Prince Andrew Sued Over Alleged Sex Abuse

(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 03, 2019 Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York arrives for the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Bangkok on the sidelines of the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit. – Britain’s Prince Andrew was sued in a New York court on August 9, 2021 for alleged sexual abuse of a woman who says she was “lent out” for underage sex by late US financier Jeffrey Epstein. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

 

 

Queen Elizabeth II’s second son, Prince Andrew, was sued in a New York court on Monday for alleged sexual abuse of a woman who says she was “lent out” for underage sex by late US financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The filing at the US district court in Manhattan said Virginia Giuffre was the plaintiff in the case against the defendant, named as “Prince Andrew, Duke of York.”

Giuffre alleged in the filing that she “was regularly abused by Epstein and was lent out by Epstein to other powerful men for sexual purposes.

“One such powerful man… was the Defendant, Prince Andrew.”

According to the complaint, Giuffre said Andrew sexually abused her at the London home of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell more than 20 years ago, when she was under 18.

“Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew forced (the) Plaintiff, a child, to have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will,” it said.

Andrew, 61, has vehemently denied claims he had sex with Giuffre, and said he has no recollection of meeting her, but the allegations threaten to damage the British royal family.

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the lawsuit and a public relations company representing Andrew e-mailed a “no comment” response to AFP on Tuesday.

The allegations have dogged the British monarchy for years.

The centuries-old institution was also rocked in March by a US television interview in March involving the 95-year-old Queen’s grandson, Prince Harry, and his wife, Meghan.

The couple, who moved to California last year, raised allegations of racism and bullying in Britain’s most famous family, prompting denials from the palace and promises of an inquiry.

– Dropped from royal duties –
Andrew, a divorced father of two and former Royal Navy helicopter pilot who flew in the 1982 Falklands War against Argentina, was forced to step back from frontline royal duties in late 2019.

That followed a furore at a rare television interview he gave to the BBC, in which he defended his friendship with Epstein, a multi-million-dollar hedge fund manager.

Andrew — who as a young man was considered one of Britain’s most eligible bachelors and was dubbed “Randy Andy” in the tabloid press — later issued a statement in which he said he “unequivocally” regretted his “ill-judged association” with Epstein.

But he has made few public appearances since, although joined other senior royals for the funeral of his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at Windsor Castle in April.

Epstein, who befriended celebrities including former president Bill Clinton and Bill Gates, killed himself in jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking minors.

Giuffre, now 38, also claims Andrew abused her at Epstein’s New York mansion and on Little St. James, Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands.

She is suing Andrew under the Child Victims Act as she was 17 at the time.

The court papers included a photograph alleged to show Andrew and Giuffre at Maxwell’s London home before one incident of sexual abuse.

Maxwell in April pleaded not guilty in court to charges of recruiting underage girls for Epstein.

She allegedly befriended girls with shopping and movie theater outings, and later coaxed them into giving Epstein nude massages during which he would engage in sex acts.

Giuffre, who has previously made her claims in television interviews, is suing Andrew for “exemplary, and punitive damages.”

“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me. The powerful and the rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions,” she said in a media statement.

“I did not come to this decision lightly. As a mother and a wife, my family comes first. I know that this action will subject me to further attacks by Prince Andrew and his surrogates.”

Buckingham Palace Banned Hiring Ethnic Minorities For Office Roles, Papers Reveal

PHOTO USED TO ILLUSTRATE THE STORY: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II reads the Queen’s Speech on the Sovereign’s Throne in the House of Lords chamber during the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 11, 2021. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP)

 

Senior aides to Queen Elizabeth II barred the hiring of ethnic minorities – coloured immigrants or foreigners –  in office roles at Buckingham Palace until at least the late 1960s, a media report said Thursday.

The Queen and Britain’s royal household also negotiated an exemption from 1970s-era laws on race and sex discrimination that still exists today, The Guardian reported.

Citing historical papers it unearthed at the National Archives, the newspaper said that in 1968, the Queen’s chief financial manager told government officials of the hiring policy towards ethnic minorities.

