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CNN Live Event/Special

Inside Analysis of the Funeral at Westminster Abbey; Reflecting on Queen Elizabeth's Influence on the United Kingdom; Crowds Wait to Say Goodbye to the Queen; Final Moments in Queen's Funeral. Aired 9- 9:30a ET

Aired September 19, 2022 - 09:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Visits in just days, in just hours, all gathered together. And as you watch that procession in the Abbey, what was the emotion like when you saw - you saw King Charles all the way down to Prince George, the nine-year-old son of Kate and William. Did you see the emotions on their faces?

EMILY NASH, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: I think their composure was remarkable. I think the children particularly are extremely well behaved. I thought that it was a very difficult moment for them particularly as they were walking in procession behind the coffin. It must have taken great courage to do that. As we've seen them on display over the course of the last ten days, and they have managed to contain their emotions exceptionally well. But, nevertheless, it appears to have been very difficult. I thought particularly the king, as "God save the king" rang out around the Abbey, it was a huge moment for him.

BURNETT: Yes, what did - what - did - what was - what was - watching his face, how did he - could you see any of his internal emotions as they played that at that moment?

NASH: He just looked incredibly pensive. Very solemn. And I'm sure he was just thinking, you know, my goodness, he has sat in that place so many times of years and sung "God Save the Queen" to his mother, and suddenly the congregation is singing it for him and she is no longer there. And that is a huge moment in his life.

BURNETT: It's a moment, yes, Richard, that -- when he realized - I - obviously, you know, there's the exhaustion and the process and they've known this was going to happen. But then it happens and there are still moments as a human being, right?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: And that is what I think many of us are still coming to terms with as British citizens, you know, that that moment we knew she was -- it couldn't last forever, but now, oh, it's happened.

And to your point about the king. He summed it up, the weight of history, therefore (ph). It's worth remembering, it's obvious, I know, but it's worth remembering that these people, 15, 20 deep watching this procession. They're there voluntarily. They're there because they've made an individual decision. You know, some countries where you bus them in. There was no need to here. By the hundreds of thousands, people are on the street by their choice.

BURNETT: Richard, you said something a few moments ago and we were, you know, on air, but you said that had you not been working, you would have been there.

QUEST: Oh, (INAUDIBLE). It's not an if or a possibility, it's a when. If I'd not been working this week, I would absolutely have slept on the streets, as I did for the wedding of Charles and Diana, for Diana's funeral. But since I've been working on these royal events. But no question about it. For me it would have been the only place to be.

BURNETT: The only place to be. Just a -- the beloved figure.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, look, it's - it's - it's history.

BURNETT: As you think back on your memories, you've met the queen.

AMANPOUR: Yes, it's history. This is part of history. That's why so many people have come together in this moment of community, unity and for a few days to rise above the fray and to, you know, have this amazing outpouring.

They're traveling west of London now on a road that would normally take to the airport but then leads on to Windsor just to situate where the motorcade is.

But, you know, one thing we learned and we -- Erin, that the piper at the end of the funeral -

BURNETT: Oh, this is lovely, yes.

AMANPOUR: At the end of the funeral mass inside -- in the Abbey was the same piper who woke her up every morning at 7:15, we're told, playing the pipes under her window for some 15 minutes. I think that's a remarkable thing. And then I think, as Kate Williams alluded to, this queen once said to her people and to her troops, I am not the kind of monarch who can direct you into war or pass legislation, but what I can give you is my love and my service.

And it, you know, she's going to be buried in St. George's Chapel where we've just heard Henry VIII is buried. His daughter became the first great Elizabethan, who once famously said when she was seeing off her troops into battle, you know, I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and king of England, at that. And it's remarkable that this second Elizabeth was able, in some way, to also have that power just by the majesty and the - and the unity that she brought, even though it's not governing power.

BURNETT: And, Christiane, you also, as I mentioned briefly, but tell us about meeting the queen. The moment. AMANPOUR: Well, look, I mean, you know, I was very, very, very proud to have been honored by the queen. The government sets - you know, draws up a list for who are going to get what's called queen's honors. And I got mine for services to journalism. And it remains, you know, a source of great pride.

And she was wonderful. And I thanked her at the time for that, but also for opening the CNN office here in London.

So, here's the thing.


AMANPOUR: Just to say that just about everybody, as Emily has said, and others have said, have a moment, whether it's us, whether it's the royal family, and dignitaries, all - all the people who met her on her walk about, on her openings of, you know, roads and hospital and churches and schools.


