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tv   Katy Tur Reports  MSNBC  September 8, 2022 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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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 modernization, a lot of turmoil
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within her own family, a lot of turmoil for the country and for the world. i know you're traveling to the u.k. and i am as well. we will be live for everybody starting tomorrow morning from london. let us reset. it is 2:00. good to be with you. i'm katy tur. where are you right now? because today is one of those days where you're going to remember exactly where you were when the world changed because it has. queen elizabeth ii is now dead. we learned doctors were concerned about her health this morning. an extraordinary statement from a notoriously quiet buckingham palace. those news sending news outlets like ours into rolling wait-and-see coverage. we'll show you a shot where the crowd gathered at the gates and watched where the news is owe
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often posted, from the birth of an heir to the death of a monarch. the queen did not pass there but in scotland at the family's summer vacation home, balmoral castle. here is the post on that gate. "the queen died peacefully at balmoral this afternoon," a simple and short message. as the word broke about her health troubles, her family rushed up there. all of her children are now there, charles, andrew, anne and edward. prince william is also there. you can see him there driving andrew, anne and edwards through the gates. prince harry at last word is still on his way, notably traveling separately, perhaps another sign of the underlying tension in this already fraught moment for the royal family. she was forced to change with a rapidly modernizing world. her coronation was the first to be televised back in 1953.
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her senior was the first member to divorce and her son charles was the first heir infamously divorcing princess diana, the queen urging the couple to let go. 13 presidents, she met all by johnson and she met all the primes. you can see the last public photo of the queen alive where she is shaking liz truss's hand. now the u.k. begins ten days of mourning. joining me is special correspondent katty kay, susannah lipscomb and tim uart.
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it cannot be understated the influence she had over the u.k. and over the world in her 70 years on the throne. this is a tremendously sad moment for the british public and now begins ten days of mourning. help us understand what to expect. >> sorry, i wasn't sure if you were coming to me. look, we've known this was coming and yet we're all in shock. it's one of those moments that you think you are prepared for and i speak from personal experience just as a britt, it still feels unreal. she has been with us for so long. she's been with the world for so
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long that it's actually almost hard to believe that she isn't here anymore. and i think you always feel that when somebody close to you has died. i'm not close to the queen at all, i have never met the queen. she's not somebody i know personally but i feel like i know her because she's been there all of my life, she's been there all -- was there all of my parents' life, my grandparents' life. she is british history, at least british history for the last 70 years. i think we'll be slightly adrift as a nation in our response to this because we will have personal feelings about it and we will also have thoughts about what it means for britain in thele world, what it means for britain's reputation and image around the world because she was a part of that, too. this isn't just a british story in a way, is it? it's a global story and there are very few people in the world who have touched the world in the way that she has.
