World News

London crisis: Sadiq Khan accused of ‘refusing to lift a finger’ as Boris ‘takes control’

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Mr Bailey accused current London mayor Sadiq Khan of “refusing to lift a finger” to sort out the problem of “leaving residents without a safe, reliable river crossing”. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph he added: “It’s not the Government’s job to look after London’s bridges. Funnily enough, that responsibility lies with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

“I asked the Government to step in and take control of restoring the bridge.

“While I’m glad they followed my advice, I’m keeping the pressure on for a temporary road bridge.

“If a temporary road bridge hasn’t been delivered by May next year, I’ll make it my priority as Mayor to build a temporary road bridge and get London moving.”

The news comes as last weekend children had to go on long detours to get to school because the bridge was closed.

Mr Bailey said the total cost of the bridge design that he is proposing will cost £10million.

This is a fraction of the £53million that Mr Johnson spent on his garden bridge across the Thames that was never built.

Mr Johnson’s scheme was cancelled by current Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan in 2017.

Mr Bailey has dubbed his bridge design “Bailey’s Bridge”.

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He is now challenging Mr Khan for letting the current 133-year-old Hammersmith Bridge fall into disrepair.

Last week Government ministers have started the procurement process for a ferry service that will be a replacement for the currently closed bridge.

Now Transport for London is seeking an operator to manage this ferry service.

Transport for London has said they have discarded plans for a temporary road bridge.

This road bridge could be built “for £7million in three months on the grounds of cost, timescale, and feasibility”.

A spokesman for Mayor of London Sadiq Khan rebuked the criticism, but agreed it was right that ministers had stepped in to bail out the bridge repairs.

A spokesman said: “The Mayor and Transport for London will continue working closely with the bridge owners Hammersmith and Fulham Council and the government to find an urgent solution, but it’s time for ministers to put their money where their mouth is.”

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World War 2 mystery: Roosevelt’s car lurks in ‘Titanic’ shipwreck off Icelandic coast

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The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous campaign of World War 2, as it spanned the full six-year conflict. Nazi Germany dominated western Europe throughout much of the war, as Britain stood alone in opposition to Adolf Hitler after the fall of France. The German war machine seemed unstoppable after Dunkirk, when British forces were heroically rescued from the beaches of northern France.

Hitler assumed Britain would lobby for peace ‒ but Sir Winston Churchill was having none of it, vowing to “never surrender”.

After the RAF defiantly fought off the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain, the war changed dynamic slightly as Hitler attempted to strangle UK supplies by cutting off the Atlantic. 

German U-Boats flooded the English Channel and wreaked havoc ‒ sinking military and merchant vessels at will, regardless of whether or not civilians were on board.

This only got worse after Operation Barbarossa ‒ the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1942 ‒ as the Allies desperately tried to send supplies to Russia.

German U-Boats, knowing full-well that ships in these waters were sending supplies to Moscow from London and Washington, desperately and very effectively picked them off.

Iceland, then, became a key checkpoint during the war, as its strategic position was vital for any vessel making the journey east. 

Hitler was all too aware and directed his U-Boats, often stationed in Nazi-occupied Norway, to target vessels coming in and out of Reykjavik. 

One such vessel was the SS Godafoss ‒ carrying cargo and civilians from New York.

It was sunk on November 10, 1944, as the net closed in on Nazi Germany with the Soviets advancing in the east and the Allies advancing in the west after the D-Day landings.

The Godafoss was hit by a German U-Boat torpedo and sank in seven minutes. Everyone on board was killed. 

Also on board was a car that has now become the talk of legend, intended to be a gift from US President Franklin D Roosevelt to the President of Iceland, Sveinn Björnsson.

The car, which is undoubtedly priceless, was said to be a thing of beauty and even boasted a golden wheel. 

Speaking on the History Hit World Wars podcast, presenter James Rogers was joined by Icelandic film producer Jon Arsaell. 

Addressing the Godafoss, Mr Rogers asked: “Is it perhaps right to say this is Iceland’s Titanic or Iceland’s Lusitania? How has it gone down in Icelandic memory?”

