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CNN Live Event/Special

Remembering Queen Elizabeth II, Dead at 96. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired September 09, 2022 - 00:00   ET



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I'm Christiane Amanpour, with more of our continuing live coverage on the death of Queen Elizabeth II.


It is 5 a.m. here in London. The vast majority of the British people, more than 80 percent, have lived their entire lives with only Elizabeth on the throne.

Now her son, King Charles III, will address his nation later on and the world in a matter of just a few hours.

With me tonight, CNN correspondent Bianca Nobilo is at Buckingham Palace. Correspondent Nic Robertson, international diplomatic editor, is Inverness. And CNN correspondent Scott McLean is at Windsor Castle.

Bianca, let's go to you outside Buckingham Palace. We know that a lot of press are coming. The noise out there, the engineers putting -- you know, putting all the final touches on press platforms. Don Lemon will be there tomorrow, giving his show.

Tell us what is going on outside, and has been. I know there's, you know, not so many people right now, but the mourning has been quite consistent throughout the day.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, preparations underway, Christiane. You may have just seen me grimace, because the engine of the machine next to me has just picked up into another gear.

And what they're doing is hanging up Union Jack flags all around the circular area of Buckingham Palace, two Union Jacks on each column.

We can see media areas being constructed, more trucks arriving, even though the people have largely vacated Buckingham Palace and the area around it. All we're seeing, what we're seeing is a ramping up of preparations, with the full expectation that this area will get even more crowded with mourners, with media, with people traveling in from around the world in the next few days, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: Thanks, Bianca.

And Nic, to you Inverness, Scotland. The royal family, of course, as we know, all rushed to be with the queen today. You have video that shows Prince William, as we know, driving quickly to the Balmoral Estate.

Describe this very, very tense hours that -- that the world and the country went through between, you know, the announcement around noon that the queen's, you know, condition was of grave concern to her doctors and that she was under medical supervision, until several hours later, we heard that, in fact, she had passed.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, and as we were getting those very thin medical details, we were getting, as you were saying, reports of members of the royal family arriving. Prince William arriving; Prince Harry arriving later in the day.

We also understood that Prince Edward, the queen's youngest son, and his wife, Sophie, had arrived during the day, as well. Prince Andrew, the queen's second son, had arrived earlier in the day.

And -- and it does appear, from what we understand now, that Princess Anne, the queen's eldest child, daughter, had been with her at Balmoral, perhaps over the past few days.


And of course, we now know, as well, that King Charles had been in close attendance, as well.

We know that he had been deputizing for his mother at the -- at the Braemar Highland Games just over the past week or so. So he had been close at hand.

But I -- but I think it was that sense that there were big pauses, in essence, in the conversation about the queen's medical condition, knowing that her family were rushing there, that I think really heightened and began to make it clear, without it being spelled out directly for the country, that this was not good. That these were the bad signs. That these are the things to expect when -- when a monarch is -- in in a very bad way.

So I think the -- the conditions were set and the expectation became clear by the time that announcement came.

AMANPOUR: And Nick, of course, you know, everybody had been preparing for this. We knew that she was unwell, that she was, obviously, 96 years old. She had performed her duty, though, just -- just a couple of days before, in appointing the new prime minister.

And yet, of course, no matter how prepared you are, the country is in shock and mourning. So Scott, at Windsor Castle, that is yet another setting -- It's her favorite home, we understand -- for people all over the place, coming to pay respects.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, Christiane. The scene here earlier was pretty unbelievable. When we learned the news that the queen had, in fact, died, of course, the flag on top of the castle was lowered to half-staff, or half-mast, as they say here. And then there was a rainbow that appeared in the sky right next to it. It was so unbelievable that I probably wouldn't have believed it, had I not seen it with my own eyes.

And then slowly, crowds gathered to lay flowers and pay their respects. And then sort of the machinery of the royal family started to work after that, where they started to bring out barricades and sort of move people along to where they actually wanted them to start to lay the flowers.

