procession will consist of it. You can see the bearers there who put the coffin into the hearse. They will walk alongside the hearse, all the way down to the cathedral.

They are of the Royal Regiment of Scotland as Richard said. They'll also be a detachment of the King's bodyguard in Scotland, the Royal company of archers as well. Full ceremonial here, there are the archers.

The King will then take his position behind them, and the Queen Consort. And we expect also the King's siblings also to join that procession. So a very powerful moment, very ceremonial. And as the procession arrives at St. Giles', it will be received by a Guard of Honor, and that will also be found from the company of archers.

And you will see that once the coffin is also brought into the cathedral, the crown of Scotland will be placed onto the coffin to symbolize, obviously, that this is the former monarch of Scotland as well as the United Kingdom.

And the congregation they are drawn from all areas of Scottish society, I'm told, but we also of course saw Liz Truss attending. As the British Prime Minister, she will be at all of these key ceremonial moments.

LEMON: And this -- the procession will go slowly. I want you to comment on this, Max, because we discussed it a little bit earlier that Prince Andrew would not be wearing military uniform. And so here it is, and there was -- we were wondering where we would see Prince Andrew and others in this particular procession.

FOSTER: Obviously, he's not a working royal. He was fired as Christiane put it, frankly, by his mother some time ago. He is still the Queen's son though. The uniforms you're seeing here worn by the senior members of the royal family, they're honorary uniforms. They weren't necessarily the regiments they served in.

He had to give up his honorary titles when he became working royal. So he doesn't have the right to wear a uniform which is why he's in a suit. Obviously, this will also be the case for Prince Harry when we see him at a ceremonial moment.

There are many of those supporters of Prince Harry though and, you know, a smaller amount of supporters for Prince Andrew who feel they should be allowed to wear uniforms. As we said, the only two royals that actually served on the front lines.

LEMON: Max, we'll listen in now.


LEMON: So as we watch this unfold, we'll dip in and out at least our voices when there are key moments that need to be heard here. But this procession is going to take a while.

They're moving very slowly what is called the Royal Mile here from the palace of Holyroodhouse to St. Giles' Cathedral, where there will be a ceremony and then later she will be laid to rest there, if I'm correct, because then -- this will be the first time that members of the public will be able to view the coffin and pay their last respects to Her Majesty, the late Queen Elizabeth II.

I want to bring back in our Royal Correspondent, Max Foster. Max, talk to our viewers about what is going on here, and about the procession and what happens now and later.

FOSTER: So this is the first full ceremonial moment of the mourning process recognition of the Queen as monarch in Scotland until very recently, and also recognition that there's a new monarch of Scotland. So you have the bearer party on either side of the hearse there, and the archers flanking them.

Obviously in the past, this was done for security, this is still security, these are serving members of the military. This is also a lot about ceremony. And you can see how practice this process is. They are perfectly in lockstep.

And also the royal family all deeply committed to the military are also committing to exactly the same pattern. This is not easy to do. It's quite extraordinary how much work has gone into this over a period of years or decades.

The limousine behind is carrying the Queen Consort. She will take her position next to the King in the cathedral. The crown of Scotland will be placed on the coffin and flowers as well representing Scotland.


I can give you more details about the exactly what we see during the service as it unfolds. I'm not able to tell you too much of that now, because this is all for the people of Scotland to really pay their respects, to -- and pay their condolence to the former Queen. We'll see very similar processes without the coffin play out in Northern Ireland tomorrow and in Wales on Friday.

You can see there these are, you know, before we come out of the castle grounds, or the palace grounds, these are still members of staff who've had an opportunity to pay their respects to the Queen overnight. But we're about to get into the process nearer you, Don, where you'll see these huge crowds.

And I think there'll be a lot of emotion. And will -- it'd be very interesting to see the spontaneous response of people. Because this has got a real sense of state occasion to it now, hasn't it? It's not just an administrative move from the airport.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Yes. And you can see what behind the hearse is Princess Royal Princess Anne. You can see Prince Andrew in his civilian outfit, Princess Anne in her royal regalia. And I think for the world, this is what the British do so well and in an unparalleled fashion.

This is the kind of ceremony that as Max says, it's taken sort of months and years of meticulous planning, but they've done this throughout their history, and they do it really, really well. And soon they're going to be right past the people. And I think that's what do you think. I think it's going to be quite silent in respect.

FOSTER: Yes. I can tell you that the coffin has a wreath on it. And made of white freesias, white button chrysanthemums, dried white Heather, which is from Balmoral. Spray, a thistle, obviously the symbol of Scotland, and some foliage from Scotland, rosemary --

AMANPOUR: Hebe, and pittosporum.