Mr Arsaell replied: “Yeah, that’s a good point. It’s our Titanic accident, somehow.

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“There are books written about it. I did a television programme on it a few years ago and people are also eager to find the shipwreck.

“There have been many, many attempts to find the Godafoss on the bottom of the sea.

“Because this is our Titanic, so to speak, but also it was full of valuable things.”

Mr Arsaell then detailed what was on board the lost ship.

He added: “Among the cargo was a car that was a gift from the US President to the Icelandic President ‒ a beautiful car, it had a golden wheel.

“A lot of people are interested in finding the car and also there was a lot of copper on board the ship so the cargo was valuable.

“There was also a lot of whisky ‒ many people are interested in the liquor that was on board. 

“Now it’s 75-year-old whisky!”

Mr Rogers concluded: “Wow! So the history of the Godafoss might not be over yet, especially with treasure hunters across the world looking for lucrative bounties.”

However, Mr Arsaell had a word of warning for any would-be treasure hunters.

He said: “I took part in trips trying to find the wreckage because that was part of the film I was doing.

“We searched and searched with the newest equipment but we didn’t find anything.

“The current is hard where the ship went down and another problem is that it isn’t very deep ‒ it’s something like 40 or 50 metres deep.

“So the wind, the waves and the current are enemies in that way.” 

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William and Kate’s ‘brief’ Frogmore meeting with Harry and Meghan after family rift

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Harry and Meghan have said they “are delighted” to be able to “open up” Frogmore Cottage to Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank. On the Windsor Estate, the Berkshire house was the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s main home before they stepped down as working members of the Royal Family in March. Eugenie moving in has been seen by some royal watchers as a sign that Harry and Meghan may be planning to spend even less time in the UK than was previously thought. 

But their office insists it is still Harry and Meghan’s main UK residence ‒ despite them making no visit since moving to California. 

Frogmore was the scene of a reconciliatory meeting between the Sussex household and the Cambridge household, too.

Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge visited the property in Easter 2019 where they “chatted over a cup of tea”.

The visit was “brief, just 35 minutes, but it was the beginning of the couples’ coming together and putting things behind them”, according to Finding Freedom ‒ a sympathetic biography of Harry and Meghan written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand. 

The authors ‒ famously close with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ‒ claim this came after months of tension between the two families, particularly William and Harry. 

The rift is said to have started when Harry took offence at William urging him to slow down his relationship with the former US actress, referring to her as “this girl” before Harry had proposed to the future Duchess. 

Harry was unhappy at the “tone of snobbishness” that was “anathema to his approach to the world” and this bitterness between the two brothers persisted for months after Harry wed Meghan in May 2018.

But by April 2019 their relationship was beginning to thaw again, particularly after William openly supported his brother and his household in public.

Mr Scobie and Ms Durrand write: “[Harry] decided to put the past behind him and appreciate the efforts his brother had made.

“They were a family, and that was not a bond worth breaking.”

As the brothers made amends, William reportedly said: “You know what? Me and my brother, for the first time in two months, have had a really lovely conversation together.”

A Buckingham Palace aide added: “To see them warm with each other was delightful.”

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It was in the spirit of this good-will that Kate and William visited Frogmore.

Mr Scobie and Ms Durrand conclude: “Before William and Kate left, Harry excitedly showed them around the house, as it was their first time visiting Frogmore Cottage since the renovation.” 

Sadly, just months after this apparent lull in the ill-feeling between the Sussexes and the Cambridges came to an end. 

When Meghan and Harry toured southern Africa in September 2019, the Duchess opened up about the mental health struggles she had been going through as a member of the Firm.

And Harry admitted in an interview with ITV’s Tom Bradby that he and William were on “different paths”.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex then spent the Christmas period in Canada and announced their decision to step back from royal duties in January 2020.

At the subsequent Sandringham Summit, where much of their post-royal fate was decided, William is said to have been so angry with his brother that he refused to sit down for lunch with him.

