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CNN Live Event/Special
CNN International: Thousands Gather to Pay Their Respects to Queen Elizabeth II; King Charles III Will Eventually Appear On British Stamps; King Charles, Sons Escort Queen's Coffin Through London; Queen Elizabeth II Lying In State In Westminster Hall; Liberated Ukrainians Relieved As Russian Troops Retreat. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired September 14, 2022 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: And a very good evening to you, it's 7 O'clock in the evening, we're outside Buckingham Palace as the public queue to pay respects to the queen now stretches 4 kilometers. The best part of 3 miles along the River Thames. The queen's coffin is now lying in state in Westminster Hall, and this will give the British people their chance to say goodbye to Elizabeth II.
Her son, King Charles III and other members of the royal family walked behind her coffin as it made its way through the crowds in the capital. Live from London, it's Wednesday, it is September the 14th, I am Richard Quest. A very good evening to you. For the past couple of hours, mourners have been streaming into Westminster Hall where they are paying their final respects to Queen Elizabeth II.
They waited for hours. Some had been there overnight. The last glimpse of the only monarch most of them have ever known. You can count me as one of them. The scene is somber and dramatically full of respect. The emotions were clearly visible. People paused briefly before the queen's coffin which is draped in the royal standard and had the imperial state crown on its top along with a wreath of flowers, the type of which were chosen by the queen.
The public viewing continues around the clock until Monday after then the queen's body is moved to Westminster Abbey for her state funeral and then to Windsor for internment. The day began though with the queen lying at rest at Buckingham Palace. The coffin taken in procession to Westminster Hall and senior members of the royal family walking behind the gun carriage through the streets of London.
All along the roadways, mourners have waited for their chance to spend a last moment with the sovereign. Isa Soares reports on the events of the day.
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST (voice-over): Silence as Queen Elizabeth lies in state in Westminster Hall. Mourners filing past to pay their last respects. After spending last night at Buckingham Palace, the coffin arrived in solemn procession on an open carriage of the king's troop royal horse artillery, behind on foot, her family. King Charles III and his siblings, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, and two of her grandchildren, Prince William and Prince Harry.
On top of the coffin, as the procession made its way along the mile, the imperial state crown. As the cortege move through iconic landmarks in London, guns fired from Hyde Park. And the chimes from Big Ben marking each minute. Among the first to arrive at Westminster Hall, the queen consort, the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex traveling by car.
Witnessing history, thousands watching on as the coffin made its way down Whitehall. And members of the army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force giving a guard of honor. The procession finally arriving at the heart of parliament, Westminster Hall for a short blessing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you and give you peace. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be among you and remain with you always, Amen.
SOARES: Then finally, a chance for mourners, some who had waited overnight to have their own personal moment and bid farewell to their queen. Isa Soares, CNN, Westminster, London.
QUEST: And so, to the events happening now, Matthew Chance is with me, he's at the Duke of York's Steps which are on the mall. Matthew, what a day. I mean, now of course, people are -- have left, but there are still comings and goings as such. So what are you looking for now?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Actually, I mean, unbeknownst to you, Richard, I've actually moved location, I'm not on the Duke of York's Steps anymore. I'm here at the corner of parliament square. You can see the clock tower, Westminster is now the Elizabeth Tower. And we're at the one exit point for the people who have been filing past Queen Elizabeth's casket as it laid in state, and so -- lied in state.
So, we're able to have a quick word with people about, you know, about what it was like, about what they saw, how long they've been queuing up. We've seen how long those lines of people have been stretching back two and a half, three miles. It's varying all the time. There's a group of people coming out now. Again, this is the one exit from the hall where the casket is laid. So, excuse me, madam, have you just seen the casket?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I have.
CHANCE: And what was it -- what was the experience like?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, it was beautiful. CHANCE: Was it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, It was very surreal. It's really very nice. It makes you feel quite sort of choked and very proud to have been able to take part.
CHANCE: How long have you been waiting to do this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joined the queue about 1 O'clock --
CHANCE: One o'clock and it's 7 O'clock now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, that was worth it --
CHANCE: But she -- and she's only been there --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes --
CHANCE: Since 3 O'clock and they've been open since 5 O'clock.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
CHANCE: So, is the queue moving quite quickly?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very quick, very quick --
CHANCE: Very quick?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, well, obviously, it's quite overwhelming how well organized and how quickly it's moving, yes.
