tv Chris Jansing Reports MSNBC September 8, 2022 10:00am-11:00am PDT
good day, i'm chris jansing live at msnbc headquarters. we are watching history unfold at balmoral castle in scotland, where queen elizabeth ii, the longest reigning monarch in british history is under medical supervision. her doctors using a term they have not used before, saying they are concerned for her health. at this moment all four of her children are by her side. these images so andrew and edward and prince william, the queen's grandson, arriving at balmoral a short time ago. prince harry we're told is on his way. the queen who's 96 years old is unique in history, having
reigned for 70 years. in other words the vast majority of the 67 million people living in the uk and the millions more in countries that recognize her as their queen have lived their entire lives without anyone else on the throne. at this hour, all of them, along with the rest of the world, are praying and hoping for the best, but bracing for the worst. i want to bring in correspondent molly hunter, historian jon meacham and katty kay, an msnbc contributor. molly, what do we know at this hour? >> reporter: as you just mentioned we now believe the queen has all four of her children with her. we saw the picture of prince william driving three of his uncles, we believe they coordinated their travel, arrived together. we believe that prince harry is traveling to balmoral without meghan. i do just want to bring your
audience back up to speed with the statement from the palace we got a few hours ago. we have not gotten an update from buckingham palace since this statement. it reads following further valuation this morning the queen's doctors are concerned for her majesty's health and recommend she remain under medical supervision. the queen remains comfortable and at balmoral. this statement did not come in response to a cancellation of an event. it did not come into response because we were expecting to see the queen today. this is an extraordinary statement from buckingham palace. we also heard from the prime minister today, liz truss says the whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from buckingham palace adding my thoughts and the thoughts of the people of the united kingdom are with her majesty the queen and her family at this time. it's 6:00 local time and the entire country waiting anxiously with increasing alarm for any news from buckingham palace. >> katy kay, friends are telling
me there are tons of people descending on buckingham palace waiting for words on the queen's health. not an overstatement to say through ups and downs in this long reign of hers, she's now a beloved member of this family. perhaps the most beloved member of this family. and obviously brits but people around the world have great concern today. >> yeah. if you can poll a opinion in opinion polls in the course of a year she's the most popular member of the british family. it's part of her longevity, my life, my parents' life, my grandparents' life even she was there. she's our queen. she's seen the world through the cold war, end of the cold war, 9/11, as many presidents as she has and the cultural and social and technological changes we've
been there. it's her nature. her personality, it's the sense of duty she has, the sense of stoicism, the embodiment of raul values that people admire her for. as i've been listening to people today who know the queen better than i do saying that she represents the best of us, she represents our aspirations, and i think it's going to be very difficult for the united kingdom when she goes. i don't think people quite understand the degree to which she's going to be missed and what it will mean. not just great britain and home but around the world. she's represented our country for 70 years, traveled to 150 countries, met countless heads of states, and she has given britain, in a sense, a global stature. and i think that's part of what the uk will have to prepare itself for, if this is the moment that she is going.
