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Heavy Security Preparations Underway For Queen's Funeral; Complete Blackout In Puerto Rico As Hurricane Fiona Approaches; NYC Mayor Says Migrant Issue A Humanitarian Crisis. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired September 18, 2022 - 15:00   ET



FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: You see live pictures right there, and it comes as tens of thousands continue to stream into Westminster Hall where the Queen lies in and state. Among the world leaders paying respects, President Joe Biden along with the First Lady.

Final preparations are underway for the Queen's funeral ceremony scheduled to begin tomorrow. CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Kate Williams are in London for this solemn occasion.

Kaitlan, President Biden marking this historic moment in world history and he had some very poignant things to say as well when he was signing the condolence book.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: He did. He was talking about what it was like for him to interact with the Queen personally. He first met her back in 1982 when he was a senator for Delaware --

WHITFIELD: And Kaitlan, I apologize. Let me interrupt you right now. We're looking at Downing Street right there with the new Prime Minister, but it is right now a moment of silence and we're going to take that as well.


WHITFIELD: All right, a beautiful picture of the Palace of Westminster where Big Ben, which is atop that was chiming. It's bells tolling for the moment of silence to begin. All in celebration for the life of the late now, Queen Elizabeth II. Tomorrow the funeral gets a under way.


WHITFIELD: Back now to Kaitlan Collins and Kate Williams. We saw the moments of silence being recognized from Downing Street to Hyde Park, where you could hear a little bit of the bell tolling there to the Palace of Westminster and inside the Westminster Hall.

So Kaitlan, let's pick up your thought, of course, the President of United States is there. He paid tribute earlier today, even remarking after signing that condolence book.

COLLINS: Yes, and you know, we see so many of these amazing moments where people come to a still to really take in the moment of what this means and reflecting upon the Queen's legacy. And President Biden himself did that earlier today. It was his first stop really out when he was here in London here to pay tribute to her, to pay respects to her.

And he went to see her lying in state, as you see so many people waiting hours in line to do so, over a dozen hours, people are waiting in line.

And then he went and he signed this condolence book at the Lancaster House, and he was really talking about the Queen's legacy and what it was like when he met the Queen and how he viewed her, and this is how he summed up why he described her as someone who reminded him of his mother.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She was the same in person as her image -- decent, honorable, and all about service.

And our hearts go out to the Royal family, King Charles and all the family. It is a loss that leaves a giant hole. And sometimes, you think you'll never -- you'll never overcome it.

But as I've told the King, she is going to be with him every step of the way, every minute, every moment, and that is a reassuring notion.

So to all the people of England, all the people of the United Kingdom, our hearts go out to you and you were fortunate to have had her for 70 years. We all were. The world is better for her. Thank you.

REPORTER: Mr. President, why did she remind you of your mother?

BIDEN: Just because the way she touched when she leaned over and the way -- she had that look like, "Are you okay? Anything I can do for you? What do you need?" And then also, "Make sure you do what you're supposed to do."


COLLINS: That was President Biden talking about when he met the Queen when she hosted him for a private tea at Windsor Castle last year, of course.

He also was talking about that conversation he had with King Charles, that was a phone conversation they had earlier this week tonight after he signed that condolence book. King Charles hosted President Biden and other world leaders for that private reception at Buckingham Palace, where obviously, you know, he talked about what this loss is like and what it means for him and reassuring him by saying, you know, the Queen is still with you even if she's gone.

WHITFIELD: And Kate, how do you reflect on all of these moments that have coalesced in celebration of the Queen?

KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL HISTORIAN: Yes, these moments that we've had so many moving moments in the video of Westminster Hall with the Queen's children, the Queen's grandchildren, yesterday, that very moving moment with the children there, the statements that are being put out.

And you know, the real -- the ordinary people or the people in the queue who have been queuing up to see her in such an atmosphere, such a weight of history, and when you chat to them, they really are -- you know, they really do want to show their gratitude to the Queen.

