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CNN Live Event/Special

The State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II; Queen's Coffin Makes Way to Windsor for Final Time; Queen's Funeral Procession at Windsor Underway. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired September 19, 2022 - 10:00   ET


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice over): The state has will come down the procession, the final procession to Windsor, so, really, the last opportunity for the public to say goodbye to her majesty the queen.


And you could see, Anderson, there are just thousands and thousands of people here in. And actually in the last five, ten minutes, it is actually gone quite quiet. You can feel quite a sense atmosphere now. Just half an hour ago, they were almost tucked into their picnics, but you can hear the tension, I think, as people watched the big screen and watch to see where the state hearse is at the moment and when they should get their first glimpse, I suppose, of the coffin.

Lots of people I've spoken to here have been here since 6:00 A.M. They brought their family. They brought their friends. Lots of these people have marked many royal events in the past, the platinum jubilee most recently. They've been brought together here for a much more somber occasion.

And I think they are here to pay their respects to her majesty but also to be here to mark history. And I think it is important to remember that this is one of those moments that people will remember for the rest of their lives.

So, a fascinating atmosphere here, I think people will be quite emotional once we see the coffin pass. Lots of people wanted to see the queen lying in state, not everyone was able to get there. So, this is just one opportunity, really, for people to say their final respects and their farewell. Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice over): Yes, Windsor Castle, obviously, a major tourist attraction but also a home for Queen Elizabeth really through much of her life, spent a lot of time here as a young child.

I want to also get an update on some of the rituals that we are about to see. Let's check in with CNN's Bianca Nobilo, who has more. And, Bianca, explain where you are.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: I'm right outside of the Henry VIII gate at Windsor Castle, Anderson, so where the ceremony will be happening at 4:00 P.M. local time the committal service. That is about straight behind me, if you can imagine that, and then where the queen will finally be laid to rest is a smaller chapel off St. George's Chapel, which was named after her father, the King George VI Memorial Chapel, commissioned by the queen herself back in the 1960s, and that is just slightly to the right of the main chapel.

Now, perhaps in keeping with the queen's fairly modest approach to some things in life, her final resting place is a very intimate, small and simple chapel. It's only 3 meters by 4.25 meters. And she'll be buried alongside her father, her mother, her sister and Prince Philip, who will be moved from the royal vault in St. George's Chapel and the brought to lay to rest with the queen in the George VI Memorial Chapel.

She'll also be surrounded in the wider area by monarchs of the kingdom's past, such as King Henry VIII along with his favorite wife, Jane Seymour, King Charles I, who was behead during the English civil war. he was actually buried in there in secret, Anderson. So, plenty of rich British history to feel sort of immersed by as we're standing here in Windsor today.

But that will follow the private burial ceremony at 7:30 local, which is just attended by the close members of the royal family. We don't have any details of that. We are not necessarily expecting to get them because it is such a private and personal part of today. It won't be televised. But for the first time, the committal ceremony, which will happen in about two hours from now will be televised, Anderson. So, we'll get to see what the queen had organized for herself, the hymns, the psalms and the reading, which she designed for today.

COOPER (voice over): Yes. I'm here with Max Foster, Kate Williams, Clarissa Ward.

It is such a glorious and incredible castle and obviously with such remarkable history, and St. George's Chapel is also just --

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): They're seeing themselves on the big screen.

COOPER (voice over): Yes. But, I mean, look at how many people are lining that route, and, again, it is quite a small road that they're going to be driving along.

FOSTER (voice over): Well, this castle, the way to think of this castle it is as old as the British monarchy. It is a thousand years old and they've been in there in continual habitation, basically. This is the first time that --

COOPER (voice over): People are waving their babies around.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): 40 different monarchs at Windsor Castle, 40 different monarchs..

COOPER (voice over): 40 different monarchs.

KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR (voice over): Yes. And here comes the queen's coffin. And we were told not to throw flowers, and there they are, flowers across it, because in Windsor they're so protective of the queen. They see her around a lot and they were all so fond of her. And I think they're very grateful for their chance to say their last goodbyes here. It will be a real ceremony in Windsor.

We saw in a fantastic procession in London, the precision and the choreography, but we're going to see 400 personnel and 40 staff of the Royal Household, 100 horses.

FOSTER (voice over): So, this is what's called the stepping off, it's going to pause, and then the procession is going to join the hearse, and that is going to be the formal procession up to the chapel. And then about half an hour, the royal family will join that procession.

Also something very unique is about to happen, Anderson, and that is you're going to hear a bell, which is only tolled on the death of a monarch.


COOPER (voice over): Wow.

