Victorian family broke NZ quarantine rules after flying from NSW for funeral


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says there are consequences for people who break the trans-Tasman bubble rules, even if they don’t end up being fined or jailed.

The NZ Herald reported that a group of three people from Melbourne have been put into managed isolation in New Zealand after misleading officials about where they were travelling from.

It is understood the trio, who are resident in Australia, planned to attend a funeral during their trip to New Zealand.

They drove to Sydney and then flew to Auckland, and were caught at the border after trying to deceive officials. They will now have to pay for their 14-day quarantine stay.

It appears they broke the trans-Tasman bubble rules – which could lead to a $4000 fine or six months in jail – as well as the Victoria lockdown rules.

Melbourne is subject to a two-week lockdown as the city battles to contain a community Covid-19 cluster.

Restrictions are in place for anyone from Victoria wanting to travel to other parts of Australia.

Ms Ardern said that their mandatory stay in quarantine was a punishment, regardless of whether police decided to charge them.

“Ultimately they were stopped at the border, and they were put into managed isolation.

“That demonstrates that even when we have people who are making a deliberate attempt to get through, that will be picked up.

“There’s multiple points in the system where we can pick people up, and in this case, we have.”

Asked why they shouldn’t be charged, she said “there are consequences”.

“To anyone considering breaching the rules that we have in place – in this case, the family has been picked up, and they’ve been put into a managed isolation facility.

“As for fines, those decisions do sit elsewhere.”

Director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said relevant border agencies would review processes, even though it appeared this was the result of “disappointing actions” from the three people concerned.

They have all tested negative for Covid-19, and their three-day test results are due tomorrow.

Ms Bloomfield said he hadn’t looked into whether the trio should face charges, but added that they may also face charges in Australia for breaking the Melbourne lockdown rules.

RELATED: Virus scare after couple flees lockdown

RELATED: State’s new rule for Qld, NSW travellers

It follows a breach of the trans-Tasman bubble rules at the end of April, when a man flew from Perth to Auckland via Sydney while there was a pause on flights to New Zealand from Perth because of an outbreak there.

The man appears to have lied about whether he had travelled from Perth.

By the time his identity and travel were confirmed, he had landed at Auckland Airport and eluded authorities. When health officials caught up with him, he was allowed to self-isolate in Northland.

The man’s travel highlighted how easy it is to breach the rules in the trans-Tasman bubble, which had only been running for a week at the time of his flight.

Immigration NZ manager Peter Elms said at the time that it was a high-trust model.

The multiple checks included questions being asked at the airport, and data-matching from border agencies to check if people had flown from an area where flights to New Zealand were paused.

But people who drove to an area where flights to New Zealand continued could break the rules by lying about whether they’ve been in a locked-down area.

“For somebody who’s intent on getting to their end destination, regardless of the rules, it’s a straightforward option they can take if they’re willing to lie,” Elms told the Herald in April.

“Quarantine-free travel, certainly when it comes to pauses or suspension, it relies heavily on people’s honesty, people’s ability to understand and follow the rules in place.”

This article originally appeared in the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission

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Bobby Storey funeral: Watchdog report finds no police bias


A report into how police handled the funeral of senior republican Bobby Storey has found no bias.

A review was launched after it was announced prosecutions could not be brought against 24 Sinn Féin politicians.

It was conducted by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

It found there were “grounds for criticising the PSNI approach” but that they were not “especially serious failings”.

“They do not approach the level at which censure of individual officers, or resignations, would be justified.”

About 2,000 people attended Mr Storey’s funeral in Belfast last June at a time when rules placed strict limits on funeral numbers and public gatherings.

The political fall-out saw the DUP and Ulster Unionists call for the resignation of Chief Constable Simon Byrne.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill was among those questioned as part of a six-month police investigation following the funeral.

Justice Minister Naomi Long, who backed Mr Byrne, asked for the external review on behalf of the policing board.

The report, published on Monday, levelled no major criticisms at the PSNI.