And I think it just reflects this huge impact that she has had on so many lives, such a long way in 70 years. There are very few of us who can remember anything but her. Secretary Clinton was on CNN just last Sunday and she was saying that she read this interesting statistic that nine in 10 people in the world were born after the Queen came to the throne.

And so, she is really the only Queen that people could ever remember and President Macron of France who we have seen arriving at the reception, he said that, "She is not your Queen, she is The Queen," and I think that's how a lot of people see her.


WHITFIELD: Indeed. Kaitlan Collins, Kate Williams, thank you so much. We'll of course, check again because tomorrow is the funeral and there continue to be other moments of pomp and circumstance throughout today, this evening there.

All right, turning now to this breaking news out of Puerto Rico. The entire island is without power as Hurricane Fiona approaches. Fiona strengthened into a category one storm earlier today with wind gusts of 100 miles an hour.

CNN's Leyla Santiago joining us now live from Puerto Rico. So, also with us, CNN's Chad Myers, who is tracking the storm.

So, these outer bands hitting Puerto Rico, Leyla, describe what's happening besides the fact that there is no power.

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. That power is the big part of the story right now in terms of impact, but in terms of what we are seeing out here, we continue to see more and more wind and rain picking up.

I've spoken to families in the interior part of the island who say rivers are starting to rise, as well. So, lots of concerns when it comes to flash flooding as well as mudslides, but let's get to the bigger part of this story, which is the island-wide power outages.


SANTIAGO: I just heard from LUMA, which is the private company that runs power here on this island and they were telling me that it could be several days before power is restored on this island, and they say that because they are having issues with transmission lines, and at this point, it is not safe, they say to send power crews out to assess the situation.

But listen, lots of factors here in terms of what we are seeing at this hours with the wind, the rain and what else (AUDIO GAP) --

WHITFIELD: All right, we have indeed lost audio there with Leyla, we'll try to reconnect.

Chad Myers in the Weather Center. So, already bad results, and this storm is really just getting started.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It really is still picking up strength. It is still going to hit the Dominican Republic later on tonight. But right now, all eyes are on Puerto Rico.

And in fact, all eyes have been on Puerto Rico radar, and guess what happened, when the power went out, so did the radar. It is back now, we assume that they probably have got some backup generators running. But so we do have the newest picture here of the radar from Ponce all the way back up to Oshunge (ph), a very, very heavy rainfall.

It could be 20 inches of rain and catastrophic flooding expected that was in the top line, that was in the headline from the hurricane center.

There you go. One hundred percent, not one bit of power, probably not going to get any more gust either, because we're not going to have any power for those meters. Hundred and three was the highest gust before everything went out there.

Here is the heavy rainfall. This purple area will be 15 inches, on top of what has already been falling, which is between four and six, and then it turns to the north, hits just to the north of probably Punta Cana in two parts of the DR, and also heavy rainfall pouring on the north shore of the Dominican Republic compared to the south shore here on up into Puerto Rico itself.

This is going to be a storm with surge, probably only one to three feet. It didn't have a lot of time to gather strength and gather a surge of water, but there still will be big waves with winds of 85 to 100. The waves along the coastline will be deadly.

Get in the water, the chances of some type of rip current, very, very high. And then it turns into a Category 3 major hurricane in the middle of the Atlantic. We are hoping for this turn. A few models are saying, not so quick. Hold on a bit. But that's still many days out.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my goodness. All right. Thank you so much, Chad. We're going to go back to Leyla Santiago. I think we've restored our signal there. Go ahead, Leyla.

SANTIAGO: Right, yes, Fredricka. Sorry about that.

But I do want to get back to kind of the bigger part of the story. I know Chad talked about what the concerns are in terms of flash flooding, the winds, et cetera, things that we are certainly feeling right now on the northeast part of the island where we are even though this is coming in on the southwest portion of this island that's 100 x 35.

