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Queen's Coffin On Journey From Balmoral Castle Ahead Of Funeral; U.S. Marks 21st Anniversary Of The 9/11 Terrorist Attack; Soon: Ceremonies Begin In New York, Washington, Shanksville. Aired 6- 7a ET

Aired September 11, 2022 - 06:00   ET



DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: We have live images now of the beginning of what is the queen's final journey as she makes her way to Buckingham Palace but first, Edinburgh, where Richard Quest and I are here. I want to say hello to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Don Lemon. I'm live here in Edinburgh, Scotland, alongside my colleagues Richard Quest, Max Foster and Christiane Amanpour.

These are live pictures now of the royal cortege carrying the queen's coffin through the Scottish countryside, a beautiful countryside, breathtaking really. You can see why the queen loved it so much. It's a six-hour trip from her Balmoral estate to Edinburgh is the first leg of a solemn final journey back to London where she will lie in state until the funeral.

And those services will be at Westminster Abbey now set for September 19th, eight days from now. Again, we're all taking this journey, final journey with the queen and we're carrying it for you live. I want to get now to the royal mile along the road and that is CNN's Isa Soares. She joins us.

The queen's coffin is making its way through several cities giving the Scottish people the chance really, a moment, to see their queen sadly for the final time. Isa?

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Incredibly poignant moment as we look at these live pictures coming to us. And what we have seen the last hour, Don, it really is the beginning of what King Charles III called his mother's last great journey. Of course, she left her beloved Balmoral in the last hour. Her coffin draped in the royal Scottish standard with a beautiful but simple white wreath draping the coffin.

We know that the coffin was transported by six gamekeepers to a waiting hearse. An opportunity, of course, for those who served the queen for so many years, of course, as she spent her summers there in Balmoral to pay their final respect. The hearse, of course, the cortege with seven cars has passed a small village of Ballater. That's the closest to Balmoral where so many people not only saw her as the queen but also as a neighbor.

I have some wonderful stories to tell. It's making its way -- it just passed Aboyne, in fact, in the last few minutes. I have a contact in Aboyne and I've just messaged her to ask her what the mood was like. I want to tell you what she told me, somber, I think the thing about this place is the folk of Aberdeenshire are kindly private, very hard working, Don. And she says, and honest.

I think the queen was all those things, too. Yes, she loved the landscape but she loved the local people and the Doric language. And I -- which I think is soft and gentle and like a warm blanket. I can imagine having been greeted at the front door by her local staff in the local dialect and feeling safe and secure and happy. This is from one of my contacts in Aboyne where the cortege has just passed.

It's then going to go to another village of Banchory, slightly bigger than Ballater before, and then at 20, 30 minutes time making its way to a bigger city of Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth. Passing me here on the royal mile where the crowds are starting to gather here in this beautiful sunny day, passing St. Charles Cathedral behind me, ending up really where you and Richard is, at the moment, at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the royal residence where she will lie in the throne room.


And then what we'll see on Monday, Don, is the coffin being moved in a procession led by King Charles III and the royal family from the palace to St. Charles Cathedral where she will lie in rest for 24 hours, really an opportunity for Scots to pay their final respect, say their final goodbye to a queen they love so much. Important to point out that the queen had a soft spot for Scotland and a lifelong connection. Not just, of course, because there's ties of ancestry but there's deep love and deep affection here and I think that's what we'll see today, Don.

LEMON: Isa, thank you very much. We appreciate that. You know, I want to bring in now CNN anchor and correspondent Richard Quest, who is with me here Edinburgh, and at Buckingham Palace CNN royal correspondent Max Foster and our chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour.

Richard, I just want to talk. I think the assignment of the day really is what Isa is doing because this is about the people today, not about politics. The queen shied away from politics, right? And what has been really heartwarming for me is watching even in the small crossroads, in the farmhouses, people who are coming out not in the, you know, the larger towns who are coming out and standing there and they have been for hours just waiting to get a glimpse of the queen as she passes by.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: And you're going to see considerably more of that, Don, in the hours ahead. These are remote parts of Scotland where not many people live. And those that are have come out. But as this cortege moves ever closer to Aberdeen, and it's been so designed, the route, that the maximum number of people, it will go pass there three park where people will be able to come out and pay their respects. And then we'll start its journey south from Aberdeen down to Dundee and then to Edinburgh. But, again, there will be -- there's moments in cities and villages designed specifically, they said, so that people can pay their respects. What will be interesting is how many people come out. This will be a very good indication of what we can expect in the hours and days ahead in London where the concern is that there will be too many people who try to fill the capital.

