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CNN Live Event/Special

Coffin of Queen Elizabeth II Making Its Way to London; Hundreds of Thousands Gather to See Procession of British Royal Family Walking behind Coffin of Queen Elizabeth II. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired September 14, 2022 - 08:00   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: I love it, proving when it comes to signing dates and using fountain pens, kings are just like us.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Although that pen is now in the Tower of London, where it will remain for centuries.


BERMAN: CNN's special coverage begins right now.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: An iconic view of Buckingham Palace as we await an extraordinary procession honoring Queen Elizabeth. It may be the most majestic and moving tribute since her death, featuring all the prominent members of the royal family. Crowds are lining the streets of London just to get a glimpse of the royal family in the procession, as well as the Queen's coffin. It will be carried on a gun carriage from Buckingham Palace through the city to an historic hall in the Palace of Westminster. That is where the Queen will lie in state until her funeral on Monday as more than a half-million people are expected to pay their respects.

This is CNN's live coverage as the people of London get close to their beloved Queen and say farewell one last time. I'm Don Lemon at Buckingham Palace.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Anderson Cooper in London overlooking the procession route. We'll take you every step of the way on this leg on the Queen's final journey. The procession will begin at Buckingham Palace, as Don was saying, and move down the mall to Westminster with royal family members walking behind the Queen's coffin. They'll pass the horse guard's parade ground, traveling on to Whitehall. They'll go by landmarks including Number 10 Downing Street, Parliament Square, until they arrive outside Westminster hall at the palace at Westminster.

King Charles III will walk in the procession along with his siblings, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, as well as Prince Edward. His sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, reunited in this moment of grief, walking together as they did behind the coffin of their mother, Princess Diana. Also walking, Princess Anne's husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence and her son, Peter Phillips. The Queen's cousin, the Duke of Gloucester, and her nephew the Earl of Snowdon. Traveling behind them by car, the King's wife, Queen Consort Camilla, Prince William's wife Catherine, the Princess of Wales, Prince Harry's wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Edward's wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex.

We're joined here by CNN royal correspondent Max Foster, CNN royal historian Kate Williams. The history of this day just extraordinary. This procession that we're going to see, the entire immediate royal family members walking or riding by car behind the casket, walking by these iconic places in London to the Hall at Westminster.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: And also the symbolism. Effectively, what's happening here is the Queen had, or the British monarch has three roles, head of family, head of state, head of nation. And what we're seeing today is the family handing over the coffin to the nation for their time with the former Queen to pay their respects, behind us here, Westminster Hall.

I think you're right to point out William and Harry, because I think a lot of people, the British public will certainly be reminded of the last time they saw William and Harry walking behind a coffin when they were young children. And that was very defining, not just for them, but for the nation. And they're grown men this time, and there's been a huge amount of change, of course, in the family since that time. At that time, they were deeply connected. At the moment, they're not deeply connected. But so many people looking at the unity of the family and being really heartened by that at this time, I think.

COOPER: Prince Harry has talked about as an adult kind of the trauma, the horror of walking behind his mother's casket at that young age. This is obviously a very different circumstance. He's a grown adult who wants to be there, walking behind --

FOSTER: He wants to be there. You'll remember, William had this fringe, this long fringe behind his mother's coffin, holding his head down, talking about how he was just listening to everyone sort of cheering as they went along, how incredibly difficult that was. But as you say, that was something expected of them at the time. I think it was Prince Philip who really encouraged them to do that.

But this is their choice. You're also going to see Prince Harry in mourning dress as opposed to a uniform. All the others are going to be in full uniform. It's going to be a full ceremonial event. You're going to see the cavalry, both mounted and dismounted. And also, you're going to see key members of people in the Queen's life, members of her household at the front of the procession who are deeply affected by this as well, and the family will be behind.

COOPER: And talk about the history of this day.


KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, Anderson. This is such an historic moment. Really, we have felt like we've been living through history in the past few days. And this is really the great moment of the beginning of the Queen's funeral, the one in which historians of the future will look back on and discuss at the ceremony.

And it's so striking, isn't it, to think of the royal family walking behind the coffin, the first time that a woman will do so in Princess Anne. And the Queen herself, when her father, who passed in Sandringham in Norfolk, he arrived at King's Cross on the royal train. She and her sister and mother walked behind her father's coffin in the station and then transferred to a car.

So it's always so striking to me that the monarch, we only see state funerals for monarch. This is the beginning of a state funeral procession. So when you're a monarch and go to a state funeral, the next, of course, you'll go to is your own. So the Queen walked behind her father in 1952 and knew one day that this day would come, and she's planned every moment of this with such detail. And this really, as you were saying, it's her last journey. It's also her last state engagement. She is here so that we can see her and we can wish her farewell, as well.

COOPER: Also, the history of the room where she will be laying in state in Westminster is fascinating. You talk about her walking behind her father's casket. Her father lay in state in that room, as well. And so many other monarchs have, as well, as well as Winston Churchill.

WILLIAMS: Winston Churchill lay in state there, the only non-royal ever to have a state funeral in 1965. And Westminster Hall dates back to the 11th century. It's the oldest part of the parliamentary estate. And it's had so many big royal events there. They had big coronation banquets. Elizabeth 1st had a huge coronation banquet there and had royal weddings there. And also, Charles 1st was tried. It is a place full of history, and it's such a beautiful building. It's the oldest unsupported medieval roof that we have. It's a beautiful building. And for the Queen to be there, just as her father was, just as her mother was, it's such a meaningful moment.

COOPER: And you had some reporting last night that all the members of the royal family, who had been in Buckingham Palace to receive their mother, their grandmother, to receive the Queen, they actually had a dinner together. So William and Harry, who obviously so many people have been focusing on, really are united, at least physically, in grief. Do we know anything about that dinner? Do we know anything about what is going on in that family rift now?

FOSTER: No. But point out Harry, but also Prince Andrew, all of them around the large table for the first time, I think, since all of these eruptions took place, and that's all in honor of the Queen. And I think that's really quite profound. And when you consider that they're going to be handing the coffin over effectively today, that just shows what a deeply personal moment and a moment of history that was behind palace walls. We'll never find out, because it was only family members, it was the children, the grandchildren of the monarch and also her nephew and niece, Princess Margaret's children. So we'll never find out what happened in there, but can you imagine that they felt this was their good-bye because today she's handed over to the nation. COOPER: I want to check in with our Matthew Chance, who is on the

mall along the procession route. The crowds, we've seen large crowds there yesterday, outside Buckingham Palace, waiting to see the Queen being brought back into Buckingham Palace for the last time. What is it like out there this morning?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: An incredible atmosphere, Anderson. You've got thousands, tens of thousands of people lining the route the funeral procession is going to take from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster where, of course, Queen Elizabeth II will be laid in state. It's incredible just speaking to some of the people here. A lot of them have come because they understand that this is a moment in history that they want to witness. I spoke to a tourist from the U.S. earlier. And he was like, I had other plans for this week, but I've called it all off and I'm doing this instead.

But I would say the vast majority of people are here to pay their respects because the Queen was held in such esteem by them. You can speak to virtually any of these people. Let me talk to these people over here who we mentioned earlier. Where do you come down from?


CHANCE: You've come from there as well?


CHANCE: Mother and daughter, yes?


CHANCE: Why have you made that journey to come and pay respects today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're both big royalists. We really like the royal family. So we came to see the queen. And we were actually together on the day that it was reported that she was unwell, and we were saying, it doesn't sound good. And my mama had just left my home to go home when we found out the news that she had passed away.

CHANCE: Very sad. And how have you taken the news?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very bad. It's weird. It's like you know her.

CHANCE: But you didn't know her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I didn't know her. I didn't know her. I've known her for all my life. She's obviously older than I am.