I know just threw a lot of numbers at you there, but I want to get to the power situation because the private company that runs the power here is telling us that it could take several days to restore power because they're having outages and issues with transmission lines and say it is not safe enough to have the crews go out there to assess and work on them.

So, this could take days to get power back to the 3.5 million US citizens on this island. Now, the timing is (AUDIO GAP) today, I stood right here and reported when Hurricane Maria approached this island and it is that anxiety that people are feeling today, given some of the timing and some of the trauma that still lingers from Hurricane Maria.

I want to introduce you to a family we spoke to in Caguas there about 30 minutes south of where we are right now. The power went out for them at eight o'clock this morning. It is a little dark in our video because there is no power, but listen to that exchange.


(LOURDES RODRIGUEZ speaking in foreign language.)

SANTIAGO: She was a year without power after Hurricane Maria.

(LEYLA SANTIAGO speaking in foreign language.)

SANTIAGO: I'm asking her if that's what she thinks about when the rain comes.

(LOURDES RODRIGUEZ speaking in foreign language.)

SANTIAGO: She says, yes. She says every single time that there is rain that comes down for three or four days, they go weeks without power.


SANTIAGO: And we were with Lourdes today when a wind gust came in and that anxiety that the family feels is palpable. We're not with them right now, but I can imagine as more rain comes down and the winds pick up and the river near them continues to rise, that is what is very much playing a role for many Puerto Ricans on this island watch (AUDIO GAP).

WHITFIELD: All right, Leyla Santiago, thank you so much. We'll check back with you. Of course, the weather deteriorating there, hence the bad signal, but I think everyone gets the big gist of it.

All right, coming up, tens of thousands are expected to line the streets of London for Queen Elizabeth's funeral on Monday. We will take you to get a better look at the security and logistical challenges.



WHITFIELD: With thousands expected to attend Queen Elizabeth's funeral procession tomorrow, security will be tight especially with the Royal Family following the monarch's coffin through the streets of London.

CNN's Nina dos Santos has more.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR (voice over): These mourners are among two million expected to gather in London ahead of the Queen's funeral. Overnight, trains have been laid on to bring people from all over the country, desperate to catch a glimpse of the monarch before she is laid to rest in Windsor.

For the capital's authorities, balancing ceremony and safety is their toughest test yet.


DOS SANTOS (voice over): Thousands of officers are being deployed each day. One thousand personnel alone will guard the line to Westminster Hall, where the Queen's coffin is lying in state.

Air traffic above London was suspended while her cortege made its journey there, 1,500 soldiers on hand to help with crowd control.

DOS SANTOS (on camera): And this is what they've come to see, Britain's longest serving monarch leaving Buckingham Palace for the very last time, a moment in history that so many here said they just had to be part of.

DOS SANTOS (voice over): With such large numbers comes high risk.

NICK ALDWORTH, FORMER UK COUNTERTERRORISM COORDINATOR: The most realistic problem that people encounter is quite frankly, sheer volumes of people getting a bit squashed. However, in the UK, our national threat level is substantial. That means a terrorist attack is likely.

We know that terrorists are attracted to crowds, and we are about to generate one of the largest crowds that we could possibly ever generate in this country.

DOS SANTOS (voice over): And then there's hundreds of dignitaries to consider, from the King of Spain to France's President Emmanuel Macron.

They've been urged to limit the size of their entourages, but Downing Street may make exceptions for certain guests. One of the most high profile being President Biden.

ALDWORTH: There is no doubt about it that the Americans are very demanding customers in terms of security, and we recognize where each other's boundaries are in terms of what can be asked for and what can be delivered. DOS SANTOS (voice over): Planning for protests is also inevitable.

These demonstrators held up blank canvases to highlight anti-monarchy arrests in Scotland where Prince Andrew was heckled.

ALDWORTH: If they don't break the law, it is regrettable, but it needs to be allowed to take place.

