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CNN Live Event/Special

CNN International: Mourners Pay Respects To Queen In Westminster Hall; Ukrainian President Promises Victory As He Tours Izyum; Xi Jinping to Visit Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan This Week. Aired 4- 5p ET

Aired September 14, 2022 - 16:00   ET




BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST (voice-over): Hello and a warm welcome to CNN's special coverage of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. I am Bianca Nobilo, live from outside Buckingham Palace.

Tonight, Queen Elizabeth is lying in state in Westminster Hall, here in London. We have full coverage of all of the day's key moments.

Also, the other headlines we are following, including the Ukrainian president visiting the newly liberated city of Izyum.

Saying thank you, ma'am (ph), for the final time. In the -- we had a little issue there, I think, with our scripts but going back to our top story with where we are in Buckingham Palace.

In the past few hours, the first members of the public have been getting the chance to personally pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II. Mourners have been filing into Westminster Hall, where her body is lying in the state, where it will remain until the morning of her funeral on Monday.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to stand in line in the coming days. The queues, Wednesday alone, stretched for more than four kilometers across London. The queen's coffin was brought to Parliament from Buckingham Palace, with King Charles and his sons traveling behind it.


NOBILO (voice-over): Guns were fired at Hyde Park and the chimes of Big Ben rang out to the somber occasion.


NOBILO (voice-over): On reaching Westminster Hall, the Archbishop of Canterbury led a service. We will see the king again on Friday, when he continues his tour of the United Kingdom and a visit to Wales. Max Foster has more on the day's events and what will happen next.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Silence as Queen Elizabeth II lies in state in Westminster Hall. Mourners filing past paying respects, some overcome with emotion.

After spending a last night at Buckingham Palace, the coffin was carried in procession on a gun carriage, behind on foot, her family.

King Charles III and his siblings, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward and the Queen's grandchildren, including Prince William and Prince Harry who we last saw like this walking behind their mother's coffin as children.

On top of the casket, as the procession made its way along the mall, the priceless imperial state crown.

As it moved through iconic landmarks in London, guns fired from Hyde Park and 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 as the coffin made its way down the political district in Whitehall to be passed by the family to the people. Members of the army, navy and air force giving a guard honor to their late commander in chief.

The procession finally arriving at the heart of Parliament, the ancient Westminster Hall, for a short blessing.

REVEREND JUSTIN WELBY, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: 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.

FOSTER: Then, finally, a chance for mourners, some who'd waited overnight, a chance to have their own personal moment and bid farewell to their queen ahead of the state funeral on Monday.


NOBILO: Max Foster joins me now live with more on this historic day.

Max, today I was in the crowd, I was talking to individuals.


NOBILO: But you were looking at the day overall and sort of the bird's-eye view of it.

What did you make of what you saw?

FOSTER: It went really smoothly. I was looking, as it was playing out, I was looking at the plan from last year. It is literally to the minute. That is extraordinary. There is actually one of the bands, who is in charge of keeping timing. They did an incredible job.

It was time to leave here at 2:23 local time, to arrive exactly at 3 o'clock. They actually timed the music to exactly fit. So he was trying to keep up 75 beats a minute exactly all the way, which is incredible.

Also, the crown here, I learned after the event that it is likely sewn on to the cushion and it is attached. The pallbearers had to -- had a huge amount of responsibility. Then this was another moment, seeing the family walk behind.

People were reminded of Diana's funeral but it was completely different tone to this one. People were, I mean, there was some celebration in the crowd. It wasn't absolute grief and mourning and flowers being thrown in front of the procession. It was something else.

NOBILO: No, the shift is quite interesting. After the initial shock of the queen's death, I think people knew it would come. She was 96 years old and I got the sense today of the deep gratitude, the sense of finality of a life well lived in service to them.

There is not really much more that she could possibly have given. It was more of a thanksgiving and joy at points, with a bit of emotion and sadness as people were actually coming out of being able to see the queen lying in the state for the first time. But that quickly passed, I think.

FOSTER: And how smoothly did it go?

Because they were trying to keep the queue flowing. They had all of that security, didn't they?

NOBILO: Phenomenally smoothly. We were with the first people at the front of the queue --


NOBILO: -- sometimes who had slept outside in the rain, determined to be the first to pay their respects. It was such a smooth operation as a ginormous police presence, volunteers, military presence as well.

