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State of the Union
Nations Marks 21st Anniversary of 9/11 Terror Attacks; Queen's Coffin Makes Way to Scottish Capital. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired September 11, 2022 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In years that followed, ordinary Americans responding in extraordinary and unexpected ways. I hope we'll remember that in the midst of these dark days, we dug deep, we cared for each other. And we came together. You know, we regained the light by reaching out to one another and finding something all too rare. A true sense of national unity.
To me, that's the greatest lesson of September 11th. Not that we will never again face a setback. But that in the moment of great unity, we also had to face down the worst impulses, fear, violence, recrimination directed against Muslim Americans, as well as Americans in Middle East and in South Asian heritage, is that for all our flaws and disagreements, in the push and pull of all that makes us human, there is a nation that cannot accomplish -- there's nothing this nation cannot accomplish when we stand together and defend with all our hearts that which makes us unique in the world. Our democracy.
We're not only a nation based on principles, but we are based on an idea, we are the most unique nation in the world. An idea that everyone is created equal and should be treated equally throughout their lives. We don't always live up to it, but we have never walked away from it. That's what makes us strong, that's what makes us who we are, and that's what those hijackers most hoped to destroy when they targeted our buildings and our people. They failed.
No terrorist could touch the well spring of American power. And it falls to us to keep it safe on behalf of all those we lost 21 years ago, on behalf of all those who have given their whole souls to the cause of this nation every day since. That's a job for all of us. It's not enough to gather and remember September 11th those we lost more than two decades ago. Because on this day, it is not about the past, it's about the future.
We have an obligation, a duty, a responsibility to defend, preserve, and protect our democracy. The very democracy that guarantees the right to freedom that those terrorist on 9/11 south to bury in the burning fire, smoke and ash. And that takes a commitment on the part of all of us. Dedication, hard work, every day. For always remember, the American democracy depends on the habits of the heart of we, the people.
That's how our Constitution -- we the people. And the habits of the heart of we the people. It's not enough to stand up for democracy once a year or every now and then. It's something we have to do every single day. So this is a day not only to remember, but a day of renewal and resolve for each and every American. And our devotion to this country, to the principles and the bodies, to our democracy, that is who we owe those who we remember today.
That is what we owe one another. And that is what we owe future generations of Americans to come. I have no doubt we will do this. We will meet this significant responsibility. We'll secure our democracy together. As one America, the United States of America. That's who we are. That's who your loved ones were and why they gave so much.
Thank you. May God bless you all. And may God honor the members of the military we lost and all those we lost here on 9/11. And may God protect our troops.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen --
DANA BASH, CNN CO-ANCHOR, STATE OF THE UNION: President Biden -- let's listen in.
BASH: God bless America at the Pentagon across the river in Virginia. We just heard a very powerful speech from President Biden. First talking about, as we unfortunately uniquely can talk about grief, and what it is like to think about people who passed away even if it's 21 years ago. When the anniversary comes, it feels like it is yesterday. But then ending the speech with a very robust defense and explanation of democracy and a reminder that what the terrorists were trying to do on 9/11 was to splinter and even end democracy, targeting pillars and symbols of democracy, and killing those people in those buildings along with it.
Jane Harman, I want to bring you back. We were talking before President Biden was speaking. What were your thoughts as the president gave that particular plea to remember how fragile democracy is?
JANE HARMAN (D), FORMER RANKING MEMBER, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: I thought it was very important. He also said it was important to look forward. And let me just mention, Dana, when he began speaking, and I was in midflight, I said that the Capitol closed on 9/11, and I thought how wrong that was. Many of us argued for reopening it, and when it reopened at 5:00 p.m. on 9/11, about 150 members of Congress stood together on the Capitol steps and sang "God Bless America."
