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Kate Middleton leads Royal Family’s British Red Cross tributes

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kate middleton leads royal familys british red cross tributes

The Royal Family has paid tribute to the work of the Duchess of Cambridge’s grandmother and great-grandmother with the British Red Cross as the Queen celebrated the organisation on its 150th anniversary.

Buckingham Palace has released a previously unseen photograph of Valerie Middleton, the mother of Kate’s father Michael, who served as a Voluntary Aid Detachment with the British Red Cross in the Second World War.

The duchess herself, writing to 150 outstanding Red Cross staff and volunteers who have received a commemorative coin from the Royal Mint in recognition of their efforts, described how her great-grandmother, Olive Middleton, volunteered as a Red Cross nurse during the First World War, while Valerie Middleton performed the same role during the Second World War.

Kate penned in her letter: ‘Like you and many others, they are both part of the rich history of the British Red Cross, which is helping to ensure many people get the support they need during a crisis.

‘In recent months, I have been deeply moved by the work you and your colleagues have continued to do throughout the coronavirus pandemic. You have all been doing an inspiring job supporting vulnerable people.’ 

The British Red Cross celebrates its milestone on Tuesday, 150 years to the day after a resolution was passed at a public meeting in London to form an organisation ‘for aiding sick and wounded soldiers in time of war’. 

The Duchess of Cambridge talking with nurses during a visit to St Thomas' Hospital, London. The royal has written a letter to 150 Red Cross staff and volunteers, paying tribute to her own family ties to the Red Cross

The Duchess of Cambridge talking with nurses during a visit to St Thomas’ Hospital, London. The royal has written a letter to 150 Red Cross staff and volunteers, paying tribute to her own family ties to the Red Cross

Valerie Middleton (centre), the grandmother of Kate Middleton, who served as a Voluntary Aid Detachment with the British Red Cross in the Second World War

Valerie Middleton (centre), the grandmother of Kate Middleton, who served as a Voluntary Aid Detachment with the British Red Cross in the Second World War

Olive Middleton (née Lupton), the Great Great Grandmother of Kate Middleton, on her father's side, volunteered as a Red Cross nurse during the First World War

Olive Middleton (née Lupton), the Great Great Grandmother of Kate Middleton, on her father’s side, volunteered as a Red Cross nurse during the First World War

Established a few weeks after the outbreak of war between France and Prussia, the British National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in War would later be renamed the British Red Cross.

The Queen has served as the charity’s patron for almost 65 years and sent a message of congratulations to volunteers and staff to thank them for their dedicated work supporting some of the most vulnerable people both at home and abroad.

She said: ‘Whether those involved in the society are assisting people to return home from hospital safely, offering care and support in the aftermath of a disaster, volunteering in a shop, administering first aid or some of the many other activities the British Red Cross encompasses, their contribution is recognised, valued and greatly appreciated.’

Prince Charles, who has been president of the Red Cross since 2003, has also recorded a video to introduce a new online exhibition – 150 Voices – as part of the anniversary.

The Duchess remembered the thousands of staff and volunteers - including her great-grandmother and grandmother both Red Cross nurses - who have 'contributed tirelessly' to the organisation's work over the years. Pictured, a letter written by Kate to 150 Red Cross staff and volunteers, paying tribute to her own family ties to the Red Cross

The Duchess remembered the thousands of staff and volunteers – including her great-grandmother and grandmother both Red Cross nurses – who have ‘contributed tirelessly’ to the organisation’s work over the years. Pictured, a letter written by Kate to 150 Red Cross staff and volunteers, paying tribute to her own family ties to the Red Cross

Her Majesty hosting a reception at Buckingham Palace in London, to mark the work of The Queen's Trust. The Queen has led the royal family in paying tribute to the British Red Cross on the eve of its 150th anniversary, describing the charity's work as "valued and greatly appreciated"

Her Majesty hosting a reception at Buckingham Palace in London, to mark the work of The Queen’s Trust. The Queen has led the royal family in paying tribute to the British Red Cross on the eve of its 150th anniversary, describing the charity’s work as ‘valued and greatly appreciated’