BURNETT: Right, that she was - she was touchable in that sense to the human - to the average person.

AMANPOUR: Yes. Yes, yes, yes, and the - yes, and people feel that they knew her. And they kind of did because it was 70 years, especially the Christmas broadcast. I mean that was a tangible thing.

BURNETT: That we - well, even in the U.S., of course, we saw that every year.

QUEST: So, one of the things that you talked about is this ability of her to just be ordinary with you. And when I met her, when she opened the CNN office in London, we were terribly worried, would she go up the stairs or would she take a ramp to get into the studio?

BURNETT: There she is.

QUEST: Absolutely. And she was -- what she's talking about there, she's asking me, what about my earpiece?

BURNETT: Really?

QUEST: Yes. She was fascinated that we were able to talk and listen at the same time. And she was quite -- she - she had that -- I've heard it a million times, she had that ability to make you feel you were just the person you were -- she was hoping to meet.

BURNETT: Well, that's a gift that so few human beings have.

QUEST: It's extraordinary. It's - of course it is. Absolutely. And then the other time I saw her, I only saw her hand. I was covering Mikhail Gorbachev's visit to Windsor Castle. I was a young junior radio reporter for another and I stayed later than I should have done because I was doing a last report. And I was in the attic and I walked downstairs, I thought I'll have a quick look around. And then I suddenly realized, in front of me there was a fortman (ph), a butler holding a tray with a glass and out came the hand and I could hear the queen's voice saying, "thank you," and I just backed off quickly before I got arrested.

AMANPOUR: But, you know, the idea of Gorbachev, I mean she has seen so many world leaders and so many huge epochs of history, from fascism, to communist, totalitarianism, to just about all the major events of the 20th and 21st century, she's lived through. I mean it is remarkable the, you know, the explosion of democracy, as well.

BURNETT: Yes. And, you know, Emily, it's interesting, Christiane and I were mentioning earlier, and I just -- this came to mind looking at the queen with you, Richard, at the bureau, in the bright, neon green. That -- her clothing choices were so purposeful. Christiane was saying sort of to give her presence.

NASH: Very much so.

BURNETT: To say, I am here, and I do want to be seen.

NASH: Very much so. It was about being seen. She always said she had to be seen to be believed. But just going back to what you were saying there about her making people feel comfortable and giving a sense of that through her clothing.

I was present when President Obama came to visit her at Windsor Castle. And she arrived as the helicopter landed in her country clothes and wearing a silk head scarf. And that, to me, was an incredible moment. You know, she's greeting the U.S. president in her relaxed, weekend clothes. And it was very much telling the world, we - you know, this is a friendly meeting. We're very comfortable together. It was very special to see that.

AMANPOUR: And President Obama has spoken about that. And before Nelson Mandela was known to be the only person to call her Elizabeth.


AMANPOUR: I mean out of the horror of apartheid comes this unbelievable friendship with the first black elected leader of - of a member of the commonwealth. And she and he bonded, you know, incredibly well.

And I think one of the great color clothing moments was when she donned again that emerald green and went to Ireland for the first time, a hundred years of British monarchy in that - in that place, and - and then reached across the aisle in Northern Ireland to - to members of the -- former numbers of the IRA, who had actually blown up her own, you know, uncle by marriage, Lord Mountbatten. She had this - she had this ability to, you know, to be part of the reconciliation process that those people talk about now.

BURNETT: Richard.

QUEST: The clothes -

BURNETT: Yes, go ahead.

QUEST: The clothes had to be constructed, I think is a -- because not only did they have -- they could never be too fashionable. They could never be too fashionable.

BURNETT: No, they were purposely, it seemed, not, right?



QUEST: No too fashionable. Not too dowdy. And, of course, her famous thrift. Nothing got thrown away. Nothing got thrown away. Everything was recycled. You'd see an outfit -- she took huge pride in the fact that, you know, we could point out that she wore that coat or that hat in that event 10, 15 years ago and out it came again, with maybe a modification.

BURNETT: Well, you see that even now with Princess Kate. You know, they make a point about the same pumps that are being worn, or her famous nude pumps that she likes to wear, you know, that that - that seems to have transferred as well.

NASH: All the - all the royal women have learned from the queen. I think interestingly today, Angela Kelley (ph), the queen's longtime confidant and dresser, was in the Abbey. And this is a woman who has been responsible for the queen's outfits for so many years. And, I mean, she's talked about the level of detail and planning that goes into that.


