Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Live Event/Special

Lines Of Mourners To See Queen Stretches About Two Miles; Labor Secretary Meeting With Rail And Union Officials To Try To Avoid Devastating Rail Strikes; Soon: Mourners To View Queen Lying in State. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired September 14, 2022 - 11:30   ET




DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back everyone to our special live coverage. The people of London as you see them there, many of them, beginning their final farewell to Queen Elizabeth II, standing in long lines, her coffin now inside Westminster Hall where a public viewing begins. That will happen soon. And we're tracking the huge lines of people waiting to get -- waiting to get in there after a stirring royal procession, and service, all these beautiful images of London. We're going to get straight out now to the crowds. Anna Stewart is following that. What's happening there, Anna?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Well, the queue started moving about 10 minutes ago, and it's been moving at a rapid pace. We are getting our steps in. You can see all these people that keep stopping. And this is as, of course, they start to consider opening Westminster hall (INAUDIBLE). Moving --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we're moving.

STEWART: It must be at very pace.


STEWART: How long do you think it's going to be (INAUDIBLE) again?

LEMON: We --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do we recon, girls four or five?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we're moving back there by four to five hours but we're moving pretty fast.

STEWART: Five hours?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four or five hours, but we're moving. So that's progress.

STEWART: Tell me why you want to pay your respect to the Queen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just feel like I will regret it if I don't. And I just feel like I need to come and say goodbye. And that's just me. That's me. And also when my family have children, my boys have children, I'd like to teach them the history of it all. And so it just needed to be done today.

STEWART: That's really nice. Well, I will sprint on ahead of you. Gary, how are you doing? Still, moving?

GARY: Very much so, yes.

STEWART: Now we were talking about your Pap badge because you used to be in the military and the police.

GARY: Yes.

STEWART: And of course, the acting members that will have to change.

GARY: I think it will eventually, not immediately. I think it's something to do with whether Charles promulgates it or authorizes it but --

STEWART: Yes. Of course, you could see best as heir so of course so much will change for people around UK. Sorry, I went back.

GARY: After all.

STEWART: Wait I move -- lose your place. We'll try and keep up with these crowds, Don, it's a fast-paced, bit of a run and it's going in waves. So it looks deceptively like this is the end of the queue just behind me but it's not. It goes all the way to Tower Bridge. And the infrastructure in place at this stage is for a (INAUDIBLE) final respect to the queen. Back to you.

LEMON: All right. Thank you, Anna. Anna Stewart on the move there, her mic cutting out just a little bit but we get it, folks are waiting in line that moves slowly and then quickly. But five hours it's going to take a while for them to get in obviously. So we're back now here at Buckingham Palace I'm with my colleagues, Christiane Amanpour and Richard Quest.

As we look at these moving images, really -- these beautiful images I should say, and look at the crowds out there. Let's talk about the future of the monarchy here, the royal family. This is what the polling, this is from May. It found that two out of three Brits supported keeping the monarchy. You know these numbers had been relatively stable for a while now for three decades. Help us understand this sentiment here.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, I think certainly at this time, you'll have nothing but a surge of support right now. This is -- and really for the -- for the person of the queen, you heard those people they're saying to Anna and to our other correspondents that this just has to be done today. We have to be here. We want to be part of this history. We respect her.

I think there's such an amazing affection, respect, you know for the Queen herself that that is taking precedence over absolutely everything. Um, then I think that they're going to -- we'll see. I mean, the British Monarchy still seems to be pretty strong, pretty -- in pretty good standing.


But the truth of the matter is that Prince Charles does not have the same mystique as the queen did. Times have changed. A lot of people were ready to give all sorts of things a break while she was still alive and -- at the head of the nation. There is Goodwill for him. But I think it's -- you know, he's been along with Camille, longtime rehabilitating himself, right?

RICHARD QUEST CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: That's a very -- that's a very good way of putting it.

LEMON: How would you put it?

QUEST: Well, no, that's exactly how I put it. And you don't choose -- the thing to remember about monarchy, Don, you don't choose your kings and queens, you take the next person in line. And whether you like them or not, that's how you do it or you get rid of the old system. I don't think that there's any -- no, there is no realistic Republican movement in Britain to get rid of the monarchy at the moment. There are -- there's a -- there's a number, but if it was -- if the vote was push comes to shove, they bring it hands down.

