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Charles to Address Parliament for the First Time As King. Aired 4:50-5:30a ET
Aired September 12, 2022 - 04:50 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, everyone to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is CNN's special live coverage of the farewell to Queen Elizabeth II. It is Monday, September 12th. I'm Don Lemon live in Edinburgh, Scotland.
It is a day of transition here in the United Kingdom. Royal family and the people all adjusting to life without their beloved Queen while opening their arms to the new king. Elizabeth's adoring subjects they get to pay their final respects today. King Charles III and his Queen Consort Camilla, well, they will lead the royal family in a procession behind her coffin here in Edinburgh. It's an event-filled day. And in just moments, Charles and Camilla will arrive at Westminster Hall. That's where members of both the Commons and Lords will meet to express their condolences.
The royal couple is then scheduled to fly to Holyroodhouse here in Edinburgh to prepare for the ceremony of Keys. Ceremony of the Keys, that's what it's called. And that's when the monarchist handed the keys to the city here. Afterward, the Queen's coffin will be taken from the palace of Holyroodhouse with the King and the Queen Consort and members of the royal family, following a procession on foot.
This afternoon, there will be a service of reflection for the extraordinary life of Queen Elizabeth II. That service will take place here at St. Giles Cathedral. And moments ago, Prince Harry paid tribute in a statement to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. Thanking her for her -- and I quote here -- sound advice and infectious smile. He continued by saying, in celebrating the life of my grandmother, her majesty, the Queen, and in mourning her loss, we are all reminded of the guiding compass she was to so many in her commitment to service and duty.
I want to get straight away to CNN's Nic Robertson. Nic joins us now. He is at St. Giles Cathedral. Nic, good morning to you.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, good morning, Don. The crowds are really beginning to gather along the Royal Mile here. The cobble street that runs from the palace of Holyrood down the hill here where the Queen is lying. All the way up the street here around the corner behind me you can't see it, that's Edinburgh Castle. That's the Royal Mile. St. Giles Cathedral just on the corner there.
And I think very strikingly here, bigger crowds expected later today. Not just an opportunity for people here to watch the Queen's coffin go by to St. Giles Cathedral, but an opportunity to be literally feet away from the monarch, from King Charles, From the Queen Consort, from the other members of the royal family when they walk up the street.
I can't underscore how rare it is for people to be so close to members of the royal family for such an extended period, a half a mile walk up the street here. And also thinking of the members of the royal family going through what is a difficult, emotional time for them as well. A period of adjustment being under the scrutiny of what we're expecting here to be packed streets, throngs of people. It seems we can expect people to wish King Charles well as he walks up the street.
This is going to an extraordinary moment where the royals walk up, hear the comments, hear the support from the public as well as this time digesting their own emotions and for the King to again absorb that moment that he is king. He'll have his constitutional duties here, meeting with Scotland's first minister, going into the Scottish Parliament today. But I think this, this walk, up the Royal Mile, that's going to be a very emotional thing for everyone involved.
LEMON: Nic, you're exactly right. Nic Robertson, will check back with you. Thank you very much, we appreciate that.
The last time King Charles appeared in Parliament, that was in May, when he stood in for the late Queen at the state opening in Parliament.
Now that was a symbolic moment in modern British history where the Queen forced to withdraw for the first time in six almost decades due to a recurrence of mobility issues. Now Charles arrived at the palace of Westminster and then read out the government's legislative agenda. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING CHARLES, ENGLAND: In these challenging times, her majesty's government will play a leading role in defending democracy and freedom across the world, including continuing to support the people of Ukraine. Her majesty's government will lead the way in championing security around the world. It will continue to invest in her majesty's gallant armed forces. Her majesty's ministers will work closely with international partners to maintain a united NATO and address the most pressing global security challenges.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, joining me now CNN international anchor Richard Quest, CNN Royal correspondent Max Foster and CNN's chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour. Good morning to one and all. Richard, I'm going to start with you. Walk us through this Parliament address today. RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It's a
significant one because this is the elected members and their opportunity to say thank you to the Queen and basically good luck and we support you to the King.
What's interesting is you just played a clip of when Charles opened Parliament in his mother's name. And he talked about her majesty's government will do this. Her majesty's government will do that. The next time he opens his Parliament it will be my government will do this. My government will do that. So, there is a definite shift. It's a noticeable shift in what you're going to see today are further steps along the road of him taking control.
LEMON: This is not just ceremonial, this is a transition of power.
QUEST: Completely and utterly, Don. Little bits. It's all part of a very, very large jigsaw, but each day another piece of that jigsaw is being placed on the table.