And this is the kind of thing that, obviously, the royal institutions had been preparing for, for quite a long time. And obviously, the British people have been sort of, maybe, mentally preparing themselves for a long time. But it -- it doesn't make it sting any less.

And I was really struck, Christiane, by just how many people showed genuine emotion for a woman that they didn't know personally. Maybe they had never even met her before. And yet, they went to the store, and they spent ten or 20 pounds on a bouquet of flowers and some candles, just to put them down to pay their respects.

And even some people went even -- even further than that by writing some really heartfelt cards, some really heartfelt notes. And two of the words that really jumped off the page that I kept seeing over and over again were "duty" and "service," and people thanking her for her many, many years of service.

AMANPOUR: You can feel the community in all those acts of kindness and consideration and mourning there, and gratitude, frankly, from the people for her long reign.

Nic, you know, as we've seen her death, her pictures, a young queen, the young monarch is splashed all over the front pages all over the world, including in the United States. "Washington Post" saying she was a rock of stability in a changing world.

Now, King Charles III is getting ready to make his address to the nation and the world. How -- how will the country navigate this time of transition? When do you expect he might say? It's probably not going to be that long.

ROBERTSON: He spoke already in that very brief announcement, spoke in writing, of course, in that very brief announcement, that the queen had passed, and that he and his family were suffering.

And I think, you know, when he speaks to the nation and what he sees from the nation when he gets back to London, he will realize that the nation is as in mourning for his mother as he is and the rest of his family are.

So I think the connection that Prince Charles -- King Charles, I must correct myself, King Charles will make, the connection that he'll be able to make, is with -- is with the nation. The whole nation is missing his mother.

And so I think when he speaks, we will hear a sense of that, of his own deep sorrow and loss. Perhaps of his own aspiration of what may come, although there'll be plenty of time to lay that out.

But I think to touch, perhaps, to feel a little and to show that he sees that the nation is in mourning and feels a sympathy that's coming from people.


And of course, it was that moment, I think, when the queen, back 25 years ago, spoke of how the -- the emotions and the outpouring of support for Princess Diana when she died had been felt by the royal family. This, in a way, these shared emotions between monarch and the masses of people, that is a way to connect.

AMANPOUR: And Bianca, back to you. You know, there are going to be a lot of changes, including in, you know, small things, like whose face is going to be on the paper money here, on the pound notes; whose face is going to be on the coins, on stamps. All of this is going to change.

NOBILO: It will. And it will take time. And I'm sure that nobody will want those changes to be unnecessarily abrupt, because the country will need time to mourn and to accept that now it is King Charles III at the helm and not Queen Elizabeth II.

But I think it will be an important time, not just to mourn the queen but to think about her legacy and what she achieved.

She was the greatest matriarch. She was a preeminent female leader, as well. As you mentioned, having served alongside 15 prime ministers, the last only very shortly; meeting world leaders from Vladimir Putin to Xi Jinping to Donald Trump, she was able to transcend politics.

And she had a very gentle touch when it came to affecting her quite sweeping, constitutional powers.

So I think, looking ahead, it will be about remembering that legacy. And I'm sure that King Charles III will be wanting to preserve and respect his mother's contribution to this nation and not to rush any of those changes too quickly.

But naturally, they will start to happen. And in this country, it's everything from what's on our post boxes to our currency. It is everywhere. And I think sometimes we get used to that presence, and when it all changes, it will become -- it will -- it will make us realize that she was an even greater part of our lives and our scenery than we even recognized at the time -- Christiane.

AMANPOUR: And for the first time in 70 years, the national anthem would be changed to say "God save the king." I mean, that's -- people are so used to singing, "God save the queen."

Nic, you know, we've got incredible pictures of the queen in 1965 at the Berlin Wall when it was up. We know that she went there afterwards when it came down.

