Prince William ‘requested Peter Phillips stand between him and Harry at Prince Philip’s funeral’: Duke of Sussex ‘has faced frostiness from family over Oprah interview since return to UK’ 

Prince William asked for Peter Phillips to stand between him and Harry during Prince Philip’s funeral procession yesterday, it has been claimed. 

The brothers were separated by Princess Anne’s son as they walked behind the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin while it made its way to St George’s Chapel in Windsor yesterday afternoon. 

It was the first time William and Harry had appeared together in public since Megxit saw the Duke of Sussex leave for LA with wife Meghan.

The brothers seemed to reconcile as they left St George’s Chapel after the service, however there appeared to be a degree of tension between them beforehand.

Sources have now told The Mail on Sunday that Harry has experienced ‘a great deal of frostiness’ from many of his relatives since arriving in Britain a week ago and self- isolating at Frogmore Cottage, the house given to him and Meghan as a wedding present by the Queen. 

Princess Anne, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie failed to acknowledge Harry before or during yesterday’s service, it was claimed. 

‘Ironically the only one who has expressed any sympathy towards him is Prince Andrew,’ said one source.

‘He knows from Sarah Ferguson – and now first-hand – how it feels to be the outsider, which Harry very much is.

‘As far as the others are concerned, there is a deep sense of protection towards the Queen and resentment towards Harry. There is little sympathy for him after what he and Meghan said on Oprah.’

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex accused the Royals of institutional racism during the bombshell 90-minute interview last month and claimed one member of the family – not the Queen or Prince Philip – questioned what colour their son Archie’s skin would be. 

‘They are still very upset,’ the source added. ‘They are putting on a united front for the Queen. They all think he has behaved appallingly.’

The siblings had maintained stony expressions yesterday as they walked behind their grandfather’s cortege, separated by Peter Phillips.

The Duke of Cambridge strode ahead of his brother as they entered the 15th Century chapel, and once inside the atmosphere remained frosty.

William sat with Kate directly opposite Harry but did not appear to make eye contact, instead preferring to focus his gaze towards his grandfather’s coffin.

However, it was reported last week that William had spoken briefly with his brother on the phone, although the source said communication had been ‘more texts than calls’.

Harry has spoken to his cousin Princess Eugenie who remains a steadfast friend. ‘He is thought to have seen Eugenie, most likely outside since she’s being strict with her new baby,’ said the insider. According to one report, William requested that Peter Phillips stand between him and Harry during the funeral cortege.

Asked about the claim, a friend of Harry said: ‘He’s just doing what he’s told and getting on with it.’ 

The last time the brothers were seen together in public was on March 9 last year when they attended a Commonwealth service at Westminster Abbey – with the tension between the Cambridges and Sussexes clear to see.

Aides were yesterday reported to have ‘been walking on eggshells’ all week as the funeral plans were tweaked, but there was relief that the brothers have spoken and done so publicly. 

The princes talked while walking out of St George’s Chapel following the service, in a sight which triggered hopes among royal fans of a reconciliation. 

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Hundreds evacuated from Brighton beach after unexploded bomb found on seafront

Local Graham Hollinshead, who was “four or five sips” in to his first drink out since lockdown said he thought the evacuation was a prank at first.

He said: “There was zero information and very poor communication.

“It was my very first pint out in a bar since lockdown…Everyone was scared because the communication was so bad.”

Another witness described police shouting at members of the public to “get back” through a megaphone, with scores crowding a single street.

A Sussex Police spokesman confirmed a local man with a metal detector had made the discovery and said in a statement: “Police have cordoned off a section of beach just west of Brighton Palace Pier after an item – possibly an unexploded mortar shell – was discovered.

“The scene has been made safe while officers await attendance from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal.

“In the interests of safety, members of the public are advised to stay away from the area in the meantime.”

