Return to Transcripts main page
CNN Live Event/Special
Crowds Line Streets for Miles to Pay Respects to Queen Elizabeth II; U.S. President Joe Biden Offers Condolences to King Charles III in Rare Phone Call. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired September 14, 2022 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: We're told the line of mourners to see Queen Elizabeth II is stretching about two miles, the British people showing their love and respect for Queen Elizabeth.
Long lines in London, at least two miles, as I said. Now the coffin is inside Westminster Hall. I'm Anderson Cooper with Don Lemon in London.
Don, you're closer to Buckingham Palace. It has been such an extraordinary day and it will continue to be, as people start to funnel through Westminster Hall.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, they are making their way to Westminster Hall. You said it. It's a stunning day, including King Charles, his siblings and his sons escorting their mother, their grandmother, their queen, the grief and the sense of duty etched on their faces.
You can see it in the mood here. It was palpable, respectful, mournful but filled with majesty. The tributes to the queen are continuing this hour, as the public is viewing her coffin. The public viewing is about to begin in about an hour.
Moents ago we saw members of Parliament and dignitaries going in to view the body. So the coffin will be viewed. Anna Stewart is with the crowds.
Hello, what is happening where you are?
ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think in terms of the mood, it's quite different from the somber scenes in Westminster Hall. We're just shy of the two-mile mark, according to the live tracker.
They have infrastructure in place for the queue to go to 10 miles. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to join the queue. Obviously, at this stage, because the public aren't yet allowed in, this queue has been static. People have been here for a few hours.
STEWART: -- two hours and tell me a bit why you feel the need to be here. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's so celebrate a life well lived. She
was a great queen. Yes, I think she did what she said she was going to do when she became queen and more.
STEWART: That's what we hear a lot. She fulfilled her duty through her whole lifetime.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More than that, I think.
STEWART: And you made a new friend, Oliver.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we did.
STEWART: A lot of people have never met each other before.
How long do you think you're going to be here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now I'm here, I'm going to stay until I've done it. But I was at home watching TV, I thought I'll go tonight. But it was always heading down that way, so I came and I'm here with royal merchandise and everything, Holyrood Palace.
STEWART: We will keep tracking the queue. I think it will be approaching three miles. Back to you, Don.
LEMON: Thank you, Anna.
Looking at this beautiful shot by the Thames, just stunning. I want to bring in now Christiane Amanpour and Richard Quest.
LEMON: Richard, as you so astutely pointed out, the devices we carry in our pockets and a television can be a motivator to come out and see the crowds.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: Completely. I think we are so used to seeing life through a screen, that now there is an impetus to see it for yourself. Also, this whole idea of I was there, the experience of being there.
I think it's even more relevant when we're talking about something like nationality, patriotism, royalty and the relationship between king and country.
LEMON: Look at the traffic there.
QUEST: Could be hours. We're at 2.4 miles at the moment.
LEMON: In the queue.
QUEST: In the queue -- or the line, as you would say.
LEMON: I would say when in Rome but when in London.
QUEST: Yes, it's a queue; 2.4 miles. I will confidently predict five miles.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're going to hold him to that.
Even us we're showing, demonstrating the shift in mood. It's gone from very, very solemn to more celebration. People are speaking up. You can hear from our correspondents, you know, this is also a day of celebration, a day of community, a day to get together, share memories and talk to each other.
People you might not know in the queue. One can never, ever escape the words that the queen herself said before, you know, whether my life is long or short, I can promise you I will be devoted to your service. And she has.
And she was a working mother, a working woman, one of the great monarchs of this country who was a woman. Women can do this thing. She was Queen Elizabeth II; before her, Victoria and Elizabeth I. And she liked the job. She did. It wasn't just solemn duty. Everybody
talks about her humor, her sense of irony. Everybody has their anecdotes. But she also liked it. She wasn't just a dour monarch. She didn't show much emotion but she clearly liked it.
The picture of her greeting Liz Truss, with that radiant smile, barely 48 hours before she died.
LEMON: I want to hear from you guys what it was like to witness, to know what was happening behind the scenes.
AMANPOUR: Of course, here it's empty now because --
LEMON: We've been watching the comings and goings but the king and the family are inside. They came back here instead of Clarence House.
Stand by. I want to bring in my colleague, Erin Burnett, watching back home across the pond.
