Wagner celebration held at Buckingham Palace
Getting a pop star to play at your birthday party is an old trick for multimillionaires these days - but few people could get an orchestra to entertain their guests.
However, as patron of the Philharmonia Orchestra, Prince Charles was presumably able to call in few favours, and celebrated his birthday with a Wagner concert at Buckingham Palace, with the event costing a cool $800,000 according to reports.
The Duke of Rothesay, as he is known in Scotland, arrives at Waverly Station on May 8, 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland (Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images)
According to a report in The Telegraph today, the bill for the event last week was paid for by Cyrus Vandrevala, an Indian private equity tycoon and philanthropist, and his wife, Priya.
Now mild temperatures threaten trek
Having faced polar storms, it is now mild conditions making for difficult skiing that is the latest threat to the South Pole trek that Harry is part of.
From right to left: Prince Harry, Kate Philp, Guy Disney, Richard Eyre, Ibrar Ali and Duncan Slater of Team UK in the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge expedition (2013 WWTW)
The teams of disabled servicemen and their celebrity mascots – Prince Harry, Dominic West and Alexander Skarsgard – finally arrived at the Antartic base of Novo yesterday, after being delayed by a polar storm, but dreadful conditions are still threatening the ambitious attempt to walk to the South Pole.
A coroner’s court in London heard that intern Mortiz Erhardt, who died after working for 72 hours straight, had an epileptic fit that may or may not have been triggered by fatigue.
Moritz Erhardt, the 21-year old Bank of America Merrill Lynch intern who fatally collapsed after working for 72 hours straight, died as a result of an epileptic fit that may have been triggered by stress and fatigue, a coroner's court in London heard today.
However, the coroner says he was also told by a pathologist that while fatigue could have been a trigger, there was no proof of this, and it was possible the seizure was something that “just happened.”
The coroner recorded a verdict of death by natural causes. According to UK paper The Mirror, the coroner said, "Unfortunately, although many people live with epilepsy and go on to live to old age, sometimes it still causes death very suddenly in this way and sometimes that happens even with a person as young and as fit as Moritz was…One of the triggers for epilepsy is exhaustion and it may be that because Moritz had been working so hard his fatigue was a trigger for the seizure that killed him.
"But that's only a possibility and I don't want his family to go away with the thought that it was something that Moritz did that causes his death…He was a young man living life to the full and he was clearly enjoying his time in London and, whilst it's possible that fatigue brought about the fatal seizure, it is also possible that it just happened. And it is something that does just happen."
Delayed trip to Antartica is finally underway
The good news is that Prince Harry is finally on his way to Antartica after the polar storm that had forced a delay on the teams attempting to trek to the South Pole abated.
David Cheskin, WPA Pool / Getty Images
The bad news is that the longer than expected stay in South Africa has completely messed up the acclimatization schedule, with South Africa a very pleasant 70F and the teams' starting point in Antarctica, a chilly -40F, according to Walking With The Wounded.
A spokesman for the charity said that while this "has not given the desired start for their acclimatization" the teams had "thoroughly enjoyed the additional time spent in Cape Town before embarking on this challenge" and had trekked up Table Mountain.
Queen comments that St Paul's looks 'quite small' from top of London's tallest building
The Queen asked to see the spot from where her son, Andrew, abseiled down the side of the UK's tallest biuilding, the Shard, in London this afternoon.
Dressed in a purple coat and hat, the Queen, accompaniedby her husband with whom she yesterday celebrated her 66th wedding anniversary, remarked that St Paul's Cathedral looked "quite small" as she walked around the 360 degree gallery, known as The View.
"It's interesting, the different views and how people can see their houses," she said.
Speaking after the royal visit, member of staff Mark Layden told teh Press Association: "I was stood by the telescope and she asked, 'are you going to show me Buckingham Palace?'
"She liked how much you can zoom in. She seemed quite interested in a plane flying past on its way to City airport as well."
