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CNN Live Event/Special

Soon: King Charles III To Deliver First Address As King. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired September 09, 2022 - 12:30   ET



DON LEMON, CNN HOST: And now St. Paul's mourners are headed there to the cathedral there for a service in memory of Queen Elizabeth and her 70 extraordinary and unprecedented years on the throne. You're going to see it all right here as our special coverage continues. I want to talk to our folks in the field now. We're going to Balmoral Castle where Queen Elizabeth spent her final hours. CNN's Isa Soares is there for us. Isa, hello to you. The Queen's coffin still inside the castle, now what? What happens next?

ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: Hi Don. Yes, the Queen's coffin, the Queen still inside Balmoral Castle, a place of course she felt so close, she called home in many ways, had such wonderful memories. But of course, those scenes we're seeing here are somewhat different from the ones you've seen where you are, the scenes of jubilation. Here, I think people putting their head down taking the time to really take stock of what has happened and pay tribute to a monarch and the matriarch who was dedicated 70 years of her life to duty and service.

I'm actually joined here by two gentlemen here, Mike and Andrew who serve, actually served in the kings, former regiments, I think it's fair to say or kings regiments. What -- you've met the King, King Charles III, what do you make of him?

MIKE MCNAMARA, FORMER KINGS REGIMENT: He's very, very sociable person. And he cares a lot of people. And he is such a lovely personality. And it's a credit to the royal family. Just to say, we've met him a few times over the years. And he can remember when you see you, he'll actually remember totally.

SOARES: And this is quite an emotional moment for you, Mike.

MCNAMARA: Yes, yes.

SOARES: You, before we come to break, you were quite emotional. You're taking the time of course to pay tribute to the Queen but also taking aware of course of the huge challenge for King Charles here.

MCNAMARA: Yes, indeed. Yes. I think King Charles will probably have his own way of running the royal family. But that is just to be expected. And we think he'll be a brilliant King.

SOARES: And Andrew, you've also met King Charles, what do you think, what kind of monarch do you think he will be?

ANDREW CHRISTIE, FORMER KINGS REGIMENT: I do think he'll be a strong leader like his mother, I do. And he's been -- he'll lead by example, as his mother did. I do think he'll lead the country to a better place as well. His mother was a great role model, strong character, and faultless in our duty, selfless, 70 years committed to our country. Yes, I think he's been given the tools to do the job correctly. And he'll definitely do it correctly. He's a great man. I met him on several occasions, very strong, personality, really funny.

And so proud of his regiment, the Anderson Guard, and this area, he loves this area, not just Scotland, he loves the whole of Britain. So yes, he'll definitely be good for the country.

SOARES: But this of course, Mike, this is Balmoral is a place so close to the late Queen's heart. What do you -- why do you think she loved it so much?

MCNAMARA: Well, she has so much privacy here as well. She could just relax, totally relax, go in the hills and just out with it. The point is, and, you know, the McGillis (ph) and shooting the game and so on.

SOARES: Thank you very much. And appreciate it. And thank you for taking the time to speak to us. And we have seen, Don, a steady stream of people really taking the time to pay respect for, of course, the late Queen who dedicated 70 years of service to this country. But very much aware of the speech we are expecting later on today by King Charles III. Don?

LEMON: Yes. And we will carry that. Thank you, Isa, very much.

Just a bit of news as we -- Isa, was reporting there we saw the King and the Queen Consort, their motorcade going past us, not sure where, our eagle eye Christiane Amanpour picked it up. She saw that you said you knew because the royal standard was there. And then we saw the royal band following them. And now we --

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And we see people streaming this. So it's all active, lots happening. This is not a static situation. And as usual, we don't always know everything that's going on.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR & ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: I think you're right. They probably just going to Clarence house, which is their home, which is where everything is. They haven't gotten --

LEMON: But it's interesting to see the folks following and maybe they're just following the band.