And what I remember from that moment was, nobody cared if the person next to them was a Republican or a Democrat, all we cared about was that America was under attack and America would fight back. And we have not had another significant terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. It's worth celebrating that. In spite of everything else that's happened and the rise of domestic terrorism and other threats from China and Russia's invasion of Ukraine and other things that we face. But I think that on this day, as Joe Biden said, that there is not
only the heroism of the first responders and those who lost family members to remember and celebrate, but there is the resilience of America and the fact that the terrorists could not destroy, could not destroy our soul. And he says that frequently now. And I think it's a very, very important message to communicate.
BASH: No, it's so true. And I'm so glad you brought up what happened at the Capitol, singing "God Bless America." I was there watching it. And my memory is that it was impromptu, it just kind of happened. Everybody gathered, still in the state of shock.
John King, the whole question of -- and sort of the balance of remembering, and as the former congresswoman just said, being quite happy about the fact that there hasn't been an attack anywhere close to that scale, certainly from somebody abroad, since 9/11.
We've had to change the way that we live and it has come at some cost.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS: It has. The security apparatus changed dramatically. The creation again of the TSA at airports, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. The creation of the director of National Intelligence. Just the whole security state around America, understandably and justifiably changed. 21 years later, there are conversations about, should adjustment be made?
We're having the very conversations coming, we're not really out of the COVID pandemic but at a new phase of the COVID pandemic, America and the world has to do big things at moments of immediate challenge. And then one of the challenges then is two years, five years, 10 years now, 21 years later, do we need to rethink it? Some people almost view that as sacrilege, right, because it was built at such an important moment.
The president just touched on there at something that he believes is critically important that hurt him politically which was messy withdrawal from Afghanistan. Another legacy of 9/11 was America's longest war.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY: Yes. And Joe Biden is such a fascinating figure for this moment, as we reflect on 9/11. The roles that he's played. But he talked about the unity that the country experienced in those moments. He was a part of that as a senator, basically backing the Republican administration at that time in the steps that they thought needed to be taken. But as his career went on, his views on that changed. He wanted to get out of Afghanistan. He wanted to get out of Iraq.
His views on that changed, and I think it is also reflective of, again, this younger generation of Americans whose only lives have been experienced in this post 9/11 world. Those people are like Joe Biden in the speech, starting to turn inward. Looking at our own country and asking what price did we pay, and should we be looking at ourselves and our own democracy and strengthening that? Should we be rethinking our engagement abroad?
Joe Biden is now the president who is living with that generation coming into their political power and saying we need to rethink some of these things. And I think you heard a little bit of that in that speech today. Biden was thinking about the future, and really trying to turn the conversation inward about how we strengthen this country domestically. Not just thinking about defending America against threats abroad.
SUSAN GLASSER, STAFF WRITER, THE NEW YORKER: You know, Abby, I'm glad you made that point because I think it was so unthinkable in the context that we existed in on 9/11 that we would be talking about American democracy as the thing that's under threat right now. Remember that that was really almost the high watermark of American power. It was just a decade after the end of the Cold War.
There were no Russia and China now have been resurgent over the last couple of decades can, but at that time were not peer competitors of the United States. We were not, you know, thinking that Russia was going to, you know, invade and try to revise the terms of the Soviet Union's collapse.
Here inside the United States, remember that it was a divided country in 2000. I mean, that's the thin. It's not that America's divisions didn't exist at that time. It was basically a 50-50 election between Al Gore and George W. Bush. And yet, and yet the country rallied around George W. Bush in a way that I think everyone understands is almost unthinkable today. Can you imagine any president of the United States having a 90 percent approval rating, no matter how catastrophic the moment?
And so right now, what we're looking at is a country that is almost talking to itself, right. Joe Biden isn't speaking to the world in that speech. He's speaking to the country and it's almost a lament, unfortunately.
BASH: Jane Harman, I heard you wanted to get in here. You will have the final word.
HARMAN: Well, just to say it's not a choice between focusing inward and focusing outward. We need to do both. Looking back on the 21 years, we got some things right. We prevented a major terrorist attack. But we got some things wrong. We overmilitarized our response to 9/11 after we went into Afghanistan and achieved the objectives that Congress authorized right after that day by a vote of almost unanimous, to one negative vote.