The Prince of Wales, President of the British Red Cross with Deputy President Princess Alexandra, posing with nurses dressed in World War 1 uniform during a garden party in honour of the society at Buckingham Palace, London

The Prince of Wales, President of the British Red Cross with Deputy President Princess Alexandra, posing with nurses dressed in World War 1 uniform during a garden party in honour of the society at Buckingham Palace, London

A letter written by Queen Elizabeth II to the British Red Cross to thank staff and volunteers in recognition of their 150th birthday

A letter written by Queen Elizabeth II to the British Red Cross to thank staff and volunteers in recognition of their 150th birthday

Princess Alexandra (pictured) speaking to Anne Taylor, 87, one of 150 Red Cross staff and volunteers that were written to by the Duchess of Cambridge

Princess Alexandra (pictured) speaking to Anne Taylor, 87, one of 150 Red Cross staff and volunteers that were written to by the Duchess of Cambridge

Anne Taylor (pictured), 87, receiving a call from Princess Alexandra. Anne was one of 150 Red Cross staff and volunteers that received a letter written by the Duchess of Cambridge

Anne Taylor (pictured), 87, receiving a call from Princess Alexandra. Anne was one of 150 Red Cross staff and volunteers that received a letter written by the Duchess of Cambridge

The Prince of Wales, who has been president of the Red Cross since 2003, during a recorded a video to introduce a new online exhibition - 150 voices which marks the 150th anniversary of the British Red Cross.

The Prince of Wales, who has been president of the Red Cross since 2003, during a recorded a video to introduce a new online exhibition – 150 voices which marks the 150th anniversary of the British Red Cross.

Princess Elizabeth visiting a Red Cross hut for tuberculosis patients in 1951. The Queen has led the royal family in paying tribute to the British Red Cross on the eve of its 150th anniversary, describing the charity's work as "valued and greatly appreciated"

Princess Elizabeth visiting a Red Cross hut for tuberculosis patients in 1951. The Queen has led the royal family in paying tribute to the British Red Cross on the eve of its 150th anniversary, describing the charity’s work as ‘valued and greatly appreciated’

The Queen during a visit to the British Red Cross national headquarters in 1989. Her Majesty has led the royal family in paying tribute to the British Red Cross on the eve of its 150th anniversary, describing the charity's work as 'valued and greatly appreciated'

The Queen during a visit to the British Red Cross national headquarters in 1989. Her Majesty has led the royal family in paying tribute to the British Red Cross on the eve of its 150th anniversary, describing the charity’s work as ‘valued and greatly appreciated’

Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to the British Red Cross national headquarters in 1989 (pictured)

Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to the British Red Cross national headquarters in 1989 (pictured)

Queen Mary with her daughter Princess Mary during the First World War (pictured)

Queen Mary with her daughter Princess Mary during the First World War (pictured)

Her Majesty during a visit to the British Red Cross national headquarters in 1989 (pictured)

Her Majesty during a visit to the British Red Cross national headquarters in 1989 (pictured)

The virtual event showcases 150 objects from the British Red Cross museum and archives collection, including a letter from Florence Nightingale, a First World War ambulance driver’s cap and a food parcel distributed by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent during the Syria crisis.

In his message, the heir to the throne says the organisation demonstrates ‘just how powerful kindness can be’ and that its efforts were ‘as essential today as it has ever been’.

Volunteers have helped the charity deliver over 200,000 acts of kindness since the coronavirus outbreak, such as providing transport for people to and from hospital, delivering food and medication, or offering welfare support to those shielding.

The prince says: ‘Through giving relief to those affected by war and conflict, supporting refugees, providing health and social care in peacetime and helping people and communities hit by natural disasters, the British Red Cross has for 150 years shown just how powerful kindness can be.

‘None of this would have been possible of course without the extraordinary dedication of the British Red Cross volunteers. Their conspicuous humanity in times of crisis offers an inspiration to us all. 

