Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Live Event/Special

Windsor Ceremonies after Queen's Arrival; Crowds Line Streets to Say Goodbye; Funeral Attendees Talk about their Experience. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired September 19, 2022 - 09:30   ET




DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone, as we watch these live pictures of the queen's cortege heading to Windsor. Queen Elizabeth's coffin will take - will soon make its approach to Windsor Castle for the final ceremonies before she is laid to rest on the castle grounds.

Live pictures there. Throngs of people lining up the road there to the castle to welcome the queen back to her Windsor home for the very last time.

Let's get out to the crowds now. CNN's Bianca Nobilo is at Windsor for us.

Bianca, tell us about the dramatic rituals and images that we are about to see now.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, it is in Windsor, the queen's beloved Windsor Castle, that the nation and her family will say their final farewells. It is a place that has been a central patleforce (ph) of British monarchy for about a thousand years. What we're expecting is a committal ceremony to begin around 4:00 p.m. local time. That is a ceremony that has been well planned over the years by the queen. So she's had the primary hand in designing it. We're expecting psalms, hymns, a bidding, a Russian chant, which was also in Prince Philip, her husband's committal ceremony, as well.

We're also going to hear from an organist and to the official styles of the queen will be recited loud as well.

And also, Don, at the end of that committal ceremony is when we'll see some British traditions, some eccentric acts which have to take place to officially remove the queen from the crown for the last time. So the three greatest symbols of monarchy, that would be the imperial crown. Sorry if there's a bit of sound disruption. We're having overhead announcements because Windsor is completely full, as you can expect. The imperial state crown, the main symbol of monarchy, really the metonym for monarchy, which symbolizes that there is no greater authority in England than the sovereign. That will be removed from the coffin. Then the orb, which is the golden ball that's jewel encrusted, atopped (ph) by a cross, which is the symbol of the divine rights of monarchs, and the sceptre, which is the symbol of temporal power. All of those will be removed from the coffin to separate the queen from her crown for the last time.

Then there will be a private ceremony at around 7:30 p.m. And finally the queen will be laid to rest where the rest of her family are in an intimate, small, simple memorial chapel just to the north side of St. George's Chapel that was actually designed and commissioned by the queen for her late father, King George VI.


LEMON: Bianca Nobilo, thank you very much, out in the crowds at Windsor.

We want to continue the conversation now. I think we should talk about these extraordinary pictures to our folks who are here in studio.

Twenty-two miles here lined with people ten deep for the entire route. And most of the route doesn't even have barriers holding these people back. I mean there are throngs and throngs of people, Trisha, who are out there just wanting to get a glimpse of their queen for the final time.

TRISHA GODDARD, BRITISH TELEVISION: PRESENTER: I love that the cortege went through a very industrial area that I know quite well, Slau (ph). Most of the workers for Heathrow Airport. It's a real working-class area and an area that the queen would know quite well.

LEMON: May I just stop you?


LEMON: Hear the applause we've been talking about.

GODDARD: Yes, the applause is great.

LEMON: This is what - this is -- pardon me. When I was there last week, you did not have this sort of sentiment. It was mostly solemn, very little cheery (ph) --

GODDARD: People were in shock. People were in shock.


GODDARD: People were in shock.

LEMON: The mood has changed.

GODDARD: The mood has changed now. This is appreciation. This is love. This is appreciation. This is, yes, don't you know, our queen. This is pride.

LEMON: Throwing flowers. They did not throw flowers, and very little of that last week. GODDARD: Pride, as well. Pride. Pride to be -- to have the queen.

Pride about all of this. It really has reignited people's pride in their country in Britain.

LEMON: And this is also with -- and they're throwing flowers. Obviously this is I think a celebration, is it fair to say, of the queen's life.


LEMON: And then also welcoming the new king, as well.

ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: The new king. The new king. And actually, just to Trisha's point, Anna Stewart, one of our correspondents, interviewed a lady there who said, you know what, I didn't realize how much the queen meant to me. And I've heard that sentiment so many times that people are out there who never in a million years expected that they would be. Crowds that are ten, 15 deep.

And what gets me is that, it's a complete cross section of society. You know, it's your taxi drivers. It's your hair dresses. It's David Beckham waiting in line for 24 hours. It is your son's math teacher. It is pharmacists. It's your GP. It's absolutely everybody that's there.

And it's also, by the way, we should talk about this, it's also young people. You know, we've talked about this idea that the monarchy has had quite a hard time connecting with young people. There are members of the royal family who, you know, when they speak, they sound like they live in a different century, and that's made it hard for them to truly connect with young people. But yet young people are here in droves. People are coming from other countries who don't necessarily have a strong connection to the U.K. but yet they're boarding flights from all over the world to be there to say their good-bye.

