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Queen’s death: Royal staff told their jobs could be affected under King Charles | UK News

Staff who provided personal services to the late Queen have been told that some of their jobs could be at risk under King Charles III.

A letter has been sent to a number of employees informing them that consultations will be held.

The letter, from Sir Michael Stevens, keeper of the privy purse, says: “I am sure you can appreciate that these are sensitive and challenging times.”

He adds that work is underway to support staff and ensure there are “good communications” over the coming weeks.

The letter says: “Consistent with continuity, the approach on Accession is essentially that the requirements and the purpose of the Household continue unchanged following demise.

“While it is too early to confirm the position definitively, it is anticipated that only a very small minority of employees (fewer than 20) who provided personal services to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth will see their posts affected by Her Majesty’s death.

“We will be consulting with you and those affected in relation to these anticipated changes after the State Funeral. Those affected are being written to.”

Last week it was disclosed that up to 100 employees at the King’s former official residence, Clarence House, had been notified that they could lose their jobs.

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King ‘will be much more accessible’

Read more:
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In pictures: How the world watched the Queen’s funeral

Mark Serwotka, the general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents a number of employees in the royal households, said staff had worked for the Queen for a number of years and felt “let down” after receiving the letter.

“Our members are disappointed and saddened by this development,” he said.

Meetings are being held with those affected and staff are being told they can contact Employee Assistance providers in the coming weeks.

Buckingham Palace has not commented on the letter.

Queen’s death: Prince George and Princess Charlotte will attend state funeral | UK News

Prince George and Princess Charlotte will attend the Queen’s state funeral, according to the order of service.

The two eldest children of the Prince and Princess of Wales will be among 2,000 people gathering in Westminster Abbey to say farewell to the monarch they knew as “Gan Gan”.

The second and third in line to the throne will walk in procession behind the Queen’s coffin as it is carried by the military bearer party.

Last chance to view Queen’s coffin; funeral to be shown on big screens across UK – all latest news, live

Their grandfather King Charles with the Queen Consort will be immediately behind the coffin, followed by the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, then the Duke of York, followed by the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and then the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Nine-year-old George and seven-year-old Charlotte will walk side-by-side behind their parents, followed by their uncle and aunt the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and other members of the Royal Family.

They are also expected to be at the committal service in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, later in the day.

Their four-year-old brother Prince Louis, however, is not expected to attend.

Read more:
Queen Consort Camilla’s moving TV tribute to the woman who asked a nation to embrace her
How the Queen anchored a ‘special relationship’ with America that could now be under pressure
‘His sense of duty is equal to the Queen’: Archbishop of Canterbury praises King Charles

Details of the service have been revealed, including the music, which will include the Queen’s Piper, Warrant Officer Class 1 (Pipe Major) Paul Burns, playing the traditional lament Sleep, Dearie, Sleep.

Before the service, the tenor bell will be tolled every minute for 96 minutes, reflecting the years of the Queen’s life.

One of the hymns – The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want – was sung at the Queen’s wedding, when she married the Duke of Edinburgh in the same abbey in 1947.

The others hymns are: The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended; and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.

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Prayers will be said by the Reverend Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, for “Queen Elizabeth’s long life and reign, recalling with gratitude her gifts of wisdom, diligence, and service”.

The Bishop of London Dame Sarah Mullally will say a prayer for “our most gracious Sovereign Lord King Charles, Camilla the Queen Consort, William Prince of Wales, and all the Royal Family”.

Edward and Sophie say the Queen’s death has left an ‘unimaginable void in all our lives’ | UK News

The Earl and Countess of Wessex have paid tribute to the Queen, saying there’s an “unimaginable void in all our lives”.

They added a personal touch, referring to the Queen as their “beloved mama”.

In a statement, Edward, the Queen’s youngest son, and his wife Sophie said they have been “overwhelmed by the tide of emotion” after the monarch’s death and wish to thank everyone for their support.

They continued: “The Queen’s passing has left an unimaginable void in all our lives.

“Sophie and I have taken huge pleasure in seeing our James and Louise enjoying the places and activities that their grandparents loved so much.”