“It was not, in fact, the practice to appoint coloured immigrants or foreigners” to clerical and other office posts, one document quoted the royal courtier as having stated.

“Coloured applicants” were considered only for “ordinary domestic posts”, it added.

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It is unclear when the policy ended, but Buckingham Palace has said its records show people from ethnic minority backgrounds being employed in the 1990s, The Guardian noted.

The palace added it did not keep records on the racial backgrounds of employees prior to that, according to the paper.

A palace spokeswoman said in a statement: “Claims based on a second-hand account of conversations from over 50 years ago should not be used to draw or infer conclusions about modern-day events or operations.”

She added the royal household complied with the provisions of the 2010 Equality Act “in principle and in practice”.

“Any complaints that might be raised under the Act follow a formal process that provides a means of hearing and remedying any complaint,” the spokeswoman said.

The revelations are the latest in an ongoing investigation by The Guardian into the royal family’s use of an arcane parliamentary procedure — known as Queen’s consent — to influence British legislation.

The official documents show senior aides to Britain’s longest-serving monarch coordinated with government officials on the wording of new racial and sexual equalities laws in the 1970s.

The exemption secured for the royal household meant a government board, rather than the courts, has since dealt with allegations of discrimination within the royal household.

The disclosures are likely to renew focus on allegations of historical and more recent racism with the British royal family.

In a bombshell interview earlier this year, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle revealed a family member had expressed concern about their expected child’s skin colour.

Shock at the claim prompted Prince William, second-in-line to the throne and Harry’s elder brother, to tell reporters in March that the family was “very much not” racist.

AFP

Queen Re-Emerges To Outline UK Govt’s New Agenda

Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R) wearing a face covering, stands with his mother Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in the House of Lords chamber, during the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 11, 2021, which is taking place with a reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday makes her first public appearance since the funeral of her late husband, Prince Philip, to open a new session of parliament and present her newly victorious government’s post-pandemic legislative agenda.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is riding high after the Conservatives’ triumph in last week’s local and regional elections in England, but faces new questions over the UK’s cohesion after pro-independence forces emerged on top in Scotland.

Johnson says his government, after overseeing a successful inoculation campaign against Covid-19, is intent on reopening the economy and “determined that we look forward and get on with fulfilling the promises we have made to the British people”.

Those promises centre on a “levelling up” agenda to bring economic opportunity to left-behind parts of the country, as Johnson exploits his vaccine-boosted popularity to make further inroads into opposition Labour party strongholds.

“Not only will we address the legacies of the pandemic, we will go further to unite and level up the country, fight crime and create opportunities up and down the country for businesses and families to build brighter futures,” he said.

The queen’s speech will set out the government’s plans for the year ahead, including completion of an environment bill to set legally binding emissions targets, as Britain prepares to host the UN’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November.

 

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales walk behind the Imperial State Crown as they process through the Royal Gallery, before the Queen’s Speech, during the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 11, 2021, which is taking place with a reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions. – The State Opening of Parliament is where Queen Elizabeth II performs her ceremonial duty of informing parliament about the government’s agenda for the coming year in a Queen’s Speech. (Photo by RICHARD POHLE / POOL / AFP)

 

– Row over refugees –
It is also expected to outline new measures against crime, and to deter asylum-seekers coming on boats across the Channel from France.

Tightening immigration rules and securing borders were vote-winning promises of Johnson’s campaign for leaving the European Union in Britain’s 2016 Brexit referendum.

But by differentiating between asylum-seekers who enter by legal channels and those who enter Britain from “safe” destinations like France, the government has provoked anger among refugee groups.

Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor, the UK representative for the UN refugee agency UNHCR, said the proposals could breach international law, and would be “expensive and hard to implement”.

“We can’t see them deterring movements of desperate people. And the human consequences will be real and harmful,” she commented ahead of the queen’s speech.

Johnson’s official spokesman insisted: “We abide by all laws.”