While the Sussexes are not expected to return to the UK very often, they will still stay at Frogmore Cottage when they do.

Following reports they had “moved out”, their office insisted that they would “share the property” with Eugenie and Jack “when they travel to the UK”.

Frogmore Cottage was made into one home from five separate housing units.

It became a controversial topic after £2.4million of taxpayers’ money was spent on its refurbishment.

Following their departure from the UK, Harry and Meghan came to an agreement with Palace accountants and have now returned the money.

Sources close to Harry and Meghan have confirmed that they will “retain financial responsibility” for the property.

It’s not known what contribution Eugenie and Jack will make towards the rent payments and bills.

The move comes after the couple announced they are expecting their first child together. 

It will be the Queen’s ninth great-grandchild.

‘Finding Freedom’ was written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand and published by HQ in 2020. It is available here.

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Devon fishing boat sinks: Coastguards rush to save missing crew from Brixham

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One man was found clinging to a lifebuoy in the water by coastguard officials. 

The search is on, however, for two fellow crew members who are still missing off the coast of Newhaven. 

Coastguard officials received an alert at 6am this morning from the emergency beacon on the vessel. 

More to follow…

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World News

Christmas lockdown: Will we have THIRD lockdown after Christmas break?

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Christmas is a great chance to spend time with your loved ones – but this year many of us may have more muted celebrations to avoid the risk of potentially passing on a deadly disease to our nearest and dearest. With England’s lockdown expected to lift on December 2, Brits up and down the country are eagerly awaiting news from the Government about what we’ll be allowed – or not allowed – to do this Christmas. And it’s being suggested families could be allowed to join a temporary bubble to meet up over the festive period.

Potentially up to three households could be allowed to create a temporary ‘bubble’ to allow families to spend up to seven days together.

Sources say the plans are expected to be announced next week and will see households able to mix from December 22 and 28.

Church services will be able to go ahead as well, with restrictions currently only allowing religious buildings to remain open for private prayer only expected to be lifted allowing Christmas Day services to be held.

The hospitality sector will be able to open up again in this time, in a much need boost to the British economy.

But this lifting of restrictions may come at a price, it has been warned.

Public Health England (PHE) suggested that for every one day of relaxed restrictions, the UK would need an extra five days of tighter rules.

So if these plans to cancel the rules between December 22 and 28 come to fruition, this could mean more than a month of tighter regulations – 35 days in fact.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s team have stressed he is adamant he will find a way to ensure people can celebrate Christmas this year.

Any u-turn on his pledges will likely be met with anger from some on Mr Johnson’s back bench, who have warned they will not support any further “draconian” lockdown extensions.

And if the Prime Minister is unable to count on his own party, he may have to rely on Labour to get any restrictions through Parliament – a move he may be loathed to make.

The PM will have a tough decision on his hands – and one to be made without the advice of his closest advisors Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain – if the scientific advisors indicate a relaxing of the rules could have a deadly cost.

So far Mr Johnson has been seen to disregard the advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) when they ordered a return to lockdown restrictions earlier this year – only to later admit a circuit breaker was needed.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer for England, said there was “no magic number” about how many days this “would cost us”.

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But he added it was important people complied with whatever rules were in place if coronavirus infection rates were to be held down.

A source said: “These are really difficult decisions, and no one wants to say we shouldn’t celebrate at Christmas.

“We all get that, but in some ways they’re making it so much worse by being so bullish about the subject.

“It’s almost as if everyone is expected to do something risky at Christmas to make up for the dreadful year we’ve had.

“It’s all presented as so black and white, as if you either do Christmas or you don’t. But there are ways you can do Christmas that minimise risk.”

The Prime Minister’s dilemma comes as the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers today warned she expects lockdown restrictions to be in place into the new year to get us through the “hump of winter-meets-coronavirus”.

Saffron Cordery told BBC Breakfast the NHS workforce was now “incredibly tired” and that the main priority for hospital chiefs “is to look after their staff so they can look after patients effectively.”

She said: “There’s this huge hope (of a vaccine) among staff and among the general public and this sense of ‘oh we can take our foot off the peddle now’.