The Queen’s death made her son a King, and a rich man – but where exactly does the cash come from? | UK News

When the Queen died, fortunes passed down the line of succession along with titles.

Her death made her eldest son a hugely rich man as well as King, while his heir secured a guaranteed income of more than £20m a year along with the title Prince of Wales.

The Royal Family is funded by a rackety collection of assets with roots in the Middle Ages, refined over time in deals with parliament, the most recent in 2012.

Nearly five-mile queue to see Queen – follow latest updates

Negotiated by George Osbourne, it guaranteed revenue streams for the monarch, their heir and the wider family, while leaving the question of tax largely voluntary.

The principal source of the King’s funding is the Sovereign Grant, calculated as 25% of the profits of the Crown Estate, a £15bn portfolio of commercial and residential property, agricultural and marine land owned by the Crown, not the individual monarch.

In 2021-22 it was worth £86.3m, of which £52m covered official travel, the cost of employing almost 500 members of the Royal Household, and maintenance of the Occupied Royal Palaces; Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Clarence House, St James’s Palace, Kensington Palace, Marlborough House Mews and Hampton Court Mews.

The remaining £34m was allocated to an ongoing “re-servicing” of Buckingham Palace. The Sovereign Grant was increased from 15% of revenue to 25% in 2018 to cover the total cost of £369m over 10 years.

Handily for the monarch, the value of the Sovereign Grant cannot go down even if revenue falls, though that may be unlikely given its ownership of much of the UK seabed, on which lies hugely lucrative licences for offshore wind turbines will be granted in coming years.

Local dignitaries give three cheers to King Charles III following an Accession Proclamation Ceremony at Windsor Castle, publicly proclaiming King Charles III as the new monarch. Picture date: Sunday September 11, 2022.
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The Sovereign’s Grant, that King Charles will inherit, pays for staff and maintenance at palaces including Windsor

No inheritance tax

King Charles will also draw income from the Privy Purse, made up primarily of the net revenue of the Duchy of Lancaster, a £600m portfolio of land and property assets worth £22.3m in 2020-21.

The Queen used this to cover the cost of expenses incurred by other members of the Royal Family including his siblings Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and Prince Edward, but not his heir.

The Queen also enjoyed private wealth estimated at more than £350m, including ownership of Balmoral and Sandringham. If, as presumed, the bulk of her wealth passes to King Charles, he uniquely will not have to pay inheritance tax on his new fortune.

Gifts from monarch to monarch are exempt from death duties, though bequests to her other children, or any other individuals or entities, will be taxable.

A swan is seen with the Kensington Palace in the background, in London, Britain June 28, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
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Kensington Palace

No probate for this will

We will never know the details, however, because the sovereign’s will remains sealed, the only will in the kingdom that does not have to pass into probate.

The Sovereign Grant is not taxed, but since 1993 the Queen has voluntarily paid income tax on revenue from the Duchy of Lancaster not used for official purposes. King Charles is yet to confirm he will do similarly.

As heir to the throne, Prince William, his wife and children will now benefit from the Duchy of Cornwall, a £1bn portfolio of agricultural land, property and investments that includes the Oval Cricket Ground & the Isles of Scilly.

Voluntary income tax

The estate paid the now-King £23m in the past financial year, earnings that are exempt from corporation and capital gains tax, and only subject to voluntary income tax on the net surplus after unspecified deductions.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex leave the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral, London, on day two of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II. Picture date: Friday June 3, 2022.

Having decided to leave the working royal stable, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex now rely on trading off their talents and residual titles, with income from various media deals including a £20m book contract.

In a profound irony, Harry and Meghan have signed a reported $100m deal with Netflix, which owes much of its dominance in the streaming market to The Crown, a dramatisation that has done for the Windsors what Shakespeare did for the Plantagenets, and costs more to produce per-series than the annual Sovereign Grant.

None of these income streams cover the cost of royal security, widely estimated at more than £100m a year and borne by the taxpayer, or the price of royal visits often funded by local authorities.

Nor does the Royal Family pay for its own celebrations. The Treasury set aside an additional £28m to fund the recent Platinum Jubilee, the majority of which was spent on four-days of pageantry in central London.