LEMON: Yes. And it's travelling along A93.

QUEST: This is the main road. This is the road -- by the way, the reverse of this route would have been what the queen would have done many, many times. You know, she would fly into Aberdeen and then take this road to Balmoral. Behind us you have, of course, the families. Everybody wants to be here.

LEMON: Everyone, yes. And they are -- and carrying -- everyone wants to be here. We sort of heard the clap, clap, clap of horses earlier for -- in preparation. They're putting up barriers now. And now they're moving into other small villages.

QUEST: Small villages but people have come out on a Sunday morning. And they're not in large numbers but that's because not so many people living there but they are there. And that is just going to swell as this cortege slows down when it goes into cities, particularly Aberdeen.

LEMON: And I was speaking -- I was trying to get this question to Max Foster earlier. I'm not sure if you heard when I said this is exactly what the queen wanted, as I understand. The queen's coffin is made of flowers from Balmoral Castle. The wreath of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth was made up of flowers gathered from Balmoral Castle, the queen's Scottish countryside estate. It's made up of sweet peas, one of the queen's favorite flowers, dahlias, white heather and pine fir. Can you hear me, Max Foster? Can you talk about that?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: I can, Don. Yes, I think, you know, every detail of this has found over decades and regular meetings were held and, you know, everyone involved. You know, we're talking -- just look at this part of the process. This involves an undertaker. It involves the palace, because Princess Anne is there. You've got the church because the local minister is in there. So you've also got police Scotland in that cortege. You've got the Metropolitan Police in that cortege. They're about to drive through Aberdeen and Dundee. City councilors are deeply involved. You have the lord lieutenants of those cities saluting the coffin as it comes pass. There's all the media organizations including us that have been involved in all of the details.

There's so much involved here. But ultimately all of that comes together and the queen signs it off and she decided what was in that bouquet and it's there. And the king decided to leave those plans in place. And nothing has changed from what they both agreed before the queen's death.

You're talking earlier on about politics. I think tomorrow will be a very interesting day of politics because in the morning the king will go to the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the U.K. parliament and receive condolences. He'll then travel to Scotland and as Isa was saying there will be --- the vigil held at St. Charles Cathedral. But he's also going to go to the Scottish parliament and receive condolences.


And he will receive the first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, who is the one campaigning for Scotland to leave the United Kingdom. Although, she wants the monarch to remain monarch of Scotland but will be known as the king of Scotland. So that will be an interesting conversation, I think, because of course the king wouldn't want Scotland to separate from the United Kingdom. But, you know, all the optics there being in the U.K. parliament but also on the same day being a Scottish parliament reflects the respect the king has for what independence there is in Scotland.

LEMON: Yes. Christiane Amanpour, how important is it for the people to get their respects, to pay their respects along this journey -- the queen's final journey?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Massively, Don. Because this is all about this woman who spent 96 years alive and 70 years as queen before that as crowned princess. Remember, she was a mechanic in World War II. She endeared herself to the people and talked to the people of this country since she was 14 years old.

Her first ever broadcast was that now famous high-pitched teenage voice that talked to the children who were suffering during World War II and who were being sent out of the -- you know, the bombed capital and the bombed Buckingham Palace behind us, children around this country sent out for safety. That's when she was first heard around the world in any major way.

And then, of course, on her 21st birthday when she said, and I'm probably paraphrasing, I devote my life entirely to your service, whether it be a long life or a short one. And then, I think, so importantly she said, you know -- she said, God bless all of you who will join me on this journey as I fulfill my promise. Again, I'm paraphrasing but that was her compact with the people and now the people are out saying goodbye and thank you to her.

And we're seeing them come out in terms of -- in the little villages and things. Obviously, there are stretches where the cortege passes at slightly higher speed along bigger roads eventually along highways. But in the villages as we saw -- and it quiet and it's dignified and it's mournful. And it's also a sense of continuity. As commentators in the United States said, she was the one constant in our inconstant world. She was the rock on which so much instability swirled around her. She was the rock.