CHANCE: Why was it so important for you to pay respect to the queen in this way?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, gosh. I just think -- she's just shown such -- you know, been a big part of our lives. And it's been -- well, all my life, I've known, you know, so, I just feel -- I just wanted to pay my respects.
CHANCE: Right, well, thank you very much --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you --
CHANCE: Thank you very much for talking to us. Well, and you can see, there's a lot of other people, it's actually not many people at the moment coming through. The crowds are relatively thin on this end. But what police tell us is that they're catering for 2,000 people per hour to be filing past the casket over the next four or five days until the state funeral on Monday morning. So that's hundreds of thousands of people is what is being planned for to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth as she lays -- lies in state.
QUEST: Matthew Chance, Matthew, thank you. We will obviously come back. I'm just looking to see now how long the queue is according -- thank you, Matthew. The queue is 2.6 miles according to the government's queue tracker. With me is Christiane Amanpour, let's sort of forget the official part of it. What was it like? You know, because -- we both stood up when we heard that music as the funeral --
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: No, we stood when --
QUEST: Yes --
AMANPOUR: We saw the coffin pass as a mark of respect. And I think that just --
QUEST: What was it like?
AMANPOUR: That transcends professions, It transcends, you know, jobs, affiliations, politics, nationality. Because even people from abroad have come to pay their respects. It is simply a matter of respect and marking something that we all knew was going to happen. This was an elderly frail lady of 96 years old, who did her duty to the last minute.
A great example for women and a great example for the nation and a unifying force. And so I -- that's what i felt. Felt that this moment is one that may dissipate, and probably will. But for this moment, and since her death, it has been an extraordinary outpouring of dignified respect.
QUEST: And you talked earlier about the bonding that has to now take place between the people and their new king, our new king, my new king. But that's what really this whole period is about, isn't it?
AMANPOUR: Well, it is, and I sort of referred to it as brand Britain. The monarchy not just an important part of the constitutional, you know, democracy and the process here, which is very peculiar because I don't think it exists anywhere else in the world. And United States, of course, you have the separation of church and state, while here, you have the separation of actual governments, lawmakers and the monarchy.
But they're fused as you can see in this ceremony, because this religious ceremony is taking part in the seat of government, which is Westminster. But I just think that, you know, what it says is that right now, this country which has known only one sovereign -- let's face it, like almost the entire population has only known one sovereign 70 years through the most remarkable arc of history that one can imagine.
I keep thinking to myself, how is that this woman who was a young girl came into the palace behind us, you know, in the beginnings of World War II, and she's seen the end of so many terrible arcs of history and welcomed so much progress and peace as well.
QUEST: The -- you met her.
AMANPOUR: Yes --
QUEST: As I did too -- we'll never forget that -- and I saw her many times when -- I covered her stories.
AMANPOUR: See I didn't cover her, but I think --
QUEST: There is a presence.
AMANPOUR: Well, there is, and there's -- look, no -- because she's such a mystical figure and because she kept --
QUEST: Yes --
AMANPOUR: Schtum as somebody has said and others -- she doesn't talk too much, she never gave away too much, everybody was able to project what they thought on to her. But because of that, she had this mystique that like every celebrity and let's face it, has on the masses. So that whenever she would arrive, people such as yourself and others would start to tremble, right?
QUEST: Yes --
AMANPOUR: Because with anticipation, because you just didn't know what --
QUEST: So true --
AMANPOUR: Usually, you know, you'd have to save yourself from making a little bit of a fool of yourself, tripping over your tongue, tripping over yourself, not to, you know --
QUEST: Yes --
AMANPOUR: Try to -- I don't know, be -- hold it together her presence. But I definitely saw grown men and women, you know, almost walking backwards in her presence. It's odd, it's definitely odd. But it is the stuff that this kind of legend is built on, and it is what Britain is built on, sorry, it just Is. A country which is politically weaker, militarily weaker, consequentially weaker throughout her reign, has this culture, has this bond that is so familiar to so many people.
QUEST: All those things that you said apply to the queen. But that schtum, that knowing what they think, that being out there, doing interviews doesn't apply to Charles. So --
AMANPOUR: Well, it didn't.
