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Queen Elizabeth II has died. What Happens now?

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Queen Elizabeth II at a Royal Carriage in London
A state funeral, which will start at 11 am (BST), will be held for Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on Monday | Photo: Mark de Jong

It was delivered sombrely by the BBC News presenter Huw Edwards at six thirty Thursday evening, read directly from the palace statement: “the Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.”

After ninety six years of life, and seventy of public service as monarch of the United Kingdom and fourteen other realms, Queen Elizabeth II passed away in comfort at the Scottish home she loved so much.

And whatever your thoughts on the royal family, the succession, the commonwealth – it’s difficult to deny that she was a profoundly hard worker. Only two days before her death, she had held an audience with Liz Truss, the fifteenth prime minister to serve under her rule.

And now, those audiences, and so many other responsibilities, pass onto her son, King Charles III.

Many Britons lived their whole lives under her rule.

Watching the cricket on Saturday morning, and hearing the England team join soprano Laura Wright and an emotional Oval crowd proclaim ‘God Save the King’, it was clear, to me at least – we were at the end of an era.

More so than when we found that the pub had switched coverage of football for Sky News. More so than when BT Sport began running the same advert before halftime at Zurich. Sitting in my shed, the intensity of the sounds and images repeating again and again, matching the chaos as we quickly went on our phones to find out as much as we could.

Forgive me if this sounds insensitive, contextualising the death of an old woman, a loyal public servant, in scenes of cricket, football, adverts and the pub. But I only mention it because I’ll probably never forget the course of events.

Me, a British citizen, a subject of the crown, going to Aldi to pick up Swiss beer, while 500 miles away the wheels of history are turning. My whole life, the whole lives of our parents spent under her rule. And my pedestrian adventures will now be remembered with historic reverence.

As of Friday, we’ve entered ten days of mourning, so I’ll stop there. They’ll be plenty of time to reflect and analyse the public reaction to events, and no doubt a raft of think pieces and hot taxes until the circus that is Twitter packs up and leaves town. So now, let’s look to the immediate future, the week ahead.

What can we expect in the week leading up to the funeral?

As I’m writing this, the King, and the Queen’s other children are following their mother’s coffin through the streets of Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh. From there, on Thursday the 13th, her body will return to Buckingham Palace in London.

That morning, King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla will travel to Northern Ireland. Their third of four state visits to the constituent countries of the United Kingdom.

The next day, the precession will move from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, the heart of British government, in view of crowds, and as the Queen lays in state for four days, members of the public will be allowed to visit the coffin. London braces for congested travel and an appropriately massive police presence to deal with the crowds.

On Friday, the King will travel to Wales, the country where he once held the title of Prince, now bestowed onto his son William, on his final visit to the four nations of the UK.

I’ll be travelling to London on Monday, the day of the Queen’s funeral. It’s been declared a bank holiday, which means many of us won’t have to work. The funeral is to begin at 11, and will be attended by dignitaries from across the world, as well as representatives of the various charities the queen supported. Then, the procession continues to Windsor Castle – her favourite home – where a committal service will take place, and Queen Elizabeth, after 70 years of constant, dedicated service, will finally be laid to rest.

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BBC World Service chief resigns amid ‘deep concern’ about cuts

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Liliane Landor portrait
Liliane Landor will step down in July after three years as Senior Controller of BBC News International Services

Liliane Landor, Senior Controller of BBC News International Services and BBC World Service Director, has decided to leave the BBC later this year, a note released by the British Broadcast Corporation informed this week.

According to multiple media outlets, Landor said she was “deeply concerned about the operational capability of the World Service if additional cuts continue to weaken it further” and has quit over amid fear that the BBC could be hit by further spending cuts. 

Liliane Landor was previously head of foreign news at Channel 4, but has spent the majority of her career at the BBC after beginning at the French Service. She went on to manage, present, and edit key areas of the BBC World Service, including a role as head of News and Current Affairs in English, before becoming Controller of Languages, where she was editorially responsible for all non-English language services on radio, TV and online.

“The whole of the BBC owes Liliane a huge debt of gratitude. She is an exceptional journalist and editor. The BBC World Service is one of the jewels in the BBC’s crown, and has flourished under her leadership,” says BBC Director-General Tim Davie.

For BBC News CEO Deborah Turness, “In a polarised world where truth is under attack, Liliane has led our BBC World Service teams with real courage. She has been a global ambassador for our powerful and important journalism, and has worked with great skill to modernise World Service output to reach digital audiences. Liliane is a person of great integrity and I will miss her wisdom very much.”

In 2022 the World Service was forced to cut 382 jobs as part of its plans to move to a digital-led service, that would save around £28.5m. 

Several media professionals shared messages of support to Landor, after learning about her decision to quit the BBC. Comms director and ex BBC news staff member, Clare Harkey tweeted:

“So sorry to hear you’re leaving @lilo11- you’ve been a force for good in very difficult times,” and TV Journalist and Executive Producer Ben de Pear, founder at Basement Films, shared on social media: “Sorry to hear this a loss – and someone who understands the present conflicts so well – good luck @lilo11 – BBC World Service director to step down.”

