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CNN Live Event/Special

Thousands Turn Out To Say Goodbye To Elizabeth II; Ukrainian President Promises Victory As He Tours Izium; Pope Francis: God Does Not Guide Us Toward War; Queen Lies In State In Westminster Hall. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired September 14, 2022 - 17:00   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST: Hello, and welcome back to our continuing coverage of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. I'm Bianca Nobilo.

It was the Queen herself who said that grief is the price we pay for love. And right now, the scale of a nations love is on full display. Thousands upon thousands have been turning out to say goodbye to Elizabeth II, with lines stretching more than four kilometers across London.

Mourners are making their way to Westminster Hall where the Queen's body is now lying in state. And there, it will remain until the morning of her funeral on Monday.

The Queen's coffin was brought to parliament in a procession from Buckingham Palace, with King Charles and his sons traveling behind it.

Upon reaching Westminster Hall, the archbishop of Canterbury led a short service. We'll see the king again on Friday when he visits the country he's prince of Wales for -- he was of for decades, that would be Wales.

Here's a closer look at some of today's proceedings and what we can expect next.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Queen Elizabeth departed Buckingham Palace for the final time. Her coffin revealed for a grand farewell, adorned with the imperial state crown on top of the gun carriage of the king's troop royal horse artillery, flanked by her treasured grenadier guards and household cavalry in a procession led by her four children, King Charles III in ceremonial field marshal uniform, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

The ceremonial and the operational regiments breaking through the silent crowds. Flights were partially suspended during the 14-minute procession for silence over the skies. Symbols of Britain parting famous London thoroughfares. To the tunes of classic music selected by the late Queen and minute guns fired from Hyde Park echoed through the Mall and Whitehall.

The only spoken words were prayers led by the archbishop of Canterbury at Westminster Hall.

JUSTIN WELBY, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: And to God's gracious mercy and protection, we commit you.

NOBILO: Where her English oak coffin draped in the royal standard is placed on the catafalque.

CHRIS IMAFIDON, WAITING IN LINE: I was ready for the long stay. Whether it's 24 hours, 48 hours, I was ready to stay on because this is a woman that means much more that majesty. She is modest and she communicated with us at our level, when we brought disadvantaged children to meet her.

NOBILO: A line of mourners snaked through Central London, waiting for their turn to pay tribute to the Queen, lying in state until her funeral on Monday.

SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: The really reassuring thing is our king, King Charles III, had the best possible mentor and the best possible apprenticeship. And that's why I'm so confident that he will be a wonderful king.


NOBILO: The scale, security, and seas of crowds today give us a glimpse of what to expect as the city prepares for the Queen's funeral next week.



CNN royal correspondent Max Foster, you may not have seen him before on air the last few days, has also been here as the historic day unfolds. He joins me now.

Max, what struck you most about today?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you have the story out there amongst people. Because it was today that it was ceremonial but this was coming through this archway, we saw the archway earlier on. It is the artery really between the monarchy and parliaments. And to see that moving across the -- department to be with people for a few days, until the funeral, I think that is quite poignant.

I just learned that King Charles has retired to the countryside to his house at Highgrove.


FOSTER: He's made some calls to President Biden, President Macron, that expressed their condolences. He is going to continue making those types of calls. But, you know, he is there, I imagine, to decompress in his favorite home and try to get ready for the funeral, as well.

NOBILO: Are we expecting to see more from him tomorrow? FOSTER: I don't think we will see him tomorrow. I think he is going

to have some -- I don't think the palace was described as downtime, because he is going to be making calls, but I think this is the time to make calls in that somewhere where he feels entirely comfortable and try to make sense of what has been happening.

I mean, it has been really intense, hasn't? It especially traveling all around the U.K.

NOBILO: And he has to be scrutinized about every absolutely everything, at a moment when you are grieving and also taking this massive responsibility. It's a lot for one human.

FOSTER: So tell me, how did the public really act to having their chance with the Queen?

