Return to Transcripts main page
CNN Live Event/Special
Royals William, Andrew, Edward, Sophie Arrive At Balmoral Castle; Royal Family Rushes To Queen's Side, Doctors "Concerned" For Her Health. Aired 12:30-1p ET
Aired September 08, 2022 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the gravity of it, I think is underscored by the fact that so many members of her family have been summoned to Balmoral. And it's very serious and we don't know specifically what her ailment is. But it's, you know, and she is, as many others have pointed out, the glue that holds the United Kingdom together, she's a huge force in the Commonwealth of 54 nations around the world. And so, you know, I think a lot of people have been dreading the moment when she would no longer be on the scene. And so there's a sense of terrible anguish and anxiety right now everywhere.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Kate Williams, your thoughts on this afternoon?
KATE WILLIAMS, BRITISH HISTORIAN: Yes, it's a very serious moment. We've had various updates on the Queen's health before. But really, we've been told that she's fine, nothing to worry about. And she looked in such great health at her Platinum Jubilee. I know she couldn't attend everything. But she was in great form. And just a month before that, she was opening our brand new tube line here in London, the Elizabeth Line bright purple, she really looks so happy and in such great health.
So we were all really feeling really hopeful and really excited and thinking perhaps of a 100th birthday, but today is really serious, really somber news. It's very serious. And you think of the Queen's incredible span. She was born in 1926, when many women didn't have the vote, the age of the flapper saw World War I -- World War II, just born just after World War I, right into the 21st century, a world of globalization, technology, everything has changed in her reign. And she has a Sally was saying, remain this constant. And I think many people in the United Kingdom and across the world can't imagine a world without her.
COOPER: Yes, I want to come back to all of you in a moment, I just want to quickly go to CNN royal correspondent Max Foster at Buckingham Palace. Max, we just got an extraordinary photo of royal family members as they were rushing to be with the Queen, we're going to want to show that that image. We saw the video of this, but we didn't actually see who was in the vehicle. It's Prince Edward there, Prince Andrew as well. Talk a little bit about what these images show. MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR & ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, they normally travel separately. They're all in one car, their thesis, a stark, Prince Andrew in the front, very close to the Queen, Prince Edward, also increasingly close to the Queen in recent years, but he's been taking on more and more responsibilities. And, you know, we just have to look at those faces and try to read what we can into them, but they're all in the same car. And they didn't have to be. I just feel it really feels to me, like, they, you know, suddenly rushed to get there as quickly as possible. This was the most efficient way.
We know that Prince William has arrived as well. I think we're only waiting on Prince Harry. We're relying on local photographers here because, you know, this has only just happened and they've been based up there, so waiting to see the images come through. I think once Prince Harry's in there, whilst he's not a working role, he's still a senior member of the royal family, still very high up in the line of succession. I think they want to have him there.
But before any announcements were made, it would seem a bit dismissive I think, if he -- the announcements were made before they were all in situ behind those gates at Balmoral castle. And then you need a bit of time for them to regroup as well, even if they have already been informed of the latest situation. I think, you know, family time and the optics and making sure they have family time, a different angle there. So I think you've got a police driver. And there's Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, alongside her husband there in the backseat.
We're told it is William. I can't really see -- well, it does look a bit like William. It could be William, I mean that would have been extraordinary situation where you've got very senior roles in one car, which they don't -- yes --
FOSTER: -- to be together like that, because it's a big, yes, a big risk. So I just think that speaks to the urgency of today and look at Sophie's face. I mean, that really does paint the picture and she's very close to the Queen. They ride or they until very recently rode together every weekend, lived in Windsor together. And whenever I've asked about interviews about the Queen, they've always suggested Sophie because she knows her so well.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Can I --
COOPER: Yes, go ahead, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Can I just point out that just the expressions on the faces of very, very somber obviously. And because we're journalists, we have to point out that Prince Andrew, who is as be known as the Queen's favorite son, is also no longer working royal because of the scandal that he was involved in regarding the Epstein affair, the allegations of sexual mishandling, especially of a minor. And, you know, just to say that she's been surrounded by her sense of never putting a foot wrong, her sense of absolute duty, her sense of being practically the perfect monarch for the times if you want to describe it as that but she's been surrounded also by some of the nearest and dearest to her, her closest, her children, who have an in this case, falling short. And certainly in Prince Andrews case.
