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Buckingham Palace: Queen's Doctors Are Concerned For Her Health; Bannon Surrenders On Charges Tied To Border Wall Fundraising; At Least 4 People Killed In Nearly 24-Hour Shooting Spree In Memphis. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired September 08, 2022 - 11:30   ET





QUEEN ELIZABETH II, MONARCH OF ENGLAND: I declare before you all that 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. But I shall not have the strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join in it with me, as I now invite you to do. I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God helped me to make good my vow and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Remarkable to see that on this day. That was then-Princess Elizabeth on her 21st birthday, April 21, 1947. That was about four years before she ascended to the throne. She ascended to the throne at the age of 25.

Joining me now is CNN contributor, Sally Bedell Smith, author of Elizabeth the Queen: The Life Of A Modern Monarch. Sally, as we are awaiting further news and for viewers who are just joining us here in the United States or watching around the world, the Queen is at-- is said to be at Balmoral. Doctors are concerned for her health. She is obviously under their care and on observation.

A number of family members are already said to be there. Princess -- Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla are already said to be at Balmoral, as is Princess Anne. The Queen's son, Prince Andrew was said to be traveling to Balmoral as is Prince Edward, his wife, Sophie. And Prince William the Duke of Cambridge is said to be traveling there as well as our Prince -- as are Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who are already in the country at the time. What are your thoughts as we wait for word on the Queen?

SALLY BEDELL SMITH, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I'm so glad that she's being surrounded by her family and also that she's in Balmoral. Balmoral is such an important place for her and if she is indeed failing, I think she would want to be there and not in a hospital. I have an image of my -- in my mind of her in a baby carriage being lifted up the stairs of Balmoral. She spent so many summers there that were interrupted by World War Two, but she still managed -- her family still managed to go up there even in the middle of the war. It is where Prince Philip proposed to her in the summer of 1946.

And, you know, I remember a cousin of hers once said to me that the Queen gets her tranquility from the hills of Balmoral and her energy from the burns and the streams. It's a place where she first learn -- caught her first salmon, it's where she did her first stalking, it's a place that has always been a happy gathering spot for the whole royal family.

COOPER: You know, we haven't seen much of her in recent weeks. We're showing pictures right now which are the most recent pictures which is -- was her greeting the new British prime minister. She also said goodbye to the outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. You noted that her canceling a meeting with her Privy Council yesterday was a key signal to you. Why did that stand out to you?

SMITH: Well, it stood out because it was a virtual meeting and for her not to be able to do that struck me as very significant. Even as she had appeared frail, she was upright, she had a cane, and she was smiling, and she was obviously -- you know, in her exchanges with the outgoing and incoming Prime Ministers, she was -- she was -- she looked to be animated, she looked to be engaged. And that the very next day she couldn't do that. I think was very significant.


COOPER: One of the things that I always have found so remarkable about Queen Elizabeth is that -- and others have commented on this, this is not an original thought, but that she's so contained that people can sort of project whatever they want onto her. She doesn't -- you can't really tell what she thinks about any particular thing for the most part. And that's by design. That's intentional on her part.

SMITH: Yes. I mean, I think she has been, as someone once said the light above politics. She has -- you know, even when she -- I've watched her royal events when somebody's doing a performance, and she knows she won't -- she hesitates to -- she wouldn't hesitate to clap or a smile because she didn't want to show favoritism.


SMITH: She -- you know, she hesitated to even name, you know, what her favorite colors were, what her favorite flowers were. You know, she has wanted to be a force really for everybody and the glue for the nation. And I think, you know, that sort of impassive exterior has been very important. Although behind the scenes, she's been very animated. And everybody who is around her recognizes that smile and the laugh that, you know, is a very -- was -- has always been a very robust laugh.

You know, she knows who she is. And she knows what image she needs to project. And you know, she is -- she is impassive in -- you know, to the public because she needs to be. COOPER: Yes, that is her role. She knows that. She knows who she is and she knows what her role is and what her duty is. And duty has been, obviously, a key pillar of her -- of her life. Sally, will be checking in with you throughout the next hours. We'll be right back with more.



COOPER: Buckingham Palace as the Queen's doctors are concerned for her Majesty's health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision. At this moment her family is rushing to be with her in Balmoral in Scotland. Joining me is CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Sanjay, what do we know about the Queen's recent health incidents?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, you know, I mean, she's been pretty healthy, Anderson. And if you -- if you go back even, you know, to 2013, first off, she was 87 years old at that point. She was hospitalized for gastroenteritis at that point. We know she had a hospitalization in October of last year. We didn't really get a lot of details, but she recovered from whatever it was. It seemingly had COVID earlier this year in February and had some episodes where she had to miss certain events.