LEMON: Sally, let's talk about Windsor, because it's headed to Windsor now, but the queen spent a significant amount of her childhood at Windsor Castle sheltering during World War II. What did Windsor mean to her?

SALLY BEDELL SMITH, AUTHOR, "ELIZABETH THE QUEEN: Well, she has said it is her real home, even though it's a large, medieval castle. As you say, she spent many years of her childhood there. Some of them very sunny. But then, during the war, it was a very difficult time.


I mean even within that she had - she had her troop of grenadier guards with whom she would play charades and consequences and have tea parties. But the threat of bombing was ever present. And they had, you know, a royal lodge where Prince Andrew now lives, which was a place near the castle where they would go, and sort of -- it was a haven for them.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: She also spent her whole time during the pandemic there as well. SMITH: Yes.

CHATTERLEY: And Prince Philip. And she --

SMITH: And in a way, she and Prince Philip had a second honeymoon there -


SMITH: Because he had been living up in Sandringham at Wood Farm. And he came and he joined her. And it was kind of a bonus.

CHATTERLEY: So, this a completeness, I think, about this.



LEMON: No, go on.

CHATTERLEY: I was just going to say, I think there's a completeness about everything that we've seen and their creation, not only beginning in Scotland, but she ending in Windsor and then this going on to something that is incredibly private and personal for the family, too.


CHATTERLEY: But actually, for me, even being as far away as we are, hearing people cheer, it is really fantastic.

SMITH: Uplifting.

CHATTERLEY: It's uplifting at such a sad moment.

LEMON: Sally, quickly, can you explain to us what a committal ceremony is?

SMITH: It is basically the burial ceremony.


SMITH: Which, for George VI, they had a combination committal and funeral. But this is the second part. This is what we saw really for Prince Philip. And, at the end, the - the coffin is lowered into the vault and (INAUDIBLE) so it's --

LEMON: Look at these shots.

SMITH: And, you know, and both services really reflect her deep -- her deep religion, her belief in the 1662 book of common prayer which she thinks is, you know, which she thought had magnificent language and the St. James' version of the Bible. They're all -- this is a very profound Christian service. But also very much in her spirit.

LEMON: We're going to continue to watch what happens in London now. As you can see, the pictures now, the aerial pictures of the queen's cortege making its way to Windsor. We're keeping a close watch on Windsor Castle, waiting for King Charles, Princes William and Harry, and other royals to reemerge for the closing stretch of Queen Elizabeth's final journey. It promises to be powerful.

Stay with us for our live coverage.



ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: The hearse carrying Queen Elizabeth's coffin is getting closer now to Windsor Castle. We are standing by to see royal funeral rituals that have not been seen for the public in real time until now, never. Never before have we been able to see this broadcast live in these moments, shared with billions around the world. Billions who are watching, billions who watched so much of this, but only a couple of thousand, 2,000 people were actually there in Westminster Abbey.

And joining me now are two people who attended the queen's state funeral today. Pranav Bhanot is a lawyer who was honored by the queen and invited to her state funeral because of his charitable work during the pandemic, and Owen Sharp, chief executive of Dogs Trust, which is a charity that the queen supported that cared for rescue dogs.

And I want to talk more about each of your work because this is so central to who she was and what she meant to the U.K., to the commonwealth.

But first, as I said, billions are watching today. Billions. And yet none of them will experience the sort of indefinable moments that you both did being in that room in the Abbey.

Pranav, what was it like? Was there a moment that stood out to you?

PRANAV BHANOT, LAWYER HONORED BY QUEEN, ATTENDED QUEEN'S FUNERAL: It must have been when the archbishop of Canterbury said that as well as this being in a public light, this was a very personal funeral. And actually there is a mum that's been lost and a grandma that's been lost because up till now there has been the lights, there's been the glam attached to the funeral. But it was at that point for me that really hit home. And this has been -- it's a family funeral on top of everything else. And there is a son who's lost his mum. There is grandchildren who've lost their grandma. And it really did feel -- that line there really touched a nerve.

BURNETT: You felt the personal part of it.

BHANOT: And it took me back to my granddad's funeral. And that's what was so beautiful about the ceremony. It was so public, yet so personal at the same time.

BURNETT: And, Owen, you know, you're there. You and only -- only about 200 people like yourselves who were there because of your relationship to the queen. And yet also in that room the president of the United States.


BURNETT: Kings, queens, princes, princesses, dignitaries from around the world in a royal - in a gathering we've never seen before.

SHARP: No, it was breathtaking. It was truly humbling. It really was. And I suspect everybody who was there felt quite humbled by it. There was a real sense of pageantry, a real sense of the majestic about it. But it was also a family funeral as well. And it was everybody -- you had a real sense of grief. You had a real sense of history. But you had a real sense of love for somebody who's been such a big part of our life for so long. So, so long. And I think everybody was just figuring out how we come to terms with it because funerals are often a moment where we make a journey in the grieving process, and I think we're all going through that a little bit today.