>> she is the touchstone, is she not? someone that any major event that happened, there she was traveling the world, the most traveled monarch of all time. met more presidents, more popes. but also was there for the people going from place to place to place all of the commonwealth. the commonwealth that she grew, frankly, at a time when she took office or took the throne at age 25 that seemed to be slipping away and that she, as the queen, was able to grow. >> yeah. the commonwealth has been very important to the queen and i've been listening to people from the commonwealth today and also when i was over in the uk for the queen's representatives of commonwealth came to represent and say thank you. we've had nations in the commonwealth who have gained their independence, split away from the commonwealth, but others joined who had nothing to
do with the british empire. it's seen as an organization that countries that had not much connection with the uk wanted to be part of. i think that in a way is a large tribute to the queen. she took it seriously. it was from south africa, when she was 21 she gave the famous speech saying her life long or short she would pledge it to the service of others. she took it not just britain but the countries of the commonwealth as well. where she's still head of state. those countries may think they want to revisit that in future years but for the moment she's still head of state. she was the first member of the british royal family to go walk about in australia on a trip there and walk amongst the people, and it was very much appreciated. so she will be missed not just in the uk but around the world and certainly here in the united states where she's held in
something almost akin to reverence. >> it is extraordinary the moments that she has been here where u.s. presidents have gone there. whether you are a british citizen or you are an american who may, in fact, not have much use for the idea of royalty, there is something about this queen, i think that was reinforced by the crown about her longevity. i want to bring in eir simmons and ask about the mood on the ground and the people you've been speaking with. >> somewhat a somber mood, everyone is inevitably thinking about the queen because she is in a sense in our lives and has been in all of our lives for so long, hasn't she. a moment in the house of commons where the prime minister and what we call the leader of the opposition were due to duel in
that way that they do in the british parliament with no holds barred. and then the news came with notes passed to the leader of the opposition and the prime minister, statement made and it completely changed the atmosphere there. that's the thing with the queen, she cuts through. when she is struggling with her health, as she is tonight here, well, then of course it changes everything for everybody -- almost everybody. i want to comment as well on one other aspect of this. that's the public side. you've been talking about the historical side and public side. but there is a private side to this. anyone watching who has been through difficulties with the health of an elderly loved one, will know what i'm talking about and describing. in a way we don't need to know the detail to be able to picture it. because we've all been through it. so right now all of the queen's children are there with her in
balmoral. prince charles, prince ann, the duke of york, the earl of essex, prince edward. they're all there. and her grandchildren, william and harry. we have a photograph of william driving a car to balmoral with prince andrew in the back and prince edward in the back. that picture, i think is so evocative of them racing to be with the queen but for them, of course, it's their mom or their grandmother, racing to be by her side. charles already there, ann already there. every family knows exactly the kinds of things going on today. the phone calls, the texts. we need to get there quickly. find a way. they took a plane to abder dean and then william drove that hour
drive to get to balmoral to get there. at the same time the duchess of cambridge staying back to stay with the children who just started school this week. these are personal stories that underscore as well as a public event and quite a public event this is and may be, it is also a very, very private event for this family, who live in the public eye. and if the unimaginable, and i use that word -- i choose that word carefully, if the unimaginable is happening right now because it is unimaginable for so many of us who have never known anybody other than the queen, then for this family, it will be an incredibly private moment. and also, just think about this, they are also going to have to immediately think about the public aspect of it, her eldest son, prince charles, not only being with his ailing mother,
but also knowing that an enormous weight could be on his shoulders at any time. and i think for all of us who are praying for the queen and across the political spectrum here, there are messages, including from the president just in the past few hours. so many are praying for the queen, but also i think many people praying for her family. >> just to add to that, kier, two years ago in 2021, the queen lost her husband of many decades, something that anyone can relate to having lost an elderly parent and then the concern about the surviving parent and the relationship they had that was so close for so many years, having seen and experienced things that in many ways none of us can imagine. and katty kay, kier makes a great point. this is a family experiencing
loss, a high level of concern right now given the statements of the queen's doctors and who have had to live every moment in their life in public, dissected in movies and popular television programs. but still, having that, having the idea that they are a family who feels and understands and cherishes each other in any way, certainly the queen, as any other family might. >> i think for anyone who has lost a parent, an elderly parent, this scene of the children and the grandchildren rushing to the queen's bedside will feel heartbreakingly familiar. yes, she's the queen but she's also their grandmother. we all know, those of us who lost parents, know what it's like to have to rush there to be with a parent who's dying.
let's hope she rallies but the way this family is gathering feels familiar to so many people. the queen is always very popular. but there is something about this moment that is not just about her as a monarch, it's very poignant, and it's very touching. i think, beyond the personal grief that the family will go through and her children and i'm sure she has favorite children, grandchildren she's particularly close to, britain as a country is going to feel very sad. i went just a moment ago to talk to my husband who was really moved by what he is seeing. we feel this. it is a -- she is part of our lives and it's a sad moment for the country to watch her grow so frail and then to contemplate what this means. it's not just about the politics and the geo politics.
