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CNN Live Event/Special

Formal Accession Of King Charles III Ushers In A New Royal Era; King Greets Mourners At Buckingham Palace, Meets With New U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss; Ukrainian Counteroffensive Keeps Up Momentum. Aired 4-4:55a ET

Aired September 10, 2022 - 04:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): Well, a very warm welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Becky Anderson in London at Buckingham Palace. It's 9:00 am here outside Buckingham Palace.

Next hour, the official process gets underway to welcome Charles III as the new sovereign of the Commonwealth. It will take place just yards away from where we are now.

The Accession Council, as it's now known, will formally bestow the title of king on Charles, with the principal proclamation expected in about two hours.

Crowds welcomed the new king to Buckingham Palace as he arrived back from Scotland on Friday. And he then addressed the nation for the first time as monarch, honoring his late mother.


CHARLES III, KING OF ENGLAND: Wherever you may live in the United Kingdom or in the realms and territories across the world and whatever may be your background or beliefs, I shall endeavor to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.


ANDERSON: The king also met with the nation's newly-appointed prime minister for the first time. Some of their conversation was picked up by a microphone in the room. Have a listen.


KING CHARLES: It's been so touching. This afternoon, we arrived here, all those people who had come to give their condolences and put flowers.


ANDERSON: No date for the queen's funeral has been announced yet. But many of the world's leaders are expected to be there, including U.S. President Joe Biden. Here's what he said on Friday.


QUESTION: Are you going to the queen's funeral, sir?

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes. I don't know what the details are yet but I will be going.


ANDERSON: CNN's Nic Robertson is at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where the queen died peacefully on Thursday, of course.

What can we expect in the coming days?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: One of the things we expect to happen is that the queen will be -- will leave here and journey to Edinburgh, probably quite a lengthy journey, so members of the public can watch the procession.

Then she'll go to Holyroodhouse, the official of the monarch in Scotland. And she will lie in rest in the Throne Room, perhaps about a day later. And, again, I'm not being specific on timing, because these are things that we have an understanding of that can change.

And we don't know the final planning. But she would then go to St. Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh. And there will be a service there, attended by King Charles, by other senior members of the royal family.

And after that service, the queen's body would then be taken to London. Again, not quite clear whether she'll be taken by rail or whether she will be flown to London. Then she would be brought to Buckingham Palace -- to Westminster Abbey, rather, where she would lay in state.

And that's where we would expect the majority of people, British people, visitors to the country as well, to have an opportunity to go pay their final respects to the queen. And after that of course, the funeral.


ROBERTSON: We don't know the timings. Some locations may change. But those are the broad brushstrokes of the major steps along the process toward the queen's funeral, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nic Robertson is outside Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Thanks, Nic.

Anna Stewart is at the tribute site set up at Green Park, opposite the palace.

And I can see the floor there strewn with tributes, floral tributes to Queen Elizabeth II. And people are looking at those tributes.

What are they telling you how are they feeling?

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: People have a mixture of huge sadness. They've had a massive loss. They describe the queen as someone who felt like a member of their family. But also some hope for the next chapter.

I'll get out of the way and show you how this has changed within the last 45 minutes. Flower tributes mounting up, beautiful drawings, photos, letters, flags. This popped up overnight, because there were too many flowers mounting up outside the gates of Buckingham Palace.

This will be someplace for people to gather, pay their respects and share their memories of the queen. Let me introduce you to -- we have Annabelle (ph), we have David (ph), we have Chloe (ph), we have Josh (ph). We have David (ph). I might have got that wrong. This is Steven (ph) and this is Willow (ph) the dog but we're not going to start with Willow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm feeling happy and a little bit sad. But happy to be with my family.

STEWART: What do you remember about the queen?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I remember watching the Jubilee and then I had a street party with my grandparents. And it was really fun. And she was a nice person. I really loved her.

STEWART: That's really sweet.

Are you excited about King Charles?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very, yes. I never had a king before. So I'm quite excited to see, yes.

