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Queen Elizabeth Makes Final Journey to London. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired September 13, 2022 - 14:00   ET



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: This was the party. This was all the ruckus...


AMANPOUR: ... for the jubilee in early June there.

And I have heard people who say that they came and they queued up for hours and hours and days to get a ringside seat for that. And they're doing the same now to say goodbye to her.

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And one of the big talking points today was about uniforms.

We don't want to linger on it too long, but the fact that Prince Harry's team told me that he wouldn't be wearing a uniform. There was some frustration that he's the guy that served on the front lines, and only him and Andrew did that. They're the only two that won't be wearing uniforms.

But they aren't working royals, so they don't have honorary titles, so they don't have a right to wear uniforms. But Harry's people told me that he will be wearing "a morning suit throughout the events, honoring his grandmother. His decade of military service is not determined by the uniform he wears. And we respectfully ask that the focus remain on the life and legacy of Her Majesty."

COOPER: That was the message from the spokesperson for Prince Harry.


COOPER: In just a moment, we will be seeing the coffin of the queen being taken out, greeted by the honor guard.

AMANPOUR: And, Anderson, we have heard it -- if we have heard it once, we have heard it many times, but it nonetheless remains very true.

The queen over 70 years became the rock. She was the rock of this nation through thick and thin, ups and downs, family travails, triumphs and disasters, national crises, in a very unstable, rocky world. And I think also people are reacting to that. Again, it wasn't unexpected that a 96-year-old matriarch was going to pass away. We knew that she was getting weaker. She had retired not quite, but reduced a lot her public duties.

A lot of them had been handed over to Prince, now King Charles, and the fact that she spent her last waking moments performing...

COOPER: It's extraordinary.

AMANPOUR: ... her constitutional and professional duty is extraordinary. I mean, it really is.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, two days before she died, she was greeting a new prime minister. It's amazing.

AMANPOUR: Yes. Yes. Exactly.

And, as we have said, the queen is also there -- for a balm, to be a balm on -- and soothe the country in moments of crisis. Well, this country is in a crisis right now, inflation, energy prices, poverty, strikes and the like. And she -- her person is not there anymore. And that's a little of what's been reflected in the outpouring as well.

COOPER: Thousands, tens of thousands people have come to London already, more, no doubt, as Max and Christiane have been saying, are going to be coming in the coming days for the funeral, which will be on Monday on the 19th.

FOSTER: A lot of people have come here because they're not allowed to camp out for the lying in state. You're not allowed to lie -- basically stay still in the queue for the lying in state.

So people are sort of milling around trying to wait for their moment to get in the queue. And then I think we will see it grow very quickly.

AMANPOUR: And, actually, it is growing right now behind us just for this evening.


AMANPOUR: This sort of plaza, but this open space in front of Buckingham Palace has suddenly doubled.

COOPER: We're going to go to the crowds shortly to hear from some of the people who had been waiting.

Actually, why don't we do that before we -- the queen is brought out.

Well, actually, it looks like that's going to happen any moment. So let's stay with this. And we will go to the crowd in just a second.

The queen's color guard, the queen's color squadron, 63rd Squadron RAF Regiment, is there. The bearer party will approach this C-17, remove her coffin and bring it to the state hearse, the guard of honor standing, presenting arms upon her arrival and until she leaves.

All of this, Max, has been thought out over decades. I mean, there have been plans. And then, as the years go by, new plans are made, constantly being adjusted.

FOSTER: Every month, they been gathering in recent years to review the plans. It includes the media organizations. How do we get these pictures? There's so much complication to all of. this.

And just think there's the state hearse looking there very solitary next aircraft. There will be this procession, of course, coming into London. There's a whole backup procession as well if anything goes wrong, and then there's a plan for the if the backup procession goes wrong as well. There are helicopters in place to try to resolve any situations.

And all of this is absolutely thought about. It's the number of agencies that are involved in this which I find so incredible, which is why we're all getting general updates about exactly what's going to happen daily, because they have to have it all signed off before they can -- we're able to publish anything.


COOPER: The sheer number of -- I was walking around in London earlier.

The sheer number of people involved in crowd control, it's not just police officers. It's people wearing yellow vests. I mean, every five or six feet, it seems there was somebody there. And this is before any crowds really had gathered.