QUEST: Well, that's why I'm saying --
AMANPOUR: He's given a lot --
QUEST: Does he now basically have to take a vow of silence almost?
AMANPOUR: I don't know that he can. He's definitely taken a vow of not telling the world his PEP projects. Which I have to say have been exceptionally important ones. I mean, the climate, the environment, all of that stuff was hugely important and obviously is now hugely important, and he was way ahead of the curve on that and all sorts of other issues that he has, you know, tried to be helpful on.
He's already said that he would abide by the constitutional progress, won't be involved in that anymore, and will let other members of the royal family such as his son to carry that torch on.
QUEST: Of course, there is a certain -- I won't say cynicism, but there's a certain skepticism which he can do that.
AMANPOUR: We'll see.
QUEST: Christiane, thank you. It was a privilege to be here today, thank you.
AMANPOUR: Thank you, Richard.
QUEST: Now, the various trappings -- well, you can spot them and they're everywhere. The images and symbols of the monarchy, right the way down to those police hats which have E2R on them. The post boxes, the stamps, the money. When we come back, changes that will be afoot as a result of the change of monarch.
QUEST: The mayor of London says that the capital city has never seen an event quite like this one. And remember, London hosted the Olympics and a long list of royal celebrations going back decades. For mourners who have been waiting for hours, some of them days. They're now being allowed to go into Westminster Hall where they pay their respects to the queen.
Tens of thousands of others are lined up outside at one-point -- this afternoon, the queue of mourners stretched for nearly 5 kilometers. CNN's Bianca Nobilo spoke to Mayor Sadiq Khan and asked him if the city is really ready for such an event.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR SADIQ KHAN, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: We are is unprecedented. I mean, the world has not seen a funeral like this. She was loved, revered, a monarch for more than 70 years. We've got police officers from around the country, we've got the armed forces, we've got stewards and others, because people want to pay their last respects to her majesty the queen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Our chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward has been on the streets of London all day. Clarissa is with me. I'm not going to risk saying where I think you are. Tell me where you are.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So we are on Westminster bridge here. You can see behind me. This is where the line is starting to funnel people down the river banks over here, then they go all the way down there to the next bridge along, cross over to the bridge and then make the final approach to go and see the queen as she lies in state.
And what's incredible to see, Richard, you alluded to what a massive task this is, and it really is extraordinary. The amount of security. The amount of volunteers. Hundreds of volunteers. You have people who are medics to be prepared for any kind of an emergency. You have police, not just from London by the way, from all over the country.
We were talking to some police men who come from Cambria today to be a part of this, who volunteered as well. Who feel that it's a privilege to be able to participate in some small way in this moment. And what is incredible to see as well is that the line is moving fairly quickly, and they are giving priority to people who are on crutches, people who are in wheelchairs. We haven't seen any incidents, any flare-ups, any jostling, any shouting.
It's moving smoothly and it's moving quickly. And we were also very fortunate, Richard, because we were standing on this bridge earlier today, and happened to bump into archbishop of Canterbury as he walked across the bridge to go and greet the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II. Take a listen to our conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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 many 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 saying goodbye to her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WARD: He also talked about what a great sense of humor Queen Elizabeth had. He mentioned the fact that she had an extraordinary memory, an ability to recall names and faces, of course, she was meeting hundreds of people in any given month. And really to make everybody feel personalized that she did recall that encounter.
And that's why you're seeing I think Richard, this extraordinary outpouring on the streets. So many people of all different walks of life, all different ages, they all want to be here to mark this moment.
And to have their chance to witness history that may not be repeated again in our lifetime, Richard.
QUEST: And one of the things that struck me as I've read the various notifications and instructions from government about where to go, how to do this, is how they've managed to pull this together. Look, the processions and all of that, I get. You've got the military. They're always there. You've got -- you've got soldiers, they know what they're doing. But this is organic almost. The volunteers. The sheers numbers of people. To put in place this operation is quite extraordinary. WARD: It's staggering. You know, and as you mentioned before, this
was a greater feat to put together than the Olympics In terms of the security. And yes, you have all these volunteers, perhaps that's not entirely surprising. What's extraordinary is that they're all able to communicate and coordinate with each other. They have this plan.