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she traveled to 150 countries and wherever she went, she got a hugely positive reception. people around the world will be, as you started the program by saying, remembering the moment they were, where they were when they heard the news. and you can't say that about very many moments and it's because she's so consequential, partly because of her longevity but also as importantly because of who she was as a person. >> no, there are not many moments where you can say that but, again, this is a moment where the world is changing, tim. she has been on the throne for 70 years, the longest reigning british monarch, i believe the longest reigning monarch period in modern times. her son is now going to be the king. this is the end of -- i do not put this lightly, this is the end of an era. >> it is the end of an era. you're absolutely right. and the first thing to say obviously is for the vast majority of people in this
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country, whether they're monarchists or not, whether they support the concept of a royal family, the vast majority are going to be suffering an intense feeling of personal grief because the queen was in all our lives for so long. there are challenges now, i think it's probably premature to talk about this, but there are challenges for the royal family going forward because the queen's personal popularity enhanced support for the monarchy. the difficulty for prince charles or king charles as he is now, is that he does not have that personal popularity and it's going to be a very difficult job for him to follow in his mother's footsteps. the family obviously will rally 'round. we've seen nearly all of them at balmoral today at the queen's
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bedside. but once the mourning is over, and you heard katy tsai and the queen herself was a modernizer and one of the things that will have disappointed her is that prince harry is not going to be part of that program going ahead. she put a great deal of faith in william and harry as the sort of future of the monarchy. so that's going to be a challenge but that is an issue. >> i'm sorry to interrupt you but prime minister truss is now speaking. let's go there. >> it is a huge shock to the nation and to the world. queen elizabeth ii was the rock
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on which modern britain was built. our country has grown and flourished under her reign. britain is the great country it is today because of her. she ascended the reign just after the second world war and championed the development of the commonwealth from a small group of countries to a group of 56 nations. we are now a modern, thriving dynamic nation. through thick and thin, queen elizabeth ii provided us with the stability and the strength that we needed. she was the very spirit of great britain and that spirit will endure. she has been our longest ever reigning monarch. it's an extraordinary achievement to have presided with such dignity and grace for 70 years. her life of service stretched
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beyond most of our living memories. in return she was loved and admired by the people in united kingdom and all around the world. she has been a personal inspiration to me and to many britons. her devotion to duty is an example to us all. earlier this week at 96, she remained determined to carry out her duties as she appointed me as her 15th prime minister. throughout her life she's visited more than a hundred countries and she has touched the lives of millions around the world. in the difficult days ahead, we will come together with our friends across the united kingdom, the commonwealth and the world to celebrate her extraordinary lifetime of service. it is a day of great loss, but
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queen elizabeth ii leaves a great legacy. today the crown passes, as it has done for more than a thousand years to our new monarch, our new head of state, his majesty, king charles iii. as we mourn, we must come together as a people to support him, to help him bare the awesome responsibility that he now carries for us all. we offer him our loyalty and devotion just as his mother devoted so much to so many for so long. and with the passing of the second eelizabethan age, we usher in a new era in the magnificent great country as her majesty would have wished by saying the words god save the king.
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god save the king, which is what prime minister truss just said because it is no longer god save the queen. it is now god save the king, king charles. let's go to molly hunter, who is joining us from our newsroom in london. i believe now you have a statement from the new king. >> we do and prime minister liz truss just called him his majesty king charles iii. that is the first we are seeing of that. we do have a statement from his majesty, the king, he writes "the death of my beloved mother, her majesty the queen is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family. we mourn profoundly the passing of the cherished sovereign. i know her lost will be deeply felt throughout the country and countless people around the world. my family and i will be comforted and sustained by our
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knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which the queen was so widely held. it's dated today at the time of the queen's death. god save the king. this is the challenge for charles. he does not enjoy the same popularity as his mother and he will now be stepping into huge shoes. the queen, katy, was the most popular member of her family over many decades, internally and to the public. she was beloved as commentators and historians talked about for the last hour. there's a tremendous amount of loyalty, even if not as the monarchy as a whole, to her as a person. i think there will certainly be a moment where king charles iii tries to galvanize that and lead his country into this moment without his mother. i do just want to pick up on a couple of things that we just heard from prime minister liz truss. we have been talking about how liz truss was up at balmoral on tuesday.
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she is one of the last people that certainly saw the queen from the public sector, from outside of her family and that will be the last time that we saw queen elizabeth publicly, that photograph of queen elizabeth with her cane asking the new prime minister to go form a government. liz truss spoke personally. she said the queen has been a personal inspiration to me, her devotion to duty. she spoke about that meeting on tuesday, katy, but also talked about how queen elizabeth was the very spirit of great britain. she said that spirit will endure. she talked about her dignity and grace and how loved and admired and there is going to be a huge movement from this prime minister and from the new king who became king immediately upon his mother's death to really join together to leave the country together and to really try to galvanize and promote the unity that queen elizabeth ii represented.