I've met the Queen on many different occasions in many different settings, and I for one am certain that she would be here today advocating for people's rights to protest.

DOS SANTOS (voice over): The crowds are still coming, but Britain has been prepping for this time for many years to ensure Her Majesty's final sendoff goes as smoothly as possible.

Nina dos Santos, CNN, London.


WHITFIELD: Pomp and pageantry have spanned the 10 days of mourning for the Queen and it will all be elevated even more as Queen Elizabeth makes her final journey through the streets of London tomorrow.

The Queen will continue to lie in state at Westminster Hall until 5:30 Eastern time, Monday morning. Her coffin will then travel with an escort from the Royal Navy to Westminster Abbey, the Royal family following on footsteps close behind.

A funeral service will begin at 6:00 AM Eastern attended by 2,000 people, including world leaders, public figures, Royals, and dignitaries.

After the service, the Queen's coffin will depart Westminster Abbey and travel around the Wellington Arch. The path will cut through London's government district, passing Downing Street to the Wellington Arch.

The Queen will then be driven 25 miles west of the capital to Windsor Castle. It is there where the Queen lived the last two years of her life.

And once in Windsor, the state hearse will drive along the picturesque avenue dubbed The Long Walk where thousands of onlookers will bid a final farewell.

The King and other Royals will join the procession on foot, the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery will fire minute guns from the east lawn as the Queen travels to St. George's Chapel.

A separate more intimate service will take place there around 11:00 AM Eastern Time, the Royal family and members of the Royal household and personal staff will be in attendance.

The Queen's coffin will then be committed to the Royal vault below the chapel where many Royal family members have been laid to rest.

A private burial will be held for the family Monday evening.

The Queen will be buried in the King George VI Memorial Chapel alongside her late husband, Prince Philip, who she was married to for 73 years.

It is certainly a momentous event in world history.

Let's bring in CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem, also CNN contributor, Trisha Goddard, host of "The Week with Trisha Goddard" and historian, Sarah Gristwood. She authored the book "Elizabeth: Queen and Crown."

Good to see all of you, ladies.'


WHITFIELD: All right, there is so much to cover here. I mean, Sarah, let's begin with tomorrow's funeral ceremonies. It will mark an end to an extraordinary life, one of duty and service to her country.

What are your thoughts on how she will be recognized and bid adieu tomorrow?


GRISTWOOD: I think we're seeing that the degree to which she was a player on the world stage and took her country with her.

I mean, the recognition that is coming in from individuals all around the world -- President Macron, President Biden -- and tomorrow, the ceremonies are historic and British, but the morning seems to be fairly global.

WHITFIELD: And then, Trisha, I mean, this has been an extraordinary, near 10 days, and we've seen tears, we've seen smiles. We've seen people come together, they're reflecting. How do you expect to see people reacting tomorrow?

TRISHA GODDARD, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think how we saw people react after the one minute silence will be indicative, because I think it's got to the point where people now are starting to celebrate Elizabeth's life.

Britain has been put center stage, you know, with all of these dignitaries coming in. It is, I think, Queen Elizabeth would have been really happy, really pleased that Britain has been elevated so much because of this. You know, everybody is looking towards Britain. It is a great opportunity for world leaders to get together to make a beeline for people and have, you know, quiet conversations.

Prince Charles has helped facilitate that, of course, with a meeting of 30 religious leaders that he brought together. I don't think and I think the new Prince of Wales said exactly the same thing.

I don't think even the Queen would have realized what a massive impact this has had. Not, just on her subjects, but on the world stage for bringing people together, especially after a really tough time.

WHITFIELD: Yes, and Trisha, I would love for you to elaborate on that, because I must say, I was confused when I heard the cheering after the moment of silence, and I just had to, you know, check my ears. I'm like, "Wait a minute, do I hear people celebrating?"

So, explain to me that kind of feeling of exuberance that was just released after that moment of silence?

