Return to Transcripts main page

CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Public Funeral Service is Held for Prince Philip of United Kingdom; Number at Gathering for Funeral Service for Prince Philip Limited by COVID-19 Restrictions; Queen Elizabeth II Captured on Camera Mourning Alone for Late Husband Prince Philip. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired April 17, 2021 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(MUSIC)

[10:05:08]

(SINGING)

DEAN OF WINDSOR: We are here today in St. George's Chapel to commit into the hands of God the soul of his servant, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. With grateful hearts, we remember the many ways in which his long life has been a blessing to us. We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our queen, by his service to the nation and the commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude, and faith. Our lives have been enriched through the challenges that he has set us, the encouragement that he has given us, his kindness, humor, and humanity. We, therefore, pray that God will give us grace to follow his example, and that with our brother Philip, at the last we shall know the joys of life eternal.

(SINGING)

[10:13:09]

DEAN OF WINDSOR: A reading from the book Ecclesiasticus. "Look at the rainbow and praise its maker. It shines with a supreme beauty, rounding the sky with its gleaming arc. A bow bent by the hands of the most high. His command speeds the snowstorm and sends the swift lightning to execute his sentence. To that end, the storehouses are opened, and the clouds fly out like birds. By his mighty power, the clouds are piled up and the hailstones broken small. The crash of his thunder makes the earth writhe. And when he appears, an earthquake shakes the hills. At his will, the south wind blows, the squall from the north and the hurricane. He scatters the snowflakes like birds alighting. They set off like a swarm of locusts. The eye is dazzled by their beautiful whiteness and, as they fall, the mind is entranced. He spreads frost on the earth like salt, and icicles fall like pointed stakes.

[10:15:04]

A cold blast from the north, and ice grows hard on the water, settling on every pool as though the water were putting on a float. He consumes the hills, scorches the wilderness, and withers the grass like fire. Cloudy weather quickly puts all to rights, and dew brings welcome relief after heat. By the power of his thought, he tamed the deep and planted it with islands. Those who sail the sea tell stories of its dangers, which astonish all who hear them. In it are strange and wonderful creatures, all kinds of living things, and huge sea monsters. By his own action, he achieves his end, and by his word, all things are held together."

(MUSIC)

ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: A reading from Saint John's Gospel. "Martha said to Jesus, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.

Jesus said to her, your brother will rise again. Martha said to him, I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

[10:20:00]

Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believe in me, though he die, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? She said to him, yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the son of God, he who is coming into the world."

(SINGING)

DEAN OF WINDSOR: Oh, merciful God, the father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who is the resurrection and the life, in whomsoever believe shall live though he die, and he whosoever liveth and believeth in him shall not die eternally, who also has taught us by his holy apostle Saint Paul not to be sorry, as men without hope, for them that sleep in him. We meekly beseech thee, oh, father, that when we shall depart this life, we may rest in him, as our hope is this our brother doth, and that at the general resurrection in the last day, we may be found acceptable in thy sight and receive that blessing which thy well beloved son shall then pronounce to all that love and fear thee, saying, come, ye blessed children of my father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world.

[10:30:27]

Grant this, we beseech thee, oh, merciful father, through Jesus Christ, our mediator and redeemer. Amen.

ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: Oh, eternal God, before whose face the generations rise and pass away, thyself unchanged, abiding, we bless thy holy name for all who have completed their earthly course in thy faith and following and are now at rest.

We remember before thee this day, Philip, duke of Edinburgh, rendering thanks unto thee for his resolute faith and loyalty, for his high sense of duty and integrity, for his life of service to the nation and commonwealth, and for the courage and inspiration of his leadership. To him, with all the faithful departed, grant thy peace. Let light perpetual shine upon them, and in thy loving wisdom and almighty power, work in them the good purpose of thy perfect will through Jesus Christ. Amen.

DEAN OF WINDSOR: Oh, Lord, who did give to thy servant Saint George grace to lay aside the fear of man and to be faithful even unto death, grant that we, unmindful of worldly honor, may fight the wrong, uphold thy rule, and serve thee to our lives' end, through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

God save our gracious sovereign and all the companions living under gartered of the most honorable and noble order of the garter. Amen.

Oh, God of the spirits of all flesh, we praise thy holy name, for thy servant, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who has left us a fair passion of valiant and true knighthood, grant unto him the assurance of thy ancient promise that thou wilt ever be with those who go down to the sea in ships and occupy their business in great waters. And we beseech thee that following his good example and strengthened by his fellowship, we may at the last, together with him, be partakers of thy heavenly kingdom, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: Oh, Lord God, where thou givest to thy servants to endeavor any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning, but the continuing of the same unto the end, until it be thoroughly finished, which yieldeth the true Lord. Through him, who for the finishing of thy work, laid down his life, our redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Almighty God, father of all mercies and giver of all comfort, deal graciously, we pray thee, with those who mourn, that casting every care on thee they may know the consolation of thy love through Jesus Christ, our lord. Amen.