The government’s proposals “are about fairness and ending cruel treatment and things like people-smuggling across the Channel”, he told reporters.

 

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II reads the Queen’s Speech on the The Sovereign’s Throne in the socially distanced House of Lords chamber, during the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 11, 2021, which is taking place with a reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions. – The State Opening of Parliament is where Queen Elizabeth II performs her ceremonial duty of informing parliament about the government’s agenda for the coming year in a Queen’s Speech. (Photo by Eddie MULHOLLAND / POOL / AFP)

 

– Disunited kingdom –
Normally an annual event replete with five centuries of tradition and pageantry, the monarch’s state opening of parliament has been shorn back because of the pandemic.

Only a select few from the upper chamber House of Lords and lower House of Commons will be allowed to attend, to maintain social distancing, and those present will need to have tested negative for Covid.

The 95-year-old queen is expected to be attended by her 72-year-old son and heir, Prince Charles, as she returns to public duties three weeks after the Duke of Edinburgh was laid to rest.

Prince Philip regularly accompanied his wife to the state opening until he retired from public duties in 2017. He died last month, aged 99.

While the monarch’s role is to stay above the political fray, the very future of the United Kingdom could be at stake after the election results north of the border gave new impetus to the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP).

When Scots last voted on the question of quitting the UK in 2014, Queen Elizabeth issued a guarded remark for voters to “think very carefully about the future”.

They opted against independence then, and Johnson’s flat rejection of SNP demands for a fresh referendum threatens to open up a new constitutional crisis in the queen’s post-Brexit realm.

 

Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R) wearing a face covering, stands with his mother Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in the House of Lords chamber, during the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 11, 2021, which is taking place with a reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions. – The State Opening of Parliament is where Queen Elizabeth II performs her ceremonial duty of informing parliament about the government’s agenda for the coming year in a Queen’s Speech. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP)

 

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said on Sunday that it would be “absurd and completely outrageous” for the UK Supreme Court to have to step in and adjudicate on any referendum’s legality.

 

 

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II reads the Queen’s Speech on the Sovereign’s Throne in the House of Lords chamber during the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 11, 2021, which is taking place with a reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions. – The State Opening of Parliament is where Queen Elizabeth II performs her ceremonial duty of informing parliament about the government’s agenda for the coming year in a Queen’s Speech. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP)

Funeral Service Held For Queen Elizabeth II’s Husband, Prince Philip

Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (C) and Britain’s Princess Anne, Princess Royal, (R) lead the ceremonial funeral procession of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021.  (Photo by Alastair Grant / POOL / AFP)

 

Prince Philip began his final journey on Saturday, as his coffin was taken to his funeral, followed slowly by his grieving children and widow, Queen Elizabeth II.

The couple’s four children  — Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward — walked behind the coffin, borne on a modified Land Rover hearse, through the grounds of Windsor Castle to St George’s Chapel.

Accompanying them were his grandsons, princes William and Harry, and the Queen, who was in a Bentley car.

See photos below:

Queen Elizabeth II looks at the coffin of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during his funeral service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. (Photo by Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP)

 

Queen Elizabeth II takes her seat for the funeral service of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh inside St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. (Photo by Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP)

 

Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (L), Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York, (2R) and Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, (R) follow the coffin during the ceremonial funeral procession of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. – (Photo by Gareth Fuller / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex walk during the ceremonial funeral procession of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Fuller / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Queen Elizabeth II (L) watches as pallbearers carry the coffin of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during his funeral inside St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, (L-front), Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York, (L-centre) and Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (L-back) are seen during the ceremonial funeral procession of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. (Photo by LEON NEAL / POOL / AFP)

 

Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales walks behind the coffin of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during a ceremonial funeral procession to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. (Photo by HANNAH MCKAY / POOL / AFP)

 

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II arrives in the Royal Bentley at the funeral for her husband, Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021.  (Photo by LEON NEAL / POOL / AFP)

 

Members of the armed forces pay tribute to the coffin of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in the quadrangle ahead of the ceremonial funeral procession of to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / POOL / AFP)