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>> the children are all there. grandchildren. prince william is there. do we have any word on prince harry? >> we have been told earlier that prince harry is making his way to balmoral separately from prince william. we talked about the rift between the two brothers. but in coordination with the rest of the family, we did see pictures of prince william arriving with three of his uncles. he was driving the range rover in a small convoy. looking back at the next couple of hours, hours that we will be talking about and dissecting for many years to come, that is when i think this country, that is certainly when we realized that this was very, very serious, after that statement today. but when we saw her children and two grandchildren flying up to be with her, that certainly said something. our understanding is her children were all at balmoral this afternoon. we do not know the details of the exact time of death, we do not know exactly who was in the room, if anyone was in the room
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when she died and we don't know if harry actually made it there. we do know he was heading up there and that was the plan. >> susannah, let's talk about what molly was just discussing there, which was the shoes that prince charles, now king charles, has to fill. his mother was supremely popular. he not so much. >> yes, although of course i think that there may be a sense that the affections of the country turn to him at this time because of the loss that he has suffered, but it's certainly true that he is stepping into the shoes of a woman who didn't put a foot wrong. i mean, it was practically flawless, her record. we might perhaps point to one or two occasions where things weren't done quite as quickly as they could have been, but otherwise this has been a queen, this was a queen, it takes a while to adjust to the past tense, this was a queen who
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managed throughout all her years of service to demonstrate great empathy and compassion to the people she met. she was charming. she was interested, she was present. she put in huge amounts of service, huge hours of service, hundreds of meetings a year. when she was 95, people thought she might step down. after the duke of edinburgh died, people thought she might step away from public duties but, no, she was back serving the country, back in action again in four days and here two days before her death she inaugurated a new prime minister. and that just shows you what a tough exact she's going to be to follow. and i think it is particularly difficult for somebody to take on a new job when they're in
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their 70s, even if they've been training for it their whole life. and it's difficult for us all to adjust to it as well. >> he is now the oldest to ascend to the throne. he's been waiting quite a long time. you talk about just the past few years for queen elizabeth. it's been a tough few years, the last two years especially between the pandemic, her husband, prince phillip dying, the drama that she's experiencing between her grandsons and her son and his sons, prince harry, prince william and now king charles. it's been a tough two years. the royalty itself, the monarchy itself, is it in a strong position to continue on? >> there is a republican
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movement in this country. it's i think fair to say quite a small one. i would expect once we have got through this period of mourning that that republican minority will become a lot more vocal because they suffered before, as you've just heard, from the personal popularity of the queen. but i do think that the family will pull together, the royal family will pull together. i think prince william is going to be a key figure in that. he has a good level of popularity in this country and i think a lot of people will hope that maybe now this is the time for some kind of rapprochement between the warring brothers, if you like, william and harry. as i said earlier, it was very much the queen's wish that those two young men would represent to the world the future of the
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monarchy. and we shouldn't forget the world. liz truss there just mentioned that the queen had been to a hundred countries. well, i spent ten years following the royal family and i followed the queen on the last few of those tours and the one thing that was always a surprise to me, however many times i've seen it, was the incredible crowds that she could draw, wherever she went, whether it was in africa or australia, canada. and that's going to be pretty hard now for the monarchy to match, certainly for the new king because it is fair to say i think that in a lot of those countries, his personal level of popularity is not enormous. a lot of people in australia, for example, i think would like to have seen the crown skip a generation. but it is a challenge, but i do think as we just heard that actually now he's king, charles
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i think will garner more affection and more support from the people of this country than perhaps he has before. >> i wonder, you know, hanging over all of this right now is a book that we're expecting at some point from prince harry, a book that he's been working on, a book that the tabloids have been saying could be quite devastating for the monarchy. we have prince harry not at balmoral quite yet we don't believe. we believe he's still on his way. he was traveling separately. you're talking about maybe a coming together, rapprochement, between the two brothers and perhaps their father at this moment. it's got to be pretty tense, though. kate, as we understand it, is not there at the moment. correct me if i'm wrong. megan has not traveled up there either. what does that say to you? >> you'd have to think as a