STEWART: That's wonderful.

How are you feeling, Steven (ph), what's it like?

I know you felt quite emotional.

STEVEN (PH), ADMIRER OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II: Yes, so when it first happened I was surprised actually how sad it was and then all the tributes come in. You just realize that you've never had anything else. And it's all the change and upheaval.

And then I'm a teacher, so it's how are we going to deal with it in the school the next day?

And lots of teachers wore black. Lots of kids have lots and lots of questions. There's the whole upheaval, I think, but also it's of its time. She was very elderly and we also had in the back our minds in the summer how joyful it was to see her get to have her Jubilee and then we're moving on.

And obviously, King Charles last night on the telly, talking to us all. Actually, there is our continuity, if you want to know the Britishness of it, the continuity of the monarchy is deep-rooted, even though you don't realize it, I think.

STEWART: In many ways people, talk about this being the end of a chapter with Her Majesty's passing. But in some ways, it is the start of a new chapter. But you're right about the continuity. They don't miss a step. There's always going to be a monarch.

STEVEN (PH): Yes, and I think a lot of that is underlying. We don't realize it as we feel everything else that is going on in the world that is so important and in our lives and what we can't afford and can afford.

And suddenly we're showing that there is a thread and maybe if we can hold onto that and support that, then that's part of us and it will help us through -- hopefully through the winter and into a triumphant spring.

STEWART: That's wonderful. It was so nice to meet you, all of you, including Willow. Thank you very much.

And we'll take it back to you, Becky.

ANDERSON: Thank you very much indeed, "into a triumphant spring." That's the British spirit.

We're joined by royal biographer, Matthew Dennison, the author of several books about British royal families, including "The queen: A Biography of Elizabeth II."

Matthew Dennison joining us from Oslo Street (ph) in England.

We will get unprecedented access in the next hour to what is known as the Accension (sic) Council and the proclamation of Charles as King Charles III. Just talk to us about the speed at which this handover, as it were, is happening.

MATTHEW DENNISON, AUTHOR: I don't think we should be surprised by the speed. We have something in Britain called common law. The common law principle is the king is dead, long live the king and the king never dies in common law.


DENNISON: So when one monarch dies, there is always an occupant to the throne. What we are going to see this morning are formalities that are part of the succession. And they would have had, of course, a greater resonance in the past.

In the past, there were moments when perhaps people didn't realize who their next monarch was going to be. So that formal proclamation this morning would have been really important.

(INAUDIBLE) is when the new king will make the oath and of course (ph) the leading politicians will be there to hear that oath so that he can be formalized in his new position.

ANDERSON: And, as he is formalized and as he embarks on the next stage, so The Firm, the family, will need to work out who they are and how they present themselves, both to the U.K. and to the rest of the world.

How significant a period is this for the royal family, as they carve out their role in the future?

And what do you believe that will look like?

DENNISON: It's obviously a moment of readjustment for the royal family. But the key players that we're talking about are not becoming different people; they're the same people that they were before, although there will be a tweaking.

Charles was at pains to put to rest those fears some people had had of the activism that he had practiced as Prince of Wales was something that he wouldn't be able to avoid practicing as king.

He made it quite clear that he understood the differences between being Prince of Wales and the monarch.

What he also suggested in his address last night is that perhaps some of that activist role, some of those interests that he's pursued -- actually immensely successfully over the last century -- would be handed over to Prince William, whom he described as his heir.

And he made that title of Prince of Wales would be bestowed on Prince William automatically. It's a title in gift of the sovereign. There was a question when the queen was a young woman whether she was Princess of Wales in her own right. But of course, that didn't happen.

ANDERSON: When you reflect on the life of Queen Elizabeth II, as a historian, how will she fit in to the history of this country and indeed the Commonwealth and in the past its empire?

DENNISON: Yes, it's interesting, isn't it?

Because if we look at the period of time that is 1952 to 2022, at the time, it appears impossible to put any label on it, beyond the fact that this 70-year span was the reign of Elizabeth II. It's a period that's disparate in terms what's happening economically, socially. It's a period of seismic change.