It was run like clockwork, mirroring what we were seeing in the actual procession. And they were dealing with the crowd in batches or in chunks.

FOSTER: I think today was about the public. If you are seeing all of that, it went absolutely impeccably. So you had the pomp and ceremony but really, this was the process of the family handing over to Parliament.

And now the Parliament, you saw them there and the speakers of the two houses are taking charge. I think that was quite a powerful moment for the king and particularly Princess Anne, who has been in charge of looking after the coffin, to hand over.

And of course, it'll build up now to the funeral, Monday. And ultimately the interment, at Windsor, which will be the family moment as well. It will be a very personal moment. That is when they get her back, effectively.

NOBILO: I think that is what struck me about today. I think we touched on this earlier. We are gearing up toward the funeral. But this was the beginning of the public's ability to be in close proximity and pay their respects.

The funeral is for the world, high-ranking heads of state. The other thing which did strike me about what people said as they were coming out was how there were members of Parliament and cabinet ministers who have access to Westminster Hall whenever they choose. So they don't have to queue.

And people were saying ordinarily, I would want to give that cabinet minister a piece of my mind.

But obviously that transcends all that. So they were sometimes standing shoulder to shoulder with their elected representatives, high ranking members of the cabinet, just in mourning, in grief, paying their respects with politics completely cast aside.

FOSTER: I think we are building up to the weekend where the heads of state and prime ministers are going to fly into London.

It is actually an amazing diplomatic event, isn't it?

Do you think the politics will rise above that or will there be opportunities for bilaterals, if I can call it that, even though they are very informal?

At this amazing event, you are not going to have a global leadership in one city like this in our lifetime, are we?

NOBILO: It is a curious kind of soft power because they are all there to honor a person. It is uniquely personal in that respect. It is not like a G7 or a climate summit. They are there because of the very unique reason.

So I am sure that soft power will be exercised and all of the invitees are only able to attend on the night of the government. It does reflect Britain's foreign relations. I am sure we will talk more about that, Max, thank you for joining us.

And Clarissa Ward is out with the crowds.

Clarissa, I was out earlier today. And we left about an hour after they were able to go to Westminster Hall for the first time. You are now in the thick of it. People who are determined to queue through tonight.


NOBILO: What is the atmosphere, what are they telling you?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is pretty extraordinary, Bianca, how quickly they are funneling people through. You can see behind me, of course, the line stretches quite some way.

And then across the street, people from here funnel down on to the riverbank. They then cross the bridge to go over to Westminster Hall. But it is a steady flow of people, you are not seeing any bottlenecks, you are not seeing too many crowds, you are not seeing any pushing or jostling or shouting.

There has been a real atmosphere here of camaraderie, people making friends while they are waiting on line, talking to others, sharing memories of the queen. And so many that we have spoken to have said that this isn't even about the monarchy and whether or not you follow the monarchy closely.

This is about paying homage to an extraordinary woman, who presided over extraordinary times and who really embodied the essence of duty and dignity.

So some of them were saying they have been waiting about four or five hours, which again, when you think of the horror stories that we have heard about potentially people having to wait all night, it does seem, with rigorous planning and with the work of hundreds of volunteers from all over the country, some of whom you can see right behind me, they are managing to keep this moving pretty quickly, which is no mean feat in and of itself.

You can see them pouring through, all different ages, different walks of life. We were very lucky, actually, Bianca, by happenstance earlier on, when we were standing on Westminster Bridge over there.

We actually bumped into the Archbishop of Canterbury as he was walking across the bridge to go and greet the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II and deliver those prayers that we saw earlier at the end of the procession. Take a listen to what he had to say.


WELBY: It is a huge privilege, it is a great honor to do it. And it is also a very solemn moment because I had the privilege of meeting the queen on many occasions. And it is a deep sense of loss but also what a gift it is that I can actually play a part in saying goodbye to her.

WARD: 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 common knowledge since but particularly in private, her extraordinarily quick sense of humor.

WARD: I have heard that many times.

WELBY: Also, the other thing, which I think hasn't been mentioned quite so often, her phenomenal memory. She remembers people forever.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WARD: He also went on to say that that extraordinary memory that he alluded to, remembering people and places she had been, for many years, after the fact that he sees those qualities as well in King Charles III.