It's not just a heaving mass of people where you have a huge crowd and people are getting jostled, and of course, that always opens the door for potential people fainting and things of that nature. People have been given really good advice as to how to prepare. They've separated the queues into basically a series of many queues, then they open the gates and close the gates and funnel them through in an orderly fashion.
It really is something to behold. And everyone we've talked to who is going through says actually, you know, we were bracing ourselves to be here overnight and for it to be very intense and very difficult. Although well worth the wait certainly. But what they're finding when they're waiting in the line is that there is almost a really sense of jovial camaraderie.
We saw some people drinking a glass of wine together along the river banks. People are meeting each other. They're talking to each other, they're sharing stories about their memories of the queen and what this moment means to them. It's -- you know, you have to say it's a beautiful thing to see, Richard.
QUEST: Clarissa Ward on Westminster Bridge. We will return to you when there is more. I promised to pay the bearer the sum of 20 pounds, and on this, of course, is -- it's a 20-pound note as the black dot is clear. But you have a picture the queen here and a sort of watermark in hologram of the queen over here.
The reality is, one of the most recognized faces in the world, and from police hats to post boxes, the queen's image and insignia appears throughout Britain. Most of the things are in her name. Prosecutions, for example, the crown against, the queen against. Over the time then these various symbols of monarchy will have to be changed.
For instance, changes are already starting to appear. If you pay tax in the United Kingdom, you are now paying taxes to his majesty's revenue and customs. It's his majesty's Home Office. You no longer have queen's counsel's in courts, you have king's counsels. And despite the decline of cash, the queen's face as you've seen is on bank notes and coins issued in the U.K. and abroad.
Replacing all this could take years. Though the Royal Mint hasn't issued any timeline. The queen's likeness could also be found in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and in many of the realms of where she was head of state. And then don't forget E2R. Elizabeth reigns. The insignia which is stitched under tens of thousands of police uniforms.
You'll see it there on the top of the bobby's hat. You might, C3R for Charles, Rex instead. And the same for post boxes. They feature the change. You can already see, by the way, Elizabeth cipher on most of the post offices, but King George is her father's are also there, and they will remain.
So, you have three monarchs in time on the post boxes. British stamps, eventually, they will bear King Charles's face. The Royal King Mail points out, is king to say, now is not the right time to make such announcements. So, over the years, the queen's personally approved all the stamps bearing her likeness.
In the process, it was once dramatized in the Netflix series, "The Crown", you remember it, I love "The Crown" in which the queen admits she's getting a little older and the picture doesn't reflect her as well. David Gold from the Royal Mail is with me. David, I get it that you're not sort of putting timelines on things.
But in the fullness of time, the face will change to Charles. And I also believe -- is it a myth? Or is it true that the face will flip and look in the opposite direction? Is that myth or true? .
DAVID GOLD, DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL & PUBLIC AFFAIRS, ROYAL MAIL: Well, Richard, first of all, we leave it to the monarch to decide which way to face on our postage stamps. So, in due course, as you say, now is not the right time. But in due course, we will with his authority release new stamps bearing his image.
I would suggest that won't be immediate. We will, of course, wait until after the period of mourning to make any further comments about that. But there is a process in place, and as you said, all stamps go before the king as they have done with his mother for the last 70 years. And it is my understanding that it was something she really enjoyed doing, looking at our stamp designs.
And of course, as you said, that image of the queen never did age. The image that was created by Arnold Machin in 1967 continued until her death, and became a globally iconic image. And as he said that it was reproduced as many as 300 billion times. So, it's going to be quite a momentous occasion when we do change our stamps and we bear the image of the king.
QUEST: And post boxes, I mean it's all a bit quaint in the days of e- mail and et cetera. But some of us still like to put a Christmas card and a birthday card in the post, and it's still very popular. We will see C3R post boxes in the fullness of time?
GOLD: As you said earlier, we don't change existing post boxes. In fact, there are still a few around bearing the cipher of Queen Victoria. But you have to look really hard --
QUEST: Yes --
GOLD: To find those. The vast majority nowadays do bear the E2R or indeed the Scottish crown, because in Scotland, of course, Queen Elizabeth was not Queen Elizabeth II. So that caused a little bit of controversy when we tried to put her cipher on post boxes there. But you're right, in due course, with the king's consent, we can look forward to seeing post boxes that will bear his new cipher, the cipher of the king.