It found there was “nothing to suggest that there was any bias towards one community or another in the way the PSNI dealt with this funeral.

“We have seen nothing to suggest a funeral of a leading figure in the loyalist community wouldn’t have been approached in the same way.”

It added: “The regulations at the time of the funeral were both confusing and controversial.

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Embalming is vital in the funeral industry, but a lack of skilled practitioners is causing concern


Deanne Edwards spends a lot of time with dead people.

“It’s such a fascinating world,” Ms Edwards said.

“That’s my utmost thought the whole time.” 

After nearly a decade of working as a funeral director, she became an embalmer to help bring comfort to loved ones as they grieve.

Embalming is a procedure to sanitise, restore and preserve a body after death.

Ms Edwards has noticed a lack of embalmers in South Australia.(

ABC News: Lincoln Rothall

)

Ms Edwards was privately trained by a South Australian master embalmer and is hoping to one day become a qualified trainer.

After taking up the practice, she noticed there was a lack of embalmers in South Australia.

“There are just too many people who have retired, and not enough people to train new people or continue the practice as they get older,” she said.

A woman in red hair handles surgical equipment in a dimly lit room
Deanne Edwards said she had experienced the impact of a lack of embalmers in South Australia firsthand.(

ABC News: Lincoln Rothall

)

“There has been a situation where I have needed someone that has more qualifications than myself, but they’re not available.”

She said advances in refrigeration technologies and an increase in cremation had impacted the age-old trade.

But despite that, Ms Edwards said more people in the industry needed to take up embalming.

Training blocks need addressing

Australian Institute of Embalming board member Ian Warren said South Australia lacked embalmers.

“There is not a shortage of people interested in wanting to do the course … we would have two or three enquiries a week,” Mr Warren said.

“The issue is that you really need to be working in the funeral industry, and then working for a company that does embalm and has a qualified embalmer who’s happy to take on students and be their mentor.”

Bottles of surgical chemicals sit on a table next to a white and blue towel
Embalming is often required if a body needs to be sent overseas for burial or if there is a long delay between the death and interment.(

ABC News: Lincoln Rothall

)

He said some students may be required to complete up to 50 embalmed bodies with their mentor before they are allowed to work by themselves.

Mr Warren is also a chief tutor at Mortuary and Funeral Educators, which is one of two registered training organisations in the industry.

“We have not had any students [in Adelaide] for at least seven years, so there is a bit of an issue that’s probably unique to Adelaide.”

A man wearing a blue suit, tie, white shirt and glasses sits with hands folded looking at camera in a dimly lit room
SA/NT Australian Funeral Director’s Association president David Lawlor.(

ABC News: Lincoln Rothall

)

The president of the SA/NT Australian Funeral Director’s Association, David Lawlor, said embalming was still a key part of the industry.

“If someone is being repatriated overseas they would need to be embalmed,” he said.

“Or if there is a delay between the death and the funeral taking place then there would be a need to embalm the body.”

He agreed there wasn’t a huge uptake of new trainees in South Australia, but didn’t believe there was a shortage of embalmers.

“I think at the moment we’re OK but in the future, we need more students to come through as embalmers retire.”

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Pause to New Zealand travel bubble pause means Sydney man will miss his mum’s funeral


When Matt Stevenson’s mum suddenly died earlier this week, while devastated, he was at least able to book a last-minute flight to New Zealand for the funeral, which takes place tomorrow.

But the sudden pause of the ‘travel bubble’ between New Zealand and NSW after just two local COVID-19 cases were recorded has left him and fiancee, Suzy Hansen, angry and upset.

The Sydney couple will now miss the funeral for Pauline Paku, 72, in Tauranga. The funeral would have also allowed Mr Stevenson to reunite with other family members for the first time in a year.
Matt Stevenson cannot go to New Zealand for his mother's funeral.
Matt Stevenson cannot go to New Zealand for his mother’s funeral. (Supplied)

Ms Hansen, 45, said the pair, feel the move, which was initiated by the New Zealand government, is an “overreaction”.

