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Britain Mourns, Prepares for New Era After Queen's Death; Tributes Pour in From Around World Following Queen's Death; King Charles Departing Scotland for Buckingham Palace. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired September 09, 2022 - 06:30   ET





LIZ TRUSS, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: She has been a personal inspiration to me. And to many Britons. Her devotion to duty is an example to us all. Earlier this week at 96, she remained determined to carry out her duties as she appointed me as her 15th Prime Minister. It is a day of great loss. But Queen Elizabeth II leaves a great legacy.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Don Lemon live at Buckingham Palace. This morning Great Britain and the world mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The longest serving monarch in the history of the U.K. died Thursday at the age of 96.

The Queen spent more than 70 years on the throne. When news broke of her passing, mourners began to gather outside of Buckingham Palace and Balmoral Castle, leaving flowers and lighting candles, many of them singing God Save the Queen.

The future of the monarchy will become clearer today when the Queen's oldest son Charles addresses a nation for the first time as King Charles III. He has already requested seven days of mourning after his mother's funeral.

I want to discuss a lot of this now and reflect on the Queen Elizabeth's life and her legacy. And joining me to do that is a former British ambassador to the U.S. Sir Kim Darroch who was knighted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. It was back in 2008. And he's also the author of Collateral Damage: Britain, America, and Europe in the age of Trump.

Sir Kim, thank you so much for joining us, I really appreciate it. Can you talk to us about her knowledge of foreign affairs, tell us about that and how knowledgeable she was and prepared she was the head of world meetings with leaders around the world.

SIR KIM DARROCH, FORMER BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO U.S.: Good morning, Don. When you get appointed ambassador, you have the honor of an audience with the crew, maybe to Ambassador. So, my witness here twice, they also met her when I was national security adviser. And two things stick with me from those audiences. The first was how extraordinarily well informed she was on foreign policy. She knew a huge amount, and she was absolutely shocked, but up to date on everything. If you haven't done your homework, you could really easily be caught out by just how much she would tell you.

And the other was her sense of humor. I mean, she had a very informal and liked touch with audience. And she had a whole range of amusing anecdotes, original to create, I can repeat. But it really was a proper conversation. There was nothing stuffy or formal about it. So that was it was a really memorable and extraordinary experience to talk to her. And to discuss foreign policy.

I remember that she met over 70 years, an extraordinary range of foreign leaders, including I think 14 American presidents. So that was someone who just had such extensive knowledge.


LEMON: So, I won't ask you -- let's see, how do I ask you this question, because I was going to say who was her favorite American president but I'm going to say, who in your estimation, was her favorite American president?

DARROCH: I wasn't with -- she would never, never say anything like that. And she was extraordinarily skilled with a whole range of characters, looking for that, that she got on very well with the President Obama and with his family. But if you go back through history, I remember visiting President Reagan on his ranch, or horseback riding with President Reagan around Windsor Park. And then she goes all the way back to question, the only one she didn't know was LBJ. I can't tell you who was the most the favorite was, my view she goes on, well, with everyone that she met.

LEMON: Yeah. That seems to be the story of -- that everyone who encountered the Queen, especially those within -- who had her ear, I should say they say the same thing. Thank you very much for joining us, former British Ambassador to the U.S., sir Kim Darroch. We really appreciate it.

So, Brianna and John you may have noticed us leaning over to turn up my earpiece because it started to rain here but that doesn't seem to have stopped the crowds from forming at Buckingham Palace. The rain got a little louder in the tent here. But folks are still out here by the 1000s with umbrellas, as you can see. They're still gathering.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Yeah, we're seeing more and more people behind you, now with their umbrellas up, braving those elements, Don. And of course, we'll be back with you here in just a moment.

We are learning that King Charles III has departed Balmoral for Buckingham Palace as he is getting ready to give the biggest speech of his life. The reaction from those who have met the late Queen Elizabeth II, who have met -- those who have met Prince Charles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are very honored to be here tonight to play for you, OK. Thank you.





HARRY STYLES, MUSICIAN: Bad news to learn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Please join me in a round of applause for 70 years of service.


KEILAR: That was Harry Styles last night taking a moment at his show in New York to honor Britain's longest reigning monarch. Tributes, farewells and thank yous are pouring in from celebrities, leaders and people across the globe.

Mick Jagger reflected on growing up in Elizabeth's England remembering her as the much beloved grandmother of the nation.

Daniel Craig, the James Bond character who faked jumping from a helicopter alongside the Queen for the 2012 London Olympics, called the Queen's legacy incomparable, adding that she will be profoundly missed.



PADDINGTON BEAR: Oh, yes, please.


KEILAR: Even Paddington Bear who just recently visited Buckingham Palace for tea with the Queen and celebration of her Platinum Jubilee, also sending a heartfelt farewell and thank you to the Queen.

And the rocket man himself, Elton John, who performed at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert called for an inspiring present, who led the country through some of their darkest, their greatest and darkest times with great grace, decency and a genuine caring warmth.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right with us now, Vanity Fair Staff Writer and co-host of Vanity Fair's Dynasty podcast, Erin Vanderhoof, also with us Royal Correspondent and Host of Podcast Royal, Rachel Burchfield.