i say this for people who are not particularly monarchists told me i'm not particularly a monarchist but i love the queen. she's very much beloved and she will be enormously missed both on a personal level and also what she represents for the united kingdom around the world. >> i spoke to a friend of mine in london who was expecting a friend to come, they were planning to do many of the things that visitors do, and he said to me, i can't leave. i can't leave the front of my television set. i have to see what's happening with the queen and the family. it tells you a little bit about the connection that folks in your country feel. there's also this tremendous connection that we know the queen has to balmoral. it's a place she loved. i think it was her granddaughter who said i think there's no place she loves better. she loved to be out there with her dogs, in her car driving around. there's a poignancy to the fact
that in this illness that's where she is. >> yeah. and she does love balmoral. she does love the outdoors. most of all, of course, and others have mentioned it, she loves horses so much. she loves being out in the scottish country side. keep in mind, of course, she is the queen of scotland as well as queen of england, queen of the uk. she is -- she is an outdoorsy type if you want to use that term. i think it's a british term. kind of one of those lovely images, isn't it, about a queen who we see in the pomp and circumstance. who's really most at home when the wind is blowing in her hair and she's riding her horse through fields. so yeah, absolutely, balmoral is her kind of place. it's also a much more private place and that, for somebody who is so much in the public eye, is
very valuable. it's a place where an enormous amount of history, family history and royal history. so it's a place -- the family, i suspect, will be happy this is the place she is right now. and that's the kind of thing, again, the kind of conversations you have in a family, where is she? is she in the place she needs to be. is she happy where she is? these moments when an elderly relative is sick and the doctors are worried about her. you have all these concerns and worries, don't you. and another point about this whole picture of the royal family heading to balmoral, another aspect that touched me a little bit is this news that prince harry is traveling alone. meghan is not, after all, going with him. that's another image that will -- well, it's kind of evocative i suppose you could say. this idea of harry alone. you saw the picture of william
with two of his uncles headed into balmoral, driving his car. william going solo, if you like, and perhaps even being the last to get there. and again, i -- these moments when someone that you love so much is not well, they do bring out all of -- they bring a family together, don't they? and at the same time, put a little bit of focus on some of the ways in which the family have not been so united. so again, we never know what's going on behind closed doors. they really will be determined, despite having put this very short statement out that has everybody worrying and talking, they really will be determined to protect their family privacy. depending what happens, if the queen rallies and we all pray that she does, then there will be more public moments won't there with her and the family around her.
and if the worst happens, there will be many, many public moments for these senior royals, these members of royal family to have to put on the brave face, if you like. but just now, just right now, today, they get to have some time with each other and with their mom and with their grandmother in private. >> and her sense of duty, it's just so extraordinary to think that just two days ago, obviously looking frail but determined to greet the new prime minister. her whole life has been about service. she talked, i think to her first radio address was when she was 14 years old. when she was 21 she pledged her life to the citizens of great britain. 25 when she ascended to the throne. and, again, to see her two days ago, thinking in a circumstance, perhaps frail, perhaps not very
well, but determined to serve the people of great britain. >> yeah. i think if that's to be the last photograph that we see of the queen it will be so emblematic of her, even when she was frail, her doctors were saying she needed to rest, she rallied. and she did it with a smile. i think that's one of the things people appreciate about her. she's been remarkably committed to her duty over the course of an incredibly long period. and she came to the throne having been born never expecting to be queen. not particularly relishing the idea of being queen. and yet, my goodness, she has done it well. and the jubilee celebrations that i went back for in june, were really a great, big national thank you from the british public to her 70 years
of commitment to the role. and the way that she has, through hard times, the death of princess diana, and the strain that put on the monarchy and the relationship with the public. the scandal surrounding prince andrew, her son, and what that did to the monarchy, she has held fast and maintained her own popularity. she has weathered personal storms, weathered economic crises, political crises, but she has just kept going. i think that's -- you know, that's a tribute to her and something people recognize in her and value in her, and will enormously miss when she is gone. >> thank you both very much. we are going to stay in coverage of this consequential moment in world history as we watch these live pictures from balmoral