“But actually we can’t, we need to hold on just a little while longer until all of the elements are in place.”

She also warned that despite transmission rates slowing, it is too early to think about easing coronavirus restrictions.

The NHS worker warned a drop in infection rates in some part of the country hasn’t yet translated into a drop in hospital admissions, saying: “There is a lag in the spread reducing in the community and it actually reducing in terms of hospital admissions.

“When someone contracts coronavirus it would probably be 10 days to two weeks before the become a hospital admission.

“I think it would be really tempting to say ‘OK this lockdown is working, let’s lift all restrictions on December 2 and go back to where we were’.

“But I think that could put us at dangerous terms both in controlling the spread of the virus and what it means for the NHS.”

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Prince Harry urged to speak out over BBC Diana row – ‘He should man up!’

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Mr Bashir spoke to Diana for an edition of BBC Panorama broadcast in 1995. However Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, alleges the interview was only acquired through widespread deceit.

The BBC has promised a full investigation into the claims.

Mr Bashir, who is recovering from a heart operation and coronavirus, has yet to comment publicly.

The call for Prince Harry to comment publicly was made by the editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, Ingrid Seward.

Speaking to The Sun she said: “Harry’s silence speaks volumes.

“He is normally so keen on letting his opinions be known — why hasn’t he done so in this case and stood by his brother to share the responsibility.

“It is odd he hasn’t spoken out about the BBC and Bashir case as he has been speaking out a lot about other things recently.

“Harry should really man up and forget the fallout with his brother.”

During the 1995 interview Diana famously told Mr Bashir “there were three of us in this marriage”, referencing Camilla Parker-Bowles.

On Wednesday the BBC announced Lord Dyson, a former Supreme Court judge, would lead the investigation into the incident.

Prince William, in a highly unusual intervention, described this as “a step in the right direction” towards “unearthing the truth”.

The Prince is reported to have been in contact with the BBC over the matter in the past few weeks.

However Earl Spencer has said he is “not at all satisfied” with the terms of the BBC’s inquiry.


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William’s intervention was welcomed by Ms Monckton, one of Diana’s closest friends.

Speaking to ITV News she said: “For [William] and for Kensington Palace to issue a statement, I think shows how deeply involved he has become in this story and about how his mother was treated.

“It’s very important that we look at it 25 years on.

“It did change the course of history.”

Diana married Prince Charles in 1981 with the service broadcast live to hundreds of millions around the world.

However the marriage broke down with accusations of adultery at both ends.

The couple divorced in 1996, one year before Diana was killed in a Paris car crash.

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Sophie Wessex title: Why is Sophie Countess of Wessex called the Countess of Forfar?

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Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 55, has become hugely popular with royal fans amid the coronavirus pandemic. She is the wife of the Queen and Prince Philip’s youngest son, Prince Edward. Since Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Prince Andrew stepped back from royal life, the Wessexes have taken on a more central role within the Royal Family. But why is she called the Countess of Forfar?

Sophie Rhys-Jones joined the Royal Family in 1999 when she married the Queen and Prince Philip’s youngest child Prince Edward.
Prior to joining the Royal Family, she worked in public relations.
But she now works as a full-time working member of the Royal Family.
Edward and Sophie have two children together, Lady Louise Windsor and James Viscount Severn, neither of which hold HRH titles.

Unlike any of his brothers, Prince Edward has an earldom rather than a dukedom.

Prince Charles, also known as the Prince of Wales, was made the Duke of Cornwall in 1952.

Prince Andrew was made the Duke of York upon his marriage to Sarah Ferguson in 1986.

In a statement released by the Royal Family at the time of Wessex marriage, it was also revealed any children Sophie and Edward would bear would not receive HRH titles but instead be styled as children of an Earl.

The statement indicated the Royal Family’s intention to one day award Edward the title of Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Edward is expected to inherit the Duke of Edinburgh title after Prince Philip’s death and Prince Charles’ accession.

However, until that point, he holds the titles of Earl of Wessex and Earl of Forfar.