There, we see Princess Anne, the princess royal, her husband.

As you said, Max, she has been -- every step of this journey, she has been accompanying her mother's body to ensure that every one of her mother's wishes has been carried out.


Well, not quite sure if the timing is exactly -- the timing of death. But Princess Anne was the only member of the family who was at Balmoral when the queen died. I don't know if she was with her at the time. But she was there. She -- we assume she was there.

The family were called up there. We don't know whether that was -- well, it was in the morning. So we know it's because they felt that the queen was in her last hours. And then they all got up there, and then she died in the afternoon.

So we can assume that Princess Anne was actually there at the queen's side when she died. She was also there in the state limousine behind the hearse as it drove from Balmoral to Edinburgh. And she's again here. And she will also accompany the hearse to Buckingham Palace, so a true responsibility and a real honor.

AMANPOUR: And, again, in this incredible choreography, there, it will hand over to the king and the new queen.

FOSTER: The prime minister and the defense secretary are both there behind, the prime minister extraordinary, introduction to her leadership. This has basically -- she's put everything, canceled her entire diary to be at every single event and really showing her support for the king throughout.

AMANPOUR: And, again, even that is complicated, because she hasn't been able to and did not choose to accompany the king to some of the more political events. For instance, she didn't go with him to meet the leaders of Northern Ireland. She didn't want to mix -- they're very, aren't they, Max, stringent about the operation between government and constitutional monarchy.

So, lest there be any mistake or misunderstanding about the connection between the two, she's done more of these official occasions rather than the political occasions.

FOSTER: Very keen. With Northern Ireland, she's very keen to encourage the relationship Northern Ireland and Ireland has with the British monarchy, because she's got some issues on the Northern Ireland Protocol, which you can speak to better than I.

She's expected to sort of cancel that, which is a hugely political issue. But if -- the role of monarchy is that they can retain the links on that higher level above politics, which is going to be pretty explosive in the coming year, I think. Biden is very involved in that as well.

AMANPOUR: The Americans are very concerned, the president is very concerned about it, because what Max is saying is basically they're going to, like, ditch a crucial pillar of the Good Friday peace accords, which the United States backed and helped support that was negotiated between the British government and the parties in Northern Ireland.

FOSTER: It's the Brexit agreement and the knock-on effect of the Good Friday Agreement, isn't it?

COOPER: One of the things I have noticed today is just the silence of people, the silence in the streets.

Let's listen into to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bearer party, inward. Turn. Prepare to lower. Lower.

Bearer party, 10 paces inward. March. Bearer party, six paces inwards. March. Bearer party (INAUDIBLE) Bearer party, eight paces outward. March. Bearer party, inward, turn.

COOPER: The journey is about to begin for Queen Elizabeth II, as she returns to Buckingham Palace, her home for the past 70 years, where she will -- she's going to be -- she will be here overnight.

And she won't be alone, which I find fascinating. There will be people in the room, people that she has been -- pastors, ministers that she has been affiliated with or associated with over the years.


It's as we saw in Balmoral and at Holyrood, Palace Holyrood. It's an opportunity for the household staff to pay their respects to the queen. So, it's an overnight vigil. You will see a very powerful moment at Westminster, where you will see reflected -- we saw it in Edinburgh as well, where the children will stand around the coffin facing outwards on each corner, that first part of the lying in state.

There is a similar thing you will see in the palace if you were allowed inside to the hearse heading towards Buckingham Palace.

We can share a statement from the princess royal, who, Anderson, you were talking about. She's been there throughout, and even more so than we expected.

She's issued a statement, saying: "I was fortunate to share the last 24 hours with of my dearest mother's life."

So, Anne was the only member of the family who was with the queen at the end, because the others arrived, we think, after she died, apart from Prince Charles, who might have just got there at time. He was at Dumfries House at the time, which is in Scotland.

"It's been an honor and a privilege to accompany her on her final journeys." This is from Princess Anne, who is traveling in the car behind right now.

"Witnessing the love and respect shown by so many on these journey has been both humbling and uplifting. We will all share unique memories. I offer my thanks each and every one who shared our sense of loss. We have been reminded how much of her presence and contribution to our national identity we took for granted. I'm also so grateful for the support and understanding offered to my dear brother Charles as he accepts the added responsibility of the monarch. To my mother the queen, thank you."

