Sunday, Dec 04, 2022 - 02:58:20
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    He can be a terrible loser. Over the weekend, he showed just what a terrible winner he can be, too. This is the man who absolutely loves to put the ‘wild’ into ‘wild card’. Yet, love him or loathe him (and few sit anywhere in between), Nick Kyrgios is a prodigious talent who could be going all the way to Sunday’s final. Today he faces American Brandon Nakashima in the fourth round, following Saturday night’s tantrum-filled Wimbledon showdown with the number four seed, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas. Despite some memorably stroppy moments by famous names over the years – most notably John McEnroe in 1981 – Saturday’s match saw repeated full-scale hissy fits by both players at the same time, on and off the court. Today Australia's Nick Kyrgios faces American Brandon Nakashima in the fourth round Pictured: Nick Kyrgios celebrates beating Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas during their men's singles tennis match on the sixth day of Wimbledon Tsitsipas became so rattled by Kyrgios’s behaviour (not least a mocking underarm serve) that, at one point, he whacked the ball into the...
    Beneath a Royal Standard the size of a tennis court and 15 RAF Typhoons thundering overhead in a magnificent ‘70’ formation, the tiny figure in ‘dusky dove blue’ was not merely smiling. The Queen looked every bit as thrilled as the open-jawed crowds stretching as far as the eye could see. They had come to salute the first Platinum Jubilee monarch in British history appearing on her balcony for the first time in three years. She had come to express her thanks to them in return, at the end of yesterday’s Trooping the Colour. Thus began the mighty national celebrations to mark her 70th anniversary on the throne. The Queen had already said as much in her written message to the nation on the eve of this four-day festival of pageantry, pop, horseflesh and cream teas. Early yesterday afternoon, she stepped out to express that same sentiment in person. Standing beside her on the balcony were those who represent today’s frontline Royal Family. Here was a line-up as explicit as any Palace statement. Its very clear message: Behold the future,...
    Having travelled by almost every conceivable means of transport during her record-breaking reign – including Concorde, carriages, steam trains, elephants and a South Pacific war canoe – the Queen can now add one more to the list. Last night, she made her official British debut in a golf cart in order to attend one of her favourite events: The Chelsea Flower Show. A little over half a century after devising the walkabout – when she first plunged in to a crowd of strangers during a 1970 visit to Wellington, New Zealand – Her Majesty has now invented the cartabout. And I am sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of it. The Queen attended the Chelsea Flower Show ahead of its official opening tomorrow in a luxury mobility buggy (pictured) The Queen looked cheery as she enjoyed a tour around the 2022 Chelsea Flower Show. Pictured next to the President of the Royal Horticultural Society, Keith Weed The Queen was in good spirits on her first visit in three years to the world famous flower show in London There...
    Among those who have worked with (or for) her, it is the Queen’s quiet but steely determination which stands out. ‘She has a duty to something greater than herself. It’s timeless,’ says former U.S. president George W. Bush.  Like most of his compatriots, he is astonished that the Queen (unlike any American) has known 14 presidents, almost a third of the total. ‘It’s awesome,’ he says. ‘I was happy to serve and I was happy to get out and try to regain a sense of normalcy. She’s a woman who must have an iron will.’ Sir John Major salutes her calmness in a crisis. ‘The Queen has always lived by the doctrine “This too shall pass”,’ he says. George W. Bush praised the Queen's 'iron will' and dedication to public service, sharing an anecdote about the first time he met her, when he was wearing a 'gaudy' pair of cowboy boots - and the Queen was not afraid to poke gentle fun at the Texan for his fashion choice It helps explain why she continues to approach her job with...
    Having just tested positive for a potentially life-threatening virus which she had hitherto successfully evaded for two years, the Queen did not summon her heir or senior members of her Privy Council for crisis contingency talks on what to do if things take a turn for the worse. Rather, she decided to send a message to the British Curling Team at the Beijing Winter Olympics. The monarch does not normally send messages each time a Brit wins Olympic gold. However, Britain hasn’t had very much to cheer about of late and this was a great team effort (by both the women, who won gold, and the men, who won silver). Yesterday’s terse statement, confirming that the monarch has tested positive for Covid, will only have been issued through gritted teeth. Her Majesty is pictured above on Wednesday It will not have escaped Her Majesty’s notice, either, that this all-Scottish success was a triumph for the whole UK at a time when the Union is as vulnerable as it has been in her lifetime. The gesture will have been warmly received...