This means Sophie holds the titles of Countess of Wessex and Countess of Forfar.

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To commemorate Edward’s 55th birthday in 2019, the Queen awarded Edward the Earldom of Forfar in Scotland.

This Earldom was first established in 1661, but after the second Earl of Forfar died in 1715 without an heir, it was extinct for more than 300 years.

Forfar is a town in Scotland, located 13 miles north of Dundee.

The town is located close to Glamis Castle, the seat of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne and has a population of a little more than 14,000.

Prince Edward’s grandmother the Queen Mother was the daughter of Lord Glamis, the 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne.

Prince Edward was known to be extremely close to his grandmother giving the Earl of Forfar extra significance for him.

The Queen Mother died one year before his first child, Lady Louise, was born.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex use the title of Earl and Countess of Forfar when they visit Scotland.

The Forfar couple visited the town for their first official visit in July 2019.

Prince Edward was given an official Earl of Forfar tartan, which was designed to celebrate their new titles by a firm in the town.

The weave is based on the existing Forfar tartan, which the company designed in 2004 around the colours of the Forfar coat of arms.

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Which royals are the five most important royals according to the Regency Act 1937?

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The Royal Family is subject to many rules including the Regency Act 1937. The Acts of Parliament were passed at various times to provide a regent in the event that the reigning monarch is incapacitated or a minor. But which are the six most important royals according to the Regency Act 1937?

In many other royal houses, the absence of the monarch prompts another member of the Royal Family to step in to become regent.

For example, Queen Margrethe in Denmark is replaced by her son the Crown Prince Frederik as temporary monarch.

But the system for the British Royal family is very different.

If the Queen becomes ill or otherwise incapacitated, two or more members of the Royal Family can stand in for her.

What is the Regency Act 1937?

The Regency Act 1937 is an Act which outlines what happens in the event the sovereign is under 18 years old or the monarch is incapacitated through illness.

The Act outlines how royal functions should be managed in the name and on behalf of the Queen if she is unable to complete her duties.

The Act’s title reads: “An Act to provide that, in the event of a Regency becoming necessary under the Regency Act 1937, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh shall in certain circumstances be the Regent, to provide that the heir apparent or heir presumptive to the Throne shall be deemed for the purposes of that Act to be of full age if he or she has attained the age of eighteen years, to add Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother to the persons to whom royal functions may be delegated as Counsellors of State, and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.”

What is a Counsellor of State?

The Counsellors of State are senior members of the Royal Family whom the Queen can delegate and revoke royal functions.

This designation was made through Letters Patent under the Great Seal in a bid to prevent delay or difficulty in the dispatch of public business in the case of their illness or intended or actual absence from the UK.

The Counsellors of State are made up of the Sovereign’s monarch and the first four people, aged 21 and over, in the line of succession.

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The Counsellors can carry out most functions of the Crown, such as attending Privy Council meetings.

In addition, they are able to sign documents on behalf of the monarch.

However, they cannot dissolve Parliament without the Queen’s permission, appoint a Prime Minister, deal with Commonwealth matters or create peerages.

Two or more Councillors of State must preside at any one time, which may pose a problem should the sovereign require assistance in the immediate future.

There are currently five Counsellors of State:

  • Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh – appointed upon the accession of Queen Elizabeth II
  • Prince Charles – replaced Prince Richard of Gloucester when he reached 18 in 1966.
  • Prince William – replaced Princess Anne, Princess Royal when he reached 21 in 2003.
  • Prince Harry – replaced Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, when he reached 21 in 2005.
  • Prince Andrew – replaced Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, when he reached 21 in 1981.

Only two of these royals are currently active working members of the Royal Family.

Prince Philip retired from royal work in 2017 and has since enjoyed his retirement for the most part in Sandringham.

Prince Harry stepped back from the Royal Family earlier this year and is now living with his wife Meghan Markle and son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in the USA.

Prince Andrew ceased performing royal duties in November 2019 due to his alleged connection to the late convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

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Princess Margaret cause of death: Did Princess Margaret have cancer?

