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CNN Live Event/Special

Queen Elizabeth II Dies At 96; Charles Becomes King. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired September 08, 2022 - 14:30   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: You were pointing out to me something I hadn't considered, currency changes.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Well, the national anthem, police uniforms, passports. Essentially all of that will have to change.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: These are the longest- term things. And the point is, again, we grew up with currency, the pound notes, the currency, that coin currency as well, all has Queen Elizabeth's face on it.

COOPER: So, it always has to have the reigning monarch on it?

CHATTERLEY: Absolutely. These are long-term things.

ASHER: Yes. That will take time with those changes.

CHATTERLEY: And I think, in the shorter term -- in the shorter term, we go into a period now of mourning where various protocols are and do come into play.

But there are other things in the country that are very important at this moment, too. And not only to mention that we've only had the current prime minister for just a couple of days. And so big decisions have to be made and perhaps won't be.

ZAIN: And just to talk about the emotion of this moment. You know, we always knew that this day would come. Let's be candid about this. She was 96 years old. She had a series of health emergencies. But that doesn't make it any less distressing.

And that's the thing about grief. No matter how prepared you think you are, it always does seem to come as a surprise.

I'm personally, somebody who was born and raised in the U.K. I'm in shock right now. Queen Elizabeth famously declared, as you remember, Julia, 1992 as her annus horribilis.

But I think for a lot of people who admire the royal family, admire the queen, this is really the annus horribilis that many people had feared.

My mind does go to the new king right now. A lot of people are talking about the fact that, gosh, can you imagine grieving your mother, mourning the death of your mother, and then almost immediately having to contend with the pressures of absorbing the responsibilities of arguably the most important role in the world.

People say, yes, you know, but he's prepared for this. He's been preparing for this his entire life. Yes and no. Of course, he's lived his entire life in front of a long lens camera. We understand that.

But nothing can prepare you for what is about to happen. He is not just lost his mother, but he is presiding over the dawn of a completely new era in Great Britain.


CHATTERLEY: I think many would say that Prince Charles -- the personal side has been ready for many years and have prepared for this moment. And that's part of the process of being royal and the preparation in place.

But I do think -- and I think your point is a very accurate one, that, for now, at least, this period is about mourning. It's about a family.

Whether you like the monarchy or not, I think most people have a view oven this on this queen and what she represents to the nation.

And for all the change to come, she has -- she's a piece of a part of our lives, whether in your heart or otherwise that I don't think anybody else that follows has.

COOPER: We were talking before off camera about sort of a sense of humor that she had, or willingness to kind of play along and -- at the Olympics, I don't know if we have the footage.

CHATTERLEY: I really hope we do. Absolutely.

This is the beauty -- I think we all have our sort of memories and our own personal experiences. And this, in particular, for me, I think, crystallizes her strength, her humor, naughtiness that we talked about before.

Was when Great Britain held the Olympics, and there was a scene where she was with James Bond, Daniel Craig --


CHATTERLEY: Yes -- at the time, and parachuted out.

COOPER: And it appeared as if the queen parachuted out.



CHATTERLEY: I hope we've got the images because it's great.

COOPER: I don't think we do. We'll have to get them. CHATTERLEY: The stunt double wore her pink dress, and it went viral,

people asking, did the queen actually?

COOPER: Basically, the stunt double landed and she walked out.

CHATTERLEY: I know. And you see the small smile of appreciation.

I mean, that, I think, embodies strength --


CHATTERLEY: -- and humor. And we didn't see that much of her in that regard. And she was and is, I think, royal, regal, to the very end.

COOPER: As you said, working up to the very end.

CHATTERLEY: This is something else that we haven't really spoken about, the fact that we talked about how she looked in that megawatt smile, actually, that she gave the new U.K. prime minister.

COOPER: On Tuesday, meeting the new prime minister.

CHATTERLEY: Just on Tuesday, even to the end. We're showing images of what she began as queen, too. Even to the end, a life of service. And I think there's something very poignant about looking at that image again now, knowing that she's passed.


COOPER: We are getting more reaction to the queen's death from the British people, from around the world. CNN's coverage continues right after this.


COOPER: Queen Elizabeth II has died, the end of an era in Great Britain.

Images now from Windsor Castle, people lining up, bringing flowers to Windsor Castle, mourning on this day as we are seeing the crowds growing really by the minute at Windsor Castle.