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hey, elizabeth, get well soon. >> i hope she -- she recovers. >> i wish she recovers. and i hope the family well, that they navigate through this difficult period, united, together. >> i know she's not in very good health and i just wish she ends her days in peace. >> that's fresh reaction. we heard from the area outside of buckingham palace about our breaking news that queen elizabeth is resting under doctor's orders as members of the family flock to balmoral castle in scotland to be by her side. i want to bring in wilfred frost and victoria arbiter, author of
the book "queen elizabeth iii". we've been together on joyous occasions, a royal wedding, birth. the uk knew, the world knew this moment would come when the queen would be very frail, she is, after all, elderly, but put this moment into context for us as the longest reigning monarch in british history with her family, what goes through your mind as you see the family coming together to gather by her side? >> well, it really is just a poignant moment. thank you, i appreciate being with you. as you say, we have shared in many joyous moments and this is a particular sad moment not just the royal family but the united kingdom at large. the commonwealth of nations encompasses more than 2 billion citizens. so her reach really is extraordinary. there are not many people alive today who have known any other
monarch. she has represented stability, continuity, she's been a focus at times of national tragedy and times of national joy. i think we are all just used to seeing her there all the time. i know my myself am guilty of assuming she'll be there forever, that is not real life. so we come to this juncture now and it is an incredibly sad day. i don't want to get ahead of myself, she is still very much here and with us. i want to be respectful of that. but as we talk about the impact she has had on the lives of so many, it is really an extraordinary reach and i'm so grateful we had the platinum jubilee so she was able to see and witness firsthand just what she has meant to the people of the uk and people all over the world. >> wifred in this moment to her family, all the problems this royal family has had, that she acknowledged, she managed it
quietly oftentimes behind the scenes often with a firm hand but someone who engendered tremendous respect and love within the family that gathers around her today. >> absolutely right. i think respect, she definitely commands that, but admiration and love from her family members. when you're the boss of the firm, it's often rare that you have the love and admiration, and she's managed to command both from her family members similar to her subjects across the nation and the world. but certainly the focus right now is on the family members and that very privates a pect of what they're going through, rallying to be by the side of their grandmother, great grandmother, or mother, who is unwell. i think it's interesting what you said, she's done it quietly and behind the scenes, whether she's done it good times or bad
times, conversations with family members or world leaders. the list of world leaders she's met is quite astonishing. we never get to hear the details of the conversations. she's not in it for the story, she's not there to boast. she's there to do her duty and do it quietly. it's quite an accolade. >> it does lead to the question, victoria, how does she do it? >> that is the million dollar question, i think. she really represents the greatest generation. it's extraordinary to think she's the last remaining head of state to have served in uniform during world war ii and very much a representative of that era. you just get on with it. duty, duty, duty. i think what's so remarkable about her, just as you were saying a few minutes before, she's never been about personal ambition, it's not done for reward, accolade. she doesn't do it in order to
receive glory. she does it for the betterment of her people. she just wants to give and be present for the people of the uk and indeed the commonwealth. and that's what she has done in terms of being a focus for national unity and a focus in times for national tragedy, people gravitate towards buckingham palace, even people who say i'm not a royalist, but i do love the queen. in 2014, when scottish nationalists looked to the referendum they said we want to keep the queen as head of state in the event we do achieve independence. i think it's incredible she's commanded this respect from every nationality, creed, race, religion. she's just quietly gotten on with the job just as her husband, prince phillip did,
a alongside her. >> i was wondering as i listened to people outside of buckingham palace, who said they hope the family will come together. this is a family that you can, of course, go back for many people who are watching to the divorce of princess diana and charles, and all that followed that, of course the death of die -- diana. let me stop we have breaking news from buckingham palace. queen elizabeth ii has died just hours after doctors said they were concerned for her health. the 96-year-old queen has been at balmoral castle in scotland. the pictures you were looking at members of the british public gathering at buckingham palace. among the people with her at balmoral, her four children, andrew, ann, edward and charles, who is now officially king.