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Princess Margaret was the youngest daughter of King George VI and Queen Mother Elizabeth. She was the only sibling of the Queen and was second in line to the throne after her father became King. But did Princess Margaret have cancer and what exactly was the cause of her death?

Who was Princess Margaret?

Princess Margaret was the first member of the Royal Family to be born in Scotland for more than 300 years.

At the time she was born, she was fourth in line to the throne.

But after her uncle abdicated, she moved to second in line to the throne.

Margaret married Antony Armstrong-Jones in May 1960.

Her husband was made Earl of Snowdon and Viscount Linley later that year.

They went on to have two children together: Lord Linley, born in 1961, and Lady Sarah Frances Elizabeth, was born in 1964.

The couple remained married for several years, but their marriage dissolved in May 1978.

In her later years, Princess Margaret suffered from poor health.

She experienced a stroke in February 1998 while at her holiday home in Mustique.

Margaret severely scalded her feet during a bathroom accident 12 months later, which impacted her mobility.

She later required support when walking and was at times restricted to a wheelchair.

Princess Margaret had further strokes in 2000 and 2001.

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The Queens’ sister’s health prevented her from being able to undertake many public engagements in these final years.

Margaret continued to support the work of many of her organisations.

Her last official engagement was a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show on May 21, 2001, and the 80th birthday of Prince Philip on June 10, 2001.

Princess Margaret’s last public appearance was at the 100th birthday of Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, in December 2001.

Did Princess Margaret have cancer?

King George VI underwent surgery for lung cancer in the months before he died.

He died five months later on February 6, 1952, leading to her sister becoming the Queen.

Princess Margaret was known to have a good time and she was renowned for her love of smoking and drinking prompting speculation through the years that Margaret developed cancer like her father.

However, Margaret was never diagnosed with cancer.

Princess Margaret, 71, died on February 9, 2002, three days after the anniversary of her father’s death.

She died one day after suffering another stroke which resulted in cardiac problems.

Her funeral took place at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle and she was cremated at Slough Crematorium.

Her ashes were placed in the tomb of her parents, where her mother was also laid to rest after she died seven weeks after Margaret’s death.

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UK weather LIVE: ‘Severe gales’ and heavy rain to DRENCH Britain this weekend – latest

After a chilly start for the south and east on Friday morning, the weather is expected to turn as the cloudy, breezy weather with outbreaks of rain in the west moves gradually to the east. The Met Office forecast it will become drier to the east of high ground by evening, and tonight is forecast to be “mild with drier spells” for many places, but some heavy rain and gales are also predicted.

Key points: 

  • The Met Office forecast a “chilly start” for the south and east on Friday morning
  • Weather will turn cloudy and breezy, and rain outbreaks in the west “moving gradually to east”
  • By evening, the forecast states “becoming drier to east of high ground”

The Met Office forecast for Friday night reads: “Rain in east clearing, then mild with drier spells, but rain in the north-west moving south-east to be over southern Scotland later.

“Heavy showers and gales following across far north.”

On Saturday, “severe gales” and “squally showers” are forecast for the far north.

Showers and sunny spells are expected in the northern parts of the UK, and a “band of rain” will move south across central areas. 

A “mainly dry and bright” day is forecast for the south on Saturday.

Follow below for the latest weather updates. Refresh your browser for the latest weather news. All times are in GMT. 

8.30am update: Snow in forecast for Scotland

Windy weather maps show Scotland could see some snow over the coming days.

Snow accumulation maps over the next five days (November 20 to 25) show there could be a some snow over western, central and northern areas of Scotland.

Some areas on the map are green, suggesting more than 10cm, or four inches, of snow could fall during this period.

8am update: Met Office outlook for Sunday to Tuesday

The Met Office are forceasting a “mainly dry” day for the south on Sunday, but “blustery showers” are predicted for the north.

After the weekend, rain followed by showers are forecast for the north on Monday and Tuesday.

It will be a “dry, bright Monday” in the south, but rain is expected to follow on Tuesday.

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