Cornish villagers unwilling to accept that Prince Charles has the right to mine underneath their houses
Feudal times for villagers in Cornwall who woke up to find letters from the Duchy of Cornwall informing them that Prince Charles was restating a 600 year-old claim to the land beneath their houses, and telling them that he has the right to mine under their homes.
The Duchy says it has effectively owned the soil beneath the 130,000-acre estate since its creation in 1337 and is “simply registering its existing rights”, according to a report in the Telegraph today.
One problem - the residents of Stoke Climsland are no longer humble peasantry prepared to take this kind of nonsense lying down.
Kate maybe needs to get some weights stitched into her hemlines to protect her modesty.
I think we have mentioned previously that a princess needs to invest in some curtain weights to ensure no wardrobe malfunctions on windy days.
However, it is advice Kate Middleton clearly continues to ignore, and she experienced a new petticoat-flashing incident when she visited anti-bullying charity Place2Be in London today.
Kate was earing a smart dark blue Max Mara jacket, over an Orla Kiely dress with suede court shoes, a matching clutch bag and navy gloves.
Walking With The Wounded teams delayed due to bad weather at the pole
Prince Harry and his disabled army veteran team mates who are attempting to walk to the South Pole are "getting frustrated" as they are still stuck in Cape Town, with exceptionally bad weather in Antartica delaying their departure.
David Cheskin, WPA Pool / Getty Images
Expedition manager Victoria Nicholson said today that very strong winds and heavy snowfall meant visibility was down to about three meters at the Novo station on the edge of the pole.
Nicholson sent an audio update on behalf of all the teams in Cape Town, who have been held in South Africa a bit longer than planned due to bad weather conditions in Antarctica, and very strong winds that made it impossible to fly to Novo.
One of the most extraordinary marriages of modern times is 66 today
One of the most amazing marriages of modern times is 66 years old today - so congratulations to the Queen and Prince Philip, who were married in Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947.
Topical Press Agency/Getty
Philip - on whom the Queen remains utterly dependent - overcame an extraordinary childhood to become the longest serving British Royal consort, and first met the Queen when she was just 13.
He born Prince Philippos Prince of Greece and Denmark on the Greek Island of Corfu in 1921. Philip was mocked at prep school for having no surname, and only ever known as “Philip of Greece.” (He took the last name Mountbatten when he became a naturalized British citizen before marrying Elizabeth).
Philip’s father, Andrew, was the brother of the King of Greece, and his mother, Alice Battenberg, was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
In December 1922, Philip’s parents were compelled to leave Greece in a hurry after his uncle was deposed as king, and Philip, then only one year old, was smuggled out of the country in a crib made out of an orange crate.
Philip’s father subsequently spent most of the rest of his life living a playboy lifestyle in the south of France, but his mother was committed to a mental institution in Germany in 1930. Alice was “diagnosed” with a “neurotic-pre-psychotic libidinous condition” and on the recommendation of Sigmund Freud, was subjected to an exposure of the gonads to X-rays, in order to accelerate menopause.
Princess Elizabeth and Philip first met when they attended the wedding of Philip's cousin, Princess Marina of Greece to The Duke of Kent, who was an uncle of Princess Elizabeth, in 1934. Things stepped up a gear when he made a visit to Buckingham Palace in 1939. He was 18 and Elizabeth was 13. The future Queen’s governess described how, while they were playing with a clockwork railway, Philip came into the room—and everything changed.
“For a while they knelt side by side playing with the trains. He soon got bored with that,” Pricness Elizabeth’s governess said. “We had ginger crackers and lemonade in which he joined and then he said, ‘Let’s go to the tennis courts and have some real fun jumping over the nets!’ At the tennis courts I thought he showed off a little too much. Lilibet said, ‘How good he is! How high he can jump!’ He spent a lot of time teasing plump little Margaret.”
Later that evening, when Philip went for dinner with the King, Elizabeth had already been sent to bed, according to the nursery schedule.