LEMON: Yes. Max Foster, to you now. Tell us more about the statement with -- I read part of it, that just came in from Prince Harry.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so what we're expecting today is a procession. I think it's going to be very powerful where you are. This is going to be the first procession of the family. I'm expecting to see all the children of the Queen. I'm not expecting to see any of the grandchildren. So, I'm not now expecting to see Harry and William, but it will be a silent walk to the cathedral. I think it'll be extremely powerful.
I've actually just received the order of service as well. Very religious, very spiritual. The dean is doing most of the readings. There will be a reading though from a young Nigerian student from the Commonwealth. So, I think we're going to be seen the Commonwealth very much reflected today in the church service.
As you say, we've also heard from Prince Harry today. He didn't speak yesterday, my understanding is because he didn't want to interfere with the 9/11 -- just trying to pull it up now, the anniversary of the 9/11. So, this is what Prince Harry said. I only got this statement, you know, 40 minutes ago.
Thank you for your commitment, your service, thank you for your sound advice. Thank you for your infectious smile.
That was the headline to me. He was so connected with the Queen. We talk a lot about the Queen's sense of humor. I mean, that was definitely inherited by Harry. It's kind of a cheeky sense of humor. A bit of swearing behind closed doors, I think. That's what I heard sometimes.
Now I'm celebrating the life of my grandmother, her majesty, the Queen. And in mourning her loss we are all reminded of the guiding compass she was to so many in her commitment to service and duty. She was globally admired and respected. Her unwavering grace and dignity remained true throughout her life and now her everlasting legacy. What I thought was really interesting, he talked about the Queen as
commander of the armed forces. You got to remember that for Harry, the armed forces were integral to him. He didn't just look up to her as a grandmother but also as a boss and someone he served and risked his life for. He also at the end commits to the next reign, to Charles III reign. I think that's quite profound as well. You saw Charles reaching out to Harry during his address to the nation. Saying that Harry and Meghan were much loved. And now we have Harry reaching out to Charles, I commit to your monarchy. So, I'm not sure we're going to hear much more about the criticism from Harry that we have seen in the past of Prince Charles. It feels like a line has been drawn there. But they're unpredictable, so I don't know. It was a big gesture I think from Harry in that statement today.
LEMON: Christiane, a lot of things to be done today, including business. Take us forward. What are you looking forward at the next hour in Parliament?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, what we know is that in about 15 minutes or so, according to the official run down, the king, King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla will leave this area. They're actually leaving Clarence House. They have not apparently spent the night in Buckingham Palace yet but they're in Clarence House which up until now has been their official residence which is literally just in front of us here.
They will leave there and then go to Westminster where the prime minister is, and they will take part in this constitutional right of passage where the prime minister and other formal leaders, you saw some of them there, certainly the leader of the opposition as well, will be there.
It's a joint session, if you like. If you use it in congressional forms -- terms. It's a joint session of parliament because it's House of Lords and the House of Commons are dignitaries there to meet the new king and the queen consort. And there will be words delivered, and there will be, you know, the pattern again of transfer of power.
Then, in a more personal, you know, choreography, then they will go off from RAF north hold, which is an Air Force base, but it's also where the military -- sorry, the royal aircraft fly from. And they're going obviously up to Edinburgh where you all are to take part in what Max was describing as this solemn procession to the Cathedral of St. Giles.
And it's really interesting because as Max is talking about, the family trying to heal potentially in making very public glue over the schisms that have arisen over the last several years, so too is the country. It is trying also to heal to come to terms. It has lost a matriarch. And I think interestingly, I have been listening to a lot of commentary from Scotland, from officials who are well aware, much better aware than I am of the politics there, of the culture there, our historians and the like. For the Scottish people who will come out and line that royal mile
there, as we saw yesterday, will be incredibly close to the people of the royal dynasty, to King Charles and his brothers and sisters. It's sort of is divided into three layers for them, I'm told. First, allegiance to the queen and affection for the queen who is part of their everyday lives.
You know, she went to their farms, to their churches, to their town halls. She was in the villages. She was -- she was known up there very well. Then comes the monarchy, and there you see a little less sort -- less sort of polling support. And then comes the tricky issue of the constitutional relationship between Scotland and the United Kingdom.
And that is where you get the trickiest relationship. So, all of that is to be sorted out in the coming months and years. But the affection for the queen, the person of the queen is in no doubt across this entire realm.