And the president of France saying to the people of this country to you she was your queen, to us she was the queen and she will remain in our hearts forever. In the United States flags are at half staff around all official buildings and likewise in many, many parts of the world. Congress even after her death led -- you know, led prayers for the repose of her soul.

So this again is beyond the British monarchy. It's about one person who has been in everybody's lives for 70 years and so saying goodbye is remarkably profound. And I don't know how you all feel but, you know, that car, she just looks alone right now going in that coffin, in that hearse along that long journey but she's not because there are many people who are supporting from the sides and cheering her on.

LEMON: But it is reminiscent of her sitting in the chapel when Prince Philip -- at Prince Philip's death during COVID. She was alone. But -- listen, I just want to pick up on what Christiane was saying. I mean, this is the end of an era, the beginning of another. This pomp and ceremony, how does this help in the transition of all of that?

QUEST: Hugely because this, if you like, I mean besides the natural sympathy of the moment, of the death, this brings an end, it brings a complete -- we're seeing now crowds really starting to gather as it goes through the town of Banchory. This is a very strong indication. Let's listen in.

LEMON: Let's listen in. Yes, let's pause. I think this is Aberdeen.


LEMON: It says Aberdeenshire.



LEMON: And it is mostly silence. A few applause but mostly silence, Richard.

QUEST: Absolutely and a tear being wiped. The significance is that this draws a line under the Elizabethan era. This is the end of the Elizabethan era, sadness, a funeral and all but it's the start of the Charles III era and that is the nature of what we're seeing over today and the whole of this week. And the process is important because it is absolutely crucial that we wrap up one as we start the next. Otherwise there can be no -- there will be confusion between the two. And this is what I think is -- the people are doing today, saying goodbye.

LEMON: Saying goodbye is what they're doing. Christiane, you know, as you mentioned earlier there isn't the sort of -- we aren't seeing extreme emotion here, the wailing, the crying. I think it was the manner of what happened and the length of time that she reigned as queen here. Again, she was 96 years old. We had a conversation yesterday or the day before about, you know, it has been a long life a service but it wasn't a sudden unexpected thing.

AMANPOUR: Exactly, Don. This is how it should be. This is the natural order of things. The queen was 96 years old. And -- I mean, outlived so many others. As we've said many times before, she was not only the longest serving monarch of her country but practically the longest serving monarch ever in history. That is something. I mean, that is something. She also transcended the idea of the personal cult. It might sound strange to say that given that -- what we're seeing right now. But she was much more about public service, about, you know, devoting herself to people. It wasn't just about, you know, power or glory or attention accruing to herself. And again, that's very unusual in today's you know, me, me, me society. And I think that's what people are reacting to as well.

Again, this is a very different kind of outpouring but it is an outpouring nonetheless of grief, of mourning, of gratitude, of thanksgiving for what she as a person has brought to this country and to the world. It is not the paroxysm of uncontrolled grief and shock that this country saw with the accidental, you know, and tragic violent death of Princess Diana back in 1997.

But equally here now, you know, tons and tons of flowers are coming to all the royal residences. The -- you know, the park stewards and others are having to move them in -- I've seen them, you know, be packed around various trees and things like that because they would probably create a big wall in front of the gates there if they were left.

So it's not that people aren't coming out in a sense of deep grief. It's just a different kind of -- it's a different kind of grief for a person who devoted herself and was personally above reproach. And all the historians and people that I'm reading can only point to really two major political stumbles. One was during the death of Princess Diana when she stayed up in Balmoral to comfort the two young children, as they were then, Princes Harry and William, and she had to be persuaded to come to London. And she gave that eulogy, that televised eulogy.

And she went out unattended and unencumbered by many guards to look at the flowers outside Buckingham Palace to pay respect. And on the day of the funeral to bow her head as the cortege and Diana's body went by her. That was one stumble. But then she quickly realized where the pulse of the people was and she redirected herself and redirected what she was doing in public.