And of course, again, that will be something that I'm sure many people who still enjoy posting a letter will have the opportunity to post in his post box.
QUEST: David, I can hear some viewers perhaps having a wide smile and saying, oh, it's all very good and interesting, why do they bother? I mean, what difference does it make who's on the stamp or who's on the post box or whatever? Isn't this just sort of all a bit archaic? So, tell me, why does it matter?
GOLD: Well, you know, it matters in the U.K. because we were the first proper postal service. And this -- for that reason that we are the only postal service in the world that doesn't put the country of origin on our stamps. It is enough that we put the monarch's face or head on the stamp.
And so, you know, If you post a letter from any other country in the world, if you look at the stamp, it will bear the country of origin. So, for that reason alone, it's really important. But I think where you're standing, where you're reporting from today, you will be able to see, I think, the sense of loss, the enormous interest in the fact that we are going through such a -- change.
And so for people in this country, I think it's incredibly important. And it is one of those symbols of the new reign and will be a symbol of the king's reign for years to come, you know.
QUEST: Now, I'm going to -- I'm just going to take a punch at this question which I suspect you're not going to touch with a 10-foot pole. However, let's have a -- in for a penny and for a pound as they say or the penny post. When it comes to choosing the picture or the portrait for the king's first stamp, do you think it should be contemporaneous, of a 73-year-old monarch or of a younger Prince of Wales.
GOLD: You know, I'm not going to answer that question directly. You're absolutely right. But what I will say is this. The image of the king will be an image I am sure that would show a king ready to govern, ready to lead this country through a momentous time of change.
And I'm sure that it will be a likeness that will in its time become iconic. And I really look forward to the day when we can release that image to all of your viewers and indeed all of those around the world. It's going to be a really special occasion, I think.
QUEST: Hopefully, David, you and I will talk on that occasion. I'm very grateful that you've spoken to us on what is a very busy day for. All thank you, sir.
As we continue coming up, the queen made her final journey; in doing so, she passed London's greatest monuments. We will be outside Westminster in a moment.
QUEST: I am Richard Quest, we'll have more details of the day's royal events from here in Buckingham Palace in a moment. We're going to be looking at how the queen's death has reunited her grandsons, the Princes Harry and William.
Also a report from Ukraine, where CNN's getting a firsthand look at life under Russian occupation but only after we have updated you with the headlines. After all, this is CNN. Here on this network, the news always comes first.
QUEST (voice-over): Ukraine's president has made an unannounced visit to the northern eastern town of Izyum. It came just four days after Ukrainian forces recaptured the city, striking a huge blow to Russia's military assault in the Donbas region.
President Zelenskyy said Ukrainian troops have now retaken about 8,000 square kilometers of territory from Moscow.
China's president Xi Jinping is on his first foreign trip in more than two years. After a state visit to Kazakhstan, he traveled to Uzbekistan, where he's going to attend a regional summit. President Xi will hold his first in-person meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin since the invasion of Ukraine.
The U.S. Labor Secretary is meeting with railroad and union leaders in Washington, trying to avoid a railway workers' strike which could bring up to 30 percent of the nation's freight to a grinding halt. If no deal is reached, 60,000 workers are set to walk off the job at midnight on Friday.
Google is going to have to pay a record $4 billion dollar fine for using its Android mobile operating system to hinder rivals. The E.U. said that Google paid manufacturers to dominate the internet's search market. The second highest court rejected the company's appeal today.
QUEST: Hundreds of thousands of people are gathering in London. They are paying respects to the queen. Her coffin, as you have seen, was taken from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall.
The procession's path which, went through the mall and then passed Whitehall, the seat of government and home of the prime minister, 10 Downing Street. The coffin was carried upon the gun carriage of the King's Troop, the Royal Horse Artillery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (MUSIC PLAYING)
QUEST (voice-over): The solemn procession took around 40 minutes. The king and his siblings, the queen's other children, were immediately behind the carriage, walking in step.
They were followed by the Princes William and Harry and their cousin, Peter Phillips. Princess Anne's husband was also there. Camilla, the queen consort; Catherine, the Princess of Wales and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, they traveled separately by car to the abbey. Anna Stewart is with me.
