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CNN Live Event/Special
Mourners Line Streets of London to Pay Respects to Queen; Soon, Royal Process to Begin Through Streets of London; CNN's Clarissa Ward Interviews Archbishop of Canterbury; Royal Procession Begins to Escort Queen's Coffin to Westminster. Aired 9-9:30a ET
Aired September 14, 2022 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: It is such an extraordinary moment when you realize not only that the history of the day, but also just the drama within this family that has been going on, to see the family reunited in grief.
And all of them either walking or in vehicles behind the coffin of their mother, their grandmother.
Do we know, are they -- is it going to be one vehicle, is it several vehicles? Do we know?
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: There'll be enough vehicles for the spouses. I think two or three vehicles behind the main procession.
This is over at the barracks, just across the road, where they're all getting positioned.
The primary procession will be largely made up of cavalry, the royal household, members of the royal family, of course.
But also, there will be, all along the route, key ceremonial points, with key regiments, all, of course, with an association with the queen, because she was head of the armed forces.
For all of these serving members of the military, all in their ceremonial uniforms, this is a deeply personal moment. I think Prince Harry spoke about this, as someone who is deeply committed to the military, how they serve and they risk their lives in the name of the monarch.
And for all of these people's lives, they've been serving directly to the queen. They don't serve the prime minister. They do serve the nation. But primarily, they serve the monarch. So this is a deeply personal moment for them.
And imagine the amount of rehearsal, Anderson, that's gone into this. Every six months, I would say, in recent years, they would be preparing for exactly this moment.
COOPER: So they've actually already -- I mean, you're saying, for months -- for years, they have been preparing for this moment? Not just on paper, but actually doing drills?
FOSTER: They'll be doing drills, yes, overnight, not in their full ceremonial.
Here you can see the gun salute preparing over in Hyde Park. They'll be minute guns. One gunshot every minute during the procession.
And that will be matched here, Anderson, by Big Ben tolling every minute, as well, in what is Elizabeth Tower, the tower that we all call Big Ben.
Actually, Big Ben is the bell. The tower, we look, is the Elizabeth Tower, of course, named after the iconic monarch, who is Elizabeth II.
This is the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, now back in the park.
COOPER: We're looking -- we've been looking -- there's the Grenadier Guards, the first battalion of Grenadier Guards, who will be in position, the Quadrangle, the king's royal troop -- the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.
There's also -- there's a number of different units from the various branches of the armed forces
KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL HISTORIAN: Yes, and what we're seeing, we've just been seeing the King's Troop getting ready to fire the guns. These are the guns they fire at all kinds of royal occasions, for a royal baby or the royal salute.
And they really -- they are -- it's very significant because George VI requested that the King's Troop be set up for normal events.
It would normally change to be the queen when the queen came in. But when the queen came in 1952, she asked that they remain to be the King's Troop, out of respect for her father.
So they actually also, they take over the Changing of the Guards when the usual Life Guards go on holiday over the summer to give the horses a break.
And they have such a significant role in these occasions. They took the coffin of the king, King George VI, when he came from the train station when he came to the train station from Sandringham with the Grenadier Guards.
And now they will be guarding the king.
And, really, as Max was saying, reminding us that these are their ceremonial duties, but also, these are serving members of the armed forces.
The Grenadier Guards, which we're also seeing, will take a very significant role, the queen was their colonel in chief. And they've served in all of our major conflicts.
And in fact, one of the 14 people to gain the Victoria Cross, the greatest, the greatest, the greatest mark of courage you can gain in the United Kingdom, was captain -- Corporal James Ashworth in Afghanistan in 2012.
And they are serving, the Grenadier Guards, they're serving members of the army. They're also ceremonial.
And this is such -- sources I've been talking to, it's such a great honor. They've been practicing so long, she said. And to escort the queen on her final journey, to be with her, is a great responsibility and it is such a great moment for them.
COOPER: Let's just listen in to the sounds.
COOPER: Clarissa Ward spoke just moments ago with the archbishop of Canterbury. Let's listen to some of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Obviously, a momentous occasion today. What does this mean to you to be presiding over it?
MOST REV. JUSTIN WELBY, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: It's a huge privilege. It's a great honor to do it. And it's also a very solemn moment, because I had the privilege of meeting the queen on have occasions.
And there's a deep sense of loss, but also of what a gift it is that I can actually play a part in sending her off.
WARD: What do you think maybe some people didn't know about the queen that you got to see?