A lot of people have been talking to say it is not just about paying their respects and saying thank you and participating in some way in this historical moment; it is also about showing their support for King Charles and for the future of the monarchy, Bianca.

NOBILO: That was definitely the interview of the day for us. I think it is fantastic to have heard from the archbishop.

Tell us, given the scale of what we have seen today, the security presence, the planning, the seas of people, how far will this be reflected on Monday?

Will it be many orders of magnitude greater than what we would expect to see for the queen's funeral itself?

WARD: Well, I think in terms of the moving parts, this is obviously an extraordinary -- because you have all of these thousands of volunteers, all from different parts of the country, presiding over different parts of this massive -- at one stage three-mile long line.

And how that coordination and communication has continued so effectively that you have not seen any incidents, that you have been able to keep this steady flow of traffic and that people really are getting the opportunity, with only a wait of four or five hours, which is not as bad as it has been projected.

So that is certainly an extraordinary feat of planning and we had heard that this took more effort and more security, in a sense, that even organizing the London Olympics, which gives you a sense of the size.

Monday, of course, is going to be a very different sort of thing, because you are going to have, as Max mentioned, all of those heads of state that will be traveling from all around the world.

The security for that and the coordination and making sure -- they have asked them not to fly in on private jets. They have asked them to be shuttled around on many buses, essentially, to try to improve and keep that process streamline and affected.


WARD: That is not even to mention, of course, the incredible effort that will go into organizing all of the beautiful rituals and traditions that we have come to expect from Great Britain.

But that, of course, are highly anticipated with this momentous state funeral. So I think that it is pretty clear they have done amazing work already. But there is still a lot of work to be done in the coming days, Bianca.

NOBILO: Clarissa Ward in London, in amongst the crowds, thank you very much.

Tonight, some of the other headlines that we are following.

"Shocking destruction," that is what Ukraine's president says that he witnessed firsthand in a town just liberated from Russian forces.

And also ahead, a crucial opportunity for Vladimir Putin to win more support for his struggling war effort. We will preview his meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping.




NOBILO: Welcome back to the show.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that his troops are moving in only one direction, predicting a rout of Russian forces across the country. He visited Izyum today, one of the towns recently liberated in a lightning counteroffensive by Ukraine.

Just days ago, Izyum was Russia's main logistical hub in the Kharkiv (ph) region. President Zelenskyy says Ukraine has now liberated some 8,000 square kilometers of territory this month alone.

He thanked his soldiers in Izyum and watched as the Ukrainian flag was raised in front of the city council building. Mr. Zelenskyy also toured the destruction Russian forces left behind.


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


NOBILO: Let's go live now to Ukraine. Nick Paton Walsh is reporting from Kharkiv.

What more can you tell us about the visit President Zelenskyy took to the region?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: I think it is important to point out just how volatile Izyum still is today. While President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was speaking, you could hear explosions in the background, in the video recordings there.

As you say, a place that, a matter of days ago, was a central logistical hub, not just for the Kharkiv area but also for Russia's fight down in the Donbas area as well. He was quite clear to those Ukrainian soldiers who he met there and

the Ukrainian people that they were essentially Ukraine's greatest asset and needed to take care of themselves after the lengthy, grueling fight. A moment of silence there for the losses across Ukraine.


WALSH: But also there are significant losses, it seems, Ukraine has sustained in this counteroffensive. It has been an utterly startling rout. On display during that visit was not only, frankly, the Ukrainian president's desire to get to the front lines, his desire also to hand out medals to Ukrainian soldiers; similar gesture, if you saw it in Russia, would be occurring possibly hundreds if not thousands of miles away from the front lines in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin never having been toward the back of the field himself. But a sense here that Kyiv possibly feels that its momentum is continuing. He referred to how Ukrainian troops are only moving in one direction. That is not entirely the case; they are moving forward in multiple different areas of Ukraine at this stage.

But Russia does, it appears, seem to be trying to hit back. Today, Ukrainian officials are talking about the key southern city of Kryvyi Rih, Zelenskyy's hometown, even having some of its hydraulic infrastructure hit by as many possibly as seven cruise missiles.