The last one was 30 years earlier when there was a terrible, terrible mine disaster in Wales and she stayed away for a long time. And there was quite a lot of -- a lot of rumbling and grumbling about that. Eventually she went and she tried to console that small village.

Remember, you know, the coal industry was huge here in this country, one of the biggest local industries, and she went eventually. But those are pretty much two of the only kind of public stumbles that anybody really relates to or can remember in 70 years of rule. That's pretty extraordinary.

LEMON: Yes. And even in that she did she managed to transition and move the monarchy forward, even with that, those two incidences, that you mentioned. This is the queen's final journey making her way to Edinburgh and then unto London in a few days. But we're -- what we're witnessing is a beginning of the queen's final journey, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Our coverage is going to continue here on CNN right after this very quick break. Don't go anywhere.



LEMON: Welcome back to CNN's continuing coverage. You're looking at live images now. Queen Elizabeth II's final journey underway. The queen's coffin departed her beloved Balmoral Castle, that was last hour, headed for the palace, Holyroodhouse, here in the capital of Edinburgh. That is the official Scottish residence of the British royal family. It's expected to take about six hours as mourners in Scotland will say a final farewell to the queen.

You know, this is the first portion of a solemn return to London where is going to lie in state until the funeral that is on September 19th. That's going to happen, of course, at Westminster Abbey. As we listen to the bank, the vibes here, yes, I'm joined now by Richard Quest, Christiane Amanpour, Max Foster.


Richard, they're making their way through the countryside here, the small towns and villages. Banchory was the last one that that we went through.

QUEST: So we've got Crathes, Drumoak, Peterculter and Cults, and all are heading towards Aberdeen, which is the first major city. These are towns that they're going through, villages. The river that you're seeing is the River Dee.

LEMON: River Dee.

QUEST: And the River Dee, of course, is where they fly fish up at Balmoral. And the route that they are taking is the one that the queen will have taken -- all the royal family take, indeed. Those -- that picture the other day that we saw of William driving they would have come along this road but, obviously, in the other direction.

So what we're seeing here is this slow procession that speeds up in the open areas but will slow down in towns and villages. And if Banchory is any indication, from what we saw in Banchory, there will be large crowds in Aberdeen and on the route down from Aberdeen to Dundee down to Edinburgh.

LEMON: Yes. And, look, you see the cars there, folks waiting. Listen, I've been -- it's been heartwarming to watch the folks who are gathering when it's not -- when it's an even -- the smaller towns with the farmhouses and the crossroads, standing there for hours just to get a glimpse here. But, you know, as you and I have been watching these images as we were saying in the break, you don't get to see the Scottish countryside from this angle very often and it is stunning. And you can see why the queen and her family loved it so much.

QUEST: Yes. And we're seeing it on a beautiful day. You try seeing it when the rain is falling in sheets against you and the wind is howling. And here's the point, the royal family loved that as well. They were not fair weather country people.

LEMON: They still do -- they still do love it.

QUEST: I'm sorry but -- yes, yes. But they're not fair weather. They -- the queen would just go out riding in bad weather. The whole thing is they love the countryside life. It's where they feel safe.

LEMON: I want to bring in now royal commentator Hilary Fordwich. Hilary, we're watching this. As we watch the deaths of so many dignitaries, you know, we remember where we were when they died and we remember where we were when the funeral was held, and folks will remember this as well. It is a beautiful journey, final journey. Couldn't have asked for better weather especially when it comes to as Richard said, the Scottish countryside and the weather here. How do you think this will be remembered?

HILARY FORDWICH, ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you're absolutely right. And by the way, with regard to the weather, you do know that -- for example, Washington, D.C. has 42 inches of precipitation every year. There's only 27.3 in London. The difference over there is it drizzles and there's about 17 adjectives for rain versus -- here it tends to be torrential rainfall -- downpour. But this will be remembered, I think, obviously as something that will only ever see once in our lifetimes. There will be nothing else like this.

When her funeral takes place there will be monarchs from other nations and heads of state -- President Biden is going. There will be heads of state from across the world. We will never see something like this because she touched so many people and particularly across the Commonwealth.

And might I say that the Commonwealth family was so important to her. Let us not forget in 1961 when she danced with the then president of Ghana, she was advised not to. There was violence in the streets. She insisted still on going because she cared about her family there, her Ghana family, and everyone throughout the Commonwealth has always felt that special sense of connection because she really did care.