FOSTER (voice over): It is in the castle. It's called the Sebastopol Bell, and it was taken from Sevastopol in Crimea in the 1800 during the siege of Crimea. So, these things are all -- this symbolism.

COOPER (voice over): The last time the bell was rung was for --

FOSTER (voice over): Her father.

COOPER (voice over): -- the queen's father. Wow. Let's watch this.

This is the transition toward the final --

FOSTER (voice over): Yes. So, just in front, on the head to the right of the queen is the king's private secretary and his (INAUDIBLE) on the left. So, they're going to walk behind the coffin. And it is going to be military and household members and staff before the royal family join.

WILLIAMS (voice over): So, here, we have the Household Cavalry. They'll be dismounted and be followed by mounted sovereigns escort and mass pipes and drums of the Scottish and Irish regiment. And the command of the Coldstream Guards was saying, this is one of the most momentous parades, of one of the most momentous days of our lives. That is how the soldiers feel.

FOSTER (voice over): So, the committal service will start at the top of hour. These are -- so, it is not the same congregation as it was at Westminster. It won't have heads of state. It won't have government. There will, of course, be the prime ministers from the realms, foreign royal families and the extended royal families, a royal occasion. And it all leads up to this moment at the end, which is quite extraordinary, never seen before, the crown jewels being taken off the coffin and the coffin.

I don't think we'll see the actual moment the coffin is lowered, but I think we will see the chapel at that time but they normally would take the camera away. I'm just saying that based on what happened with Prince Philip. And it is going to be a very religious service, speaking to the queen's utter commitment to her religion and her divinity, really. And there will be nods through there to Prince Philip as well throughout bits of music that were played at his major moments as well, and that is all leading up to the point where she would be buried with him later in the evening.

COOPER (voice over): And that is the bell you're talking about?

FOSTER (voice over): So, there is two bells which will be ringing in Windsor Castle. One of them is the Sebastopol Bell. I'm not the expert in --

WILLIAMS (voice over): The other one is the curfew bell from the tower. So, they'll both be ringing together and as will also the minute guns being fired too. There is the Household Cavalry. And just behind them on horses, you can see the king's lifeguards. He was set up by George VI. They were long established. He dedicated those ceremonials by George VI and the queen, then to remain the king's guard. There they are on the horses behind.

COOPER (voice over): And that extraordinary sound of the horses' hooves on the ground, something we rarely see so many horses, so many guardsmen altogether.

WILLIAMS (voice over): And that close-up of the crown and the scepter and the orb, as Max was saying, we will see that extraordinary moment when they were moved from the coffin to symbolize the end of the queen's reign and that crown will -- they'll be seen on the king when he is crowned in his coronation ceremony sometime next year.

COOPER (voice over): It's kind of lovely that this is an event -- this is a moment for the Grenadier Guards, for the Household Cavalry, for members of the staff to be with her alone. This is their time to escort here and then members of royal family join them, you were saying, what, in about 30 minutes or so?

WARD (voice over): And you have the sense that each event was carefully choreographed and calibrated for different sides of the queen's life. And, obviously, all of this will be culminating in the last private ceremony this evening where it will just be the family there mourning the loss of a mother, grandmother, great grandmother.

But as Max was saying, this service, for the royal family, for people who worked in her household, people who served her for royals from other countries as well who are visiting, and just an extraordinary moment to hear, as you said, the sounds of those horses' hooves and those guards walking.

FOSTER (voice over): Yes. So, there are gun salute as well during the procession from the part where we're here.

COOPER (voice over): As a military history buff, I can't help but sort of geek out on thinking of all of the wars Britain was involved with in the 1800s. This is the image many people around the world would have seen of British troops moving into their land, their territory, sometimes being greeted, welcomed, sometimes more often than not, probably not, but what an incredible image just in history.


FOSTER (voice over): Well, this is the head of the Armed Forces being laid to rest.

A step lining (ph) party will greet the coffin when it arrives at the chapel, and that will be quite spectacular as well.

COOPER (voice over): Let's just listen in to some of the music.

The line of troops really goes back a long way. It looks smaller, but there is even more coming after the Household Cavalry.

WILLIAMS (voice over): Yes, we have over 400. And I should say the Household Cavalry are leading, the ones who always protect her. The king's lifeguard mounted behind her, they're also firing the guns. Of course, it was the king's lifeguard and that gun carriage who carried her to Westminster Hall on Wednesday and they're now escorting her on her final journey.

These regiments, who are the elite regiments of the British Army, and they are also the ones that protected the queen, the Household Cavalry would do so, and the king's lifeguard would leave them during the summer to give the horses a break.