That has caused, in the words of one Ukrainian official, hundreds of cubic meters to be flowing fast and flooding areas there. So a possibility here that we are seeing over the past days. Russia's response, being that it does not have the land forces capacity to fight back and retake land.

But it does seem still to have cruise missiles it can use to damage infrastructure. The electric infrastructure here in Kharkiv, it seems tonight, the hydraulic, the dam is basically down in Kryvyi Rih, causing a river there, its banks, it seems, to overflow and potentially significant damage to civilian life down there in the days ahead.

NOBILO: That is how Russia is attacking or retaliating at the moment.

Can you explain a little more how this recapture of territory by Ukraine leaves the Russian forces in terms of morale, strategically and logistically?

What is the impact?

WALSH: I mean, it has to say, it has been utterly startling how fast this turnaround has happened. It is from cold, clever calculation by the Ukrainians, to convincing everybody they were going for the southern front but instead choosing weak points that were poorly manned in the Kharkiv area.

Kharkiv, less part of Russia's ultimate game plan necessarily. But the second largest city, Russian-speaking, so close to Russia's border. We saw how intense the fighting was. Just a matter of kilometers from

where I am standing here, just a matter of months ago, in May, the idea that the tide has turned so fast, the Russian forces have simply fled, leaving behind significant quantities of arms and ammunition is startling.

It speaks to the manpower crisis, certainly, which many have talked about for weeks, that Moscow is acutely aware of, sending recruiters to its prisons to replenish its front line ranks here.

But it also speaks to a crisis of morale and possibly failures of leadership tactically here. But there is one key advantage Ukraine now has. The front line it's fighting on is a lot smaller as a matter of days ago and they could potentially push Russia on multiple areas.

From the north, down toward Luhansk, from Zaporizhzhya toward Mariupol and on that front line in the south, which many thought was the initial focus of this counteroffensive. A lot of choices for Ukraine and a lot of problems for Russia.

They do not seem, at this stage, to have, for a want of a better word, the juice to push back and reclaim areas at this stage. So you have to ask exactly when this key Ukrainian counter offensive stops and when Moscow, would it seem, be able to retake control of the narrative, which is for days spiraling out of their control, Bianca.

NOBILO: Nick Paton Walsh for us in Ukraine, thank you so much.

Russian president Vladimir Putin will look for support when he sits down for high stakes talks just hours from now. He is due to meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping and other regional leaders at a summit in Uzbekistan.

Xi is on his first overseas trip since the COVID pandemic. He visited Kazakhstan on Wednesday and traveled on to Uzbekistan, which is hosting the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. To discuss this, let's bring in Jill Dougherty for some perspective. She is now an adjunct professor at Georgetown University in Washington.

Jill, always great to speak to you. Let's talk about or remind our viewers about why Russia might need Xi Jinping's support generally but now more than ever on the battlefield in Ukraine.

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: China is extremely important to Russia, there is no doubt. One of the reasons, there are many but especially, economically right now, Russia is in very serious trouble because of sanctions from the West.


DOUGHERTY: And China is not joining those sanctions. Although they have, I would have to say, a subtle approach to Russia and the war. But they are not part of the sanctions for the most part.

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

That shows one of the very, you know, the height of importance for him. It is another, I think, way for President Putin to show that he has friends. One of them, the main one is China. But also the organization, the SCO and the countries will be meeting there.

We understand that he will be talking with leaders in India, Pakistan, Iran and Turkiye. And at least two of them you would have to say are very important in the geopolitical situation around the war in Ukraine.

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

NOBILO: And Jill, obviously the China-Russia relationship is pivotal for both of them but, in particular, Russia. But Xi Jinping still has to tread a fine line. He obviously can't overtly support Vladimir Putin. He hasn't done.

How much latitude and freedom is there to support Putin and what else could he do?

DOUGHERTY: I think we would have to say that this is a balancing act, really. It is a balancing act for China, balancing between Russia and then the rest of the world -- Europe, the United States especially, economically.

There is no question that it is more important, the relationship with the United States and, let's call it the West, is critical to China. So they do not want to damage that relationship.

And also, I think, in a geopolitical way, it is very important to China as well because there is concern, we understand, in China about the war in general. You know, let's call it attacking a neighbor and that type of geopolitical destabilization, is not something that China really wants. China wants stability.

