Palace tries to play down concern over Duke's health
Buckingham Palace tried today to play down fears about the Duke of Edinburgh’s health, telling the Daily Beast that the operation for ‘abdominal investigations’ taking place today "was planned" and that the duke is otherwise in "good health". However, they reiterated earlier guidance that the Duke faces a long hospital stay, and is expected to stay in hospital for up to two weeks.
The Duke, who turns 92 on Sunday, attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace for 8,000 people yesterday afternoon and was said to be on good form.
The abdominal surgery follows tests last week.
Meanwhile, the Queen put a cheerful face on the first of what is likely to be many solo engagements following her husband’s hospitalization, when she visited the new HQ of the BBC in central London, walking through the newsroom and at one stage appearing somewhat bizarrely in the background of the studio shot.
92-year-old consort admitted to hospital for "exploratory operation".
Prince Philip has been dramatically admitted to the London Clinic for what is being described as an “exploratory operation” on his abdomen, and he is expected to remain in hospital for two weeks, Buckingham Palace said tonight.
Prince Philip attends a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London on June 6, 2013. (Pool photo by Matt Dunham)
The admission to hospital for an unspecified operation to be carried out tomorrow under general anaesthetic comes after the Duke looked unwell at a coronation commemoration ceremony, on Tuesday, and missed several engagements.
Various news outlets in the UK are now claiming that the reason that Philip missed events earlier this week was because he had lost his voice as a result of having endoscopic scans, which have now resulted in this admission.
The controversial movie wil premiere in London in September.
A film about the last few years of Princess Diana's life, including the story of her affair with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, will be released on September 5, just days after the 16th anniversary of Diana's death.
Diana, which stars Naomi Watts in the eponymous starring role, will launch with a premiere in central London.
Naomi Watts channels her inner royal princess as she films scenes for “Diana” at a community center in Hemel, England, on August 8, 2012. (FlynetUK)
"Diana" - the film was originally title 'Caught in Flight' - focuses on the last two years of the Princesses life, and, in particular, her affair with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan. In many ways they were the most 'showbiz' years of her life, as, freed from royal protocol by her divorce to Charles, she went out of her way to promote herself in the service of her charitable endeavors, particularly the anti-landmine campaign.
Charles announces initiative to support wildflower meadows in UK
Prince Charles’s devotion to the rural landscape is long-established and well-documented, so a welcome but unsurprising development today as the heir to the throne announced the Coronation Meadows Initiative, which aims to re-establish wildflower meadows across Britain.
Since the advent of intensive farming in the 1930s, it is estimated that up to 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost, with native British speciae of flora and fauna suffering huge decreases in their populations as a result.
Chris Jackson / Getty Images
Speaking in the bucolic setting of a wildflower meadow at Highgrove, his country home, Charles told a reporter from the Daily Express: “As the Diamond Jubilee last year provided a wonderful opportunity to plant Jubilee woods and avenues and things like that, I suddenly thought why don’t we use the Coronation anniversary this year as an excuse to do the same things with wildflower meadows.”
Pippa has a new gig - as contributing editor of Vanity Fair
So, now we know why Pippa Middleton was setting up her own company.
For the sister of the future Queen of England has landed a fancy pants new job as a Vanity Fair contributing editor.
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, right, speaks with her sister Pippa Middleton as they arrive to watch Roger Federer of Switzerland face Andy Murray of Britain during the men's final match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Sunday, July 8, 2012. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
A few highlights of her first editorial for the glossy are available online at VF.com, in which the 29-year-old sister of the Duchess of Cambridge reminisces about her most memorable experiences at Wimbledon, the British tennis tournament synonymous with the English summer which starts at the end of June.
Paul Flattley sold stories to the paper for over three years
A corrupt copper who raked in over $10,000 selling stories to the Sun in three years offered to check with his boss to see if rumours that Kate Middleton and Prince William were engaged were true.
His former sergeant was Kate’s protection officer.
Paul Flattley also tipped off the newspaper about a theft from Zara Phillips’s car. He was jailed for two years in March but the details were only today made public, in The Telegraph, after reporting restrictions on the case were lifted.
In 2010, just weeks before the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced their engagement, the newspaper asked him if he could help verify a rumour that the then Prince William was about to propose.
He texted a Sun reporter to say he would “get one of our lads to do a few passes by her place” that day to “see if there were any extra Old Bill on duty”.
Prince Philip Turns 92 on Monday
Despite the BBC patriotically insisting that Prince Philip looked spry at yesterday's coronation commemoration ceremony, the Royalist thought that the patriarch of the House of Windsor, who turns 92 on Monday, undoubtedly looked unwell.
Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, arrives at Westminster Abbey in London (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty)
There was clear concern etched on the faces of the Queen and other members of the family as well.
And the specualtion that Philip's health may be failing faster then the palace is letting on intensified after it was revealed he passed on yesterday's evening celebrations, and had missed several engagements in the days before the service.
Tradition dictates that the monarch does not fundraise, which could leave Charles's charities with a future funding problem
Charities which rely on Prince Charles, who regularly appeals for funds and attends gala dinners to raise money for his charities, could face a sever funding crisis when he accedes to the throne, as traditionally the monarch does not actively raise funds for any individual institution, meaning many of the Prince's charities will no longer be able to rely on his patronage for their income when he becomes King.
LEON NEAL / AFP / Getty Images
He will also lose the massive income from the lands held by the Duchy of Cornwall, which currently provide some of their funding.