LEMON: As you said, once in a life time. Listen, I'm not sure this applies -- I think it does so but the pressure really is on because of who she was, because of what she means to the world, the pressure is on to get this perfect. This has to be perfect for the royal family and for everyone involved here.

FORDWICH: Yes, absolutely. You're totally right. And remember this, everything that you watch, everything that we all see, remember these plans, it was called Operation London Bridge -- by the way, the segment right now is referred to as Operation Unicorn because it started and originated at Balmoral. It's the last time she'll ever leave Balmoral.

But, importantly -- remember she was half Scottish because her mother, the queen mother, was a Scot aristocrat. So she was actually more Scottish than she was English. So this is special for the Scottish people. But you're right, everything will be perfect.

And, remember, she had an input into everything because Operation London Bridge, these plans have been in place for basically her entire life just like the plans -- even for the current Prince Wales, Prince William, unfortunately there are plans for all of them -- operation something bridge.


Why? Because there has to be. For everything we see, every hymn we see sang, we know some of those that will probably be there because they're always on funerals. But we have not seen a state funeral since that of Winston Churchill.

Princess Diana's funeral was a special funeral for a special person. That's what it was named because at that point, she was not HRH. But yes, be -- remember this. Everything she touched -- what we watch, she will have touched because she will have approved it herself.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Every single detail she will have approved. I spoke to -- I was speaking moments ago to Richard and to Max about that as well about the flowers that are on the coffin. The coffin itself, the procession, and you said that it was -- it was Operation London Bridge, but this part is Operation Unicorn because it is Balmoral? Would it had been something else if it was another city where she had passed?

FORDWICH: Absolutely. Sorry to interrupt. Yes, there were names for absolute -- don't forget, we -- of course, no one knew whether she'd be at Windsor Castle, at Sandringham. She could have been anywhere in the world. They were -- we must imagine the crisis planning that was gone into this. For every single aspect and every event, remember, when she was in Kenya, she was in a tree house. When the news came that her father George IV had pass and the Royal Family learned something then very drastic, she wasn't prepared for that. So, they were they did not all have black to wear. So, from now -- from that day forth, henceforth, every single member of the Royal Family carries black everywhere they ever go because they don't know who will pass when.

Queen Elizabeth had gone up a tree into a tree house, a princess came down a queen. So, there are plans for every single -- every single contingency may she have passed at Windsor Castle. Don't forget, during COVID, she was in what was known then as the bubble, the Windsor bubble. Why? Because no one would come -- obviously because of lockdown. It was taken far more seriously in the U.K. for everybody. And so, only those living on the estate with immediate contact to her and the courtiers that actually live there were inside that bubble where she lived with then -- her then-husband, Prince Philip. during that time.

LEMON: You know, I think, Hilary, that people have tried to make comparisons about, you know, this one's death and that one's death. But I don't know if there's any real comparison when you think of 70 years, you know, as queen. I don't know if there's a real comparison. This is as you said, once in a lifetime, and I don't know if we'll ever see this again.

FORDWICH: We won't. We can't because there's no one actually -- and don't forget, the only people in the world that remember not just in the U.K., in America -- I'm so touched by the way, may I make mention, of the American outpouring. I've been in numerous studios in your -- including your studio here in Washington, DC. I'm sorry. And when I was coming out on Pennsylvania Avenue, every lamp posts at a union jack on it.

This is uniting the world, and the flags are at half-mast. But this has been felt -- so if you're -- unless you're over 80 and you don't remember any anybody else. Interestingly, my daddy is 93. He doesn't quite remember this, but I know some -- one of his friends is 95, remember -- has seen five monarchs. Think of that. Only if you're 95, five, because George V passed, then his son George VI, the Queen's father. But before that, of course, was Edward VIII who abdicated, and then it was the queen.

LEMON: Fascinating.

FORDWICH: So, only if you're 95 have you seen anything much else. The people under 80 (INAUDIBLE) with the Queen, they don't really remember much else. So, anybody 70 and under has known only this. And so, across the world, as I mentioned, not any monarchs, heads of state, but London is going to be swamped.