Emergency response volunteer Sandra Fisher, from Newport, Wales, who has been presented with one of the Royal Mint's new commemorative coins

Emergency response volunteer Sandra Fisher, from Newport, Wales, who has been presented with one of the Royal Mint’s new commemorative coins

The Royal Mint's Gold Proof edition of their commemorative £5 coin

The Royal Mint's Silver Proof Piedfort edition of their commemorative £5 coin

The Royal Mint’s Gold Proof edition (pictured left) and the Silver Proof Piedfort edition (right) of their commemorative £5 coin to celebrate 150 years since the formation of the British Red Cross and to support their vital work, helping some of the most vulnerable people in the UK and overseas

The commemorative £5 coin (pictured) that was issued to 150 Red Cross staff and volunteers along with a letter from the Duchess of Cambridge, to celebrate 150 years since the formation of the British Red Cross

The commemorative £5 coin (pictured) that was issued to 150 Red Cross staff and volunteers along with a letter from the Duchess of Cambridge, to celebrate 150 years since the formation of the British Red Cross

A Red Cross flag which was carried during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870

An apron made from a flour sack that was used during the Ethiopian Famine

A Red Cross flag which was carried during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 (pictured, left) and an apron made from a flour sack that was used during the Ethiopian Famine (pictured, right) – both of which feature in the 150 Voices exhibition, marking the 150th anniversary of the British Red Cross

A letter written by Florence Nightingale which features in the 150 Voices exhibition, marking the 150th anniversary of the British Red Cross

A letter written by Florence Nightingale which features in the 150 Voices exhibition, marking the 150th anniversary of the British Red Cross

First World War female ambulance driver's storm cap, which features in the 150 Voices exhibition

First World War female ambulance driver’s storm cap, which features in the 150 Voices exhibition

A cloth doll wearing a British Red Cross nurses uniform from the First World War, which features in the 150 Voices exhibition

A British Red Cross first aid manual, which features in the 150 Voices exhibition, marking the 150th anniversary of the British Red Cross

A cloth doll wearing a British Red Cross nurses uniform from the First World War (pictured, left), and a British Red Cross first aid manual both feature in the 150 Voices exhibition

The Royal family have marked 150 years of the British Red Cross and online exhibition. Pictured, a prisoner of war camera which has been selected by Historian Dan Snow

The Royal family have marked 150 years of the British Red Cross and online exhibition. Pictured, a prisoner of war camera which has been selected by Historian Dan Snow

Syria Arab Red Crescent food parcel distributed during the Syria crisis

The contents of the Syria Arab Red Crescent food parcel

Syria Arab Red Crescent food parcel distributed during the Syria crisis (pictured left, the exterior, and right, the interior)

‘The work of the Red Cross is as essential today as it has ever been, helping those in need both in the United Kingdom and around the world, strengthening our communities and supporting people to face the challenges of an ever-changing and unpredictable world.’

Princess Alexandra, the British Red Cross’ deputy president, also spoke last week to one recipient of Kate’s letter, Anne Taylor, 87, and heard about her experiences as one of the charity’s longest-serving volunteers.

She has volunteered with the charity for 80 years, having first joined in 1940 to support the charity’s work during the Second World War.

The Royal Family has had a long association with the Red Cross, from its very first patron, Queen Victoria, in 1870.

In 1885, the future Queen Alexandra formed her own Red Cross branch to raise money to help the sick and wounded in the war, and Princess Mary, the daughter of King George V and Queen Mary, also served as a Red Cross nurse between 1918-20.              

Mike Adamson, chief executive of the British Red Cross said: ‘Throughout our history it is the kindness of our volunteers, as well as the generosity of our supporters that has meant we can be there for people when they need us most, wherever they are and whomever they may be.’ 

A thank you letter written by a prisoner of war in 1942, which features in the 150 Voices exhibition (pictured)

A thank you letter written by a prisoner of war in 1942, which features in the 150 Voices exhibition (pictured)

A painting by a young refugee called 'Journey by Boat', which features in the 150 Voices exhibition, marking the 150th anniversary of the British Red Cross

A painting by a young refugee called ‘Journey by Boat’, which features in the 150 Voices exhibition, marking the 150th anniversary of the British Red Cross

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Paris faces new coronavirus restrictions

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paris faces new coronavirus restrictions

France is set to announce tougher lockdown measures in Paris today, including a ban on gathering of ten or more people to tackle a rise in coronavirus cases. 

