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CNN Live Event/Special

King Charles III Delivers First Address as King. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired September 09, 2022 - 14:00   ET




MOST REV. JUSTIN WELBY, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY AND PRIMATE OF ALL ENGLAND: God, grant to the living grace, to the departed rest, to the church, the king, the commonwealth and all people peace and concord, and to us and all his servants life everlasting.


And the blessing of God almighty, the father, the son and the Holy Spirit be amongst you and remain with you always. Amen.


DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The first official rendition of "God Save the King" being sung at St. Paul's Cathedral upon the death of Queen Elizabeth III.

They serve of prayer and reflection, ending shortly here in London.

I am joined by my colleagues Christiane Amanpour and Max Foster.

And, Max, you broke the news here on CNN that the official "God Save the King" would be sung at this service. And there it is.

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Not sung there since the 1950s.

And we're going to keep hearing that for next three generations, because we now have three generations of kings coming along. And as Christiane was saying, everything is changing in terms of language around the U.K., because her name was on everything, from passports, to money, to the letter boxes that Christiane was talking about earlier on.

So, that's a really defining moment to have "God Save the King" sung in the high church, arguably, of the United Kingdom, St. Paul's Cathedral

LEMON: A fairly straightforward, Christiane, religious service, but then ending with "God Save the King."

People were moved. Obviously, they're sad. But I think the most emotional thing that we saw today was the king himself delivering his message to his subjects, the first time we heard him speak as king of England -- or of the United Kingdom, I should say.


And it was a very good speech. And it also showed emotion, and it showed that he has had practice in public speaking, and he's much more comfortable at it than the queen was, despite her long time in office. You see the modulation of his voice. You hear the emotion in his voice.

It's not how the queen did it. She delivered it in a much more, almost monotonous, very unemotional way. And I think that that bodes well. It was a dignified speech. It touched on all the important issues. And we can delve into those in a minute.

But it was -- of course, he said, at the very beginning: "I pay tribute to my darling mama, a life well-lived, a promise with destiny and duty kept."

And that's the bottom line. And he pledged himself to continue the prerogative of the constitutional monarchy under a democratic system, whereby he would not be taking on any -- either voicing any political or other kinds of views. And he would absolutely follow in his mother's footsteps in terms of keeping within the parameters of the democratic system.

LEMON: Well, it's apropos you should mention that, because I want us to hear now from the king, where he mentioned lifelong service, his commitment to lifelong service, fulfilling -- fulfilling that commitment that his mother made. Let's listen.


KING CHARLES III, UNITED KINGDOM: Queen Elizabeth's was a life well- lived, a promise with destiny kept. And she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service, I renew to you all today.


LEMON: So, again, so that's what he talked about. He renews that to his mother. He knows that life will be interesting and different as we move forward, as they move forward.

FOSTER: It's a job for life for him, as it was for his mother. That's what he's saying there.

I was touched by him as he mentions the family, which we can talk about in a moment, and the titles that William will have. But he was reaching out. So he was reaching out to other communities and groups. He said: "Wherever you live in the United Kingdom or in the realms and territories across the world, and whatever maybe your background or beliefs, I shall endeavor to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life."

[14:10:22] I think there's an acknowledgement there. He's talked about some of the tensions across the commonwealth and suggestions. I think, frankly, that, when the queen passes, some of those realms may break away. What he's saying is, it's your choice. You do what you feel is right, but I will try to serve you.

I thought that was quite interesting.

AMANPOUR: And, Max, I really do believe that we have to have this conversation right now, even at this moment.

LEMON: There's different demographics. Different people were looking, listening for different reasons.

AMANPOUR: Well, exactly.

And look what he said: "In the 70 years of her being on the throne, many cultures and many faiths have flourished in these past seven decades."

But there is an ongoing, particularly in the wake of Black Lives Matter, particularly in the protests that erupted all over the world after what happened in Minnesota, here as well, in France, in other parts of these nations that had colonial servants, let's face it -- people were in service to this empire.

The wealth of this empire was derived on the back of the people of -- of their empire.