We should have, looking back, surged our soft power and put America into the world as a shining example of what we stand for. Let's think of the Queen, duty and honor, and the things that came to bear on 9/11. And we didn't do that enough. And so I would hope that Joe Biden, and I think he's trying to do this, would focus domestically, as he needs to, on that new generation that doesn't understand why we are involved in international affairs, or some of them don't, but also focus internationally and resurge America's global leadership the way it was after World War II when we stood for helping the world provide for more democracy, more opportunity, and showing that American generosity was a foremost value that we have.
BASH: Jane Harman, thank you so much for joining us on this solemn morning. Thank you, everybody here at the table for your reflections.
And still ahead, we're going to return to Scotland for live coverage of Queen Elizabeth beginning her final journey home. We're getting the answer to a question to many dog lovers have been asking, what will happen to all the Queen's corgis?
I want to know the answer to that. We'll be right back.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to Scotland, everyone, where people have been lining the streets as Queen Elizabeth's coffin is driven to Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh.
Now the procession moving slowly from Balmoral on a six-hour journey through communities along the way, giving Scotts really a chance to pay their respects. Princess Anne we should tell you is in the motorcade escorting her mother. We expect the hearse to arrive at the palace of Holyroodhouse around the top of the next hour, capping off the first leg of this final farewell to the Queen, who had a special place in the heart for Scotland. And we should say we think they're about 45 minutes away from arriving here.
I want to get straight now to CNN's royal correspondent Max Foster.
Max, hello to you once again. What can we expect as the coffin arrives in Edinburgh?
MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: I think a big reception, and I think a very solemn occasion. The hearse will drive through the city at a very slow pace. A lot of it's cobbled, as I'm sure you discovered, Don. So it has to travel slowly anyway. But I think silence, eerie silence, because we've seen that through the other cities they've driven through in Scotland, but also that is the intention when the coffin arrives at the Palace Holyroodhouse, it will be a silent bearer party.
There will be a royal salute, but it will be silent, and the coffin will be carried in to rest in the palace so that household staff can pay their respects overnight and the city can prepare for the memorial service tomorrow and a vigil, which I know members of the royal family will be attending.
LEMON: And she will be in the throne room at the Palace for Holyroodhouse here in Edinburgh.
Listen, this is not inconsequential, the question I'm going to ask you, Max, because the Queen had such love for animals and especially dogs. The corgis, I understand that you have a new update on her prized corgis. What is that?
FOSTER: Well, it's interesting. It's a question I've been most often asked, probably. You know, this is a nation of dog lovers and these are the corgis the Queen is so famous for. And I can tell you, they are going to go and live with the Duke and Duchess of York at their house on the Windsor Estate. They were given to the Queen by Prince Andrew. But it was Fergie that actually found them as puppies and then Prince Andrew gave them to the Queen. So they're effectively returning them.
But I was speaking to someone close to Prince Andrew basically and there's some interesting insight here. What I learned was, it was the Duchess who found the puppies, but the Duchess I was hold bonded with Her Majesty over dog walking and riding horses even after her divorce. She would continue her great friendship with Her Majesty. They're walking the dogs (INAUDIBLE) and chatting.
I think -- I didn't even know this. I realized that the Queen got on quite well with Fergie once they were married but there was all that bitterness around the marriage and the divorce rather. And it was interesting to find out the Queen actually continued a friendship with Fergie over the years. And it does speak to the fact that, you know, the Queen, you know, put family first, and she had a connection with Fergie, even though the rest of the nation very much fell out with Fergie after that divorce.
LEMON: Yes. Christiane Amanpour, I'm going to bring you. Christiane Amanpour and Richard Quest as well.
Christiane, listen, I'm not sure if you're a dog lover. I must say that I am, I have three at home. And any time I get anywhere near an animal shelter I want to go adopt all of them in there but it's just not possible. But this speaks to the nature of the -- Her Majesty, of her love for animals, her love for people. And she was of the people yet still being a royal.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, I think that's absolutely the case. You know, she had this affection, you know, she loved horses, she loved dogs. Like so many people do, whether in the U.K. or in the United States or wherever it is. I think that, you know, to pivot to what seems to be almost like a confluence of memorials today, we've just listened to the 21st anniversary of 9/11.