Also by Buckingham Palace where our Max Foster is standing by with all the latest information.

Max, we've been seeing, it was raining earlier before. We've been seeing crowds throughout the day, but barriers are now going up. Clearly, more and more people are coming. It's just past 7:30 p.m. in London.

You've now gotten confirmation about the new king's name

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR & ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so, king's spokesman, his new title as well, is confirmed that the king will be known as Charles III. So he's not changing his name.

There was suggestion, wasn't there, that he might choose a different name to rebrand, effectively.

I mean, there's a huge challenge ahead for King Charles. He is a very different character to the queen. The queen never expressed opinions. King Charles has. It's made him more divisive.


And there are countries like Australia where, frankly, the Republican campaigns have talked about staying with the monarchy until King Charles comes along. So, it's a big challenge.

But he has said very clearly, and they have had briefings in recent times that the king will not behave in the same way as he was as prince of Wales.

As prince of Wales, he felt he had a right to express opinions before he was on the throne. But now he's on the throne, he will model himself on how the queen operated.

But what's challenging is we do know he has his opinions. They haven't gone away.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And it's not just he might want to model himself on his mother. That is the constitutional prerogative that he has to actually abide by. And now everything he says, as you say, will be picked up for any kind of nuance.

And it will be interesting to see, Max, because, actually, as people have said, then Prince Charles was actually ahead of the curve. He was on many issues. He tried to put his hand into urban planning and architecture. That didn't go down very well.

But he was the first major royal, but also major public figure, to go into organic, whether it was food, gardening, agriculture. He had his own home another High Grove, which was a, and does still, which was a sort of exemplar of how to be organic.

And people thought that was weird back then, tree huggers and all the rest of it. But he was ahead of the curve on that. And you know, furthermore, on the environment. And philosophy, and how he talks about young people and the like.

But yes, you're right. This is not a young man coming to the throne. This is not an unknown. This is somebody who the British people and the world know very, very well.

He's in his early 70s, for heaven's sake. He's waited all this time to become king. He's been a dutiful son, a dutiful heir in the system that we inhabit in this country.

And now, we're going to see what he can do as king at a time when you've predicted and others have predicted that the monarchy will be more and more questioned, the institution will become more and more questioned here.


Max, Christiane, I want to go to CNN correspondent, Scott McLean, outside Windsor Castle. Has been throughout the day.

Scott, I know you've been talking to people. What reactions are you hearing now?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson. It's a pretty remarkable scene. And I want to show you quickly, they're trying to clear people out because of the volume of people who have come to lay flowers. And you can see how many there are here.

And I have to tell you, just when the news started to spread outside of the castle, it was a -- an incredible scene. The flag was lowered to half-staff. And a rainbow appeared from right behind it. I wouldn't have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes.

People have been coming just to lay flowers. They're trying to move the crowd back right now to the statue at the edge of the road.

But I spoke to this woman earlier, Michelle.

And it was just a couple months ago that you actually got to see the queen in-person for the opening of a hospice. What was that like?

MICHELLE, ENGLISH RESIDENT: Oh, amazing. She was in great -- we didn't know it was going to be her. We were told it was a, you know, VIP celebrity, but I just kind of knew it would be her because it's something special to her and I just had a feeling, so I was like, right, I've definitely got to be there.

MCLEAN: What was the interaction like?

MICHELLE: She got out of the car, we went outside by the door, and there wasn't many of us at all so it was exciting. And she got out, really -- it was like seeing your nan or something. She just went like this to everybody.

And she just looked in great health. She was with Anne, who kind of let her lead the way. And she kind of -- we all hip, hip hoorayed her, and she gave us a little side glance and a little smirk and went in to do the unveiling.

And when she came out, she gave us a wave and said, thank you, thank you, because everyone was telling her she looked amazing.

MCLEAN: What does the queen mean to you as an English person, as a British person?

MICHELLE: Oh, she's just symbolizes everything. I'm such a big royalist. I lived in Windsor all my life so growing up with my family loving her and kind of instilling that on us, so any event, we like to be there.

We've had the jubilee here, which has been amazing. She just symbolizes kind of Windsor and England as a whole. MCLEAN: You think she's a unifying force for this country?

MICHELLE: Absolutely. Absolutely. She is going to be missed in everything.

Charles will be amazing king. But she will always be at the forefront of everyone's minds. We've never known anything different here. I think, most people who are still alive have only ever known her to rule the country.