She's lived through so much history; plenty of conflicts, plenty of scandal. But you -- you know, you're the diplomatic editor. We heard from the foreign minister of Germany, who praised the queen for helping to knit these two fierce enemies back together after the terror of World War II.

ROBERTSON: This is really how the world thinks of the queen: that she was a force for good, a force for peace.

You know, a current example would be what we hear -- what we heard today from the -- from the president of Sinn Fein, a political organization in Ireland diametrically opposed to the monarchy's influence in Ireland, historically and today.

And -- and she spoke, Mary Lou McDonald spoke about the queen being a true advocate for peace.

And I think this is something that -- that has stood long with her and something that has been respected, whether it's been leaders in -- in Africa, in United States, in Europe. You know, her legacy did grow out of the Second World War.

She, perhaps, began to define her -- a role in the community when she spoke to the nation as a 16-year-old to encourage other young people during World War II to do their bit and to help the nation.

So she has carried that message of peace. But I think there are so many other ways. It's her continuity. It's her moral sense of purpose. It's been -- it's been that sense of duty, duty, duty that has exemplified, and even personified, really; just this week that she was performing her duty until her -- until her last days.

So I think when we look at the different world leaders around the world that have come to pay their respect, these words of duty, we've heard it from -- from leaders in New Zealand, from -- from leaders in Australia, all across the Commonwealth and the world.


And it's that -- it's the respect that she earned, deserved and is now recognized and remembered for.

AMANPOUR: I want to go to Scott McLean at Windsor Castle. You are our American colleague. You obviously, are covering England. The queen met with 13 different U.S. presidents in her life, starting with Harry Truman, as we've said.

I mean, can you process how incredibly important she is also to America, even though, of course, we know that your nation, America, was founded on -- on breaking free from the British monarchy?

MCLEAN: I'd never hear the end of it from my friends if I didn't correct you, gently, Christiane, and point out that I'm Canadian, but a proud former resident of the United States of America.

But you're absolutely right. Look, the queen is hugely influential, even in the United States. And even, you know, today, I had a chance to speak with a lot of people in the moments before we found other news for sure, and many of them were American. And they spoke really glowingly of this woman that their country fought a war to make sure that she would never be the head of state of. And so it's really remarkable to see.

I have to say, though, the opinions of Prince -- King Charles, I have to correct myself, as Nic did, may be a little bit different, though, from the American perspective and perhaps from the British perspective, as well.

The Americans that I spoke to, both before and after we learned of her death, were much more open about the fact that they didn't share the same sort of glowing feeling about Charles that perhaps they did about the queen. There's -- maybe he doesn't have the same squeaky-clean image that the queen has in the United States.

And obviously, the royal family seems to have taken a bit of a hit, thanks in no small part, due to, you know, the controversy and the scandal involving Prince Harry and Meghan, as well.

And so yes, the queen, obviously, has a huge place and a huge influence on the United States and a long history there. It'll be really interesting to see, though, whether that carries on with King Charles now.

AMANPOUR: Bianca, Nic, Scott, thank you so much. And of course, Scott, your prime minister was one of the first to come and deliver his condolences, Justin Trudeau. Thanks so much.

And of course, it was every journalist's dream to interview the queen of England. Well, it never actually happened. She never granted one to anybody.

The closest I ever got as a reporter to Her Majesty was back in 2007. That's when I was awarded a civilian honor known as the CBE. It's got a very grand title. It's the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Obviously, I'm really proud. It was given for services to journalism.

It was an amazing experience for me, because I recall how nervous I was and how much anticipation there was. And I was standing there in what I thought was a lovely white suit, which actually got a bit crumpled. I had a head on, which I was told you're meant to have. Looks a little bit like the leaning Tower of Pisa in the fulness of time.

And it was an amazing opportunity. I was afraid I was going to, you know, fall -- fall off the hat when I bowed in front of her before she pinned the medal and the ribbon to my lapel.

