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Queen misses out on Royal Ascot visit for first time…

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queen misses out on royal ascot visit for first time

The Queen will be absent from Royal Ascot for the first time in her 68-year reign as the famous race meeting gets under way behind closed doors today.

More than 300,000 guests, dressed in their finery, usually gather for the five-day sporting and social highlight in Berkshire, but this year there will be no monarch, no royal carriage procession, no trophy presentations and no spectators. 

At Windsor Castle, the Queen, 94, will be watching the coverage on television, not least of all because she has a number of runners. 

The Queen during a carriage procession at Royal Ascot last year. She will watch the 2020 event from Windsor Castle

The Queen during a carriage procession at Royal Ascot last year. She will watch the 2020 event from Windsor Castle

The Queen during a carriage procession at Royal Ascot last year. She will watch the 2020 event from Windsor Castle 

First Receiver, ridden by Frankie Dettori in the Queen’s racing colours, will feature in the 1.50 Ascot Hampton Court Stakes on Wednesday.

The colt secured the Queen a win on the anniversary of her coronation at Kempton on June 2. 

Later on Wednesday, the Queen also has Tactical riding in the 4.10 Ascot Windsor Castle Stakes.

She is also hoping her horse Punctuation will run in the 4.10 Ascot Queen’s Vase on Friday.

As an owner, the monarch will have access to a virtual Royal Ascot parade ring to be able to view her horses from the safety of Windsor where she has been staying for the past 13 weeks during the pandemic.

The new online Racing Hub has been set up in light of the restrictions this year, and features real time weather data and a live 360 degree parade ring camera feed.

The Queen (seen presenting the 2019 trophy to Frankie Dettori, right) will not be attending this year's event for the first time in her 68-year reign

The Queen (seen presenting the 2019 trophy to Frankie Dettori, right) will not be attending this year's event for the first time in her 68-year reign

The Queen (seen presenting the 2019 trophy to Frankie Dettori, right) will not be attending this year’s event for the first time in her 68-year reign 

Nick Smith, director of racing and public affairs at Ascot, said: “Whilst the ultimate experience of being at Royal Ascot sadly isn’t possible this year, we hope that what we are planning will make ownership at home as special as possible.

“We are particularly pleased to be able to provide owners with a feed to the Parade Ring, and to be housing all the data that all horsemen need from real time weather and going reports to post race sectionals in one, convenient place.”

The Queen is known for her love of horses, her equestrian knowledge and her breeding of racehorses, and she traditionally attends Ascot each year.

In 1955, the event was postponed because of the national rail strike and held in July instead, but the Queen still attended with her sister Princess Margaret.

In 2017, the Queen had to dash from the State Opening of Parliament to Ascot when her speech in the House of Lords fell on the second day of the meeting.

The Queen has won around £7 million in prize money from horse racing over the past three decades.

The event usually attracts huge crowds of spectators (pictured in 2019) but will take place behind closed doors due to coronavirus

The event usually attracts huge crowds of spectators (pictured in 2019) but will take place behind closed doors due to coronavirus

The event usually attracts huge crowds of spectators (pictured in 2019) but will take place behind closed doors due to coronavirus 

While there will be no royal carriage processions when the monarch and accompanying royals arrive along the track in horse-drawn landaus before heading to the Royal Enclosure, the National Anthem will be played 15 minutes before the first race each day.

As part of its Royal Ascot at Home campaign, the racecourse is inviting fans across the globe to dress up and wear a hat – whether a ladies’ hat, men’s top hat, panama, trilby or other racing hat – and share a selfie on social media using the hashtags #StyledWithThanks and #RoyalAscot.

Participants are being encouraged to donate £5 to support for four frontline charities – The National Emergencies Trust Relief Fund, NHS Charities Together, The Care Workers Charity and the Berkshire Community Foundation Coronavirus Fund.

Only a jockey, groom and trainer or their representative are allowed per horse at the racecourse, and the traditionally strict dress codes have been suspended, with those allowed admission requested simply to dress smartly.

The Queen walks into the paddock at Royal Ascot in 1955. The monarch is known for her love of horses

The Queen walks into the paddock at Royal Ascot in 1955. The monarch is known for her love of horses

The Queen walks into the paddock at Royal Ascot in 1955. The monarch is known for her love of horses

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Unpaid carers spent extra 92 MILLION hours looking after relatives with dementia since lockdown

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unpaid carers spent extra 92 million hours looking after relatives with dementia since lockdown

Unpaid carers have spent an additional 92million hours looking after loved ones with dementia since lockdown –and women are bearing the brunt, figures reveal today.