We heard President Biden say to the people what Queen Elizabeth had conveyed to America those 21 years ago when she said nothing anyone can say right now will be able to assuage your pain. And then the quote was, you know, grief is the price you pay for love. And I think that is just so profound. And you can see America, you know, again, sort of facing really its biggest disaster on home soil in so many years and is facing that memory.
And here in this country, they are facing the disaster of having lost somebody who has been with them for 70 years.
[10:25:01] The president of France I think summed it up the best for the world by telling everybody that -- or telling the British people that to you, she was your Queen, to us, she was the Queen, and she will essentially be in everybody's hearts forever. And that is most definitely the sense you get in the outpouring of emotion for this Queen.
It's quiet, it's dignified, punctuated by cheers behind us because while the solemnity of what's happening in Scotland proceeds, here we have periodic cheers as Prince Chales -- sorry, King Charles III and the Queen Consort Camilla come in and out of Buckingham Palace.
LEMON: Yes. Just real quickly, I want to mention again that Queen Anne is escorting her mother, Richard Quest and I have been here just watching these pictures and we've been seeing people on bridges and just really coming out to pay their respects. There's one bridge we just past where people are staying.
RICHARD QUEST, HOST, CNN'S QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: And it will be the princess royal, Prince Anne, who's in the car behind, the Benty behind, and she will not only be with the Queen tonight, but also she will travel back when the Queen, when the body returns to London early next week.
LEMON: So we are standing by here -- standing by I should say here on the other side of the pond. In the meantime, we're going to go back to Dana Bash.
Dana, you're going to continue the conversation. Man, what a life that we're honoring here, And mourning the passing but yet the transition to a monarchy that is moving into the future.
BASH: Yes. And I can't take my eyes off of the pictures that we're seeing. It's just absolutely remarkable.
And we're here to talk more about that with CNN's Zane Asher and Julia Chatterley, royal commentators Kate Williams and Sally Bedell Smith.
Thank you all for being here.
Sally, I want to start with you, just as you're watching this. Just in the Scottish country side. Cars pulled over to the side. People in places that are obviously not very densely populated, coming out to just get a glimpse of this moment in history and pay tribute to their Queen.
SALLY BEDELL SMITH, JOURNALIST AND ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think we're going to see much, much larger crowds as she moves into Edinburgh. And she is -- or she was, I have to say that now, such a part of Scotland. Her mother grew up there. Her sister was born in Scotland. Her husband proposed to her there. She spent the first few months of World War II there. She had many, many decades of happy holidays in Holyroodhouse where she's going to be going next in St. John's Cathedral are places that we are very familiar, that where she performed all sorts of ceremonial duties.
And Scotland was really very, very deeply embedded in her. And I think what we're going to see in Edinburgh is a reflection of the admiration and the love that the Scots have for her.
BASH: No question about it. And you're right, we're going to see throngs of people momentarily when they come actually to Edinburgh. Your thoughts as you watch this, Julia?
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think it's the same thing. I think, as a 96-year-old monarch --
BASH: Julia, I'm sorry to interrupt you. We are monitoring two very big moments. Right now there's a moment of silence again in New York for when the North Tower fell.
(MOMENT OF SILENCE)
BASH: Julia, I'm going to come back to you in one second but while we have our historian here, we're tying in what is happening in -- to commemorate 9/11 in New York and here at the Pentagon. And I'm thinking about the Queen's role and what she did after 9/11. Pretty extraordinary. She played an American tribute.
SMITH: She did.
Well, one thing she did was that she had a service in St. Paul's Cathedral. And I was talking to somebody who sat near her and watched her sing the American national anthem, the entire thing. And she thought to herself, I don't think I know the words to the British national anthem. And she also, of course, sent a message to be read at St. John's Church in New York with the famous, "Grief is the price you pay for love," which will be one of the enduring statements from her reign. She -- out in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, they played the national anthem.