“It just seems like such an over-response,” she said.

“It’s a husband and a wife, it’s not like it’s somebody he knocked into at Woolies.

“The fact that it’s his wife and they’ve paused the bubble, it just seems over and above what is required.

“Matt’s very angry and I am too that just for two cases, that that’s the case.”

While Matt’s mum, who was 72, did have a chronic illness, she passed away suddenly after a few days in hospital.

Matt Stevenson's mother, Pauline Paku died earlier this week in New Zealand.
Matt Stevenson’s mother, Pauline Paku died earlier this week in New Zealand. (Supplied)

The couple, who are both from New Zealand, woke up to missed call at 2am in the morning, and were due to fly home today.

Mr Stevenson is now struggling with the fact he cannot take part in the Mauri funeral service with his family, his partner, said.

They will instead stay in Sydney as they would have to do 14-day hotel quarantine if they went to New Zealand.

“He’s not good. He’s very up and down. Very emotional. It’s a rollercoaster,” Ms Hansen, said.

“A lot of anger and disbelief and just the overreaction.”

Three people walk across Waitangi Park towards Oriental Bay in Wellington, New Zealand. (Mark Tantrum/Getty Images)

The pair, who got engaged earlier this year said while they have each other, they have no other family in Australia to help them cope.

“You might have each other, but you’re alone,” she said.

The New Zealand trans-Tasman travel bubble, which allowed Aussies to go to the nation without doing 14 days hotel quarantine, started on April 17.

Authorities are in talks about when it might resume, after the pause began at midnight.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said New Zealand would monitor the situation “very closely”.

New Zealand Minister for COVID-19 Response Chris Hipkins with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. (Getty)

“We’ll continue to monitor it, and obviously we’ll make decisions where we need to,” Mr Hipkins said.

New Zealanders could already come to Australia without quarantine.

But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned Australia and New Zealand viewed each other as “another state” and said the scheme could be halted if there were new virus cases.

Sydney
A couple in Sydney have coronavirus, sparking the return of masks, plus a pause on the trans-Tasman travel agreement. (Bloomberg)

“Anyone in Australia who is travelling between states is prepared for outbreaks and there possibly being disruption, and I can’t believe I am saying this, view New Zealand as another state in that way,” Ms Ardern told Today in April.

“If there is a hot spot in one of the states of Australia, we may just act in the same way that another state would, with just limitation of people to come in and out of our borders until that issue is resolved.

“We are trying to make it as simple for travellers as possible. Just prepare that there may be disruptions.”

New Zealand is renowned for its virus eradication policy, while Australia maintains it is trying to suppress the virus.

New Zealand has only had 2582 total cases and 26 deaths.

A total of 26 people in hotel quarantine in the nation currently have the virus, and nobody is in hospital.

Around four percent of the population has had one vaccination, according to Our World in Data.

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Grieving families risk rip off because of secretive funeral pricing



Grieving families are at risk of being ripped off because funeral directors are failing to be transparent with their prices, research by a consumer group has found.

The Competition and Markets Authority, which is consulting on the details of new requirements due to come into force in September, said late last year that pricing information should be given in advance of a customer committing to purchasing a service.

However, Which? carried out research into 112 funeral directors and found that about a quarter of them – 29 – did not include pricing information on their website. It said vulnerable customers could end up paying inflated prices as a result.

Of those that did display their prices, the information was often presented in an inconsistent way, meaning it could be difficult for people to understand what their money was being spent on.

Only 18 directors researched showed an itemised breakdown of costs, with 40 offering a description of what is included in a package but no breakdown.

Jenny Ross, editor of Which? Money, said: “Organising a funeral is already a stressful time for families – that stress shouldn’t be compounded by the fear of paying inflated prices. 

“Our research shows that many funeral directors are simply not showing their costs transparently.  