Now, what, of course, will be really fascinating is how long Charles remains King. Does he say after 10 years, 15 years? It's appropriate to hand over. The queen never did. Admittedly, he took his vow like the queen did, but it wasn't quite as strong as I pledge whether -- with my whole life whether it be long or short.

LEMON: That's it. And that seat.

AMANPOUR: And he did say what remains in my life.

LEMON: He said what remains --


LEMON: -- What remains in my life.

AMANPOUR: I wager you right now and he won't abdicate.

QUEST: Well, then we have a problem. Then would you have a problem? Because there comes a point when the country says, do we want a geriatric monarch or do we want the torch to be hand -- to be handed to the next generation?

LEMON: The interest these days seems to be with the younger Royals, right? With Prince William --

AMANPOUR: Well, it seems to be -- and correct me if I'm wrong, the poles of the younger royals, particularly William, are higher than for Prince Charles. But look, we really are at the beginning of this.


AMANPOUR: And we'll see how he navigates. It's really in his hands now. The ball is in his court, so to speak. And it really does depend on how he deals with this and -- going forward.

LEMON: What the recent history shows is that Prince William and the King had been working together to come up with a strategy both -- to both be on the same page, as they say.


LEMON: So we're going to take you inside Westminster Hall live as soon as the public viewing of the Queen's coffin begins. There's a lot more to see, a lot more to talk about as London honors Elizabeth II.



ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: And you've been watching special coverage of Queen Elizabeth's final journey to Westminster Hall. I'm Erin Burnett with some other stories that we are following today.

The White House facing an intense deadline. Tens of thousands of railroad workers are poised to go on strike this week. And right now, union representatives are in a high-stakes meeting in Washington with the labor secretary for negotiations. If there is no deal reached by the deadline, which is Friday at midnight, the strike could potentially bring almost a third of all U.S. freight to a grinding halt. Talk about supply chain issues.

CNN's transportation correspondent Pete Muntean joins us now. And, Pete, I think this is the story that perhaps many have not realized has been getting bigger and bigger and could have a very significant impact across the country.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN TRANSPORTATION CORRESPONDENT: A huge impact, Erin. 40 percent of all freight is moved by rail in the United States. And right now, these union leaders and labor secretary Marty Walsh are trying to hammer out this deal with this deadline looming. Midnight Friday, that is when the 60,000 rail workers in the U.S. are threatening to begin going on strike, essentially all over sick time is what they want.

The big issue here is the impact. When you talk about freight rail, that moves things like major commodities. We're talking about crude oil for gasoline, we're talking about grain for bread, parts for your car, chemicals to clean water, it's a really, really big impact here and could have a huge trickle down. In the immediate, we are already seeing some passenger rail services, not just commuter rail, but also Amtrak, suspend some services preemptively fearing the impact on them.

Remember Amtrak uses about 97 percent of its tracks come from freight rail providers. So Amtrak is suspending some of its long-haul routes between Chicago and LA and the West Coast, San Francisco, Seattle. Also, from places like LA to New Orleans. This does not affect the northeast corner. Those rails are owned by Amtrak. Although we will see as these impacts begin to pile up here.

The Biden administration, in a real bind, whether or not to cave to the Union pressure or the economic pressure here, we are just at the start of these negotiations today. They've really been going on for weeks, although we're right up on the deadline now, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Pete, thank you very much. And of course, it does. But the president -- the Biden administration in an interesting position, visa vie their position on unions. Thank you so much.

And market is a big story today because right now the Dow is actually in positive territory. The reason it's a focus is yesterday, of course, was the worst day of losses since June of 2020 -- a terrible day, closing down nearly 1276 points. The markets reacting to a release of key inflation data which was worse than had been anticipated, and we're keeping an eye on that for you.


Also new details on a reported package explosion at Northeastern University, that's in Boston. Investigators now believe that a package an employee claimed exploded in a virtual reality lab was not sent to the U.S. Postal Service, which suggests that whoever placed it there may have had access to the building. The employee who opened the package suffered minor injuries. That investigation is ongoing.

And the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, made an unannounced visit to the newly liberated city of Izyum. It comes just five days after the Ukrainian forces has recaptured that crucial city. Zelenskyy taking part in a solemn ceremony, raising the Ukrainian flag over the city center of a city that had been occupied for nearly six months by Russians. While speaking to journalists, Zelenskyy says he was shocked by what he has seen on his visit and the utter destruction. He described the scene as similar to the de-occupied city of Bucha were, of course, there were such horrific war crimes. Zelenskyy promised all occupied areas were eventually returned to Ukraine.

