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Gold State Coach to lead the Platinum Jubilee Pageant in the UK

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The Queen's Gold state coach
Built in 1762, the seven metres long Gold State Coach is the third oldest surviving coach in the UK

The Gold State Coach will appear as part of the Platinum Jubilee Pageant on Sunday 5 June, 2022. It was built in 1762, but it has been 20 years since the public last seen the royal vehicle on the streets.

To mark the beginning of the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, the bells of Westminster Abbey will peel as they did on Coronation Day. As they do so, the Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry will lead The Gold State Coach, drawn – as it always has been – by eight Windsor Grey horses. The Gold State Coach transported The Queen to her Coronation 69 years ago, and has not been seen in on the streets of London for over twenty years.

However on this occasion, the Gold State Coach will play a very particular role in the Pageant, not transporting Her Majesty The Queen but showcasing in the coach windows, original film footage recorded on Coronation Day, evoking the image of The young Queen on that day.

“Everywhere you look, in the golden sculptures and painted panels, in the uniforms of the postillions, grooms, footmen, attendants and mounted guards, there is rich tradition and history. It will be a unique spectacle that we are privileged to be opening the Pageant with it will set the tone for the very many spectacular sights to come.” – says Adrian Evans, Pageant Master.

The Gold State Coach will be 260 years old this November. It has been significantly overhauled four times, in 1820 when King George IV acceded (but it was not used for his coronation); in 1902 for the coronation of King Edward VII, and in 1953 for the coronation of The Queen. It was last regilded in 1977 for The Queen’s Silver Jubilee, although in places it bears evidence of between seven and ten layers of gilding and retouching over the past two centuries.

The Coach was used at the State Openings of Parliament, by George III, George IV and William IV. Queen Victoria, however, was not fond of the Coach and after Prince Albert’s death in 1861, only opened Parliament seven times and did not make use of the State Coach. King Edward VII revived its use at his Coronation and the annual State Opening of Parliament, and this was continued by King George V from 1922. King George VI made use of it twice following his coronation.

At the Jubilees of 1977 and 2002, Her Majesty and The Duke of Edinburgh were conveyed in the Coach to a Service of National Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.

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London exhibition portraying unfairly censored communities is open until Friday

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Visitors at the Unseen exhibition in London
Female body and race are amongst the content being censored on social media platforms

An exhibition in the United Kingdom is showcasing images of 13 communities censored and silenced on social media platforms.

Unseen’, part of an online community project aiming to open the discussion around digital censorship, is now a public exhibition featuring posts and several stories submitted by people and small businesses who experienced their content and social media accounts being removed or shadow banned. Created by British photographer Rankin, the initiative is on display at Quantus Gallery in Shoreditch, East London.

“Censorship is a necessary tool to prevent fake news, protect children, and more. But it is often used inadvertently to silence marginalised voices,” says creative founder, Rankin. “We have had an incredible response so far, and we’re just getting started. This is an important issue, and those affected deserve to have a voice in the policies that affect them on the platforms they love and build their businesses on.” – defends the photographer known for his portraits of a variety of celebrities, from Kate Moss, Madonna and David Bowie to Queen Elizabeth II and Britney Spears.

Brands, content creators, and body-positive activists and artists have been clashing with social media networks over overly restrictive publishing guidelines for a while, with platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok regularly banning content posted worldwide.

“It is a continuous, frustrating game of whack-a-mole with platforms, so much so that I have ended up blending my Ph.D. in the moderation of online abuse with my experiences of censorship,” – Says Dr. Carolina Are, a visiting lecturer at the City University of London whom recent work focused on finding frameworks to effectively moderate social media without affecting freedom of expression, and on platforms’ moderation and censorship of nudity and sexuality.

The exhibition ‘Unseen’ will run until June 24th at Quantus Gallery 11-29 Fashion Street, London, E1 6PX.