Interesting there, the suggestion that we took the queen for granted, I kind of know what she's saying there. I think this is something that's not going to sink in for weeks, months, even years, when she is not there, when we look to her. We are not -- we haven't got used to that idea yet, have we?

AMANPOUR: I agree. And I think it's really important that she wrote that line, because she's actually saying the contribution to our national identity that we took for granted.

So, what she's saying is that that is why this outpouring has happened. This is Britain's national identity. I guess, in the first hours after her passing, I sort of termed the queen and the monarchy, but mostly the queen, as brand Britain. This is what people in terms of tourists and visitors come from far and wide from all over the world to see.

This is why the French president summed up the feelings of the rest of the world saying, to you, she was your queen. To us, she was the queen.


And that is it. To the whole world, she was the queen. When everyone talked about the queen, it was the queen of England.

COOPER: One of her secretaries in the past had called the queen as central as the North Star.

And, Max, to your point and to Princess Anne's point about being taken for granted, we don't think about the North Star. It's always there. It's always something that can guide one. To think it's suddenly gone, it takes some time to sort of figure out what the new normal is.

FOSTER: She's created an emotional connection.

I mean, it was very clever, those two elements to it. So, she appears in times of celebration and grief, so we associate our most extreme feelings with her. She's there. We share them with her. So, that creates an emotional bond.

But the other thing she did was -- the diary is designed in a way that she's integrated into the pattern of national life. She's always there when Parliament opens. Even her personal stuff, she appears at Royal Ascot. If she doesn't appear at those moments, we're really unsettled, which is what we've had in recent times, which is why it's been an unsettling time.

And she's not going to appear at those moments. And when we get used to that idea, it's going to be difficult. And Charles will want to have his own moments. He's not that into horses, so he's not going to turn up at Royal every year. But maybe we will see him at something else. That's what he's got to try and design and retain his integration into the national life that Christiane was talking about.

AMANPOUR: I just think it's really interesting because she wasn't the most emotional of women. Everybody talks about how she kept her emotions to herself, and yet everybody feels this emotional connection with her.

She wasn't a woman who gave interviews. She kept silent. She kept this mystique in terms of reaction to the people via the press.

COOPER: And it's so interesting how there were many times, in the wake, obviously, of Princess Diana, when people wanted more, when people wanted and called out for that.


COOPER: And yet over time, the cumulative effect of that, first of all, not only did she learn from her mistakes with Princess Diana and the mining disaster, where she didn't go for -- until about a week, but the cumulative effect of that stoicism, that reserve was to bring people closer to her and to sort of -- and put on her their own feelings of what she was like. AMANPOUR: And we just played a couple of hours ago a clip from one of

her first Christmas broadcasts that was televised, in which she addressed this very point.

She said, you will -- I can never come to your places. You will not be able to meet me like a friend or whatever. I'm paraphrasing. But for that reason, I invite you every year into my home, into the palace with these Christmas broadcasts.

COOPER: I want to go to CNN's chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward, who is with crowds who have gathered and have been gathering just to get a glimpse of the queen as she returns home.

Clarissa, what have you been hearing? Talk about where you are.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, we are right in front of the palace gates, Anderson.

You can see it's a rainy, late afternoon, but that hasn't stopped hundreds of people from gathering here. And they're very much hoping that they are going to be able to catch that historic glimpse of the hearse as it comes around on the road behind and into the palace gates, and also hoping very much that they are able to see the royal family, who will be coming out, of course, to greet the queen's coffin as she arrives.

And what's interesting, though, when you talk to the crowd, Anderson, is that it's definitely somber, but it's not so much an atmosphere of great sadness, as it is an atmosphere of wanting to meet the moment, to mark the moment.

And it really struck me the discussion you were just having about people not really yet fully appreciating what it will be like not to have the queen in their lives, because everyone you talk to here, with very few exceptions, has only ever known the queen as their monarch. She's part of the fabric of life here, part of the furniture.

And so I think people are just starting to get their arms around what it will be like to have a new monarch. A lot of people we have been talking to as well saying the same thing, that they want to show King Charles their support today, that they want to give him strength and succor and show that they are behind him in this transition.

But, predominantly, I think there is a sense of wanting to pay their respects, wanting to say thank you, to express their gratitude and to play some small part in this historic moment on this rainy afternoon -- Anderson.