We are going to continue our special coverage of the Queen lying in state after a very quick break. Please stay with us.



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The crowds of people lined up in London waiting to see and be near Queen Elizabeth's coffin as it lies in state at Westminster Hall after a really an extraordinary royal procession from Buckingham Palace. We're standing by for the doors to open and the mourners to be able to start streaming in to pay their respects. I'm here with Max Foster and Kate Williams, looking over the extraordinary Westminster Hall. What a day. I mean, it's -- it obviously continues. There's -- how long, Max, have you heard now the line from Downing Street?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so we're behind there from Downing Street to say that the queue is 6.9 miles long. COOPER: Wow.

FOSTER: So think -- was it Carissa saying two miles?

COOPER: Two miles. There was a -- there was probably about an hour so ago.


COOPER: It certainly the weather is helping because it's not pouring rain.

KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. It's already longer than the king is for the Queen Mother and for George VI, the Queen's father. So clearly, people really want to be part of history. I think Clarissa was heading that people said they arrived at 11 and we'd be through about seven. So if they're getting longer, I think it looks like people are going to be having a (INAUDIBLE), maybe nearly 12 to 20-hour wait.

FOSTER: 140, British Red Cross volunteers have been brought in, hand- drawn to young people aged 18 to 25 from the scouts, 170 volunteers from the Salvation Army. I was very clever when we talked about the planning of some for these events. You'll see a particular route they've chosen. I think this is a 10-mile route and they've chosen that route to make sure it's accessible to wheelchairs.

COOPER: It's so interesting -- I've been working on a podcast about loss and grief. And one of the things I've been looking at is sort of the rituals that we -- that societies go through and that people go through. And this is such a day of the ritual. I mean, this is -- this entire week, of course, is. But each step of this, there is a meaning associated to it. There's a history associated to it. And it's a way to allow people who knew the Queen to grieve and also people who did not, who just knew her from afar, to pay their respects and to go through this process and this ritual of transition as well.

FOSTER: You know I had a friend ringing me saying I just want -- I don't know why I just want to come out, what shall I do? And I suggested a sort of places she could go. And she messaged me saying she's had the most amazing day and met the most amazing people. And so part of her, you know, shock.

I mean, she's had people that have died. So I think she's relating it to her own situation coming up and sharing grief with people. And she's had a really great time in the queues today. And she said, actually, what's really struck her is it's not actually seeing the coffin that is exciting her now, it's just talking to people and being part of a moment.

COOPER: Well, also, yes, being able to share that. I mean, that sense of shared grief is also extraordinarily helpful.

WILLIAMS: Yes, you're right, Anderson. And it is -- it is very -- you have to give thanks I think that the Queen sadly passed, not joining COVID times. Because was this during COVID times, none of this would be possible. We couldn't queue up because of social distancing. And the Duke's funeral was much reduced.

So, really the fact that all the Queen's plans were put into place unrestricted and we've had this really as you were saying significant mix between the Queen's own personal interests such as lighting up the coffin as it went into Buckingham Palace last night and the traditional, the gun carriage that we saw for her father, the gun carriage that we saw for Princess Diana. This wheel, it's a combination. I should say the ritual, the focus, the weight of history. This is the historical moment they will -- historians will look back on this event and see what it says about us.

COOPER: And, Kate, as we're seeing the images of this room before the crowds are able to enter, I mean what an extraordinary view. Queen's guard from various regiments will be -- will be standing guard over a course of several hours each day, 24 hours in total, of course. Could you just talk about as we look at the images of that Westminster Hall about the history of that room?

WILLIAMS: Yes, Westminster Hall, it is between the House of Commons and the Houses of Parliament. It's the oldest part of our parliamentary state. And we're just saying earlier, that our Houses of Parliament is actually quite a young building for Britain. It was built in 1834 after a fire bought the whole of it down. Guy Fawkes tried to blow it up and failed.

And Westminster Hall has all this history. It was usually used for coronations. The first coronation was in 1170 for Henry II, and then coronation banquets, I'm struck that Elizabeth I had her coronation banquet there when she came to the throne at 25, just as the Queen was 25.

ANDERSON: And the history of it is just fascinating to me. I mean, Nelson Mandela also spoke in that room, I believe in 1996. Winston Churchill lay in state there. The public viewing of the Queen's coffin begins in the next hour.


We'll go live there. We'll be back in just a moment.



BURNETT: So many majestic scenes of London on this day of tribute to Queen Elizabeth II