The Alzheimer’s Society has found that families and friends have been forced to dramatically increase their caring responsibilities since the end of March.

This is partly because paid caring services have contracted during the pandemic just at the point many dementia patients have seen their symptoms worsen due to isolation and anxiety, the charity says.

Unpaid carers have spent an additional 92million hours looking after loved ones with dementia since lockdown

Unpaid carers have spent an additional 92million hours looking after loved ones with dementia since lockdown

Unpaid carers have spent an additional 92million hours looking after loved ones with dementia since lockdown

It estimates that women carried out 62million of these 92million extra hours and are more inclined to have caring responsibilities.

Of 1,102 unpaid carers polled, it was found that 68 per cent of women felt more anxious, 52 per cent had developed problems sleeping and 71 per cent were constantly exhausted.

Among the men, 50 per cent felt more anxious, 46 per cent had problems sleeping and 63 per cent were constantly exhausted.

Women comprise about 67 per cent of all unpaid carers and are more likely to give up work to look after older parents, in-laws or spouses.

Kate Lee, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘I’m so angry that families and friends out in the community have been left to fend for themselves as the people they love with dementia have declined in front of their eyes. 

‘They have been fighting against the odds to give decent care to their loved ones. The Government must never abandon families with dementia again. 

‘Lessons must be learnt to prevent any further tragedy this winter.

‘Coronavirus has laid bare the dire state of social care for all to see – the lasting legacy from this crisis must be a universal social care system, free at the point of use, that provides quality care for every person with dementia who needs it.’

She added that the charity’s helpline was speaking to family carers every day who were ‘completely burnt out’ and working all hours. 

The charity has accused ministers of failing to do enough to protect dementia patients and their loved ones throughout the pandemic.

Previous figures have shown that 25,000 patients with the disease died in March and April alone – twice as many compared to previous years.

Although a significant number of dementia patients succumbed to the virus itself, others died from conditions caused by social isolation and a lack of medical care.

The additional hours of care were calculated after 953 unpaid carers were asked how much time they spent looking after their loved ones a week before and after the lockdown. 

This figure was then multiplied by the number of weeks since lockdown and then again by the estimated 470,757 unpaid carers across the UK.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: ‘We know that many carers have gone to extreme lengths to protect their loved ones, including cancelling their care packages to reduce the risk of this deadly virus being brought into their home.

‘The impact of this extra stress on their bodies and minds has been increasingly significant, as the weeks have turned into months.’

The Alzheimer's Society has found that families and friends have been forced to dramatically increase their caring responsibilities since the end of March

The Alzheimer's Society has found that families and friends have been forced to dramatically increase their caring responsibilities since the end of March

The Alzheimer’s Society has found that families and friends have been forced to dramatically increase their caring responsibilities since the end of March

Liz Kendall, Labour’s social care spokesman, said: ‘Families have at best been an afterthought and at worst ignored. 

‘This report provides yet more evidence of the terrible strain Covid-19 has put on families whose loved ones have dementia.

‘Many families have been pushed to breaking point taking on extra responsibilities for caring for their relatives and thousands more have been unable to visit their loved ones in residential homes.’

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: ‘We know this has been a particularly challenging time for people with dementia and we remain committed to providing them, their families and their carers with the information, advice and support they need.

‘Through our adult social care winter plan, we are testing care home residents and staff regularly, providing free PPE to care homes and we have ring-fenced over £1.1billion to support providers through our infection control fund.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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What a sight to sea! Britain’s best coastal photographs battle it out for prestigious prize 

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what a sight to sea britains best coastal photographs battle it out for prestigious prize

 Stunning photographs of Britain’s coast battle it out for the prestigious prize in a photography competition run by a national maritime charity.   

The eighth annual Ultimate Sea View competition, run by the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, was on the lookout for photographers to submit their favourite images of the ocean.  

The Overall Winner of the UK’s ultimate sea view photography competition was won by ‘Landing Mackerel’ by Laurence Hartwell, showing a bird’s-eye view of a fisherman with his catch.  

A photograph titled ‘A Nice Day For A Cruise’ by David Lyon showing a ferry swamped by waves has been crowned the United Kingdom’s ‘ultimate sea view’ and beat 800 other entries in the competition. 