“To avoid more vulnerable people paying more than they should, funeral directors must do the right thing and be up front about the cost of their services.”

Which? said even those signed up to the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) were not always transparent with their costs. Of the NAFD members analysed, a third (11) did not disclose their pricing online, Which? said.

An NAFD statement said: “We are reviewing the CMA’s draft order in respect of online pricing to make sure we align our online member directory capabilities to the order.

“We are likely to introduce enforcement on those provisions of our new code in September, at the same time as the CMA’s requirements become law.”

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Frank Costa’s state funeral details



The Geelong legend’s service will be held at Kardinia Park next week.

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Prince Harry wrote his ‘very hurt’ father a ‘deeply personal letter’ ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral – ‘because he couldn’t reach him any other way’ in the wake of his explosive Oprah Winfrey interview



Prince Harry wrote his father a ‘deeply personal’ letter in which he promised to ‘respect the institution’ before he flew back to the UK for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral. 

The Duke of Sussex, 36, penned the note to Prince Charles after their relationship ‘hit rock bottom’ in the wake of his explosive Oprah Winfrey interview with Meghan Markle last month.

His decision to reach out to his father also came after he accused Prince Charles of refusing to take his calls.

However the Prince of Wales still remains ‘very hurt’ by Harry and Meghan’s decision to take part in the controversial interview, which was aired while Prince Philip was in hospital, and the pair have not yet mended their fractured relationship.  

In his letter, Prince Harry ‘outlined his reasons for leaving’ his position as a senior royal in order to emigrate to California and said he would ‘respect the institution’, sources told The Mirror.

The Duke of Sussex, who decided to reach out to his father as he prepared to reunite with his family for the first time after stepping back as a senior royal, was ‘forced to write letters’ after a ‘complete communication breakdown’ with Prince Charles, sources claim.

A royal source told The Mirror: ‘He wrote a deeply personal note to his dad to try and set things straight but tensions are still running high and things haven’t exactly ironed out the way he had hoped.

‘There had been a kind of unspoken agreement between everyone to park whatever has been on each person’s mind, and solely concentrate on supporting the Queen ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral.  

‘The feeling inside the camp was that it wasn’t the time nor the place to go over things, especially at such an emotional time for everybody involved.’  

During his interview with Winfrey last month, Prince Harry said he felt ‘very let down’ by his father Prince Charles, accusing him of refusing to take his calls and then ‘cutting him off’ financially when he and his wife emigrated. 

Asked about his relationship with Prince Charles, Harry said they were now speaking again, adding: ‘There’s a lot to work through there, you know? I feel really let down, because he’s been through something similar.

‘He knows what pain feels like, and Archie’s his grandson. I will always love him, but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened. And I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship’.

When asked about if he remains close to Prince William he replied: ‘I love William to bits. He’s my brother. We’ve been through hell together. I mean, we have a shared experience. But we’re on different paths’. 

Meghan also claimed that a relative of Prince Harry’s asked him ‘how dark’ their unborn child would be, with the Duchess claiming Archie being mixed-race was a ‘problem’ for the royals after Winfrey asked her if they were worried their son would be ‘too brown’. 

The former Suits star said she would not name the person because it would be ‘too damaging’ for them but she confirmed that the duke was asked the question – ‘how dark his skin might be when he’s born’ – ‘by family’. 

Earlier today a source revealed that Prince Charles ‘walked and talked’ with Prince Harry at Windsor Castle before taking part in a ‘family summit’ with both his sons after Prince Philip’s funeral.

It is not clear what was discussed at the meeting, but the source said they began the ‘long task’ of looking at condolence letters sent from around the world.’ 

The talks come as speculation whirls around when the Duke of Sussex will fly back to LA to be with pregnant wife Meghan Markle.

Prince Harry arrived in the UK on April 11, reportedly with his own US private security team.

According to the Telegraph, the Duke was met at Heathrow Airport by Met Police officers, who helped whisk him off to the royal residence of Frogmore Cottage – where he was placed into quarantine ahead of the funeral.