And they are not getting it, of course, when they look at Ukraine. So I get back to that kind of idea, Bianca, that this is a hugely important relationship. But at least from the Chinese side, they have a subtle approach to it and trying to balance it with the crucial relationship with the West.

NOBILO: Jill, thank you so much for joining us, always great to see you.

Still to come tonight, a closer look at Queen Elizabeth's military procession in the heart of London, ahead of a funeral next week.




NOBILO: People are lining up in the British capital to say thank you and farewell to Queen Elizabeth II. Her coffin is now lying in state in the Palace of Westminster, 24 hours a day, until 6:30 am local time on Monday morning. That, of course, is that day of the queen's funeral.

World leaders will soon travel to London to attend it. But Russian president Vladimir Putin will not be among. Them that is because a senior British government official told CNN he was not invited. And neither were officials from Belarus because of the invasion of Ukraine.

The source added that officials from Myanmar were also ruled out because of their treatment of the Rohingya people. The Kremlin now claim that Mr. Putin had no plans to participate. Isa Soares walks through this historic day.


ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Silence as Queen Elizabeth II lies in state in Westminster Hall. Mourners filing past paying respects, some overcome with emotion.

After spending a last night at Buckingham Palace, the coffin was carried in procession on a gun carriage, behind on foot, her family. King Charles III and his siblings, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward and the Queen's grandchildren, including Prince William and Prince Harry who we last saw like this walking behind their mother's coffin as children.

On top of the casket, as the procession made its way along the mall, the priceless imperial state crown. As it moved through iconic landmarks in London, guns fired from Hyde Park and 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 as the coffin made its way down the political district in Whitehall to be passed by the family to the people. Members of the army, navy and air force giving a guard honor to their late commander-in-chief. The procession finally arriving at the heart of parliament, the ancient Westminster Hall, for a short blessing.

WELBY: 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'd waited overnight, to have their own personal moment and bid farewell to their queen.


SOARES: And Bianca, there is no more majestic place to honor Her Majesty the Queen than Westminster Hall, the beating heart of Parliament for almost 1,000 years, a hall that is steeped in history, where Sir Winston Churchill and the queen's parents once lay in state. Bianca.

NOBILO: Now with London at the center of worldwide mourning of Queen Elizabeth, I spoke with the city's mayor earlier today. And he told me why the queen's passing has affected so many people and why he feels confident in King Charles III's new leadership.


NOBILO: Thank you so much for making time for us. Your office is obviously heavily involved in the planning of an event like this. The scale is almost unprecedented.

Is London ready?

SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: It is unprecedented. I mean, the world has not seen a funeral like this. We have not buried a monarch for more than 70 years.


KHAN: The police officers from around the country, the armed forces, we have stewards, analysts because people want to pay their last respects to Her Majesty the Queen.

They have been queueing for some time now to been able to see Her Majesty lay in state. She'll be leaving Buckingham Palace for her last time to start to (INAUDIBLE) our king and the immediate family will be following behind by foot (INAUDIBLE) Westminster Hall.

And along the route, you will see literally hundreds of thousands of people paying their respects to Her Majesty the Queen. It is quite personal for many people. We all have our own relationships with Her Majesty.

And then she will lay in state for the next five days before the state funeral on Monday. And we expect to see, over the course of the next few days, hundreds of thousands of people personally pay their respects to Her Majesty the Queen.

But also, we expect to see prime ministers, presidents, members of the royal family and people from across the globe come to pay their respects over the next few days in London.

She was born in London, Her Majesty. And we are really proud that she is back home in London. Clearly she had a huge amount of (INAUDIBLE) Balmoral and Windsor. And then Monday, of course, she will be leaving London for the last time, going to (INAUDIBLE).

NOBILO: And, you have been speaking to members of the public in this queue. There's a huge Commonwealth presence. How does it make you feel as mayor of London that the world's eyes are

on London right now, what it is capable of and what it does best?

KHAN: I absolutely want to raise the (INAUDIBLE) Pakistan (INAUDIBLE) from India. She was our queen. And one thing about Her Majesty the Queen, certainly she, our queen, as speaking to someone in London, speaking to someone who is British but the queen, the Commonwealth and also people who are not members of the Commonwealth saw her as their queen.