So she found lots of ways to honor the Americans and the British and the people from all over the world who had died in 9/11. And then later, I watched her in 2011, dedicate the British memorial garden down at the site.
So it was a loss for her. She always loved America. She was here many times. And she even took private holidays here. So she had a deep, deep love for America that included, you know, a wonderful visit she made even before she was queen.
DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. No question, a special relationship, notwithstanding. I keep thinking of what her -- I don't know how many great grandfather, George, who lost the war that led the American revolution began against him, would have thought, listening to Queen Elizabeth sing the national anthem.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: I don't think we talk about that. I think she always want to do it at the right moment and the right time. And, I think, we make the point, I mean, that was centuries of tradition and history to break with, when she decided with the changing of the royal guards, to play the "Star-Spangled Banner" rather than have "God Save the Queen," never mind singing. So, yes, I think that plays to her popular appeal in that regard and a sense of fun perhaps and cheekiness in relation to some of the history. But I was going to say earlier, I think, what we have to remember today as we're watching this, we're looking at her last wishes. This is the embodiment and enactment of her final wishes.
And in terms of royal tribute and something fitting, I don't think it gets better to get back to what Sally was saying, than actually the choice that in my heart I believe that she made. And yes, she would spend her summers in Balmoral, and obviously this has a meaningful sort of history for her, but it doesn't surprise me in a way that while she was there, because it was the summer, somehow she chose not to leave there, and that her final journey was made and is a showcase to not only to the beauty of Scotland, I think, but to the passion that she had for it.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: And, I think, what's interesting as we watch these images play out on the screen, we're not just watching the queen sort of travel through the streets of Scotland. We are watching right now on our screens, 100 years of British history traveling through the streets of Scotland. This cortege, this hearse carrying the queen's coffin represents a century of tradition, a century of duty, a century of promises kept, made and kept to the British people.
People talk about the fact that they love Queen Elizabeth because she put duty and responsibility above all else. And even in death, even in death, she is still carrying out her responsibilities to the British people. You know, people talk about, you know, on our ad that this is her sort of final farewell, her final journey. It's also her final public engagement. We're watching her last public engagement.
So, I mean, as somebody who was born, just like you, Julia, obviously born and raised in the U.K., I'm just sort of struck with so much reverence for this extraordinary moment. You know, it's not just a moment in British history. This is a moment in history, period.
CHATTERLEY: Well, we'll never see anything like it in our time. I mean, actually we hope never to see a reign this long again. Because the only person who could actually achieve it is Prince George, and we don't even want to think about why that would take place. So for many reasons, this is a historic moment and we will never see the like of it again.
Again, I get back to the point that I made about it being a fitting tribute not only geographically to her but, I think, really you'll get a sense once we get into Edinburgh -- I mean, I've just been surprised even the people that we've seen many of them wearing black. You see them falling silent as the cortege passes, great respect, great admiration and great love. And it doesn't mean big questions on coming -- for the monarchy, for their role, but I think she embodies the monarchy for this generation.
And I think that this strength and admiration for her will -- is unparalleled. BASH: And then Sally was talking about her personal connections to Scotland where she is now intentionally. You believe sort of spiritually, making this her final place, the place where she took her last breath, but this movement that she's making across Scotland, it's not just her mom and it's not just the moments in her own personal life. She has lineage back to Scottish royalty on both sides of her family.
ASHER: Yes. You think about Buckingham palace as sort of the corporate headquarters. Scotland, Balmoral, that was really her country retreat. Christiane described it as her happy place. That was where she felt most comfortable.
Sally, you and I were talking before we got on air, about this idea that the queen is never off duty. And you said to me, except in Balmoral. That is the place where she truly felt that she could take her hat off and not have to succumb to the public pressures what it meant to be queen every single day.