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Kate Middleton saved Prince Harry from media catastrophe at Philip’s funeral


When the history comes to be written of Queen Catherine I, much will be made of her coronation.

There will be the breathless recounting of her poise and much banging on about her beauty, and the fact she managed to get through the length ceremony without nodding off thus sending her State Crown skittering along the tiled Westminster Abbey floor.

But the truth of the matter is, the day Kate truly ascended and became the UK’s next Queen didn’t take place in the nearly 1000-year-old abbey, but on a sparkling day in April in Windsor with nary a tiara or ermine cloak in sight.

Over the weekend Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen’s husband of 73 years was laid to rest in a subdued, military funeral that saw the duke’s fractured family come together, united in grief, in a show which could be categorised as ‘Everyone is on their best behaviour’.

It was a day that was always going to be fraught with peril, with the ever-present possibility that things could go spectacularly off the rails thanks to the combustible combination of estranged family members being forced to reunite in front of live TV cameras (Andy Cohen and reality TV producers of the world, eat your heart out).

And there was one person, and one person only, who clearly understood keenly what was at stake and then took charge – Kate.

RELATED: Meghan and Archie cut out of royal photos

In the wake of the weekend’s events and her decisive role in them, the 39-year-old has very publicly been anointed as the heir apparent in terms of the title, Queen.

Because, it was the Duchess of Cambridge whose intervention and actions prevented the Queen from having the funeral of her “liege man of life and limb” engulfed by family drama and the ensuing tabloid frenzy.

A quick recap in case you had better things to do with your weekend than watch a midnight broadcast.

Saturday marked not only the passing of Philip but the return of Prince Harry to the royal flock after more than a year living in the US, an outing that was always going to be a dicey, dangerous PR highwire act for the palace.

RELATED: Kate’s selfless Harry gesture

As the Duke of Edinburgh’s children and grandsons took their place behind the bespoke

Land Rover bearing his body for the funeral procession, you could have cut the tension with

one of Queen Victoria’s favourite gold-plated butter knives.

Harry appeared tightly coiled, roiling emotion seemingly just below the surface; William, his jaw set and eyes facing resolutely straight ahead, and all the while their cousin Peter Phillips awkwardly wedged between them looking like he would have prefered to be mucking out his mum Princess Anne’s stables rather than acting as an official fraternal buffer.

The eight-minute walk from Windsor Castle to St George’s Chapel was never going to be the pivotal moment in terms of whether the Harry dramaaahhhh overtook the somber dignity of the day.

No, the crucial juncture was always going to be afterwards when the family would mingle while the world watched.

The possibility of Harry, newbie Californian and royal black sheep, being left isolated and ignored by his family was all too real.

RELATED: Harry’s sneaky attack in Philip tribute

It would have been easy – and understandable – if Kate and William had moved off after the service and left it to their cousins princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, or Peter or Zara (and their suitably royal house-trained partners) to step into the gap and to speak to Harry.

After all, deciding to go on the tele and lay into one’s family (and one’s family’s business) has consequences.

Instead, it was Kate who stepped into the breach and broke the ice, chatting to Harry before they were joined by her husband Prince William. As the trio made their way back up the hill towards the Queen’s private Windsor Castle apartments, they were seen in conversation before Kate moved off to speak to Sophie, Countess of Wessex, leaving the two men to speak to one another.

The whole scene might have played out in less than three minutes but, make no mistake, there was a hell of a lot riding on this brief public interlude; rather, Kate’s diplomatic intervention saved the day and prevented the mournful outing being thoroughly derailed.

Don’t lose sight of the fact here that only six weeks ago, Harry sat by while his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex told the world that Kate had made her cry, essentially tarring and feathering the mum-of-three while 50 million people globally watched on.

Despite this, Kate showed true leadership, putting whatever her own personal feelings aside for the better of the Crown and the family at a critical moment.