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family, if ever there was a moment for them to come together, this is it, united in grief. surely that's an opportunity for this to happen. the book is a problem, there's no question about that. prince harry's book and possibly an upcoming documentary that is said to have followed the private lives of he and megan. that is a problem and there's no doubt that members of the royal family, charles and william in particular view that book with considerable concern, what's he going to say, are there going to be more accusations of the type that we've already heard from megan? and maybe now the timing is not ideal for that book to come out so quickly after the queen's death, but i think people will be opening -- i mean, harry retains some degree of popularity here. he's lost a lot of what he had. he was a very popular member of the royal family, but i think
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people will be hoping that now at least they can start talking to each other and at least maybe what is perceived as criticism of the royal family from harry and megan would at least stop for the time being or at least be toned down. >> how is the public's attitude toward the queen consort, camilla, now the queen consort? >> well, if you turn the clock back a few years and you looked at the tabloid headlines, she was the most hated person in britain, blamed for the breakdown of the marriage of charles and diana. there's been a remarkable reversal of that. in the many royal trips that i did, one of the best was a very short trip that camilla did to paris, her first solo trip actually, and her penalty has carried her through that period where people disliked her and blamed her for the break down of the marriage and so forth.
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and i think she has now emerged as a very popular figure. the queen liked her. she's done a really good job in public. she hasn't commented about anything, but she's always been there at charles' side. she's incredible affable. the photographers love her because she always gives them a nice picture and that kind of matters because you get a nice smiling face in the newspapers. i think she's done really well and i think the public will now take to her even more. and i think apart from anything else, she's doing to be a really important support for king charles as he faces really at the age of 73 quite an enormous challenge. it's a job he's waited for, you know, for so long and he needs somebody at his side who is going to support him as the queen for so many years had the support of prince phillip.
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so i think camilla will emerge from this as a helpful person. >> we're showing you video from the gates at buckingham palace. earlier i said that so often when we see the big news from the royal family posted on the gates, the birth of an heir, the death of a monarch, this is the same message posted on balmoral and that the king and queen will remain and return back to london tomorrow. ten days of mourning. obviously a lot longer in terms of the mourning just generally for the country but ten days of official mourning for the u.k. what can we expect in terms of celebrations? >> well, i don't think there will be many celebrations? >> celebrations and remembrances, the celebration of
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life and remembrances. >> there will be a celebration of life, you're quite right. the important thing is there's a very detailed schedule of events where the focus will shift from balmoral and back to london, the new king will set off to the different nations in the united kingdom and that's very important, scotland, wales and northern ireland. and there will be this period of mourning culminating in a very moving state funeral. and, well, i think the nation, the majority of people, will really share in that sense of grief. >> there's now a statement from -- we've heard from president biden. here's former president clinton on the mourning and passing of
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queen elizabeth. they say throughout her remarkable 70-year reign, she led britain with dignity and care of all of her people. she was a source of serenity and strength and we'll be grateful for the kindness she showed us particularly in our visits to buckingham palace in 1995 and all she did to deepen the relationship. it was interesting that clinton wrote about the queen who but for the succession of her birth, she might have been a great politician. she met with a lot of u.s. presidents, 13 in all, all about
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johnson during the time that she was queen. she lived an extraordinary life, 70 years on the throne. let us take a moment to relive some of it with keir simmons. >> 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 v, elizabeth would guide nation through historic challenges. she stayed in london despite the nightly bombing raids of nazi germany. to the people of germany, 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.