Erin, I can't even explain the majesty that just played out
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: I can hear it in -- in your voice. Watching it, when you realize the power of tradition. Zain Asher and Julia Chatterley with me, British anchors here at CNN, and our contributor, Sally Bedell Smith and Chicago (ph), all of you, this is part of your heart and soul.
Julia, when you watched today and everyone was watching, obviously King Charles III with the princes, William and Harry, walking against behind a coffin.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR: The parallels to what we saw in their past. I think the images of them walking behind Diana was one of the defining moments of their lives. Certainly for us, our live for William and Harry, that relationship evolved for many British people. Also for me, I was comparing it to when they were walking behind the coffin of their grandfather as well, Prince Philip, and that covenant (ph) was between them. Here, we've got them side by side.
For me of the last few days has been about keeping the story on the queen and getting away from that. But here in New York, so many have asked, what do you think of William and Harry?
BURNETT: But that is very much where the eyes were, Zain. And look at the family behind.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One of the biggest challenges for King Charles now is not just presiding over a fractured country but also a very fractured family. You and I both remember Princess Diana's funeral. But these brothers are not as close as they once was.
And their rift is being played out so publicly. Meghan Markle being blamed for a lot of it unfairly.
ASHER: Then Prince Harry is coming out with a book later in the year. And also Prince Andrew, obviously he's been stripped of a lot of his duties but the king now has to be a unifying force in this very divided, fractured family.
BURNETT: What stands out is the difference in what they were wearing. I know that that is very much dictated by tradition, what you wear when you're a working royal. But right there goes to the heart of what Zain just said.
TRISHA GODDARD, BRITISH TV PRESENTER: The only two who have seen live duty are Prince Andrew and Harry. They're the only two that have been there and done it and they're the only two not in uniform.
Prince Harry put out a statement, saying the fact he wasn't wearing a uniform didn't take away from the fact he had done 10 years in the military. So I don't know; there are rules around that. But it's quite --
BURNETT: There's a chip on the shoulder?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, when you think of Prince Edward actually dropped out. He didn't make it to the end of the course.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yet, there he was.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes.
(CROSSTALK) BURNETT: But those are the tangible parts of the rules, the structure around this.
SALLY BEDELL SMITH, AUTHOR: Absolutely. William was there in uniform only because he is an honorary colonel. And Harry used to be. But if you have been an officer in the army or the navy or whatever, you don't wear a uniform.
What Harry was wearing today was completely appropriate. You know, people need to understand that. It doesn't denigrate his service. I think, you know, the fact that both of them had served in the military, were imbued with military discipline, contributed to their ability to walk and, you know, and observe all the protocols.
BURNETT: And Julia, that is what the queen wanted. What she wanted is what we are seeing, not just down to the flowers, which, of course, came from Balmoral, her choice of the white roses but exactly how protocol is being observed.
CHATTERLEY: Everything we are seeing and will continue to see until the funeral, were her choices, the way she wanted this to be done. If only she could have guaranteed the reception that King Charles III would get, she would have tried to do that, too.
I think if she could unify Prince Harry, Prince William, the Prince of Wales now, of course, I think she would have done that. There will be huge questions about the relationships and, of course, the successor of King Charles III.
ASHER: There are certainly things that certain countries are known for around the world. When you think of Italy and France, you think of food and fashion. When I think America, I think the possibility, self- actualization.
In terms of tradition, this is what the British do best. This is what they are absolutely known for. It's not just about paying homage to a queen but also about an orderly succession, transition, handing the baton over from queen to king. This is what the world expects to see.
BURNETT: And it's what she wanted. She knew that. That was one of her powers, she knew that that's what the world wanted.
GODDARD: -- on the first day of school, we were allowed to etch our names in them and there were people from the 1800s with names on our desk.
(CROSSTALK) BURNETT: -- as we stand by for the public viewing, we're going to speak to King Charles' former communications secretary when he was Prince of Wales.
Plus a rare call from President Biden. So much ahead. Stay with us.
COOPER: (INAUDIBLE) remarkable moments historic. The queen brought to Westminster Hall, where she is now laying in state, extraordinary royal procession. The public has a bounty of chances to say farewell to the queen up close.
They say the line is about two miles long at this point. On this day in mourning, King Charles received a call from President Biden.
Jeremy, what do we know did the call?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Biden expressing his condolences directly to the king for the first time since Queen Elizabeth II's death. They have known each other for years.
But today President Biden speaking on the phone with King Charles, expressing condolences and his admiration for the king's late mother.