Standby everyone, joining us now is the Queen's former press secretary Simon Lewis. Simon, thank you so much for joining us now. Let's talk about Queen Elizabeth. She showed the world how to keep calm and carry on starting with her ascendancy to the throne after her father's death and in recent years reassuring the public amid the depths of a pandemic. How do you expect Charles will embody his mother's spirit today? [12:35:07]

SIMON LEWIS, QUEEN ELIZABETH II'S FORMER PRESS SECRETARY: Yes, I think today has been an extraordinary day. I was there last night and saw the people gathering in Buckingham Palace and back again today and the crowds are swelling. And I think the new King, it was a big moment that walkabout because my time at the palace, I remember just how delicate a walkabout is. But I think it went as well as could be expected. And this is not just a grieving son, but the new King. And I think what we're seeing today, so far, clearly is the country warming towards him as the new king and understanding I'm sure what he must be going through as an individual.

LEMON: Simon, can you take us behind the scenes because you got a rare chance to actually know the Queen, very personally? What's something that you learned about her that the public might not know, might not expect about her?

LEWIS: Well, it's so much has been said quite rightly, about the league Queen, her steadfastness, her sense of duty, her sense of responsibility. But I would say a couple of things, behind the scenes working closely with her, actually three things, first of all, enormously hard working, and red boxes did go into her study and come back in the morning, all completely done. And that's really important to the kind of running of the Constitution.

Secondly, enormously insightful, thinking about an idea taking advice, but then actually making a decision as the monarch, which I think was incredibly important. And then thirdly, actually pretty mischievous sense of humor, which showed from time to time. And I always thought about my time at the palace that I wasn't just working for an institution, and an individual. I was working for a family and the family dynamic within the royal family was a very affectionate one.

But certainly, a great sense of humor and huge experience of the world are very difficult to think of anyone else in recent history whose such enormous experience the world at large.

LEMON: Yes, I was wondering if you're going to mention her wicked sense of humor that people talk about that we don't often see, a very rarely I should say, we see it in public. You know, the Queen served as a leader of the British people for seven decades, Simon, I want to play something that she shared with the United Nations in 2010 and then we'll discuss.


QUEEN ELIZABETH II, QUEEN OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: I declare before you all, with 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.


LEMON: How will the Queen want to be remembered? LEWIS: I think she will be remembered as someone who gave her life in devotion to the country. I think she remembered as someone who actually understood not just the United Kingdom, but the Commonwealth and as someone who actually fundamentally understood the British people. And that's something that is a very special quality and characteristic.

LEMON: Simon Lewis, thank you for your time. We appreciate it so much.


We are closing in on the historic address by King Charles III. You're going to see it right here live on CNN along with the service of prayer and reflection at St. Paul's Cathedral. Our special coverage of the death of Queen Elizabeth continues right after this.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And welcome back to our continuing coverage of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. You're looking at Buckingham Palace, a moment of transition that the new King, Charles III, has been preparing for all his life. Soon, we will see and hear his address to the world his first as the British monarch. And it will also take you live to St Paul's Cathedral for his service in remembrance of Queen Elizabeth. Prime Minister Liz Truss will be among the speakers offering reflections on the Queen's life, her legacy, and her death.

Kate Williams and Sally Bedell Smith, join me now. Kate, in moments we are going to hear directly from the King for the first time, obviously an important address. There's going to be so many different eyes looking at him and listening to him with so many different kinds of points of view. What do you expect him to say?

KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, Anderson, this is a very significant moment. This is the king's first address to the people. We understand it's been pre-recorded. It's ready, it's ready to go. So we expect to hear it around the, you know, we're not very long, actually around the 6:00 p.m. mark. And I think we will see him paying tribute to his beloved mother. He already has put out a statement paying tribute to her and he's talked in the past about her service, her duty.

And I think we will see again, him talking about her service, talking about her duty. And I think expressing his hope that he will live up to her legacy. I don't think we're going to see anything explicit about what kind of King he hopes to be or any changes he hopes to make at this stage. I think it'll be quite a simple statement in which he talks about grief, talks about coming together and expresses his sympathy to the nation and also talks about how many I'm sure messages of sympathy they've received and well wishes from across the world.