She was the continuity during the course of their lives (INAUDIBLE). Presidents come and go, prime ministers come and go, some members of respectable families come and go. She was ever-present.

But 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. And the message from our city is, rest in peace, Queen Elizabeth II. Long live King Charles III. Thank you.


NOBILO: Matthew Chance is in Westminster.

Matthew, I'm not sure exactly where you are. You look like you might just be outside of Westminster Palace gates. But let us know where you are and what you are seeing and what you have experienced today.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, well I am just on the corner of Parliament Square. This is the exit route for people after they have undergone that massive line and filed past to pay their respects to the casket of Elizabeth II inside Westminster Hall.

Take a look up here. There is the clock tower at Westminster Palace. Elizabeth Tower, of course, which houses Big Ben inside. And it is right underneath that, that this whole sort of area has been opened up. It is the only exit route for people to come out, once they have filed past the casket.

Excuse me, sir.

Did you see the casket?


CHANCE: And what was the atmosphere like inside?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very somber, very moving.

CHANCE: Where did you come from to see this?



And why was it important for you to come and pay respects in this way?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) She had always been the queen.

CHANCE: All right. Thank you very much, sir.

The people who are being let out in batches, obviously sometimes it is very crowded (INAUDIBLE). Let me try to speak to someone else.

Excuse me, madam, did you see the queen, the queen's casket?


CHANCE: And how was it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was fabulous, actually. You could have heard a pin drop. And there were so many people --

CHANCE: Very quiet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- completely silent, yes.

CHANCE: Why was it important for you to wait in that queue?

It must have been a long time, to pay your respects.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was quite lucky because I was (INAUDIBLE). We had a shorter queue to go.




CHANCE: You didn't have to wait very long at all?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, an hour or something, you know. But not like other people. So we were very lucky.

CHANCE: OK, all right, good. Thank you very much for talking to us.

NOBILO: There you have it, Bianca. Not a great deal of people coming out at the moment but police tell us that they are planning over the next few days for 2,000 people per hour to be filing past the casket to pay their respects.

And then they'll be coming out in this one sort of avenue that has been opened up to exit Parliament Square and the Palace of Westminster. So it is going to be very busy here over the next few days.

NOBILO: Thanks, so, much Matthew.

And our viewers can see, based on the organized and quite tranquil nature of what is behind you, how well planned all of this is.


NOBILO: And as Matthew said, people are being escorted through in batches. So that is really keeping all crowds under control. Thanks to Matthew Chance there.

And still to come on the program tonight, tens of thousands are lining up to pay their respects to the queen as we just saw. We will speak to one prominent dignitary, who came all the way from New Zealand for the funeral.




NOBILO: Sir Donald Charles McKinnon has come a long way to witness history and he will be attending the queen's funeral on Monday, I believe. He's a former minister of foreign affairs of New Zealand and a former Commonwealth secretary general.

It is a pleasure to talk to you, sir, especially as I'm a fellow Kiwi. So you were just telling me --



NOBILO: -- thank you.

So you were just telling me that you actually happened to be in the country because you are on holiday. But now it seems like you will be attending the funeral on Monday.

How did that happen?

SIR DONALD CHARLES MCKINNON, FORMER COMMONWEALTH SECRETARY-GENERAL: Well, the queen died when I was here. So that all changed everything. But, having worked so long with her, as the secretary general, I think I probably would have come anyway to her funeral. So there it is.

NOBILO: And you will be attending with the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, and others from New Zealand?

MCKINNON: Yes, I will be.

NOBILO: In your time working as foreign minister, did you have many meetings with the queen?

What can you tell us about working with her?

MCKINNON: It was a bit different. It tended to be with others at the time, foreign minister works at one level, prime minister at another and so. On but the various functions I sat beside her at dinners and things like this. So I did get to know her a little bit. But certainly, once being elected Commonwealth secretary general, that was a whole new ball game because I was meeting with her every few months. And these were half- hour, 40-minute meetings.

So after a couple of those, I did really get to know her well. I certainly warmed toward her and found her very easy to talk to on more than just Commonwealth issues.

NOBILO: Any memory stand out in particular?

MCKINNON: Hundreds.



NOBILO: Would you mind sharing one or two of them?