WELBY: Her extraordinary -- I mean, it's been commented about since, but particularly in private, her extraordinarily quick sense of humor.
WARD: I've heard that many times.
WELBY: And also, the other thing, which I think hasn't been mentioned quite as often, but her phenomenal memory. She remembers people forever. She had a phenomenal memory.
And her absolute commitment to work. So quite often, I would see her, and she would say, I was reading the diplomatic telegrams, you were in such and such a place. And I would think, how do you do that?
And she's -- you know, she's -- she was just -- the king is just the same. Seems to run in the family. It's absolutely wonderful.
WARD: Archbishop, thank you so much for your time. WELBY: Thank you. Thank you very much. Try not to get run over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That was the archbishop of Canterbury speaking with Clarissa Ward here as we watch this procession.
Max Foster, Kate Williams, he's obviously had a long association with the royal family.
FOSTER: That's an extraordinary moment actually that Clarissa got there. He's very hard to get any interviews with. As you can see, he's very personable. He's a great person to speak.
He'll be overseeing the blessing of the coffin in Westminster Hall in about an hour's time and marking the beginning of the lying in state.
He is the most senior figure in the Church of England. And she was a supreme governor. They knew each other very well. And she was very spiritual and she would go to him for guidance.
That's someone who really does know the queen and also knows the king very closely. But also, who is a key figure today, Kate, in the ceremony and the history.
WILLIAMS: Yes, the importance of the archbishop of Canterbury -- and the archbishop of Canterbury usually conducts the coronation. His predecessors conducts the coronation at Westminster Abbey.
And now he will be part of the funeral saying good-bye to the queen. The archbishop of Canterbury does the greeting and the farewell.
And the archbishop of Canterbury, he met with the queen in June. He went to visit her in Balmoral to give her the Canterbury Cross to reflect her real support for the church of England.
And he really talked so wonderfully about her. He said that she was full of hope. And he said that being with her is like looking at history, but history with twinkling blue eyes and that piercing stare.
And I think that really reflects how so many people who met the queen felt about the queen. She is this incredible figure from history, yet so personable and so engaging and so witty.
And isn't it interesting to think that she probably met four million people in her lifetime. And now, with the crowds who are lining up, we're seeing the crowds here waiting for the procession, the crowds are lining up to see her in Westminster Hall, she may meet more than four million in death.
COOPER: We should point out, just about everybody is in position right now. The dismounted detachment, the Life Guards, the Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, they are the four court of Buckingham Palace, already on either side of the central arch.
The Life Guards on the North Guards on the north side, the Blues and Royals on the south side. There's a Guard of Honor, which is three officers. There's 101 soldiers, which has been founded by the King's Guard. They are the forecourt in the queen's gardens facing west.
That Guard of Honor is not going to accompany the procession. The gun carriage of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, that is in position as well as the escort party. The procession is about to begin.
We're going to take a short break and bring you all of it live. We'll be right back.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: And we are back now. The key players moving into place for really an extraordinary royal procession.
These shots of London are just incredible. We're about to see members of the British royal family walk silently behind the queen's coffin as it is moved from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall where she will lie in state.
Thousands and thousands of people lining the streets. People of London crowding the streets for a final farewell to their monarch of 70 years.
I'm back now with Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.
We could not have picked a better spot today to be in to witness this. It's going to pass right behind us and we're going to see it all unfold.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Let me, just before, tell us what we are witnessing. If you look at the pictures, you can see. Obviously, the crowds outside the palace.
But what you have now formed are the various senior divisions of the British Army. You have the Household Cavalry with both the Blues and Royals and the Life Guards.
You've got the Grenadier Guards, along with the Coldstream Guards, who will form the king's Life Guard. They will give the royal salute as it leaves.
And right in the center of the proceedings is the gun carriage, which will be, of course, drawn by troops and horses from the King's Troop, the Royal Horse Artillery.
LEMON: Carefully orchestrated, Christiane.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Really carefully. As Richard says, obviously, this is such a great position because it's the last time the queen will leave Buckingham Palace, the very last time, and we're right here to see it.
And so many people have come from not just around England, as we've heard from our correspondents who are talking to them, but also from --
LEMON: Look at the throngs of people.
AMANPOUR: -- yes, but from around the world.
I've heard many, many interviews on our television, on others. It's incredible. From New Zealand to Canada to Africa, from many, many places, actually, specifically for this in the aftermath of the queen's death. It's amazing.