automatically ascending to the throne upon the announcement of his mother's death. the queen's grandson, prince william is also there. prince harry we are told is on his way. the queen the longest reigning monarch in british history. she had been on the throne for 70 years, last seen just two days ago in this photo with the new prime minister. keir simmons now with more on the queen's extraordinary life and legacy. >> reporter: queen elizabeth ii, great britain's longest serving monarch. died after living a life dedicated to duty. born in 1926, the third grandchild of king george 5 elizabeth would guide through historic challenges. during the blitz, the family stayed in london. to the people of britain, there
was this message from their future queen. >> we know, every one of us, that in the end all will be well. for god will care for us and give us victory and peace. >> reporter: that speech sealed a special relationship with her future subjects. west minister abby, 1953, the first time tv cameras were allowed inside to record a coronation. the celebration was seen worldwide. and elizabeth's reign would be felt worldwide. she was the most widely travel monarch in history. she helped transform britain's empire, easing former colonies into states all that while balancing motherhood and a monarchy. three sons and a daughter. the pomp was there, but circumstances changed. for the first time the queen
opened the royal family to the public eye. she encouraged her children to live lives beyond the palace walls. in some ways they appeared like the rest of us, vulnerable. prince andrew mired in accusations of sexual misconduct. but the tragedy of princess diana was an especially dark moment for the royal family. her fairy tale romance and marriage ended in scandal with a messy divorce and death. princess diana killed in a traffic accident in paris. the royal family grieved privately but growing anger that the monarchy was out of touch, detached and aloof. the queen quickly returned home to pay tribute to diana and face a challenge to modernize the monarchy. >> i believe there are lessons to be learned from her life.
>> reporter: queen elizabeth set out to change the face of monarchy. more open, compassionate, in touch with the changing british public. >> institutions which in turn must continue to evolve if they are to provide beacons of trust and unity. >> reporter: she embraced many changes including the marriage of her grandson prince william to commoner indicate middleton and prince harry to the american actress meghan merkel. celebrated the birth of great grandchildren, including george third in line. in 2021 prince phillip died. in her words he was her strength and stay. but queen elizabeth continued to inspire people around the world. during the covid pandemic, her
words helped everyone to keep calm and carry on. >> this time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavor. using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. we will succeed, and that success will belong to every one of us. >> reporter: she was the longest reigning british monarch in history, on the throne for more than 70 years. her platinum jubilee celebrating with a military parade. beacons lit across the world. >> i keep mine in here. >> reporter: a surprise appearance from paddington bear. and over 10 million people in britain gathering for street parties to honor their one and only queen. the jubilee concluded with a final wave from queen elizabeth from the balcony of buckingham
palace, she was joined by three future kings, prince charles, prince william, and prince george. the crowds cheering for queen elizabeth ii, a monarch for the ages. keir simmons, nbc news. still with me. royal commentator victoria arbiter and i want to bring in jon meacham. when she became queen at 25, someone not supposed to ascend to the throne, winston churchill was prime minister, harry truman was president. what she has seen, lived, is extraordinary. talk about her contribution as unique in history. >> think of this as a 96 year life. and i think we should say god save the queen in the prayer book which she was the defender of the faith, there's a prayer about preserving our strength through the changes and chances of this mortal life, and she has
now slipped that bond. for 100 years nearly, for a century. born in the roaring 20s. her destiny and life changes in the middle of the great depression when her uncle edward iiiv over scandal. there's something rich in that beginning. that beginning origin narrative, which is that it was a debate over duty. and by 1940, 82 years ago, she is speaking to the children of britain. she's speaking to children of the free world. as nazi bombs are falling on civilian targets in the london, 82 years ago today. at this hour. she rises to power after her father's death in the cold war.