NOBILO: Well, it was interesting and reflects what you have been saying all week, and that there was some tears and sadness, but only immediately after they had come out of Westminster hall and were struck by the solemnity of it all, of being side by side with members of the government and all being united in wanting to pay their respects.

Then, quite quickly, it transformed into happiness and people said that they made friends and that people that they would have never met or spoken to. And they all felt grateful for what the Queen has given them, and happy that they got the opportunity to be there. And they really experience a moment in history.

And I met a few people who weren't English who admired the Queen but didn't have a deep attachment, but again, just wanted to go to say that they had been there when they tell their grandchildren about one day.

FOSTER: And it was moving along quite quickly. We are looking at a veteran, someone who serves the Queen. It must be a very powerful moment for him. He has the black armband on.

But, it is moving along. There's a lot of security at parliament, wasn't there? And there's a huge amount of people supporting people in the queue, which is all organize ahead of the event, of course.

NOBILO: It was. As you, know this is all planned meticulously. We saw huge police, military, and volunteer presence where we were which was the final part of the queue. So, the people who have been waiting the very longest.

But it ran so smoothly, everybody behave themselves. It was all very British and very restrained. But what do you think, in terms of how many orders of magnitude Monday is going to be greater than today. Because we saw a taste of the scale, that sees of people, and that security presence, and shutting down areas of London. How much more do you expect to see?

FOSTER: Seeing the empire of Japan come, which is extraordinary. President Biden come, Joe Biden. A lot of them would bring delegations which I thought was interesting. So I think is going to feel quite intimate because it will be couples, effectively, arriving, and paying tribute to the longest serving head of state in the world.

I think that that will just feel huge. We recognize so many of the faces. For people around the world, they're going to connect because their monarchs will be there. Their heads of state, and that, of course, for so many Brits, you will see leading public figures there. The prime minister will be there. I can't even imagine what is going through her mind. That is going to be a big moment for her, as well.

NOBILO: It is huge. It has really been such a trial by fire to only be in the job today in that have to behave in a statesman like way, to not put a foot wrong.

FOSTER: To step back.

NOBILO: Exactly. I mean, she has received some criticism as well in terms of how she has handled the first days of the government, parliamentary scrutiny. It is so difficult to get that balance right because of course, if she just went full steam ahead with parliamentary plans, they would be considered disrespectful. But then if she plays respect to the Queen and delays things, that looks like you are perhaps avoiding scrutiny.

So once, again very difficult to get that balance right, I am sure we will talk more about that.

Max Foster, thank you so much for joining us.

Now, let's get more of the thousands of people queuing to pay their respects. Our Matthew Chance is in Westminster.

Matthew, last time when we spoke, you were -- you were right there, by parliament square, near the Palace of Westminster, talking to people who have had their opportunity to pay their respects.


Have they've been emotional? What have they shared with you?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, a lot of them have been emotional, actually. I mean, remember, they have come here in the first place out of respect for the Queen. And then they have been waiting in that line of people for four or five hours. When it started moving, and then actually, some of them have been there the whole day, and some are even longer than that if we've been reporting.

And this is the -- it is a very carefully choreographed efficient way of moving this hundred thousands of people who are anticipated will want to pay their respects in this way to quit Elizabeth. And so the police have set up this exit route.

Hello, sir, how was it to see the Queen? Do you want to speak to us a little bit?

Anyway, well they are going in and batches. And they're coming to this avenue here.

But yeah, it has been, but let's try to speak to some of them and see if they can talk to us about it.

Hi, hi. So, you might speak just a little bit on CNN. What was it like?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, it was very sad. It was very -- lovely. It was lovely to pay our respects.

CHANCE: What was the atmosphere like inside? Can you expand that for us?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it is very peaceful, everybody is quite calm and happy to be paying their respects to our late Queen.

CHANCE: Was it important for you to see the Queen? What did you think of it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was quite sad.

CHANCE: Quite sad?