LEMON: We are, as I say, plus five, from Eastern time in the United States. And as I leave here at 4:00 to 5:00 in the morning, I see people for two or three days camped out along the route here waiting to see their queen.
QUEST: It's going to take 38 minutes for the procession to go from Buckingham Palace, up the Mall --
LEMON: Did you say 38 minutes?
QUEST: Yes, 38 minutes, which is why they're leaving at 2:22, which is in seven minutes, six minutes from now.
There's the squadron from the Royal Air Force that is also forming part of the guard that will give the royal salute.
LEMON: I think it's fair to say the anticipation is building, because that's what the folks here want to see. They want to see their queen. They want to see their new king, as well. And it's palpable.
And since we've been here, Christiane and Richard, reporting on this, whenever the queen comes near, reverence, silence, but applause for the king.
AMANPOUR: Absolutely. Today is the queen's day. Today is the day for the late queen, Her Majesty, and it's why people have come out. It is, obviously, a situation of a secession, of a transition.
But the fact that she will, for the last time, go through these streets, which she did so many times for 70 years in her ceremonial role, these very, very same streets in processions, grand processions, slightly less-grand processions. But this was the center of her ceremonial role.
QUEST: And don't forget, these are the same gates that she went through with her father's funeral, for her own coronation, her wedding, her jubilees. The same route, the same gates. But this time, of course, it's the gun carriage.
LEMON: If I am correct, when the king is in the palace, the royal standard is up, right?
LEMON: So the royal standard --
AMANPOUR: Which it is.
LEMON: -- so we must assume that the king is in the palace.
QUEST: They've kept it up. They've actually kept it up.
LEMON: Anderson Cooper, we have seen the queen consort arrive. The next thing will be the family. And of course, the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, Her Majesty, will leave Buckingham Palace, her the last time at the palace, and make its way to Westminster.
COOPER: And once again, Don, we will be seeing, as we have so many years ago, more than 20 years ago, we saw, then the children, Prince William and Prince Harry, walking behind their mother's casket, Princess Diana.
Today, they will walk together behind their grandmother's casket, one last time, saying good-bye.
I'm here with Max Foster, the royal historian, Kate Williams.
Talk a little bit about the route that we are going to be seeing and just the significance of how it was chosen.
FOSTER: This is a traditional route along the Mall through Horse Guards to Westminster. It's a long-trodden route.
The connection really between state and government. And what we're seeing here is the state, the palace, the royal family presenting their grandmother to the houses of parliament, effectively, to lie in state.
So we expect the coffin to be draped with a royal standard. It will be -- and on that will be a velvet cushion and the Imperial State Crown will rest upon that.
So imagine the pressure of those guards around, to try to, you know, cause no damage to a priceless piece of jewelry.
And there'll be a wreath of flowers. We'll get details in a moment what's in that wreath of flowers. But it have been selected by the queen. It'll be interesting to see what flowers she wanted in there.
And this will be the gun carriage that the King's Troop Royal House Articular that will carry. And the Bearer Party that has been founded by the Grenadier Guards.
But there's also an escort as well, 10 pallbearers, who are found from the service equerries of the queen. So the people who work most closely to the queen, day-to-day, both current and retired.
So there's a military section at the front, then it's the household section, all the members of staff who so loyally served Her Majesty. And then Her Majesty should be flanked by guards. And then there'll
also be the royal family, of course, behind that.
But along the route, you'll see other regiments placed and paying their respects and protecting the queen's coffin.
COOPER: And I think one of the most extraordinary things we've seen over the last several days is the silence, the quiet through the streets as the queen's casket goes by.
We saw that last night, scattered applause. But it will be interesting to see the reaction along the route today, as the casket, as the family walks by.
FOSTER: Punctuated by Big Ben ringing every minute and gun salutes.
COOPER: Let's go back to Buckingham Palace -- Don?
LEMON: Anderson, this should happen in just moments. The actual schedule says at 22 minutes past the hour, that it should happen. And you can definitely see that it's getting into place, as we have been here covering it for almost, just shy of a week now.
Everything has pretty much been on time, as we have been saying, meticulously planned down to the last second.
The queen's coffin is going to be taken in procession on a gun carriage of the King's Troop Royal Horse, I'm told, from Buckingham Palace to the palace of Westminster.