    As the last jubilee reached its crescendo – with vast crowds packed around Buckingham Palace to see the Queen on her balcony at the end of a long weekend of festivities – everyone was enjoying the happy scene. Well, almost everyone. The Duke of York was incandescent that the balcony was off-limits to all except the Queen, the Prince of Wales, his sons and the Duchesses of Cornwall and Cambridge (Prince Philip was in hospital). The duke made his views very clear, confronting the Queen’s officials and arguing that it was a snub to himself and his daughters – but to no avail. Come the Platinum Jubilee, Prince Andrew will not just be excluded from the balcony. It is questionable whether he will even be allowed inside the M25 Neither the Princess Royal nor the Earl of Wessex nor any other members of the family were included either. The ‘optics’ were very clear. This was not a family party but a clear statement about the importance of the direct line of succession. The duke, however, refused to see it that...
    The Prince of Wales is striding through the main hall of the Cop26 monster-summit, en route to yet another reception. His turquoise linen face mask (a gift from weavers in Myanmar) is fooling no one. People recognise him instantly and begin snapping away on their phones. TV crews and photographers latch on.  One or two delegates start exchanging a few words with the Prince and he is happy to chat, so I join in. I ask him if he can remember his very first public eco-utterance. ‘Oh yes, I’d just been asked to be chairman of a countryside committee for Wales and I’d seen this amazing scheme for trapping methane from a landfill site,’ he laughs.  People recognise him instantly and begin snapping away on their phones. TV crews and photographers latch on. The Prince of Wales is pictured with designer and sustainability advocate Stella McCartney ‘I made a speech trying to make people interested. Of course, no one paid the slightest bit of attention.’ That was in 1970 when the Prince was 21 – just three years older than teen...
    This might be the greatest gathering of world leaders in years, egged on by tens of thousands of angry activists, imploring them to do a deal. Yet it was two unelected nonagenarians who stole the show yesterday. For all the fine words from umpteen presidents, prime ministers and campaigners, none of them nailed it quite as deftly as the Queen. That followed a similar bravura performance from Sir David Attenborough. Summoning the wisdom which comes with being the longest-serving head of state on the planet, the Queen distilled the monumental task facing this summit into just a few words. 'For more than 70 years, I have been lucky to meet and to know many of the world's great leaders,' she said.  'And I have perhaps come to understand a little about what made them special. It has sometimes been observed that what leaders do for their people today is government and politics. But what they do for the people of tomorrow – that is statesmanship.' The Cop26 climate change summit in Glasgow was the delegates chance to be 'written in...
    Foreigners, the Duke of Edinburgh once complained, often regard the UK as a theme park. ‘Britain is not just an old country of tottering ruins,’ he told a gala lunch in New York some years ago. ‘Nor is it a country where yokels quaff ale, where all soldiers are dressed in scarlet tunics and spend their time marching up and down for the benefit of visitors from abroad.’ Well, Joe Biden may beg to differ. That was pretty much all the new US President and the First Lady have seen during their trip to Britain, which concluded last night at Windsor Castle.
    With a dash of Countryfile, a smattering of The Choir and more than a hint of 3pm on Christmas Day, this was not so much ‘A Celebration for Commonwealth Day’ – as BBC1 called it – as a genuine royal variety performance. We saw the Queen striding happily through Windsor Castle – talking about ‘selfless dedication to duty’ and ‘transcending division’. We watched a speech from the Prince of Wales at the lectern of Westminster Abbey. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge discussed healthcare over a video call with a doctor in South Africa while the Countess of Wessex talked women’s rights with Malawi and Australia. The Duchess of Cornwall, meanwhile, confided to Clare Balding that the pandemic had transformed her from a technophobe into something of a cyber ‘addict’ with a new online book club. This was the Royal Family looking outwards, reflecting the royal spotlight on to others rather than bringing it upon themselves. It also included a lot of superb music, too. We saw the Queen (pictured) striding happily through Windsor Castle – talking about ‘selfless...
    We are approaching half-time. Next Wednesday, to be precise, will be the mid-point in the year-long trial which the Queen agreed with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ahead of their departure for a new ‘independent’ life in North America back in the spring. The clock runs until March 31, 2021 whereupon both sides will ‘review’ the situation. The review clause was very much at the Queen’s behest. It was a worried grandmother’s way of giving the couple breathing space – time to think again in case there were any aspects of royal life they might wish to resume. After all, as Harry and Meghan declared at the conclusion of their negotiations: ‘The Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty.’ On the basis of yesterday’s bizarre, preachy intervention in US politics, I don’t think we need to wait until March to see which way things are going. Should anyone still cling to the idea that the Sussexes, particularly Prince Harry, might be torn between the old world and the new,...
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