But generally, she sounds like pretty healthy, especially given her age, 96 years old. You know, reading that statement carefully, I think it's safe to say and the most honest answer is we don't really know what's driving that. That's the honest answer here, so best not to speculate. It is worth pointing out, as you know, Anderson, she's not in the hospital. In the past when she's gone to the hospital, they said that she's not in the hospital, which could either mean she's not ill enough to warrant it or they don't think going to the hospital would be of any benefit, Anderson.

COOPER: The idea of -- you're saying just the idea that they might feel that her just staying at home makes more sense, given whatever her condition may be.

GUPTA: Right. I mean, you're going to be aggressive in terms of treating things, you know. Is there some reason, you know, why would you go to a hospital?


GUPTA: Probably very good care available there about the hospital you know, machines in terms of breathing and blood pressure and things like that. Again, either maybe she doesn't need it, and maybe she's not that ill, or they don't think it will be any benefit, given the status that she's in now. We don't know.


GUPTA: That is the most honest answer, I think here. COOPER: Sanjay, appreciate it. And we'll check in with you as we -- as we learn more information. We're going to continue the coverage of what is happening in Balmoral as well as in Buckingham Palace and Windsor with all our correspondents and all the latest on the health of the Queen in a moment.

There are several other big stories that we are following right now. I want to give you a quick update on former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon surrendered this morning to authorities in New York. He's expected to plead not guilty on state charges related to his alleged border wall fundraising scheme. Bannon and three others were accused of defrauding donors to the organization We Build The Wall.


Now, to a shooting rampage in Memphis that left four people dead and effectively locked down the city for nearly 24 hours. Police say the violence began shortly after midnight yesterday and encompassed multiple crime scenes. A suspected gunman streamed at least one of the shootings on Facebook. In addition to the four deaths, three others were injured. Police have identified the gunman who was taken into custody following a high-speed chase.

More information now, more news to tell you about legendary CNN anchor Bernard Shaw has died. Shaw was a true CNN original. Joining the network even before it launched in 1980, covering every major world event from 1980 until his retirement in 2001. Anymore -- many more in a distinguished career before he came to CNN. Shaw became a household name during his live coverage, of course, in the first Gulf War in 1991 as he reported live from Baghdad. Bernard Shaw leaves behind his wife Linda and two children and a generation of journalists including myself that he inspired. He was 82 years old. He will be missed by all who knew him and had the pleasure to work with him.

Stay with us. Our breaking news coverage after this break continues.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

COOPER: I want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Anderson Cooper with our breaking news coverage of the health of Queen Elizabeth II. There is intense concern this hour after royal doctors put the 96-year-old monarch under medical supervision. The royal family is scrambling to be by Her Majesty's side at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, Prince Charles, her son and heir, and Princess Anne are already there. Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Prince William, and Prince Harry are in various stages of travel to Balmoral. The queen, of course, is a global pillar, the longest serving incumbent head of state, the longest reigning British monarch spanning 15 different prime ministers, 14 U.S. presidents, and seven popes.

I want to bring in CNN royal correspondent Max Foster at Buckingham Palace along with CNN Chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour, and Bianca Nobilo.

Max Foster, let me just start with you just in terms of the latest you are hearing from the palace, from anywhere.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR & ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we heard from the palace this morning that we've only had one formal statement really saying that the royal doctors are concerned about the Queen's health, which is a very stark language of the palace. It's also very significant that they're telling us at all because they keep her medical condition very private. They only tell us when there are significant changes so we can assume this is a very significant change.

Shortly after that, we were told that Prince Charles was heading straight to Balmoral as well as Prince William and the other members of the royal family as well. The senior royals have all headed there, including crucially, Prince Harry. I say crucially because he was already here in the UK, but he's gone out of his way to avoid other members of the royal family as a group and he's headed there, put his differences behind him.

We were reporting earlier that the Duchess of Sussex was also heading there. I just had clarification from their team that she's not heading there at the moment. So it's just Prince Harry. Once they've gathered there at the castle, they will be briefed about the Queen's condition as a family. Once that's happened, then the prime minister will be informed, then we'll have a series of other notifications. The Prime Ministers of the realms crucially countries like Australia and Canada, which had the queen as head of state. And then we'll expect some sort of formal statement.

I mean, we don't know what that formal statement is but, of course, people are fearing the worse. There's a horrible atmosphere in the UK. The palace wouldn't want that to continue without calming it down. And frankly, they are not waving us off. The level of concern we're expressing in our coverage.