MCKINNON: I do know that 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. And I think that I have a fair knowledge myself, so I always made sure we finished any discussion on something we both liked talking about, horses or dairy cows. She loved dairy cows.

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


NOBILO: Can you tell us about what you experienced, her commitment to it?

MCKINNON: It was extraordinarily strong. I don't say it lightly. When she became queen, the world, I think only six or seven Commonwealth countries, that is something you can very easily get your mind around.

But by the '60s, when she realized the Commonwealth was getting very big, she gave Marlborough House, which is down the road from here, to the Commonwealth secretary, which had been established.

And now we have 54 countries. So she has grown with the Commonwealth. And I think that is a very strong point with her, because she has met different leaves of different Commonwealth countries as they became independent, as they joined the grouping, as they joined the leaders' summits.

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 a third of the world.

NOBILO: Do you think that it will be challenging for King Charles III to be held in such high regard when it comes to Commonwealth affairs?

MCKINNON: I think with most things, you work your way into the job. You prove to people that you do know what is going on. You want to participate, you want to be active.

In the time that he was Prince of Wales, I always felt he kept the Commonwealth a bit of a distance partly because I think that he felt that this was his mother's domain and not his.

I mention to the queen once, I said look, your four offspring, they could be very of great use within the Commonwealth, the different areas that they will be interested in.

And she said, well, go ahead, the Commonwealth is big enough for all of us.

And so I did encourage Prince Charles at the time to engage in some activities, as with Prince Edward as well.

NOBILO: How did you find the now king to work with?

MCKINNON: Oh, no, very affable, enjoyable conversations, a very witty (INAUDIBLE) companion. More or less telling jokes against himself, that sort of thing, which is always a good sign. So he will grow into that job. And he will learn to love the Commonwealth because it is such a huge body of people who do have a lot in common.

NOBILO: We have been focused, understandably, so much on how the queen was perceived in this country. But obviously she is head of state in other countries as well.

How was she regarded in New Zealand and what is the current relationship between Kiwis and the monarchy?

MCKINNON: I would think as of this week, it has been very positive. But up until the time she departed, I would think there would be a lot of people saying, well, you know, it is time we became a republic in our own right and we should be debating that. That will be a debate that will get underway, I think, later this year.

NOBILO: You think that soon?

MCKINNON: When I say get underway, I just think people will start writing to the paper, people will start making pronouncements about it. It would be a huge issue.

But I agree with some of our constitutional people who are saying, look, this is just a flip of the coin. You know, you just trade one person for another.

And don't forget, our murray (ph) people, which you'll be familiar with, they signed the treaty.


MCKINNON: They see it as their linkage with the crown. They see that far more differently than those of us who are referred to this (INAUDIBLE), those who came in after the treaty. So there has got to be a pretty big and long and deep debate before New Zealand can just change their mind.

NOBILO: I'm glad you mentioned that, because when people speak about New Zealand and whether or not it will become a republic, those elements are not usually addressed.

Would you agree with the prime minister that you think she would be likely to see New Zealand become a republic in her lifetime?

MCKINNON: Well, she is pretty young so that's --


NOBILO: -- think in the next couple of decades -- ?

MCKINNON: I think the debate will start. I think it is appropriate to have a debate like that from time to time. But it is not the sort of thing that you want to conclude on a 51 percent ballot. You really want to have a total buy-in of all people in New Zealand.

Don't forget, there are huge numbers of different migrant communities in New Zealand, from Vietnam or Brazil or China or Malaysia, from the Pacific islands, who have quite a different view of New Zealand having a state on the other side of the world.

NOBILO: Finally, to you, have you been given any instructions about the funeral Monday and what do you expect and who might you bump into?


MCKINNON: Well, there is a number of people that clearly, I know who will be there. The only instruction I have got is that I am supposed to be at a rehearsal on Saturday.

NOBILO: OK, a rehearsal.

Would that be in Westminster Abbey?

MCKINNON: Well, I don't know but I was only told where to be --


MCKINNON: -- you just know that there's a rehearsal.

How mysterious. Thank you so much for joining. Us I really appreciate your time. Thanks.

Still to come, the queen is lying in state in Westminster Hall. That building has history which goes back almost a millennium. We will delve into its past coming up next.