FOSTER: And on display in the palace that he was speaking from.

AMANPOUR: Right, on display everywhere, and in the crown and everywhere.

So what we're saying is that there are -- there is the generation of multicultural and diverse Britons who want this answered, who want to see their monarch finally talk about what it means and what -- potentially, the idea of reparations, definitely justice, right, justice.

And I think Prince Harry -- and you know this better than me -- sorry -- Prince William, who's the prince of Wales and the heir, the next king -- he talked about it, having been criticized for a trip that he made in the Caribbean, and, again, a colonial legacy, that we must have this discussion and it must be up to those countries.

But it also has to be had in this country as well.

LEMON: Do you think he's committed to that?

FOSTER: He -- I was in Rwanda with him recently. And he expressed sorrow for Britain's role in the slave trade. He's going to -- this is going to be a big part of his monarchy, I think, and certainly of Prince William's to try to reach out, and accept -- they can't accept, they can't apologize. It has to be the government that does that and pays reparations, but they can reach out to them and change the way -- I mean, the issue with Prince William's trip is the optics of it, the way they flew in. He's still on the back of the Land Rover. They had young local children reaching through a fence to -- that, I think, will change with Prince Charles, now King Charles, because he understands that, and he campaigns on a lot of those issues.

I think it's going to be...


LEMON: Well, let's -- I want to talk about what you mentioned. And I want to talk about Harry and Meghan, because he did mention that.

And you know they have had other issues with the family over the last couple of years. But he said and we will talk about William assuming the responsibility of prince of Wales, Catherine as well.

But he said: "I want to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they build their lives overseas."

FOSTER: Off the back, off a conversation about Prince William. So he he's making them equal in the speech, which I thought was really interesting.

He was reaching out to the Sussexes. He's saying they're very important. And, hopefully, they can build those bridges. And, hopefully, this is -- could be a catalyst, actually, for the family to regroup.

Giving Prince William the title of prince of Wales was expected, but not quite so soon. But that moment when he said it, that's when he bestowed that title on Prince William. So Kate becomes the princess of Wales.

And I actually spoke to a source, and she pointed out that she's aware of the history of that title, Diana's title, of course. But she wants to make that title her own as well.

AMANPOUR: And we have pictures, of course, of King Charles meeting with now his prime minister, Liz Truss. It happened in the palace behind us earlier before his prerecorded speech was broadcast.

And we know that this country is in the throes of the worst economic crisis, the highest inflation, the most unrest in terms of workers striking and this and that. It's a huge issue. And Liz Truss has promised to unveil an energy program for the people of this country, who are very, very worried.

Here are the pictures. There you go. And it appears that there's going to be some kind of -- are they talking?

LEMON: If we can -- if we can back that up, we'd like to hear that. I don't know if you can re-rack it, but we would like to hear what they're saying, if that is possible. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your Majesty, Prime Minister.


AMANPOUR: In any event, as we watch it, this is massively, massively, important.


KING CHARLES III: It's so touching (OFF-MIKE) all those people (OFF- MIKE)



LEMON: You hear small talk. I can't really make out what...

AMANPOUR: But the bottom is, is that the people of this country, before the queen died, have been desperately anxious about the cost of living, about what energy bills will be this winter.

And she was planning to unveil this week her energy plan, which costs potentially around 150 billion pound mark. This may be on hold for the next several days. And it's quite urgent to get this all passed. So the role of the monarchy also is to be there in times of crisis.

And, boy, has King Charles arrived in times of maximum crisis. And, boy, is Prime Minister Liz Truss having a baptism by fire right now.

FOSTER: A unique bond, actually, that will create...

AMANPOUR: Potentially.

FOSTER: ... because of what they -- how they have come together, you would expect.


LEMON: Days apart, yes.

FOSTER: Just before that, he was obviously out in the place -- out in the grounds here, meeting people.

We can show those images as well, because, for me, that was quite defining, I think, because he wanted to know that he had the public support. And I think that all the commentary I'm seeing from the likes of the caliber of Christiane Amanpour, they're all saying the same thing about the speech.