COOPER: And, Clarissa, it's so interesting, as the days go by, to see the sort of gradual transition to King Charles III.

I mean, obviously he became king right away after his mother's death, but in terms of people kind of readjusting their eyes to a new light, readjusting their minds to the idea of no longer having a queen, but now having a king.


We have seen crowds when Charles and Camilla have gone out to the crowds. The crowds have been extremely appreciative and very kind and sort of supportive, sort of encouraging him, encouraging them both in their new roles.

WARD: It's been very striking to see.

I have definitely been talking to a lot of people who have said Prince Charles and then had to sort of correct themselves, because, as I said, I think people are getting used to this.

But the overwhelming sort of sentiment that you hear expressed here is that we want him to know that we're here for him. And I think there's an understanding when you talk to people that he has had many decades to prepare for this role. I think people were extremely heartened by the tone and tenor of his speech that he gave.

And I think there is this sort of broader understanding that this isn't so much about any one individual, as it is about an institution that will go on and that gives people here a sense of constancy at a time where there is a lot of anxiety in the United Kingdom, and there are a lot of changes, and there are questions about the identity of this country.

And so this monarchy allows people to sort of come together and share in a common identity that is not political, but which is somehow ingrained into the very fabric of this society. And it's been interesting after years of speculation to see people, at least in this part of the country -- and, of course, the people who are coming here are people who support the monarchy and want to pay their respects -- but seeing them come out so emphatically in support of the new king.

COOPER: Clarissa, the queen's coffin is going to be arriving at Buckingham Palace through the center arch. Will the people where you are actually be able to see the hearse as she arrives right there?

WARD: They will.

And, to be honest, a lot of people here didn't even know exactly where the hearse was going to be arriving. Then it turns out it's going to be coming down Constitution Hill, just behind me, and pulling into this great here. So these lucky people who have been here for some hours -- and you can see there's some activity now, some arrivals. It's not clear exactly who that is.

And there have been several people coming and going, but these people have been waiting here, some of them for a couple of hours, in the rain, and they're very much hoping now that they are going to have a front-row seat, if you will, as the hearse makes its way into the queen's residence.

COOPER: And, Clarissa, as you were speaking, we can see the hearse passing in other parts heading toward where you are. It's going to take a bit of time more before it arrives there. A guard of honor -- once it gets through that center arch, Clarissa, I

understand a guard of honor found by the King's Guard is going to actually receive the coffin as it arrives at the grand entrance before it's actually carried by the bearer party, the Grenadier Guards, into Buckingham Palace, into the Bowers Room.

WARD: That's right.

And then, of course, the main event that people are now looking forward to is tomorrow, tomorrow afternoon, when the procession will begin for the queen's coffin to lie in state. They are expecting huge lines, Anderson. As you know, authorities here have been warning people you could be potentially overnight basically camping.

It's a long, long line that they endeavor -- they're hoping they can keep it moving quickly, hundreds of thousands of people expected. When the queen mother died, roughly 200,000 people went to go and see her lying in state. The crowds this time expected to be larger, but authorities also saying they don't know how many people they can physically funnel through Westminster, given that they have a sort of timeline of tomorrow, when she will be arriving to lie in state around 5:00 p.m., all the way through the funeral on Monday morning.

So there is a limited amount of people that can physically get through that site, but that is not stopping so many thousands of people from all over the country and all over the world who will be descending upon that area to wait in line patiently, very much hoping to catch a glimpse and to pay their final respects, Anderson.


Clarissa, I appreciate that. We will check in with you in a bit.

I want to go to CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance. He is also among crowds of people waiting for a glimpse of the queen as she passes on her way to Buckingham Palace.

Max, what have -- Matthew, what have you been hearing from people around you?


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, just as Clarissa was saying here, there is a great sense of anticipation building.

We are here at the gates of Buckingham Palace, by the way, waiting for the casket containing the remains of Elizabeth II to arrive here, where it has recently arrived, of course, from Scotland. People have got their cell phones up anticipating here, so they can sort of capture the moment.

And that's one of the main reasons, I think, from the people that we have spoken to as to why they have turned out in the pouring rain here in Central London at Buckingham Palace to try to witness this moment, because there is a strong sense that this is an opportunity to witness history, that she was such a figure who connected people in this country with the past, with continuity, that her passing has been very resonant for people, both young and old, also people here, of course, just coming to pay their respects.

