♪ this is "nightline." >> tonight, guns in america. as an epidemic of gun violence rocks the nation, president biden calls for action, including an assault weapons ban. >> for god's sake, how much more carnage are we willing to accept? >> and the platinum jubilee. queen elizabeth ii celebrating an historic 70 years on the throne. >> the queen has reigned over so much change. >> from the royal fly-over to the royal great grandson stealing the show. and why the mystique of her majesty will live on. plus the first lady of ukraine. olena zelenska speaking exclusively to our robin roberts reporting from kyiv. >> what were the conversations like with your husband in those
thanks for joining us. we begin tonight with president biden's urgent call for gun reform as the nation reels after a series of mass shootings. from that grocery store in buffalo, new york, to a church in laguna woods, california, the elementary school in uvalde, texas, and now a hospital in tulsa, oklahoma. in eight days since the shooting at robb elementary, there have been 20 other mass shootings across the country. and president biden's message to congress? "enough." >> we need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. if we can't ban assault weapons, then we should raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21. strengthen background checks. enact safe storage laws and red flag laws. let's meet the moment. let us finally do something. >> the president also knows he surfaces an uphill battle. here's abc's mary bruce. >> reporter: joe biden knows this fight well. he's been fighting for gun
reforms in this town for decades, which means he knows well just how difficult this is going to be. he knows the political reality that he is facing. and the white house right now says they are encouraged by the fact that lawmakers are at least talking. the president and the top republican in the senate, mitch mcconnell, don't even agree on the problem. mitch mcconnell says this is an issue of school safety and mental illness. so even though you have some lawmakers talking, the question really remains. is this time going to finally be different? >> our thanks to mary bruce. we turn now to an historic celebration in the united kingdom and around the world for queen elizabeth ii. the platinum jubilee marks 70 years on the throne for the 96-year-old monarch. here's abc's deborah roberts reporting from london. >> reporter: it was a magnificent display of might and majesty. the british royal family out in full force, celebrating the queen's platinum jubilee, marking seven decades on the throne. >> she's a special lady.
and i think she's done a lot for this country and for its people. >> the fact that she's maintained that role steadfastly, dutifully, has been the ultimate servant to the crown and to her people, is unprecedented. it's a remarkable achievement. >> reporter: prince charles and prince william on horseback. the duchesses camilla and kate and the cambridge children in a carriage waving to the crowd. the grand trooping of the colour complete with the traditional royal air force fly-past kicking off a day-long celebration. >> what brits do best is they really do pomp and pageantry like no one else. >> the british don't go mad, we're a bit embarrassed about waving flags. yet we all go, or some of us go, completely demented when there's a jubilee. >> reporter: the 96-year-old monarch appearing before a crowd of thousands on the balcony of buckingham palace with her three heirs. the queen's 4-year-old great
grandson, prince louis, stealing the show. making funny faces, covering his ears, chatting with his great grandmother. the iconic balcony scene pared down this year. only working royals allowed to stand side by side with the queen. >> harry and meghan were in the major general's office overlooking the pageantry of the horse guards parade and the trooping. the fact is they weren't center stage at all. nor was prince andrew. after the scandal, that would have looked totally wrong. >> reporter: this support coming as support for the monarchy is declining in some commonwealth nations and at a turbulent time for the royal family. the queen's son prince andrew paying a multimillion-dollar settlement to a woman who filed a civil lawsuit accusing him of sexually assaulting her when she was a minor. andrew did not admit to any of the accusations in a statement announcing the settlement and has previously denied the claims. >> he's been stripped of his hrh, effectively.
he's lost his royal patronages. he's effectively a royal outcast. >> reporter: the prince, who has tested positive for covid according to buckingham palace, has distanced himself from the jubilee events. >> i'm sure there will be some quiet relief inside the institution. these are things that the palace don't want people to be thinking about right now. >> reporter: also back in the public eye, the duke and duchess of sussex, meghan and harry, who in 2020 made a very public break with the royal family, moving to california. then sitting down for a tell-all interview with oprah winfrey, accusing the royals of racism and cruelty when meghan was struggling with her mental health. >> it's left a bad taste with the rest of the royal family. remember, harry is here this weekend as part of the family, but he's got a big book coming out soon, and that could just blow a great big hole wide open as this almost kardashian-style story carries on. >> reporter: today meghan markle pictured with some of the queen's great grandchildren.
how is their presence being felt at this point? >> harry and meghan's absence from the working royals lineup is definitely felt and noticeable. i had a conversation with a source close to them before they headed over here. they said that was really their mission, to come here, to honor the queen, to be a part of those celebrations, to introduce the queen to her namesake, lilibet, for the first time. and then leave. because ultimately, they know this isn't about them. >> reporter: through all the turmoil, the queen has remained steadfast. she's been the most popular royal for a long time. is she still? >> you look at polls today across every demographic in the country, and the queen will always be the most popular family member. whilst other family members rise up, they fall. of course, many of them are involved in scandal over the years. the queen's almost untouchable, in a way. she's lived her life by following the principles and values that are so important to the crown. >> reporter: queen elizabeth ii is britain's longest-reigning monarch. a constant presence in an ever-changing world.