DON LEMON, ANCHOR, NEW DAY: Yes, and Richard, this is no doubt a family affair as Christiane has mentioned, but it is also the affair of the people and the affair of the country all taking place at once -- of the entire union realms all taking place at once.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: I think you're seeing this. If you look at the pictures of what we're seeing at the moment, these pictures of the members of the household Cavalry senior branches, all coming together at Westminster, or where you're going to get government pledging and coming together with monarchy.
Here you're going to get the people. And then the lot all comes together with the processions that take place over the next few days. It is classically a grieving process, but at the same time, it's grief with transformation and transition.
LEMON: And it should be noted as we look at these pictures at Westminster Hall, Max, Scotland, the Scottish people are the first people who will be able to move past the queen's coffin today. They're the first to say good-bye to the queen in a place that she loved so much.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: You're absolutely right. And this is the hall where the queen will lie in state when the body eventually comes to London, and I think these will be extraordinary scenes. You'll see the crown jewels on top of the coffin lying there in the center of that ancient hall. And there will be miles and miles of queues.
You know, I think it's going to be phenomenal. There are already people camping out to try to get the moment in this very room. But today, this room is all about politics. So, what you're going to see is the leader of the commons making a statement and committing to the new king, and also the leader of the lords, the two houses of parliament and then the new king will reply.
This is the king's personal body guards walking up to surround him for the moment. You also said -- you also saw dismounted cavalry as well. This is full pomp and pageantry, full military ceremonial, it doesn't get any more ceremonial than this, the new monarch in the palace of Westminster. And very rarely, of course, do you have both houses coming together.
And here they are, lords and the members of parliament, members of common, members of the house of commons coming together to pay their condolences to the king on the queen's death, but then also recognizing that he is the new monarch. Here we have the cavalry coming in. This is all intricately rehearsed and timed.
And It's all -- I think, you know, if you look at the plan, it's all playing out like clock-work, as you would expect it to. They -- you know, this is -- this is constitutional history going back a 1,000 years.
LEMON: Yes, and as we watch Westminster Hall, Richard and I both have bag pipes behind us as they are preparing today for the queen who is laying at rest at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Stand by all as we watch these pictures. We're going to get to a quick break as we await the arrival of the king, King Charles. He's going to address both houses of parliament, a decade after his mother did the same.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH ALEXANDRA MARY, FORMER QUEEN OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: History links monarchs and parliament. A connecting thread from one period to the next. So, in an era when the regular worthy rhythm of life is less eye-catching than doing something extraordinary, I'm reassured that I am merely the second sovereign to celebrate a diamond jubilee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Now, that was the fifth time that she delivered an address in the historic 11th century building -- 1995 on the eve of Britain's victory in Europe day commemoration, the queen set the tone for a nation. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARY: Together, we thank God for the victorious end to that titanic struggle of 50 years ago. Everything was at stake. Our freedom, our independence, our very existence as a people. The knowledge also that in defending ourselves, we were defending the liberties of the whole world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: As a matter of fact, we're going to continue on here. Christiane, talk to us about the queen's history with prime ministers and parliament, please.
AMANPOUR: I will. I just want to point out that there is a guard, as you can see, walking -- maybe you can or can't see, walking past us. What we think they're doing is going up to Clarence House because scheduled in the next few minutes, the king and the queen consort are going to be leaving there, probably we'll see their royal Rolls-Royce with the royal standard heading towards Westminster, which Max has just been talking about.
So, in terms of the prime ministers, it is extraordinary, honestly, I can still -- it's an extraordinary piece of theater. Live, global theater. That this queen, at the age of 96 saw out her 14th prime minister and saw in her 15th prime minister as her last bit of official duty. And I'm being told, maybe it wasn't the case this whole Summer when she was more elderly and clearly more unwell.
But even in Balmoral where she spent many weeks per year that the red boxes, the dispatch boxes, would be sent up to her regularly from the government, from her prime minister, so that she would keep up-to-date with matters of state and government in her constitutional role. So, yes, she was up there on holiday having barbecues and hiking and fishing and this and that, but she was also always working.
And that was exemplified right to the very end. She was a working woman right to the very end. A working mother right to the very end. A grandmother and a great grandmother. In terms of her relationships with prime ministers, I have to recommend the most wonderful piece of cultural history called the audience.
And in that, everybody was able to see this play that was then made into a film, how she has had these weekly audiences for her 70 years with prime ministers spanning from the Tory prime minister, post-war Prime Minister Winston Churchill all the way now still a Tory Prime Minister Liz Truss, and all the others in between.
And what you hear from all of them is they're very happy to talk about the queen and, you know, the atmospherics and this and that, but they will never, ever disclose the actual words that she speaks, the advice that she gave. And they all say that no matter who they are, a Labor prime minister or a Tory prime minister, they never knew -- I've heard Tony Blair say this, never knew whether she -- if she could or did vote, what side she would vote.