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westminster abbey 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 traveled monarch in history. she helped transform britain's empire, easing former colonies into states and all that while balancing motherhood and 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 the royal family appeared just like the rest of us, vulnerable. there was divorce and reconciliation. her son, prince andrew, mired in accusations of sexual misconduct. but the tragedy of princess
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diana, her fairy tale marriage ended in scandal with a messy divorce and then death. diana killed in a traffic accident in paris. the royal family grieved privately but there was growing anger in britain that the monarchy was out of touch, detached aloof. the queen quickly returned from her vacation home to pay tribute to diana. >> i, for one, believe there are lessons to be drawn from her life and from the extraordinary and moving reaction to her death. >> reporter: queen elizabeth set out to change the face of monarchy. it would be more open, compassionate, in touch with a changing british public. >> institutions, which in turn must continue to evolve if they are to provide effective beacons of trust and unity. >> reporter: she embraced many
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changes, including the marriage of her grandson, prince william, to commoner kate middleton. and prince harry to the american actress megan markell. she celebrated the birth of great grandchildren, including prince george, third in line to the throne. in 2021 her beloved husband of seven decades, prince phillip died. in her words, he was her strength and stay. but queen elizabeth continued to inspired people around the world. during the covid pandemic, her words helped everyone to keep calm and carry on. >> at this time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavor, using the great advances and our instinctive compassion to heal, we will succeed and that success will belong to every one of us.
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>> reporter: she was the longest reigning british monarch in history, on the throne for more than 70 years. her platinum jubilee celebrated 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 across 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. throughout her 70 years there were moments where she was forced to be so reserved because she was leading a country and she had what the british refer
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to as a stiff upper lip, but it's also important to remember that she was funny and she liked playing a prank and that moment there with paddington bear was a reminder of that, an example of her humor and her light heartedness. joining me is people magazine's chief foreign correspondent simon perry. simon, what is it like there in the u.k. today? >> well, katy, hi. it's just incredibly somber. it's a day when, you know, your phone lights up with people just texting, wondering what's the latest news, so this is happening right through our working day and it almost feels like the country stopped and the bbc, for example, counselled all its broadcasts on its main channel and went straight to a rolling news type special. this was through the afternoon
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when obviously the noon hadn't broken that she'd passed away yet. so that just sums up really how i think britain today has been in a sort of suspension as we wait for the news. >> you know, this has been a long time coming. she's 96. she's had health troubles. we saw her just a couple days ago looking quite frail, meeting with liz truss, the last public photo we've seen of her. so there was an anticipation this day might be approaching sooner than later. it still feels like it's hard to believe. it's hard to imagine a world without queen elizabeth and with a king charles. >> yes. well, i agree. for people of my age and slightly older, anyone who's around 70 and younger than that,
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that's a lot of people i've seen in britain have never known another monarch and never known another queen. she's been the center of our life from the fun, like you mentioned, with paddington at her jubilee back in june through the somber days and sad days amid wars and moments of national sort of mourning or difficulties like keir was talking there about with covid. so she's a central figure in our life and also an icon around the world. so it's not just i'm sure britain and the u.k. and the wider commonwealth that's mourning. as you've been reading out tributes from all over from former presidents and so on. so, yeah, it will take a lot of time for people to process, i'm sure. >> prince charles, now king charles, has already had a higher profile in recent years, taking on some of the duties of
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queen elizabeth. also prince william and kate taking on more public role as well, trying to be out there as the new, fresh faces of the monarchy. is the public ready to transition to a king charles and to eventually a king william? >> well, i guess we'll find that out in the coming days. i think britain is quite a conservative place with a small "c," people will be sympathetic to charles. he is, after all, the queen's son, one of her children. they're a family in mourning, a family grieving. so not only is he grieving, but he's also king from this minute onwards. so i think there will be a lot of transferred respect, shall we say and support for him and his wife, camilla, over the coming days. to say he's as popular as his