I was told to engage her quickly, animatedly and get out of there. And she decides when she talks to you and when she dismisses you. So I quickly decided to talk to her about horses. Can you imagine? I probably thought I was being very original. She obviously had that passion.

And I also did take the opportunity to thank her for opening CNN's London bureau back in November 2001. It was shortly after 9/11, and she had done some media rounds, and including CNN. She was -- incredible honor to have her here. It was an incredible thing for the network, and I thanked her for having done that.

I, of course, was in Kabul at a time when she was in the bureau, so I missed that trip.

But she was also, you know -- she played her role with the press, even though she never gave an actual sit-down interview.

So Queen Elizabeth was the longest reigning monarch in British history and in an all-monarch -- monarchical history. And now, her son is king. But how will his relationship with his mother affect how King Charles III rules?


QUEEN ELIZABETH II, UNITED KINGDOM: We should take comfort that, while we may have more still to endure, better days will return. We will be with their friends again. We will be with our families again. We will meet again.




AMANPOUR: The death of Queen Elizabeth II marking the end of an era in the U.K. Her oldest son and heir apparent for more than 70 years, Charles, now King Charles III.

For more on what we could expect from the new king's reign, I want to bring in "Vanity Fair" contributor, Hadley Hall Meares.

Welcome to the program. And I know you've examined and written about Prince Charles, now King Charles.

It's somber, obviously, for the royal family. You know, they've got to lay the queen to rest before you can really got to start your own reign. But he will address the people tonight, briefly.

What do you think this means for him and how do you see his reign, at least in the first few days, weeks, years?

HADLEY HALL MEARES, CONTRIBUTOR, "VANITY FAIR": You know, it's very interesting. Charles and his mother are very different people. It's basically the difference between the Greatest Generation and a Boomer, right?


And so I think what we're going to see from Charles is a lot of initially leading on the legacy of his mother, maybe keeping his opinions to himself a little bit more than he has in his role as Prince -- as Prince of Wales. But then, I think, slowly, over time, as he becomes more comfortable

in the job, we're going to see a much more streamed-down, modern monarchy.

AMANPOUR: That's interesting. Streamed-down, modern monarchy. I mean, you know, for many, many years, some Brits would have said that they looked across the continent and they said, Well, look, that's a slimmed-down, modern monarchy.

We don't see them, you know, in everybody's lives all the time. We don't see the pomp and circumstance. Some of them are on bicycles. But they're still -- you know, they're still monarchs.

And people here said, No, no, no, we like our pomp. This is Grand Britain. It's going to be tough to slim it down, isn't it?

MEARES: I think it is going to be difficult, but I also think you've got to see that now King Charles III really doesn't have a choice.

A lot of the people that were supposed to be part of this new royal era are not available anymore. Harry's not available. Meghan's not available. Prince Andrew is not available.

So I think that the kind of sea of change that happened is really, actually, to Charles's favor and wishes. And it's what he has -- had dealt with him, and he's going to deal with it as best as he can.

AMANPOUR: Let's just ask you about -- about his relationship with his mother before I ask about, you know, some of his -- some of his -- his interventions over the few years. It wasn't initially close, you're right, but then it grew closer.

MEARES: Absolutely. You know, the queen became queen when Charles was a little boy and, initially, she breastfed Charles. She said, I'm going to be the mother, not the -- (AUDIO GAP) -- father died, and she had this enormous responsibility.

And so Charles was really raised, primarily, by his beloved nanny and was very close to the Queen Mother.

And over time, it became a very distant relationship. But I think we've seen, as he has really become settled and happy with himself, with Camilla, that he and his mother's relationship grew closer and closer. And she really started to kind of look at him as a shadow king, as she descended kind of into her twilight years.

So I mean, I think, you know, relationships are complicated. And there's a great story about when Charles was little and his mother would come in at night to kiss him good night while he was taking a bath, and she'd be wearing a crown on her head to practice.