CHANCE: Obviously.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obviously. But she's just been there all the time. And she's absolutely just a pillar of niceness.

CHANCE: And she's gone. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's gone.

CHANCE: These feelings of respect and esteem you have for her, love you have for her, does that transfer to Charles, do you think, the new king?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a different feeling, because you don't really know him yet. You've got to give him a chance. He always does good for the Princes' Trust and things like that. So I think give him time, he'll come into his own, absolutely.

CHANCE: What are your names?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shelia (ph) and Steph (ph).

CHANCE: Shelia (ph) and Steph (ph), thank you very much.

There you have it, Anderson. Speak to any number of the people along here and they're going to give you the same feeling of affection for the monarch. And that's why they've come here today to see her off and pay their last respects.

COOPER: Yes, it's really lovely seeing so many people out. Matthew, we'll come back to you shortly.

CNN's Isa Soares is toward the end of the procession route near Parliament. Isa, Queen Elizabeth, as we were talking about here, is going to lie in state in Westminster Hall, a symbol of one of her roles that she has played in this country.

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very much so. And I heard your discussion there with Max Foster, and what we will see today is that transition, isn't it, from mother, from obviously in Edinburgh, from godmother to this right here, head of state. Just for our viewers to it in perspective, I'm behind the House of Parliament, of course. To my right is Westminster Hall. One person described it to me as simply majestic, Anderson. And that is where really the old courts used to be. It is the beating heart of Westminster.

And I think it echoes, of course, what we've heard from king Charles III just this Monday, when he talked, Anderson, about the wait of history. Those tavern walls, that roof that you were talking about there, the wooden roof, it is really impressive. And it has this echoey noise as you walk through it, and the smells are kind of musky. It's gone through fires. It's survived fires. It survived the Second World War. Imagine that. It has hosted tea and hosted trials, Guy Fawkes, Charles I, Anne Boleyn.

It's also been used for more ceremonial, as you were discussing there, more banquets. It's also been the place more recently though that we have seen dignitaries addressing it. We have seen Barack Obama, we have seen also Pope Benedict, as well as Nelson Mandela. But, of course, today, what we'll see will be a majestic evening, of course, as we see that coffin being placed in the middle of Westminster Hall. It will be, we've had seven lying in states at Westminster Hall. Five

those have been royals, and that includes most recently the Queen Mother back in 2002. In terms of numbers, so our viewers have a sense of how many turned out, Anderson, 200,000 people saw her coffin. In terms of politicians, we know that Sir Winston Churchill was there. The other politician who was there, of course, was William Gladstone. He was the first back in 1898. Of course, Sir Winston Churchill, having those strong bonds, those strong ties with the Queen, Queen Elizabeth, meeting here when she was very little. And in fact, his grandson speaking this week, and I want to quote him, Nicholas Soames, he said, "Churchill had not only revered but adored the Queen," Anderson.

COOPER: Yes, so much history that we will see today. Isa, thank you.

Still ahead, as we await our first glimpse of the royal family and the start of the procession, we're going to talk to people who have been willing to wait in line for hours, even days to see the Queen lie in state. As we said, hundreds of thousands expected over the next several days to pass by to watch and see her and pay their respects. You're watching CNN's live coverage from London.



LEMON: Welcome back, everyone. We are coming to you live from Buckingham Palace, where the king's guard is getting into position for the royal tribute to Queen Elizabeth. You're looking at live pictures now.

The royal family is preparing to take part in a solemn procession, walking silently behind her coffin, as it is taken to Westminster Hall to lie in state. And crowds are forming all along the streets of London to witness this historic moment. Look at that. You're going to see it all live right here on CNN.

I want to get now to CNN's Clarissa Ward. She is with the people who are waiting in line to get into Westminster Hall to pay their respects to the queen.

Clarissa, hello to you. What are they telling you?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Don, I just wanted to give you a sense of where we are. You can see in the background there, Westminster Hall, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament.