 

Royal Marine bandsmen march into position at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021 ahead of the funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.  (Photo by Kirsty O’Connor / POOL / AFP)

 

Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales walks during the ceremonial funeral procession of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. (Photo by HANNAH MCKAY / POOL / AFP)

 

Military bandsmen march into position at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021 ahead of the funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. (Photo by Kirsty O’Connor / POOL / AFP)

 

The Royal family march behind the modified Land Rover Defender carrying the coffin of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during the ceremonial funeral procession to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021.  (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / POOL / AFP)

 

Military Bands march up the Long Walk to Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021 ahead of the funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.  (Photo by Kirsty O’Connor / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Prince Philip Leaves Hospital After A Month

Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh leaves King Edward VII’s Hospital in central London on March 16, 2021. – The 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II was in hospital with a heart condition. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

 

 

Queen Elizabeth II’s 99-year-old husband Prince Philip left a central London hospital on Tuesday, after four weeks of treatment that sparked fears for his health.

Buckingham Palace is yet to confirm his discharge from the private King Edward VII’s Hospital, where he has been recovering from what royal aides said was a “successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition”.

But the Duke of Edinburgh, as he is formally known, was seen sitting upright the back of a black BMW, wearing a white shirt as he left the hospital.

His month-long stay at King Edward VII’s Hospital and the state-run St Bartholomew’s, also in London, is his longest stint in hospital.

The duke was transferred to a specialist cardiac unit at St Bartholomew’s hospital for a heart procedure before returning to the private hospital on March 5.

He was first admitted on February 16 on the advice of his doctor after he complained of feeling unwell.

Buckingham Palace said initially that he was expected to stay there for a “few days” but stressed his illness was not related to Covid-19.

Later, the palace said he was being treated for an infection, without specifying further.

‘Not a racist family’

In 2011 Philip was taken to hospital by helicopter after suffering chest pains in the run-up to Christmas.

He was treated for a blocked coronary artery and had a stent fitted.

Concerns for Philip’s health had been high because of his age — he turns 100 in June — and came amid the build-up to a landmark interview given by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle accusing the royal family of racism.

The couple sat down with US television host Oprah Winfrey this month for the bombshell interview, in which the couple said they were asked by a member of the royal family what colour their son’s skin would be.

Buckingham Palace has pushed back against claims of racism in a statement by Queen Elizabeth saying “some recollections may vary”, over how her grandson and his mixed-race spouse were treated before they stepped back from royal duties.

Responding to questions from reporters about the interview, Harry’s brother Prince William told reporters: “We’re very much not a racist family”.

Ahead of the interview royal commentators said the timing with Philip in hospital was poor.

ITV, which aired the interview in Britain, said it would pull the interview if Philip’s health worsened in hospital but ultimately it broadcast the segment.

Queen ‘Saddened’, Takes Racism Claims ‘Seriously’ After Harry-Meghan Interview

FILES) In this file photo taken on June 21, 2017 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II attends the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Houses of Parliament in London on June 21, 2017. 
Carl Court / POOL / AFP

 

Queen Elizabeth II is saddened by the challenges faced by her grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, and takes their allegations of racism in the royal family seriously, Buckingham Palace said Tuesday.

“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,” the palace said in a statement released on the queen’s behalf.

“While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan, and Archie will always be much-loved family members.”

 

 Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have lifted the lid on life inside Britain’s royal family with an explosive interview that reverberated around the world. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

Prince Philip Moved From London Hospital To Undergo Heart Tests, Says Palace

Queen Elizabeth II’s 99-year-old husband Prince Philip on March 1, 2021, left the private London hospital where he had spent nearly two weeks to have heart tests and treatment at another hospital, Buckingham Palace said. Adrian DENNIS / POOL / AFP

 

 

Queen Elizabeth II’s 99-year-old husband Prince Philip on Monday left the private London hospital where he had spent nearly two weeks to have heart tests and treatment at another hospital, Buckingham Palace said.

