Queen Rania's Interview with Channel 4's Cathy Newman

September 18, 2022

QUEEN RANIA: She will always go out of her way to put you at ease, to kind of disarm you, and in very, very subtle ways, you know, through a little joke, or just a question she’ll ask you, or just by making eye contact. And she knew when I met her that I, you know, I was still sort of unsure of my new role and how to go about it. And I would say that she’s somebody that’s too humble to presume that you want her advice, but she’s very generous when you actually ask her for it. And so, I did ask her for her advice, and she said to me how important it is to have the sense of duty, to always show up, and she said you always have to pay attention to the details, so you have to care about everything. And even though we didn’t know that maybe, but she really did pay attention to everything. Things weren’t orderly because they just happened to be this way, it’s because she wanted them to be this way. And so, I’ve always looked up to her. She’s always been a role model. I think she’s, for generations, shown the world what it means to be Queen, and I think she set the bar so high with her sense of duty.

CATHY NEWMAN: And what do you make of all the crowds you see? Filing past her coffin, turning out here…

QUEEN RANIA: Honestly, it’s just been so overwhelming to see. You know, you look at all these people, and none of them have to be here. And people standing in queues, nobody’s asking them to do that. And all over the world, for the last ten days, people have been glued to their television sets, nobody’s asked them to do that. They’re doing that because she had an impact on their lives, she was a presence for them. It’s been tough for the UK over the last few years, you know, trying to come to an agreement with Europe post-Brexit, you know, dealing with a pandemic, dealing with now cost of living and all those things, but I think what’s happened in the last ten days has reminded the British people what it means to be British.

CATHY NEWMAN: Well, it’s interesting you mention the cost of living crisis, and you know, obviously, the spectacle of all the ceremony, and the pomp… It’s lavish. Is it hard to reconcile in some ways that sort of pageant and pomp of the monarchy with the ordinary sort of grind of the cost of living crisis?

QUEEN RANIA: What you’re speaking about, the pageantry and all the ceremony… This is part of the British brand, you know. This is what distinguishes you and the rest of the world. People look at this country in awe. And I think there’s been so much respect from all over the world, just looking at how things have been done and conducted in such an orderly fashion over the last ten days. And the smooth transition with the swearing in of the new King, and how people have really closed ranks and come together.

CATHY NEWMAN: You’ve met the new King many times as well, and also the Queen Consort Camilla.

QUEEN RANIA: Of course.

CATHY NEWMAN: How do you think they will conduct themselves or be different from the Queen and Prince Philip?

QUEEN RANIA: Well, look, every era has its different characteristics, and there is a person for every era. So, Her Majesty served during her 70 years, and now is the time for King Charles. There will be a sense of continuity because there are so many values that she has instilled in him, and I see them in him. I’ve known him for many years.

CATHY NEWMAN: Would you like him to carry on speaking out about issues like climate change that he feels passionate about?

QUEEN RANIA: Well, you know, that’s not for me to say, but all I can say is that he was a pioneer, and he was talking about these issues long before people started paying attention to them, and now he’s been proven right, you know. There were times when people were wondering why he was raising such issues and didn’t take it seriously. Now it’s difficult to ignore the consequences of climate change and everything that we’re facing in the world. So, I truly believe that, you know, had we listened to him, I think it would have been a very different story today. But I understand that now he’s in a different role and that’s going to mean that he’s going to have to obviously do things a little bit differently. So it’ll be up to him, I guess, to see what issues he’s going to be focusing on in the future.

CATHY NEWMAN: Your Majesty, thank you very much.

QUEEN RANIA: Thank you very much.