Even with a conservative annual bill of £250m, the monarchy’s advocates argue they more than pay their way.

Does tourism foot the bill?

Tourism is routinely cited as their greatest benefit, yet revenue from the five royal palaces open to the public was just £9.4m last year, and only just exceeded £20m pre-COVID, and none are in the top 20 most visited popular attractions in Britain. With 1.5 million visitors, Windsor Castle ranked only 23rd, behind Chester Zoo, Stonehenge and Tate Modern.

Compare that with the appeal of Versailles, the palace of the long-gone French monarchy, which attracts almost 10 million visitors a year, and it suggests the UK’s palaces underperform.

Less quantifiable, but almost certainly more precious, is the brand value the Windsors bring to the UK. They lend Britain’s diplomats soft power and its businesses a unique selling point.

The Chateau de Versailles (Versailles palace) is seen on its reopening day in Versailles, near Paris, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France, June 6, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
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Paris’s Chateau de Versailles beats Britain’s palaces in the tourism numbers game

‘Don’t mess with the monarchy’

One FTSE 100 executive, recently returned from an investor tour of the US, remarked: “Don’t mess with the monarchy. After Brexit, and with all the dysfunctional politics, it’s about the only thing the rest of the world thinks still works in Britain.”

That lustre may even be enhanced by the Queen’s passing and the sustained display of pageantry and proclamation the past week has brought.

Weddings, divorces, defections and disgrace

She has been mourned around the world, with messages of goodwill from Beijing to Paris, and her funeral will take its place in the dramatic arc of weddings, divorces, defections and disgrace that have captured global attention throughout her reign.

King Charles, ascending at the height of a cost-of-living crisis and without the depth of goodwill enjoyed by his mother, will face greater scrutiny of his household and expenditure, not least how he will use at least eight palaces and private homes now available to him, and how many of the family will benefit.

Every CEO will tell you stability is the greatest asset of any business, and the Queen’s passing cannot but bring uncertainty, but The Firm’s income under Charles III is at least guaranteed.

And as the Elizabethan era ends with the first full state funeral of the colour TV age, the world will still be watching.

Whether the King can maintain the value of the Windsor stock, and public consent for the financial settlement, will be more a question of politics and philosophy than economics.

Watch and follow the Queen's funeral on TV, web and apps on Monday from 9am
Queen’s death: What is the Accession Council and how does it proclaim a new monarch? | UK News

Charles became King the moment his mother died under the old common law rule that ensures Britain is never without a monarch and “the King never dies”.

Although it may be several months before he is crowned, the formal process of proclaiming him King – the Accession Council – begins almost straight away.

Charles prepares for first nationwide address – follow live updates

Here Sky News takes a closer look at the Accession Council and the part it plays in transitioning to a new monarch.

Friary Court at St James's Palace
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Friary Court at St James’s Palace

What is the Accession Council?

The Accession Council is a group made up of Privy Counsellors, Great Officers of State, the Lord Mayor of London, Realm High Commissioners and senior civil servants.

It only convenes on the death of the monarch, which last happened when King George VI died in 1952.

Members meet as soon as is practically possible after the monarch dies, usually within 24 hours, at St James’s Palace in London.

Following the Queen’s death it will take place slightly later, at 10am on Saturday, 10 September, and will be televised for the first time in history.

It oversees the formal proclamation of the heir to the throne becoming King or Queen, and is split into two parts.

According to Sky News royal commentator Alastair Bruce: “The accession council is a constitutional necessity.

“It derives from Saxon times when all the great chiefs of the land would meet and elect from the living descendants of the god King Woden.”

Prince William and the Queen Consort are both Privy Counsellors
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Prince William and the Queen Consort are both Privy Counsellors

Who are its members?

The Accession Council is largely made up of Privy Counsellors and is chaired by its leader, the Lord President of the Council – currently Penny Mordaunt MP – who is also the Leader of the House of Commons.

The Privy Council has more than 700 members, but with only room for around 150 people in the State Apartments at St James’s Palace, only active members are likely to attend.

Summonses are sent to all Privy Counsellors, however, which include past prime ministers, their ministers and leaders of the opposition.