One thing I will say. I've been asked a lot of questions about the GDP and the British economy, because I cover business as a profession and economics. But I will say this, remember, while everything is shutting down, it is going to be such an outpouring of people across the world. So, the economy there will have people visiting. The hotels are booked. Transportation is booked. As you probably all know as a team, difficult to even get flights.

LEMON: Well, you're speaking to someone who is experiencing that now as we try to because we don't know how long we're going to be here. We weren't exactly sure of when the final services would be and trying to get a hotel room. And even trying to get a flight into London is just -- it's almost an impossibility at this point.

FORDWICH: If you need help, let me know. Let me know.

LEMON: Hillary -- yes, Hilary Fordwich, thank -- I really appreciate your perspective that you've had on this. You really made a fine point about never seeing this again in history. And Richard as we go to break here, I mean, 70 years, when is -- I would venture it'll be a century or more before we actually see a queen.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: I was walking this out. If you think about it, we've got to go through Charles, then we've got to go through William, then we have to go through George.


[06:35:02] QUEST: So, yes we have -- we will be some -- please God it will be some time because it means they'll all have good long lives. But yes, it will be many years before there is the possibility, please God, of a Queen.

LEMON: Hillary, thank you very much. Richard, standby. Max Foster, standby. Christiane Amanpour there joining us from Buckingham Palace. But we want to get to a quick break here as we watch the final journey of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. This is CNN Special Coverage.


LEMON: Right now, live pictures of the beautiful Scottish countryside. The final great journey of Queen Elizabeth II is underway. The Queen's coffin has departed Balmoral Castle and is headed for The Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh which is the official Scottish residents of the British Royal Family.

I want to bring in now CNN's Nada Bashir. She joins us now from nearby Buckingham Palace. Nada, hello to you. Tell us what you're seeing as the Queen takes her final journey.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, Don, we're just across the road from Buckingham Palace here at Green Park. And this is where they are directing mourners. People have gathered here to remember the Queen, to come and leave their flowers, their letters and notes in memory of the Queen. And I have to say, there are hundreds and hundreds of people who have come out once again to start in memory of the Queen. Of course, you've seen them in the last a few days, but it is remarkable to see just how many people have gathered in this park to leave their thousands of display of flowers that have been left here.

And of course, this is a moment to remember the Queen, a moment to mourn the passing of the Queen, but it is also a moment of history to mark the accession of King Charles III. And this is a moment of history that many people have told us that they want to be a part of. And we've spoken to people who are not only just from London, but lots and lots of people who've gathered from across the country.

I spoke to one lady just a little while ago who traveled down from Sheffield, which is about three and a half hours away. They're spending the night in London here because they want to be part of this moment. This is something that has really brought the country together. And we were able to speak to a few people a little earlier today. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just feel very, very strange. I guess it's kind of -- you always know that it's going to come but you don't know when that's going to come. So, yes, it's a shame. I was in -- I was actually in the pageant driving my car just a few months ago, so to be here now during this feels quite unreal.


BASHIR: Now, a lot of the people that we spoke to were quite emotional. They were remembering the Queen quite fondly. But this is a moment of change for the country, the accession of King Charles III. There have been conversations around whether he will live up to the legacy that the Queen leaves behind. But I have to say, the overwhelming majority of people that we have spoken to today just outside of Buckingham Palace are quite optimistic and hopeful an d have given a warm welcome to the new king that he'll -- he can bring about a change in the monarchy, perhaps bring the monarchy further into the modern era.

And there is also of course, a lot of hope around this change. This is a moment of history. And many people have been thrilled to be a part of it despite under the sad circumstances of the passing of the Queen. Don?

LEMON: Of course, Nada, thank you very much. I appreciate that.

I'm joined again now by Richard Quest, Christiane Amanpour, and Max Foster. Max, if you will, we were speaking to Hilary Fordwich which just moments ago, and I think she brings up a very good point about, you know, never seen this again. We have been -- so many people comparing it to different deaths throughout history, especially in recent history. I'm not sure there is even a comparison when you think about 70 years.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: You've got -- now, of course, it's the media age. So, when the Queen came to the throne, it's pretty much newspapers and radio. TV became a thing. Rolling news became a thing. These moments hadn't happened for previous monarchs. And you know, we've seen these crowds here, haven't we, coming out? And as we go into Aberdeen and onto Perth and Dundee and over the bridge into Edinburgh, the crowd is going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. But I think, of course, many more people are watching this on TV.