But absolutely key was the diplomatic dressing.

AMANPOUR: And I would say, look, I mean, let's face it, after this mourning period, this country is going to get hit around the face by the fact of the politics and the economic crisis that exists right now.


AMANPOUR: And, you know, we're going to have to deal with a very, very difficult cost of living, inflation, war in Europe, all of that without this unifying figure.


AMANPOUR: And coming to face to face with that when the prime minister starts, you know, actual politics again after this period of mourning. And perhaps part of that thriftiness, I don't know. I mean I'm not in her wardrobe, but there was something - I mean she had to at least try to, you know, bond with the people in some kind of fashion. She couldn't be overly extravagant, even though she's a multibillionaire and has all this property. There was an effort to also try to be with the people. QUEST: It goes back to the war. It goes back to the war and to her

mother and to all of those periods where she saw what was - what was necessary.

BURNETT: Well, she saw and she experienced.

I would say, also, we are seeing here, St. George's Chapel, where, of course, will be the next ceremony and the burial. These are just the first pictures that we're getting of those who have gathered there.

Richard, many of whom are, of course, members of the royal family, but also members of the royal household. And - and look at that. That is the walk, of course, at - at Windsor. Look at that. Look at those crowds.

QUEST: So, there's a household. It is people who have given decades of service -

BURNETT: To her.

QUEST: To her, which is why they took her to lie in rest at Holyroodhouse and at Buckingham Palace for that one night. They could have taken it straight to Westminster, but it was designed so that those who had served her majesty could pay their respects.

BURNETT: One last point I want to make - have you make, Richard, here is that you said something about the butler with the silver tray.

QUEST: Oh, yes. Yes.

BURNETT: And the cup.


BURNETT: And you said something at the end. You said you heard her say "thank you."

QUEST: Oh, yes.

BURNETT: That there was a grace and a graciousness which we do not always see present in people who are used to having so much at their fingertips.

QUEST: The queen hated discourtesy, impoliteness. She would never keep you waiting. And she would never keep anybody waiting. And the efforts she would go to, to do an event. Even when she had a cold or unwell, because she knew there were people waiting for her and it would have to be rescheduled. No, the queen was --

NASH: Which we saw right to the very end.

QUEST: Yes, indeed, with the prime minister.

BURNETT: And as the clouds were here earlier as the funeral was underway. And then the sun came out, as you see. An absolutely beautiful autumnal day in that long walk to Windsor where the queen will soon be and already members of the royal family and the royal household are gathered at St. George's. We are awaiting the arrival of the queen's coffin in Windsor.

Talking to people in that crowd, again, people -- every one of whom has chosen to be there, made sacrifice to be there to see her. And this will be an historic ceremony that will play out live on television for the first time ever, this funeral service of a monarch.

Stay with us as our special coverage continues.



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The final good-bye to Queen Elizabeth moves next to Windsor Castle. Crowds here in Windsor are awaiting the arrival of her coffin following the state funeral in London. Promising to be another moment of pageantry and mourning in honor of the most well-known monarch in recent history.

Anna Stewart is on the long walk here in Windsor, where people are waiting to see the queen's coffin pass by.

Anna, it is -- our Clarissa Ward was saying earlier how sort of the scene and Windsor is a bit more intimate than we have even seen in London. The streets are narrower. Explain what you have been seeing and hearing from people.

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's been an incredibly beautiful atmosphere. There are absolutely thousands and thousands of people that are lining the long walk. This is where the procession will pass on its way to Windsor Castle. So, this is very much where people -- the public, at least, will get the very last chance to say good-bye to her majesty.

And I can show you where the procession will go with the state hearse. You can see the royal marines already lining that procession route, which means everyone has stood up. And, actually, they were able to watch the state funeral on the big screens. And the emotions here have been incredible. Lots of - lots of tears but also lots of laughter. I think this is something we've seen actually really throughout the week is the incredible mix of emotion. People very sad for the passing of the queen, but also happy to get together.

I can show you some of these people here.

Claudette, you've been here since about 6:00 a.m., I think.


STEWART: How are you feeling? How did you feel watching the state funeral?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really, really emotional. It was so quiet. Everybody was so respectful and quiet. And after the funeral, when they sung "God Save the King," everybody stood up and it was just - it was just like electric. So privileged to be here.