The Queen Consort and Prince William will both be there as Privy Counsellors, as will Sir Angus Ogilvy, who is married to the Queen’s cousin Alexandra.

The Lord Mayor of London – currently Vincent Keaveny – will also be invited, alongside the High Commissioners or acting High Commissioners of all 14 Commonwealth states.

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and the secretary of state for Scotland are also part of the Accession Council, along with the current Lord Chancellor and the Lord President of the Court of Session.

Trade minister Penny Mordaunt speaking in the House of Commons, London, where she took aim at her ministerial boss by joking she was "amazed" to be back at the Commons despatch box given her "reported work ethic"
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Leader of the House of Commons, Penny Mordaunt, is the Lord President of the Council

Part One

The first meeting of the Accession Council takes place without the new King or Queen to formerly proclaim them the new sovereign.

It happens at St James’s Palace – formerly the main London residence of the monarch until it moved to Buckingham Palace in the 1800s.

King George VI died in the “early hours” of 6 February 1952, with the council meeting for the first time 17 hours later. There were 191 council members present.

The meeting begins with the Lord President announcing the death of the monarch and calling upon the Clerk of the Council to read the Accession Proclamation.

Proclamation of the Accession Council of Queen Elizabeth III in 1952
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Proclamation of the Accession Council of Queen Elizabeth III in 1952

The Queen’s proclamation text read: “Whereas it has pleased Almighty God to call to his mercy our late sovereign Lord King George VI of blessed and glorious memory, by whose decease the Crown is solely and rightfully come to the high and mighty Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary.

“We, therefore, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of this Realm, being here assisted with these his late Majesty’s Privy Council, with representatives of other members of the Commonwealth, with other principal gentlemen of quality, with the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of London, do now hereby with one voice and consent of tongue and heart publish and proclaim that the high and mighty Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary is now, by the death of our late sovereign of happy memory, become Queen Elizabeth II.

“By the grace of God Queen of this realm and of all her other realms and territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, to whom her lieges do acknowledge all faith and constant obedience with hearty and humble affection, beseeching God by whom Kings and Queens do reign, to bless the Royal Princess Elizabeth II with long and happy years to reign over us.”

The proclamation is usually the first time the new monarch’s official title is revealed, but on this occasion, Clarence House has already announced he will go by King Charles III.

After the proclamation text has been read, it is then signed by members of the “platform party”, which include any royals who are Privy Counsellors, the prime minister, Lord Chancellor, Lord Privy Seal, Earl Marshal, and the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

The Lord President calls for silence and then reads any remaining items of business.

Part Two

The second meeting of the Accession Council is attended by the new monarch and is effectively their first meeting of the Privy Council – as it is only attended by Privy Counsellors.

Traditionally the second part takes place immediately after the first, but as the Queen was abroad when her father died, it took place two days later once she was back in England.

This time it will begin at 11am on Saturday with the King reading a personal declaration about the death of his mother.

The Queen’s read: “By the sudden death of my dear father, I am called to assume the duties and responsibilities of sovereignty.

“At this time of deep sorrow, it is a profound consolation to me to be assured of the sympathy which you and all my peoples feel towards me, to my mother and sister and to the other members of my family.

“My father was our revered and beloved head as he was of the wider family of his subjects. The grief which his loss brings is shared among us all.

“My heart is too full for me to say more to you today than that I shall always work as my father did throughout his reign to uphold constitutional government and to advance the happiness and prosperity of my peoples spread as they are all the world over.

“I know that in my resolve to follow his shining example of service and devotion, I shall be inspired by the loyalty and affection of those whose Queen I have been called to be, and by the counsel of their elected parliaments. I pray that God will help me to discharge worthily this heavy task that has been laid upon me so early in my life.”

Read more:
King Charles returns to London
The new King’s life so far in pictures

The monarch then reads the Scottish Oath, which has been taken by every King and Queen of England since George I’s accession in 1714.

It dates back to a time when Catholic Europe was seen as an existential threat to Britain and protects the
security of the Church of Scotland – as unlike in England – church and state are separate there.