Anna, you and I can get very tied up in the facts and the details and the figures and who is doing what to where when.
But how did it feel today?
How did it actually feel?
ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For me, there was a moment where I just got these echoes of the Platinum Jubilee and watching royal family members walk down the mall to huge crowds and great pomp and ceremony, only three months ago in celebration of the queen's 70-year reign.
There was something about seeing it today in such solemnity, as you said. I don't know if it was the beating of the drums or the gunfire from the King's Royal Troop Artillery or the bongs of Big Ben.
STEWART: It was a big moment, I think. It was a moment watching Her Majesty leave the Buckingham Palace for the very first time -- for the very last time, Richard. And I think everyone took applause for that.
Looking at where we are now, of course there's been so much grief. Today was a moment of people saying final goodbyes. Here we have crowds of people wanting to pay their final respects to the queen. And they weren't lining the mall today. They are looking to go into Westminster Hall to see the queen lying in state. Richard.
QUEST: I have been trying to get my head around this. The people in the line, 2.5 to 3 miles long. We have now seen the pictures of that line moving. And it is moving at a fair clip. It does validate what the authorities said, you will not be able to sit down. You're not going to be able to take a rest.
STEWART: This morning when we got here, everyone was sat down. The mood has been quite jubilant bringing people together. Lots of happy memories of a life well lived. It's been quite a party atmosphere in some respects.
But yes, people were able to sit down this morning. But in the last couple of hours, the pace started and the queue started moving and no one is sitting down. It's stop and starts and the nice thing is people have been given wristbands.
So if they do need to pop --
STEWART: -- it is moving at a fairly rapid pace even now. From where I am right now, I'm not quite at the end, I'm just over two miles from Westminster Hall, It's about 5.5 hours, Richard.
QUEST: I guess it won't be until the early hours of the morning when the temperature starts to drop. But I don't know, I'm going to contradict myself. I don't know if people will have doubts as to why they did it.
STEWART: I really don't. People here talk about how maybe their mother was, went to see the Queen Mother lying in state. Or they remember another royal occasion. They very much have thought about this.
The warning was there. They were told they may have to keep 30 hours overnight, no opportunity really to sit down. People knew their options. I have seen children here. Parents are very happy to bring them for a big moment in history.
You know, Richard, not many people seem to have very warm clothes or shoes despite all the warnings. Thankfully, unlike last night, there were some people coming out here, it does not look like rain. I hope not, Richard.
But you will stay there during duty.
QUEST: Anna Stewart, who is on the embankment. Thank you.
As we continue tonight, Ukraine's president is making an unannounced visit to the Kharkiv region only days after a lightning-fast offensive. He offers troops a message of hope.
QUEST: Ukraine's president said he is shocked by the extent of lost lives and destruction left behind in the northeastern Kharkiv region. President Zelenskyy has toured Izyum, which was recaptured by Ukrainian forces over the weekend.
Russian troops occupied the city for five months. They used it as a strategic hub, military operations. Now President Zelenskyy and his deputy defense minister watched as the Ukrainian flag was raised over the city's administrative building. There was a moment of silence for those Ukrainians killed during the occupation.
Nick Paton Walsh joins me now live from Kharkiv.
Nick, we see the retaking of Kharkiv but, as I understand it, the Ukrainian forces are continuing to prosecute forward, taking advantage of the momentum.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: We simply don't know the pace of any continued advance. It's the Kharkiv region to the north and east where I've seen this extraordinary Russian retreat.
Some say it was in utter chaos, leaving behind armor and munitions that Russia so desperately needs. Other have suggested it might have been a withdrawal sanctioned by Russia's general staff.
Make no mistake. It is something that was unthinkable a matter of months ago. The visit of the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Izyum, a town that a matter of days ago was held by Russians, fierce fighting.
While he's talking, you can hear explosions in the background, trademark of a president who is very much involved on the front lines. He gave out medals to Ukrainian troops. There something that, frankly, his Russian counterpart tends to do very close to Moscow, very far away from any threats to his personal safety.
A president who still, until recently, met foreign leaders at the end of a very long table. But his comments while Izyum, Zelenskyy said clearly that he had seen such devastation before after Russian troops pulled away from the outskirts of the Kyiv capital around Bucha.