Or she'd -- or -- or he would have to pull his sister, Princess Anne, away from their mother. And he'd say, No, no, we mustn't bother Mummy. She's -- she's queening.

So I think none of us could really imagine what kind of relationship this was. I mean, it was a very strange relationship with a monarch who the world respected. And then on the other hand, she's just your Mummy.

AMANPOUR: Yes, I mean, you do -- you do touch on something that -- that people have talked about but not wanting to talk about too much tonight. It was a very strange way to be brought up, particularly spending so much time away from your actual mother and your parents because they were off doing their duty. And it's -- it's important to remember that.

He also is, you know, known for being outspoken. I'm really fascinated to know how he's going to thread that needle, because obviously, we know constitutionally, he's not allowed to. But people appreciate so much of the things that he's talked about, whether it's climate change. Remember, he backed the 2015 Paris Accords.

He also tried to convince President Trump, you know, not to -- not to leave it. And he made some powerful comments at the 2020 World Economic Forum. Let's just listen.


KING CHARLES III, GREAT BRITAIN: Do we want to go down in history as the people who did nothing to bring the world back from the brink in time to restore the balance, when we could've done? I don't want to.


MEARES: Yes, those are really powerful words.


MEARES: And you know -- yes, absolutely.

AMANPOUR: Go ahead.

MEARES: I was going to say that those were really powerful words. And you know, Charles was often mocked in the early days for his support of climate change initiatives and his real issue and focus on conservation.

And he was also considered, you know, quite scandalous for his belief in all religions and his deep appreciation of new age religion and Eastern philosophies.

And I think now we're seeing that the times are actually catching up with King Charles III.


MEARES: Maybe at the exact right moment.

AMANPOUR: Yes. I mean, it is fascinating. Of course, you know, we haven't mentioned, but we should've done, that the queen herself is a deeply spiritual person. She does have a very strong faith, and she did display that in public many many times. [00:30:10]

She was head of the Church of England, and the churches across this country have paid tribute. And actually, interfaith around the world, many of -- of the organizations, you know, backing sort of Judaism, Islam, Christianity, have come out and, in fact, paid tribute to the queen.

So Hadley, thank you so much, indeed, for joining us.

MEARES: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: A nation in mourning coming out in droves to pay its respects. We'll bring you the stories and messages from people across Britain after this.



AMANPOUR: We're back, live from London with CNN's continuing coverage of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

An outpouring of sadness and grief here and across the United Kingdom and, in fact, across the world. The queen was a grandmotherly figure to millions of people all over and the only monarch most of the British people have ever known, during a seven-decade long reign.

Hear the voices of everyday people paying tribute and speaking to us in the last few hours.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She just symbolize -- she symbolizes Windsor for me, because this is where I've always lived. I've never known another -- you know, another royal that has led us. She's just -- she's everything to, I think, anyone that lives here. So yes, she's amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A very somber atmosphere at the moment. And the queen gave us the duty for 70 years is amazing. So everyone feels the need to come out and just show their respects, really.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's been there. She may have been in the background, but she was -- she was always there, if that makes any sense at all. The whole situation at the moment doesn't make sense. We've been waiting for it, but we never really wanted it to happen. Ever.

She is everybody's grandma, especially in Windsor. And Windsorians, we love her to bits. We -- the whole royal family are just -- really, just Windsor. I think about Windsor, everything about the Windsorians is the royal family. And we are very patriotic. We're very proud.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just can't believe it. It's just come out of the blue, literally. You know, obviously, we knew she wasn't well. But it's just been a sad day. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's going to be a bit different now that the

queen is gone and we're going to have a new king in the country. But I hope he does as well as the queen did. So --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the queen just represents so much about our country and that we feel like it was right to celebrate all that she'd done for us, and we wanted to show our respects to all of the royal family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was just a very big part of our history and our monarchy, and just a very big part of our lives, growing up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The queen was everything I've grown up with. She was iconic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's been here all my life. All my life, the queen's been here. And lots of people here would be in the same position. It will be very, very, very difficult being without her. We all love her very much.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Heartfelt tributes there.