NOBILO: The queen is lying in state in a hall whose history goes by almost a millennium. Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the Houses of Parliament. And believe it or not, construction in that space began in 1097 under William II. That is the son of William the Conqueror.

It has gone on to witness some of the most remarkable moments in English history. It was there that Henry VIII's coronation banquet took place in 1509 as well as the banquet of his daughter, Elizabeth I 50 years later.

It was also where Guy Fawkes, the Gunpowder Plot conspirator, was tried in 1606, as was King Charles I in 1649 after losing the English civil war. Joining me now to discuss is CNN's Richard Quest.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: You know, I have been through Westminster Hall many times. It was where the queen mother lay in state. I have seen speeches there. There is a grandeur of size with that vaulted ceiling that is quite extraordinary. That is a hall that rises to the occasion.

NOBILO: Absolutely. I had the pleasure, when I used to work there, walking through it every day. And I used to savor that moment. The novelty never wore off. And I was speaking to Isa about it this morning, saying that even when it is packed full of people, is still feels empty because of that ceiling.

It smells to me a bit like old library books. It is fresh, it is crisp but it does feel like you are in the thick of history. You can sense almost the thousands of years' worth of people that have walked through that space.

QUEST: The mood in there will be exceptional. The quiet dignity of the laying in state, coupled with the crown on top, the guardsmen with the vigil and the people passing by, paying respects.

The thing about this is, when they are doing it, there is a real element of dignity and love about it. I am not trying to sound too pompous, the people are going -- think about what people are doing. Just think about the raw fact.

They're waiting five, six, seven, eight hours, maybe more by tonight, to go through for the two seconds that they are next to the coffin, where they can bow their head or say a quick prayer before being pushed out again.


NOBILO: So I spoke to a few people in the crowd today, who reminisced about losing one of their parents and it reminding them of their funerals or saying goodbye to them.

Do you think there is some kind of parasocial (ph) transference element to this?

Or do you think it is really all about the queen?

QUEST: I think it is all about her. I think it is about this idea of, are we mourning a monarch or are we mourning someone who was respected?

Because we are doing both. It is the same person.

And what I am loving about what we are talking about tonight, when I am here for my colleagues and in our coverage, is that I am starting to see completely different perspectives on the same thing.

So you have learning about the idea that you have people, is it a monarch or is it a person?

Coupled with the fact that the queen was a blank sheet of paper. She could be anything you wanted her to be in terms of her views. Yet you don't know. Then you have, earlier today, this bonding that has to take place, from monarchy to work, between Charles and subjects. That is going on at the same time. It is fascinating.

NOBILO: And for a lot of people, you know, on to a certain age, they would not have been confronted with all of the symbols of Britishness and their history in this way before. I think at a time when Britain has been a little bit confused about what it is --


NOBILO: -- what do you think, what impact is not going to have?

QUEST: I think it reminds people that we are British and that we stand for certain things. And these are the institutions that we have. And if you don't like them, we could always change them if enough people want to change them.

But this is what makes us British. And, I will tell you one other thing as well, the classes elite are often very scornful people who want to stand in the street and sleep all night to see the queen or whatever. It is not very hip or right or politically correct.

But the reality is, what we are seeing is, this is exactly what people want to do. There is nothing wrong, there is nothing wrong about that.

NOBILO: No. I think having that strength of feeling about anybody and being prepared to sacrifice --

QUEST: Well, Britain, we are unlike other countries. We don't go around saying, oh, the British really are the best in the world, yes.

NOBILO: It is interesting how now King Charles is starting to show more of his emotion than monarchs before him so he is changing with the times slightly. Perhaps we are as well.

QUEST: Are you getting (INAUDIBLE)?

In a sense of, does it feel, can you feel it inside you?

NOBILO: At moments, I think being in the media, it is odd, because it's slightly removed and you have to detach yourself and the there are moments where you are suddenly confronted with it, like a ton of bricks, then you do.

QUEST: I know that when the funeral march started, it came over me like a wave. Absolutely.

NOBILO: I had that when King Charles III got out of the car for the first time. Because it was like the moment in the history books, where one chapter changes and another begins and I had not really seen that before, certainly when it comes to the monarchy.

Richard Quest, thank you for joining us.

That is it for this hour. But do stay with CNN. I will be back after a short break with more special coverage from Buckingham Palace.