He told the people there to look after themselves because they were the key asset that Ukraine was fighting for. A key moment, frankly, when one of the commanders greeted him. They formally introduced each other. He was welcomed into the town then there was a pause, a very genuine smile and a hug between the two men.
WALSH: Very different emotions you are seeing between the Ukrainians fighting and a very desperate Russian force increasingly, it seems, made of mercenaries, at times even convicts to increase their depleted ranks.
QUEST: What I don't -- and I don't really fully understand at the moment, is what changed from the Russian point of view.
Are the Russians in full retreat?
What actually happened that allowed the Ukrainians to suddenly be able to go on the offensive?
WALSH: It is hard to be entirely able to answer that question with 100 percent veracity. Essentially a bubble has burst around the Russian forces.
For so many years hyped up as an army that NATO had to spend so much to be able to hold at bay in Europe, suddenly now seeing its ranks depleted by intense casualties, appalling strategic decisions, seeing its equipment simply not holding up on the battlefield against NATO- supplied weaponry.
And it bids to stretch itself so thin over such a long front line essentially resulting in Ukraine being able to choose and surprise Russia with very clear, pointed advances and points of attack.
Everyone thought it was going to the south. Suddenly they're moving fast toward Kharkiv, against forces that's were exhausted, that didn't have the equipment they certainly needed. That essentially led for many Western officials to be saying might happen late summer, early autumn.
The slow collapse, we do not know if this is going to continue or if we have seen, as one Western official suggested, the areas around Kharkiv -- they were never part of Russia's long-term game plan. They're always about Donetsk, Luhansk and the land corridor down to Crimea, essentially being let go of by Moscow to re-concentrate forces elsewhere.
But there's a sea change in the feeling here. The feeling had always been Russia would have choices about what it would let go and what it would choose to do and what it would not allow to let happen.
All that thinking you have to put aside. In the last week, we have seen Ukrainian forces that were struggling months ago. Now thoroughly equipped, high morale; the president who visits them on the front line a matter of days after they have taken what was a vital strategic supply hub for Russia now essentially Ukraine having to make choices about where it goes next.
Does it push toward the south?
Does it look toward the Donbas?
A lot of decisions for Zelenskyy to make and his military advisers. But a lot of things for Russia to worry about. It is an abiding question.
If Russia really is going around prisons to get people to add to the depleted front line ranks, if it's really taking shells from North Korea to add to the ammunition stocks, are we actually seeing the once feared mighty Russian military essentially crumbling in its appalling misadventure and entering into weeks of unprecedented territory, where it may have to abandon more land or even the areas that it has held in Ukraine since 2014.
These are all things which a matter of months ago were just utterly unthinkable. But now Moscow has made miscalculation after miscalculation and been unable to look at itself in the mirror and take stock of its mistakes and correct those.
But now we are seeing Kyiv essentially making all the choices. Richard.
QUEST: Nick Paton Walsh, thank you, sir. That puts it beautifully into perspective.
President Zelenskyy's advisors say more than 300 towns have now been liberated over the past few days. The Ukrainians who spent months as virtual prisoners are finally tasting freedom. So far, so good. But the trauma of being under Russian occupation does not simply go away, as CNN's Melissa Bell has been finding out.
MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Larissa Kharkivska is ashamed of what little she has: food given by the Russians; mainly rice, flour and sugar.
For six months, she says, she and her 35-year-old daughter were virtual prisoners of their apartment, too scared to go out. The medical help Svetlana (ph) needs after an accident 15 years ago, impossible to get.
"Most people," says Larissa, "left Shevchenkove through Russia, only the poorest left behind, living on what they can grow. Apples and watermelon, mostly."
Larissa's empty fridge, now her primary concern.
BELL: Enough for one month.
BELL (voice-over): "She's embarrassed," she says. "We'll show the world how empty it is."
But tries nonetheless to offer of some of the watermelon preserves she's just made before showing us around a town liberated on Friday after several days of fighting.
BELL (voice-over): The shops, now closed, were for six months only affordable for Russian soldiers, she says.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They mocked (ph) people. Sometimes they killed. There were so many of them and they were so young.
