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CNN Live Event/Special

King Charles III Delivers First Speech Ahead Of Official Proclamation Saturday; World Mourns Death of Queen Elizabeth II. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired September 09, 2022 - 14:30   ET




DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Here in London, a day steeped in emotion and tradition as King Charles paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth, his darling Mama as he called her. In his first speech as monarch, King Charles vowed to continue his mother's promise of lifelong service to their country and to the Commonwealth, and at St. -- St. Paul's, excuse me, Cathedral prayers and tears for Elizabeth the Second. Mourners packing the pews to say farewell to the Queen and for the first time in over 70 years singing, "God Save the King". I want to get some reaction to all of this now from the British people. Scott McLean has been talking to folks gathered at Windsor Castle. Scott, hello to you. What are they saying?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey Don, well not everyone here has heard the speech yet but I've met a few people who have, so I want to just take you around to talk to them really quickly. These two ladies have heard the speech, listened to it, seen it. What did you think?

UNKNOWN: I thought it was a really sensitive speech. It must have been so hard for him, a time like this to do that. First of all, I would like to offer all of our condolences to our new King Charles and all of his family at this time, and yes, we thought the speech was great. He's got -- he's got really big shoes to fill so it will be difficult but, he seems like he's going to give it his best shot.

MCLEAN: What stood out to you?

UNKNOWN: I was just happy that he mentioned Harry. Yes.

MCLEAN: A huge rift in the family obviously a lot of people noticed that. Thank you both. I appreciate it. There's a couple more people who have heard the speech. What did you guys think of Charles' first speech as King?

UNKNOWN: I think he did very well actually. I think he was loyal. He was devoted and he's carried out his mom's legacy. He's promised to serve the nation.

MCLEAN: Were you nervous at all before this?

UNKNOWN: No. No. No. He's going to be a very good King, very good King.

UNKNOWN: When you saw him at Buckingham Palace engaging with the public there, I haven't seen him engaged as much as he did there and I actually think, yes, he definitely is going to follow his mom's legacy. I mean, no, the family, he loves the family to bits and his mom especially. He was so close with his mom.

MCLEAN: I mean, Charles not as popular as -- as his son, not as popular as Queen Elizabeth was. Do you think that this is going to be reassuring to people who have doubts?

UNKNOWN: After what he did at Buckingham Palace, yes, definitely.

UNKNOWN: I think his speech will let people change their minds, definitely.

UNKNOWN: The Queen's a hard act to follow for anybody to be honest.

MCLEAN: That's fair enough, well said. Thank you all and just quickly Don I'll just take you over here. I have some good insights from these ladies. What did you think of the speech?

UNKNOWN: I think he delivered it really well. I think he -- he done her proud, the Queen proud and I think he's going to do really well and --

MCLEAN: Did anything stand out to you in particular?

UNKNOWN: Yes, we spoke a while ago and I mentioned that I liked that Harry was mentioned, and I feel yes.

MCLEAN: Yes, I think a lot of people are probably reassured by that, trying to, kind of bridge the gap and I know that your daughter Sophia (ph) has a lot of thoughts on this as well. And I just wonder, what did you think of the speech?

UNKNOWN: I thought like it was really thoughtful, caring and that he wants to do a good job and take over for his mother.

MCLEAN: You think he'll be a good King?


UNKNOWN: Absolutely.

MCLEAN: Here's hoping. Thank you for talking to us. We appreciate it. So Don, I think the overarching message is, you know, when you really talk to people.


MCLEAN: And when you really push them, they'll say, look of course there are some reservations about how King Charles might do, but things like this I think are going a long way to, sort of, reassure a British public about their new King. LEMON: Scott McLean, thank you. Listening to the people there. I

want to bring in now Royal Commentators Kate Williams and also Sally Bedell Smith. Thank you both, I appreciate you joining us. Listen, let's talk about the -- the mention of -- of Harry and Meghan in the speech and you heard people there on the streets saying, I'm so happy that he mentioned Harry, what he said was he said I want to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they build their lives overseas. Were you surprised that he mentioned, did your ears perk up Kate?