and she stood silent in public, mostly. when she did speak, it resonated, a lesson for all of us, perhaps the less said the more effective. in many ways her life is from a vanished age. but the virtue she brought to it are those we need in this age. we need a sense of duty, we need a devotion to, a notion that we live to serve other. this is not to cannonize her majesty. she was a human being. she had her flaws. but from year-to-year, decade to decade, she took what destiny and fate had given her and did the most she could with it. i think one other thing at this -- particularly at this hour is to talk about her religious faith, which was i
think quite deep and in so far as one can tell, quite real. she believed, fundamentally in what the tradition thinks of as keeping the feast. she kept the feast, she said her prayers, she believed that god had put her, for whatever reason, in this place, and as she said when she became queen 70 years ago, that all of her life, whether it be long or short, would be devoted to this duty. and that, again, is a virtue that is preciously short supply at this hour for the western world. and i think, as we commemorate her life, one thing i believe she would want us to do is to examine the virtues she brought to it and do the best we can to emulate them. >> victoria, we just saw one of the traditions that the posting is official now, they have put
up at the gate that the queen has died. charles is now king. talk about this moment for the british people as we see the photographers moving in to get a photograph of this official notice that we can see now on screen, the queen has died peacefully at balmoral this afternoon. victoria? >> this is going to be a pivotal moment in the lives of many and a moment people will remember in their own lives. there are those junctures in life you say i remember where i was when this happened and i think that is definitely the case today. i don't think anyone ever imagined that we would be seeing this moment. i know it sounds trite to say, but there was something about the queen's consistency, her continuity, the stability that she afforded that made people
assume, wrongly, i appreciate, but that she would always be there. you could tell the time of year based on where the queen was, what she was doing, what her calendar had in store. and while the queen has been looking frail in recent months. i think the fact we saw that photograph at balmoral earlier this week where she was welcoming in the 15th prime minister of her reign. there was still color in her cheek, she still looked well. so i think this news is going to come as a tremendous shock to people as well. yes, she was 96 but people never imagined they would be contending with this news story. i think the grief is going to be overwhelming. it's going to be unlike anything britains have ever experienced before. certainly with the death of diana we saw a dramatic outpouring of grief, partly because she was so beloved and lost her life in such tragic circumstances at such a young age but the queen has been there for most of us for all of our lives. she's the nation's favorite granny, the person we turn to in
times of national crisis and times of national joy. so i think this news is going to hit home in quite dramatic fashion to people not just across the uk but people all around the commonwealth. where she also serves as head of state and the coming days are going to be somber indeed and my heart goes out to prince charles, the longest serving heir apparent in history, but he has to reconcile taking on the job for which he was destined since the day he was born but also coping with the personal grief he feels over the loss of his mother. no one can relate to what he's experiencing right now. >> in the waning years of her life, jon meacham, she has almost been a force of stability, consistency, in a country like many places around the world, faced so many challenges, brexit, the economic challenges that came with that. covid. i think of that incredibly
poignant picture of her after her husband, prince phillip of 73 years died. she sat by herself at his funeral in st. george's castle because of the restrictions brought on by coronavirus. that has to be part of the legacy, the stability, consistency, she gave to her country, her people and frankly the world. >> one of the fascinating elements of monarchy, is this combination of the human and the elevated, the human and the devine. there's a moment in the coronation where when the oil is put on the monarch, they become demigods. and so, there's a magic to this. there's a superstition, if you will. but it's an ancient right. shakespeare said what have kings that privates have not to save
ceremony, general ceremony, a moment of almost self-pitying from a king. but ceremony is what sets human apart and at a higher plane. and she did all of that extremely well for decade after decade. and you think of, as you say, the number of crises, the elements of storm and strife she faced. born in the roaring 20s, path is set in the great depression, 14 years old in the blitz. as her mother is reputed to have said when she was asked if the princesses and the king, and king george, that queen elizabeth were going to leave buckingham palace, she said the girls will not leave without me, i will not leave without the king and the king shall never leave london. and that spirit was imbued and