And so really there are only two constants, the geographical constancy that the islands have not changed physically and also the constant presence of the late queen, I think.

What will history say of her work?

The 20th century was not always sympathetic to monarchy. It was a cynical, corrosive century, in which authority was routinely undermined. In this country, every form of authority -- the church, police, politicians, even the education system have been diminished and undermined over the last 70 years, except the queen.

The crown didn't shrink under her watch. So her preservation of monarchy is a key part of her achievement. So, too, that she kept the monarchy in this country the center of national life. An uncle of (INAUDIBLE) Christopher (ph) of Greece in 1938 said that what was special about the monarchy in Britain was there was a very palpable (ph) affection between the crown and people.

And of course, the queen preserved that (INAUDIBLE). (INAUDIBLE) overseas, obviously, the queen was the only international monarch. In most countries of the world, she was referred to as the queen. She was sort of the quintessence of monarchy, if you like.


DENNISON: And I think returning that global presence was something that she did that was incredibly good for British prestige overseas.


DENNISON: But also I think it (INAUDIBLE) stewardship of the Commonwealth and the stewardship, the sustaining of the Commonwealth through pretty ropy (ph) times is a huge achievement.

ANDERSON: Yes. It's good to have you on, sir. Your analysis and insight is extremely valuable. Matthew Dennison, thank you very much indeed.

Folks, the scenes that you are looking at on your screens are of the gate at Buckingham Palace, through which we expect to see King Charles III exit Buckingham Palace and make his way through the crowds and up the mall to St. James' Palace.

That is expected to happen in the next 30 minutes or so, where he will meet with what is known as the Privy Council for the accession and the proclamation of Charles as King Charles III.

He dominated the covers of British newspapers on Friday. And here is a look at just a few of those.

"The Times" ran a full photograph of Charles, with the words of the newly-adjusted national anthem, "God Save the King."

"The Guardian" focusing on his first public speech, where he promised to serve with loyalty and love.

And the "Daily Mail" paying tribute to what he described as his "darling Mama."

There's a lot more to come, including how a new monarch means a new line of succession. We will explain more on that after this.




(MUSIC PLAYING) ANDERSON: Well, it is a beautiful day in London and you are looking at

live pictures of the street in front of St. James' Palace, where King Charles will be proclaimed king in the coming hours.

The new monarch will formally ascend to the throne. His son, Prince William, is now the heir apparent; William's eldest son, George, is second in line, followed by his daughter, Charlotte, and his second son, Louis. And next comes Prince Harry. The Duke of Sussex has two children, Archie Harrison and Lilibet Diana. They are sixth and seventh in line.

Peter Westmacott is a former deputy private secretary to then Prince Charles. He has served as ambassador to the U.S. as well as to Turkiye and France.

You know Prince Charles well.

How will he be feeling?

SIR PETER WESTMACOTT, FORMER BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S., TURKIYE AND FRANCE: I think, Becky, there will be a mixture of emotions, rather as he said n that tremendous speech last night.

He transformed himself from Prince of Wales to King Charles. So this was the moment he had been dreading but also the moment for which he's been preparing all his life, 70 years. He knew this would happen one day. He's had a very long apprenticeship.

He'll be in despair with the loss of his mother but also he will be OK. This is what I've been preparing for and it's time to step up and make the best of it.

ANDERSON: You say make the best of it.

Is it a weight around his shoulders?

WESTMACOTT: I don't think so. As Prince of Wales, as heir to the throne, as Prince Albert found and as Prince Charles has found, did find, it is quite difficult to ensure that you are using that role to make a difference.

I think he did it very well. In many respects, he was ahead of his time on a whole raft of issues. But it was preparation for this job. Now it is a big responsibility. You are the top one. I don't think it will be as lonely as it must have been for the queen when she became sovereign at such a young age, because he's had so much preparation.

He's known around the world, he's got a lot of good experience and good advice that he can turn to. But it seems that he's already, with great warmth, dignity and engagement, stepped up.