It went down incredibly well. And combined with the fact that the public are there and came out for him, I think he will feel really heartened by that. And it'll give him the confidence to carve ahead. The one thing I will say about the speech is, there's another part I

want to pull out, which is: "My life will, of course, change as I take up my new responsibilities."

LEMON: Can we listen to that?

FOSTER: Yes, we can.

LEMON: And I will get you to respond to it.

Here it is. Let's play it.


KING CHARLES III: My life will, of course, change as I take up my new responsibilities. It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply. But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others.


FOSTER: This is absolutely essential.

The great concern about King Charles is that he's a divisive character, he's going to continue campaigning and getting involved in political issues, as he has done in the past. He's saying very clearly there, I'm no longer going to do that. I'm putting that behind me.

And it was the one thing that could undermine his monarchy. And he's basically saying, I understand. I'm not going to do that.

And it's going to be hard for him, because he cares deeply about those issues. We have both reported on them over many years.

AMANPOUR: And he's very vocal.

FOSTER: But I think that's a really central point to that speech.

LEMON: Stand by, please, I want to bring in now Zain Asher, Julia Chatterley, and Trisha Goddard.

Hello to you.

Zain, it was a short speech, a very short speech.


LEMON: But he got a whole lot in, in the short moments that he spoke.

ASHER: Yes, and I think that Christiane brought up such an important point, that this idea of how the royal family, how this family grapples with its history and legacy of colonialism, of slavery, of the potential paying of reparations is a really important one.

I think that King Charles understands that his job is, yes, as a monarch, but he's also an anchor for this commonwealth. And I think that Christiane or Max, one of you guys referenced this, this idea that you have states like Barbados, for example, Caribbean nations like Barbados, just last year, still a member of the commonwealth, but declaring that the queen is no longer their head of state.

The next country that is feared to sort of follow in Barbados' footsteps is Jamaica.

Christiane, you referenced the protests that we saw when William and Kate, by the way, who are supposed to be sort of the more popular royals -- we saw the protests against them in Jamaica .And there is fears that there is now this clarion call for republicanism across various Caribbean and commonwealth countries.

So I think that Prince Charles -- or, rather, King Charles is ascending to the throne at a crucial moment, at a moment when so many people, so many people of color, are asking difficult questions, complicated questions about the royal family's legacy and history in various parts of the world. And so that is really big.

TRISHA GODDARD, TALK SHOW HOST: I think that's a really important point. It's a really important point.

And we were just saying beforehand as well Prince Charles edited "The Voice," its 40th anniversary, just before, I think last week, and that was very much a step in that direction, to say that I will be a king of all people.

And, Christiane, when you mentioned -- exactly -- I couldn't agree with you more, Black Lives Matter and everything that came from that, I think that Charles is really putting that to the fore.

I just wanted to add, I don't know about you, Don and Max and Christiane. When you mentioned Camilla, my wife of 17 years, we were talking about how recently it was the anniversary of Princess Diana's death.


And there are still many people in Britain who still have issues around the whole Charles and Camilla thing, to put it that way. But saying -- mentioning his darling wife, Camilla, having been by his side for 17 years, and already given so selflessly, I think that was as much as a balm as mentioning Harry and Meghan.

It's kind of like, let me put aside these controversies before they even rear their heads. I do think it was an excellent speech.

ASHER: Yes, she's not the other woman anymore, you know?

LEMON: Yes, he realized that a lot was on the line in that speech.

Go ahead, Julia. Go ahead.

ASHER: Well, yes. Sorry, Don. It's Zain. I was just saying that he's sort of trying to let people know she's

not the other woman anymore. This is my wife, and, by the way, my wife of nearly two decades. And so many people still associate, for better or worse, Prince Charles -- or King Charles, excuse me -- with what happened with Princess Diana.

I think that the British public, it's no longer at the forefront of everyone's minds, but they haven't fully forgiven him for that. He was not the best husband to Princess Diana. And that is putting it mildly. You think about the depression and the bulimia and this feeling that sort of Princess Diana continued to intimate that the royal family just did not simply have her back in her worst of moments. People remember that?