In recent years Prince Charles has helped raise more than £100 million a year to support a series of charitable interests, which range from running a drawing school in east London to making British farming more sustainable.
RTE correspondent Philip Boucher-Hayes has been following the twisted exploits of Mark Townley for years
The baffling tale of Ashraf Islam, aka Northern Irish Mark Townley, the Islamic convert who walked into a London police station, announced he wanted to kill Prince Harry and was then arrested made the ehadlines this weekend, but Philip Boucher-Hayes, one of the Irish public broadcaster RTE's top correspondents, has the story behind the story on his wordpress blog today.
Boucher-Hayes writes: "He was born Mark Townley, but has at various points either changed his name by deed poll or re-fashioned himself as Antonio Mandez, or Marx or others that I don’t know about, and Ashraf Islam is merely the latest in a long line of aliases. I have been following his scrapes with the law and the complaints of his victims periodically since 2007. If you are interested in what he has got up to and what kind of a person he is you can listen to a detailed interview he gave me in November 2012 here. You can listen just like any visitor to my timeline can listen. You could listen and put those facts together with the rather underwhelming circumstances of Ashraf Islam’s arrest and arrive at the conclusion that this man is anything other than a Jihadi.
"He is a sociopathic, egomaniacal monster who has left untold financial and emotional damage in his wake. He is a narcissistic rogue who is utterly convinced of his own brilliance and superiority to those around him. He is in short a nasty piece of work but he is no Jihadi. How could he be when he is utterly incapable of surrendering his life to anything other than the pursuit of his own comfort and happiness."
Boucher-Hayes is as mystified as everyone else as to why Townley has perpetrated this latest hoax, but he has some theories.
Service held to mark 60 years since coronation
Noon update: Well, that brings todays event to a close. The young royals are doing a bit of hanging out in the sunshine, but The Queen and Philip have hightailed it back to the palace. Hope Philip's OK.
11:44 Update: All the focus should be on the Queen at today's ceremony, but it's hard to keep one's attention off Prince Philip. Put simply, the 91-year-old consort of the monarch is not looking well.
He pulled out of a palace reception with the Queen at the last minute last night after falling unwell. No details of his illness were given.
One senior source told The London Evening Standard: “He was feeling under the weather last night and didn’t want to take any chances.
Even the hardest-working princesses need nesting time
Maternity leave is something princesses need too, as you can't exactly be forced to keep up the arduous business of cutting ribbons in your tenth month. And imagine if your waters broke as you visited a children's charity? It just wouldn't do.
Kate arrives for an official visit to Naomi House near Winchester, England on April 29, 2013. (Alastair Grant/AP)
Kate, 31, has one final engagement on June 13 before she disappears from public view, increasing speculation that her due date is July 13.
The Royal Marines Band and the pipers of the Irish Guards will perform as she christens Princess Cruises’ 3,600-passenger Royal Princess in Southampton before taking maternity leave, according to a report in yesterday's Sunday Mirror.
Muslim convert walks into police station and says he wants to kill Harry
A man has pleaded guilty to threatening to kill Prince Harry, police confirmed over the weekend.
Ashraf Islam, a 30-year-old homeless man who converted to Islam after a spell in prison which also saw him change his name from Mark Townley, was arrested after walking into a London police station where he allegedly threatened to kill the Prince, the day after Drummer Lee Rigby was hacked to death on the streets of Woolwich.
Mr Islam, of no fixed abode, was charged under Section 16 of the Offences Against the Person Act. He pleaded guilty at Uxbridge Magistrates Court and is due to be sentenced.
Counter-terrorism officers launched an inquiry following the incident at Hounslow police station in south-west London but did not charge Mr Islam with terrorism offences, the Metropolitan Police said.
Monarch chose not to publicly acknowledge killing
The Queen fulfilled a long-standing engagement to visit Woolwich Barracks, near the site of last week's shocking murder of a British soldier, but the Monarch chose to avoid controversy by not publicly mentioning the killing or stopping to view the wall of flowers which have been left in tribute to soldier Lee Rigby.
Queen Elizabeth II is greeted by crowds of wellwishers as she arrives in Woolwich (CHRIS HARRIS / AFP / Getty Images)
The palace did, however, let it be known that she would be meeting privately with soldiers who responded to the attack and those who worked with Drummer Rigby.
The Queen wore a pale green dress with a matching coat and was greeted by cheering crowds waving union jacks.
Artist Jeremy Deller agrees to remove banner to avoid endangering British troops
Correction: A rep for the artist has contacted the Royalist to make the following point:
"The decision to remove the banner was made over two months before, and so it never made it to Venice."
My orignal story....
A banner at the Venice Biennale reading, "Prince Harry Kills Me" has been removed on the grounds it could act as a provocation for attacks on British servicemen. The banner was part of artist Jeremy Deller's work at the British pavilion and has been removed at the request of the British Council.
Pippa has set up a limited company, called PXM
Her book telling us how to Celebrate may have been panned, but the work is still rolling in for Pippa Middleton (she was recently hired to write a high-profile food column for the supermarket Waitrose). So no surprise that the sister of the future Queen of England has quietly set up her first company this week, using the same firm of accountants as celebrities including Kate Bush and Simon Cowell.
Clive Brunskill / Getty Images
According to a (paywalled) report in The Times this morning, Pippa is named as sole director and shareholder of PXM Enterprises, a limited company with a London address.
It is possible that the company has been created as part of plans by the Middleton family to extend its party supplies business, Party Pieces, into America, with recent talk of a new HQ in New York. According to a report this week, the business is booming in America.
Sixty years and hardly a slip.