BELL (voice-over): The arrival of Ukrainian soldiers, a relief for Larissa and her friend, Maria, but almost too much to digest.
MARIA, SHEVCHENKOVE RESIDENT (through translator): There is psychological abuse. And there is violence. For me, psychological abuse is worse. We were sitting in a basement for two days. And then our husbands came and said our soldiers are here. And it was just tears of happiness.
BELL (voice-over): Happiness at the change of hands but uncertainty, still, about how to survive and what the immediate future holds -- Melissa Bell, CNN, Shevchenkove.
(END VIDEOTAPE) QUEST: Extraordinary pictures.
Here back in London, in today's procession, there were so many different strands and tones and underlyings. For example, Princes William and Harry walking behind their father, side by side. The relationship between the two brothers at this moment of historic change in a moment.
QUEST: Good evening from London, where Queen Elizabeth is lying in state at the moment over in Westminster Hall. Members of the royal family escorted the queen's coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall.
It was the most remarkable, stately procession. The coffin at dawn, with the Imperial State Crown, covered with the Royal Standard. At Westminster, mourners are making their way past this coffin. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pay their respects over the coming days.
Princes William and Harry followed the procession to Westminster. They walked behind their father, the king. And the two brothers went side by side in what looked like the latest show of unity. For an occasion like that, no sign of the tensions that have emerged in their relationship since Harry stepped out as a senior member of the royal family.
Our royal historian Kate Williams is with us now.
One hesitates to want to make too much of. It but the fact is, everything is planned. Where they stand, who does what, where and how.
How significant was it?
KATE WILLIAMS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, everything was planned. The queen had planned every part of this. From everything from the coffin being lit to the car that passed you last night, to exactly where everyone was standing.
It was very significant that this was what was to be the order the family. Harry has a key position, as does the Duchess of Sussex who was in the car with the senior royal ladies. That does suggest that both the queen and the king because he's looked at the plans, I think both of them wish Harry and Meghan to have a significant role going forward.
WILLIAMS: And there does seem to be this reconciliation.
QUEST: Can I suggest, they had no choice? Anything other than what we saw today would have been taken as
evidence of an -- a bridge that cannot be put together.
WILLIAMS: The queen of the royal family, the queen decides, the hierarchy decides where you are and where you stand. And clearly the queen felt strongly that she wished Harry and Meghan to take the position that they had.
Yes, of course, they said they wish to do so. The same way that we understand that the wonderful walkabout we saw with the fab four, that was when William texted, should we go for a walkabout, Harry and Meghan dropped everything and said, yes.
I do think, with Harry and Meghan, with all the royals, I think they see this outpouring of sympathy, of enthusiasm. And they want to pay back to the crowds.
QUEST: So we have now a rapprochement, if you will, between the two princes. But Charles as king now has to navigate this forward. And it's going to be very difficult. The queen is quite hands off with her children.
WILLIAMS: Yes, Charles has a lot on his place. There's so much enthusiasm, this giant well of sympathy. And his job is to convert that into popularity for him.
QUEST: So Christiane Amanpour put it beautifully. She said what we are seeing over the last few days and over the next few days is the bonding experience of a new monarch with his subjects.
How is he doing so far?
WILLIAMS: So far, his approval ratings would have sorted. They were not always high, were they, Richard. Sometimes we saw them dipping into the 30s and 20s.
I do think they will have much improved; his speeches and addresses on the death of his mother and his emphasis that he wanted to continue the life of service and his expression of devotion for her really have gone down very well.
But he is in the honeymoon period. There are many questions he has to deal with. We are a country in crisis, a divided country on the brink of a heat and energy home crisis. Also the question of countries leaving the Commonwealth, leaving the head of state.
QUEST: You have 30 seconds left. What was it like -- forget you're a royal historian.
As a Brit, being here and seeing it and experiencing it, what was it like?
WILLIAMS: I think it was a momentous moment. It is like looking at history. The Archbishop of Canterbury said looking at the queen was looking at history. That is all that is this moment. It's a moment for the history books. In the future they will look back and will comment upon. It. It really
has been something you will never see again. For me, as a historian, it's the end of an era.
QUEST: Thank you very much.
And it's the end of the hour. I will be back with more coverage live from Buckingham Palace. London says farewell, the British people say farewell to the queen.