MCLEAN: Lovely to meet you.

MICHELLE: Thank you.

MCLEAN: And sorry for the loss for you and your country.

Anderson, if I can, I'll walk through the crowd a little bit here -- sorry, Michelle -- and kind of show you just how many people are starting to show up here just to pay their respects.

They're trying to put up barricades at the moment just to try to kind of keep people at a reasonable distance just because of the volume of people who have shown up.

And so people are carrying flowers. Here's one man here.

Excuse me, ma'am, you're live on CNN. I'm just wondering how you're feeling at this moment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's obviously a sad day for the nation. We've only just sort of found out in the last hour or two.

She was obviously getting old anyway. Her health was deteriorating. But it can't prepare you for the moment that the news breaks out. So, everyone here is here for the same reasons.

MCLEAN: What does the queen mean to you two, as British people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, she's everything we've always known. I've never known anything different. You know, head of state. She's -- people in the armed forces have served with her, for her, she's brought the country through some real tough times. She's served herself during the war.

You know, and she's everything that's British. Obviously. So, it's difficult moment for everyone that's connected.

MCLEAN: Did you ever think you'd be so sad about the death of a person that I presume you've never met?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I've actually met her three times.

MCLEAN: You did?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I had the privilege. She was a lovely, lovely lady. My granddad met her.

It's -- I think she was getting old. Everyone knew she was becoming frail. Everyone sort of mentally, deep in their mind, mentally preparing for this moment. But when it actually comes, you know, the shock's always there.

MCLEAN: Sorry for your loss. Thank you for talking to us.

I'll just sort of wander down, if we can, Anderson. And again, you can see just how many people are here.

And I have been asking people, you know, what they've thought of the idea of a King Charles. And most of the people that we've spoken to say that, look, they haven't even wrapped their head around this possibility before.

Of course, Prince Charles, not necessarily as popular as the queen, not necessarily even as popular as Prince William, if you consult the polls.

But people really focused at this moment on just what an incredible life and certainly an incredible legacy as well.

COOPER: Yes, I love that the two people who you kind of randomly talked to both had very personal experiences and felt very personally toward her and also had actually met her, which is extraordinary. That gentleman having met her three times.

I love Michelle saying that it was like seeing her nan show up, waving -- with the queen waving.

Scott, we'll check in with you later.


COOPER: Yes? Go ahead, Scott.

MCLEAN: No, I was just going to say, that's something that you hear over and over again. It's like your grandmother. It's like the grandmother of the country.

And you know, as I was saying earlier, this country doesn't always seem too unified when it comes to politics, when it comes to Scotland and England and northern Ireland and Wales. Everyone with different priorities.

But certainly she has brought out the -- the monarchy brings out the patriotism in people and makes them feel proud to be British, which is something you don't see often in this country.


Scott, appreciate it.

President Biden issued a statement on Queen Elizabeth's death a short time ago. I want to go to Kaitlan Collins at the White House with that --


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson, this is the first time that she's weighed in -- that the president -- President Biden has weighed in.

He wrote in a statement, a lengthy statement on the queen, saying:

"Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era in a world of constant change when she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have not known the country without her."

:We first met the queen in 1982, traveling to the U.K. as part of a Senate delegation. And we were honored that she extended her hospitality to us in June 2021 during our first trip overseas as president and first lady."

Anderson, that was that last trip where he spoke with her, last summer. She hosted President Biden and first lady, Jill Biden, for a private tea.

During that, he says in a statement today that "She charmed us with her wit, she moved us with her kindness, and she generously shared with us her wisdom."

And he talks about the way that the queen, obviously, who has met with 14 U.S. presidents, dating back to Harry Truman, with the exception of LBJ, obviously, has this long relationship with the United States.

He says it helped form that special relationship as U.S. presidents and British prime ministers and the queen often refer to it as.

And he talked also about how she stood with the United States in the wake of 9/11, of course, as we approach the anniversary of that on Sunday.

It's not just President Biden paying tribute to her. But President Trump has done so. President Obama has done so. President Bush has also just done so in a statement -- Anderson?

COOPER: Yes, she, a constant through 14 presidents, 15 British prime ministers, seven popes, and now she is gone.

I want to go to Kate Williams, Bidisha Mamata, Trisha Goddard, who are joining us now.

Bidisha, we spoke a little bit about the impact of the queen, about her legacy. What do you think lays ahead -- lies ahead in the next week and also under a new king?