GODDARD: I think, there are many sides of grief aren't there? And one of the signs grief. I mean, the Queen, let's be honest about this, the Queen had a beautiful death. I mean, we all have to meet our end. The fact that she was surrounded by loved ones, by families, who could plan how she could go, and look what she has done.

I mean, you know, all of those people cheering have pride in Britain again. It is very different from the States where everywhere you go in the States, you see, the stars and stripes. Brits aren't quite like that. We're always sort of slightly embarrassed to you know, to pick up the country.

I think, you know, I'm sure we do it to hide our lifetime through a bushel, and yet here is Britain center stage, everyone has come to Britain to pay homage to our Queen. So, I think that cheer is an absolute celebration for Britain, for the flag, and for the Queen having brought all of these people together.

WHITFIELD: Thank you for that. I get it now.

All right, Juliette, to you, I mean, tense --

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I was going to say, now for the buzzkill. Right?

WHITFIELD: Well, yes.

KAYYEM: I am the buzzkill now.

WHITFIELD: Well, yes, I know. It is kind of a downer. But it's the reality. Right? It's I mean, it is where we are every day all the time, you have huge throngs of people together. And of course, you know, there are security threats.

So how, you know, does the Metropolitan Police coordinate with say, this special detail of all these dignitaries that are in town? But at the same time, also protecting the Royals? I mean, everybody else of all walks of life. I mean, this is an unbelievable task.

KAYYEM: It's remarkable. I mean, look Operation London Bridge, the planning for the Queen's funeral and her death and notification also included security that has been around a couple of decades, it's been trained. I mean, this is a notice event. So, you have some good news out of this, and we know what's happening.

So, I was sort of thinking that we've got the four C's problem, and it's quite unique. You've got a city you have to protect, you have a crowd you have to protect, you have company and very VIP company you have to protect, including the President of the United States, and then you have the crown. You've got the four C's, and each of them require different security apparatus.

I think one of the solutions to this that you're seeing out of London and the Metropolitan Police is essentially shut it down. I mean, essentially, when we hold or plan major events, what we call mega events, think of Super Bowl or whatever else, even Olympics.

You try to minimize the security footprint because you want the rest of the city to go on. The only solution here given the uniqueness of what's happening is essentially you're trying to control as much activity near all of these different places.

You've got walking, you've got driving, you've got multiple threats -- you've got air threats, you you've got land threats, you've got vehicular threats. I mean the combination -- so the only real solution is what you're seeing, which is London is closed. People will come out, but they will be protected where there's no -- there is no pretense that the city is going to move on in any capacity, basically, starting from now until tomorrow.


WHITFIELD: Yes. It is colossal. It really is.

Sarah, I mean, clearly, the Queen meant so much to so many, and we heard from President Biden after he signed the condolence book, and that was very special. He talked about his respect for her service for country, but then also elaborated on how, you know, he felt like she was a lot like his mom.

You know, sometimes, you know, checking him and putting him in place, and that was really a cute little story.

But then I wonder, with all these dignitaries, what do you suppose they want their thoughts to be as they sign the condolence book as they express themselves?

GRISTWOOD: Well, I think, in many ways they want to be associated with the Queen, because she did come to stand for something far above, you know, the sovereign of one nation, one island.

I think there is a feeling that, you know, she really did represent this icon of global stability after these very changing times, very difficult times we've just gone through.

So, I think there is almost no one on earth who wouldn't want -- or no leader on earth who wouldn't want a little of that luster to rub up off her. And can I just say, the actual -- we've spoken about the security there, and the affection for her. The queue itself, this staggering up to 24-hour queue for ordinary people and celebrities to file past and view the Queen lying in state has itself become a very British phenomenon.

WHITFIELD: I mean, it is impressive. GRISTWOOD: Yes. And I gather, you can see it in space.

WHITFIELD: Trisha, the Royal family, they will be and have been on full display in the way they are honoring the Queen. And I wonder, you know, does her passing possibly shift public opinion, public perception of the Royal family of the cohesion, you know, of this coordination, or even of the King? I mean, I've never seen him smile so much in the way in which he has engaged with people.