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One in five UK adults has started a ‘side hustle’ since March 2020

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38% of people surveyed used the money they earnt from a side hustle to pay for rent, clothes and even food | Photo: Jonathan Borba

One in five (19%) adults in the UK have started a ‘side hustle’ since March 2020 and, almost one in six (16%) claim to earn upwards of £1,000 a month from their new venture, according to new research from insurance provider, Aviva, conducted by Censuswide over 10 days in May, 2022.

However, only two thirds of those who started a side hustle over the past two years are still pursuing them today. 37% have returned to their day jobs being their main source of income now that lockdowns are over, and some companies expect employees to return to the office or work from home only partially.

The most popular ‘side hustle’ people chose to pursue was to ‘sell handcrafted products’ (23%), a phenomenon that saw online marketplaces for crafts and vintage items such as Etsy growing exponentially in 2020 and 2021. One in nine (11%) looking for an extra income turned to art, 9% to photography, while a similar number (10%) tried their hand at being a social media influencer – a popular choice with those aged 16-24 (13%). Other income boosters included becoming a courier (6%), driving a taxi (4%), and offering nutritional advice (4%).

When asked what their original motivation was to start a side hustle in addition to their normal, full-time job during the pandemic, most say it was financially motivated. Two in five (39%) people said they did it because they saw an opportunity to turn a hobby into an income; others to ‘make ends meet’ (30%); become financially independent (21%) or to pay off debts (18%).  Over a quarter (27%) started their new vocation to empower themselves/ gain confidence and improve their mental health, while 16% just wanted to practice the skills they had attained (i.e. photography, counseling, etc.).

“The pandemic has transformed how we relate to work. Aviva’s research reveals two sides to this story. For some, the pandemic has brought greater work-life flexibility. This appears to have fuelled a boom in ‘side hustles’. For others, the pandemic has brought greater financial strain, and this appears to have fuelled a need to look elsewhere to make ends meet.” – says Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings & Retirement at Aviva.

On average, side hustlers make around £497 a month from their secondary income, with more than one in four (28%) earning more than £500 a month.

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Young people increasingly struggling to get on the UK property ladder

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Young woman at her home lounge
Feeling the pinch: 19% of young people living in Cardiff needed to find additional employment to pay their bills, a survey has revealed | Photo: Karolina Grabowska

Despite a property market boom across the UK in recent years, the average age of a first-time buyer is up by almost two years, meaning the average Briton, now, will be 34 years old by the time they purchase their first home. 20 years ago, the average age of a first-time buyer was 31, while in the 1990s it was approximately 29, according to market analysis by Which.

And a recent survey released by independent finance broker KIS Finance has found that over 22% of 18 to 35-year-olds have been forced to take on an additional job as the cost of living crisis deepens, making home ownership out of reach for an increasing number of people.

Last week the Government’s announced a range of steps to try to help more people onto the property ladder. However, exactly how the proposed schemes will work in practice remains to be seen.

The proposal to extend the existing Right to Buy Scheme to include housing association properties could help large numbers onto the property ladder, who thought that home ownership was beyond their reach. This amendment to the original scheme, which was introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 1980 and allowed people to buy their council house at a discounted rate, could see up to 3 million low paid workers buy their own homes.

“Whilst the announcement of measures to help first-time buyers onto the housing ladder will be welcomed, it remains to be seen how the proposals will work in practice. Accepting housing benefit payments toward a mortgage will be a significant change for mortgage providers and it may take some time for the details to be worked through. However, any steps to help support young people to escape from the trap of rented accommodation will be positive and the industry needs to be ready to adapt to support the proposed changes” – says Holly Andrews, MD at KIS Finance.

Key statistics from KIS Finance’s survey also found that 22% of those aged 18 to 35 have taken on an additional job to help them afford basic items such as rent, heating, and food, and a staggering 57% of young British workers reported they are already struggling financially and expect things to get significantly worse in the near future.

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