FOSTER: I'm not saying that Edward was wearing a blue shirt, I don't think read too much into that they've may have just rushed to be up there as opposed to prepared what to wear.
COOPER: But Max, I mean, to Christiane's point, you know, how public has Prince Andrew been, since all the allegations against him since the lawsuits and since he has stepped back from public life? How rare is it that he is part of in the mix with the Royal Family?
FOSTER: Very rare. He was fired by the Queen and he's been kept out of public vision very clearly. He's been, I mean, at one point I would probably describe him almost a hostage within Windsor grounds because there were so many photographers parked at the gates trying to get a picture of him and whenever it happened, it was on the front of the newspapers. So he's had a very difficult period, very low key. He did try to make a reentry into public life at Prince Philip's funeral. I think everyone obviously accepted that he should be there at the memorial service rather.
But he got a huge amount of bad headlines when he walked the Queen to her seats, something which is really a job for the dean of the chapel there. And it was seen as him trying to steal the limelight, he traveled to the church as well with the Queen. So that went down very badly. We really haven't seen him since he is out of public life, and he's out of a job. And with Prince Charles in this more senior position and Prince William, they're certainly I know, not so much keen of having him within a public role. So they've kept him out of the public limelight as well effectively by making sure he's not got a public role and they can rebuild really, the Royal brand.
COOPER: I want to --
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: -- by looking at that photograph is a family moment, the urgency the deviation from protocols seeing Prince Andrew, front and center there with Prince William that this is a moment of the family getting together pulling together urgently trying to make their way to Balmoral Castle rather than in any form of royal assortment or the kind of process that we would usually expect.
COOPER: I want to also bring in Tricia Goddard, talking about this photo. Trisha it's such an unusual photo, I mean, as others have said to have them, the three -- those three in the vehicle, all four members of the royal family in the vehicle like that, with Prince William driving, it's I don't know if that's intentional that they wanted people to see them all together. Or if it was just getting off a plane and everybody gets into a car and they take off. I mean, they -- Prince William does have security. So I assume he chose to drive or somebody chose to have him drive.
TRISHA GODDARD, FORMER BRITISH TELEVISION PRESENTER: I suspect this is just about a family being together. Just, you know, this is about family at the moment. And I agree with Max until everybody is under the same roof, I think we should be looking at them as a family. I think they will become the royal family and have anything that needs to be said once they are all together. Yes, I obviously this is very serious. And I think as Sally said herself, it's something that we've expected, as one does with anybody who's elderly, but still the nation's is shocked.
And you know, Britain has been under siege if you like, you know, the cost of living, you know, the Prime Minister, the changing the, you know, it's a really sort of difficult time, I think for Britain. And this is really quite a shock, in many ways. So I just think it's family first. And I think the fact that Harry is in the U.K. and can be there, I think because you can imagine if he'd already gone back to the states, what would happen but obviously it is very serious. It is very important -- it's a very somber moment. And as I said before, I think Brits will be shocked but not surprised if that makes sense.
COOPER: I want to bring in also Zain Asher, Julia Chatterley who are with me here in New York as you are watching this. What stands out do you think?
ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: I mean, I understand, honestly, this is not just a British moment. OK? This is not just a British event. When you think about the influence and the relevance of this family on the global stage, this is the woman who has been behind it all. A lot of people have been talking about the fact that she has been the glue that has not only helped her family together, by the way through times of crisis, the nation together and also the Commonwealth together. She has been the steady ship. I mean you and I both grew up in the U.K. We grew up looking up to Queen Elizabeth II as almost this iconic sort of mother of the nation figure.