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Who won what in the 2020-21 Australian domestic season

WBBL: Sydney Thunder

The first title of the season was decided in late November when Sydney Thunder won the WBBL for the second time by comprehensively beating Melbourne Stars in the final at North Sydney Oval after the competition had been staged entirely in a Sydney-based hub. Shabhim Ismail and Sammy-Jo Johnson were almost unplayable with the new ball and the Stars, who had led the way in the regular season, could only limp to 86 for 9. It was a target comfortably overhauled as Heather Knight and Rachael Haynes cantered home.

Leading run-scorer: Beth Mooney (551, Perth Scorchers)

Leading wicket-taker: Sammy-Jo Johnson (22, Sydney Thunder)

BBL: Sydney Sixers

A tournament that began in multiple mini-hubs then managed to traverse Covid-19 outbreaks and the related border closures to come to a conclusion at the SCG – the final being the only game of the season played in New South Wales – with the Sydney Sixers securing back-to-back titles having spent their entire campaign on the road. James Vince’s 95 off 60 balls was the standout as the Sixers gave Perth Scorchers too much to chase despite their powerful batting order. Dan Christian was able to add another trophy to his cabinet.

Leading run-scorer: Alex Hales (543, Sydney Thunder)

Leading wicket-taker: Jhye Richardson (29, Perth Scorchers)


WNCL: Queensland

After multiple delays and schedule changes the domestic 50-over competition was played from late January to late March with each team having eight matches. The standout feature was the volume of centuries churned out, and often by those not in the Australia set up. The backend of the tournament was played without the international names who were in New Zealand and Victoria, who qualified with ease, suffered especially hard. In the final they were overpowered by Queensland, led by Georgia Redmayne’s hundred, as they won the title for the first time.

Leading run-scorer: Elyse Villani (611, Victoria)

Leading wicket-taker: Molly Strano (14, Victoria)

Marsh Cup: New South Wales

For while it appeared this competition could fall by the wayside but a reduced version was completed as the domestic season stretched well into April. A number of teams used it as a chance to blood younger players amid heavy workloads but the final at Bankstown was full of international stars (even with some absent at the IPL). However, the decisive innings came from Jack Edwards, one of New South Wales’ up-and-coming names, as they overpowered a hefty Western Australia batting line-up.

Leading run-scorer: Peter Handscomb (299, Victoria)

Leading wicket-taker: Joel Paris (Western Australia), Sean Abbott (New South Wales), Matt Kuhnemann (Queensland), Jackson Bird (Tasmania) – all with 10 wickets

Sheffield Shield: Queensland

It started in an Adelaide-based hub in October when border closures were still a major factor in Australia and concluded in front of 10,000 fans across four days at Allan Border Field in mid-April as Queensland secured the Shield for the ninth time. The postponement of the South Africa Test series meant the international players appeared much more than might have been the case which produced some high-quality cricket even if the pitches tended to be on the docile side. There was a lot of toil for the quicks but spinners had their chance to shine – with three in the top five wicket-takers – while batsmen often enjoyed themselves, with feats such as Will Pucovski’s back-to-back double hundreds and Cameron Green’s career-best 251.

Leading run-scorer: Cameron Green (922, Western Australia)

Leading wicket-taker: Nathan Lyon (42, New South Wales)

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

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O’Sullivan and Scott pair on target for Queensland carnival

Talented four-year-old Dragon Leap is preparing for a possible tilt at the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap in Brisbane. Photo Credit: Trish Dunell

Stablemates Dragon Leap and Spring Heat furthered their preparations for a tilt at the Brisbane Winter Carnival with a day out at Te Rapa on Saturday where they completed an exhibition gallop between races.

Neither of the talented duo were asked for a serious effort but pleased their connections with the manner in which they accomplished their tasks.

For the Hermitage Thoroughbreds-owned Dragon Leap the outing was another step on his path to a raceday return having been off the scene due to some ligament issues since finishing towards the rear of the field in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick last September.

The four-year-old son of Pierro has the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) in June as his major assignment with co-trainer Lance O’Sullivan, who prepares him in partnership with Andrew Scott, impressed by how he has progressed over the past month.