(SINGING)

[10:39:14]

DEAN OF WINDSOR: Go forth upon thy journey from this world, oh, Christian soul, in the name of God, the Father Almighty, who created thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, who suffered for thee, in the name of the Holy Spirit who strengtheneth thee. May the caution this day be in peace and thy dwelling in the heavenly Jerusalem. Amen.

[10:40:04]

GARTER PRINCIPAL KING OF ARMS: Thus it hath pleased Almighty God to take out of this transitory life unto his divine mercy the late most high, mighty, and illustrious prince, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, Baron Greenwich, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, member of the Order of Merit, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, upon whom had been conferred the Royal Victorian Chain, Grandmaster and Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom, one of her majesty's most honorable Privy Council, admiral of the fleet, Field Marshal in the Army and Marshal of the Royal Air Force, husband of her most excellent majesty, Elizabeth II, by the grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of her other realms and territories Queen, head of the Commonwealth, defender of the faith, sovereign of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, who may God preserve and bless, with a long life, health and honor, and all worldly happiness.

(MUSIC)

[10:47:10]

ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: God grant to the living grace, to the departed rest, to the church, the queen and the commonwealth and all people, unity, peace, and to us and all God's servants, life everlasting. And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be with you all and remain with you always. Amen.

(SINGING)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Extraordinary service for an extraordinary life. We just saw Queen Elizabeth, Philip's wife of 73 years, just leaving the chapel now. Other members of the royal family, you see Prince Harry off on the righthand side, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Edward as well there bowing his head, and the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

[10:50:00]

Extraordinary moment not to actually -- we saw the casket starting to be lowered into the vault beneath the chapel, which was built by George III, who was one of several kings buried within it. But they do not -- the cameras, which we don't control, which are a pool camera, then did not show the actual casket lowering in. That's such a personal moment that was just for the family, not on camera. Instead, they showed the pipe major of the Royal playing a lament, then we heard the buglers, the Royal Marines sound the last post and other Reveille, then the Buglers of the Royal Marines sounding action stations, and then there was the blessing, the National Anthem, "God Save our Gracious Queen."

Richard Quest, extraordinary for the way this was orchestrated, beautifully done. It had been prepared for a long time. Prince Philip had overseen the preparations for it for years, and yet obviously because of COVID, it all changed.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How do you take an event that's been 30, 40 years in the planning, that would have had hundreds of mourners, thousands of troops, would have had a procession lasting 20 odd miles, and how do you take that and put it into one castle with 30 mourners? And they've done it spectacularly and beautifully.

COOPER: CNN Royal Correspondent Max Foster has been watching it all. Max?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, "poignant" is a word that's often overused for these types of events, but I think it's completely appropriate here just from an incredible job that the palace officials did to try to put this together in these restrictions. Seeing the choir, it was incredibly powerful to see the main body of the church so empty, and those incredible choristers giving an incredible tribute. Of course, seeing the Queen there alone on that chair was incredibly difficult. You've got to remember, this is the supreme governor of the Church of England. She's deeply religious. This was a very poignant moment for her, as I say.

We didn't see the casket go down. I think that was a decision made between obviously the pool and camera people in the palace. But he is there in his temporary resting place, actually, with other kings and queens in a large space, a large room underground there at the chapel. Eventually, this love story isn't over, Kate, because when the queen passes, she'll be buried in the King George VI's Chapel, her father's chapel, and Prince Philip will join her there. So this love story isn't over yet.

KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, that's right. The Queen will be buried where the George VI Memorial Chapel where her father and mother and sister are, and Prince Philip will be there with her. They will be united. And it was incredibly moving to see the Queen here, so powerful, so poignant, so heartbreaking to see her alone. No one even able to hold her hand due to COVID times. Such a powerful reminder of so many people across the world who have lost people over this past year and haven't been able to mourn them as they would have wished. The Queen there so stoic, so strong, but without the comfort of her family. And really it shows us that this is the next chapter for her. She will move forward without Prince Philip by her side, and it will be so very hard for her.

FOSTER: An era certainly ending, isn't it, because the Queen would never abdicate. She has dedicated herself to lifelong service. But the optics are different now. He's not there alongside her. We're going to be seeing more of Charles and William stepping up, representing her. She will continue to be head of state, but we've seen a change here, a moment in history, in British history, in royal history.

And let's pause as we watch the Queen, alongside the Dean of Windsor, who officiated so effectively here, she'll get in her limousine, and this will be the last we see of her for some time, I think. We're not being told what will happen next today, and I think she needs some time to -- how would you describe it, come to terms with this?

WILLIAMS: Come to terms with such a great loss. This man that she's loved for so many years, who has always been beside her, her liege, life, and limb, and really the fragility of human life. Before her mother's funeral she talked about celebrating her mother's life and mixing the sadness also with a commemoration of this long life of her mother and the great century her mother had lived, and I'm sure that's how she feels now, that she's both full of sadness, but also seeing all the progress that has been done. When the Duke married into the royal family, some people weren't convinced by him, they didn't think he would be a good consort. But how he has been so successful, the greatest consort, and really everything has been such a great success. That is a comfort for her.