COOPER: Christiane Amanpour you're all at Buckingham Palace. It's impossible to look at the crowds outside, the people are gathered outside in the rain at Buckingham Palace right now. Some of whom probably just tourists who came by and are just learning the news, some who have maybe come there just to be there. It's impossible to see that seeing not think back of course to so many other times when we have seen crowds gathering outside Buckingham Palace. This is such any concern about the Queen's health. This is a momentous moment for Great Britain.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR (voiceover): Well, Anderson, it really is. And you know without preparing us and preparing the people, the palace actually has prepared the people by just putting out that statement early this morning and allowing this sort of build this momentum of concern. Build all day up to the point that people are now gathering as you see there outside the palace.

She has been on the throne for 70 years. She has been the central thread of the life of the people in this country for that many years, has spanned so many generations, has spanned so many world events. She came into power, into office, into her reign as a young accidental Queen if you like who shouldn't necessarily have been the Queen had it not been for her uncle King Edward VIII to abdicate it for the love of an American woman, a divorce say and he wasn't allowed to remain King. He had to either drop her or chooses --

COOPER: We just lost audio with our folks in Buckingham Palace. Richard Quest is joining us now. He is in Singapore. Richard, you have followed obviously, this family for your entire life as somebody who grew up in England.


It is extraordinary to think about the family right now. Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince Edward, going up to Balmoral reuniting as a family to be by the side of their mother and grandmother.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: A family, Anderson, that has so many ribbons between them, so many arguments, disagreements, fundamental dislikes in some cases and others, just resentment, but they have all come together today for what would appear to be the most serious and grave as news. As Max says, the palace is preparing the country for the worst. The palace is putting that -- they want to -- they've always said that they want to ensure that when the time comes, it is all done with the utmost decorum, dignity. They don't want to repeat of the -- anything like what we saw with Diana.

So, the huge measures will be taken, Anderson. For instance, the announcement that will be made at Buckingham Palace if and when they put the notice on the door, the statements that will be made from others, it's all about ensuring that everything is done right. Everything is done properly. And that is the way the Queen has planned it. The Queen has been involved in every aspect of this. But we just don't know if that is the way this is turning it.


QUEST: Looks like it, we don't know, Anderson.

COOPER: It's extraordinary, Richard, to see the two images that we're showing on the screen right now. On the left side of the screen, the gates of Buckingham Palace closed, crowds gathered. On the right side of the screen, the gate -- a gate to Balmoral Castle which is a huge complex, hugely important to Queen Elizabeth personally, as well as to the British Royal Family. Prince Albert bought it for his wife, then- Queen Victoria I think in 1852. This is a place that is steeped in royal family history and emotional history for this family.

QUEST: Right.

COOPER: This is where Prince Harry and Prince William were when they learned about the deaths of their mother Princess Diana.

QUEST: Yes. And it's one of the few residents if you will that the Queen actually owns. This is hers. Indeed, the whole Scottish estate belongs to the royal family in -- everything from the Queen Mother's castle of Mey to Berkinal cottage, all of them up on the Balmoral estate. And one of the reasons the Queen was there because every year, she goes for several weeks -- six, seven weeks for her summer holidays. And that has been part of her routine.

And understanding routine is really what understanding the Queen is really all about because every year she has gone to Balmoral. Every year she has had a Holyroodhouse cocktail but I'm -- the garden party. Every year she has attended the Braemar Highland Games. This year, she wasn't able to go to the games. We have seen, Anderson -- and this is, I think, emblematic of the way this has gone. We've seen a series of events that the Queen would normally have done that she has not been able to do, the most recent and perhaps the most significant, the appointment of Liz Truss as the Queen's 15th Prime Minister.

Now that happened the other day. The Queen, we saw her picture. There was no video of the two meetings. So the Queen met -- said goodbye to Boris Johnson, accepted his resignation, appoints Liz Truss, and then we have the events of the last 24 hours. Anderson, this juxtaposition between Balmoral, the -- if you like the office, the official, the center --


QUEST: That is -- and that is where the announcement if it's made will be made.

COOPER: Richard, we'll come back to you in Singapore. I want to go back to Max Foster and Christiane Amanpour and Bianca Nobilo outside Buckingham Palace. Max Foster, we're seeing vehicle -- some vehicles entering the grounds of Balmoral. Obviously, there's a huge staff -- a huge support staff there as well as doctors, who, as we say, are very concerned right now for the health of the Queen.

FOSTER: Yes. And the heavens have just opened here as well. I mean, there's a huge amount of media down here. There's a huge pile of people going in and out of Balmoral castle. If this is a serious situation, when we're talking anything like a regency or beyond, dare I say, it does involve a massive amount of people.

She is the head of state. She is the head of the church. She's the head of the defense, head of the judiciary. There's -- and she is Head of State in 15 countries around the world. So anything that affects her essentially affects all those constitutions and they all have to be debated and it all has to be worked through