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How to send a message of condolence to the Royal Family today



An image of the late Queen Elizabeth outside a British Supermarket
Digital condolences: a selection of messages will be passed onto members of the Royal Family | Photo: Marcio Delgado

With the Queen’s lying-in-state now over, hundreds of thousands of people who queued to see her coffin at Westminster Hall are getting ready to watch a historic send-off at nearby Westminster Abbey.

World leaders and dignitaries will gather in the 13th Century church for the service at 11:00 BST, with the King and Queen Consort leading the procession behind the Queen’s coffin.

For those not able to get to London, the royal family’s website has an online book of condolence. By visiting the website, members of the public around the world can write a message and submit it, along with their name, email, and location. While not every note will make it to members of the Royal family, “a selection of messages” will be shared, according to the information on the page.

The official Twitter account for the royals also posted a link for the public to share their heartfelt messages through the digital condolences book to pay tribute to the late monarch. “A selection of messages will be passed onto members of the Royal Family, and may be held in the Royal Archives for posterity,”. it reads.

Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, died at the age of 96 on Thursday, September 8, at her home in Balmoral, Scotland.

The Queen’s funeral, in London, which will take place on Monday 19 September will be broadcast by the BBC, ITV and Sky News.

After the ceremony, her coffin will be transferred to the state hearse, and travel by road to Windsor. The committal service, attended by 800 people, will be held at St George’s Chapel. Later that evening her family will attend a private interment service for her burial.

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Myles Pillage Forced to Withdraw from Paris 2024



British athlete Myles Pillage competing in a black horse
Pillage sustained a calf injury at the World Championships four weeks ago | Photo: Team GB

The British Olympic Association has confirmed that Team GB Modern Pentathlete Myles Pillage will be unable to compete at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and has been withdrawn from the team on medical grounds.

Pillage sustained a calf injury at the World Championships four weeks ago and despite intensive rehabilitation he re-injured his calf upon return to training. Unfortunately, there is insufficient time remaining for him to be fit to compete without significant risk of further injury.

Under the IOC Late Athlete Replacement (LAR) rules Charlie Brown has been selected to compete in the men’s modern pentathlon.

Team GB Modern Pentathlon Team Leader Georgina Harland MBE said, “For Myles to have his dream of competing at the Olympic Games taken away from him due to injury is devastating. He has been such a valued member of the Performance squad throughout his career and fully deserved his place in Paris. We all wish him well in his recovery and will do all we can to support him through this. 
“This has given Charlie an incredible opportunity which I know he will grasp. He is a great athlete with so much potential and has been preparing alongside the team, so we are confident he is ready to perform.”
Brown added; “I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity. To compete at an Olympic Games this early on in my career, is something I am very proud of. I am extremely gutted for my teammate and friend, Myles. He is an incredible athlete, who works exceptionally hard, and I wish him all the best with his recovery.
“I have worked really hard over the last few years leading up to Paris, with the aim to compete for Team GB for the Los Angeles 2028 Games. My results have really accelerated since my senior debut, 18 months ago, and I am so excited to represent Team GB and give it all I’ve got for the team.”

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Jonathan Munro to become BBC News Global Director



Jonathan Munro to become BBC News Global Director
Jonathan Munro, currently Director of Journalism and Deputy CEO of BBC News

Jonathan Munro, currently Director of Journalism and Deputy CEO of BBC News, will take up the post of BBC News Global Director from September. In this new role, spanning international services, he will be Director of the BBC World Service, oversee BBC Monitoring and remain Deputy CEO of BBC News and Current Affairs.

Jonathan says: “I am thrilled and daunted in equal measure to be taking on the enormous responsibilities of leading the BBC World Service, along with other international activities for our global audiences.

“As I’ve travelled around the world with the BBC over the last decade or so, everywhere I have been I’ve been told of the enduring value of impartial news, in English and our more than 40 other languages. The need for independent news is growing, not shrinking, and the BBC’s role in pursuing truth and enriching knowledge has never been more important.

“The BBC teams I have met across the world are dedicated, professional and talented. I can’t wait to start working with them all.”

Munro joined the BBC in 2014 and has led BBC News coverage through every major story over the last decade, from Brexit to UK general elections and recent political upheaval, the Israel/Gaza and Ukraine conflicts and the death of HM The Queen. He recently led the complex transformation of the BBC’s business in India, putting in place a new structure and operating model.

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22-Year-Old Sam Carling Becomes Labour MP in UK’s 2024 Elections



22-Year-Old Sam Carling Becomes Labour MP in UK's 2024 Elections
22-year-old Sam Carling was elected as the Labour MP for North West Cambridgeshire

After the Labour Party’s landslide victory in the UK general elections on July 4th, 2024, one elected candidate has been trending on social media for days. Sam Carling, a 22-year-old Cambridge University science graduate student, secured a narrow victory over veteran Conservative MP Shailesh Vara to become the Labour MP for North West Cambridgeshire. His win, by a mere 39 votes, didn’t go unnoticed online.

Carling’s election has been met with a mix of enthusiasm and skepticism. Supporters argue that his fresh perspective and youthful energy are exactly what is needed to bring about meaningful change.

On social media platforms like X (formerly known as Twitter), reactions were divided.

“It doesn’t matter how many people try to explain. He won’t work this out until he’s older,” said social media user Maurice Mo. Podcaster and journalist Adam Hurd defended Carling, stating, “Yeah cause all those older people have done a banging job so far. His age doesn’t matter, what matters is his honesty, his beliefs and his work ethic”.

Other internet users joined the debated about the life experience of the newly elected politician. Cameraman Tom Jeffs noted: “Try telling a 22-year-old who can’t afford to buy or even rent their first home that they don’t have ‘life experience’ and that their opinion doesn’t matter”. And Edinburgh-based Jonny Bell argued about Sam Carling being elected as a Labour Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons at the age of 22 questioning his suitability for the position, given that the MP will receive a basic annual salary of £91,346 plus expenses.

“… He’s never worked for years to afford a house, he’s childless, he’s never struggled…he knows nothing… He’s everything wrong in politics…” .

Others, however, highlighted the potential wisdom of youth.

“Age doesn’t always equal wisdom. My grandfather was always one to blow his own trumpet about ‘university of life’ experience. He thought the vikings founded London and were defeated by Romans… and evolution wasn’t true because ‘there is no way we evolved from dinosaurs,”  quipped internet user Steve Barrett.

“Imagine thinking that young people can’t add value to democracy by being elected representatives. This country is made up of young AND older. Good for this young man,” celebrated Joseph Gaunt, a project director at app e-lectorate.

Alexander Marsh, a Master of Arts at CCCU, also believes that young blood can be beneficial in British politics moving forward.

“He’s a young person in a group largely ignored by older politicians. The fact the public has lost so much confidence in the conservative party they rather elect a 22-year-old Labour candidate over an experienced conservative MP goes to show that experience means diddly squat” .

The Youngest MP in UK History

Sam Carling is not the youngest MP ever elected in the UK. That title goes to James Dickson, who was 21 years old when he was elected as an MP in Ireland in 1832.

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