Like the Queen Mother during the London Blitz, that selflessness will go a long way to garnering public respect and to adding a much-needed modicum of dignity to proceedings after the grubby ructions of the last couple of years.

If there was any doubt about the Queen’s feelings about her granddaughter-in-law, then the four-strand diamond-clasped pearl choker and diamond earrings which were worn by Kate and lent to her by Her Majesty, served as a priceless seal of regal approval.

(The choker was commissioned by the Queen in the ’70s and in 1982 Diana, Princess of Wales, donned the piece for a banquet for the Dutch royal family.)

The events of this weekend were a milestone moment.

While technically Prince Charles’s wife Camillla, Duchess of Cornwall will be the UK’s – and the Commonwealth’s – next regal consort, it was first announced ahead of their 2005 wedding and then reaffirmed last year that when Charles, the world’s oldest apprentice finally gets the job he has waited a good five decades for, she will only be known as Princess Consort.

Beyond that, while Camilla’s hard work and dedication since becoming a member of the royal family more than 15 years ago has earned her grudging respect and seen her public standing greatly improve, the 73-year-old, will never truly be seen, or accepted, as a Queen.

Rather, when the current 94-year-old monarch passes away, it will be Kate who will step into the queenly role, both practically and in terms of the public imagination.

(It doesn’t hurt here that the former accessories buyer and art history graduate looks like a small child’s idealised rendering of a princess or a queen.

She has the bearing, the doe-eyed good looks and the outward docility such that Cinderella would be jealous.)

While the Queen will never follow in the footsteps of her Dutch counterpart Queen Beatrix and step down in favour of her panting-at-the-regnal-bit son, she has handed over key duties to not only Charles but William in recent years.

For example, since 2017, it has been the Prince of Wales, and not his mother, who lays a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day, a key event on the royal calendar.

It would make sense therefore if we saw Kate assume more responsibility and to take on a more prominent role in the near future.

It has previously been reported the Queen will host US President Joe Biden and other world leaders at Buckingham Palace in June this year ahead of the G7 summit.

While no further details have been unveiled, if the proposed charm offensive goes ahead (that pesky Brexit business having taken its toll) it will be fascinating to see what sort of role Kate will be asked to play.

Similarly, the Telegraph has reported Charles and William will lead a royal summit with nothing less than the future of the monarchy on the table.

With the number of working members of the royal family dwindling with the loss of Prince Andrew and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from their ranks, and the median age of those left officially representing the Queen now nearly 70, the fretful question is who will shoulder the workload in the coming decades. (Andrew and the Sussexes undertook a combined 558 engagements in 2019.)

Again, will we see them settle on an expanded role for Kate?

If there is one thing that Kate demonstrated above all else on Saturday, it is her dependability to swoop in and save the whole lot of Windsors – and the Queen – in a crisis.

So, you know what? Kate isn’t the Cinderella in this story; no, after this weekend, she’s the royal family’s dashing saviour no white stead required. One day she will wear a crown and rightly bloody so.

Daniela Elser is a royal expert and a writer with more than 15 years experience working with a number of Australia’s leading media titles.

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State funeral will be held for Andrew Peacock, Prime Minister confirms


The family of former Liberal leader Andrew Peacock has accepted an offer for a state funeral, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed.

Mr Peacock died at his home in Texas on Friday, aged 82.

The “colt of Kooyong” served in federal parliament for nearly three decades before becoming Australia’s ambassador to the United States.

“He is a great, was, a great Australian. He made a great contribution to this country,” Mr Morrison said.

The Prime Minister said he had spoken to Mr Peacock’s wife Penne on Sunday morning and offered a state funeral.

“There will be a private funeral for Andrew in the United States this week and that will be followed up by a state memorial service in Australia,” he said.

He said the service would likely be held in “his beloved Victoria” at a time that would be arranged with the family.

Mr Peacock is survived by his three children and third wife, Penne.