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mother, clearly that's not the case. he's often been a controversial figure over the last 20 or 30 years. but i think in the short term i think this is going to be about a country in mourning and a sort of solidarity with him and his children and people obviously like prince william and kate as well, as you mentioned. >> tim, you're still with us. what do you expect king charles, his first appearance in public to be like as king? >> well, i think it will be somber. and as you've just heard there, you know, he's been called the meddlesome prince in the past. he's spoken out on a number of things, some of which people very much agreed with, obviously the environment and issues about wildlife preservation, but also he hasn't been quite so popular expressing his opinion about
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architecture in london, new developments and this kind of thing. the first thing he's going to have to do really is to drop all that because part of the queen's popularity was that she wasn't controversial in public. she kept her opinions very much to herself. but charles will know this. i mean, this is part of the job description. so i think we're going to see a much more serious figure going forward. and i think he's going to have to now follow his mother's example and leave opinions that the royal family or causes that the royal family might want to support, he's going to have to leave those to the younger members of the family, particularly prince william and as we said earlier, maybe prince harry. so he's going to be a serious and somber figure in the days ahead but he is a man with a sense of humor. he's a man with a sense of fun and, who knows, we just don't
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know how he will work out as the king. >> i'm wondering, simon, might we see you cover a lot of the tension, the underlying tension within the royal family of prince harry and prince william and now king charles, i wonder what we might expect to see from the three of them during this funeral ceremony that we're going to be experiencing, this remembrance for ten days. i know all that is very tightly programmed. there is a stage for it, there is a booklet that tells everyone where to go and what to do, but there is also room for, you know, unprogrammed moments and we've seen that in some of the events surrounding the royal family in the past few years where prince william has come back and there have been moments where he's pow-wowed with prince
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william. what is your expectation that we'll see here? >> as you said, when prince harry did come back for the funeral of the duke of edinburgh, there was face time and william and harry have been strangers for the last several years, two or three years. but facetime as it were together in the same room, in the same event and clearly mourning a loved grandmother in both their cases, i suppose some people would hope that that might bring them together, a little rapprochement there, in the same rooms, in the same household, obviously feeling the grief. we'll see where that takes us. as you say, families coming together at moments like this are possibly the time when new sort of relationships can be reborn and so on.
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but they've got a long way to go but i'm sure both of them and other members of the family are really mostly thinking about the queen, herself and the life that she's led and the important role she's played in their lives. that will be the first i'm sure. >> we're getting more statements, this one officially from president joe biden and the first lady. in a world of constant change she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of britons including many who have never known their country without her and from president trump we send our sincere condolences to the
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country. from george w. bush and laura, laura and i were honored to have known her majesty queen also bit, a woman of great intellect, charm and wit, spending time and having tea with her majesty and her corgis are among our finest memories. she led england through dark moments for a brighter tomorrow. those are all of those statements in part. we also have one from the carter family. rosaline and i extend our condolences to the family of queen elizabeth and we join the millions around the world of mourning a remarkable leader. i have pages and pages of statements from former presidents and first ladies admiring queen elizabeth, just reminding how much of american history she's experienced as well, how many presidents she
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met, how many times she has been here to the united states. she celebrated the bicentennial with us, from our war that we fought with england to get away. i mean, it was despite the initial relationship that we had, the breakaway, they have been our closest ally and queen elizabeth has been one of our strongest allies in her person for decades. katty kay, you are back with us. what has it meant for her to be able to tap into all of the history that she held within her head, all of these people for her were passing. she was around for the long haul. >> 14 different presidents, every single one of them since