FOSTER: The liege quote you're quoting there is when Prince Philip knelt in front of the Queen at the coronation and made this promise, a vow to her to become your liegeman of life and limb and of earthly worship and faith and truth. I will bear onto you to live and die against all manner of folks.

[10:55:02]

And I think what we saw today was the Queen acknowledging that he lived up to that promise in the way that he wanted it to be acknowledged.

WILLIAMS: Yes, he gave everything. He gave service. He gave up his naval service, and he committed everything to supporting the Queen and giving so much power to the monarchy.

FOSTER: We just saw William and Harry together, shoulder to shoulder, speaking to the clergy. I feel -- I don't know what you feel, Kate. This did feel like Prince Philip's service. It wasn't about the dynamics behind the scenes. But obviously we're all sitting here hoping there will be some reconciliation there as a result of this family crisis, which often is the case. I just want to say that the Sussex's office has told me that the Duchess of Sussex was very keen to be there. She couldn't travel for medical reasons, but she is watching the service, as we are.

WILLIAMS: It was an emotional service. We saw the emotion on all the family members, their comfort to each other.

FOSTER: Let's just focus on this moment. We've got Prince Harry flanked by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. They look comfortable. This is a very powerful moment, because these were eruptions within the monarchy, which has dominated the queen's life over the last year, how to deal with this departure of the Sussexes and their senior royal duties. And the key dynamic they're going for is always William and Harry, and it feels like there is a reconciliation there. It's very powerful.

WILLIAMS: I think great unity, very powerful. They're all pulling together to support their grandmother, to support what she's been through and her loss. And there they are all together, the royal family.

FOSTER: Harry and William.

WILLIAMS: There's no formality. They're talking.

FOSTER: Breaking away there, chatting.

WILLIAMS: It is a moment, a great poignant, moving unity. I'm sure they're all heartbroken. We saw the Queen's pain, we saw the pain on their faces, etched on their faces as they went in. Really, they've lost someone they loved so much, and it was a life well lived, it was a long life full of activity. But that still doesn't make it any less hard.

FOSTER: We're so often told that these moments in front of the camera orchestrated by the Palace -- this wasn't orchestrated. This is an organic thing. They broke away together, in the name of Prince Philip, so in death he's brought the family together. Amazing. WILLIAMS: I think Prince Philip, he was such a devoted grandfather.

Let's remember after the death of Diana, he wanted to stay to look after the grandsons. He has done so much for them. They are so devoted to him, and the loss is a great one, particularly to Harry. Philip was Zooming Harry right up until the end in California, Zooming Archie, and I know it's incredibly painful to Harry that Philip won't be able to meet his 11th great grandchild, little baby girl Sussex who will be arriving this summer. That was so sad for Harry.

FOSTER: The royal family now going up to the more private part of the castle. These are the last images we will see today, I'm told, by the Palace. There may well be some private engagements afterwards. It's a beautiful, sunny day here. The sun is shining on this moment, so they will be able to be outside and have some sort of engagement and have some private time.

WILLIAMS: Yes, I've understood, I've heard there may be some people at a smaller wake, perhaps also including the Queen's cousin, Princess Alexandra. Of course, it was at her parents' wedding where the Duke and the Queen first met when she was a bridesmaid when she was eight. So really that is such a poignant moment, the family, no one else, no dignitaries, it's just them, they're celebrating the life of their father, their grandfather, and their great grandfather as well. It's really heartbreaking.

FOSTER: The solitary nature, the castle sitting there in silence with just the key members, this is the Queen's favorite home. She invited the cameras in. There's utter silence here. I have to say, you could hear a pin drop. And a beautiful testament to a man that didn't want all the frills. It felt like there was frills, but that was him saying I was a military man. This was an incredibly private, family affair they invited us into. And I think that that speaks to the Queen's service, putting duty above everything else. She probably didn't want cameras there, but she knew that he was a public figure, and we needed to share in that moment.

WILLIAMS: Yes, Max, this was about the Queen's service and Duke's service. And as you say, I'm sure she would prefer not to have the cameras there. It's so private for her, such a moving moment. But this was a moment which you recognized that this is also a public occasion, so painful for her. And I've seen some people on social media saying how hard it is to grieve in public, how painful it must be for the queen. And as you say, it was also about the Duke, showing respect for his life as a military man, his life as a naval man, and for all of the regiments he's been a colonel of and had honorary titles of. It was a moment to celebrate his life, and also a moment to commemorate how much he has done for the family. And really, I think the enduring image that we will take of both the Duke's funeral and of COVID times is the Queen there bearing her pain alone.

FOSTER: She's lost, Anderson, all the people she could be normal with, effectively, her mother, her sister, her father, and now Prince Philip. And we look to a new shape of monarchy, really, and we'll see much more of Charles and William stepping into that role. The Queen will remain the Queen, but I think the monarchy will look like Charles and William from now on.