AMANPOUR: Local flowers. What's interesting, Max, you talked about the military guard essentially walking alongside. And can you see how very cleverly they're leaving a space so that the people can actually see the hearse, so that they're not -- there's the King, next to him, his sister Princess Anne, the Queen's only daughter. Next to him, Prince Andrew in civilian and next to him, the Queen's youngest son, the Duke of Wessex, Prince Edward.

LEMON: The only sound we're hearing except the clap of the horses here, Max, it is dead silent. The only thing we're hearing, we hear guns about every minute or so. Maybe the sound of the gun. There it is.

AMANPOUR: Max, don't you remember here, when the Queen's death was announced, they fired 96 cannons in a gun salute. I wonder if it's similar up there whether it'd be 96 or something different.

FOSTER: The bearer party found by the Royal Regiment of Scotland flanked by the King's bodyguard for Scotland, lined up behind Prince Edward, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, the King and Vice Admiral Tim Lawrence, behind, obviously, Princess Anne's husband he's been given a very high-profile role in this Scottish part of the ceremonial which is obviously something the Queen wanted. And behind them the hereditary Lord High constable. And then you've

got the equerry to the Queen as well.

So the Queen's senior official, very highly represented here. And then we've got the Queen Consort in the car, who's with the Countess of Wessex as well, I'm told. And the equerry to the King. And then there's various other officials lining up behind including the superintendent of the palace of Holyrood.

LEMON: And all of that, Max -- and all of that Max, as we had been discussing here every single detail of this has been thought out and planned and the Queen. This is exactly what she wanted. You mentioned the flowers, the exact casket exactly as the Queen ordered.

FOSTER: Yes. And I told you the King is wearing full day ceremonial uniform with the rank of Field Marshal. His Majesty is carrying his field marshal baton presented to him by the Queen when he became Field Marshal back in 2012.

He's also wearing the Order of Merit, which is a neck decoration. You may see that around his neck, with a thistle star and fissile sash, obviously, deeply connected to the country of Scotland.

And he's wearing several other medals. I mean, there's a whole list of them. I've been given the coronation medal, silver jubilee medal, golden jubilee medal, diamond jubilee medal, platinum jubilee medal, the naval long service good conduct medal.

Canadian forces decoration, which is interesting because Canada, obviously, I would say probably the most loyal of the realms very much reflected here but also medals representing New Zealand as well, with -- his wearing, which I think is interesting because these are the two nations, I'd probably say, the furthest from republicanism.


AMANPOUR: Indeed, and of course, everybody remembers or we should remind that the Queen herself was half Scottish. Her mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was a member of the Scottish aristocracy. So she has not just a constitutional and a hereditary connection with Scotland but actually a family connection as well. It's in her blood.

Prince Philip, rather, King Charles has often been seen in his kilt, hasn't he? He's often been seen in the -- not just in Scotland, but wearing the -- I guess what we say mufti civilian gear that Scottish men and women often wear.

FOSTER: Princess Royal in her Royal Navy admiral uniform as well. She's very closely associated with the Royal Navy.

AMANPOUR: And the people as we expected silent, reverent, respectful.

FOSTER: Guns, I'm told, Don, you're asking I just found out minute guns, their fire from Edinburgh Castle was the coffin moves. In processions every minute, you're hearing the gunfire. And you can see them on the left. And that will continue until they arrive there. LEMON: What is interesting as well is that the members of the public had been asked to dress appropriately, especially when it comes to -- going into St. Giles' Cathedral to view the body a little bit later on. And we'll talk about that, Richard. But what I had been struck by as well is, I wouldn't say that it is sort of -- it is more informed, but people have not been overly emotional. And their response has been very dignified.

QUEST: The nation has had many years to come to terms with what we are witnessing today. And the sadness, not tragedy. But the feeling of thanks.

LEMON: God bless the Queen, if you heard that.

QUEST: God bless the Queen, absolutely. And God save the King. And those are what we're looking at today. The -- who knew silence could be so loud.

LEMON: Yes. As they make their way up the Royal Mile here to St. Giles' Cathedral, as Max pointed out, as we were hearing, you hear the guns every minute, until they get to the cathedral here. But again, as we were discussing, it's been very dignified and not overly emotional, which is reflective of the Queen herself.

QUEST: Absolutely. This is -- the operation and the proceedings that you're witnessing was well thought out over many years. They were changed. They were amended according to who was in out up down what was necessary. But ultimately, Her Majesty approved every step of it as indeed did Philip for his funeral, as indeed that the Queen mother for her.

LEMON: Max, this is something that -- this is a, shall we say a smaller, perhaps more intimate version of what will happen on Tuesday, when there is a much larger funeral to take place in London? Will be very similar, but the crowds will be louder, there will be more people and there will be world leaders attending.