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truman except for johnson she has met in person and it always strikes me, katy, that here is the president of the united states who wields so much political power, hard power, who commands the biggest military in the world, the biggest economy in the world and they go and meet the queen and they become like school children or school boys, they're sort of quivering at the knees because they're so excited to the meet the queen. and the queen became more diminutive and smaller and frailer and yet her stature remained. it was always fun to watch the glee with which an american president would go and meet her majesty and how much it meant to them. a lot of that would have been ceremonial, the pomp and circumstance of the royal family, you were referring to it earlier. it's a big deal to go to buckingham palace or to meet her at one of her other palaces. i imagine also there is that sense that they get of being
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connected to previous presidents and previous heads of state and all of the people she has met. and i doubt very much that her majesty would ever have weighed in on political issues for the united states. she was far too disciplined to do that. she rose above politics. but just the fact that she had met your predecessors, if you were an american president, would have had an impact, just knowing how much she had seen in her lifetime, how much experience she had of going through the cold war, watching the berlin wall come down, all of the different things that she had witnessed. that in and of itself is a touchstone for everybody and i imagine as well in those private meetings she had with american presidents. >> you talk about her stature. there was a very funny moment with george bush sr. where she was addressing reporters alongside him, took a step toward the lectern and the lectern was built and placed for george bush, who was much, much
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taller. and even in her small physical stature, barely being able to see over that lectern, she did symbolically stand quite tall. she had the presence of somebody much larger than she physically was because of all of her experience and everything that she had endured and witnessed and stood by for the decades of her reign. i would like to take a moment just to dive in a little deeper, to explore the relationship that she's had with american presidents over the last 70 years. she met with 14 of them, all but lyndon johnson. here's kristen welker. >> she's danced with presidents, ridden with them, celebrated with commander in chiefs, mourned and of course shared plenty of meals, queen elizabeth in fact meeting every single serving american president except lyndon johnson since
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1951. harry truman was her first presidential meeting as a princess, representing her father, the king, during a u.s. visit. she came back in 1957, now as queen. >> i also want to say how much i appreciate the warmth and friendliness of your reception. >> reporter: receiving an all-american welcome, a state dinner hosted by president eisenhower and a ticker tape parade in new york. queen elizabeth always appearing eager to take part in american traditions and charming the public along the way, watching a baseball game with the first president bush. >> it's awesome! can we see her? >> she came all the way from england and it's great. >> it's wonderful to meet the great lady of the world. >> and attending the kentucky derby during the second bush
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presidency. >> it's exciting. >> chances are if we meet her, we're just going to go -- >> reporter: we've glimpsed other moments, that famous dance with president ford at the white house, a standing ovation when she became the first british monarch to address congress. and president reagan laughing as the queen cracked jokes at a state dinner in san francisco. >> i knew before we came that we had exported many of our traditions to the united states, but i had not realized before that weather was one of them. >> reporter: she got along well with reagan. the two went riding together. these photos becoming iconic. and while the queen last visited the u.s. in 2007, like millions of american tourists, presidents are always ready to stop by the palace when in the u.k. >> i'm confident that our common
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values and shared interests will continue to unite us. >> reporter: it may seem like an unlikely connection given this country's decision to sever ties with the crown, but as queen elizabeth said herself during america's 200 birthday -- >> your declaration of independence broke that link but it did not for long break our friendship. >> reporter: a special relationship that only grew stronger during her 70-year reign. kristen welker, nbc news, the white house. the revolution broke that link but it did not for long break our friendship. she said it much better than i did. joining me is presidential historian michael beschloss. what are your thoughts? >> i said she said it right by the way. >> you're being way too kind, my friend. >> only truth on this network. you were talking and kristen was
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talking about all those presidents over 70 years there was one that never met with her and that was lyndon johnson. i thought i'll dispel the mystery of why johnson was sitting this out. it was not that he was an anti-monarchist. quite the opposite. he was opposite. he was somewhat monarchical himself. johnson became president 1963 after kennedy's assassination and as a point of pride, he said i'm not going to leave the united states for at least a year while i consolidate my presidency. then after that came the vietnam war, the prime minister wilson was against much of the vietnam war and johnson was told that if he ever went to london, there would be an anti war demonstration that would close down the city. there was one exception, but otherwise, these great relationships for 70 years with american presidents. >> she had a very famous meeting