And to Julia's point, I think that history will regard Queen Elizabeth II as probably one of, if not the greatest monarchs that this country has ever seen. You know, it's not just about 70 years on the throne and 70 years in terms of sacrifice and service. But that 70 years what that represents is 70 years of having to do everything perfect. Seventy years of never, in my opinion, you might think differ, Sally, never being off duty. Seventy years of putting your country, your nation ahead of your own personal wants and needs.
And so throughout -- I mean, I'm Nigerian, you and I we're talking about that, throughout the country from Edinburgh to London outside Buckingham Palace you're seeing people of all walks of life, all races, all cultures, all backgrounds, all nationalities, this beautiful tapestry of mankind just sort of coming together to honor this woman. And I just think that, you know, it's just extraordinary.
BEDELL SMITH: But also, I mean, Balmoral, you're absolutely right, is a place where she could be completely --
BEDELL SMITH: -- herself.
BEDELL SMITH: But you have to remember that she worked every day when she was at Balmoral and no more vivid reminder of that was that two days before she died, she was working visibly, greeting a prime -- that is going to be an iconic part of her legacy. And almost in the realm of legend that somebody would do something like that because she had not been well.
She had a very good summer at Balmoral. I've talked to people who were with her. Her conversation was as sparkling as ever been.
She was failing. She was in visible pain, but she was very frail. Nevertheless, she had lots of guests coming and going. And it was indeed to the very end it was her happy place.
BASH: I feel lucky that I get to talk to these smart women to remember this extraordinary and unique female leader, really if you think about globally truly unique. We are awaiting the arrival ceremony at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh and an honor guard will receive the queen's coffin and there will also be a royal salute. That's all ahead. Stay with us.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Don Lemon now live in Edinburgh. And as the queen's procession gets closer and closer to here in Edinburgh, I want to take you out to the streets and CNN's Nic Robertson who is on this route and he will be close to it when she gets here. What are people doing out there, Nic?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Don, they're starting to get a little quiet. There's this growing sense of expectation that the queen isn't far away. The roads -- the traffic has now been stopped.
I'll just give you some orientation here. Across the main road there, you can see beyond the crowds, that's where the queen will come in from the north of the country. She'll cross over the large Forth Road Bridge, come into the center of Edinburgh here. This is Princes Street running along the road here. This is the main shopping avenue in the center of Edinburgh. And then she will -- then the car will turn at this corner and pass the castle. You can see up there on the hill, the castle -- around the back of the castle and over towards where you are.
A lot of people are gathering here. There's a young family here. What is important for you to be here today, with your children?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just to pay our respects to the queen and -- she was actually named Georgia Elizabeth after the queen so we thought it would be nice for her to grow up and be told that she was here today.
ROBERTSON: And do you have memories of the queen yourself?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yes, I do. Just she was all I've ever known. And my grand, she's not with us now, but she loved the queen so much. So it just kind of makes me think of her, as well. I'm sorry. She's tired.
ROBERTSON: Everyone is waiting, everyone is waiting. And you say you brought the dog down today, as well?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Just to mark the momentous occasion and pay our respects.
ROBERTSON: What did the queen mean to you in your life? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think just she typified (INAUDIBLE) and just like in her ongoing strength which I think, you know, was a big characteristic of hers. I think that she (INAUDIBLE) public in the way carried herself.
ROBERTSON: And how do you feel the country is handling this transition? Because now it's King Charles. And I know in London every time King Charles comes out of Buckingham Palace there are big cheers go up. What's your sense of a transition?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we've taken it quite smoothly. I think we'll -- you know, we'll kind of get used to it, obviously. With things like the banknotes. There's going to be loads of things that will change. But, I think, again, as a country we'll adapt and we'll roll with it, as we do.
ROBERTSON: Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No problem. Thank you.
ROBERTSON: So, Don, after passing around the corner here, passing right beneath the castle, high up there on the rock above the city of Edinburgh here, an iconic piece of landscape here, along the Grassmarket and then down the Royal Mile too, the palace of Holyroodhouse. Don?