“We are yet to finalise a couple of things with both horses, but Dragon Leap is aiming for the Stradbroke,” O’Sullivan said.

“At this stage there is a race for him three weeks before the Stradbroke (Group 3 BRC Sprint, 1350m) that we will use as the lead up, so he will have a trial a week before that, then the lead up race and then hopefully into the Stradbroke.

“Looking at him yesterday (Saturday) at Te Rapa, there wouldn’t have been a quieter horse on the day.

“He is just wonderful to do anything with and could be a hack to teach kids to ride if he wasn’t a racehorse.

“He has had a decent break since tweaking a ligament and his rehab has gone very well.

“He came back to us from the Hermitage property in grand order and we have been delighted with how he has come along.

“We’ve taken every precaution with him, but we’ve had time on our side as the main aim all along was to go to Brisbane.”

Accompanying Dragon Leap to Queensland is multiple Group One placegetter Spring Heat, who will finish off her racing career in the sunshine state before taking her place in the Hermitage Thoroughbreds broodmare band.

“Spring Heat was going to be retired to the Hermitage farm, so we thought why not take her to Brisbane and try and get some more black type with her,” O’Sullivan said.

“She will contest some of those lesser fillies and mares’ races over there, but we haven’t confirmed a programme for her yet as we are waiting to see what sort of weight she will get.

“There are plenty of options for her, so it will just be a matter of placing her to the best advantage when we know how she will be handicapped.

“She may have to carry a bit of weight, but we will line her up and see how she goes.

“She is pretty much race fit, so her gallop on Saturday topped her off nicely and she will be ready to go when we get her over there.”

Spring Heat has won 6 of her 18 career starts, including the Group 3 King’s Plate (1200m) while she has also been placed on two occasions in the Group 1 Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham.

Dragon Leap, who finished fourth when favourite in the 2020 Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m), has won three of his six starts including the Group 2 Auckland Guineas (1600m) and Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m).

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Queen’s secret messages to Philip

The Queen paid tribute to Prince Philip, her beloved husband of 70 years, with six very personal touches which were discretely incorporated into his funeral on Sunday.

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Resetting Australia’s troubled COVID-19 vaccine rollout at top of National Cabinet agenda

Resetting Australia’s troubled COVID-19 vaccine rollout will be the focus of a National Cabinet meeting today, as the nation’s leaders gather to urgently get the program back on track. 

The federal government has blamed the sluggish rollout on vaccine supply issues overseas, with GPs complaining they have received as few as 40 doses to distribute a week.

Some doctors say public confidence in the vaccine rollout is fading, and urgently needs to be restored if there is any hoping of completing it by the end of the year.

The government has also had to overhaul its rollout plans after receiving updated medical advice recommending people under the age of 50 get the Pfizer vaccine over AstraZeneca due to concerns about blood clots.

Starting from today, National Cabinet will be meeting twice a week to address those issues and Mr Morrison said the states will discuss their plans to open mass vaccination centres to accelerate the rollout.

“I know some states are very interested in supporting larger vaccination programs now for people aged 50 to 70 and we are very open to discussing that with the states and looking forward to that discussion tomorrow,” Mr Morrison said on Sunday.

Victoria announced on Sunday it will open three mass-vaccination hubs for Australians eligible for the shot, after similar announcements from the New South Wales and South Australian governments. 

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Professor Brendan Murphy explains the changes to Australia’s vaccine rollout.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the nation’s leaders would today discuss how mass vaccination centres would be run in tandem with GP clinics which are already administering the jabs.

“If states wish to expand their offerings then that’s an option that is available to them individually and there is no one-size-fits-all model that each state and territory will have options going forward,” he said on Sunday.

“We need to be honest that the global challenge with the scientific information, which it was our duty to make sure was considered by ATAGI, and when they made the recommendations, has meant that there are elements that we are reviewing through the National Cabinet.”

