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CNN Live Event/Special

Queen Elizabeth's Coffin Prepares to Leave for Windsor; Queen Elizabeth's Coffin Leaves for Windsor; Inside Look at the Queen's Funeral. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired September 19, 2022 - 08:30   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Standing for - still for long periods of time. But it's got to be exhausting just what they have been through today given this is a family in mourning. King Charles is, you know, in his mid-70s.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: For all the military members there, as, you know, ancient as these uniforms are, there are certainly members of the uniform and they've been serving and they are, you know, super fit. And the family, you know, yes, I think that was, you know, it was a long walk and they're in those uniforms. What they're waiting for now is for everyone to get into position and then you'll hear a royal salute and the national anthem will be played. And that's really the cue for the coffin then to leave that area and head towards Windsor, leave London for the last time. But, obviously, it's got to be moved from the gun carriage over to the state hearse.

COOPER: Will that happen at Wellington Arch?


And, you know, when you talk about symbolism a it, I mean Kate's history lesson is absolutely right. But I think there's not really any symbolism for this space today. It's just an easy, useful, large space that they can make all this happen on.

KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: And as you say, Anderson, these are very heavy uniforms but they usually -- they serve in normal combat outfits. And we -- as much as saying they are serving members, they're grenadier (ph) guards who we're seeing carrying the coffin, one of them won the Victoria Cross of Bravery posthumously in 2012. They are great serving members and they've all fought in the greatest conflicts.

ANDERSON: There you see the prince of Wales, his two children. What an extraordinary day this must be for them.

FOSTER: Yes, I think previous generations were brought into things a lot more, actually. But Prince William and the princess have always tried to protect them as much as possible. But, on this occasion, they decided to bring them right to the heart of it. I think it's interesting. ANDERSON: What age are the children now?

FOSTER: Well, you're talking - well, you're talking nine -

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Louie, who is not there, is four. And George -

WILLIAMS: George is nine. George is nine.

WARD: Nine. And Charlotte is seven.

WILLIAMS: Charlotte, seven, I believe.

FOSTER: And a lot of people saying why does Charlotte need to be there. She's not going to have to bear the full brunt of this like George is. People understand George being there. But, actually, I think George - Charlotte's going to be a -- if you look at the way the monarchy's been slimmed down, she's going to be a key support to George throughout. So, I think that's the message there.

WILLIAMS: And since the law was changed in the queen's reign, she is now straight after her elder brother, whereas previously she would have been pushed down by Prince Louie and reflecting the impotence of queens.

In this moment here, where the grenadier guards are bearing the coffin from the gun carriage, watched by two, Charles and Louie, the great grandchildren, and they will bear it now to the royal hearse to be taken to Windsor.


COOPER: And we're about to see the royal hearse bringing the coffin through the arch. A line of -- are those hazars (ph)?

FOSTER: So, they're going to travel along a (ph) roads, which I think is interesting, rather than the motorway to give presumably more people a chance to see the coffin before the queen's finally laid to rest. So, they're heading towards Windsor in the state hearse designed by the queen herself.

WILLIAMS: And this great moment as she leaves London, which has been the seat of her reign for so long. The king's - the king's life guard just wishing her goodbye, set up by her father, George VI. They'll head out to Windsor, passing such significant places, including Runnymede, where the Magna Carta was signed in 1215, the first ever laying down that the monarch was not above the law.

And there are the crowds wishing her a final goodbye. They've been lining up overnight. They've been there for hours just to say goodbye to their queen and applaud her and - in her final journey.


FOSTER: We will start hearing the bells of Westminster Abbey tolling again, fully muffled, which only happens during -- on the death of a monarch.

COOPER: I mean just look at how many people have come out and waiting after this week of events, more than a week, knowing that this will be the last time they actually see the queen's casket.

WARD: It's amazing to see how many people really want to play some small part in this and whether that was traveling to Buckingham Palace to be there when her coffin arrived, whether that was waiting up to 24 hours to see the queen as she was lying in state, or whether it is joining the hundreds of thousands along the streets of London today, watching her leave for the last time.

We also came on the train from -- to Windsor just now. Lots of people as well getting on the train from different stops wanting to be here to welcome her as she arrives here.