ANDERSON: Tell us about him. You spent a lot of time, tell us about that time.

WESTMACOTT: It's a long time ago. I since spent a few years working for him and the then Princess of Wales. And it was a huge privilege, utterly exhausting, enormous fun. I learned so much about different subjects and diplomacy. I did a lot of foreign stuff with him but many other things.

Incredibly hardworking, very engaged, pays a great deal of attention to detail, reads the brief and really cares about, whether it's young offenders, volunteering, the environment, the quality of architecture, preservation of the English language, the importance of Shakespeare in schools, the Brazilian rainforest.

He came up with brilliant schemes to ensure there was an economic value in keeping trees in the forest and not chopping them down.

ANDERSON: For which he has been criticized at times, his interest in the environment and environmental issues in the past. He was really sort of ridiculed for it to a certain extent. The youth development stuff, I know that Prince Philip had sort of agreed, that was a sort of consensus issue back in the day.

These are the things that you can be involved in as a constitutional monarch.

How did he feel about being criticized or ridiculed for some of these other issues?

WESTMACOTT: I think sometimes he felt it was harsh, the stuff about hugging trees and talking to plants was a throwaway remark that stuck for years.


WEST: And I think he was annoyed sometimes that he was not taken seriously. But just a few months ago, there he was at the G7 in Rome, invited to give the keynote speech to world leaders of the G20, about environmental issues.

He had a major role at the COP26 conference in Glasgow. If you like, the world has caught up with his ideas. So I think he shrugged his shoulders and got on with it because he was doing what he felt was right.

But he was also a man of great (INAUDIBLE). I stopped working for him more than 25 years ago. I was flat on my back after a bad ski accident 2-3 years ago. My phone rings; who is there to cheer me up and make me laugh, my old boss, the Prince of Wales, who'd heard that I was lying on my back in hospital, unable to move for a couple weeks.

And wants to cheer me up 25 years later, he's that sort of man. He's extraordinarily human and engaged with people he knows, even people like me, staff.

ANDERSON: You've had a number of ambassadorial positions.

How will he be received on the world stage?

WESTMACOTT: He's widely known; I would say widely respected. He came to America, France, Turkey a number of times. A lot of people have gotten used to engaging with him.

So I think he's a known quantity. But I think being British monarch is something other countries value and treasure. And I think he will be warmly welcomed across the Commonwealth but much more widely as well.

ANDERSON: Peter, glad to see you sitting up again and thank you very much indeed for joining us.

WESTMACOTT: Thank you.

ANDERSON: There is a lot more to come on CNN. We'll look at what's ahead for Britain's new monarch, who is set to be formally proclaimed as sovereign in just a half hour or so from now. Stay with us here on CNN.





ANDERSON: Welcome back, folks. We're just a few hours away from the ceremony that will formally proclaim King Charles as King Charles III, the British sovereign. The ceremony will be held at St. James' Palace.

And are you looking at the courtyard there outside the palace. We will get to you that live just as soon as it happens.

On Friday, the new king made his first address to the nation as monarch just as his mother, Queen Elizabeth, did so many years ago. King Charles pledged that the rest of his life would be devoted to serving the British people.


CHARLES III, KING OF ENGLAND: Wherever you may live in the United Kingdom or in the realms and territories across the world and whatever may be your background or beliefs, I shall endeavor to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.


ANDERSON: Well, he has spent his life in the spotlight, preparing for the time he would sit on the British throne. Bianca Nobilo has that.


KING CHARLES: I would hope that we might strive for an age of reverence -- reverence for what gives us life and for the fragile world in which we live.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Charles was born on November 14, 1948, to then heir to the throne, Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To our Princess Elizabeth, heiress presumptive to the throne, a son had been born.

Glad news that was soon echoing around the world.

NOBILO (voice-over): Charles was bestowed a host of titles at a young age but did not become Prince of Wales until 1969, a role he sought to professionalize and redefine.