Calls for GPs to issue Pfizer shots

Some doctors say the greatest threat facing the rollout is not the practical issues it faces, but the fading public confidence they are causing.

Dr Omar Khorshid from the Australian Medical Association said in many respects the rollout is tracking quite well, but is being weighed down by the perception it is failing.

“It has been characterised as something that’s chaotic and missing its targets, and with vaccines that are of questionable safety, and the most of that isn’t actually true,” he said.

“But it’s critical that our state governments and our federal government work together to demonstrate to Australians that they’re on top of this, and that they will roll out these vaccines in a safe and effective way by the end of the year.”

Pfizer is going to play a much more significant part in the vaccine rollout, as it is now the preferred vaccine for Australians under 50.

Dr Karen Price from the Royal Australasian College of GP’s said that means questions around supply must be clearly answered and communicated.

And she said GP’s will have to be given the capacity to administer Pfizer doses.

“I think we’re going to need all hands on deck here,” she said. 

“It won’t be for every practice. And that’s okay.”

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Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 40 seconds

Why isn’t Australia ordering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

Scott Morrison last week abandoned a target to offer a first vaccine dose to all Australians by October, arguing there was too much uncertainty. 

Speaking on Sunday, opposition health spokesman Mark Butler said the national cabinet meeting was an opportunity for the Prime Minister to set new goals.

“Scott Morrison must outline a clear plan — to replace his current failed one — that has targets, that has timelines and that has milestones that allow Australians, and Australian businesses, to plan for the future,” he said.

“Tomorrow’s National Cabinet meeting is an opportunity for states to step in and fix his mess.”

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Washington Police Clash With Anti-Racism Protesters in Chinatown

Protesters clashed with officers in Washington’s Chinatown on April 17 during a demonstration against racism and police brutality sparked by recent police shootings. Three adults and a 15-year-old were arrested, local media reported. The adults were charged with assault on a police officer and possession of a destructive device and the 15-year-old was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon, reports said. Social media footage from the protest showed fireworks exploding in front of the Chinatown arch and smoke fuming out of the vandalized Christopher Columbus fountain near Union Station. Footage shared by Twitter user @superman747474 shows police pushing protesters and telling them to “back off” before fireworks are set off near the officers. Credit: @superman747474 via Storyful

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Queen a solitary figure as Philip laid to rest

Sitting by herself at the funeral of Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth cut a regal, but solitary figure: still the monarch, but now alone.

The Queen sat apart from family members on Saturday at the simple but sombre ceremony at Windsor Castle, in accordance with strict social distancing rules during the coronavirus pandemic.

But if the ceremony had been for anyone else, at her side would have been her husband of 73 years, who gave a lifetime of service to the crown.

Wearing a face mask, the queen was dressed all in black, except for the diamond brooch that flashed on her left shoulder – a piece she had often worn on engagements with her husband.

The monarch’s four children – Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – sat nearby, as did the Queen and Philip’s eight grandchildren. The stripped-back service made their loss somehow more personal for people who often live their lives in public.

Just 30 mourners were allowed to attend the service for the prince, who died April 9 aged 99. The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of the castle, a 950-year-old royal residence 30km west of London, but was shown live on television around the globe.

Hundreds of people lined the streets outside the castle to pay their respects to the prince. Some held Union flags and clutched flowers, while others wore custom face masks featuring the royal’s photo.

“We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our queen, by his service to the nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith,” the dean of Windsor, David Conner, said in his call to prayer.

The nation honoured Philip with a minute’s silence observed across the United Kingdom at 3 pm, its beginning and end marked by a gun fired by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery. The final shot signalled the start of a funeral service steeped in military and royal tradition, but infused with the duke’s personality.

Philip’s body was carried to St. George’s Chapel at the castle on a Land Rover that the prince himself had specially designed. It was followed by members of the Royal Family, including Princes William and Harry, who made their first public appearance together since Harry and his wife, Meghan, gave a controversial interview to US television host Oprah Winfrey in which they discussed the difficulties of royal life and how the two brothers had grown apart.