transferred to her daughter. the cold war, you go through the tumult of the 1960s, britain in particular, the complexities and bleakness of the 1970s. and then a tabloid era, let's be honest here, monarchs are mirrors and makers of a nation's manners and morals. and in many ways, the queen was this embodiment of the best a nation, the best a family could be, but like all of us, not every day was great. and she dealt with family life and did it with a kind of dignity and grace that i think, again, is worth emulating. a constitutional monarchy is a very complicated thing. we live in an age of democracy,
we have for almost 250 years in the west. and yet, there's this person who is there by inheritance. we bought a revolution here so we would not be subject to the devine rights of monarchs. but not least because of elizabeth ii, they have managed to find a path that takes the best of what a monarchy can do, it can be a symbol, have a role in her human interactions with the statesmen and women of the age. and have a kind of beacon, a kind of buoy in these -- in the storms of the present. at the funeral of edward vii. the longest serving heir apparent before this. they're watching the 1911, all of the crowned heads of europe,
many of whom would lose their thrones in the chaos and bloodshed and carnage of the first world war. an observer said there never was such a break up, all the buoys which marked the channels of our lives have been blown away, but elizabeth ii stayed in place. >> i want to bring into the conversation tim buit, as i hear what jon has to say, i'm reminded of her first christmas day address, which happened way back 65 years ago in 1957. she said, i cannot lead you into battle i do not give you laws or administer justice, but i can do something else. i can give you my heart and devotion to these old islands and to all the people of our brotherhood of nations. and members of that brotherhood of nations now gathering outside buckingham palace.
your thoughts on the loss of queen elizabeth? >> well, i think you've actually picked there on the one quotation from elizabeth's reign that's certainly, for me, remains the most poignant, i think at this particular moment, we need to remember that okay, not everybody in this country is a monarchist, not everybody supports the institution of the monarchy, but the queen's personal popularity is unquestionable. and people are really going to feel, apart from everything else, all the constitutional questions going forward, how this is going to affect the monarchy in the future. people are going to feel a very deep sense of personal loss. and about nine in ten of the population of this country do not remember a time when queen elizabeth was not on the throne. so she is really in the dna of
this nation. and, you know, she was 96 years old. we knew this moment was going to come. it was apparent earlier on today that this was inevitable because the whole of the royal family gathered at balmoral, with a gathered at balmoral with a couple of exception. it was clear what was going to happen. but that does not detract from that sort of sense of shock really that one feels. the queen has been there through good times and bad, she's seen incredible transformation in this nation and it's going to be quite a while for the majority of people in this country to get over that sense of personal grief. >> victoria, you've spent a good deal of your professional life covering this queen, as a journalist, as someone who has written a book about her and spoken about her on television
many times and followed her and her family, i'm just wondering when i think of the queen, you think of her corgis and her tooling around in her little car and at the olympics when she joined james bond at the opening ceremony, who is the queen we didn't see that often and perhaps who draws the people who know her best to her with such devotion? >> i'm so glad you raised those particular moments because it's the queen's sense of humor that is often not discussed. she had perfected the art of a rather cold-faced appearance simply because she recognized that whatever facial expression she held at any given moment it was going to be misinterpreted
and not correctly. she loved musical theater, she loved old variety-style comedy. she loved going to the theater and i think really for me what the highlight of the platinum jubilee was that skip with paddington bear. and i never thought she would quite top the moment she mentioned with james bond during the 2012 olympics but to suddenly see her tapping on her tea cup, which of course would be the height of bad manners but to do so with paddington bear was utterly charming and spoke to her ability to speak to people of all ages. i think everybody -- you'd have to have had a heart of stone not to feel a deep affection for the queen. her warmth, her friendship. there was a british doctor who went to buckingham palace and he had been treating war victims in syria and he tells the story,