Many of Charles' predecessors treated the title, Prince of Wales, as a ticket to a luxury lifestyle, notably the previous Prince of Wales, the short-reigned King Edward VIII.

While Charles did indulge in partying years, the British press giving him the nickname "The Playboy Prince," he didn't want to wait until he became king to make a difference.

Following his studies at Cambridge University, Charles went into the military. After leaving the Royal Navy in 1976, he founded the Prince's Trust.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: The Prince's Trust is something that he cares deeply about. He's done it for so long. It's one of his first causes, his first charities but it also speaks to something he feels very strongly about, which is youth unemployment.

NOBILO (voice-over): On top of his own charities, he is patron of over 400 more, dedicated to subjects close to his heart -- youth, environment and education.

His schedule notoriously intense. In a typical year, he would carry out more than 500 royal engagements, official duties coordinated from his London base at Clarence House.

FOSTER: So he is a perfectionist. He wants to know everything about all of his different projects and causes and roles.

NOBILO (voice-over): His campaigns sometimes sailed dangerously close to the line dividing the monarchy and politics. The infamous "black spider memos" revealed his passionate pleas on issues he was concerned about and gave him the nickname of "The Meddling Prince."

FOSTER: The head of state, which is the monarch, they have a duty to remain independent. Charles always took the view that he had more leeway before he was on the throne but he always made it very clear that when he became monarch, he would no longer express opinions in that way.

NOBILO (voice-over): Arguably, the cause he has championed the most is the environment. His home at Highgrove was set up to become an organic farming powerhouse.

He talked about pollution issues long before they were mainstream, becoming a leading figure in the fight against the climate crisis and plastic pollution.

KING CHARLES: Global warming, climate change and the devastating loss of biodiversity are the greatest threats humanity has ever faced.

NOBILO (voice-over): Charles is now the oldest royal to be crowned King or Queen. Much of his legacy already written.


ANDERSON: Here with me live, as we watch history unfold -- and we really are watching history unfold -- is Emily Nash, a national correspondent for "HELLO! Magazine."


ANDERSON: Unprecedented access to the ascension (sic), the proclamation of Charles as King Charles. There was no television when this last happened. Most of the general public wouldn't have had one.

So this is history in the making and many might find the speed at which this is happening is quite remarkable. This is a constitutional monarchy. He has a ceremonial role but a role nonetheless.

And this years, hundreds of years of history here as precedent.

EMILY NASH, ROYAL EDITOR, "HELLO! MAGAZINE": Absolutely. It's happening in St. James' Palace, built by Henry VIII. And this has gone on for centuries.

Every time any monarch takes the throne, there is this very formal ceremonial procedure which looks very antiquated, which is why it will be fascinating to be inside that today.

It's very much full of heraldic tradition. You have these great ministers of state, members of the Privy Council. There's 700 of these. They're former politicians, currently serving, whittled down to just 200.

It's not happened as quickly as it might have, because the announcement of the queen's death came late in the day; it's actually been pushed back by a day. So it would have initially happened within 24 hours of her passing.

ANDERSON: You will see a lady called Penny Mordaunt, who is the chair or president of what is the Privy Council. All of these things may seem very unfamiliar. This is a woman who I don't think has officially been put in the role yet.

She was standing for prime minister about three weeks ago. So there will be lots and lots for our viewers to, as you suggest, see for the first time. And then, alongside those Privy Counsellors will be the Queen Consort, Camilla, and the new Prince of Wales --


ANDERSON: -- who will be familiar to many of our viewers.

And after that, what happens?

NASH: After that, so we have the Accession Council. They meet privately without the new king present. Then the new king comes in.

He's going to make a declaration, a tribute to the late queen. He will be formally declared King Charles III.

And then we'll have this quite colorful proclamation from that gallery. And then immediately, after he goes into audiences with senior members of clergy, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the dean of Westminster, he'll meet the prime minister, cabinet members, leaders of the opposition.

There's no time for him to draw breath.

