Queen Elizabeth II was welcomed by a cheering crowd of thousands on Thursday as she began her diamond jubilee tour of Britain, accompanied by Prince William’s wife, Catherine.
The queen visited Leicester in England’s east Midlands, where locals were in full voice to give her the sort of enthusiastic welcome usually reserved for international rock stars.
Accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh; and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge; the queen took a regular train for the 75-minute journey from London.
The bunting and British flags were out in force in Leicester, a multi-cultural city that has changed dramatically during the queen’s 60-year reign.
About 10,000 union flags were handed out as the royals were greeted with screams as they chatted with the crowds, 10-deep and buzzing with excitement.
Leicester has the highest proportion of Indian-origin residents of any city in Britain, with more than a quarter defining themselves thus, and the royals were treated to displays of Bollywood-style dancing and South Asian music.
While other royals are touring Commonwealth states around the world to mark the queen’s diamond jubilee, the sovereign and Prince Philip are visiting every region of Britain.
The pace is slow and steady to suit their ages — the queen is 85 and the Duke of Edinburgh 90 — with the visits spread out until July.
With Kate, 30, learning the ropes first-hand from her grandmother-in-law, the pair watched a student fashion show together, exchanging observations as they sat at the end of the catwalk.
It is rumored that Kate first caught William’s eye at a student fashion parade in which she wore a see-though dress.
The queen wore a cerise cashmere dress and coat with a matching hat, while Kate, something of a fashion icon herself, was once again in a shade of blue.
The duchess picked a winner from a range of pairs of shoes created by the fashion students.
Winning designer Becka Hunt, 20, said she could not believe her blue shoes, inspired by the color of Kate’s engagement ring, will now be made for Kate.
“I’m overwhelmed,” she said. “She came over and said she loved all the designs. I cannot believe I’ve been chosen.”
The royal party then attended a multi-faith service at Leicester Cathedral.
Erica Swift, 85, waited outside for a glimpse of the royals.
“Sixty years’ reign — she’s a gracious lady and I admire her a lot. Nobody can beat her. I wish her all the best now and for many more years,” she said.
Prince Philip was in jovial form as he chatted to well-wishers outside the cathedral, while the queen and the duchess were given flowers.
The Leicester visit was Prince Philip’s first major public engagement since undergoing minor heart surgery in December.
The duke remains in robust health, having gone carriage driving last weekend, the BBC reported.
Kate has already accompanied the queen on a handful of engagements, while William is spending six weeks as a search-and-rescue pilot with the Royal Navy in the Falkland Islands.
A German baker has drummed up some much-needed demand during the COVID-19 pandemic by making cakes in the shape of toilet rolls. Faced with a slump in sales as customers stayed away, baker Tim Kortuem got the idea when people complained about a shortage of goods in supermarkets after people started stockpiling. Sales of toilet rolls rose 700 percent this month and last month, grocers say. “We thought: We should just create toilet rolls for eating. And that’s how the idea emerged,” Kortuem told reporters. The marble cake with white fondant icing has been a big hit. Kortuem’s shop, Das Schuerener Backparadies, in the
MORE RESOURCES: The prime minister announced an extra A$1.1bn in health-related spending, of which A$150m would be spent on domestic violence support services Australia yesterday announced a nearly US$100 million boost in funding to tackle domestic violence after support services reported a spike in coronavirus-related family abuse. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there had been a 75 percent surge in Google searches for help during the ongoing nationwide shutdown of non-essential services to curb the spread of COVID-19. Women’s Safety, a domestic violence charity in Australia’s most populous New South Wales state, has reported that more than 40 percent of workers had seen an increase in client numbers, with more than one-third of cases directly linked to the virus outbreak. In neighboring Victoria, women’s support
RICKSHAW EPIC: Two men on a cycle rickshaw said that they were taking over pedaling when the other became exhausted on their journey, which they said was one-way With India locked down over COVID-19 and no way to earn money, Dilipji Thakor faces a grim choice: either walk home or die hungry. Thakor is among millions of migrant workers left jobless and penniless by the full shutdown of the country on Wednesday that has sparked an exodus from major cities. Thousands are walking long distances back to their home villages after all transport was stopped except for essential services as authorities struggle to contain the outbreak, which has infected more than 700 people in India. Huge numbers had crammed onto trains and buses before the country of 1.3 billion people
A former child bride who spent 19 years in prison for a murder she did not commit is to sue the Pakistani authorities in an effort to persuade the country to help other victims of miscarriages of justice. Rani Bibi was just 14 when she was convicted, alongside her father, brother and cousin, of the murder of her husband and spent the next two decades sweeping the floors of an overcrowded Pakistan prison. Last year a Lahore High Court judge acquitted her of all charges, saying that she “was left to languish in the jail solely due to [the] lackluster attitude of