And this moment for them is such a significant, such a great moment. And as you were saying, here, the guns being fired there, it is, although smaller than in London, a full military procession and a full military being laid to the rest.

FOSTER (voice over): So, you have got the police at the front and then you've got the dismounted Household Cavalry, then the first division of the sovereign's escort on the horses there. So, they always support the sovereign at the moment. So, obviously, the sovereign isn't there right now but that is an honorary guard for her.

And then you've got the mass pipes and bands behind, and they will play later on, I'm told, band of the Grenadier Guards, and then another dismounted band, the Household Cavalry. And it continues when you got the senior members of the military then walking behind and then household staff as well. The earl marshal, who I'll point out to you, who's organized this whole ten days and his sole job is overseeing state occasions. And it is a bit of a joke going around that someone give the NHS to the old marshal to run.

WARD (voice over): You can imagine how extraordinary the organization, the choreography, of all of these different events taking part in different places. And it is not entirely surprising to see how seamlessly it is all going when you think that Operation London Bridge, as it was code named, really came to be in the 1960s, and there have been many decades and multiple annual reviews in place to ensure that every single detail was planned up to the very minute. But, still, to watch it play out over the course of ten days in such a seamless fashion is really quite something to behold.

COOPER (voice over): Do we know which members of the royal family will be walking behind the hearse?

FOSTER (voice over): We do. It is -- this is a similar format as earlier. So, it is going to be Prince Edward, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and the king in the first line followed by Peter Phillips, who Anne's son, the duke of Sussex, Harry, and Prince William. And then after them will be Tim Laurence, who is Anne's husband, the duke of Gloucester, who is a first cousin of the queen. And people don't know who he is but he is actually very essential, a big confidant of the queen. And he lives in the Kensington Palace, who is always supported by the queen. So, it will be interesting to see how some of these other royals will be supported by the new king. Earl of Snowdon as well also will be there. He's Princess Margaret's son. I think they'll be joining in about half an hour.

COOPER (voice over): Seeing at St. George's Chapel --

FOSTER (voice over): Lining of the steps. So, this will be quite spectacular when you get the image from the bottom of those steps. And this is where the coffin will be taken by pallbearers and carry on those steps. Imagine the challenge. I can't remember exactly how many steps there are, I have been told in the past, but that is a massive technical, challenge to carry the coffin up those stairs. It is very heavy. It is a lead-lined coffin.

WILLIAMS (voice over): And the king's lifeguard, the sovereign, yet, are there again. The soldiers and sailors lining the entire route there to welcome the queen back to Windsor, the chapel, at St. George's Chapel, in which she sees happy events, weddings, baptisms, but also the funeral of her own husband and now finally will be laid to rest with her father and mother and sister.


FOSTER (voice over): So, this is the main entrance. This is where the coffin will go and the members of the royal family will go in. There is a side entrance where other monarchs, some other countries, also the prime ministers from the realms all of whom now have the king as the head of state, state and governors general from those nations as well. They are representatives of the monarch in the realms.

This is the spectacular, long walk where everyone has come out and they've been looking at the big screens, which is -- we'll get a big reaction to that in a moment once they clock that.

COOPER (voice over): It is shoulder to shoulder as far as the eye can see on the long walk.

FOSTER (voice over): This is the land that the queen loved. This is the estate. This is where she was allowed to ride every weekend and be free. It is very well protected, beautiful countryside. Prince Harry has kept his house there. Prince William now lives there with his family because his children just started literally at a school nearby. It is going to be very interesting to see who takes residence in the castle. The obvious choice, I guess, is the prince of Wales. But I don't think the king has had a particular attachment to it but I think there is a duty almost to have --

COOPER (voice over): So, Windsor Castle, the prince of Wales has -- that is his residence?

FOSTER (voice over): Well, the prince of Wales has a house on the estate, as does Prince Harry and the duke of York. But the main residence in the castle was the queen's residence. We haven't been told who is going to be taking that.

WILLIAMS (voice over): These fantastic state departments build by Charles II, it was -- as you say, it's been a thousand years of castle and it was so loved by the queen. And here she is being escorted by the Household Cavalry. And just behind them, you can hear them, the mass and pipe guns of the Scottish and Irish regiments. And I think that is one of the most poignant moments we're going to see during the committal service in the final moment when the queen's coffin is lowered. Her personal bagpiper will play over the Sea to Sky. And that was a moment that we remember from the duke of Edinburgh's funeral when the piper was playing and the music faded, this moment by which the personal bagpiper will play it once more. It's very significant.