You know, one of the things that I find so interesting, as we look at those clips of celebrities is, no matter how big of a celebrity you are, right? Queen Elizabeth was always bigger. So, the biggest celebrities in the world, when they went to meet her, there was at least one person who was a bigger deal than them? ERIN VANDERHOOF, STAFF WRITER, VANITY FAIR: Well, here's the thing, she hated the word celebrity. That is the word she hated the most. She didn't really consider herself a celebrity, she really, you know, saw herself as like an avatar for the nation, and -- but also a person who -- she would always go out of her way to try to make her feel comfortable. You know, she would always part of the reason why she always wore bright colors is because she said, you have to know who I am in a crowd, you know. She didn't kind of expect that people would, you know, genuflect to her though, you know, there were rules that something like that.

BERMAN: They did. And she -- you know, look, she hated being called a celebrity. But she was, I mean, she's the most famous person or was the most famous person, arguably, in the world. So, by definition, that was her role.

VANDERHOOF: Definitely the most photographed person in the world. I mean, and I think that in a certain way, because of the way that media has changed, we're never going to have somebody else who can make news just by existing in quite the same way. And, you know, you can see him in the way that the rest of the royal family has really adapted to new forms of social media. You know, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, they've -- they're now the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall on social media.

BERMAN: Just like that.

VANDERHOOF: Yes, just like that. And that that's, you can tell that that's going to be a really important -- in fact, like the family announced the death first on their Twitter page that was a Christmas that went out. And I think that you can tell that they are planning to adjust for just a different way of presenting themselves that the Queen just couldn't do.

KEILAR: That's the thing, Rachel, I mean, in a way she did not behave in many ways she did not behave like a celebrity, right? This don't complain, don't explain. I don't mean to disparage all celebrities, but sometimes it's the opposite. You know, was sort of thing for being a celebrity.


RACHEL BURCHFIELD, ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely and one thing I want to point out about her as a celebrity or as she would say, a non- celebrity, she had this uncanny ability to make everyone she interacted with, ask anyone who's been in the same room with her, make them feel like the most important person in the room she -- to your point about never complain, never explain. She never put her private life, front and center. In fact, her service was front and center and that is what sets her apart.

KEILAR: How do you think, Rachel, her focus on trying to be down to earth? I mean, I can't imagine with the way she was raised, the privilege that she had over all the years, it must have taken a concerted effort to try her hardest, to just try to stay with her feet firmly planted on the ground, trying to relate as she could and elevate concerns and the lives of just everyday Britons?

BURCHFIELD: I think that's just who she was, though. She was basically a queen with considerable privilege. But she considered herself to be one of the people and really lived -- I mean, yes, she lived in grand palaces and grand castles. But a lot of those rooms had not been redecorated. And very long she was -- she was very fastidious about turning the lights off, keeping the lights off when she left rooms.

So, in a lot of ways, and she grew up, you know, her youth, her teen years were in World War Two and there was sacrifice there. And granted, she will always be a person of privilege because of how she was born, and how she was raised. But the -- she really prided herself on being a relatable queen and she was. And that is another way that we will remember her is just as someone that anyone could feel at home with.

BERMAN: She was the last world leader who had served -- literally served during World War Two. Erin Vanderhoof, Rachel Burchfield, thank you both so much for being with us this morning.

BURCHFIELD: Thank you so much.

BERMAN: So, the Queen in her own words, we will play some of the speeches throughout her decade's long reign.


QUEEN ELIZABETH II: The melting pot metaphor captures one of the great strengths of your country and is an inspiration to others around the world as we face the continuing social challenges ahead.




LEMON: I'm Don Lemon live at Buckingham Palace. You have heard everyone else talk about the Queen. So, let's listen to her in her own words. Here's the speech to mark her 21st birthday in 1947. She spoke of her impending lifetime of service.


QUEEN ELIZABETH II: My whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and to the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.


LEMON: And said this after the death of Princess Diana in 1997, arguably one of her lowest points as Queen.


QUEEN ELIZABETH II: So, what I say to you now as your Queen and as a grandmother, I say from my heart, first I want to pay tribute to Diana myself. She was an exceptional and gifted human being. In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness.


LEMON: And honoring the victims of the September 11 terror attacks, the Queen wisely wrote, "Grief is the price we pay for love."

In May of 2007, while visiting Washington D.C. the monarch emphasized the importance of the U.S. U.K. alliance.


QUEEN ELIZABETH II: Administrations in your country and governments in mine, may come and go. But talk we will listen we have to. Disagree from time to time we may but united we must always remain.


LEMON: She spoke before the U.N. in 2010 on the importance of leadership.


QUEEN ELIZABETH II: Peace is the hardest form of leadership of all. I know of no single formula for success. But over the years, I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.


LEMON: And 2016, she reflected on her service in her annual Christmas message to the nation.


QUEEN ELIZABETH II: I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things, volunteers, carers, community organizers, and good neighbors, unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special. They are an inspiration to those who know them. And our lives frequently embody a truth expressed by Mother Teresa from this year St. Teresa of Calcutta. She might said, not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.


LEMON: At the end of 2020, while the Coronavirus pandemic was still raging, she offered comfort worldwide.


QUEEN ELIZABETH II: We continue to be inspired by the kindness of strangers and draw comfort that even on the darkest nights there is hope and the new dawn.



LEMON: The Queen in her own words. And just moments ago King Charles III left Balmoral Castle, where Queen Elizabeth spent her final moments. Later today, he will address the nation for the very first time as King. And next, how the Sports World is paying tribute to the late monarch. This is CNN special live coverage.


LEMON: And good morning to our viewers in the United States and around the world, it is Friday so December 9, I'm Don Lemon live in London. Brianna Keilar joins me from Washington. John Berman is in New York. This is CNN Special Live Coverage of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.