The Queen’s Scottish oath read: “I, Queen Elizabeth II by the grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of my other realms and territories King, Defender of the Faith, do faithfully promise and swear that I shall inviolably maintain and preserve the settlement of the true Protestant religion as established by the laws made in Scotland in prosecution of the claim of right and particularly by an act intituled ‘An act for securing the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government’ and by the acts passed in the parliament of both Kingdoms for Union of the two Kingdoms, together with the government, worship, discipline, rights and privileges of the Church of Scotland. So help me God.”

Thousands gather for the reading of the Queen's proclamation at the Royal Exchange in London in 1952
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Thousands gather for the reading of the Queen’s proclamation at the Royal Exchange in London in 1952

The monarch then signs two instruments that records their signing of the oath, which are witnessed by the royal members of the Privy Council, the first minister of Scotland, lord advocate of Scotland, secretary of state for Scotland, advocate general for Scotland – if they are a Privy Counsellor – the Lord Chancellor and the Lord President of the Court of Session.

One copy goes to the Court of Session to be recorded in the Books of Sederunt and the other is kept in the Books of the Privy Council.

The Lord President of the Council then goes through any remaining items of business before each counsellor signs the proclamation and leaves.

Traditionally, trumpeters from the Life Guards and drummers from the Coldstream Guards play after the meeting finishes.

The Garter King of Arms, Earl Marshal, officers and sergeants of arms will then gather on the balcony above Friary Court at St James’s Palace and read the proclamation.

Read more:
How Commonwealth leaders heard the Queen had died
Landmarks light up for Queen around the world

Straight after it will be read at the Royal Exchange in the City of London – in the presence of the Lord Mayor of London.

Subsequent readings will follow in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and locations across the Commonwealth at 12pm on Sunday.

Flags will be flown at full-mast again from the principal reading of the proclamation until the following ones in the four nations.

They will then return to half-mast as a mark of respect for the Queen.

A record of the entire Accession Council proceedings is published in the London Gazette – the UK’s official public record.

Queen’s death: Sporting events postponed with Premier League yet to make decision | UK News

A number of scheduled sporting events have been postponed after the death of the Queen, with further decisions regarding the weekend’s fixtures set to be taken on Friday.

The death of Queen Elizabeth II, who was Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, was announced by Buckingham Palace on Thursday evening.

Sports stars and governing bodies have paid tribute to Her Majesty, and event organisers have been considering the best course of action.

Worldwide tributes pour in for ‘remarkable’ Queen – live updates

Although many have already announced their decisions, the Premier League has still not revealed its plans, with an update expected on Friday morning.

Here are all the sporting events that have been postponed:

Racing

Arguably the Queen’s favourite sport, racing events have also been postponed this weekend.

Races at Southwell and Chelmsford on Thursday evening were abandoned after the news of her death.

The British Horseracing Authority announced that meetings scheduled for Friday – including the third day of the St Leger meeting at Doncaster – have been cancelled.

Queen Elizabeth II watching as her horse Free Agent, ridden by Richard Hughes, wins the Chesham Stakes at Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire. Horses, like dogs, were the Queen's lifelong love and she had an incredible knowledge of breeding and bloodlines. Whether it was racing thoroughbreds or ponies, she showed an unfailing interest. Issue date: Thursday September 8, 2022.
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The Queen watching her horse Free Agent win the Chesham Stakes at Ascot

Football

The English Football League postponed two matches scheduled for Friday – Burnley v Norwich in the Championship and Tranmere v Stockport in League Two.

The Scottish Professional Football League has also postponed its Championship contest between Dundee and Cove Rangers as a mark of respect.

Manchester United’s home clash in the Europa League with Real Sociedad went ahead on Thursday night, with the club saying: “Following direction from the FA and UEFA, tonight’s UEFA Europa League fixture against Real Sociedad will take place as planned at Old Trafford.”

A minute’s silence was held before kick-off, both teams wore black armbands and flags at Old Trafford flew at half-mast in a show of respect.

The Northern Ireland Football League announced that Friday night’s matches between Cliftonville and Glentoran and Larne and Dungannon had been postponed.