STEWART: Goosepimples, really, wasn't it?


STEWART: And how are you going to feel when you see the procession go past here because, of course, lots of us have seen the coffin on television, seen pictures of it, but how do you think it will feel watching it go past?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it will be very emotional. I think - I've been very (INAUDIBLE) all week. I didn't realize how much the queen meant to me. So, I think it's going to be very emotional.

STEWART: And tell me how you've been feeling all week because actually this has been a long week. It's been days and days of this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it's been a strange week, but I don't think we fully came to terms with what has happened until actually being here. But it's been a very weird week.

STEWART: A weird week.


STEWART: Lots of these guys have been here for royal weddings and platinum jubilees and lots of celebration, but, of course, this is bringing everyone together for something that's much more somber and sad.


But I definitely feel like the atmosphere is there in termless of bringing people together. And it's a moment people are going to remember. And that's part of the reason we get these huge crowds is to pay their respects to the queen but as also a way of remembering it for the next few years. This is something people will talk about for decades to come. Things that they will tell their children where they were for the funeral of her majesty, the queen.


COOPER: Yes, there's no doubt about it. And we're seeing lines of people lining the highway even right now, thin at times, thick at times, as the queen's motorcade continues to head onward to Windsor.

Nada Bashir is on High Street in Windsor with more crowds.

Nada, what are the crowds like where you are?

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Look, Anderson, I have to say, it is absolutely remarkable to see just how many people have showed out today to pay their respects to the queen. This is in a state, of course, that was very dear to the queen. It's a place where she spent much of her life in the later years. And it is very dear to the royal family as a whole. And this will be the very location where the family pays their respects in a private service later today. But for many people who actually live in Windsor, this is, of course, an historic moment. The royal family have become quite familiar to the people who live in this town. They are, of course, an integral part of this town.

And I'm joined by Carys and Owen, who actually grew up in Windsor.

What is it like here to be here to see this moment, because you see the queen's state funeral in this town?

CARYS DAVIES, WINDSOR RESIDENT: Yes, it's just super overwhelming, just like the amount of people that have come to Windsor. Like, for us, we just grew up here. It just seemed so normal and like we didn't think anything of it. And then there's so many people here to pay their respects, obviously.

OWEN DAVIES, WINDSOR RESIDENT: Yes, we've lived here - she's been our neighbor for 34 years so -- and we were born and raised here. So it's kind of -- it's a really sad day. But she's -- it almost feels like she's coming home. So, we kind of came out today because we thought it would be a good idea to come and see her, say our final farewells. We're going to go down to the long walk later and just kind of see her come up. And, yes, and just really nice to kind of see that she's coming home.

BASHIR: Of course there's a moment where we'll be seeing the new king, as well. That is pretty significant. Have you had a chance to see them in the procession so far in London?

O. DAVIES: We haven't, but we have seen the king before. I mean he got married in the building just behind us here 17 years ago to Camilla. So, we know that this is a big place for him, as well. He loved Windsor as much as the queen loved Windsor. So, we -- we'll probably see him at some point soon I imagine because he'll be here as often as she was.

BASHIR: Yes. Well, and that is really what we've been hearing from so many people in the crowd. This is a moment in history. They wanted to be a part of it. For those who live in the town of Windsor, this is something they'll be seeing a lot more of now, the king spending more time here in this town.


COOPER: And here in Windsor we're with Max Foster, Kate Williams and CNN's Clarissa Ward.

Again, Clarissa, we were talking before about just the crowds, the surprise to see even on a road like this crowds lined up.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: All the way going out of London along roads that are really just, you know, for traffic coming in and out you're still seeing those people desperately hoping for a glimpse. And I think this really speaks to something because the queen was so actively involved in every aspect of the planning of her funeral, it speaks to her instinct and understanding of the soft power of spectacle. You know, the queen, famously, was part of the decision to have her coronation televised, which was unprecedented at the time. She understood the power of that image, the power of the pageantry, the power of tradition and the way --

COOPER: It took a little bit of convincing.

WARD: It took a little bit of convincing, but then you see billions of people around the world expected to watch this, which speaks not just to her popularity, her far-reaching diplomacy, but to the fact that she intrinsically and inherently understood that the monarchy does pomp and pageantry and precision and tradition in a way that no one else in the world does.