Iconic BBC program in production for 50 years is honored by Sophie at Buckingham Palace
John Hurt was one of four actors to have played the iconic BBC character Doctor Who, who joined a special delegation to Buckingham Palace yesterday, where they were introduced to Sophie, Countess Of Wessex.
They were accompanied by a Dalek, as this picture shows.
Matt Smith, Tom Baker and Peter Davison were the other actors who visited Buckingham Palace as they prepare for the BBC show’s 50th anniversary special on Saturday.
The Duchess looks trim four months after George's birth.
Kate Middleton stepped out into a bright but chilly London morning wearing a modest Orla Kiely printed coat-style dress today.
Kate clearly has no intention of letting her reputation for thriftiness lapse, having previously worn the coat by the Irish designer on a trip to Oxford last year, after which it sold out in a matter of minutes.
If Prince George is keeping the new parents awake at night it didn't show, as they chatted to staff and children involved with the charity's work.
We always knew Kate wears the trousers, so no surprise that video gaming for William is out of the question
Prince Harry got into trouble when he compared killing enemy fighters to playing computer games, but his brother William is not allowed one of the gadgets.
William plays an in-development touchscreen game after having a go on the new PS4 (Getty Images) (WPA Pool)
For on a visit to the BAFTA headquarters in London today, he admitted that Kate would be likely to object if he were to acquire a new Playstation 4, which goes on sale on November 29 in Britain.
It's very addictive," he said, according to a report on the Daily Express, as he was given a sneak preview of the new gaming platform. "I'd like to get one but I'm not sure how my wife would feel about it."
Slice of cake makes tasty price
A piece of the royal wedding cake of Prince William and Kate Middleton has sold for $4,160 at a Beverley Hills auction.
It's not clear how the cake ended up on the block, but you can bet William and Kate won't be happy that someone apparently nicked a slice of cake from their wedding and kept it for two years.
A replica of the Royal Wedding cake on display at Buckingham Palace (JOHN STILLWELL)
Controversial human rights record of Sri Lanka escapes scrutiny
Prince Charles opened the annual Commonealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) conference in Sri Lanka today, and no-one was surprised that he sidestepped any reference to that country’s murky human rights record.
Instead he made Sri Lanka’s recovery from the Tsunami the theme, saying, “My last visit here, in 2005, came just weeks after the devastating tsunami had struck these shores. I visited communities affected by the disaster and met many of the relief workers who were doing so much to help rebuild broken lives and livelihoods. I recall my admiration for the fortitude shown by them all at that time and commend the progress that has been made since in healing those dreadful scars.”
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, however, made a combative speech on his country’s success in the battle against “30 years of terror” and the return of “peace” in the island and appealed for a constructive engagement in the Commonwealth on issues like economic growth and eradication of poverty.
Princess Anne waded into controversy today when she suggested there was no problem serving up horsemeat for dinner
We know they are a horsey family, what with Zara in the Olympic show jumping team and all, but this is taking things a bit far.
Princess Anne today suggested that more people should consider eating horse meat.
Insert your own horse meat joke here (Indigo)
Speaking at the World Horse Welfare Organisation annual meeting she made the comments when discussing the horse meat scandal which spread across Europe this year, when hundreds of beef products were found to be made with up to 100% horse meat.
The Queen's daughter said, "Our attitudes to the horse meat trade may have to change" adding that if those in the horse meat trade do indeed "value their horses and look after them well … should we be considering a real market for horse meat and would that reduce the number of welfare cases?"
"I think this need a debate," the Princess Royal said, "Arguably, our response to the horse meat scandal - the scandal was that it was food which was improperly marked, not that it had horse meat in it, and that if you had put the correct label on it and put it back on the shelves that would have been the correct answer for everybody, because we need to be more honest about what's happening."
Prince Harry’s girlfriend is the opposite of Kate Middleton in every way. Tom Sykes examines the evidence: a pair of Doc Martens, some dungarees, and that infamous scrunchie.