Manchester United take part in a minutes silence following the announcement of the death of Queen Elizabeth II prior to the UEFA Europa League Group E match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Picture date: Thursday September 8, 2022

Rugby

Northampton announced the postponement of their Premiership Rugby Cup clash against Saracens scheduled for Thursday evening.

The Scottish Rugby Union has delayed all domestic competitive games this weekend as a mark of respect, and the women’s summer Test international between Scotland and Spain on Sunday is also off.

The RFL postponed Friday’s Betfred Championship fixture between Sheffield Eagles and Dewsbury Rams, but the first Super League elimination play-off between Catalans Dragons and Leeds will go ahead as it is taking place in Perpignan, France.

Further announcements about the weekend’s fixtures at all levels were set to be made “as soon as possible”, the governing body said.

Cricket

The England and Wales Cricket Board announced that Friday’s play in the men’s third Test between England and South Africa at the Oval would not take place.

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The life of the Queen

Golf

Play was suspended on the first day of the PGA Championship golf at Wentworth when news of the Queen’s death was announced, and the European Tour has confirmed there will be no play on Friday.

“Out of respect for Her Majesty and the Royal Family, play has been suspended at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club for the remainder of Thursday and flags at Wentworth Club will be lowered to half-mast,” a Tour statement said.

“Furthermore, no play will take place at the BMW PGA Championship on Friday and the golf course and practice facilities will be closed. Further updates on the resumption of play will be provided in due course.”

A screen displays a message that play has been suspended following the announcement of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, during day one of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club, Virginia Water. Picture date: Thursday September 8, 2022.
Read less

Cycling

Friday’s Tour of Britain stage was promptly cancelled and later on Thursday evening the rest of the tour, which was set to finish on the Isle of Wight on Sunday, was called off entirely.

Formula One

The Italian Grand Prix will go ahead as scheduled on Sunday, with a minute’s silence planned before practice on Friday and another expected before the race.

Teenager stabbed to death and another critically ill after ‘highly worrying incident’ in east London | UK News

A teenager has been stabbed to death and another is critically ill in hospital after a “highly worrying incident”.

Scotland Yard said they found two males with stab wounds after being called to a disturbance around midnight involving a “large group of people” in Lichfield Road, Tower Hamlets, east London.

A murder investigation is now under way but no arrests have been made yet, say police.

The teenager who died is believed to be aged 17, while the one taken to hospital is 18.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Rogers of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command said: “This is a highly worrying incident that has left one young man dead and another fighting for his life in hospital.

“I am aware of reports saying that about a hundred people, armed with weapons were involved. This information does not appear to be wholly accurate.

“We know a significant number of people were caught up in this incident but not necessarily directly involved or armed with weapons.”

The force said it has has yet to arrest anyone in connection with the incident.

Anyone who has information that can help, including pictures or footage of the incident, is asked to call the Metropolitan Police major incident room on 020 8345 3715 quoting reference Operation Wildcast.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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A former Gogglebox star Sandi Bogle has told Sky News she feels ‘sick’ that no one has faced justice over the death of her nephew Bjorn Brown who was stabbed to death in Croydon in March 2017.

The incident comes hours after a boy, believed to be 12, was stabbed in the east London borough of Newham.

The victim was found in Plaistow and treated at the scene.

Two suspects have since been arrested, one on suspicion of GBH and another for affray, the Met confirmed.

Former Gogglebox star Sandi Bogle exclusively told Sky News of her ‘disgust’ that no one has faced justice over her nephew Bjorn Brown’s murder.

Father-of-one Mr Brown was stabbed to death in Croydon, south London in March 2017 and died from his injuries five days later.

Ms Bogle spoke out as new figures revealed 350 killings have gone unsolved in London in the past two decades – including cases in which victims have been shot, stabbed, strangled and drowned.

Meanwhile a former police constable told Sky News how a huge backlog of cases in Britain’s courts – said to be around 60,000 – could be responsible for a drop in people being jailed for knife crime.

Peter Fahy, ex-chief constable for Greater Manchester Police, said: “We need firmer police action, but there is also real concern about the huge backlog of cases in the courts.

“It’s no good police going out to arrest people if they’re then out on bail and it takes years to get people into court.”