COOPER: It's so interesting, when you think about days ago when the hearse - when the hearse was coming to Buckingham Palace for the first time from - from Scotland, you were out there in the crowds, Clarissa. There was some scattered applause, particularly when the hearse entered Buckingham Palace. But the crowds were largely silent. There was a - kind of -- I think a shock and surprise and a reverence. It's interesting now to hear almost everywhere now that the hearse goes, this building of applause. It seems like the kind of -- the mood has shifted in a sense over the last several days.

WARD: Well, this is really the culmination, isn't it? It's been ten days of mourning, ten days of people trying to grapple with the new reality of life in Great Britain in the United Kingdom without the queen. And I think outside the Abbey today we definitely felt the mood was somber. It was one of reverence.

FOSTER: Lovely to see flowers thrown out as well from the crowd. These people here are the ones that couldn't get into the central area to see the main procession, so they brought flowers. They can't reach that point where you lay the flowers, so they're throwing them.

COOPER: I should point out, I -- in Windsor a short time ago I was walking around. I think there was a public address announcement asking people not to throw flowers when the - when the casket arrives.

FOSTER: A bit of a hazard.

Also interesting, you saw the king saluting the queen, who was his, you know, head of the armed forces, one last salute. You're seeing a bit of that.

Also, interesting to see Princess Anne get into this part of the motorcade on her own. Again, accompanying the coffin, as she did all the way from Balmoral, through Scotland, down to England. And, you know, we always knew there would be a member of the royal family accompanying the coffin. But I think it's interesting that she's taken that role throughout this whole process, as the person who was there when the queen actually died.

So, this is where the cavalry are normally based over in Knightsbridge (ph). So, they've played a huge role in this. And officers come out who aren't involved in the procession today to pay their respects to their former boss.

COOPER: Now, in the other vehicles, is it the immediate members of the royal family?

FOSTER: It's Princess Anne in one of them. And then, separately, you're going to have the royal family, again, yes, going down to Windsor and all the other royal families from around the world going there, and the prime ministers from the realms, including Justin Trudeau.

COOPER: But that's, obviously, in a separate motorcade, not this one.


WILLIAMS: And this is the route that the queen took so often from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle because it was her favorite weekend retreat. Often when we'd be all covering royal events together, we'd see the royal event end and the queen would be off in her car to Windsor. She loved the peace. She loved the fact she could enjoy the space with her horses. And this route that she knew so well that she was driven on so many times to her beloved Windsor Castle, she now takes with Princess Anne accompanying her past these waving crowds who are just so thrilled to be a part of it, to be a part of history.

I've been chatting to some of the crowds who have been out there waiting and they said they were determined. It didn't matter what the weather was like, they were going to stay there and they were going to say goodbye to the queen really to thank her for her service.

And not long after the queen became queen in the '50s, she said, I can't be like a king before, I can't be like a queen before, like Elizabeth I, the other queen's (INAUDIBLE), who are buried in Westminster Abbey, and Mary, the first Elizabeth I. She said, I can't be like them. I can't lead you to battle. I can't dispense justice. What I can do is give you my heart and my devotion to these old islands. And that really, what she said as just a young woman, has been what she's tried to do throughout her reign, give her heart and soul, commit herself absolutely. And this is what these people, the crowds, are recognizing, how much sacrifice, how much she's worked, her sense of duty and service that the Archbishop of Canterbury was talking about in his sermon there at Westminster Abbey.


Such a huge part of our history. And, in the future, people will look back on this, 100, 200, 300 years' time, the moment when the queen left London, the queen left her beloved capital, and went to rest with her family.

FOSTER: This journey's going to take about an hour to get to Windsor. And then, about an hour after that, then the royal family will rejoin the procession to go through Windsor.

COOPER: Wow. I mean look at that crowd. Let's listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Long live the queen.

COOPER: It was I think the queen or - I think it was the queen who commented some time ago that, you know, she used to look out in the crowds and see faces of people. And then, of course, now in recent years, you look out and you see cell phone cameras looking back at you. And that's so clearly, everybody with their arms up, their cell phone cameras out.