KATE WILLIAMS, ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Well, his mention of Harry and Meghan was one of the last things that he said. He was talking about family, the inspiration of William and Kate and then he talked about Harry and Meghan. He said, I want to express my love for them and that I think is very significant. I think Charles is making some important statements here. Many of your commentators have been talking wonderfully about the important statements he's been making about his role as King, service to the Commonwealth.

That he won't be a campaigning King and that he hopes to follow in his mother's tradition of duty and service. But I think here he was saying very much he loves the family. They are a loving family and I think very much he wishes to support Harry and Meghan going forwards. And let's hope that will translate into perhaps a -- a little more support when they -- when they get criticism, because I think that has been one of the problems in the past. That it hasn't been really forthcoming and I think that he's, you know, Lilibet and Archie are now Prince and Princess if they wish to be because they are grandchildren of the King.

And I think they are very close in the succession, Harry is five, you know, Archie is six and that -- seeing them brought into the family fold I think would be really very strong and very important. Of course, Harry rushed there yesterday, didn't quite get there in time but he did rush there and I hope they see this as a beginning for a new chapter in terms of, not just the Royal Family's relationship with Harry and Meghan but also the media's relationship as well. The King has said, I love Harry and Meghan and really perhaps we could ease off on some of the criticism.

LEMON: Yes. Sally, I -- I paraphrased let's listen and I'll get your response to hear this.


KING CHARLES III: As my heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me. With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, hoping to bring the marginal to the center ground where vital help can be given. I want to also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.


LEMON: So Sally, William has become the next in line to the throne and the line of succession includes Prince George as Kate said, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. How will this change their responsibilities do you think?

SALLY BEDELL SMITH, ROYAL COMMENTATOR FOR VANITY FAIR: Well, I think William has been training for years to be the Prince of Wales. I think the -- the surprise was that he was given the title this quickly. There's no reason why he shouldn't have been. He's been, you know, he's been learning about the Duchy of Cornwell for a number of years. He went to a sustainable agriculture course at Cambridge that is run -- funded by the Prince of Wales. It's one of his charities. He has regularly gone to Duke -- Duchy of Cornwall meetings.

He is very, very well trained to take on that role and also as the role of the Prince of Wales which is the -- the -- the main role of the -- the Duke of Cornwall has Duchy, which is -- which is huge fund of -- of -- of property of, you know, and big responsibilities. And so, I think that was significant that he made -- made him the Prince of Wales, also that Catherine is, I mean she was expected to be, but he mentioned her as the Princess of Wales. Camilla has always had that title of Princess of Wales, but for obvious reasons she has never used it. Kate -- Catherine will have all kinds of latitude to really remake that title as her own.

LEMON: Kate, you know, for the first time we heard "God Save the King" today. I mean, it's going to be a long time before we hear "God Save the Queen" again. Since Princess Charlotte is way down the line, are people thinking about that change as well?



WILLIAMS: It's very unlikely we'll see another Queen in my lifetime, in any of our lifetimes. We have Charles now, then William, then George and now as you say Princess Charlotte is next -- previous to 2013 she would not have been. In 2013, the law was changed to be a first succession not sex first, not Louis over Charlotte but I think it's very unlikely that we'll see another Queen. We will never, I don't think, hear "God Save the Queen" again and how striking that was to hear "God Save the King" for the first ever time. We've been watching the television, lots -- lots of us commentating over the past couple of days and lots of people have been really, I think, finding it quite difficult to transition from Prince Charles to King Charles.

And it is a quick transition, I noticed that the Prince and Princess of Wales, that's they're now official social media account. Everything is changing in the Royal Family and it is now "God Save the King" and as we've been saying we will soon see the King on the coins, on bank notes and it will be, in terms of the -- armed forces are his majesty's armed forces. So it is a transition into the formal transition and the -- Charles paid great and enduring tribute to the Queen her, her life of service and made it very clear he wishes to be both very similar in terms of dedication but also a bit different in some of is approaches.