And when you think about the steady ship that she is, it's not just in terms of what she has presided over in terms of world events, for example, the Second World War and how traumatic that was for the U.K. as a nation, but also traumatic events within her own family, the various crises and the various sort of less than stellar moments that the royal family has enjoyed in recent years, including, as Christiane was just talking about the scandals involving Prince Andrew, which was hugely embarrassing for the royal family, of course, the very famous fracture and the rupture of the fairy tale with Princess Diana and Prince Charles, the various divorces and also Prince Harry, essentially stepping back from Royal duty, she has been the steady hand through all of that, and honestly, you know, Julia, I can't imagine anyone else being at the helm of this family during those various crises.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: I think we're all just holding our breaths, to be honest, I think everyone in the U.K. now, it is bigger. I agree. It's about the Commonwealth. It's about the world. It's just waiting to see. And I think we're hoping for the best. And we're fearing for the worst on a very human level. And I agree with you. She's, in many ways, the face of British history. She's the face of British culture. And not just because she's the Queen of England, because she's this Queen, for all the reasons that you just mentioned that and so many more, the bright smile, the some of the saddest moments that we've seen the funeral of course of Prince Philip, but then the happiest moments, the Olympics that the Jubilee when we saw her, I think we've become prepared to see less of her.
And we have done particularly in recent months. I don't think we're prepared to contemplate a world without her. And I think that's partly what we're doing today, I think and to the point that we were just making today actually, is not really about. This is about the family. It's about what you were just looking at there and for people who are afraid and scared and just wants to be in a car together but not with anyone.
COOPER: One of her former secretaries had referred to her as constant as a North Star for Great Britain, for the Commonwealth.
CHATTERLEY: And I think Christiane said it when she said cocooned. She provides a cocoon, a constant, a comfort to the nation. And throughout even with the trials and tribulations that we've seen in the royal family, she's remained separate from that, I think, and has risen above in many ways. And it's not that she hasn't been at times criticized for being appearing cold or appearing reserved. She just is the best of British, I think and still is.
ASHER: If we could just pull up the photo again, of all four sort of members of the royal family in that car, when you look at their faces, I was just thinking when I saw this photo, that they are all sort of symbolic of the collective sort of fear of the nation right now. If the worst were to happen, it would be quite frankly, an emotional earthquake for the U.K. I and I can speak for many other Britons have not grown up in a world that didn't have Queen Elizabeth at the helm in terms of U.K. monarchy,
COOPER: Yes, more than more than 80 percent of Britons, they no other monarch.
ASHER: Right. She rarely gives interviews, you know, so we don't really know much about her feelings --
COOPER: Which is intentional.
ASHER: Yes, certainly not on political issues, but she rarely gives interviews and so that means there is this sort of mystery behind her.
CHATTERLEY: Well, there's less of a mystery perhaps as a result of the crown. So I think even if you don't know about her, you actually project what you think of her and what you believe of her and some parts of that is the strength is the sense of humor, some of the naughtiness and when some for a lot of people and I include Brits in that that is how in many ways they've come to identify today.
COOPER: Obviously naughtiness.
CHATTERLEY: Of course, these British people have naughtiness especially this Queen.
[12:44:00] COOPER: Stay with us for the very latest on the Queen's condition and how the royal family is handling what is a very tense and difficult time. Our coverage continues after a short break.
COOPER: Crowds are gathering at Buckingham Palace, waiting word on Queen Elizabeth II. Her doctors as you know expressing concern for the 96-year-old monarch's health. Many of her closest family members have arrived at Balmoral Castle in Scotland where the Queen was put under medical supervision. We know her son, the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, is there as is the second in line Prince William. We saw William arrive in a car with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward and his wife a short time ago very unusual photograph to see them all together and to see Prince William driving the vehicle.
CNN's Matthew Chance joins us now from London in front of 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister's Office and residence. Matthew you're outside the new Prime Minister's office, she met and was appointed by the Queen just on Tuesday. She went up to Balmoral castle. That was the last photograph we have seen of Queen Elizabeth.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. And in fact, Liz Truss is the fifth Prime Minister that Queen Elizabeth has had for working under her. So it just gives you a sense of how, you know, long her period as the reigning monarch of the country has been, her first Prime Minister Winston Churchill back in the 1950s. So an extraordinary sense of continuity that goes with Queen Elizabeth.
You're right. I'm outside Downing Street right now, Liz Truss, the new prime minister is inside, she's being told she's being kept up to date constantly were told by her aides about the condition of Queen Elizabeth, who, of course, is in Balmoral, Scotland. And there's a big media presence out here, of course, and one of reasons for that is because when there is an announcement, if there's an announcement about the condition of the Queen, it's expected that Prime Minister Truss will come out of number 10 there and given a dress to the cameras, to the nation, about the situation about what's unfolding.