Royal officials said the Duke of Edinburgh, as he is formally known, was taken from King Edward VII’s hospital to the state-run St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London.

Doctors there “will continue to treat him for an infection, as well as undertake testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition”, they added.

“The Duke remains comfortable and is responding to treatment but is expected to remain in hospital until at least the end of the week.”

Philip was admitted to King Edward VII’s hospital on February 16 as a “precautionary measure” and on the advice of his doctor, after feeling unwell.

People gather around an ambulance parked outside the rear entrance of King Edward VII’s Hospital in central London on March 1, 2021 where Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh has been staying after being admitted on February 16.
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

But the palace was quick to point out that his admission was not related to Covid-19, and later said he was being treated for an undisclosed infection.

He and the queen, 94, both had the first dose of a Covid vaccination on January 9 because of their age, which puts them in one of the most vulnerable categories.

An ambulance was seen leaving the King Edward VII’s hospital late morning on Monday, driving off past banks of photographers and camera crews.

But a police van — and tinted windows in the ambulance — blocked sight of who was inside the vehicle, which left from a rear entrance.

Umbrellas were also held up to conceal the gap between the ambulance and the hospital doors.

– Blocked artery –
Philip turns 100 on June 10 and his already lengthy stay in hospital has raised concerns because of his age, even though he was said to have been comfortable and responding to treatment.

His youngest son, Prince Edward, said last week his father was feeling “a lot better” and was looking forward to returning home.

He thanked members of the public for sending messages of support.

Last Monday, Philip’s grandson, Prince William, said the duke was “OK” and being closely monitored by medical staff.

Two days earlier, William’s father and Philip’s eldest son, heir-to-throne Prince Charles, visited him in hospital but made no comment afterwards.

Philip was able to walk into the hospital unaided when he first was first admitted and arrived using private transport, rather than an ambulance, a source said at the time.

The former naval officer was treated at the same hospital in August 2012 after a recurrence of a bladder infection that laid him low during the queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations.

The previous year, he had a stent fitted after suffering a blocked coronary artery.

St Bartholomew’s Hospital, near St Paul’s Cathedral, is internationally renowned and a centre of excellence for cardiac and cancer care.

Barts Heart Centre is Europe’s largest specialised cardiovascular service, according to the hospital’s website.

UK Billionaire And Daily Telegraph Owner David Barclay Is Dead

In this file photo taken on January 18, 2004 Sir David Barclay poses after receiving their knighthoods from the Queen at Buckingham Palace. MICHAEL STEPHENS / AFP FILES / AFP

 

David Barclay, the secretive British billionaire whose portfolio included The Daily Telegraph newspaper and The Ritz hotel, has died aged 86 after a short illness, his newspaper reported Wednesday.

Barclay and his twin Frederick, described by the daily as “identical in appearance, lifestyle and often even in dress”, built a vast business empire from shipping to retail.

“The Barclay brothers operated as one throughout their active business career while doing their utmost to avoid personal publicity and discourage media scrutiny,” the broadsheet added.

Among those paying tribute to David Barclay was a former employee, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who made his name on the newspaper as a Brussels-bashing Europe correspondent, and later a columnist.

“Farewell with respect and admiration to Sir David Barclay who rescued a great newspaper created many thousands of jobs across the UK and who believed passionately in the independence of this country and what it could achieve,” Johnson tweeted.

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The Barclay brothers entered the media industry in 1992 when they bought The European, a weekly newspaper launched two years earlier by the media magnate Robert Maxwell.

They later bought The Scotsman daily before finally realising their ambition of owning Conservative bastion The Daily Telegraph in 2004.

 

In this file photo taken on January 18, 2004 Sir David Barclay (L) and his twin brother Sir Frederick pose after receiving their knighthoods from the Queen at Buckingham Palace. MICHAEL STEPHENS / AFP FILES / AFP

 

The brothers, long advocates of small government and low taxes, were strong supporters of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, putting her up in their plush Ritz in London during her final days.