LEMON: If we could put up the -- the photo of the succession again, because Prince Louis is right there in the middle and as we remember he stole the show during the -- the Jubilee. Everyone fell in love with him and saw his personality. So it's fitting that he -- he stands out right in the -- in the -- in the middle there. So there you go. Thank you both. I appreciate it. So with us now, the Queen's former Press Secretary Simon Lewis. Simon thank you so much for joining us once again. What stood out most to you from the King's speech?

SIMON LEWIS, QUEEN ELIZABETH II'S FORMER PRESS SECRETARY: Interesting, I think it was the transition point. I think the -- the fascinating thing about the monarchy is it's constantly evolving and here we have a new King. We also have a new Prince and new Princess of Wales and I think one of the things that really fascinates people about the monarchy is that it's a family as well, a family in transition. And as we just heard, for Prince William it's going to be a major increase in responsibilities. I think the fact that the King took the opportunity to say he will be relinquishing some -- he has some big projects.

The Prince's trust, for instance, has been a passion of his for 25 years. I'm assuming that will go to Prince William. I mean, these are major changes and entirely right, given that he said I thought the choice of words was very interesting, his new responsibilities. But I thought here I'd have to say, it was an incredibly well judged speech given the circumstances. I think all the issues that people wanted to hear about he covered and he covered very elegantly.

LEMON: Our correspondent Scott McLean was out speaking to folks just moments ago. I'm not sure if you heard. Someone said, she's a tough act to follow. She's hard to live up to what Queen Elizabeth II did in her reign. He mirrored some of his mother's language, talking about lifelong service. How will his reign be different?

LEWIS: Well Don, he's going to be his own person. I think is, again, another feature of the monarchy. Every monarch takes a slightly different approach. He's obviously been waiting a long time for this. He's had a very full life as the Prince of Wales. He's thought very carefully about what he wants to do. He's observed his mother. He's observed the constitution as it's evolved and I think he will ease himself into it. I mean, clearly, this is a country with challenges in front of it and I thought it was fascinating that today was the first audience that we've seen public of the Prime Minister and the King. That's going to be central. The way they work together. The way the communicate with each other, but my sense from today and it's just today is there's enormous good will towards the new King amongst the British people. And that probably is the most important factor of all.

LEMON: Simon Lewis, appreciate your time. Once again, thank you so much. Coming up, the challenges ahead for King Charles and how he'll work with the new Prime Minister Liz Truss. Stay with us.



LEMON: You're looking at live pictures now outside the cathedral. History unfolding here in the United Kingdom, as King Charles addressed the nation and mourners gathered at St. Paul's Cathedral in honor of the memory of his mother, Elizabeth II. Another first today, King Charles held his first official audience with the Prime Minister Liz Truss who is almost as new at the job as he is. Charles was overheard telling Truss that the death of his mother was a moment that he had been so dreading. No doubt. Back with me now Max Foster and Christiane Amanpour. Christiane, let's talk about that we were trying to figure out what they were saying moments -- a little bit ago.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CHIEF ANCHOR: We were listening so hard but we couldn't pick it up, but obviously some have. And you know, it's kind of small talk but it's obvious he said the moment I was dreading as -- as I know so many people have been dreading, and, you know, he greeted his first Prime Minister but what I think is really interesting is that this is not just a crisis of a passing of an era or is it a crisis? No. It's the passing of the torch as the inevitable end after 96 years of -- of a life well lived as he said.


AMANPOUR: And a promise with destiny kept as he paid tribute to his mother, but this country is in a state of crisis right now and there's no getting away from this despite this issue. And he had talked in his speech about how his mother had come to her reign right in the midst of the worst triovation (ph) as he said and devastation after World War II. And right now we're in the midst of the worst inflation, the worst, you know, cost of living in decades, strikes, you know, by -- by workers and things like that. It's very uncertain times and -- and certainly the Prime Minister has to deal with it and so their first days in office are colliding.