CHANCE: Why was it important for you, do you think, to pay respects in this way?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that the Queen has paid a great duty to the country and that we, it is our duty to pay our respects to her. And I think that it is good for the younger generations to come and be a part of that, in history, and years to come.

CHANCE: Yeah, you've been a part of history.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, that's what I think, yeah.

CHANCE: All right. Thank you very much.


CHANCE: Well, there you have it, Bianca. The crowd, sometimes quiet, a lot of people coming through, sometimes there's a bit of a gap. But apparently the police are saying they're expecting over the course of the next few days, 2,000 people per hour at least, to be coming in this -- to be coming in this way, passing through here -- Bianca.

NOBILO: Matthew Chance, thank you so much.

Still to come on the program, other headlines that we are following on CNN. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gives an update on his army's counteroffensive, promising victory on a day when he visited a key city that was recently liberated from Russian forces.

Plus, what Pope Francis said about the war in Ukraine during his visit to Kazakhstan, coming up next.


NOBILO: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says his troops are moving in only one direction, and is predicting a rout of Russian forces across the country.


He visited Izium Wednesday, one of the towns recently liberated in the lightning counteroffensive. Just days ago, Izium was Russia 's main logistical hub in the Kharkiv region.

Mr. Zelenskyy says he has now liberated some 8,000 square kilometers of territory this month alone. He thanked the soldiers in Izium and watched as the Ukrainian flag was raised in front of the city council building.

Mr. Zelenskyy also toured the destruction that the Russian forces had left behind.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: The view is very shocking but it is not shocking for me because we began to see the same pictures from Bucha, from the occupied territories. So, the same, destroyed buildings, killed people.


NOBILO: Let's bring in CNN's Nick Paton Walsh. He is live in Kharkiv.

Nick, what can you tell us about President Zelenskyy's visit? What he saw, what he did, and how he was received?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: I think it is a symbolism of a head of state here feeling confident enough in victory but also his own security to head to a place that amount of days ago was a Russian stronghold. A vital part of them supplying their troops, not only around Kharkiv, but also in the Donbas area that has been so key to Russia's goals here.

And the message he carried, frankly, one of great human integrity and one that seems to suggest that this was the beginning of Ukraine's advances rather than a lucky period. Here is what today's scenes looked like.


WALSH (voice-over): This is what confidence and victory looks like, delighted swagger from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, touring the liberated city of Izium. A commander in chief greeted here as another human.

The smiles for this President as genuine as the danger. Listen here, and you can hear explosions as he talks. It may be possible to temporarily occupy our territories, he says, but it is certainly impossible to occupy our people. These last months have been extremely hard for you. This is why I asked you to take care of yourselves, because you are the most precious thing we have.

It is a victory that came at an as yet unspecified cost, this moment of silence for those dead. What he sees utter devastation, part of why Russia is losing. It's hard to occupy and defend a city in this ruin.

It's hard to imagine the Russian army state of mind when it left behind this much of its armor. And what Zelenskyy did, another reason Ukrainian morale seems to remain high.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is usually hundreds of miles away in Moscow when he gives out medals. This past startling week, a tale of two nations and a gulf in enthusiasm for the fight.

Moscow's manpower crisis so acute, this video is apparently from a Russian prison, allegedly showing the man called Putin chef, Yevgeny Prigozhin, personally recruiting convicts for the frontline.

He tells prisoners that war is hard. They can't desert, get taken prisoner, drink, take drugs or have sex with flora or fauna men, or women in the fight, an undesirable message to an undesirable crowd.

Russia increasingly less looking like a nation united in what it won't even call a war yet. Even Putin stooges turning. Here, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov again undermining the Kremlin that brutally put him in power.

If you ask me, I would enact martial law and exhaust all possibilities to end the conflict with these demons, unlike a volunteer for Russia. He said, writing later, quote, We are at war with the whole NATO bloc.

The unthinkable is happening. Russian dissent and criticism growing, but not yet at the speed of Ukrainian advances.