LEMON: Thank you, Nic. We'll get back to you. I just want to show you now, I think, this is Queensferry Crossing. I want to bring in now Richard Quest, Christiane Amanpour, and Max Foster there at Buckingham Palace. But let's stay here in Edinburgh for a minute. This is Queensferry Crossing that we're looking at now.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: It's a major intersection. It's a major thoroughfare into Edinburgh, crossing the bridge now. And you can see the traffic on the other side slowing down to also pay their respects. Just a matter of moments before the queen, the late queen will be -- look at that magnificent bridge.
QUEST: Just look at that structure.
LEMON: But it's also indication of just how close. Probably about 20, 30 minutes away. And we're going to have a --
QUEST: I would expect the procession and cortege just slow down perhaps quite considerably here in Edinburgh. I mean, as you can see from Nic Robertson, the number of people who are on the streets before they come behind us it will come past just behind us to --
LEMON: We'll get maybe a few seconds to see the procession. It will be enough, and hopefully the cameras will be on us when that happens. But what a beautiful shot of coming across Queensferry Crossing on their way to Edinburgh here.
QUEST: Crossing the Firth of Forth which is the body of water involved here.
LEMON: And speaking of crowds, why don't we get to Buckingham Palace and our colleagues there. Max, you know, the people have been out just -- you know, since this -- since getting the notice of the queen's death. And you actually announced it to the world here on CNN. I would imagine it is -- there are throngs and throngs of people there just wanting to pay their respects, and they get there early in the morning. And many of them stay late into the evening.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they're just hoping for a glimpse really. And they've got a couple of glimpses today of the Queen Consort recently just left Buckingham Palace and they all had a glimpse of her there. You know, they have got this wonderful limousine here, which you can see, you know, full view of whoever is sitting in it. The king is currently still in Buckingham Palace, as we understand it, meeting Commonwealth ministers and head of the Commonwealth. We're not going to see much more of him today apart from his movements which focuses very much on what we're seeing now.
So we've come over the Queensferry Crossing, as Richard said, absolutely iconic image for many people in Scotland, quite emotional would have thought to see her crossing that toward the capital Edinburgh. They'll come through -- once they sort of come your way they'll be going down Queensferry Road, Queensferry Street and then into Princes Street which is the main shopping street in Edinburgh, beautiful old buildings. You'll recognize them once you see them there. We recognize these iconic sort of corners in Edinburgh and that will be there. You'll see the castle in the background, as well.
People gathering more and more. People gathering on that bridge as you can see, just to get a glimpse of the hearse. I think, once you get into Edinburgh, the capital, you know, real sort of population center, there will be huge crowds on the outskirts and obviously in towards you. And past, you know, the shops that people go to in Edinburgh and recognize, and then up towards the Palace of Holyrood where you'll have that solemn handover really of the coffin from the duty of the Balmoral team over to the duty of the Holyrood Palace team, and then resting there in the palace overnight.
LEMON: And then we have as we have been saying Queen Anne who is in the procession as well, escorting her mother. Before I get to the other folks here I just wanted to get a quick break and then we'll come back and we'll continue our conversation. The queen is getting closer and close to Edinburgh, where she will be here at just moments away, crossing Queensferry -- Queensferry Crossing, really a beautiful shot of the queen and the procession. You're watching live coverage here on CNN.
We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.
LEMON: We're back now with our continuing coverage here on CNN. As you can see the motorcade there on the left side of your screen getting closer to Edinburgh, in the outskirts here. And on the right side of your screen, you see crowds gathering, getting ready for the procession to pass. That procession is going to pass on Nic Robertson and then shortly after that Isa Soares and then it will get to us here where Richard Quest and I are.
But I just want to point out before we get to them quickly is that we're standing here, Richard and I, we can't turn the camera around, but we're looking at a mountain that's called Arthur's Seat and it's part of Holyrood Park. Holyroodhouse Park and -- Holyroodhouse Park.
QUEST: This is a place where people will come on a beautiful day.
LEMON: -- even looking.