Applicants were encouraged to look back through their photo albums to submit images of the UK coastline – as the pandemic had a great impact on travel plans – as well as putting forward images taken more recently. 

The society, which provides financial support to former seafarers and their dependants, launched a £1million Covid response fund to provide support for working maritime professionals impacting by the pandemic.  

This bird's-eye view of a fisherman with his catch was taken in the port of Newlyn, Cornwall, by Laurence Hartwell. 'Landing Mackerel' is the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society's Overall Winner of the UK's ultimate sea view competition

This bird's-eye view of a fisherman with his catch was taken in the port of Newlyn, Cornwall, by Laurence Hartwell. 'Landing Mackerel' is the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society's Overall Winner of the UK's ultimate sea view competition

This bird’s-eye view of a fisherman with his catch was taken in the port of Newlyn, Cornwall, by Laurence Hartwell. ‘Landing Mackerel’ is the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society’s Overall Winner of the UK’s ultimate sea view competition

'Mylor Harbour' by Ian Butler was the winner in the Ships and Wrecks category of the eighth 2020 Ultimate Sea View photography competition

'Mylor Harbour' by Ian Butler was the winner in the Ships and Wrecks category of the eighth 2020 Ultimate Sea View photography competition

‘Mylor Harbour’ by Ian Butler was the winner in the Ships and Wrecks category of the eighth 2020 Ultimate Sea View photography competition

The launch of the Cromer Lifeboat captured by Stephen Duncombe titled 'To the Rescue' was the winner in the Industry category of the 2020 Ultimate Sea View photography contest showing a boat crashing through the waves

The launch of the Cromer Lifeboat captured by Stephen Duncombe titled 'To the Rescue' was the winner in the Industry category of the 2020 Ultimate Sea View photography contest showing a boat crashing through the waves

The launch of the Cromer Lifeboat captured by Stephen Duncombe titled ‘To the Rescue’ was the winner in the Industry category of the 2020 Ultimate Sea View photography contest showing a boat crashing through the waves

'Beam Trawlers Landing to the Fish Market at Night' by Laurence Hartwell is the overall winner of the 2020 Ultimate Sea View photography competition

'Beam Trawlers Landing to the Fish Market at Night' by Laurence Hartwell is the overall winner of the 2020 Ultimate Sea View photography competition

‘Beam Trawlers Landing to the Fish Market at Night’ by Laurence Hartwell is the overall winner of the 2020 Ultimate Sea View photography competition 

The highly commended winner of the Coastal Views category was captured by Liam Holley called 'Start Point Lighthouse' shows a remote lighthouse at the end of a cliff on a beautiful coastal setting

The highly commended winner of the Coastal Views category was captured by Liam Holley called 'Start Point Lighthouse' shows a remote lighthouse at the end of a cliff on a beautiful coastal setting

The highly commended winner of the Coastal Views category was captured by Liam Holley called ‘Start Point Lighthouse’ shows a remote lighthouse at the end of a cliff on a beautiful coastal setting 

Highly commended in the People and Recreation category was won by Thomas Salway for 'Findhorn Beach' showing a dog running through the sea in a perfect action shot

Highly commended in the People and Recreation category was won by Thomas Salway for 'Findhorn Beach' showing a dog running through the sea in a perfect action shot

Highly commended in the People and Recreation category was won by Thomas Salway for ‘Findhorn Beach’ showing a dog running through the sea in a perfect action shot

A photograph of a ferry swamped by waves has been crowned the UK's 'ultimate sea view'. Titled 'A Nice Day For A Cruise' was taken in Newhaven, East Sussex, and beat 800 other entries in the contest

A photograph of a ferry swamped by waves has been crowned the UK's 'ultimate sea view'. Titled 'A Nice Day For A Cruise' was taken in Newhaven, East Sussex, and beat 800 other entries in the contest

A photograph of a ferry swamped by waves has been crowned the UK’s ‘ultimate sea view’. Titled ‘A Nice Day For A Cruise’ was taken in Newhaven, East Sussex, and beat 800 other entries in the contest 

Photograph 'Sunrise Through The Wave' by John Alderson won the People category of the contest, and beautifully captured the orange wave crashing against the promenade silhouetting a person walking past