BURNETT: As in the national way, in the commonwealth.



BURNETT: Pranav, what was it like, though, to be in the room, you know, with - with her, with the now king, King Charles, with the royal family, to be in that room under those soaring arches?

BHANOT: It was very surreal. I've only seen the royal family, other than the queen, once ten years ago on TV. So actually being able to see Harry, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and many of the others was something quite surreal. And it was just a flawless, flawless, just what the queen is, a flawless event. It was so well choreographed. It was done on time. It was pure perfection, in my view. And as funerals go, I think it was - I think the queen would be very happy with how it went.

BURNETT: Yes. And we know she had spent a lot of time herself over the years picking exactly what she wanted, Owen, in that ceremony.


BURNETT: You know, one thing that stands out, we're hearing so much about her today, her patronages, meaning the causes she cared about that she invested so much in that touched you and also her love of animals.


BURNETT: I mean a true and deep and enduring love.


BURNETT: And that's - that's what you experienced?

SHARP: Yes. I mean we were very, very fortunate to have her majesty as our patron for 30 years. She probably is the world's most famous dog owner and lover, which is pretty big -

BURNETT: Corgis, of course.

SHARP: Pretty big for us. Yes, she owned, we think, over 30 corgis in her lifetime. But just having somebody who had such a connection with animals, was such a well-known animal lover, to be our patronage meant a great deal. She opened our first ever center in Scotland. But also just having her name there in connection with what we did gave all of our staff and our many, many thousands of volunteers a huge amount of pride. And it was a real honor for me to be able to represent them today.

BURNETT: And, Pranav, one of the most enduring memories for me of the coronavirus pandemic was watching her.


BURNETT: Alone. Nothing - no one around her, in black, mourning her husband, when there could be no funerals, there could be no -- and she, just like everyone else, went through that loss alone. And that poignant loneliness somehow brought it all home to me.

You have dedicated yourself to helping those in need during the coronavirus pandemic. What did it mean to you to be invited to this - to this funeral? Did you - did you even expect such a thing could happen?

BHANOT: Well, I absolutely did not expect it. I nearly dropped the phone when I received the phone call with the invitation.

BURNETT: Truly (ph).

BHANOT: But it -- the guest list really reflected what the queen was like. She was incredibly - she had an incredible ability to build rapport with dignitaries and presidents, but as well as very normal people. And today, at this funeral that we went to, there was a mix. You had the kings and queens, but you also had very, very normal people. And that was what the queen was like. She had this ability to connect with people from all sorts of backgrounds and make them feel very special.

BURNETT: What was it like when you found out?

SHARP: I was - I was incredibly excited. Quite nervous. I felt a huge sense of responsibility to represent everybody connected to Dog's Trust and the many, many thousands of people who's adopted dogs from us over the years. So, yes, it was a -- a big thing. I was very, very proud to be there today.

BURNETT: A stunning moment. And as the - as the archbishop of Canterbury said, that she who had -- was present for so many, present for both of you, as well as present for all the - some of the most famous people and leaders in the world who were in that room.

As we look here at Windsor, the casket will soon be coming and her members of her family and also her royal household also, those who were able to see her in such a deeply personal way over so many years. You could see approaching, there is the hearse heading towards Windsor Castle. More remarkable royal moments that you will only see live as they happen. That's the way this is. No replays. This is a live event for the first time in history.

We'll be right back. Please stay with us.



BURNETT: All eyes are on Windsor Castle where the royals are gathering for the last official tributes to Queen Elizabeth II. Just moments from now, the hearse carrying the queen's coffin will make its final approach there to that castle. The streets of Windsor are absolutely packed with people, mourners, who want to witness the queen's final journey home to the grounds where she will be laid her final rest.

I'm Erin Burnett in London as we continue CNN's special coverage of the queen's state funeral.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, I'm Anderson Cooper, overlooking Windsor Castle. We are about to see the dramatic finale to an unparalleled day of royal pomp and ceremony all in honor of a monarch whose reign spanned the better part of a century, 70 years.

Once the queen's coffin arrives here, the hearse will move down the long walk toward Windsor Castle. King Charles and his family, once again, taking their places in the royal procession as it travels through the castle grounds to a service at St. George's Chapel. There we'll see something that has never been televised live before, the coffin of a British monarch lowered into the royal vault.

Anna Stewart is with crowds in Windsor.

Anna, explain where you are along the route and what you have been seeing.

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, we're about midway down the long walk. This is the route that the state hearse will come down.


The procession, the final procession to Windsor Castle. So really the last opportunity for the public to say a goodbye to her majesty, the queen.