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: I think he sounded like a king. And that's actually the highest compliment that I can pay to him at this moment.

And these were some of the questions that we were asking in this first moment that we heard from him. And, actually, I think it was pretty pitch-perfect, for all the reasons we have described. My life is going to change, the nod to Camilla, the fact that he was inclusive about the family of realms, as you guys have both discussed. I mean, he ticked every box.

But I think actually, for me -- and it brings back to the reason why he's making this speech. And that is, not only was he speaking as a king, but he was also speaking as a father, that he was speaking as a son.

And, actually, the end for me was the most pivotal part of that, when he talked about -- and I know I keep talking about this, but this idea now that she's on her path back to her husband, and they're -- in some way, the family -- and they are very religious, I think. And that obviously came through in this, which, of course, was a ceremony that very much was about the queen and her choices.


CHATTERLEY: It was about them being back together.

And I think he got a great balance between acknowledging, being deferential to Queen Elizabeth, and also being a son that does feel this profound sense of loss.

So I agree with Christiane that we did get emotion and we got sentiment, and in a very different way, I think, from his mother. So, for me -- and I feel very strongly about the queen. And I feel very strongly in a different way up to now about King Charles III, early days.

I think this was a great speech, actually, for many reasons.


LEMON: Well, Julia, I was going to say, listen, I think he's worked hard to change his image after what happened with Diana.

And the other thing that you mentioned, the end of his speech, where he talked about -- he referred to them as mama and papa. Let's listen and then we can discuss. Here it is.


KING CHARLES III: Queen Elizabeth's was a life well-lived, a promise with destiny kept. And she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service, I renew to you all today.

As you begin your last great journey to join my dear late papa, I want simply to say this: Thank you. Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years.

May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.


LEMON: Not normally a very emotional guy, but definitely there you felt the emotion, and you can see the emotion.

CHATTERLEY: You could hear it in his voice too.

And that was the moment for me, the goose bump moment, where I actually got a frog in my throat too, because I could see it. I think you could see in his eyes and his voice there that he knows he has to be looking -- now he knows that he has to step into this role.

And he does have big shoes to fill. But it was also about a son feeling profound loss, and this idea that the comfort that you take from that is that now his mama and papa, as he did call them, are once again reunited.

GODDARD: And I think he also covered the whole old generational of handing on the baton, because, to me, I thought -- I don't know about you.


It felt a little bit sad about handing over the duchy of Cornwall, that he mentioned the number of years that he had that role and the titles. That's -- it's almost like, goodbye to my old life. I'm handing it on to my son, and then talking about mama and papa.

There was very much that handing on the baton, and I guess messages of continuity.

CHATTERLEY: And no use of the word mommy too, which I'm proud of him for too, because I prefer mama and papa, not mommy.


CHATTERLEY: Don, back to you.


Well, listen, Christiane Amanpour, your name has been invoked. I was turning to Christiane to -- your name has been invoked several times.

And quickly wrap this up for us. What do you think?

AMANPOUR: Well, look, I'm also going to say that it is not a secret that he was a lonely little boy. His mommy and his daddy were constantly on business of the empire, of the country when he was a little boy, the oldest child, and left with nannies and all the rest of it for many, many months.

He had a pretty rocky relationship with his parents at the beginning and only really developed this strong bond as he grew older and as he grew into knowing that he had to -- that he was going to be king one day, and that he perhaps could understand better, the older he got, the duties and the pressures of his parents.

But it wasn't easy. By all accounts of those who've written his biographies and who have talked to him, his childhood was quite -- quite a severe childhood.

LEMON: I meant wrap up this part of the conversation. We're not done yet. We have a lot more to cover. So, thank you both.

Everybody, stand by. Thanks to the folks in New York. Stand by as well.

Still ahead, reaction to King Charles' speech from the people he serves. And we're going to dig deeper into what the king said about his sons, William and Harry

Our coverage continues right after this quick break.