You know, speak to historians and there's a debate about whether or not Queen Elizabeth II was the greatest monarch ever in 1000 years of British history. Who can match that? So, arguably, this is something we're never ever going to see before -- see again, certainly not in our lifetime. And it's difficult -- I mean, I'll let Christiane speak to this -- but, you know, in terms of living figures now who's comparable to the queen as a global figure who could command this sort of attention in depth, I'm not sure there's anyone else. I mean, we had Nelson Mandela, didn't we, Christiane? I don't know -- Castro. I mean, who would you compare to?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I don't think many people would compare her to Castro, although he did have longevity.

FOSTER: In terms of notoriety, fame.

AMANPOUR: Correct. But you know, definitely Nelson Mandela because of the idea of the morality of his leadership. And morality is something that underpins her leadership as well. And she practiced it in terms of service and faith. And she talked about it in terms of duty. And as her son, now King Charles, paid tribute to a woman who had -- well, his mother who was a life well lived and a promise with destiny kept. I think that's really profound, a promise with destiny kept.

And I think one of the reasons why you're seeing this outpouring is not just because of the longevity but because that the Queen went everywhere for 70 years. She was in shops, and she was in schools and she was in churches and mosques and temples and she opened, you know, bridges and you know, launch ships. She talked to everybody of all ages all the time. I mean, it is quite incredible.

You know better than I the kind of social diary or work diary that she kept. I mean it would have -- it would have -- it would have been hard to do if you were, you know, a young person, much less into your 90s. And that's what kept people on her side. And so, now, everybody you talk to, pretty much has some kind of memory of meeting the Queen.


FOSTER: There's a moment earlier on. I'm not sure if Don and Richard saw it. But there was, for me, it was the most poignant moment of the whole journey. They were going through this very rural area, and there were tractors lined up on both sides of the road. The Scottish farmers coming out to pay their respects to the Queen. A whole field was full of tractors facing the road.

AMANPOUR: Isn't that incredible? The day of her death was announced. We had all the London -- well, as many as could fit themselves into the mall here.

FOSTER: The London cabbies. Yes.

AMANPOUR: All lined up filling the mall, which is that huge, you know, read tarmacs Avenue.

FOSTER: One moment, talking about her relationship to Nelson Mandela, me on the next one, I talked about her relation to -- relationship to Scotland -- Scottish farmers. I mean, that says it all to me.

AMANPOUR: Well, it does. And let's just say, you know, watching this journey, it also is about her journey through history. You know, when she came on to the throne, Stalin, one of the worst totalitarian leaders of all times, was on the, you know, in office in in Russia. Stalin was in office in Russia.

Today, we've had -- we know that President Putin has sent his condolences. It's not likely that he'll come to the funeral, but he sent his condolences. And let's just have a little piece of news because what's happening today, the British people have supported the Ukrainian people throughout the beginning of this war, like people all over the world have. And as she makes her final journey, we're also hearing a little bit of a turnaround in the war in Ukraine.

We're hearing from President Zelenskyy who reacted with "great sadness and deep condolences to the British people on the death and deep gratitude for the -- for the support that Britain has given for this existential crisis and fight that they are facing." Now President Zelenskyy is saying that in some areas in North East Ukraine, the Kharkiv area which I visited, they are pushing back Russian forces, and there are some Russian forces in retreat. So, this is an important movement.

And we don't just say it because it's an important news movement, news moment, but it's also something that this country, you know, the Queen at one point came out in yellow and blue at one point since the war, but the Prime Minister, the government, like all Western governments, and NATO leaders and others have supported Ukraine's fight.

And I think it's doubly important, because the very issues that are being fought for on the battlefield of Ukraine right now are the very issues that she witnessed being fought for during World War II in the fight against fascism and totalitarianism when she came into public life.