>> one of the reasons that she has seen the monarchy not just survive but thrive over so many years is because she has been acutely aware of the importance of the institution, the family, needing to modernize, and the monarchy needing to adapt to changing times. >> there steps down from the february 6th, 1952. a then 25-year-old princess elizabeth learning of her father's death while on a royal tour in kenya. immediately ascending to the throne. a young woman who left her country as princess, returning as its queen. >> elizabeth alexandra mary is now by the death of our late sovereign of happy memory become queen elizabeth ii. >> reporter: her reign marked by six royal jubilees. >> they love it when the royals come out on that balcony. >> reporter: each an opportunity to honor the service of the sovereign. >> the queen has reigned over so
much change. when she came to the throne in 1952, there was no internet. most people didn't even have televisions. >> reporter: her coronation ceremony in 1953 watched by a record 27 million people in the uk alone, the first to be broadcast on television. >> i here present unto you queen elizabeth, your undoubted queen. >> reporter: those famous royal walk-abouts, her majesty started the tradition of greeting the public in 1970 during a tour in sydney. the most-traveled of any other british predecessors, the queen has visited more than 100 countries on behalf of the crown. and the first to address the u.s. congress in 1991. >> force in the end is sterile. we have gone a better way. our societies rest on mutual agreement, on contract, and on consensus. >> reporter: the last few years
have undoubtedly been among the most difficult. losing her beloved husband, philip, mourning him during a pandemic. the queen herself taking a step back from public duties with questions about her health. >> we're celebrating her 70 years on the throne. so i think it's really reminded us that time is fleeting. this could be one of the last major moments that we have with the monarch in such a celebratory circumstance. so we're really making the most of it. >> reporter: today a grateful kingdom saluting her majesty. >> our thanks to deborah roberts. up next, the first lady of ukraine speaking out in her first one-on-one television interview since the war began. what she told robin roberts about her message to americans. . looking to get back in your type 2 diabetes zone? once-weekly ozempic® can help. ♪ oh, oh, oh, ozempic®! ♪ ♪ oh, oh, oh ♪
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♪ ♪ it's hard to believe it's been nearly 100 days since russia launched its assault against ukraine. and while the world has watched president volodymyr zelenskyy emerge as a wartime leader, first lady olena zelenska has largely avoided the spotlight. until now. here's "gma" anchor robin roberts. >> how are you? how are your children? and what is life like now for you? >> reporter: first lady of ukraine, olena zelenska, says the sound of bombardment woke up her family on that early morning when russia first invaded ukraine.
an air raid siren sounding off. >> excuse me, i have to -- >> please. this is what you were talking about. >> let's hope that it's not for long, yeah? >> no promises, though. >> no promises. let's hope. >> certainly, certainly, certainly. >> reporter: forcing us to pause and hunker down for safety. 30 minutes later, our conversation resuming. the first lady adamant on continued support from the u.s. >> president biden assured that more sophisticated, more accurate military equipment is on its way. >> i hope so. >> he also said, this war is a moral issue. and he said he is not going to pressure the ukrainian government to concede any
territory. as you know, there have been others who have said that that is the way to get a peace agreement. to be able to concede some of the territory, especially in the eastern regions. how do you feel about that? >> reporter: cities decimated. an estimated over 4,000 ukrainians killed since the war began on february 24th.
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♪ finally tonight, remembering the lives lost in uvalde, texas, as three more children killed in that classroom are laid to rest. 10-year-old nevea bravo. a cousin saying she put a smile on everyone's face. 10-year-old eliana torres. a softball player who hoped to make the all-star team. her family said her smile could light up your soul. and that she loved making people laugh.
and miranda mathis, seen here receiving an award from her teachers the very day of the shooting. her family saying the 11-year-old had a huge, loving heart. rest in peace. that's "nightline." watch our full episodes on hulu. see you back here tomorrow. thanks for staying up with us. good night, america.