I mean, clearly not happy that you know, his mom is gone, but it seems like it has opened up something for him where we are seeing a different Charles.

GODDARD: I couldn't agree more. He gets to create his own persona, his own role. And people keep asking, will he fill in the Queen's shoes. No, he won't. Because the Queen was a matriarch, a mother, a grandmother, you know, everyone first thinks of her like a mother figure.

Well, Charles isn't quite a father figure. We've seen a little bit of the English sort of touchiness with the depends, but yet, he could laugh about it. He could laugh about that, because apparently, somebody in the -- you know, he was shaking hands, and somebody actually handed him a pen and said, "Hey, you might need this."

And he could laugh at himself, which is great.

WHITFIELD: And not a leaky pen.

GODDARD: An unleaky pen, exactly. But on another point, here is the thing -- here is the thing, everybody in the Royal family has been busy, busy, busy, busy, busy. I mean, when you think of the sheer miles, the number of the people they've reached out to, they've all, to some extent, been able to park their grief.

I think after the funeral, it's going to be a very, very different thing. I mean, there has been some mention of Prince George, the Wales' nine-year-old going to the funeral. I don't know whether that has been decided or not.

Now, here is a nine year old boy, saying goodbye to his great grandmother who he loved and was very close to. But it's not just the nine-year-old boy is it?

I mean, what happens if you want to cry or suck your thumb or you lose it? You know that you've got the world press looking at you. You've got photographs that will be around forever.

And I think that's a really important point. Once the funeral is over, all of the -- everything that we've seen, the Royals will have time to actually feel the Queen's loss, rather than commiserate with other people.

They will be alone with their, "Oh, my gosh. She is not coming back." You know that moment when you want to, as Prince Andrew said, "Pick up the phone and talk to Mommy," and she's not there. WHITFIELD: Yes, there is the public grief.

GODDARD: And that's when things begin.

WHITFIELD: And then the private grief.


WHITFIELD: Right. Absolutely. I actually was talking to my team about this earlier before we went on you know, just talking about the difference, the complications for this very public, you know body of people they really cannot grieve out loud, but then behind closed doors, you know, once all of this is over, once the public display is over, I mean, the grief will be felt and conveyed in a different way, most certainly.


WHITFIELD: Juliette Kayyem, Trisha Goddard, and Sarah Gristwood, while this is a very somber occasion, it's also been very enlightening for me, and I know for a whole lot of people who have learned so much more and your voices have contributed to that greatly. Thank you so much.

KAYYEM: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: And we will be right back.



WHITFIELD: As Republican Governors continue sending asylum seekers elsewhere, New York City's Mayor says his city has received more than 11,000 asylum seekers since May and is reaching its breaking point.

CNN's Gloria Pazmino joining me live now from New York.

So Gloria, Mayor Adams called for all hands on deck to coordinate. What else did he say?

GLORIA PAZMINO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Fred, and he is asking the Federal government to step up and help. There is no sign that that is going to happen just yet, but Eric Adams has been critical of these Republican Governors for their failure to coordinate, for their failure to essentially give a heads up about what they're doing.

People have been arriving here in New York City almost on a daily basis. This morning, six buses arrived at Port Authority. Six buses arrived yesterday, nearly 300 people yesterday alone. This is becoming a daily occurrence here in New York City, in addition to other places like Martha's Vineyard, and in Washington, DC where we saw migrants being dropped off in front of the Vice President's home.

So really, it gives you an idea of the challenges that these cities are going to have ahead of them. They're going to have to provide shelter, healthcare, food, services for these migrants. And for now, local officials like Mayor Adams asking the Federal government to step up and help with that effort.

WHITFIELD: Gloria Pazmino, thank you so much.