Members of the royal family follow Prince Philip’s hearse in Windsor. Photo: John Rainford/Cover Images

The procession traversed the grounds of Windsor Castle, passing military detachments arrayed under bright blue skies.

Inside the medieval Gothic chapel, the setting for centuries of royal weddings and funerals, this service was quiet and without excessive pageantry. Philip was deeply involved in planning the ceremony. At his request, there was no sermon. There were also no eulogies or readings, in keeping with royal tradition.

Philip’s coffin was draped with Philip’s personal standard, topped with his Admiral of the Fleet Naval Cap and sword. The sword was given to him by his father-in-law, King George VI, on the occasion of his marriage to the Queen in 1947.

The funeral reflected Philip’s military ties, both as the ceremonial commander of many units and as a veteran of the Royal Navy who served with distinction during World War II.

More than 700 military personnel took part in the commemorative events, including army bands, Royal Marine buglers and an honour guard drawn from across the armed forces.

William and Harry were part of the nine-member royal contingent, although their cousin, Peter Phillips, walked between them. There was no obvious tension between the brothers, whose relationship has been strained since Harry’s decision to quit royal duties and move to California. After the service, they walked back to the castle together, seeming to chat amiably.

Prince William, left, Prince Harry and Peter Phillips, right, follow the coffin during a procession arriving at St George’s Chapel. Photo: Mark Large/Pool via AP

As Philip’s coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault, Royal Marine buglers sounded Action Stations, an alarm that alerts sailors to prepare for battle – included in the service at Philip’s request.

He will rest there, at least until the Queen’s death, alongside the remains of 24 other royals, including King George III, whose reign included the years of the American Revolution. The Queen and Philip are expected to be buried together in the Royal Burial Ground on the Frogmore Estate close to Windsor Castle.

For decades, Philip was a fixture of British life, renowned for his founding of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards program that encouraged youths to challenge themselves and for a blunt-spoken manner that at times included downright offensive remarks.

He lived in his wife’s shadow, but his death has sparked a reflection about his role, and new appreciation from many in Britain.

– AP

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Navalny’s supporters move forward with next round of protests, without waiting to reach half-million threshold in signature drive

Alexey Navalny’s supporters have begun mobilizing for another round of protests to demand his release from prison. The activists are moving forward without waiting to reach 500,000 signatures on a petition launched last month. On April 17, Navalny’s spokeswoman announced on social media that Navalny could die “in a matter of days” due to his declining health in prison. In a speech shared on Navalny’s YouTube channel, senior Anti-Corruption Foundation members Ivan Zhdanov and Leonid Volkov argued that any further delay could cost Navalny his life:

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Coronavirus | Rahul Gandhi cancels election rallies in West Bengal

‘I would advise all political leaders to think deeply about the consequences of holding large public rallies under the current circumstances,” the Congress leader tweeted.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday announced the suspension of his political rallies in West Bengal because of the COVID-19 situation and appealed to other parties to reconsider organising large gatherings.

Mr. Gandhi’s move is likely to put pressure on other parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Trinamool Congress.

“In view of the Covid situation, I am suspending all my public rallies in West Bengal. I would advise all political leaders to think deeply about the consequences of holding large public rallies under the current circumstances,” Mr. Gandhi tweeted.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “Applause & respect. Lives are too important to be risked in rallies”.

Mr. Gandhi’s move also comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had come under some criticism on social media for appreciating large crowds at his rally in West Bengal’s Asansol (West Bardhaman district) despite an alarming spike in COVID-19 cases across the country.

Targeting Mr. Modi for referring to Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as “Didi-o-Didi” at his public rallies, former Union Minister P. Chidambaram tweeted, “Is this the manner in which a prime minister should refer to a chief minister? I cannot imagine a Jawaharlal Nehru or a Morarji Desai or a Vajpayee speaking that language”.

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