LEMON: I'm glad to hear you mention that. Let's talk about this. We have a picture. This is when -- when she was crowned, 1952, Winston Churchill. Churchill was the Prime Minister at the time. Tumultuous time then, tumultuous time now.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: It's true. I think there's comparisons to be made. The Queen, at this time, you know, it was post-war wasn't it and that the empire had crumbled and countries were breaking away and she rebuilt from that, and that's the opportunity for Prince Charles to do now. We were talking a bit earlier on weren't we about the Prince of Wales as he's known now. We know him as Prince William. He's not changed his title on all his official social media accounts, so we now know him as that and what's interesting about that is you're going to see a new Prince of Wales as well because he's now financially independent.

So, back in 1337 and the state was set up, the heir to the throne to be financially independent it is across 20 counties in southwest England, 130,000 acres of land and that money now goes into Prince William. That was the money he -- his father, you know, his father had that stake before was financing him through that. Now he's got the (inaudible) by the state and that's tens of millions of pounds a year that he's able to use for his work and for his life, and I think that's going to really give Prince William that independence he didn't have before. He always had to go to Prince Charles to ask for money before.

LEMON: Yes. This is what's odd. So you get the title and you get the money, but you lose a loved one when this succession happens. That's an odd place to be.

AMANPOUR: I mean it is but she was 96 years old. I mean, let's be honest, she had -- she lived a great life. Her batteries just ran down. She didn't have, as far as we know -- as far as we know, any cataclysmic, you know, illness, any -- any terrible accidents. She -- she passed away peacefully with her family, as many as possible, around her side and having been a working woman to the very end. For 70 years, she was the hardest working mother that this country knows and she, you know, did her duty to the end. And in a way, it's -- it's a wonderful way to depart this life.

FOSTER: In Balmoral as well.

AMANPOUR: Yes, and in the place she loved most, her happy place. In fact, Simon -- well people in the -- in the Royal circle had heard that there was a view within the Royal circle that she would never leave Balmoral. She was not coming back from Balmoral this year. That this was -- this was where she had gone.

LEMON: We talked earlier you said, why would she?

AMANPOUR: Yes, why would she? Yes. But the real issue now and, of course, we're going to go through the pomp, the circumstance, you know, the incredible stuff that only Britain does in these moments of transition. Whether they be solemn, whether they be joyful like Jubilees and the like, they do it so well here and everything is laid out in-- in mynoot detail. But this is a passing of the torch, for all the reasons we said whether it be economic crisis, whether it is a new, frankly, a new formation of the monarchy that what it will have to be. A new relationship with the people, a more modern relationship with the people, a relationship that is not 30,000 or 50,000 feet above. It has to be seen to be addressing the very real issues here and around the world as we discussed with the legacy from the Commonwealth and colonialism.

LEMON: I'm going to play what we -- the readout that we had of Liz Truss and -- and King Charles and then we'll get reaction. Here it is.


KING CHARLES III: It's been so tough this afternoon. You're right. All those people come to give their condolences.

LIZ TRUSS, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: I mean, that must be (inaudible).

KING CHARLES III: (Inaudible). You are very kind. It's the moment I've been dreading as I know a lot of people have.


LEMON: And the microphones picked it up, obviously he's dreading. Obviously he's dreading this day.

FOSTER: It's interesting that he's being so open about it, isn't it? I think, you know, we saw the emotion, didn't we at the end of the speech as well. We saw emotion there, of course he's emotional. His mother has just died. The Queen would never expressed emotion like that. I think we're seeing a softer, more touchy, feely monarchy. He wants to stick to the Queen's principles, in terms of the way she ruled, but he wants to -- he's going to be softer.


FOSTER: I think he's going to be more connected with people. He's going to be more expressive. It's a gamble because the Queen had a strategy. She deliberately didn't show emotion in public or opinions and that meant that she was always undevisive.

LEMON: And if there was a moment where he could be less buttoned up and more human and emotional, it is this moment when you lose your mother and then you have the weight of the crown on your head.

AMANPOUR: I think it was very good he made the speech.

LEMON: Thank you both. I really -- it was -- it's an honor to sit here and -- and be with you. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. There's a lot more ahead on the death of Queen Elizabeth and what happens next. My colleague Victor Blackwell will pick up our coverage right after this break.