WALSH (on camera): The choices at this stage, Bianca, are really at Ukraine's command. They push us into an area that Russia never expected to be attacked. Do they try as we see some indication of to move towards the Azov coast past Crimea, or do they continue to intensify their counteroffensive to the south? Or do they try all of these particular three things?

The questions are for Russia to answer. How do they establish control over the narrative out all on this? Do they in fact have any manpower or conventional arms to throw back into the fight? To try to hold the areas they have, or began to reclaim those they have lost?

It is staggering because at this stage, Ukraine is now facing a significantly reduced front line against Russia. And that enables it to move forces into more concentrated amounts in certain areas.

We have begun though, to get a feeling of what Moscow's resounds response to this maybe. We are just in the last few hours seen the key central southern city, Kryvyi Rhi, have some of its hydraulic infrastructure, dams essentially, come under cruise missile attack. That is causing intensive flooding.

This city, Kharkiv, has seen its electric infrastructure under attack in the past days. Patchy restoration and another blast in the last hours you heard in the distance of some size. So Russia is clearly trying to respond, trying to have its military might felt.

But, frankly, facing a loss -- a reversal here of fortune that is unprecedented in the past decades. And really, I think reveals the rock right at the heart of its military machine and the extent of the loss of the manpower, morale, tactical awareness that has been experienced over the last few months -- Bianca.

NOBILO: Fascinating.

Nick Paton Walsh, thank you so much. Great to have you back in country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will look for support for his war in Ukraine when he sits down in just hours from now. He is due to meet with the Chinese President Xi Jinping and other regional leaders at a summit in Uzbekistan. Mr. Xi is at its first overseas trip since the COVID pandemic and he visited Kazakhstan on Wednesday. Then he traveled on to Uzbekistan, which is hosting the Shanghai cooperation organization.

Last, hour I talk about the significance of this meeting with CNN contributor Jill Dougherty. She's a Russia expert and a former CNN Moscow bureau chief.


JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Right now, Russia is a very serious trouble because of sanctions from the West. And China is not joining those sanctions, although they have -- I would have to say kind of subtle approach to Russia and the war. But they aren't part of the sanctions for the most part.

So, Russia needs China as an ally. They have talked about their relationship is being very strong and unbreakable. And also, I think in a bigger picture, meeting with Xi Jinping for President Xi is a first trip that he has taken outside of the country since the pandemic. And so, that shows one of the very, the height of importance for him.

It is another way I think for President Putin to show that he has friends. One of them course, the main one is China. But also the organization, the SEO and the countries it will be meeting there. We understand he will be talking with the leaders of India, Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey. And at least three of them, maybe two of them we would have to say, are very important in the geopolitical situation around the war in Ukraine.

So I think in many levels, directly, economically, geopolitically, and then you have to say, militarily, because Iran is believed to be supplying drones to Russia for the war. So, there are a lot of import connections that he will be making at this summit.

NOBILO: Jill Dougherty for us.

Pope Francis condemned the war in Ukraine, again, on Wednesday, calling for genuine efforts to achieve peace. The pontiff is in Pakistan for an interfaith Congress. The Russian orthodox patriarch who backs Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, who is also supposed to attend, pulled out.

Delia Gallagher is covering the pope's trip for us.


DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Strong words from Pope Francis on the war in Ukraine, speaking on Wednesday just after an outdoor mass in Nursultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, a country which borders Russia to the south.

The pope said he was thinking of his beloved Ukraine, and he asked, how many more deaths will it still take before conflicts yields to dialogue? Equally strong words from the pope earlier in the day at an international gathering of religious leaders, when the pope spoke about using religion in the name of power.

He said that the sacred should never be used as a prop for power. He said God guides us on a path to peace, never a path of war.

Now, one of the religious leaders for whom that was attended was noticeably absent. He's the Russian orthodox patriarch, Kirill, a strong supporter of the war in Ukraine. He was meant to be here and have a meeting with Pope Francis, but he lets it be known a few weeks ago that he would not be attending. He has sent a delegation instead.