Before that happens. And this is quite interesting. There are flags. And I'll ask my cameraman here, Neil, to pan upwards. There are a couple of union flags flying up there above number 10 and number 11 Downing Street. And the expectation is, is that, you know, once the Prime Minister has been informed, or if the Prime Minister is informed about the death of Queen Elizabeth, then those flags will be lower perhaps even before, you know, the actual statements comes out. And so it's possible that they will be a sort of early warning about the condition of Queen Elizabeth if that news does come through, in fact, there's a pool camera that has been trained specifically on those flags to catch the exact moment when they start to be lowered down to half staff. And so we're obviously keeping a close eye on that, as well Anderson. COOPER: Matthew, I'm going to check in with you shortly. I'm going to check in with our Richard Quest who is joining us now actually from Singapore. Richard, obviously, people all around the world are watching what is taking place at Balmoral at 10 Downing Street at Buckingham Palace and it is just an example of the importance of the Queen on the world stage.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: I was just thinking about this, Anderson. I was 60 years old this year, and the Queen has been a constant from the day I was born. She's always been there. Silver Jubilee when I was at school, the Golden Jubilee, the Diamond Jubilee, the Queen has just been the Queen. And, you know, if you're British and you -- that's just the way it has. We are in this position at the moment, Anderson, if you like before any news on after any news, that whatever sort of confusion or uncertainty we have now once we are given any news, a very rigorous timetable will come into play including as you've just been hearing flags being lowered if that's what it is.
And Buckingham Palace interestingly, the Queen is not in residence at Buckingham Palace. You were just showing the picture of the flag, there you are. Now this goes back to Diana, remember, when the flag wasn't flown at half mast after Diana because it was the Royal Standard and the Royal Standard never flies at half mast. So Buckingham Palace because the Queen is at Balmoral, you have the Union Jack -- the Union Flag of the country.
As I say, Anderson, we have a before and then after. We're in this process at the moment where we don't know once certainty has been given to us one way or the other. Then certain rigorous timetable will start, and it will follow military precision right the way through.
COOPER: You know there's many ways to look at this and obviously you know many ways to look at the Queen. But and you've just been talking about her as the monarch as a constant presence in your life and in the lives of the vast majority of all British subjects in their lifetimes. There's also the personal and the family and we are seeing the family gathering as many families do when the matriarch is ill and is at home and has chosen not to go -- not -- is not being sent to a hospital is staying at home and one can read into that whatever one might think.
But that that image which we are showing up on the screen right now Richard of where you see Prince William, where you see Prince -- or you see Andrew, you see Prince Edward and his wife, it is extraordinary to see that. I'm wondering what your thoughts on that image.
QUEST: Look at that -- look at Williams face. Look at Williams face, though the intensity of the look. Andrew's the seriousness, Edward looking off again deep in thought, and Sophie sad. This is a family that is coming together in extremists one way or the other. And we saw it with Philip, the way they all did their tributes afterwards about the life of Philip. But this is on a different scale. During the Queen mother's -- when the Queen mother passed, they worried whether people was going to come up and pay respects when she lay in state. There's no such worries when it comes to Her Majesty, the Queen.
This, the in fact, the number one concern at the moment is if the worst happens, will London fill up to the point of danger between whenever it happens, and eventual date of funeral. So that's -- those are the concerns, the practical, the emotional, the constitutional, and indeed, the personal, and that is the embodiment of monarchy. I can't explain it in many cases to Americans. I can't explain it to anybody who hasn't been brought up in it, in a sense, but monarchy has all those components. And that is what we're witnessing tonight.
COOPER: Well said. The royal family today rushing to Balmoral as we're been talking about. We are waiting on word as to when Prince Harry will arrive at Balmoral. He was said to be already in Great Britain with his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. We're told it is just Prince Harry, who is heading toward Balmoral. That is the latest information we have. We don't know when he is expected to get there. We're going to have more on the breaking news, the health concerns about Queen Elizabeth after this quick break.