She never ever gave that away. And so, she has talked about how perhaps that she was an ear for these prime ministers and a -- and a shoulder for them to be able to lean on, knowing that whatever they said to her would be confidential and remain confidential. And they didn't need to worry about anything.
And that maybe she said in using this, you know, classic British parliament, one could always be of help or advice to one's prime minister. That's how she spoke. But knowing that they knew that it was in confidence and sometimes let's face it, she had so many years on, so many of them, she had seen history unfold, you know, from the middle of her reign onwards that she was able to talk to them about that history that they were too young to have even remembered.
So, in that regard, it was an interesting relationship. Imagine every single Tuesday for 70 -- FOSTER: Yes --
AMANPOUR: Years, she met the prime ministers.
FOSTER: I just want to describe, Don, what we're seeing here. We just saw --
LEMON: Yes --
FOSTER: The mace being brought in. That is the symbol of the sovereign in parliament. So, there are three parts to the British parliament. There's the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the monarch. And any -- once a year do they all come together. And that is the opening of a new parliament.
And what you got here is the three coming together which is quite an unusual situation. But the king will come in, in about 10 minutes time, I think, with the queen consort, and they'll take to the thrones as well. Those thrones have been removed from the House of Lords to be in this room.
And here, we have the speaker from the House of Commons, he will be addressing condolences. He'll issue a statement expressing his condolence on behalf of the House of Commons. The house -- the speaker of the House of Lords will speak for the lords, and then the king will reply.
LEMON: Yes, stand by, everyone. We're awaiting for the king and the queen consort to leave Clarence House and make their way to Westminster to address parliament. King Charles III will address parliament in just a moment. Don't go anywhere. You're watching CNN special coverage.
LEMON: I'm Don Lemon at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. This is CNN's special live coverage. In moments, you're going to see King Charles is going to address parliament in a major moment for the beginning of his reign here. You're looking at live pictures of the king departing Clarence House for Westminster Hall in London.
There is the king's motorcade that he is with the queen consort, Camilla, there. And I'm joined by Richard Quest, Christiane Amanpour and Max Foster. Max, we have seen current Prime Minister Liz Truss and her predecessor Boris Johnson there in the audience. And there will be many others for this address.
FOSTER: Yes, so, Boris Johnson is now a back-bench MP along with Theresa May. So they're there in that position, not as former prime ministers, they're there as members of the House of Commons along with all the lords, we see lots of wigs there, we should have all the law lords there as well and then we have the monarchs.
So we're seeing all the branches of parliament coming together to express condolences about the queen. So, today is very much about looking back on the queen's reign as well as looking forward to the king's reign. He -- this is a big day for politics today, I would say, because you're here in the United Kingdom parliament, and all the pomp and ceremony around that.
The king will later on go to Scotland and receive condolences from the Scottish parliament, and will hold an audience with the Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. She wants to break Scotland away from the union. This is all about Scotland being very much part of the union, though, in terms of optics.
So, this is going to be interesting today, I think, particularly that meeting between Sturgeon and the new king. What sort of conversation is she going to have? I think what she's going to probably suggest is that, you know, if we do get independence, we still want you as king just as we wanted Elizabeth as queen.
So, in a way, Scotland will become a realm with the British king as king of Scotland, but it's slightly different because the Palace of Holyrood is very much a royal palace. So, the -- you know, the meeting will happen in the Palace of Holyrood. So, I'd love to be a fly on the wall in that meeting. We'll probably never ever going to find out what's said in it, though.
LEMON: Richard, this is a big day for the king.
QUEST: Different levels, Don. So, the ceremonial and pomp and ceremony. But if you delve deeper, you'll start to see here as Max was saying, you're going to have the Lords Temporal, the Lords Spiritual, you're going to have members of the House of Commons, you're going to have the cabinet and the government.
You're going to have the judges. You're going to have the king. So, at the top level it's ceremony and ceremonial. Go down and you're talking about the relationship between the government, the various parts of government and the separation of powers. Go down a bit further, and you start to get to this level of what it means to be a monarch in a democracy. That's what's happening today.
But we're going to obviously enjoy the ceremony, but don't be fooled for a second, there is real underlying meaning between the various roles and parties that people are playing in there as part -- it's a bit like the state opening -- sorry, the State of the Union that the president gives. You have everybody there playing their individual roles towards the system of powers.
