Queen Elizabeth II paid tribute to the victims of the Manchester terror attack and the Grenfell Tower fire in London during her annual Christmas Day message Monday.
Speaking from Buckingham Palace, she told of the “privilege” of meeting those injured in the Manchester attack that killed 22 people attending an Ariana Grande concert.
She also commended the country’s emergency services, which have endured a difficult year with a series of terror attacks in London.
The Queen also spoke about those who lost family members in the Grenfell Tower fire in which 71 people perished.
“For many, the idea of ‘home’ reaches beyond a physical building — to a hometown or city,” she said in her televised address.
“This Christmas, I think of London and Manchester, whose powerful identities shone through over the past 12 months in the face of appalling attacks. In Manchester, those targeted included children who had gone to see their favorite singer. A few days after the bombing, I had the privilege of meeting some of the young survivors and their parents.
“I describe that hospital visit as a privilege because the patients I met were an example to us all, showing extraordinary bravery and resilience. Indeed, many of those who survived the attack came together just days later for a benefit concert. It was a powerful reclaiming of the ground, and of the city those young people call home.”
The UK has been hit by a number of terror attacks over the past year with three of those targeting London.
In March, a terrorist plowed his vehicle into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, killing four people, before stabbing a police officer to death outside Parliament.
In June, a vehicle and knife attack left eight people dead in the London Bridge area of the capital.
Later that month, one man died and nine people were hospitalized after a terrorist attack targeting London’s Muslim community.
In Manchester, 22 were killed and 60 injured during May’s suicide bomb attack on the city’s concert hall.
The Queen also spoke of her pain of the tragedy of Grenfell Tower, as well as those who lost their homes and loved ones in Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
“We expect our homes to be a place of safety — sanctuary even — which makes it all the more shocking when the comfort they provide is shattered,” she said.
“A few weeks ago, the Prince of Wales visited the Caribbean in the aftermath of hurricanes that destroyed entire communities. And here in London, who can forget the sheer awfulness of the Grenfell Tower fire?
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who died and those who lost so much; and we are indebted to members of the emergency services who risked their own lives, this past year, saving others. Many of them, of course, will not be at home today because they are working, to protect us.”
The Queen also took the opportunity to speak of her 70 years of marriage to Prince Philip, and his decision to retire from public engagements.
She said that events of the past year made her “grateful for the blessings of home and family, and in particular for 70 years of marriage.”
And she hinted at the arrival of new family members, with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry planning to marry in May, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge expecting their third child in April.
“I don’t know that anyone had invented the term ‘platinum’ for a 70th wedding anniversary when I was born,” she said.
“You weren’t expected to be around that long. Even Prince Philip has decided it’s time to slow down a little — having, as he economically put it, ‘done his bit.’
“But I know his support and unique sense of humor will remain as strong as ever, as we enjoy spending time this Christmas with our family and look forward to welcoming new members into it next year.”
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Duke and Duchess of Sussex Name Baby Son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor
LONDON (AP) — Prince Harry and Meghan have named their son Archie.
Buckingham Palace says that the baby’s full name is Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
The palace made the announcement hours after the couple posed with the two-day-old for the media. He also met his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, for the first time.
Meghan and Prince Harry have shown their new son to the public, with the proud new mother declaring that the baby is “a dream.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex posed with their son for cameras at Windsor Castle — the first in a lifetime of photo calls for the two-day-old baby, who is seventh in line to the throne.
Harry cradled the apparently sleeping baby, wrapped in a white blanket and wearing a matching cap, in his arms.
Meghan declared motherhood to be “magic.”
She said the baby had “the sweetest temperament” and has “just been a dream.”
Asked which parent the baby took after, Harry said it was too soon to tell: “His looks are changing every single day, so who knows?”
The infant is seventh in line to the British throne and is the eighth great-grandchild of 93-year-old Elizabeth, Britain’s longest reigning monarch.
Meghan Markle’s family stir up royals with TV appearance rumours
Daily Mail claimed sister-in-law Tracy Dooley and sons were to appear on Good Morning Britain which ITV deny
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When Meghan Markle’s sister-in-law Tracy Dooley touched down at Heathrow airport on Monday night, accompanied by her adult sons Tyler and Thomas Dooley, rumours began to fly about the reasons for the family’s visit.
With no invitations to the ceremony, their presence was attributed to media opportunities offered by organisations on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Dooleys were understood to have been lined up as contributors for Good Morning Britain, with the Daily Mail reporting that they had been recruited as special correspondents for the programme – to which they have already contributed.
Tracy – who by her own admission has not seen the future royal in two decades after divorcing Meghan’s half-brother – was expected to report for Good Morning Britain live from Windsor.
But if that offer was ever in place, it isn’t now. When the Guardian contacted ITV’s early morning programme to ask whether it would be using the Dooleys as contributors, despite trenchant criticism from its host Piers Morgan of the wider Markle family’s relationship with the media industry, a spokesperson said: “The Dooleys will not be contributing to Good Morning Britain’s coverage of the Royal wedding.”
The spokesperson did not respond to further requests asking whether the relatives had been due to appear on the programme at any point.
The incident is another example of the uneasy relationship between Kensington Palace, Meghan Markle’s wider family, and a media industry desperate for stories relating to this weekend’s royal wedding.
The issue came to a head after the Mail on Sunday’s expose of Meghan’s father for apparently staging photographs, despite pleas from the royal family’s press office for the media to leave the family alone.
The family has already proved to be regulars in the media, with Meghan’s half-brother Thomas Jr writing an open letter in a US celebrity magazine urging Prince Harry to call off the wedding, while his brother Tyler promised to launch a strain of cannabis named “Markle Sparkle” to celebrate the nuptials.
But despite the blanket news coverage, there is no sign as yet of any of the extended Markle family being signed up for lucrative punditry slots on US TV networks, who have built enormous temporary studios in Windsor for the wedding.
Instead they have largely resorted to talking with TMZ, the Los Angeles-based gossip website which has outfoxed the Kensington Palace press office with its stream of stories about the Markle family, including regular updates from Meghan’s father about whether he intends to attend the wedding.
This has taken its toll on some of the future royal’s relatives.
“Meghan and I do not have a relationship now,” said Markle’s half-sister Samantha Markle in a video defending her right to continue doing media appearances regarding her family and is writing a book entitled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister. “The last year has been strained because of what tabloids have said.”
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Duchess Of Cambridge is in Labour
The Duchess of Cambridge is in labour and has been admitted to the private Lindo Wing at St. Mary’s Hospital in London where she will give birth to her third child.
- The third child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be born in the same wing as the royal couple’s two previous children.
- The medical team is being led by Alan Farthing and Guy Thorpe-Beeston, who delivered the Duchess’ second child, Charlotte.
- The child will be fifth in line to the throne, behind big sister Charlotte, bumping William’s younger brother Prince Harry one place down the line of succession.
The Duchess of Cambridge suffers from hyperemesis gravidarum, severe levels of nausea and vomiting, during the early stages of her pregnancy, a more serious health risk than the morning sickness many women suffer. Barriers and parking restrictions have been in place outside the private Lindo Wing since April 9th in preparation for the arrival of the world’s media when the new baby will be shown to the public for the first time. Prince George was born in the Lindo Wing in 2013 and Prince Charlotte was born there in 2015. Their father Prince William was also born at the same facility.
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