Photograph 'Sunrise Through The Wave' by John Alderson won the People category of the contest, and beautifully captured the orange wave crashing against the promenade silhouetting a person walking past

Photograph ‘Sunrise Through The Wave’ by John Alderson won the People category of the contest, and beautifully captured the orange wave crashing against the promenade silhouetting a person walking past 

'Sunrise over The Cobb' by Noel Bennett which has been highly commended in the Coastal Views category shows a single striped deck chair facing out towards the sea and the morning sun

'Sunrise over The Cobb' by Noel Bennett which has been highly commended in the Coastal Views category shows a single striped deck chair facing out towards the sea and the morning sun

‘Sunrise over The Cobb’ by Noel Bennett which has been highly commended in the Coastal Views category shows a single striped deck chair facing out towards the sea and the morning sun 

Laurence Hartwell's picture called 'Keeping Things Running Safely' of a man working on equipment on the side of a dock has won highly commended in the People category

Laurence Hartwell's picture called 'Keeping Things Running Safely' of a man working on equipment on the side of a dock has won highly commended in the People category

Laurence Hartwell’s picture called ‘Keeping Things Running Safely’ of a man working on equipment on the side of a dock has won highly commended in the People category

A photograph of ships against a stormy grey backdrop called 'Heading for Harbour' by Gary Richardson has been awarded highly commended in the Ships and Wrecks category in the competition

A photograph of ships against a stormy grey backdrop called 'Heading for Harbour' by Gary Richardson has been awarded highly commended in the Ships and Wrecks category in the competition

A photograph of ships against a stormy grey backdrop called ‘Heading for Harbour’ by Gary Richardson has been awarded highly commended in the Ships and Wrecks category in the competition

This breathtaking photograph of the ocean captured at Gwithian, Cornwall, by Mark Dobson called 'Wild Seas' won the Coastal Views category

This breathtaking photograph of the ocean captured at Gwithian, Cornwall, by Mark Dobson called 'Wild Seas' won the Coastal Views category

This breathtaking photograph of the ocean captured at Gwithian, Cornwall, by Mark Dobson called ‘Wild Seas’ won the Coastal Views category

This picture of a boat sailing perfectly between the panes of a waiting area taken by Stanley Pearson titled 'Jet Rides' won highly commended in the Recreation category

This picture of a boat sailing perfectly between the panes of a waiting area taken by Stanley Pearson titled 'Jet Rides' won highly commended in the Recreation category

This picture of a boat sailing perfectly between the panes of a waiting area taken by Stanley Pearson titled ‘Jet Rides’ won highly commended in the Recreation category 

Highly commended winner in the Industry category shows fishing boats and wind turbines in a dramatic backdrop captured by George Hodgson called 'Bringing In The Catch'

Highly commended winner in the Industry category shows fishing boats and wind turbines in a dramatic backdrop captured by George Hodgson called 'Bringing In The Catch'

Highly commended winner in the Industry category shows fishing boats and wind turbines in a dramatic backdrop captured by George Hodgson called ‘Bringing In The Catch’ 

Winner of the People and Recreation category was a photograph of this paddle boarder titled 'Into the Mist' was photographed by Katie Vincent

Winner of the People and Recreation category was a photograph of this paddle boarder titled 'Into the Mist' was photographed by Katie Vincent

Winner of the People and Recreation category was a photograph of this paddle boarder titled ‘Into the Mist’ was photographed by Katie Vincent 

'Fate of the Mersey Ferry' by Amanda Burgess won the Ships and Wrecks category of the UK's ultimate sea view competition showing an old rusty ship moored under a thundery grey sky

'Fate of the Mersey Ferry' by Amanda Burgess won the Ships and Wrecks category of the UK's ultimate sea view competition showing an old rusty ship moored under a thundery grey sky

‘Fate of the Mersey Ferry’ by Amanda Burgess won the Ships and Wrecks category of the UK’s ultimate sea view competition showing an old rusty ship moored under a thundery grey sky  

Alan Humphries' photograph 'Brighton Sussex Display' won the Recreation category where a coastguard rescue helicopter lowers a member of the team just above the ocean

Alan Humphries' photograph 'Brighton Sussex Display' won the Recreation category where a coastguard rescue helicopter lowers a member of the team just above the ocean

Alan Humphries’ photograph ‘Brighton Sussex Display’ won the Recreation category where a coastguard rescue helicopter lowers a member of the team just above the ocean 