On Thursday, the religious leaders will gather to sign a final declaration before Francis returns to Rome.

Delia Gallagher, CNN, Nursultan, Kazakhstan.


NOBILO: In what is becoming a disturbing trend in Lebanon, a woman took hostage in a bank in on Wednesday because you want to jot withdraw her own money. Lebanon has strict laws on withdrawals due to the country's financial crisis. The woman ended up leaving with about $20,000. She is not been arrested. She was later told that the gun was a toy.

In August, a man took hostages at a bank demanding that he be allowed to withdraw money to pay for medical procedures. An alarming trend.

Still to come, we focus on the Commonwealth, the flags of those nations lined the Queens futile procession today. What the future holds for that group under King Charles III.


NOBILO: Today, we saw powerful images of the procession taking the Queen's coffin from Buckingham palace to Westminster Hall. King Charles III, followed behind his mother's coffin. The new monarch was accompanied by siblings and sons. Prince William, and Prince Harry, as they walked in lockstep towards the houses of parliament. Thousands of people lined up for the once in the lifetime event.



NOBILO: Moments later, Camilla, the Queen consort, and Catherine the princess of Wales left Buckingham palace by car, followed by Meghan, the duchess of Sussex, and Sophie, the countess of Wessex.


NOBILO: The Queen's coffin was then carried into Westminster Hall as the choir song. It's here that her majesty will lie in state for the public to pay their final respects, until her funeral on Monday.



JUSTIN WELBY, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: Oh God, the maker and redeemer of all mankind, grant us with thy servant Queen Elizabeth and all the faithful departed the sure benefits of thy son's saving passion and glorious resurrection.


WELBY: Of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be among you and remain with you always, amen.



NOBILO: Now hours later, one by one, people are filing past the Queen's coffin in a steady stream saying their final goodbyes.

CNN's Clarissa Ward has been out among the crowd throughout the day.

Clarissa, you are out there now. Many hours after people started queuing. Has the mood changed at all or is it still that mixture of a bit of solemnity, but gratitude and even joyfulness at some points?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it really is a sort of as you say a mix, I guess, as you say.

[17:35:02] On the one hand, people are solemn, they're marking this moment. They have enormous gratitude that they want to pay their respects and participate in this moment in history. But it's also a moment of camaraderie a lot of people waiting in this line for four, five, six hours. Some of them, they're talking to each other. We saw people enjoying a glass of wine together on the riverbank, at one point as they waited.

They are meeting each other, they're making new friends. They are from all different walks of life. And they are sharing different memories that they have of the Queen and how her life affected their lives. And what is extraordinary, though, honestly, Bianca, is to see how seamlessly thus far this whole well oiled machine seems to be moving.

There have been a lot of warnings about, this is going to be a huge amount of people and the logistics are very challenging and you might be here overnight. But the line, as we have seen, just keeps flowing quietly. There are no signs of people jostling, pushing, getting into arguments or disputes. They have separated the lines, essentially, into a bunch of shorter lines and they funnel people through at the appropriate time.

So, you don't have a lot of crowding or pushing or anything of that nature, and everyone we talked to is excited to be here, honor this, moment pay their respects. We are very fortunate earlier, Bianca, because as we are walking across the Westminster Bridge just behind me, we actually bumped into the archbishop of Canterbury as he was walking himself to go and greet the Queen's coffin at the end of the procession, and then preside over a prayer with the royal family there.

And we asked him a little bit about some of his memories of the Queen who had spent a lot of time with and what people might not know about Queen Elizabeth II. Take a look.


WELBY: It is a huge privilege. It is a great honor to do its and it is also a very solemn -- because I had the privilege of meeting the Queen on many occasions. And there is 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.

WARD: And what do you think some people maybe didn't know about the Queen that you got to see?

WELBY: Her extraordinary -- I mean, it has been coming up ever since, but particular lee in private, her extraordinarily quick sense of humor.

WARD: I have heard that many times.

WELBY: And also, the other thing, her which I think has been mentioned quite so often, it has been mentioned but, her phenomenal memory. She remembers people forever.