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with john kennedy. jfk. if you watch the crown, you felt like you got a sneak peek of it although i'm not sure how accurate the crown is. tell me what we know of that meeting. >> kennedy went to see queen elizabeth in june of 1961 just after meeting the cruse chef. things were so different in those days. the queen asked kennedy's people who do you want at the dinner at buckingham and he said first of all, jackie kennedy's sister, leah, living with her husband and they should be invited. at that time, the queen had a policy of not inviting divorced persons to dinner at buckingham. it went to the prime minister and said i don't care what the policy is, our relationship with the u.s. is much too important. invite the sister, which they did. >> it also reminds you of how
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taboo divorce was for so long and how modernization was forced upon this family when divorce became very much a part of modern life and what happened to many of the relationships within the royal family. her kids. and getting divorced. prince charles getting infamously divorced from princess diana. the modern world came for everybody just like it came for the royals. the meeting with donald trump a couple of years ago, there was a lot put on it because there was a lot of protest at his appearance and a lot of questions about how the queen felt about donald trump. did we get anything from her remarks there? >> not much because she was a total professional and she would not have given away her inner feelings. on the other hand, i hope you
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and i get to see some day when her diaries, letters of her time as queen will be open to scholars and the public. my wild guess is we may get some idea of what she privately really thought of donald trump and it might be awfully interesting. >> her husband, prince philip, was not there. >> that's exactly right. and that probably made a statement. but queen interestingly in private is always said to have had these pungent, sharp opinions. advice which she gave to her prime ministers and american presidents, but a lot of it to this day we don't know and will not know until someone can write a biography based on these secret documents. >> well, we will see if we get those. what we are looking at now is a live shot of buckingham palace and the crowds that have formed there much like the crowds formed at any major royal
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announcement or event. the announcement of an heir or the announcement of somebody dying within the royal family. this might remind you of the scenes smaller as of now, but certainly will grow, the scenes in front of buckingham palace after princess diana was killed in that car crash. just the spontaneous outpouring of support and laying of flowers and wreaths up against the gates. so much so that the makeshift memorial ended up pushing the crowds farther and farther back. we saw staff members of the household post her death announcement on the gates there as is tradition, as is custom. since you are the british historian here, will we get to see any of her private notes, her diaries from her time as
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queen? >> i don't suppose we'll get to see those for many years to come. we know that she's always kept a 6 inch entry in her diary every day and in some 50 years or so, perhaps longer, the archives will be opened. but i would think it's highly unlikely that we'll get a chance to see those. perhaps some of the younger ones of us will. but for the time being, i think she'll keep her secrets. >> she'll keep her secrets for the time being. the meetings that she has with prime ministers and she's had so many over the years. she has them weekly. she started with winston churchill. last one was liz truss. those are confidential. we don't hear much about them. we have a presidential records law in this country where everything in happens in time in a president's tenure is recorded and put into the files in the archives and eventually put into a museum where we learn more
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about that president's time and even farther along after that. much of it is declassified and we learn even more. is there any parallel custom in this uk? >> well, i don't think there's a parallel custom in terms of those private conversations except in so far as those prime ministers choose to reveal that in the future and they may themselves feel ethically bound not to because of this custom around keeping the wisdom of the monarch private. and i suppose the difference is that whilst the monarch in this country is a critical part of the constitution along with the two houses in the house of parliament, there's very much a sense that she and now he need to be above politics. so it's gentle advice.
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it's wisdom that is given and has been given over the years. but it's not supposed to be law making except in the very literal signing of those laws. the shape and direction of our country is supposed to be by the elected members of the house of parliament and so what the monarch says remains very much private. >> please stick with us. we will be right back. msnbc's special coverage continues after a short break. le continues after a short break. the greatest sandwich roster ever assembled. for more on the new boss, here's patrick mahomes. incredible - meatballs, fresh mozzarella and pepperon- oh, the meatball's out! i thought he never fumbles. the new subway series. what's your pick? some days, it felt like asthma was holding me back. but asthma has taken enough. so i go triple...
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