And here we are, the following royals, the following coming toward us all related to the queen. The king of Holland and queen --

FOSTER (voice over): If you were going to look at the family tree, it all goes up to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert when it comes to European monarchy. They're all related. So, this is a family moment for them. But it will also have royals from other parts of the world.

WILLIAMS (voice over): The king of Holland with leading the way, and, of course, the only reigning queen we have left is the queen of Denmark, recently celebrated her 50th anniversary.

FOSTER (voice over): I remember interviewing -- Tony Blair arriving as well with Cherie -- interviewing Queen Margaret at one of her jubilees. And she would talk about how she and Queen Elizabeth and also the queen of Netherlands, are the only three people that had anything in common than the queen of Netherlands retired, and it was just the two of them. And now Queen Margaret of Denmark is, as Kate was saying, is in this sole position.

There's the king of queen of Sweden there on the right.

WILLIAMS (voice over): The king of Holland at the front, of the Netherlands at the front with Queen Maxima.

FOSTER (voice over): You have Queen Beatrice there, who was one of Queen Elizabeth's contemporaries, is retired now.

So, there is a tradition in other monarchies to abdicate, but not in this monarchy, which is why the queen served as long as she did. WILLIAMS (voice over): And was working two days before she passed. And there is this abdication tradition of the monarchy that you will retire, so the crown prince or princess can take over.

FOSTER (voice over): I mean these pictures will live in history. And as you say, Anderson, earlier, if they're black and white, they could come from any era.

COOPER (voice over): Any era, yes.

WARD (voice over): What a procession, what an honor. I mean, what a moment. They've been planning, they've been rehearsing but nothing can live up to the actual moment by which they escort the queen on her final journey. It is so significant, all means so much to all of these soldiers, these servicewomen, these -- people who have served so greatly. And, really, the honor is so great, the significance, the privilege and this moment where the queen goes on her final journey, it is such a meaningful picture, as you say. And although so much is likely the funeral of George VI, so much is different, the queen's own plan. She wished to be seen.

COOPER (voice over): And a steward is along that long walk, which is where the queen's casket is now moving.

Anna, if you could, just tell us what you are seeing from your vantage point and the people around you.

STEWART (voice over): It is an absolutely a beautiful scene right here.


So, we're currently looking at the lifeguards from Household Cavalry who are mounted and passing by. The whole crowd, and we're talking thousands and thousands of people, have fallen silent. They have all rushed up to the barricades and people are holding phones trying to catch a glimpse of what will pass. We can hear the bagpipes now, this beautiful procession. And in the backgrounds, the incredibly minute guns from the king's troop, Royal Horse Artillery, and once in a while, the bell tolls, an electric atmosphere. I think this is one of those moments where everyone suddenly feels quite emotional and they're waiting for that state hearse to pass them.

But right now, all we can hear is the footsteps, the drums, the band, but not a word from the thousands of people crowded here to say goodbye to the queen for the very last time. Anderson?

COOPER (voice over): Yes. Let's just listen into the bagpipes a bit.

Isa Soares is also with us somewhere there along the long walk. Isa, if you can, tell us where you are and what the people around you are doing?

ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Anderson, we are just further up from (INAUDIBLE), actually close to the entrance of Windsor Castle here. And I can tell you in the last kind of 20, 30 minutes, people started to take their phones out, children have got on their parents' shoulder to get this moment. This is truly a family affair, all eyes looking down the royal -- to try to get a glimpse of the queen's hearse.

This is a moment that so many people, Anderson, have been waiting for. There is sadness (ph), there's also a bit of nervousness (ph), I think kind of a solemn moment. It's gone quiet very quickly. This is something that people have been here since 6:00 in the morning, a moment in history, the opportunity, their last opportunity, Anderson, to pay final their respects to her majesty the queen.

And along the main route here, we've have video, we've had and T.V.s, so people can get -- obviously catch every glimpse. But in the last few moments, they've turned those off because of safety reasons, because of the horses as they come close to make their way here along the long walk.

This is truly a family affair and you can see that from the images. So many families have come here, Anderson, with picnics, with blankets, with chairs. Some have stayed the night. I've met servicemen and women, I have met younger children, all wanting to be here to pay their final respects on what King Charles calls his mother's last great journey, Anderson.

COOPER (voice over): And it is also extraordinary. I mean, again I keep coming back to this, but just how close people are to the monarch, how close they are to -- I mean, it is just a few feet on either side that they are that close. I mean, it is very rare in history that probably anybody has gotten that close, at least in recent history, to the monarch in this way.

WARD (voice over): I think that is why it feels very personal for people. In addition to sort of participating in this grand theatrical moment, there is a moment for everyone standing along the way to have that occasion to watch the queen's coffin and to have a sort of a more private introspective.