WARD: He went on to say that King Charles has that same ability to make people feel appreciated because he does remember the details, the places they met, the situation in which they met. And one other interesting fact, the interest the Archbishop of Canterbury earlier on ordered a bunch of pizza for people who were waiting in these long lines.

And I think that sort of speaks, honestly, Bianca, to the mood of this. People are being kind to each other, being friendly to each other. And it is an extraordinary thing to see, Bianca.

NOBILO: And, Clarissa, you have witnessed so many defining moments firsthand. Do you feel something palpable in terms of it being an end of an era with the death of the Queen Elizabeth II. And how can you tell with the city in the people you are speaking with?

WARD: I think that there is no question that, for the vast majority of people who live in this country, and indeed around the world, Queen Elizabeth II was a mainstay for their entire lifetime. She was and a part of the fabric of daily life.

So there is a sense now of grappling with, what does Britain look like without the Queen? And so, it's definitely a moment where, I think there is a lot of searching, and that is why you are seeing people come together and wanting to honor the moment, and wanting to mark the moment. And a lot of people also telling us that they want to make it clear to King Charles, now, that he has their support.

Although, interestingly, others told us that this is not about the monarchy per se. This is about an extraordinary woman with an extraordinary legacy who gave of herself in so many ways to her country without any sense of ego and wanting to sort of say, thank you for that.


In terms of the logistics, Bianca, it really is quite astonishing to see. We have heard that this was more complex to pull off and organize than the London Olympics were. They actually stopped flights for a little while during that funeral procession to ensure that the skies would be quiet, that the reverence and the solemnity of the moment could be fully appreciated by everyone who gathered on the mount to watch that procession.

And now, of course, going into Monday's funeral, where you have all these heads of state from around the world pouring into try to, well not to try, to attend and participate and pay their respects. It is going to be a monumental task. And you see all of these hundreds of volunteers from all over the country who have come to participate.

And it's amazing how they are able to communicate and coordinate and you sort of wonder if there is a brain room, somewhere, Bianca, where there are people who are making sure that all that communication, and coordination is happening to keep things flowing so smoothly.

NOBILO: Clarissa Ward for us, in London, thank you so much.

And still to come, tonight, the Queen's hometown begins to say goodbye. Some final thoughts from people paying their respects.


NOBILO: The flags of the commonwealth nations lined the Queen's funeral procession today. It is an association of more than 56 countries that work towards goals of democracy, prosperity, and peace, though it has a complicated history.

CNN's Christiane Amanpour spoke to Baroness Patricia Scotland, secretary general of the Commonwealth of Nations.


PATRICIA SCOTLAND, SECRETARY-GENERAL, COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS: If you think about it, she was the head saying this empire of the old is gone. It is never going to come back. And, gradually, there will be more and more republics.

But, she said, to the new concept of union, of collaboration, of partnership between peoples and races, she said in 1953, to that, I will pledge myself every day of my life. And that's what she did.

So I think one of the things that's wonderful about our commonwealth is that you couldn't create this, you know? You have some of the richest countries, some of the biggest countries, and then some of the smallest, the most delicate, the most vulnerable countries. In here, 1.4 billion people. No, 10,000 to 11,000 people, and all of those leaders sitting around one table, talking about principles that are critically important to the whole world.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: So, I want to -- I want to just say, you know, obviously the Queen was above politics. Whatever she thought, she never would've said anything about the real questions that are popping up now about reparations, about problems (ph), she would've never done that, because I'm told that that would have been a political act.

However, she did leave it to her heir. The Prince of Wales did say and did, you know, address that. To be honest with you, I can't find it here right now, well, yes, last June, in Barbados or recently, he said: The appalling atrocity of slavery forever stains our history.

Is that enough? That's the first question. And secondly, how much do you think the Queen knew about the historic evils? And there were torture, violence, putting down freedom, or, you know, sort of protests, things like that, Malta (ph) and other places. How much do you think she knew of that past?