They were born into a large working-class Scottish family in London in 1934 and left school at 14 to pursue their joint business ambitions, making their names initially in the property market.

“They are very effective stealth buyers,” one financier told the Telegraph. “They come out of nowhere and move quickly.”

The brothers, based on the Channel Island of Sark, became embroiled in a rare public row last year over the sale of The Ritz to a brother-in-law of the ruler of Qatar, which ended up in court.

They were knighted in 2000, kneeling side by side before Queen Elizabeth II in the first double knighthood ceremony in the modern era.

David Barclay, who died on Sunday, was married twice and leaves behind four sons.

AFP

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip Receive COVID-19 Vaccine As UK Cases Surpass Three Million

A file photo of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
A file photo of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

 

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip received Covid-19 vaccinations on Saturday, Buckingham Palace said, as the country surpassed three million cases since the pandemic began last year.

A source told the domestic Press Association news agency that the 94-year-old queen and Philip, 99, were given the injections by a royal household doctor at Windsor Castle.

“The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have today received Covid-19 vaccinations,” a Buckingham Palace spokesman said, in a rare public comment on the private health matters of the long-serving monarch.

It is understood the queen decided the information should be made public to prevent inaccuracies and speculation.

No further details about the vaccinations were released.

The queen and Philip have spent much of the pandemic in self-isolation at Windsor because of their advanced age, and this year cancelled their traditional family Christmas at her Sandringham estate in eastern England.

More than 1.5 million people in Britain have so far received virus jabs, as the biggest immunisation programme in its history ramps up with priority given to the elderly, their carers and health workers.

The country, which has so far begun administering two types of approved vaccines, is racing to inoculate as many people as possible as a coronavirus variant pushes infections and deaths to unprecedented levels.

Britain on Saturday passed the grim milestone of three million cases during the pandemic, after the government announced another 59,937 new cases.

It also recorded another 1,035 fatalities from the virus, taking the total death toll to 80,868, one of the highest in Europe alongside Italy.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed a third stay-at-home order at the start of the week as cases continue to spiral since Christmas.

Medical chiefs are racing to boost treatment capacity as hospitals risked being overwhelmed, while the government steps up its mass inoculation campaign.

It is banking on the rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines to halt the spread of the virus.

UK regulators also this week approved US firm Moderna’s Covid vaccine — the third to be authorised for use across the country.

The government aims to have inoculated 15 million of the most vulnerable groups, including frontline NHS staff, by mid-February, and has deployed the armed forces to help with the rollout.

 

AFP

Barbados To Remove Queen Elizabeth II As Head Of State

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II attends the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London on March 11, 2019.  Richard Pohle / POOL / AFP

Barbados has announced its intention to remove Queen Elizabeth II as head of state and become a republic by November next year, as the Caribbean island nation seeks to move fully beyond its colonial past.

The decision was formalized in the so-called Throne Speech, delivered on behalf of Prime Minister Mia Mottley by the island’s Governor-General Sandra Mason to mark the state opening of parliament on Tuesday.

More than half a century after attaining independence from Britain, “the time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind,” Mason said.

“Barbadians want a Barbadian Head of State,” she said. “This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving.”

Mason said “Barbados will take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a Republic by the time we celebrate our 55th Anniversary of Independence” — which will be marked on November 30, 2021.

When asked about the speech, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “This is a matter for the government and people of Barbados.”

Queen Elizabeth is head of state of the United Kingdom and 15 other formerly-British ruled countries, where she is represented by the governor-general.

They are: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

Many Barbadians have called in the past for removing the queen’s status — due to its lingering imperialist associations — and several of the island’s leaders have advocated becoming a republic.

A government-appointed commission concluded in 1998 that Barbados should become a republic with a non-executive president as head of state to replace the queen — but the recommendation was not acted upon.

Mason cited a warning by the country’s first prime minister, Errol Walton Barrow, who had cautioned against “loitering on colonial premises” — saying: “That warning is as relevant today as it was in 1966.”