So I do expect it to be a speech from a man in mourning, but also a speech from the future King really saying what he is and this is one of the speeches that will be remembered and talked about throughout his reign, so no pressure. COOPER: Yes. Sally, does -- do you think the person we hear from is the Prince Charles that people have no own or as King Charles does he speak with a reserve perhaps or some sort of different tone that he might otherwise trying to kind of set a new tone? There's been much discussed about how the Queen, you'd never really knew exactly what she felt about a given thing, and she -- that was something that she held to very strongly throughout her entire reign.


SALLY BEDELL SMITH, JOURNALIST AND ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think we will see that he's a very good speaker. I've seen him speak many times. He speaks beautifully extemporaneously, obviously, this is going to be a prepared speech, I think, because it's going to be a personal speech, it will, you know, it will be very much his own. During the course of his reign, he will be giving speeches, all of which will have to be approved by the government.

But this will be a speech from the heart and the head. And I think it will be warm. And I think it will be eloquent. And it is one of his strong suits. He speaks a lot. He speaks on radio and television. He recites poetry on radio. And I think it'll be, but it'll be at bottom, it'll be a really heartfelt and memorable for you to his mommy, as he is called her on various public occasions.

COOPER: Kate, King Charles has obviously spent a lifetime training for, waiting for expecting this moment, perhaps he expected it quite a while ago. But it is now finally here. I'm sure he has made a lot of thoughts in his minds of how he would do things differently. Do you expect to hear any of that? Or is this a time for continuity and not announcements of any changes?

SMITH: Oh, I think it's most emphatically for continuity and emphasis on the tradition, the 1,000 year tradition of the monarchy. I don't think it would, I think it would be totally inappropriate for him to announce his plan of action if he has one which I doubt he does right now. But it's really about reverence for his mother and for emphasizing the tradition, the institution of the monarchy that is so entwined in British life. I think that's going to be the essence of it.


COOPER: We do expect to hear from King Charles very soon beginning his role as monarch with a speech of Britain and the world. The prayer service at St. Paul's Cathedral also starts soon in memory of Queen Elizabeth and her legacy. Obviously we will bring all of that to you live, you'll hear it. Let's just listen to the sounds as we take a short break.


COOPER: Live pictures inside St. Paul's Cathedral in London, a nation in mourning about to hold, the first official service in memory of Queen Elizabeth, honoring her 96 years of life and 70 years on the throne. Let's just listen in. And at Buckingham Palace the new King, Charles III is getting his first chance to put his stamp on the monarchy to deliver and address the world very soon. I'm Anderson Cooper with CNN special coverage of the death of Queen Elizabeth.

LEMON: And I'm Don Lemon at Buckingham Palace. We are watching a historic transition play out here in the United Kingdom. King Charles reaching out to the British people as he returned to London from Scotland earlier today. And soon, he's going to deliver his first speech as King. His words will be scrutinized closely by Britons who are looking to their new leader for strength and for comfort. As they all agreed the loss of his mother and their queen.

Inside of the cathedral, we have seen Sadiq Khan and Liz Truss. Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London. Liz Truss, of course, the new prime minister, they are inside that cathedral awaiting that service. But as we wait here, I want to get to CNN's Bianca Nobilo is outside of St. Paul's Cathedral. Bianca, what do you expect -- when do you expect the service to begin?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: We expect the service to begin in just over five minutes, Don, and there are crowds that have been growing throughout the last hours here. You can't see but I'm surrounded by people behind the camera lens and they're waiting here as the bells are tolling and service is about to begin. You mentioned the Prime Minister Liz Truss, who had her first face to face audience with the new King at Buckingham Palace earlier today, a very special relationship those meetings are always kept confidential.