LEMON: And as we look at this unfold now, we're watching these picture, we are looking down at the monitor here, so we --
QUEST: Yes --
LEMON: Can see the images --
QUEST: Yes --
LEMON: And explain to you what's going on. This is the new King Charles III and the queen consort arriving at Westminster Hall. I'll repeat, Christiane, this is a big day for the king. He has a lot to deal with, addressing parliament and also paying tribute to his mother, the late queen, as we watch him exit the limousine there at Westminster Hall.
QUEST: Right, on --
AMANPOUR: Exactly. And he obviously is going to go in and all the officials who make parliament work are going to be escorting him in. And as Max was saying, today -- yes, he's in the center of democratic power --
LEMON: Let's listen in.
AMANPOUR: But you'll also be hearing condolences.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your majesty, I welcome you and her majesty the queen consort to parliament today on this solemn occasion. Her late majesty, our treasured queen, and your beloved and deeply missed mother, came here to Westminster Hall many times to receive the congratulations of her loyal subjects and the two houses of parliament and to celebrate with them historic landmarks and her long life of dedicated public service.
She was both a leader too and a servant of her people. Her humility and integrity commanded the respect and captured the imagination of people and nations across the globe. Her late majesty's joyous, unstinting and reassuring presence across the years made it difficult to contemplate that her long and inspiring reign of deep and unparalleled devotion would ever end.
We and the nation closed our eyes to this inevitability, but it has ended. Only a few months after we celebrated her late majesty's historic platinum jubilee. And as you said so movingly, your majesty, in your address to the nation, we all now feel a sense of loss beyond measure.
Nevertheless, the qualities that her late majesty embodied with such constancy remain to inspire you, your majesty, your family, and all your subjects. We remember her commitment, her kindness, her humor, her courage, and her fortitude as well as the deep faith which was the anchor in her life. Your majesty, this is a historic space. It's walls built more than 900 years ago by William Rufus and the magnificent hammer-beam roof above us commissioned 300 years later by Richard II.
Since medieval times, much of our national story has taken place within these very walls, from civic gatherings, to coronation banquets to the centuries during which this hall was at the heart of our legal system. But this ancient hall is a living space. And like our great nation, it continues to evolve. [05:25:00]
In 2012, her late majesty came to Westminster Hall to mark her diamond jubilee. And we saw the unveiling of the splendid memorial window, commissioned by both members of parliament houses which now graces the north wall of this historic space. And now, for 10 years, the light from that window has added beauty to the grey stones of this place, bathing them in color and reminding hundreds and thousands, millions of visitors to the Palace of Westminster of her late majesty's dedicated life of service.
Like the light that shines through this memorial window, her late majesty's magnificent achievements will live on by permanently illuminating and enriching our lives and our national discourse. Your majesty, even as we mourn the loss of our dear queen, we and future generations will draw strength from her shining example.
Your majesty, on behalf of all the members of the House of Lords, I pledge my loyalty to you and wish you and her majesty, the queen consort, well in the life of service to which you have dedicated yourself. We are proud and indeed humbled to welcome you as our king. And we look forward to welcoming you on many more occasions to parliament and to this hall in the years ahead.
Finally, your majesty, the house has commissioned me to deliver the following humble address which their lordships agreed on the 10th of September.
I shall now read the address. Most gracious, sovereign, we, your majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in parliament assembled beg to leave to convey to your majesty the deep sympathy felt by this house and the grief your majesty has sustained by the death of our late beloved queen, your majesty's mother of blessed and glorious memory.
To extend to all the royal family the deep sympathy of this house and their grief, which is shared by all members, to assure your majesty that the example of selfless public service, which our late sovereign displayed over her reign of 70 years, her untiring endeavors for the welfare of her people and her fortitude in adversity will ever be held in reverent, affectionate and grateful remembrance.
And to express to your majesty, our loyalty to your majesty's royal person, and our firm conviction that under the blessing of divine providence, your majesty will throughout your reign further the happiness and protect the liberties of all your people in all your realms.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your majesty, let me repeat a welcome to you and to her majesty, the queen consort, on this solemn occasion. Members of both houses of parliament gather here to express our deep sympathy for the loss we have all sustained in the death of our sovereign lady, Queen Elizabeth.
We have seen that this is a loss that is felt around the world. It is a loss to the United Kingdom, the overseas territories, the crown dependencies and many countries over which she reigned. It is a loss for the entire commonwealth which she did so much to nurture. It is a loss to all of us, but we know most of all, it is a loss to you, your majesty and to the royal family.
Newspapers have been filled with photographs of her late majesty since the news broke. The most touching have been the glimpses into the family life which we usually kept sheltered from public view. Deep as our grief is, we know yours is deeper.