Man stabbed to death at the Notting Hill Carnival was rapper TKorStretch from Bristol | News UK Video News

A man stabbed to death at the Notting Hill Carnival has been named as Takayo Nembhard, a 21-year-old rapper from Bristol.

Chris Patrick, who managed the rapper known as TKorStretch, said in a statement to the PA news agency: “As you can imagine we are all in shock.

“He went to Carnival with his younger sister and friends to have a good time.

“This is the worst possible ending for a talented kid.”

A murder investigation was launched after the stabbing on Monday night.

The 21-year-old had more than 300,000 plays on one of his songs on Spotify, and nearly 11,000 monthly listeners.

Mr Patrick, in a post on Instagram, recalled his first meeting with TKorStretch when the rapper was just 19.

More on Notting Hill Carnival

“That meeting took us on a journey…we recorded some great music together. His talent was endless and I can tell you guys he was close to greatness!”

He hailed his friend as a “good kid, a good guy” and said what happened “breaks my heart”.

TRORSTRETCH tribute

Police and paramedics provided first aid treatment to TKorStretch and he was taken to hospital, where he later died.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was “sickened” by the stabbing.

“Violence has no place on our streets and we are doing everything in our power to root it out,” he added.

Several other stabbings and violent incidents were also reported, police say.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said that at about 8pm on Monday evening officers became aware of a stabbing in Ladbroke Grove, under the Westway flyover.

Pensioner Shelagh Robertson on trial over careless driving death of five-month-old Louis Thorold ‘had undiagnosed Alzheimer’s’ | UK News

A pensioner accused of causing the death of a baby boy by careless driving will say she had undiagnosed Alzheimer’s disease at the time and will mount a defence of insanity, a court has heard.

Shelagh Robertson, 75, was driving home from shopping at Tesco when she turned into the path of an oncoming van on the A10 at Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire on 22 January last year, forcing the van on to the pavement, Cambridge Crown Court heard.

The van hit five-month-old Louis Thorold and his mother Rachael Thorold, killing him and throwing Mrs Thorold into the air and causing her serious injuries.

Another driver who witnessed the crash, Kaye Lewis, said in a statement read in court that the van driver was “fighting the steering wheel but the van just kept going towards the pavement”.

She said she remembered seeing the “absolute terror” on Mrs Thorold’s face when she saw the van before she was “thrown 15ft in the air then landed”.

“I saw the pram just disintegrate into pieces and go under the van,” she added.

Robertson, of Stables Yard, Waterbeach, denies causing the baby boy’s death by careless driving.

James Leonard, defending, told the court it was “agreed by any reasonable objective test the way Mrs Robertson drove on the day of the accident fell below the standard to be expected from a reasonable, competent driver”.

“The issue in this case is whether or not Mrs Robertson was suffering from insanity as it’s recognised by law,” he said.

“The defence case is that Mrs Robertson had undiagnosed atypical Alzheimer’s disease both before the accident and on the day, and that’s what will lead to the conclusion that the defence of insanity is made out.”

Shelagh Robertson arrives at Cambridge Crown Court where she is charged with causing the death of five-month-old Louis Thorold by careless driving following a crash on the A10 in Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire on January 22, 2021. Picture date: Monday August 8, 2022.
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Robertson arrives at Cambridge Crown Court

Mark Bishop, the judge, told the jury of nine women and three men that for a defence of insanity to succeed they must be persuaded Robertson was suffering from atypical Alzheimer’s disease at the time of the crash and that “as a result of that disease she experienced disrupted thinking”.

He said the disrupted thinking could either be that as she drove the car she “didn’t know what she was doing” or that she “didn’t know that what she was doing was wrong by the standards of reasonable people”.

David Matthew, for the prosecution, said Robertson had turned right and driven her Mazda 2 car into the path of an oncoming Renault van that was travelling south along the A10 at the junction with Car Dyke Road.

“The impact forced the van on to the pavement,” he said.

“Walking along the pavement towards the van were Rachael Thorold and pushing in front of her five-month-old son Louis in a pushchair.

“The van went over them.”