COOPER: It is strange, in a -- in most of our lives we don't see bodies up close. We don't see coffins up close. And there are things which are in funeral homes, and we see it in cemeteries. But so for so many people to have this intimate experience with the queen, you know, I remember you were standing outside Buckingham Palace when her body was returned there, and you described sort of the feeling in the crowd of this jolt of electricity.


And I think there's something to that. I think there's something about the - you know, people's relationship with the queen and then to the intimacy of seeing her with these crowds so close together. It's a two-lane highway or a single-lane road in Windsor.

WARD: And you hear them now even cheering. And it's unexpected when it happens. There's a sort of somber moment of reverence and then as the queen's coffin draws closer, you do just hear people sort of spontaneously erupt into applause and cheers. And Max pointed out some people throwing flowers as well. It is this extraordinary moment to see up close.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: It will be interesting to see once they get here to Windsor, when we're, you know, three of us were in Windsor, weren't we, for the Sussex wedding, and how it's - you know, it's a similar atmosphere in a way. You know, there was so much excitement about the wedding. And on this occasion, they saw excitement about the queen's reign, you know, obviously tinged with lots of sadness. But it feels like that big sense of occasion because that wedding was so seismic, wasn't it, for the royal family, the monarchy. And that's the last sort of memory of a big event we have here in Windsor.

COOPER: Explain what happens when the queen's casket arrives here - here in Windsor.

FOSTER: So, the casket will - they will form a procession. So the military will join with this procession here. And it will make its way through Windsor, and along the long walk. And then -

COOPER: Yes, the long walk is - is what?

WARD: About 1.5 miles.

FOSTER: It's -


FOSTER: Yes. And then the -- when it gets into town, then the king and the other senior members of the royal family will walk behind the coffin in a procession. So, a similar thing. Really a similar feel to what we had in London, obviously.

COOPER: Is that through the - through the streets of Windsor?


COOPER: So, I mean, there is that intimacy of people being close on either side.


And then it will go into the castle. And the we'll get to those great west steps where the coffin will arrive in the hearse and then pallbearers will come and carry it up into the chapel for a much more intimate service, still big, still hundreds of people, but more intimate because it's about royalty coming together and marking the moment.

COOPER: And still televised.

FOSTER: That will be televised. The only bit that won't be televised will be this evening when the - when the coffin is actually buried alongside Prince Philip. It goes into the floor of the chapel.

KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: So, the commonwealth leaders we've been seeing in Westminster Abbey are now heading to Windsor because they'll be invited to St. George's Chapel. Eight hundred people are expected there. And also royal families and also members of the queen's household. So, we have paid thanks for the queen as the international queen, foreign royals, dignitaries. And now also it's a queen who has her own staff, her own estate. She managed her own estates. And that is so significant.

And we really are going to see some very moving moments here at Windsor because these are the final ceremonies, the (INAUDIBLE) significant ceremony at the end of the queen's committal service by which the -- what we've been seeing all through the crown, the orb and the sceptre, the symbols of majesty, the imperial state crown that she wears at the state opening of parliament, that she wore after her coronation, they will be removed from the coffin and they'll be taken away and put on the alter and then, of course, they will next be used by the future king. And, after that, the lord chamberlain, who is the head of the queen's staff, he will break his silver staff, and that symbolizes that he is no longer of the queen's household, he is of the king's household.

FOSTER: Technically a wand.

WILLIAMS: Yes, a wand.

FOSTER: And he breaks the wand. And that, yes, so that symbolizes the end of his work, you know, as the most senior person in the household.

COOPER: It's a wand?

FOSTER: It's called the lord chamberlain's wand, yes.


FOSTER: And it gets - it gets broken and put on the coffin as it gets lowered down into the vault.

You were talking about other kings and queens being buried there. I mean most of them are in a vault under the floor of the aisle. Literally coffins on shelves. And that's where the queen will rest until she's buried a bit later on.

COOPER: So, they're not actually buried in the ground in dirt. They are in an underground vault.

FOSTER: They will be. Those ones are. They stay there. But the queen will be taken out this evening and buried into the ground.

COOPER: I see.

FOSTER: And none of this, as Kate says, we've ever seen on TV because the - the big -- last big occasion we saw was the coronation, but none of these services that we've seen on TV. And I think that moment with the crown jewels is pretty profound.

WILLIAMS: So significant. So profound.

COOPER: Still ahead, we'll learn even more about the extraordinary service that is coming up at St. George's Chapel as the queen's coffin gets closer to the grounds of Windsor Castle.

We'll return in a moment.