COOPER (voice over): And we're so -- I think I'm used -- I've been doing this podcast about loss and grief, and one of the things that we've been talking about is how we are unused in this day and age to public rituals of grief. It is not something we see very often. It is not something that, you know, people knew, family members who have died in the past centuries and there were markers and people mourned for a year of public mourning. It is very rare to see public mourning like this. And I think people relate to it and see their own grief in it.

Liz Truss, the British prime minister, now entering St. George's chapel, which is nearly full with visiting dignitaries, other royal family members and extended royalty from all over Europe.

FOSTER (voice over): I'm presuming we'll see the Knights of the Garter appear in their full regalia as well.

[10:25:01] Pretty spectacular if that's the case. So, you'll see some former prime ministers, Tony Blair. Do we see -- also on the right. So, he wasn't in the full regalia, but Tony Blair is not here as a former prime minister but as a Knight of the Garter, and John Major will be the same.

COOPER (voice over): Let's check in with Erin Burnett. Erin?

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR (voice over): Well, Anderson, we're watching this and marveling at it, as you are. There is something about the beautiful sunshine, the bucolic vision that we're seeing, Christiane, that you were saying, as British looking at this and saying the roll, of just rolling through the countryside, as we are seeing.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR (voice over): You're absolutely right. That little bit before it became the long walk where you saw them sort of stop by what looked like a pub. It probably wasn't but it's all I could see from here with few --

BURNETT (voice over): It may have been.

AMANPOUR (voice over): And all of this pageantry right there in the heart of the country is very, very, very British and very symbolic and it just makes you realize how died into the fabric of this society this is. Anderson was saying that it is rare to see these public rituals and displays of grief, which is true. And so this is another reason for the first time in 70 years, people have come together as a community, as a whole nation, including the constituent parts of United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

There may be fractures, political debates and all the rest of it, but for this, they liked her. They liked her even if they didn't like all of the politics and all of that. And she was with them -- has been with them for 70 years. So, I think that is something incredible.

But I also keep trying to figure out the weight of this monarchy. It is also not just continuity, this antique tradition that gets passed down through the centuries, but it's also a little bit of fantasy or a lot of fantasy. Because all of this is -- this is an unbelievable film in Technicolor. It's unbelievable to watch this, like it's been rehearsed, as you would, for a movie or for a play, for a theater. It has got all of the actors and supporting actors. It's got the directors and the producers. It's got the musical score. This is --

BURNETT (voice over): And they play it out over eight hours in real- time.

AMANPOUR (voice over): For ten days. In ten days, we've seen this in meticulous detail and procession and pageantry from the moment her death was announced, whether it was the initial lying at rest at Balmoral and then the coffin moving quite gently with the hearse, not so much of this pageantry through the streets of Scotland all the way to Edinburgh, and then the lying, again, rest in St. Giles' Cathedral, and the walk up the royal mile, as they call it. All these cast, this massive cast of brilliant players have come to strut their stuff upon the stage right now. BURNETT (voice over): And, Richard, looking at some of this, as we were talking, tell me about what this uniform means or that. One thing I told my children is that what they're seeing, they're going to see it for the first time on television. But the whole point is that it has been seen before, that there is this tradition, that there is the same uniform, the same -- that that is what ties it together.

And I'm struck by Prince George, Princess Charlotte, the next generation, and just a moment ago, as we were watching, so many children lining those -- the walk right now.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice over) : Everybody has their role to play here. And for the military, it is to pay honor to their monarch. For the citizens, it -- they're sovereign. It is -- for the citizens, it is to pay respects to their queen. For the royal family, it is the passing of the torch. And for people ,like Prince George, who wanted to be here and wanted to take part, and it was done in a beautifully controlled way. It wasn't like Diana's funeral. This was done in a magnificently controlled way. Because Max was right earlier when he said, look, it is no use wishing that George wasn't going to have to face this. This is his destiny if he chooses it.

BURNETT (voice over): Right, if he chooses, but he must be prepared. And you don't just get prepared.

QUEST (voice over): Related to what we're seeing here, you know, we said this was -- we'd never seen anything like it before. And it was going to be bigger than anything. Well, just look at that picture.

AMANPOUR (voice over): Exactly. And as you said, for the military, she was also their commander-in-chief, and that was important, even though she told them, I cannot lead you into battle, I cannot even direct you into battle, but, nonetheless, she was head of the military, and I think that is also remarkable.

But, remember, this also plays out, I mean, less somberly but with the similar color, pageantry, bands on great glorious occasions.