The White House says that President Biden expressed his hope that this friendship and special relationship between the United States and United Kingdom will continue, also saying that President Biden conveyed his wish to continue a close relationship with the king.
The two men are set to meet during President Biden's visit to London this weekend. President Biden is set to depart from the White House on Saturday.
DIAMOND: The funeral, of course, taking place on Monday. They last met in November during the COP26 climate change summit in Scotland. Of course, now the circumstances will be very different. King Charles has made clear his activism is going to be taking a step back from that, as he assumes his royal duties. Anderson.
COOPER: Jeremy Diamond, thank you very much.
We're joined by Paddy Harverson, former communications secretary to the Prince of Wales and his family, King Charles.
I've heard in the past you called King Charles perhaps the best prepared monarch in history. How do you think he feels today?
PADDY HARVERSON, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARY TO THE FORMER PRINCE OF WALES: That was a remarkable and such a somber occasion. I think the challenge to which he's risen is to lead his family in mourning but also the nation in mourning.
So he is fulfilling his destiny but also his duty. And I think doing it with great dignity and solemnity. And I'm very proud of him. It was very moving for me.
COOPER: To see the family come together, that's got to be heartening to see.
HARVERSON: Yes, quite a few people have commented on this. When you lose a member of the family, it hopefully brings everyone together. Perhaps a moment to heal; certainly this time spent together now they wouldn't have had previously.
So I would hope that good outcomes will emerge from that. But their job at the moment, all the members of the family, is to support the king and the queen consort.
COOPER: You've been involved in the planning of an event like this.
How did it go off?
HARVERSON: I've been fascinated and amazed to watch it happen. I worked there about 15 years ago when we actually were the first group to look at the old accession plan from 1952.
COOPER: It hasn't been looked at since 1952?
HARVERSON: No, because the queen was still in great health. There was a feeling that at some point we had to start that. The Prince of Wales gave us his blessing. To see it flow so beautifully, so seamlessly, so movingly, I think has been a great experience. I was blessed to be a part of it, at least from a distance.
COOPER: You've also worked with Prince William. This is both a very personal loss for him but also he has now moved up in succession.
HARVERSON: Rather like you getting used to calling him the Prince of Wales.
It's worth remembering that the king has for a while been doing a lot of work of the sovereign, as Her Majesty got older; so has William, being schooled more in the role he's now ascended to.
He's the heir to the throne with greater responsibilities. Again, it really comes down to working in tandem with his father, along with their wives alongside them. It's a team effort. William will rise to that occasion. He's rather like his father. He takes on the Duchy of Cornwall, new official roles. And I think he's ready for it.
MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: (INAUDIBLE) in a way, he's got that opportunity because with the duchy, he's now independent.
How do you think he will use that?
HARVERSON: I think what is so interesting is everyone moves up to an official position but then they bring their own personality, their own passions to it. The king has a specific -- he will abide by the constitutional conventions of the head of state role.
But for the Prince of Wales, William, he has much more freedom. By nature he's not a radical, not a change agent like others may have been, like his father was in many respects. He'll take his time but he'll bring his own flavor to it.
His interests, in some respects, is the environment, that mirror his father and grandfather. But I think we'll see that over some time.
Don't forget, they have a young family. I think the thing that still matters as much as anything to William and to Catherine is the importance of bringing up their young children privately and yet also within the spotlight and fulfilling their roles.
COOPER: It's harder and harder to maintain what the queen so brilliantly did, that distance, that sense of mystery, what our last guest referred to as the stillness of the monarchy.
COOPER: How does one go about that in this age?
HARVERSON: It is difficult. But I think we've seen it with the king, with his slightly more informal tone.
I was asked why didn't they go straight in from the cars but he would want to stop and say, thank you, engage with the people. And someone gives him a kiss. He has always been fantastic with that.
So I think we'll see some of that informality come to bear, in his own style, not in any way criticizing the queen but bringing his own passion to bear. They know the media is very different to the queen's. And they have a very good, skilled team at communicating through modern channels.
And the king has done quite a few things. He was good at making broadcast programs, recording video messages. His message to the nation was beautifully done. So that can now be -- that is now content, to use the obvious word, to reach the people directly. I think that's very powerful. So they will use the modern tools of communication.
COOPER: Paddy Harverson, we appreciate it. Thank you.
Still ahead, we'll hear from more about the people queueing up to see Queen Elizabeth's coffin, to be near her on this remarkable day.