FOSTER: I think that's it, that will be an international event, a global event. This is very much a national event. So at the -- in the congregation, you know, you'll have these members of the royal family you're seeing here on the line here.

Also members of the military. You've got friends and family of the Queen from Scotland who have been invited to the service and members of the royal household in Scotland. So that will be Balmoral, but also the palace of Holyrood.

You've got civic society of Scotland, we're told, heads of the Scottish emergency services. Representatives from the Scottish royal patronages, all the charities that the Queen represented in Scotland, leaders of Scottish politics and educational institutions as well. Prince Charles, as he was, was educated in Scotland at Gordon Stern, has a close association with the country.

We've also got business leaders, professional organizations, sports bodies, the justice system, faith groups, across the faith, actually this will be an Anglican service. But faith leaders from across Scotland will be invited, youth organizations as well.

And the music, I'm told, will incorporate all sorts of material from Europe, the Anglican community. But also, it's going to have a real Scottish feel as well, Scottish Anglican music has been chosen and selected by the Queen for this very somber moment.


AMANPOUR: Max, I think it's incredible. You talked a lot about what the meaning of the fact that this is taking place in Scotland right now, what that meaning is given the political situation around it. But to what Richard said about how people have been prepared for this for a long time, that is absolutely true.

They knew that they're, you know, increasingly frail, monarch was one day going to depart. But I've been struck also, by the level of unexpected grief people are fearing -- feeling right now, the level of unexpected, you know, feeling slightly unmoored right now.

FOSTER: We see that when we look at the flowers, don't you? And they go to just see the flowers. And once they get to the flowers, it hits them. And I think in a very similar way, as I experienced with Diana, it's not always someone feeling sad for the Queen, there's suddenly reminded of people close to them who have died. And that's how they're connecting with this particular event.

Just to explain how they chosen the music and Prince -- the King is deeply involved in music selection on all royal events because he's an absolute expert in music. It's incredible what he knows. But this, the music of Thanksgiving celebration is all meant to reflect the long reign of the monarch.

And much of its being drawn from, you know, really well-known composers of sacred music, which the Queen loves. So it's Bach, it's Purcell, it's Tallis and music also perfect (ph) until the solemnity of the occasion.

So what the Queen wanted was this to be a solemn occasion. And that's because she's in a church and she's got a -- she had a deep, devout commitment to God.

AMANPOUR: Yes, she really did. And she spoke about that a lot. She wasn't shy to express her faith, not just formally as the head of the Anglican Church, but as a personal mission. She wasn't afraid at all.

But again, as we've said over these last few days, she was also not an exclusive out Anglican, in other words, it was for her. But she welcomed and understood and made connections with so many other faiths. And that's been reflected in how so many of them all the major faiths have reached out and sent so many condolences.

LEMON: I want to get now to our very own Isa Soares, who is on the Royal Mile now. Isa, I don't believe that procession has gotten to you quite yet. But give us a sense of what is happening there, what people are saying and what they're feeling. ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: We're not too far, the hearse is not too far, Don, from where I am. I would say probably about two, three minutes or so. But the mood here has definitely changed in last 10 minutes. Messages come from some of the stewards here that the hearse had left Holyrood house. It's gone much quieter, much more somber.

And some of the people I've been talking to today say they have very mixed emotions, which I know something that you and Richard were talking about wanting, of course, to reflect on the Queen's reign, and to thank her for her years of service. One lady said for dutiful years of service, but also incredibly power -- glad to be part of this moment in history, and to see the King alongside them here in Scotland.

I've had quite a few people, Don, telling me that, you know, how poignant it is that, you know, the Queen in many ways died in Balmoral, or died, you know, in Scotland, so they too can be part of this moment, her last journey or her last great journey, as King Charles III has said. But I can tell you what I'm seeing, a sea of people, phones being raised, people watching from, you know, their windowsills.

Some people clearly at work on this Monday are peeking out of windows. Parents carrying their children on their shoulders. I've heard dogs barking, and it is incredibly solemn. And people have been here for hours. Some bought their sleeping bags and stay the night. The elderly with stalls and different generations, different backgrounds all wanting to be here to pay their respects.

Even those, Don, who say they're not great lovers of the monarchy, say they have deep respect for the Queen and the role that she has paid in their lives and for what she has done of course for our country. I don't think we're that far away, the hearse is too far away from where we are right now because I'm seeing phones being lifted.

But, of course, just for our viewers to understand kind of the space, this is uphill, of course, cobbled streets as you know. And in between, of course, they're going to be flanked by the public 15 feet, I would say, between both sides of the public watching. Of course, this family grieving, watching them mourning and it's so exposed.