In fact, the former Prime Minister Theresa May joked in the House of Commons today that the meeting with the Queen that she had was the only one she could trust not to be leaked. So it's a very special relationship. It can be quite complex between Prime Minister and monarch and certainly one thing that they do have in common is that both of them are brand new to the highest political office in the land, and the head of state that underpins that constitution. So they can share in that at least as far as the service goes, we're expecting the Prime Minister to give a biblical reading, as well as reading from other key religious figures, Victorian hymns, instrumental laments, and it will be a very poignant ceremony indeed. It will be packed full of around 2,000 members of the public who queued first come first serve to get to seat in there today because they wanted to be part of this ceremony.


And it's quite a large, quite a large event space as you can probably see, it can house about 3,500 people, which is why it was chosen for key events like the marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles as well as key funerals like that with Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill. But today is one of sorrow. That's the feeling. There was there was sometimes more of a feeling of celebration and gratitude yesterday at points outside Buckingham Palace for the Queen's life, but this certainly feels like a moment of reflection and sadness and poignancy, which is really the meaning and the purpose of the service that will begin very shortly, Don. LEMON: Very well said. Thank you very much, Bianca. And we are hearing bells toll inside of St. Paul's or at St. Paul's Cathedral. I'm joined now by my CNN colleagues, CNN royal correspondent Max Foster and CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour. It is, as we await this, it has been a day of waiting, as you have been mentioning, Christiane, well-orchestrated, but also some surprises as well. We're expecting to hear from the King, not exactly sure when. And then when this service to happen as well.

AMANPOUR: Yes, it's all rolling out. There's a degree of suspense, although this plan, of course, is called Operation London Bridge. And it's been in the works for a long, long time. So they all know what's happening. But there's a degree of some sort of spontaneity, for instance, the King coming here, we didn't expect that from Balmoral and coming to see and doing a walk about just behind us looking at the flowers that are piling up for his mother, accepting the condolences from people accepting a hug, from -- and kiss from at least a couple of people in the crowd there.

So he's immediately moving to make himself known to show his face and to cement his bond with the people. And I think that's interesting. And soon, and Max can talk about this more, because he knows the details. Tomorrow, he will be formally, formally declared King, right?

FOSTER: Yes, so I mean, he is already King automatically. But in terms of the church and his position in the church and parliament, it needs to be declared or proclaimed king. And there's a very ancient process that happens in the oldest Palace, St. James's down the road, where part one is where the Privy Council and various other figures gather. And they announced the death of the previous monarch, and they proclaim the new king. And this is all about the Seals of Office.

So he needs to have his seal on the parliamentary and church documents effectively. And then he will go and sit on the throne and be proclaimed king. And then you'll have the Garter King of Arms coming out on the balcony at St. James's Palace, declaring to the nation and the Commonwealth, we do have a new king, and there'll be a parallel one in the city, which is a separate city, isn't it, effectively from London.

LEMON: This service to begin at any moment, but this today is really not about the family. And that's why seeing King Charles and the Queen Consort, it was a bit of a surprise. Today is about the people.

FOSTER: It's about the nation. So this service is specifically about the nation having an opportunity to reflect in a spiritual sense. And, you know, the speech that we'll have, will also be addressing the nation.

AMANPOUR: -- come up pretty much at the top of this hour, well, but now we're seeing the service.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Following the death of our Queen, our service will include readings and hymns, anthems and prayers for a fraction and the commending of her life to God. AMANPOUR: So in parallel with this service, which is for the public, and also the Prime Minister, the King will deliver his speech any minute now, of course, we'll break away to it. And it's going to be significant because this is his first public address to the people of this country, to the people of the Commonwealth and to the people of the world, setting out -- setting out his stall if you like from the very beginning.

LEMON: Would you say, this is going to happen in just moments, but this is well thought out. This is the most important speech of his life.

FOSTER: He would be working on it. He is.

LEMON: Do you think so? You know so?


AMANPOUR: And certainly in the last, obviously, as soon as we heard that his mother was, you know, under grave health concerns, we're going to seem. In a few seconds it's going to start and we're going to see what he has to say. But remember, it happens at a moment where this country is in great crisis.

LEMON: You can't underestimate the power of the pictures that happened today as he entered Buckingham Palace and then left as well and when the record the speech. Let's listen to the speech now.