The line starts all the way on the other side of the bridge, it snakes around, comes back over here. They've tried to clear this thoroughfare, but there's a whole other line and there are many lines behind this line, as well, where people have been gathering, some of them arrived here 9:00 this morning.

You can see some people taking photographs. Sorry to get in your photograph, guys, forgive me. And this long line of people are going to wait patiently. They're hoping the line will start moving around 5:00 p.m. they're supposed to be given wristbands. Some of them have come from far away, from London.

Hi, guys. Hello! How are you? Where have you come from today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've come from Peterborough, which is Cambridgeshire.

WARD: OK, you've come a few hours. What have you packed?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lots of sandwiches, and snacks, plenty of water, marmalade sandwich.

WARD: That's a nod to Paddington bear?


WARD: Are you willing to camp out the night here, if that's what it takes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If that's what it takes, no matter how long.

WARD: So, why are you here? Tell me why this is important to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because the Queen has been in my presence since I was born. I'm 61. I've only ever known the queen and I've always looked up to, what an example, what a smile.

I mean, it lit the world up. That twinkle in the eye. She's just superb.

WARD: She had a great sense of humor. I think some people didn't appreciate that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, yeah, yeah, very good.

WARD: You know, it's interesting just being here today, it feels like the atmosphere is kind of festive. I know you've made some new friends, you were saying. Where have you come from?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've come from Pembrokeshire in southwest Wales.

WARD: You've also made quite a journey.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Half past 2:00 this morning.

WARD: Half past 2:00 this morning, and you got here at 9:00 this morning?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got into London about 8ish.

WARD: So you've already been here for about five hours or so.


WARD: Have you also got all the kit? I see you got --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've eaten everything else.

WARD: For our American audience, quivers are like potato chips.


So tell me why you're here and why it was important for you to mark this occasion?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we just wanted to come. We live so far away and we just knew that we wanted to come up and just show our respects, didn't we?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, she was just kind of like constant for us as well. And it just made sense for us to try to do everything we can to pay our respects.


WARD: And you are, you're young, which is great -- which is great to see. There's sometimes a sort of misconception that young people are not as interested in the monarchy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, 100 percent.

WARD: But do you think that your friends have really felt the impact of this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not in the same way.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it's definitely that understanding that even if you aren't a royalist, that the queen is just something else. There's definitely that.

WARD: She certainly was something else. Guys, I hope you don't have to wait in this line for too long.

But, Don, it really is amazing to see, it's sort of a different atmosphere today. There's a sense on the streets that the people are really coming out to celebrate the legacy and the memory of the queen, and even if that means waiting in very long lines for potentially days, they're willing to do that, Don.

LEMON: Lots of marmalade sandwiches. I've even had one since I've been here, Clarissa.

Can you do me a favor? We would like to see the lines of people, just how far it stretches along the route there, if you will.

WARD: Yeah. So we have a little bit of a limitation in terms of how much we can move with our connectivity, but you can probably see, if Scotty the cameraman focusing on just basically that line goes as far down as I can see it. And what the authorities have tried to do is basically, instead of having one giant mass of people is to separate it into a sort of series of smaller lines.

As I said, they're supposed to be getting wristbands and numbers. They'll be getting updates on how long they can expect to wait.

But nobody's going to actually really start moving in this line until 5:00 p.m. that's still a few hours away from now, when the queen will officially be lying in state, just around the corner there in Westminster Hall, Don.

LEMON: It is remarkable the number of people out there and it's only expected to grow. Clarissa Ward, we'll be checking back in. Thank you so much.

I'm joined now by CNN anchor Richard Quest and CNN royal commentator, Emily Nash.

Just to point out some of the folks that are going to be here, the gun carriage that will be carried by the king's troop royal horse artillery. They're going to put into the position, major household, Major General Chris Ghika, the staff. He'll take a position with the gun carriage. And the queen's company first battalion grenadier guards, but what we saw, that's the household cavalry that we're looking at.