“To my beautiful, loving, most caring, thoughtful, generous and brilliant father, you will be so greatly missed, your guidance and deep love for us will live in my heart, we are absolutely devastated,” his daughter Ann said in a tribute after his death was confirmed.

Mr Morrison said: “We send our love and we send our thoughts and prayers to you at this time as you come together as a family and mourn the loss of one of the towering members of your own family, and I know for Penne, a wonderful husband.

As well as twice leading the Liberal Party at elections, Mr Peacock served as foreign minister and held a range of other cabinet roles during his 28 years in Parliament.

Speaking to the press for the first time since Mr Peacock’s death, Mr Morrison said his legacy included a “great contribution to the region”, including his involvement with the independence of Papua New Guinea.

“He was an extremely compassionate man, he was an extremely charismatic individual. He could charm the birds out of the trees” Mr Morrison said.

Politicians from different parties have paid their respect to Mr Peacock over the weekend, remembering him as someone who loved Parliament and encouraged young people to enter public life. 

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DAN WOOTTON: Prince Charles heads to his Welsh bolthole to grieve privately for his father and ‘contemplate the future of the Royal Family’ – after holding extraordinary funeral summit with William and Harry



Prince Charles has left for his cottage in Wales to privately grieve the loss of his father – following an extraordinary summit with Prince William and Prince Harry immediately after Prince Philip’s funeral.

I have learned the grief-stricken Prince of Wales fled to Llwynywermod in Llandovery on his own within 24 hours of his father being laid to rest.

He departed after a face-to-face meeting within the grounds of Windsor Castle with his two sons, where they started the ‘baby steps’ towards a reconciliation following Harry and Meghan’s bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview.

But, in an unprecedented development that lays bare the depth of their rift, Charles and William preferred to meet with Harry together so that nobody’s words could be misconstrued afterwards.

A senior royal insider said: ‘Obviously after the worldwide fallout of the Oprah interview trust has to be rebuilt.

‘There was no official wake after the funeral, but Charles, William and Harry took the opportunity to speak and catch-up face to face after many months apart.

‘They were only able to spend a short time together outdoors given Covid restrictions and also without staff, including senior courtiers, overhearing what was being said.

‘It was important to Charles and William that they were both there together. It means nothing spoken about can be misconstrued in the future.’

Given the tensions, sparked by claims of racism and uncaring behaviour by the Royal Family when Meghan says she was suffering from mental health issues, a full rapprochement did not occur.

Another senior royal insider said: ‘There is much pain and hurt on both sides, so this reconciliation will take place in baby steps.

‘First, they need to decide on some ground rules as to how they conduct business going forward in a way that makes all parties feel safe and protected.’

Crucially, Charles and William have the Queen’s support to deal with the situation.

The source explained: ‘The Queen has made it clear to senior advisers that she is united with Charles and William, and was disappointed with aspects of Harry and Meghan’s interview.’

Harry remains in Windsor on an open-ended ticket, with a source revealing earlier today that he could stay for the Queen’s 95th birthday on Wednesday before returning to his pregnant wife in California later in the week.

But Charles decided he needed to contemplate on a solitary basis in peace at his Welsh hideaway, a £1.2million converted farmhouse in the Brecon Beacons.

It is believed his wife Camilla has remained in London, where she is continuing with private commitments.

My source added: ‘Charles felt he wanted to reflect alone.

‘He also wants to attend to the thousands of letters sent to him in condolence of his father’s death.

‘He is acutely aware that this is a hugely significant moment in his life and he feels like he has the weight of the world of his shoulders.

‘All his life he has been heir to throne, but Prince Philip was the patriarch of the family.

Thanks for dropping by and checking out this news update involving the latest United Kingdom news items named “DAN WOOTTON: Prince Charles heads to his Welsh bolthole to grieve privately for his father and ‘contemplate the future of the Royal Family’ – after holding extraordinary funeral summit with William and Harry”. This story is brought to you by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our local and national news services.

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