The phenomenal photograph titled 'Under The Stars' by David Jenner showing an old boat stranded on the marshes at Hoo Marina near Rochester, Kent, under the Milky Way which won highly commended in the Ships and Wrecks category

The phenomenal photograph titled 'Under The Stars' by David Jenner showing an old boat stranded on the marshes at Hoo Marina near Rochester, Kent, under the Milky Way which won highly commended in the Ships and Wrecks category

The phenomenal photograph titled ‘Under The Stars’ by David Jenner showing an old boat stranded on the marshes at Hoo Marina near Rochester, Kent, under the Milky Way which won highly commended in the Ships and Wrecks category 

Winner of the Coastal Views category was won by Caroline Walker's photograph 'Heugh Breakwater' and captured a stunning wave fanned out in a perfect action shot

Winner of the Coastal Views category was won by Caroline Walker's photograph 'Heugh Breakwater' and captured a stunning wave fanned out in a perfect action shot

Winner of the Coastal Views category was won by Caroline Walker’s photograph ‘Heugh Breakwater’ and captured a stunning wave fanned out in a perfect action shot 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Passengers are getting too close to each other even when middle seats could be kept free

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passengers are getting too close to each other even when middle seats could be kept free

Airlines are failing to maintain social distancing between passengers even when middle seats could be kept free, it is claimed.

Many firms are still asking passengers to pay extra to sit with their families or social bubbles.

The probe by consumer champions Which? suggests carriers are flouting Department for Transport (DfT) guidelines designed to limit the spread of coronavirus.

According to the most recent figures, Ryanair planes were 61 per cent full in the three months up to June 30 – meaning there was room to separate passengers

According to the most recent figures, Ryanair planes were 61 per cent full in the three months up to June 30 – meaning there was room to separate passengers

According to the most recent figures, Ryanair planes were 61 per cent full in the three months up to June 30 – meaning there was room to separate passengers

According to the most recent figures, Ryanair planes were 61 per cent full in the three months up to June 30 – meaning there was room to separate passengers.

However, passenger groups complain they have been split up and forced to sit next to strangers on half-empty planes.

Worse, the budget carrier is still asking families to pay up to a £17 fee to sit together. Other airlines are also reportedly asking families to pay to reserve seats as a group.

The DfT is asking airlines to consider seat allocations that ‘reduce movement of passengers within the aircraft’. 

But Ryanair said: ‘This is yet more false claims by Which?, the home of fake travel news. Which?, as usual, has its facts wrong.’

Wizz Air, a Hungarian airline with three bases in the UK, carried just 50 per cent of normal passenger levels in the three months leading up to June, according to the most recently-available data.

Although this is enough to keep every third seat empty, the carrier has not changed its policy of randomly allocating seats and still requires families to pay extra to stay together.

Wizz Air has not changed its policy of randomly allocating seats and still requires families to pay extra to stay together

Wizz Air has not changed its policy of randomly allocating seats and still requires families to pay extra to stay together

Wizz Air has not changed its policy of randomly allocating seats and still requires families to pay extra to stay together

Although British Airways allows passengers to select a seat for free, they can only do so 24 hours before check-in unless they are a priority member.

Which? said BA, EasyJet and Jet2 usually manage to keep families together if they haven’t reserved seats.

But they have called on airlines to scrap random seat allocation policies to promote passenger safety.

A spokesman said: ‘If all airlines removed paid-for seats during the pandemic it will allow them to better allocate seats to keep different social bubbles apart where load factors allow. It will also surely minimise excess movement once on board which means, touch points and proximity to others will be lessened.’

Government guidelines encourages passengers to keep a one metre distance from others.

33741530 8783259 image a 66 1601336408605

33741530 8783259 image a 66 1601336408605

The DfT is also asking airlines to consider seat allocations that ‘reduce movement of passengers within the aircraft’ to ‘enable social social distancing among passengers of different households or support bubbles’.

Jane Wilson-Howarth, a GP and travel health expert, said: ‘It makes no sense at all to separate families and if airlines are charging more for allowing families to sit together they are being irresponsible.

‘The safest seating arrangement is indeed to seat families and couples together and space different family bubbles as far away from each other as possible throughout the plane.’

Jet2 said its seating policy has been designed to ‘maximise choice’. A spokesman added: ‘Where there is availability, family groups and couples will be prioritised’.

Ryanair did not respond to requests for comment. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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