FOSTER: One of the early changes of the new king, actually, is his security have been pushing people's phones down as he meets them because they said that they want the members of the public to enjoy the moment. Interesting seeing that, you know, the coffin go past the Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial. Prince Albert, obviously the husband of Queen Victoria, who is the monarch that the queen, Queen Elizabeth, always referred herself to, always looked up to. And, actually, all of the, you know, royal families that we see arriving at Windsor a bit later on have all descended pretty much from Victoria.

COOPER: And it was Albert who bought Balmoral for Queen Victoria.

WILLIAMS: She -- actually they thought that it would remind Prince Albert of his beloved Coburg, the countryside would be similar. So that was their reasoning. And the queen, like Victoria, love Balmoral so much. She loved Scotland, the peace and went on her final journey from there.

And it's interesting for me to think about the crowds that line the streets for the coronation. And among the crowds actually was the future first lady, Jacqueline Bouvier, future Jacqueline Kennedy. She was reporting on the queen's coronation. And the question she was asking the public was, would Elizabeth be the last queen? And that was the question she was asking in the article she was writing. And not long after she wrote the article, JFK proposed over the phone and the rest was history. And such a significant moment.

FOSTER: Look here - yes, to Windsor Castle, which is --

ANDERSON: Tell us -- explain what we're looking at. That's Windsor Castle.

FOSTER: So, this is the chapel within Windsor Castle where so much history is laid. And, actually, you're going to see the Knights of the Garter, which is the highest order of chivalry, really taking a highest position in the procession as it arrives there because this is their home. And you'll see members of the royal family sitting in their named seats as Knights of the Garter. I think that will be very interesting once you get in there. But that's the, you know, a really historic space, isn't it, where we see all the chivalry on full display.

COOPER: And we took -

FOSTER: And with all the royal families of Europe and the world there. It will be extraordinary. COOPER: So, I didn't realize how large Windsor Castle is. I mean the acreage of it --

FOSTER: So, people who have visited, it's an amazing place to visit, actually. It's a really good tour to do. But people see that and they think it's enormous. But, actually, there's a whole other half to it, which is private, which is where the queen lived and where she was able to ride freely and enjoy her time in the countryside there.

WARD: And she did spend a lot of time there during the pandemic. She was there for quite some time obviously. During the second world war as well, I believe, she was sent to live there for security reasons. Obviously, famously the terrible fire at Windsor Castle as well, which was such a tragedy for the family and for the queen. She later spoke of that as being an annus horribilis.

COOPER: Yes, one of many things that were pretty horrible that year.

FOSTER: A bad year.

WARD: Yes.

COOPER: It was not a good year for her.

FOSTER: You can see there actually in that central area of grass, they've laid all the flowers from - the people have laid, they've taken them in the castle and laid them out on the lawn. It looks absolutely stunning. Very sort of tidy job.

There you go.

COOPER: Also, even before the war, throughout the 1930s, she and her father, mother and sister, they would spend a lot of time there as a family. And I think she was 14 when she finally went to the castle during World War II.

WILLIAMS: Yes. And St. George's Chapel was -- it's such a - it's such a significant place for the queen. She's seen so many christening, weddings and the funeral of her beloved husband there. It was her own personal church. It was the church on her castle.


And she, as Max was saying, the Order of the Garter is a very important ceremony we see every June. And when her father died, she wished to commission him his own special resting place. There's a lot of royals buried in St. George's Chapel in Windsor, including Henry VIII, including Charles I, Henry VIII, with his third wife, Jane Seymour. And the queen wished her father to have his own resting place. So she built the George VI Chapel, commissioned in 1962, finished in 1969. And that special chapel, which we can see just on the side, is where the queen will be laid to rest.


WILLIAMS: Her father is there. Her mother was moved there and her sister and her husband was just moved there. So she can be there. The royal family, during the war, they called themselves us four, we four. And they're together again with Prince Philip.

COOPER: If you're wondering if there's going to be enough room for the royal family at Windsor Castle, there's about 1,000 rooms and 13 acres. So, plenty of room.

FOSTER: And it's unoccupied now.