And there are artilleries who will be leading in the procession. And they will be firing one round every minute, as the queen's coffin makes its way through the streets. And the members of the royal family will be walking in procession behind the coffin.
QUEST: We will hear the cannons be fired. You will hear the guns being fired. And Big Ben tolling every minute.
LEMON: There are moments when you know that you're witnessing history. And this is one of them.
AMANPOUR: I think you're absolutely right. This is history and a moment of greatness.
Let me just add that she is one of three great women who did this job, right, Elizabeth I, Victoria, and Elizabeth II. She loved her job. She did it right until the very end, even when we knew she was ill. She retreated.
AMANPOUR: And now it starts. Now we start to hear.
LEMON: Let's listen in.
FOSTER: Queen Elizabeth II leaving Buckingham Palace for very last time. Her coffin draped with the royal standard and the Imperial State Crown, the symbol of British monarchy.
Also, a wreath of flowers selected by the queen herself, white roses, spray white roses, white day lilies, a selection of foliage, including pine from the gardens of Balmoral, lavender and rosemary from the gardens at Windsor.
She is followed by her family, her four children, and also various other members of her family.
At the front, you have the bands of the dismounted detachment of her Life Guards there at the front and the Household Cavalry, a mounted regiment as well, followed by senior members of the military, all who served very loyally, the queen.
And followed by members of the households, her private sector, the royal collection, the keeper of the privy purse, the master of the horse.
And, of course, the coffin flanked by pallbearers, who are equerries to the queen, and on either side are the escort party of the Grenadier Guards.
We're now getting a vision of the family following behind. In the first line, the Earl of Wessex, the Duke of York, the princess royal and the king, followed by Peter Philips, which is Princess Anne's son, the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, and the Prince of Wales.
And we've also got Tim Laurence, the Duke of Gloucester, the Earl of Snowden, who was the queen's beloved nephew, son of Princess Margaret. And we're followed by the equerries and a dismounted detachment of the Blues and Royals.
But you look at this coffin traveling for the last time to Westminster, where the queen was a branch of government. And so loyally served government in the British democracy and never got involved in politics, something that was deeply cherished by the nation.
But also by the politicians that really run the country and look up to the queen as a symbol. But it's the queen that always provided the civility, the continuity of this country.
And that was her duty and she performed it impeccably. And I think that's what people are really paying respect to today.
I think many people in the United Kingdom will be reminded today -- there are the children of the monarch. Look there, look behind, Prince Harry and Prince William, walking alongside each other. A true moment of unity.
But also a stark reminder of that moment all those years ago when they walked behind their mother, Princess Diana's coffin at a very young age, probably too young an age.
But this time, they've chosen to walk behind the queen. Both utterly revered her and looked up to her.
The Imperial State Crown, as I say, the symbol of British monarchy, but also, sometimes controversial. It does represent imperialism, as well.
But this is a moment of reflection on the positive, rather than the expectation so many people lay on the monarchy.
For Prince Charles, the next time he does this -- will be never, effectively. The next time this happens will be King Charles' period of mourning.
So for him, a moment to really reflect on the enormity of his role and the shoes he's stepping into.
To remember that this -- the symbolism of this moment is that they had their time with the queen last night, as she lay in rest in Buckingham Palace. It was a moment for the family to come together and pay their respects.
And there will be another moment, of course, at the funeral and the internment at Windsor.
But this is the moment where they are effectively handing over the queen's coffin to the nation, and they get their opportunity to pay their respects. Queues snaking for miles around London of people want to walk past the casket and just say thank you.
WILLIAMS: And with the Imperial State Crown, as you were saying, Max, it's on top of the coffin, and really it symbolizes monarchy.
The Imperial State Crown is what the monarch wears when he or she leaves the coronation. So the queen wore it at her coronation. She wears it for the state opening of parliament. Versions of it go back to the 15th century, 3,000 jewels in it.
And it really is her crown. Only three people can touch it, the queen, the archbishop of Canterbury, and the crown jeweler. Normally, when she's not using it, it lives at the Tower of London. And you see it there.
And it is for the queen, her own personal crown. It was actually made smaller in 1952 when she came to the throne, because she had a smaller head, because she was female.
And that, I think, really was a symbol for her of her monarchy, throughout her life, throughout her reign. She wore it frequently. She practiced wearing it for her coronation.
It's so moving now to see it on the coffin as it goes down the Mall. I just seeing her on the Mall, she was saying this is the journey she's been on for her wedding, for her coronation.