SCOTLAND: I think we also need to be very clear, this is not a subject which has only come up today. The commonwealth has been in the vanguard, I think we shouldn't forget that when it came to the apartheid, who was it that stood up at a time when everyone else was really quite happy to not look at the inconvenient truth that wasn't the secretary at that time, it wasn't the commonwealth of nations, it was the commonwealth who led that whole debate on apartheid, and was responsible, according to Nelson Mandela, to making it really push.

That's why when the first -- Nelson Mandela first came to the U.K., where did he come? He came to the secretary of, in 1979. We had a Lusaka declaration talking about racism. In 2020, in October, when the foreign ministers met, we had a whole debate on race again, they made a clear statement.

So this is been something which the commonwealth has engaged in, the member states have engaged in it. Their whole lives, and if you look at what the Queen did, she was quietly supporting her commonwealth, all the way through. And by her actions, she demonstrated what she thought.


NOBILO: Leaders and dignitaries from all across the world are expected to attend Monday's funeral. Among them is Donald Charles McKinnon, a former foreign affairs minister of New Zealand, and commonwealth secretary general. He was on vacation in London when the Queen died.

And he told me a short time ago that he got to know the Queen well after he assumed that commonwealth post.


SIR DONALD CHARLES MCKINNON, FORMER MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, NEW ZEALAND: Certainly, once I was be come the commonwealth secretary general, that was a whole new ball game, because I was leading every few months, half, our 45-minute meetings. After a couple of those, I didn't really get to know her well. I sat and warmed towards her and found her very easy to talk to on more than just the commonwealth issues.

NOBILO: Any memory standout in particular?

MCKINNON: Hundreds, no doubt. No time --

NOBILO: Would you mind sharing one or two with us?

MCKINNON: Well, I do want to mention, she had an immense interest in agriculture, farming, horses. Now everyone would associate blood horses, thoroughbreds. But she knew more about more breeds of horses around the world.

Clearly, she studied them. I think I've got a fair knowledge myself, so I always make sure that we finished up any discussion on something we both liked talking about, horses or dairy cows. She loved dairy cows.

NOBILO: There's a very famous clip affair, I don't know if you have seen it, being extremely excited that some cows were at an event, which went viral, we should show it later if we can, any opportunity. The commonwealth is obviously a hugely important part of the monarch's responsibilities.

Can you tell us about what you experience to her commitment to it?

MCKINNON: Well, it was an extraordinarily strong, And I don't say that one likely. After when she became Queen, the world, I think, only six or some commonwealth countries. Now that something you can very easily get your mind around.

Of course, you know, about the '60s when she realized the commonwealth was getting very big, she gave Mulberry House, just down the road from here, to the commonwealth secretary, which had been established. Now we are 54 countries.

So she has gone around with the commonwealth. I think that is a very strong point. She has met different leaders of different commonwealth countries as they become a member, as they join the group here, as they joined the leaders' summits at the CHOGM. So by growing with, it she just has this immense breadth and depth of knowledge about so many people and so many issues, which covers, you know, a third of the world.



NOBILO: There's been much ceremony and tradition as the UK bids farewell to Queen Elizabeth. But the next few days will be largely for the people. With hundreds of thousands expected to line up to say goodbye as they walk past her coffin.

CNN spoke with a few of the mourners waiting in line today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been a constant throughout my life, now she is gone. So, you know, I did have a lot of respect for her. I just wanted to be close to her and say goodbye.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's I needed to come and say goodbye, and that's just me. That's me. Also, when my family have children, my boys have children, I would like to teach them the history of it all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was ready for the long stay. It didn't matter, whether of 24 hours, 48 hours, I was ready to stay, because this is a woman that means much more than her majesty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have been sleeping here, whether it is cold or not, we don't mind. If you don't love someone, you wouldn't do anything for anyone.

CHANCE: So you came down here the day you heard the Queen died.