As crowds wait for the last chance to see the queen's coffin pass by, we're going to talk to someone who was a guest at the state funeral. Much more coverage ahead as the funeral continues at Windsor Castle and as we see rituals never seen on live television before.



COOPER: Queen Elizabeth's coffin heading to Windsor Castle right now for her final royal sendoff. It will be one more chance for the British people to celebrate her long and remarkable life and mourn her death and say good-bye.

This hour, the doors are opening at -- to St. George's Chapel on the castle grounds for a service largely attended by the royals. Crowds are lining the road to the castle as the queen's coffin makes its way here from London after the state funeral service at Westminster Abbey.

We are following the procession every step of the way. When it arrives here in Windsor, it will travel along the long walk toward the castle. King Charles, his siblings, his sons and other royals will once again escort the queen's coffin. They'll move through the castle grounds, heading to St. George's Chapel. That is where Queen Elizabeth will be buried, reunited in death with loved ones, including her father, King George VI, and, of course, her husband, Prince Philip.

I'm Anderson Cooper in Windsor, along with Erin Burnett in London.

Erin, we are headed into the closing hours of this extraordinary royal funeral.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, it has been extraordinary. So many striking images and simply an incredible and magnificent thing to witness, as we have centuries-old traditions, the splendor of the monarchy on display here.

The royal military so core to this, joining with the royal family to escort the queen's coffin through London and past Buckingham Palace one last time, her final time there.

And then we've also just seen the humanity of it all as the archbishop of canterbury said, the world grieves, but so does a family. The queen's children and grandchildren walking so solemnly to Westminster Abbey for the funeral service. From King Charles, of course, all the way to the youngest who were there today, young Prince George and Princess Charlotte also there as we saw them then by the car, as their great-grandmother's hearse moved by, feeling the loss and the weight of this extraordinary moment.

I'm joined now by CNN royal commentator Emily Nash, who just attended the queen's state funeral, of course, along with Richard and Christiane here with me.

And, Emily, so we - we watched, we could hear. You were inside those doors. What did you see?

EMILY NASH, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: I mean it was quite an extraordinary experience for me. In 20 years as a journalist, I don't think I've ever felt anything like that. World leaders, foreign royals, dignitaries from this country and across the globe gathered, but also with ordinary people who are being - who are present because they've been honored by the queen over the last year of her life. And I think what was amazing about it was, everyone was unified and came together and fell silent for her. There was absolute silence when the last post was sounded, both inside and out. And that's really extraordinary in a congregation of 2,000 people. Just every moment of it was exceptionally special.

BURNETT: What was it like? I know it's got to be hard to describe. But to be in Westminster Abbey with more than 2,000 people and then to have utter silence descend?

NASH: It was, you know, spine-tingling I think is the word I would use. And certainly the moment the coffin was brought in, we had this extraordinary music, the sentences from the choir soaring through the Abbey. And I just felt complete goosebumps, you know? Seeing the coffin brought to the front on the catafalque, in the place where the queen was crowned and where she was married just was - you know, it's going to take me a little while to process my thoughts about this all, but it was a huge privilege to have been present.

BURNETT: You know, Christiane, Richard and I were talking about the archbishop's comments, Archbishop Welby. about the queen, and that he seems to capture so beautifully what we've heard so much about. He described her as joyful and then present for so many. And it seems that that's what you felt. You talk about, obviously, there were the dignitaries and the princes and the princesses from so many countries in that Abbey, but also the regular people whom she had honored.

NASH: Absolutely. And it was - you know, and I was thinking about this as well. The coffin there with the royal standard with the sceptre and the orb, and the imperial state crown, you know, everyone could see that from wherever they were at some point during that service. It was very much like the queen, during her lifetime. You know, people just had to catch a glimpse of her and it touched them. It was something they would remember for the rest of their lives. And I think we've seen that again today. And you can see it now, in the crowds of people outlining, you know, the highway, to see just a glimpse of it going past. She meant so much to so many people. And the fact that you have the whole world gather there to pay their respects today just sums it all up.

BURNETT: We were saying that in the U.K., in a normal year, there are two or three state visits.


There were hundreds of state visits in just days, in just hours, all gathered together. And as you watch that procession in the Abbey, what was the emotion