All right, and this quick programming note in a new CNN Special Report, Jake Tapper goes one-on-one with key witnesses from the January 6 Committee's investigation. "American Coup" begins tonight at 9:00 PM.

We'll be right back.



WHITFIELD: All right, moments ago, we heard a tribute to the Queen's legacy from Camilla, Queen Consort, expressing how much she appreciated her sense of humor, her commitment to duty, and her smile.


CAMILLA, QUEEN CONSORT: She has been part of our lives forever. I'm 75 now and I can't remember anybody except the Queen being there.

It must have been so difficult for her being a solitary woman and there weren't women Prime Ministers or women Presidents, she was the only one, so I think she carved her own role.

She made a rule that she had her private time and her private passions and then her public role and I think that is very important that you know, the diary is planned out, so you know when you're on duty and when you've got to do things and then when she went up to Scotland in August, you know, that was the moment where it was her enjoyment.

Although, she was probably working, you know with her red boxes throughout, she could have her family to stay, she could do the things she loved.

Her real passion was racing. She was able to escape Sandringham. She had to stop next door, she could go every day see, her fouls, work out the next meetings for the year. I think she always kept that as, you know, her private pet.

You wouldn't dare question her or argue with her on how a horse is bred or how it ran because she would get a very steely blue eyed look back again.

I remember coming from here at Clarence House go to Windsor, the day I got married when I probably wasn't firing on all cylinders, quite nervous, and for some unknown reason, I put on a pair of shoes and one had an inch heel and one had a two-inch heel.

So I mean, talk about hop-along and there was nothing I could do, it is halfway down the car before I realized today she could see it, she laughed about it and I said, "Okay, I'm terribly sorry." She did -- the Queen actually had a good sense of humor.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II: This is something which is more unusual.

CAMILLA, QUEEN CONSORT: I've taken her to some of my charities and the Ebony Horse Club, to the Medical Detection Dogs, and she loved both of them. You know, it was real sort of genuine enjoyment.

She asked lots of questions and it was very nice to take her to things, which I knew she would enjoy.

She's got this wonderful blue eyes that when she smiles, you know they light up her whole face. I'll always remember that smile. That smile is unforgettable.




WHITFIELD: Breaking News: Hurricane Fiona making landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category One Hurricane. Right now, we know the entire island is without power as sustained wind speeds hit 85 miles an hour.

We'll take you live to Puerto Rico at the top of the hour.

And now with just over 50 days until the high stakes midterm elections, Republican Governor Brian Kemp and his Democratic rival Stacey Abrams are deadlocked in the race for Georgia Governor.

CNN national politics reporter Eva McKend joining us now from Sandy Springs, Georgia just outside of Atlanta.

So, Eva, what are these candidates doing to separate themselves in these final weeks?


Yes, Governor Kemp about to take the stage here at this movie theater in Sandy Springs. You know, in recent days, he has been telling Republican voters don't take your foot off the gas. He has essentially sort of conceded the Democrats have outworked Republicans in this State the last two election cycles, so really telling his voters don't take anything for granted.

Listen, on voters' minds, so many issues, whether it be inflation and the economy or the future of reproductive access in this country, but also healthcare and a related matter, Medicaid expansion. Democratic candidate, Stacey Abrams, really making that core to her election argument, arguing in favor of expanding Medicaid in the State, but Governor Kemp rejecting that.

Listen to how they both talk about this issue out on the trail. Oh, we actually are not getting that sound right now. [15:55:03]

MCKEND: Also of importance is the race for Senate, Raphael Warnock, the incumbent and also pastor of the famed Ebenezer Baptist Church. He is competing against his Republican rival, Herschel Walker, that is a closely watched race, because whoever wins that Senate contest, it could determine the balance of power in Washington.

Back to you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, lots at stake indeed. Eva McKend, thank you so much.

All right, and thank you for joining me today.

I'm Fredricka Whitfield. The CNN NEWSROOM continues with Jim Acosta, who has the latest on Hurricane Fiona right after this.