[14:49:59] BIDISHA MAMATA, BRITISH BROADCASTER & JOURNALIST: That's -- (INAUDIBLE) -- political analyst, because those words of the prime minister, Liz Truss, are so pronounced and so strong. She talked about strength and stability.

We are not at a time within the nation where strength and stability define us. We are at a moment of war, invasion, social mobility having stalled, of having food banks, of having all sorts of headlines screaming at us every single day, each one of which, individually, is very alarming.

So there's a sense of fracture and doubt. Any monarch coming in right now, King Charles III, will be reading the same headlines and they will know they are being looked to for leadership and for unity.

And they will be being asked by others as well as asking themselves, what am I? Am I just a figurehead? Am I just part of mystique in royalty, as you put it so well a few minutes ago, or am I a political leader as well,?

Because the royals know what's going on. They have political and non- political advisers feeding them information at briefings every single day.

So this is a moment for all the eyes of the world, political and apolitical, to look to the royal family and say, OK, what's next? Because the word goes on.

COOPER: It is, Trisha, extraordinary to somebody who lives in a country which, you know, which has a presidential system, and the system that we have, and every four years there's a change, To have a constant for 70 years, watching politicians come and go.

And as Bidisha was saying, they have political advisers informing them of what's going on. It's sort of hard to imagine unless you actually live there.

So there's that constancy and experience that even a King Charles would have, from having, you know, played a close role with his mother all these years.

TRISHA GODDARD, FORMER BRITISH TELEVISION PRESENTER: Absolutely. I grew up not far from Windsor and Windsor Castle. I've met the queen as well. I've had supper with Charles and Camilla.

So, you know, I -- I work for, you know -- done some work for Camilla's osteoporosis charity.

So I think a lot of my life, as many Brits in many ways has been intertwined with the royals.

What's interesting thought in talking about what's happening going forward, and I couldn't agree more, there will be a period of just a family in grief.

I know, on my shows I do on a Saturday, I'm actually going to be talking to Julia Samuel, who was great friends, very close friends with Princess Diana, one of the godmothers to Prince George.

And one of her areas is grief. She worked with the princes. I think we're going to see a lot of that. Not just amongst the royals. Remember, there's a huge household. There are people who worked with her for years and years and years and years. They'll all be going through the same thing.

I just -- it's interesting. I think the last thing that Prince Charles would have done as Prince Charles, because he is now King Charles, was to guest edit "The Voice", newspaper. It's Britain's black newspaper. It came up for its 14th anniversary. And that was really, really welcomed amongst black people in the U.K..

So already there are lots and lots of things Charles has done with the Prince's Trust and what have you that has been fostering a lot of goodwill amongst young people.

And I think that's important going on into the future, to capture the hearts and minds of young people.

Because, as you said, there are countries like Australia. I've just been contacted by Australians waking up to this news and what does it mean for Australia and the new prime minister there has been fairly open in admitting he's a Republican.

So it -- appealing to the youth and generations coming up is going to be vital for the monarchy to continue.

But as I said before, this is about grief first and foremost. And the future is something that, you know, that is inevitable, obviously. That's happening.

But Prince Charles does look to the future. Has been looking to the future for quite some time.


Kate Williams, your thoughts as -- about what lies ahead, just really in the next week or ten days. We don't have exactly funeral plans yet. The exact date but, in the past, it's been about a 10-day time period.

KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. About 10-day time period, and it will be a state, the ceremony will be heads of state coming in from all over the world. It will be the most significant royal event since her actual coronation. This is such an important seismic moment.


We will expect the queen to come to London in the royal train. The train that Queen Victoria loved so much. The train the queen loved so much. In her beloved home, Balmoral, always most loved to her.

And then we expect there may about lying in state as there was with the queen mother.

And really, I think, as we're seeing at the moment -- I've been sent some films, from the CNN bureau, I've been sent some films. People are cueing up to get to Buckingham Palace and aren't speaking. They're completely somber. Really it's a nation overwhelmed by grief.

And isn't it significant, Anderson, to think that, yesterday, her last day on the planet, was the day in which she devoted herself to duty. She still met with the prime minister.


WILLIAMS: Most of us would have felt she could have deputized that job. Charles could have done it. But she was determined to do it, and that, I think, what duty.

COOPER: Stay right here for the latest on the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Jake Tapper is going to pick up our coverage after a short break.