And joining me now, historian, Sarah Gristwood. She's the author of "Elizabeth: Queen and Crown."

Sarah Gristwood, thank you for joining me this very early morning, you know, on the day when we're going to see a transition, literally, because King Charles III will address the people publicly. So just put that into historic context for -- for us and for our viewers.

SARAH GRISTWOOD, HISTORIAN: Well, literally, the moment the queen dies, it's the queen is dead, long live the king.

And of course, there are stages for maladies (ph) to go through. But all the same, that suddenness, it always feels quite emotionally strange, doesn't it?

I think it really sunk in when we read that announcement from Buckingham Palace last night, and it said, the queen had passed away. The king and the queen consort, Charles and Camilla, as we always knew them, will travel to London tomorrow.

And it was like a slap in the face, a king and a queen consort. We all wish them well, but it is -- it's a shock. And of course, you know, almost historically, it's a shock. Most of us have only known a woman, this great woman, on the throne.

AMANPOUR: You know, you point out something incredibly important that I wanted to get to.

First and foremost, obviously, it's a shock to hear, all of a sudden, the public saying "the king and queen consort."

But it is part of the way this works, the way it's always worked. GRISTWOOD: Yes.

AMANPOUR: These -- these transitions. So it is a bit of an emotional shock but not -- not surprising to hear those words, even so -- so soon immediately after she -- she passed.

But I want to ask you about her being a woman, because I think it's really important. For 70 years, we had Queen Elizabeth II. Before, the greatest queen was Queen Elizabeth I and, in the middle, Queen Victoria, also presiding over an amazing era.

And these three women have seen some of the great glory days of this nation. And even when it was an empire. Talk us a little bit through those three amazing queens.

GRISTWOOD: Well, I agree. I mean, it's been -- it's been said that the British like queens. And I think Churchill -- famous have been the reigns of our queens.

And ironically, what we think -- or strangely -- what we think of often as our greatest ages, the Elizabethan one, the Victorian one, times of, for better or worse, great expansion of this -- this small island.


And in each case, the first two queens -- the nation, the island, was in a much stronger place when they left it than when they came to the throne.

In the case of Elizabeth II, I don't know if it's in a stronger place, but it's in a very different place. I mean, the queen has preside -- Elizabeth II has presided over a time of change like almost none of her predecessors. And for a woman not temperamentally attuned to change, it's amazing how well she dealt with it.

AMANPOUR: Yes. And you talk about, you know, those queens presided over such a success, such a growth of British influence around the world. And the opposite is happening right now.

And I just was made aware of this quote by Winston Churchill, as you mentioned, her first prime minister. He said at her coronation that she represents, quote, "the mysterious link, the magic link which unites our loosely bound but strongly interwoven Commonwealth peoples, a living link to generations past."

I just wonder how you think that link, which is fundamental, not just to the Commonwealth but also to the very idea of the United Kingdom, which is at risk right now. I wonder how you think that link will -- will hold.

GRISTWOOD: Well, that is the great question, isn't it? And it's one that's very hard to answer right now because, of course, at the moment, there is such an outpouring of grief and affection for the queen that's gone that there's huge goodwill to the king that's come in. When I was at Buckingham Palace last night, the crowds were breaking

into spontaneous applause, you know, when any sign of movement from -- from the palace.

But that has always been the great concern, whether a King Charles will have the same global influence, the same warmth, even in his own country, as his mother.

And until a few years ago, the answer would have seemed really quite a worrying one. Over these years, Charles -- Prince Charles began to look like a much better bet for king, despite you know, hiccups like -- like the Oprah Winfrey interview and his -- his son Harry's comments.

But all the same, I think we're back to your point about being a woman and a queen. I think in many ways, for the house of Windsor, it's actually a pity that the next three incumbents are -- are male, because, if you think about what a queen is meant to be, she's meant to be a gracious, wise intercessionary, perhaps slightly passive, figure.