Chris and Rachael Thorold, parents of baby Louis, arrive at Cambridge Crown Court, where Shelagh Robertson, is charged with causing death by careless driving, following the death of five-month-old Louis Thorold
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Chris and Rachael Thorold, parents of baby Louis, arrive at court

Mr Matthew said the van was driven by delivery driver Andrew Freestone, whom he described as a “careful and professional driver”.

He said the incident was captured by dashcam footage and Mr Freestone was driving “properly, sensibly and within the speed limit”, which at the time was 50mph.

Mr Matthew said Mr Freestone “tried to steer to his right” to avoid a collision.

“He saw the pushchair, heard thumps, saw the woman with the pushchair go up in the air,” he said.

He said of Robertson: “Obviously a competent and careful driver doesn’t drive into the path of oncoming traffic which has the right of way without looking.”

Mr Matthew said a witness had spoken to Robertson after the crash as she sat in the back of another car and that she told them: “I just didn’t see him coming.”

Another witness described Robertson as “alert, agile” and “able to scoot across the Mazda and leave by the passenger door” after the crash.

Louis was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital, Mr Matthew said.

PC Matthew Bill, of Cambridgeshire Police, said Mr Freestone had “less than half a second” to react to the car pulling out of a filter lane and across his path.

The trial, which is due to last less than a week, continues.

Archie Battersbee: ‘No family should go through this’ – calls for urgent reform in light of 12-year-old’s death | UK News

“Urgent review and reform” is needed in light of Archie Battersbee’s death, a group that has been supporting his family has said.

The Christian Legal Centre has offered its condolences to the 12-year-old’s loved ones at this “tragic moment”.

Chief executive Andrea Williams said: “The events of the last few weeks raise many significant issues including questions of how death is defined, how those decisions are made and the place of the family.

“No one wants to see other families experience what they have been through.”

Archie had been at the centre of a lengthy legal dispute after he was seriously injured in an incident at his home in Southend, Essex, in April.

He had been in a coma since then and had not regained consciousness, being kept alive by a combination of medical interventions, including ventilation and drug treatments.

Earlier this year, his parents said that the youngster’s heart was still beating and that he had gripped his mother’s hand.

More on Archie Battersbee

But doctors treating the boy had declared Archie to be “brain stem dead”, and argued that the youngster should be disconnected from a ventilator.

This prompted a lengthy but unsuccessful fight in the courts to continue his life support treatment in the hope he would recover.

Archie’s family had later made bids to the High Court, Court of Appeal and European Court of Human Rights to have him transferred to a hospice to die, but all legal routes were exhausted.

Read more:
How a mother fought to save her son

Archie is just the latest tragedy to be played out publicly in the courts

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A mother’s fight to save her son

‘We hope no family goes through this’

He was taken off medication at 10am on Saturday morning, and his mother Hollie Dance said he died at 12.15pm that afternoon.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Ella Rose Carter – the fiancée of Archie’s eldest brother Tom – said: “There is absolutely nothing dignified about watching a family member or a child suffocate.

“We hope no family has to go through what we have been through. It’s barbaric.”

The Christian Legal Centre has vowed to continue supporting Archie’s family, and said it was thankful for the widespread public support they had received.

Alistair Chesser, chief medical officer at Barts Health NHS Trust – which oversaw Archie’s care – said in a statement: “Members of his family were present at [Archie’s] bedside and our thoughts and heartfelt condolences remain with them at this difficult time.

“The trust would like to thank the medical, nursing, and support staff in the paediatric intensive care department who looked after Archie following his awful accident.

“They provided high-quality care with extraordinary compassion over several months in often trying and distressing circumstances. This tragic case not only affected the family and his carers but touched the hearts of many across the country.”

Archie Battersbee. Pic: Hollie Dance
Image:
Archie Battersbee. Pic: Hollie Dance

The ‘golden thread’ running through the case

The family’s love for Archie was described by one judge as the “golden thread” running through the case.

Speaking to Sky News earlier this week, Ms Dance, said: “I don’t think there’s been a day that hasn’t been awful, really. It’s been really hard.

“Despite the hard, strong face and appearance, obviously, in front of the cameras, up until now, I’ve been pretty broken.”

She added: “I’ve done everything that I promised my little boy I’d do, and I’ve done it.”