i'm afraid i won't do it quite the justice it deserves but he was invited to lunch at buckingham palace and turned to him and said what do you do, how was your time abroad? he said in that moment suddenly he felt a lump in his throat and he couldn't speak and he was worried if he did try to speak the tears would start flowing and they wouldn't stop and she immediately recognized what was happening and she reached for a tin on the table and it had corgi treats and they started to give them to the corgis and it speaks to her understanding, remember recognition of people from all works of life, her sensitivity and compassion and it was an innate sense that she held and she was also able to express it while also
maintaining the dignity of one in her position. she was an extraordinary woman and one unlike a woman of the nation i'd ever see again. she was the oldest lived british monarch and the oldest serving sovereign in the world at the time of her passing. i also think it's remarkable to think she was the last remaining head of state in uniform, it speaks to her unity and her dedication and determination to give back to the world and i think we're very fortunate to have witnessed a reign as impressive as hers. >> we just got news at the white house that president biden was informed by senior advisers during a meeting in the oval office. a white house official tells nbc news that because the prime
minister left a meeting today that, sadly, it was no surprise. she had met 13 of the last 14 u.s. presidents and back to the point where she says she has no official role in the sense of she is not a legislator, but her influence on world affairs, her relationships with world leaders speak for themselves, john. >> they do. and her -- i have a sense that her wit and her wisdom, which may have manifested itself in very quiet ways was probably what stood her in the greatest stead as those presidential visits went forward. i remember there was 30 years ago remarkably there was a bbc documentary about sort of a year in the life of the queen. you may remember it. and she's showing the archbishop of canterbury some old books of
queen victoria and queen victoria had written her name in each of the prayer books. and the archbishop says do you do that, your majesty ? and she said, yes, i do. and he said, "in your own hand?" and she said "well, what hand would i use"? because of her childhood, because of her service in world war ii, because she embodied what was the great hinge of western history, the second world war and all its attendant horrors, how it ended with the splitting of the atom and the beginning of the cold war, she lived what many of us think of as a more clinical history. and i'm confident that particularly the younger
american presidents in meeting her felt they were connecting to a deeper experience that has the risks sometimes of passing into myth and legend but here was this woman whose life had been in danger in her early years, who had fixed cars, had been in the east mend end when the full manifestation of power was imposed in what was supposed to be the middle of a civilized century. and here is a woman who didn't just read about it, didn't just write about it, had lived it. by and large you don't get to
that job without being intrigued by history, and i think that they found in their interactions with her a kind of almost -- they were almost transported, if you will, to a place where courage and valor and danger were not the stuff of story books but was the stuff of her daly life. >> and we just have a minute left but i want to get your final thoughts. we i think have talked well of the way the history books -- i'm sorry, tim. we have talked a lot about the ways the history books will remember her, but in the weeks and the months and the years to come, what do you think it is that the british people will remember about queen elizabeth? >> sorry, i didn't catch the end of your question there. could you repeat that? >> absolutely. we've talked about how history books will remember her but how do you think that the british people in the coming weeks and
months and years will remember her in our final minute here? >> i think they'll remember her because she was always there. she was a constant of our lives. as i said before, through good times and bad, she didn't comment, she didn't have public, political opinions, but she remained the one constant, if you like, in british society running through all those years. some of them were difficult years for her personally with the family, some of them were difficult years for the country, but she was always there. and i think people are going to find it very difficult now to get used to the idea that she isn't there anymore. >> tim young, john meechum, and
thank you. katy, people may not recall you were a correspondent in london. you covered many of these big events over the years. it's hard to have been exposed to the royalty and queen elizabeth and not have been impacted by who she is, who she was and what she has meant to this world. >> she is revered in the u.k., even among those who are not fans of the british monarchy, generally they are fans of queen elizabeth. it was, i'll put it this way, interesting to live there because we have nothing like it here. nothing that even comes close to the way the british public feels about the monarchy. we don't have a monarchy. we don't have a queen elizabeth, we don't have a royal family. and so it was fascinating to learn a little bit about it while i was there and to understand the deference that the british public gives to her. she had a remarkable life. she did a lot of things. she oversaw a lot of
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