And that really fits with the model of a constitutional monarch.

Traditionally, a king, a man is supposed to be forceful, leading his armies into battle, slightly scary even, in a good way. And that is very hard to do in the context of a constitutional monarchy and in the 21st Century.

AMANPOUR: It's really fascinating. Sarah Gristwood, thank you so much indeed.

Next, the love story that lasted decades. We'll take a look at the relationship between the queen and her consort, Prince Philip.



AMANPOUR: Our special coverage continues now, live from London as Britain mourns Queen Elizabeth II.

She herself was in morning. Just last year, forced to sit alone at the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, the man she once called her strength and stay. He was gone.

Max Foster shows us how their romance led to a marriage that ultimately lasted 73 years.


MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a love affair that lasted more than seven decades. As Queen Elizabeth celebrated jubilee after jubilee, and went on to become the longest-serving British monarch in history, Philip was always by her side.

A childhood companion to the queen, Margaret Rhodes, was a bridesmaid at their wedding, and was in no doubt that it was a marriage based on love.

MARGARET RHODES, FRIEND OF QUEEN: I think she fell in love when she was 13. I mean, God, he was good-looking. You know, he was a sort of Viking god. She's never looked at anybody else, ever.

FOSTER (voice-over): The couple married in Westminster Abbey on November the 20th, 1947. And from that moment on, Prince Philip was an almost constant presence at the queen's side.

If this companionship came at a personal price, it was one he was prepared to pay.

RHODES: Just to be there all the time behind her, and ready to sacrifice his lie, he did it, too. He sacrificed his life, because I think he would've loved to have gone on in the Navy and really made a career out of that.

So he -- he sacrificed, too, and so I think it's made for a wonderfully solid marriage.

FOSTER (voice-over): The queen and Prince Philip met before the Second World War when he was a young naval cadet.

And his No. 1 job from the go has been to, quote, "support the queen." And it's just been one of the great royal romances, I think, of history. People talk about Victoria and Albert as a phrase, it trips off the tongue. And I have no doubt that, in years to come, people will talk about Elizabeth and Philip in exactly the same way.



FOSTER (voice-over): Netflix hit series "The Crown" captivated viewers worldwide with its portrayal of the young couple's early romance, ensuring their place in popular culture for generations to come.

SMITH: I'll see you tomorrow.

FOSTER (voice-over): The shy teenager and the handsome prince. As parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, they would always remain by each other's side as long as they were together.

Max Foster, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE) FOSTER (voice-over): And thanks to Max Foster for that.

And we'll be right back with more of our special coverage, live from here in London. London. London.





AMANPOUR: We've spoken throughout these two hours about the majesty, and the dignity, and the longevity of Queen Elizabeth II.

This is the last time we saw her just on Tuesday, the day she welcomed the new prime minister. The queen remaining on duty to the very end.

But let's not forget the queen's sense of fun, as well. Like during this year's Platinum Jubilee celebration, where she welcomed a most unforgettable guest for a spot of tea at Buckingham Palace.


PADDINGTON BEAR, CHILDREN'S BOOK CHARACTER: I do hope you're having a lovely Jubilee.


PADDINGTON BEAR: Oh, yes, please. Oh, terribly sorry.



AMANPOUR: Inspired. And on the Paddington Bear Twitter count, this simple condolence: "Thank you, ma'am, for everything."

The queen's lighter side also paid her with James Bond star Daniel Craig. They even pretended to parachute by helicopter into the London Olympic Games in 2012.

It is now Friday morning here in England. They used to say the sun never sets on the British empire, but in about 30 minutes, this nation will have its first sunrise without the queen who led Britain throughout most, if not all, their lives. We are indeed at the dawn of the reign of King Charles III.

Thank you for watching. Our coverage continues with Becky Anderson, live outside Buckingham Palace, right after this.