ANDERSON: And no time to waste because, at the end of the day, this is all about continuity. When you talk to people who are going through a grieving process, whether or not they have met the queen in the past, they say they are concerned about that continuity.

That's why this is important today. You have covered, as a journalist, Prince Charles now for years.

How do you think he'll be coping with all of this?

NASH: Look, he's a sensitive man and I think this is a time of enormous personal sadness for him. But he has had an incredibly long apprenticeship for the role. He has known this time was coming. And I almost imagine there's a sense of urgency, as you say, to reassure people at this time of instability.

We've had monarchs and two prime ministers in a week. It's unprecedented. As he said to Liz Truss, we need to try and keep things moving, because he knows there's work to be done.

One thing that he is absolutely dedicated to is his work. He's a man who famously never stops for lunch and would work around the clock if the new Queen Consort would let him.

ANDERSON: Keep calm and carry on; I never thought about that, two prime ministers and two monarchs in a week. That's quite something.

Thank you very much indeed, Emily Nash.

We are outside Buckingham Palace, waiting for the gates to open. And we will see Charles going to St. James' Palace, where the first of these very ceremonial events will begin. He will be declared King Charles III.

And then the event, perhaps sort of switching back toward Queen Elizabeth II, whose coffin will leave Balmoral later and eventually make its way down here to lie in state until her funeral, which is some 10 days or so from now.

From us outside Buckingham Palace for the time being, that's it. We will continue our coverage, of course, in the hours to come. Let's head over to New York for a quick look at other news from around the world -- Alison.



KOSIK: The Department of Justice and Donald Trump's legal team spelling out what they want in a special master's review of material seized from Mar-a-Lago. What each side is asking for when we come back.




KOSIK: Welcome back.

The U.S. Justice Department and former president Trump's legal team have now submitted proposals to a federal judge about who should serve as a special master in the investigation into documents seized at Trump's Florida estate.

As you might expect, both sides are far apart on what they're proposing. The DOJ says the special master should not review classified documents; the Trump team says the special master should review all the seized material.

The DOJ says the former president should pay the expenses; the Trump team says they should be evenly split. The DOJ says it should end by October 17; the Trump team says they should be given 90 days to complete.

Ukraine says it's keeping up its counter offensive against forces in the northeast. This is an image of Ukrainian soldiers, closing in on a key town in the Kharkiv region. They've captured an estimated 1,000 square kilometers there in recent days.

A pro-Russian site says civilians in at least two towns are being evacuated as Ukrainian troops get closer and a Russian journalist reported that Moscow is rushing reinforcements to the region.

We'll be right back.





ANDERSON: Well, we are keeping a keen eye on the gates of Buckingham Palace. We expect the gates to open momentarily and for King Charles III to leave that palace, make his way up the mall, a drive of a matter of minutes to St. James' Palace, where he will be proclaimed king at the Accession Council in the State Department of St. James' Palace. This is a meeting that will be attended by the Queen Consort, Camilla,

and his son, William, whose new title, of course, is the Prince of Wales.

That's an image of the courtyard outside St. James' Palace and you will see that live here on CNN, the first time you'll ever have seen accession. This is unprecedented, with the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Britons will start to see some changes to their national symbols. Currency will feature the profile of King Charles III instead of Queen Elizabeth, although all bank notes and coins will continue to circulate. The national anthem changes from "God Save the Queen," to "God Save the King."


ANDERSON: Postage stamps will also be updated with Charles' image. And the royal cipher on mailboxes, police uniforms, flags and other items will be replaced with a new monogram.

Before we go, a moving tribute to the queen coming from Sir Elton John, the legendary British singer, who celebrated Queen Elizabeth's life with music in Toronto on Thursday night.


ELTON JOHN, SINGER-SONGWRITER: I send my love to her family and her loved ones and she will be missed but her spirit lives on. And we celebrate her life tonight with music, OK?


ANDERSON: Thanks for joining me here on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Becky Anderson. CNN's special coverage of the death of Queen Elizabeth continues after this. So please do not go away.