QUEST: But now they are -- by the dozens and hundreds they're at the top of Arthur's peak, because from there they're going to get the most tremendous view over Edinburgh as the cortege makes its way down Princes Street to pass all the famous landmarks.
LEMON: It's really an amazing sight to see people standing on top of the mountain here. I'm speaking really fast, but it's Holyroodhouse. And also earlier I want to say, before I get to Nic Robertson, I said -- you've told me I said Queen Anne instead of saying Princess Anne. It sort of slipped off the tongue.
I want to get now -- let's get to Nic Robertson who's out in the crowd. Nic, this procession is getting very close to you right now and I would imagine there is anticipation growing in the crowd.
ROBERTSON: There really is. I mean, people have been coming down here over the past sort of hour or so, gathering, Don. And people are really now waiting for that moment when they will be able to see the queen's cortege drive by.
Most people here have their cell phones out. They're ready to take a picture, a way to remember the events of today. Police are here. It's very low key. It's very relaxed.
Everyone is just sort of waiting at the barriers, looking over and looking out, waiting, waiting, and waiting. But as everyone here knows, the queen's cortege isn't far away. The Forth Road Bridge just a few miles down the road. The traffic now has been shut off. It is quiet. Just a sort of gentle chatter in the background as people talk with family and friends as they wait.
This Princes Street, as you were talking about before, very famous in Scotland, in Edinburgh, very famous with the tourists as well, somewhere people come to do their shopping. But today it will be remembered for a different reason, a different reason, the reason the queen's final passage on this long, long and important journey back to London, resting in here in Edinburgh for the next couple of days. But she'll be arriving passing the iconic castle. We're on one side and you're over there on the other side, Don.
LEMON: Yes. And, Nic, I want you to stand by because as soon as the motorcade gets to you we'll come right back to you. But I just want to speak to my colleague, Richard Quest. It's really quite a moment to watch. And actually you can feel the anticipation here for people who are awaiting the queen and to really just thank her, her final journey for all the service, right, for the service of 70 years.
QUEST: It's what the king said, thank you, beloved mother. It's what, you know, Paddington Bear said in that jubilee thing, "Thank you, ma'am, for everything." And individually, that's what you are seeing here. People who have got a memory of the queen, who have been part of their lives, who have come out to say, thank you, ma'am, for everything.
LEMON: You're wondering why we're looking down and not looking at the camera. We are actually looking at -- this is -- our monitor is below the camera and we're just trying to go along.
LEMON: Yes, so that --
QUEST: (INAUDIBLE) what I'm looking at. Look at this.
LEMON: It's because Richard and I are looking down and they're telling us to look up at the cameras but we're looking at the procession just as you are in awe of it. They're entering Edinburgh now. And just as you predicted, Richard, you said that it would slow as it got closer to Edinburgh and the crowd. And that's exactly what has happened.
QUEST: Yes, we're not seeing people throwing flowers. I think that might come after the funeral and thereafter. We're seeing a much more dignified, solemn, almost -- but not almost, reverential mood as people -- and the numbers are really quite building strongly. You heard from Nic, you heard from Isa, both of whom are right in the middle of the Royal Mile and Princes Street. And now through this out of suburbs the procession makes its way. When it gets here to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, it will greeted by the bearers, who will then take the coffin inside of the palace where it will be taken to the throne room is where it will lay in rest.
LEMON: We should remind people, again, these are aerials, right, these are helicopter shots, much of what you're looking at now. This is line for miles and miles and miles of people. And then even where we are, there's -- to the right of us, there's a line of people, and we've been hearing, you know, dogs barking. People are bringing -- intentionally we're told their animals here, because the queen was such a dog lover. They're bringing in their dogs and pets and just to get a glimpse and to experience the day here. Nic Robertson is going to jump in as soon as it gets close to him but we are just a couple minutes out in this procession. And --
QUEST: The planning has been so far flawless. It's gone exactly as intended. And what will now happen is a series of complicated events with members of the royal family moving between Scotland and London. The princess royal who's already there, the second car there, the Bentley behind along with the minister from the church.