Richard, take us through this. What is this?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: Here we have the various guards that will be forming the different processions. This is the grenadier guard that will be forming the king's guard outside the palace, as it leaves. They will give the royal salute. In front of them, you see the two divisions of the household cavalry.

So, essentially, the ones wearing the bearskins are the grenadier guards, the Irish, the Scots of the world, and the household cavalry, with the blues and royals and the life guards. And between them all, they will play individual roles in the ceremonial. So to the left of the screen --

LEMON: So the grenadier guards are the ones with the hats. But again, it's extraordinary to witness these pictures, as we give you an idea of what is going on. Speak so you can hear some of it as well. I mean, it's not just a visual, it's audio as well.

QUEST: Yeah. The two in the middle, they are the ones -- they are the most senior branches of the British Army, those with the metal hats, if you will. And, of course, Prince Harry was a member of the blues and royals.

LEMON: It's interesting, because normally they would be referred to as her majesty. Now it's his majesty's guard or cavalry or whatever.

Before we get to Emily, you said, this is as big as it gets, Richard?

QUEST: Oh, yes. The death of the queen is something that has been prepared for, planned, and is now being executed.

But in British ceremonial times, it does not get bigger than this, and the event that will follow this, the coronation next year.

LEMON: So, Emily, I just want to -- we have to remember that it's a monarchy, but it's also a family. And a family who has had to deal with issues, especially if people were -- some were surprised to see Meghan and Harry, but harry will be walking with his father and with his brother behind the queen's coffin, taking part in the ceremony.


EMILY NASH, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely. And at times like this, families come together. Whatever water has gone under the bridge, you know? Harry is the queen's grandson. And it's right that he should be there today.

But what we're going to see today is a very personal and actually a relatively small procession in terms of the royal family. She was head of state, head of nation, but also head of family.

This is about the family handing her back to the nation for her funeral and burial. They've had a very emotional 24 hours saying their last good-byes to her.

LEMON: Speaking of which, Emily, there was a family dinner, we understand, a private family dinner last night.

How do you think they're processing? This is deeply personal for them. It's a deeply personal moment. And I wonder if in this moment, some of the barriers were broken down and maybe there's some unity. We don't know. We'll have to see that play out, but what do you think?

NASH: One thing we do know, the new king and queen consort were only at the palace for about 20 minutes, which is very understandable given the very busy schedule they have and the pressure on them today waiting. But you can imagine it will be an opportunity for people to break the ice and come together in a common cause.

LEMON: More than two decades ago, they made very similar walk, Richard, behind their mother's coffin. I'm talking about William and Harry, and now they have to do it again. It has to be tough.

QUEST: I was there and saw it, standing by Clarence House. It was the most extraordinary thing to see the four of them all line up behind and march in procession.

Let me tell you what we're looking at now, if I may, Don. This is the preparations from the military side. The grenadier guards, the household cavalry, and there you have the royal horse artillery, the king's troop. They will be the one firing the guns and they will hold the gun carriage.

It's a very senior part of the British army, goes back to the 1800s. Set up specifically for the monarch.

LEMON: We were both out here, I think two evenings ago, actually, in the morning, at 4:00 in the morning. And they were practicing. Rehearsals had been happening since -- they have been probably been rehearsing before, but down to every specific detail. And they have been on time for 99.99 percent of it to the second.

QUEST: What I'm expecting to happen now is that these guards and household division and the household cavalry along with the king's troop will make their way to Buckingham palace, their barracks and they will move and form processions. And there will be a series of bands, his majesty's royal --

LEMON: We're just watching some of these images play out. Again, this is live, happening here at Buckingham Palace. As they prepare to say good-bye to the queen.

It's going to be interesting, in just moments to watch. You'll see the entire family in the procession, walking behind the queen's coffin.

As we get closer to the start of the royal procession, a member of the royal family will join us with insight into what the queen's relatives are going through right now.

First, a quick break.