Britons following CNN’s coverage of the Queen’s funeral were shocked on Monday when Trisha Goddard was roped in to provide “analysis”.
The legendary chat show host, 64, appeared on the American network from her New York studio to help with five hours of live coverage with host Don Lemon, Zain Asher and Julia Chatterley.
Kate Williams, CNN’s British colleague and royal historian, provided analysis alongside CNN royal commentator Sally Bedell Smith, while presenters Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett led the reporting from London.
An estimated four billion viewers around the world are said to have tuned in for the funeral, with the ceremony starting at 11am local time at Westminster Abbey, before the Queen was buried at St George’s Chapel in Windsor alongside her husband Prince Philip, the King’s father George VI, the Queen Mother and her sister Princess Margaret.
During her time on the podium, Trisha was asked what would happen to Emma, the Queen’s horse, to which she replied, “Well, all the royal children ride.”
She also predicted pets will become more of a focus at funerals in the future after the Queen’s corgis, Muick and Sandy, were seen waiting in the square with two attendants before the late monarch was buried at St George’s Chapel.
British viewers, who tuned in to see how America is handling the coverage, were surprised when Trisha offered to take on the funeral, despite having no known qualifications for the role.
Shocked viewers wrote: “They made Trisha Goddard pretend she was at Buckingham Palace every weekend. She’s like the cheap man’s Jerry Springer. Terrible comment and the only time they shut up was during the service which was amazing. Just constant chatter.’;
“I’ve been trying to see your coverage to get a US perspective of what’s happening and some parts have been good but Trisha Goddard on CNN seriously! She wouldn’t be on the BBC news here in the UK as they don’t take her seriously and your correspondents/presenters talk about each other
“Trisha Goddard being part of the cnn coverage of this is a joke btw #queensfuneral”; “I turned on CNN News to see the American coverage and Trisha Goddard is speaking!!. I won’t dare try Al Jazeera in case Jeremy Kyle comments.
“CNN was silent during the service and at other “serious” moments. No idea why Trisha Goddard was there!’; “Today has restored the pride of the country” strong words from Trisha Goddard #queensfuneral #QueenElizabethII #daytoremember [sic].
After Trisha went off the air, she took to Instagram to share a behind-the-scenes clip from the studio, while writing, “What an amazing @cnn team: @zainashercnn @jchatterleycnn #sallybidell-smith and uh… the main character @donlemoncnn!
“No airs and graces… When we managed to get a brief break in the 5 hour live coverage of Her Majesty’s funeral, Don was sweet enough to jump up from the desk to get me a fruit salad.
“There was light and shadow; Emotions and smiles (let’s hear it for fur ponies and corgis!) but at the heart of it, monarchical or not – in recognition of the historical nature of the day.’
She was immediately inundated with messages of support from her followers, who wrote: “Congratulations because it was amazing coverage ❤️”; “I’m so jealous. @andersoncooper and @donlemoncnn Not fair!!’; ‘Loving You’; “Amazing work Trisha! ❤️’; ‘Well done, it’s been a long day for everyone ❤️’; ‘Good work’.
Trisha is not believed to have met members of the royal family, but she has been vocal in her support of Meghan Markle.
Following Oprah’s interview with Meghan and Prince Harry last year, Trisha, who moved to the United States in 2010, said Meghan was “America’s princess” but was deemed “not good enough” for the royal family.
Speaking on the ITV documentary Harry and Meghan: The Week That Shook The Royals, she added that “the entire royal family, the empire that goes back centuries, it’s all based on slavery and racism and the subjugation of people.”
She continued: “It’s the establishment, we’re talking about systemic and institutionalized racism, not whether a person has said something inappropriate, it’s a much bigger issue than that.”
Footage of the Queen’s funeral was broadcast around the world and Americans joined forces to celebrate Britain’s saddest day with wide coverage.
Dozens of people thronged Times Square as early as 5 a.m. Monday to watch Her Majesty’s service set up across the pond — despite the five-hour time difference.
Many US publications had a live stream of the funeral, which showed the royals gathering to pay their respects to the Queen one last time.
CNN, ABC, Fox News and NBC all canceled their usual coverage to follow the procession all the way, with royal commentators reporting on the build-up to the occasion.
President Joe Biden attended the service with his wife, Jill, to pay their respects, with many members of the congregation arriving up to three hours early.