FOSTER: There's a very well respected British political correspondent, he's reporting today that -- you know, just to show the emphasis of, you know, this state funeral and how big it's going to be and how important it is going to be this. British correspondent is saying that there's a big debate between heads of state abroad about whether or not they can bring plus-ones speaking to the Foreign Office, because there just won't be room in the Abby for plus-ones of heads of state.

AMANPOUR: That's really incredible.

FOSTER: I mean, you know, there's certain people who is a given, you know, Biden and Joe Biden, of course, but I think that, you know, some of the smaller countries are going to struggle to have plus-ones.

AMANPOUR: It's really interesting.

LEMON: Yes. Richard Quest, when you look at 14 U.S. presidents, 15 prime ministers, the statute we were talking about, this never -- never seen this in the future. But when you look at the statute, she -- her presence would choke up even unite -- the President of the United States. Barack Obama has said that he was at a loss for words when he met the Queen. But just her relationship to the peoples we're talking about -- Max was talking about the farmers -- were going from farmers, to the heads of countries. That's how -- that's her span.

QUEST: She -- the point -- the thing about the queen is she never spoke about what she'd heard. She never spoke. She didn't give an interview in 70 years, Don. Not one interview in 70 years. You weren't supposed to eavesdrop when she was walking past. It is against protocol of prime ministers to discuss what she said. When you meet the Queen, you don't repeat what she said. And I think that was the secret.


QUEST: That -- there's no -- she kept it to herself. It's the exact opposite of what happens today where everybody spills everything. And as many different social meetings, she didn't. She control the message. LEMON: But everyone thought the secret was in her purse. She carries --

QUEST: That was the marmalade sandwich as we -- as we saw. Wasn't that wonderful?

LEMON: That was a wonderful moment. And much has been made about the person she always carried. But it became her trademark, right, as much as the crown.

QUEST: The handbag over the --

LEMON: The handbag. We're going to continue our Special Coverage right here on CNN. Don't go anywhere.



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): Welcome back to New Day. We are stepping away from our coverage in the United Kingdom of Queen Elizabeth's final journey as the United States is marking a solemn occasion of its own.

This morning, the nation is pausing to remember the anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks. Today marks 21 years since a sunny Tuesday morning in which 3000 lives were lost.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR (voiceover): Moments ago, an American flag was unfurled at the Pentagon. And later this morning, President Biden will attend a wreath-laying ceremony there and deliver remarks to remember all the victims.

WALKER (on camera): Later this morning, family members of victims will be reading the names of those lost at the 911 Memorial in New York.

SANCHEZ: They're going to mark key moments of that day with six moments of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. when the North Tower of the World Trade Center was struck. We want to take you now to Memorial Plaza in downtown Manhattan where we find CNN's Polo Sandoval live for us.

Polo, it's been 21 years but obviously, this day is no easier for the families of victims.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): And it remains, Boris, a key day of reflection not just for the families of those nearly 3000 people but for really the entire nation. And today, here at Memorial Plaza in lower Manhattan, we will see those 911 families again coming together. They will not only lead the country, but really the entire world, as we mark 21 year since that awful day.

Things are expected to begin in the next hour or so. As you mentioned, you can expect about six moments of silence acknowledging the second that each plane hits the tower of -- or both towers of the World Trade Center when they collapse and then eventually also the moment that those planes hit the Pentagon and also field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Those names will once again echo through this Memorial Plaza.

You can expect many officials to be on hand. Vice President Kamala Harris is expected to be here later this morning as well to participate in the event as well as New York Senator Chuck Schumer, New York City Mayor Eric Adams. And I just saw a few moments ago DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas with a bouquet of flowers, placed them on those bronze plaques, on the bronze panels that were illuminated overnight with the names of each one of the victims.

So, again, it is certainly still an extremely painful day for the families of the fallen. But certainly what we will continue to hear are also the stories of many of those who were lost 21 years ago today, as so many people continue to celebrate the legacy. In fact, tonight, that iconic tribute in light, those powerful beams of light will once again shine into the sky from dusk till dawn, again a reminder of the shining legacy of the people who are lost 21 years ago today. Boris, Amara?


SANCHEZ: Polo Sandoval live from Memorial Plaza in downtown Manhattan. We're going to take you back to Memorial Plaza later this morning, as well as the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania while we honor the anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks 21 years ago today. More news after the break. Stay with us.