So, what's going to be happening is that the coffin, the casket is going to be coming here to Buckingham Palace. It's going to be met by King Charles and the queen consort, Camilla. And it's going to be taken to the Bow Room, which is a private chamber at the back of Buckingham Palace. It's called the Bow Room because there is a bow window that overlooks the gardens, the parkland, acres of it behind Buckingham Palace.

And there will be a vigil constantly with clerics from the Church of England overseeing that vigil, and, of course, family members as well. And then, tomorrow, on Wednesday, at 22 minutes past 2:00 local time exactly in the afternoon, the funeral procession will begin from here, the gates of Buckingham Palace, through the Mall, down through the Admiralty Arch and towards the Palace of Westminster, where the queen and the casket will be laid out in state.

And that means that that's an opportunity for people to come and file past and pay their respects. And the expectation is that that is going to be a massive logistical event, which is going to involve hundreds of thousands of people. It will happen, continue 24 hours a day through until Monday morning, when the state funeral will be held.

And, of course, that in itself will be an enormous undertaking -- Anderson.

COOPER: Matthew Chance, we will continue to check in with you as well, as we continue to watch the body of the late queen returning home to Buckingham Palace, where she will remain here overnight.

I'm here outside Buckingham Palace with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, CNN's Max Foster as well.

Max, once the queen is brought into Buckingham Palace, greeted by, as you were reporting, a huge -- a large complement of members of the royal family, all of her children, grandchildren as well, and remaining there overnight with others in the room, there will not be cameras inside the room, inside the Bow Room. Is that correct?

FOSTER: No. No, that will be very private. It's meant to be private really for the people to have their vigil.

The public moment is when the -- for the public to have their vigil is in Westminster Abbey.

I have just been given some details about the state hearse, if you want to hear them. I mean, there are lots of details coming through to us at the moment. It's been designed -- it was -- this is the state hearse. This is a hearse for the monarch. It's only going to get used once, isn't it? Presumably, the next -- there will be a new one.

COOPER: This was specially designed for this purpose? FOSTER: And the palace state owns it, and it's in the state claret, so that color -- you probably haven't noticed this detail, but all the state limousines are the same color. It's a particular form of red. But, indeed, they call it state claret.


FOSTER: And it was designed by the royal household and Jaguar Land Rover specifically for this event.

And Her Majesty was consulted on the plans. So she designed it.

COOPER: Wow. Wow.

FOSTER: Amazing.

AMANPOUR: It reminds me of what you said during Prince Philip's funeral. Didn't he design the Land Rover?

FOSTER: He designed the Land Rover, yes, absolutely.


AMANPOUR: We ought to look at, though, guys. Just look at these vehicles on the road on the other side there. Most of them stopped to watch and pay their respects.

FOSTER: So, it's been kept in the Royal Mews this whole time, which is the garage. I mean, you don't call it a garage. It's the biggest garage you have ever seen in your life, and there is a riding school in there.

But it's behind Buckingham Palace. And it's just been looked after all these years.

COOPER: Did you say there's a riding school in the garage?

AMANPOUR: I know. I know. That just went right by us.

FOSTER: Yes, there's a riding school and stables and the garage.

And it's -- and the vehicle features Her Majesty's personal royal cypher, which you can see at the top. The state hearse has been designed to allow members of the public to have a clear view of Her Majesty's coffin as it travels through London and Windsor.


COOPER: It's extraordinary. It has lights obviously built inside it...

AMANPOUR: Yes. Yes. Yes.

COOPER: ... so that -- for this, with the knowledge that this might be done at night and, therefore, to allow people to see.

AMANPOUR: And the people now out...


FOSTER: You can imagine the conversation, can't you, as they were designing it. She was saying, I want people to see me.

AMANPOUR: Yes. And they are out there now.

Even, this is the highway, right?

COOPER: Lining the highway.

AMANPOUR: But there are people who have got to the highway. And, as we said, the cars and vehicles, it's rush hour. People are trying to go home, but they're stopped.

Do you remember, on the first night, when hundreds and hundreds of black cabs came up...


AMANPOUR: ... and lined quietly here in the Mall?