“Serving as Director of the BBC World Service has been an immense privilege. To have been entrusted with leading a global service relied upon by hundreds of millions worldwide is humbling and the greatest honour of my professional life,” said Liliane Landor, who will be leaving the BBC in July, 2024.

Liliane also founded the BBC’s staff network, Global Women in News, which remains high-profile and active, and launched the popular 100 Women project in 2014, being named on the list herself in 2016.

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Nimesh Kataria to join England and Wales Cricket Board as CFO

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Nimesh Kataria to join England and Wales Cricket Board as CFO
Nimesh will succeed Scott Smith, who is leaving the ECB after eight years in the role.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced Nimesh Kataria as new Chief Financial Officer.

Nimesh will join the ECB in April, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise in financial management and strategic planning. He will sit on the ECB Board.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nimesh to the ECB at an important time for our sport. His proven track record in financial management and strategic insight will be invaluable as we seek to grow cricket and become the most inclusive sport, whilst ensuring we put the game on a financially sustainable footing,” says Richard Gould, ECB Chief Executive Officer.

In his current role, Nimesh is Chief Financial Officer for WBD’s International Sports Division, overseeing Eurosport, Global Cycling Network, Discovery Sports Events and the Olympics. He also played a key role in the recent TNT Sports Joint Venture between WBD and BT. Nimesh began his career at Ernst & Young, before joining WBD.

“I am proud to be joining the ECB and hope to be able to play a part in growing cricket and helping even more people to fall in love with the sport. I’ve been a cricket fan my whole life, and while there are real challenges for the whole game in England and Wales to navigate, I’m excited by the opportunity we have to become the most inclusive sport and secure the future of cricket for future generations to play, watch and enjoy,” celebrates Nimesh Kataria.

In his new role, Nimesh will be responsible for financial reporting and business planning. His work will enable the organisation to budget effectively, control expenditure and deliver its revenue objectives. He will also lead key business services including Information and Technology and Procurement, as well as the Finance team.

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New study reveals the poorest presidents of Europe

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Nataša Pirc Musar, President of the Republic of Slovenia
Nataša Pirc Musar, head of the Republic of Slovenia, is the poorest president in Europe, study says | Photo: Matjaz Klemenc

Slovenia has the poorest president in Europe. Relative to average salaries, the presidents of Ukraine and Serbia follow closely as the second and third poorest on the continent. Across Europe, heads of state earn 4.1 times as much as the average earner and cost taxpayers €49.62 per hour. 

This is according to a new study by Slot.Day, who analysed the average gross salaries, GDP per capita and presidents’ earnings across 31 countries in Europe. The researchers used the latest available data from national statistics offices and the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), ranging between 2022 and the third quarter of 2023. GDP data is sourced from the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) World Economic Outlook, published in October 2023. Head of state income estimates are based on independent media reports, national legislation, government and presidency websites, income statements and official government communication. 

Europe’s poorest president lives in Slovenia. The president earns almost as much as any average employee in the country. The head of state has an estimated gross annual income of €44,701, only 3% higher than the current average salary in Slovenia – €43,342. An hour of the president’s time costs taxpayers €23.41 before deductions – one of the top 10 cheapest hourly pays for presidents in Europe. Slovenia is a country of medium wealth, whose GDP per capita (US$32,350) is slightly below the European average of US$34,710 for 2023, according to IMF estimates. The Slovenian president’s work is worth 1.5 of the country’s GDP per capita.  

Ukraine has the second lowest-paid president in Europe, relative to other average earners in the country. Based on official government communication, the Ukrainian president’s gross annual salary in 2023 was only €8,134, which is 1.63 worth of any average earner in the country. This is the lowest pay of any president in Europe, costing Ukrainian taxpayers only €4.26 per hour, before deductions, to carry out all their duties as head of state. Ukraine’s current GDP per capita is also the lowest in Europe, estimated at €5,245 for 2023. The president earns only 70% above that. 

Serbia’s president is the third poorest in Europe. With an hourly compensation of just €10.77, before tax, the head of state earns €20,564 per year. This is worth only 1.68 of the average salary in Serbia, estimated at €12,258. Serbia’s GDP per capita is the eighth lowest in Europe (US$11,301), and the president’s salary is almost double this amount. 

The presidents of Lithuania and Montenegro earn under two average salaries in their countries, while those in Croatia and Moldova earn just above this level. Finland, Latvia and Bosnia and Herzegovina complete the top 10 poorest presidents of Europe. Finland is the only country in Slot.Day’s ranking whose GDP per capita (US$54,507) is well above the European average (US$34,710).  

Richest presidents 

The richest presidents in Europe live in Bulgaria, Slovakia and Ireland when comparing their official incomes to average salaries.  

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