CHANCE: And you've been camping here ever since?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I have. I mean, now, even torrential rain. It's been soaking wet. I'm soaking wet. I have to say it, I'm about to be knackered.

CHANCE: I bet you are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'm here for the Queen. I'm here to support her, or give her a good sendoff. We want the bend off best sendoff she's ever had. How we felt about her, what she's done for people. That's why we are all here, to pay our respects.


NOBILO: Let's go back to the streets now, where thousands lined the route to see the Queen's coffin go by, where thousands more are queuing up to file past her coffin inside Westminster.

Our Anna Stewart has been out among the crowds all day today. Anna, you and I have been celebrated by the queue because you were at the end and I was right at the front. I don't think anybody does box pot like you.

So what are your takeaways from the conversations that you have had with people today?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Well, thank you, Bianca. The queue misses of course. You are at the front, of course, I've been rather the back, although, the queue is moving fast. Since you were here, Bianca, the queue has actually shrunk ever so slightly now at 2.4 miles.

Now, for our viewers, that might sound a very long queue indeed, how very British to queue as well.

It set up, at least in terms of infrastructure, potentially to be ten miles long. But this is hundreds of thousands of people who want to pay their respects to the Queen. They want to do in person. They want to say a final goodbye.

I think what's been really touching for being here through the day is just how warm everyone is. Particularly, you will see these people behind. Me they have never met each other before. They have all become great friends. They are getting each other teas and coffees.

This is one of those moments that they will remember. In some ways it is as much going into Westminster Hall, the silence and having a very somber moment, a moment of reflection, a moment to perhaps say a prayer to say goodbye. But as much as that, the hours and hours, around six hours at this stage to get there. It's about speaking to people and remembering the occasion.

And there is certainly a bit of an atmosphere here that is almost quite jubilant. I think a lot of people look back at the Queen's life and it is very a life well-lived. That's the general message that I've been getting here today, Bianca. NOBILO: Yeah, me too, Anna, almost lay she couldn't have given any

more. And I think people felt a sense of finality and gratitude with that.

How far do you think today gave us a glimpse of what we can expect to see on Monday in terms of the public lining the streets, the huge security presence that I'm sure you have seen all over, all of the volunteers. How much more of that can we expect to see, do you think, for the actual funeral itself?

STEWART: This almost feels like the beginning, despite having days of this already. But, of course, by Monday, the crowds will be even bigger. Of course, we are all looking at the infrastructure of London which is heaving in terms of transportation, and everything.

But, honestly, this is one of those moments where the crowds are extremely happy to be here. It is certainly a feeling of goodwill. I've been speaking to lots of policemen, there are, as you say, about 1,000 volunteers and marshals helping this queue along.

There were also loads of policeman, and I was fascinated to see some policeman wearing green uniforms, which you don't see along very often at all, if ever. They were for Northern Ireland. I suddenly found out that policeman up and down the U.K. have been invited to be here to take part and work, to help these crowds.

And for some of those units around the U.K., there were 50 people for every place. Oversubscribed, the policemen want to honor the Queen as well. Everybody wants to be here as part of this big celebration of the Queen's life.

And I think Monday is going to be spectacular. Like we have seen throughout the week, there has been a really transition from the raw grief on the Queen had first died. We got that announcement, to moments of sadness, but also moments meant for anticipation for the future. We are seeing the end of one big chapter of history and the beginning of another.

NOBILO: Anna Stewart in London, and amongst the crowds, thank you so much.


We'll talk to you soon.

As we have discussed, the United Kingdom, united in grief, and saying goodbye. It has been just over a day since Queen Elizabeth II came home to London for the last time.

On Wednesday, crowds lined the streets, as her remains journeyed from Buckingham Palace to Parliament's Westminster Hall. There were private prayers from her royal family. And public tears, as mourners began to file past.

As Anna mentioned, the line stretched for kilometers, so the emotional scenes will continue during the next few days, leading up to the Queen's funeral on Monday.

Thank you all for watching our special coverage tonight. Do stay with CNN. I'll see you tomorrow.