“Having attained Independence over half a century ago, our country can be in no doubt about its capacity for self-governance,” she said.

A number of nations have removed the queen’s status as head of state since achieving independence, while remaining part of the 54-member Commonwealth, with Mauritius the last to become a republic, in 1992.

During Queen Elizabeth’s reign, eight referendums have been held on becoming a republic, of which three passed: Ghana (1960), South Africa (1960) and The Gambia (1970).

Barbados is sometimes called “Little England” for its loyalty to British customs.

The move by Barbados comes as the historic role of the British empire comes under renewed scrutiny, as part of a global reckoning on race relations and the colonial past fuelled by mass anti-racism protests in the United States.

AFP

Queen Marks Official Birthday With Scaled-Back Parade At Windsor

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II attends a ceremony to mark her official birthday at Windsor Castle in Windsor, southeast England on June 13, 2020, as Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 94th birthday this year. (Photo by Paul Edwards / POOL / AFP)

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her official birthday on Saturday in subdued style, with a scaled-down version of the traditional “Trooping the Colour” ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The 94-year-old monarch watched a smaller military parade in the grounds of Windsor Castle, where she has been staying during the COVID-19 outbreak, in her first official public appearance since the country’s virus lockdown began in late March.

It was the first time the castle, west of London, has staged an event to mark a sovereign’s official birthday since 1895, when a ceremony was held in honour of Queen Victoria.

The parade featured soldiers from the Welsh Guards, who observed government virus guidelines to keep at least two metres apart, in a ceremony dubbed “mini-Trooping”.

Members of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards take part in a ceremony to mark her official birthday at Windsor Castle in Windsor, southeast England on June 13, 2020, as Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 94th birthday this year. (Photo by Paul Edwards / POOL / AFP)

The annual “Trooping” event, which normally features hundreds of servicemen and women from Britain’s most prestigious regiments for a centuries-old spectacle of military pomp and pageantry in front of thousands of spectators, was cancelled because of the health crisis.

Britain has been among the worst-hit countries in the world by COVID-19, with the number of suspected and confirmed deaths passing the grim milestone of 50,000 this week.

The Queen observed Saturday’s pared-back ceremony in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle from a dais and was given the royal salute by the troops.

Despite isolating at the castle for the last three months, the elderly monarch has tried to remain visible, making a rare televised address to the nation in April and her debut on a digital platform this week in a video conference call.

She celebrated her actual 94th birthday on April 21 without the traditional gun salute, due to the health crisis.

The double birthday tradition was started by King George II in 1748, who wanted to have a summer celebration as his own birthday was October 30.

-AFP

Queen Elizabeth II Marks 94th Birthday With No Fanfare

(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 26, 2019 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II visits the new headquarters of the Royal Philatelic society in London. Tolga Akmen / POOL / AFP.

 

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 94th birthday on Tuesday, but the traditional gun salute was called off this year because of the coronavirus crisis.

The monarch was said to be marking the occasion with her 98-year-old husband, Prince Philip, at Windsor Castle, west of London.

The couple, whose age puts them in a high-risk category for COVID-19, have been following the government’s lockdown orders and maintaining social distancing rules during the pandemic.

Other senior royals have been housebound at their residences around Britain, so publicly wished the queen a happy birthday on social media instead.

“Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a very Happy 94th Birthday,” her son and heir to the throne Prince Charles and his wife Camilla posted on Twitter alongside a selection of photographs of his mother through the decades.

Buckingham Palace said on Saturday that the queen would not celebrate her birthday with a traditional gun salute given Britain’s struggles to contain COVID-19.

The country is among the worst-hit in the world by the virus, registering nearly 17,000 deaths in hospitals and almost 125,000 cases to date.

“Her Majesty was keen that no special measures were put in place to allow gun salutes as she did not feel it appropriate in the current circumstances,” the palace said.

The monarch made a rare national address at Easter, urging a collective response to the outbreak.

AFP