The sale and consumption of alcohol in public places after 8pm is also expected to be banned by city officials, who could also reduce the maximum number of people at mass gatherings from 6,000 to 1,000 people.

The new rules mark a major step backwards for the French capital, but are more relaxed than those brought in by this week by the UK – which has banned gatherings larger than six across the country, and ordered all pubs to close by 10pm.

Paris is set to be hit with new lockdown measures today that will ban gatherings of more than 10 people, along with alcohol consumption in public places after 8pm

Paris is set to be hit with new lockdown measures today that will ban gatherings of more than 10 people, along with alcohol consumption in public places after 8pm

France, Spain and the UK are all seeing spiking Covid cases - but only the UK has imposed new national measures, while France and Spain have used more-relaxed local lockdowns

France, Spain and the UK are all seeing spiking Covid cases – but only the UK has imposed new national measures, while France and Spain have used more-relaxed local lockdowns

That is despite France having more than double the UK’s daily coronavirus cases, based on a seven-day rolling average.

France, Spain and the UK are bearing the brunt of a second wave of coronavirus cases in Europe, which comes after countries across the continent eased lockdown.

Until this week, all three countries had been dealing with problem using local lockdowns, targeted at areas where cases were rising fastest.

But on Tuesday the UK suddenly broke ranks with a raft of new nationwide measures, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson said will last for the next six months.

In addition to cutting the size of gatherings and closing pubs early, he also urged workers to return to working from home – despite an earlier drive to get people back into offices – and banned indoor team sports.

He also increased fines for rule-breakers, and made the army available to help police enforce the measures.

That is not the case in Spain or France, where both countries have resisted imposing new nation-wide measures on focused on local lockdowns.

Parts of Madrid have been plunged back into full lockdown as coroanvirus cases in Spain have soared, but most of the city is still allowed to move around freely

Parts of Madrid have been plunged back into full lockdown as coroanvirus cases in Spain have soared, but most of the city is still allowed to move around freely

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted the new nationwide measures will need to remain in in place for the next six months to keep infections down over winter

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted the new nationwide measures will need to remain in in place for the next six months to keep infections down over winter 

In Spain, parts of Madrid with rapidly rising infections have been thrown back into full lockdown, with authorities calling on the army to help enforce the rules.

The remaining 6.6million residents have been encouraged to say indoors, though are not required to do so – yet. New measures are due to be announced next week.

Meanwhile Catalonia, where Barcelona is located, has also announced bans on gatherings larger than six people.

Spain saw 11,300 new cases of coroanvirus on Tuesday this week, based on a rolling seven-day average. 

In France, the cities of Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, and Nice have all already been hit with tougher new lockdown measures, though country-wide restrictions have remained the same.

Measures include no drinking in public places after 8pm, all bars to close by midnight, and the size of gatherings cut.

Masks are already compulsory across France in all indoor spaces, though many cities have made them compulsory outdoors as well.

France reported 10,155 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, based on a seven-day rolling average. The figure for the UK was 3,928.

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Prince William and Kate Middleton appoint Zeinab Badawi as Royal Foundation director

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prince william and kate middleton appoint zeinab badawi as royal foundation director

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have appointed BBC broadcaster Zeinab Badawi as a director for their Royal Foundation.

Prince William and Kate Middleton, both 38, selected the Sudanese-British broadcaster, 61, who is an Oxford University graduate and has spent years working for the BBC, to join the team heading up their organisation. 

Projects that Zeinab will likely oversee include the couple’s Royal Foundation Covid-19 Response Fund, which was launched in July 2020 and helps a range of projects, from ensuring all emergency workers have access to individual grief trauma from Hospice UK, to helping early years charity Best Beginnings support an extra 20,000 new mothers.   

According to the Court Circular, the presenter met with the Duchess yesterday at Kensington Palace, with royal reporter Rebecca English confirming news of the appointment on Twitter this afternoon.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 38, have appointed BBC broadcaster Zeinab Badawi as a director of their Royal Foundation

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 38, have appointed BBC broadcaster Zeinab Badawi as a director of their Royal Foundation

She studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University and obtained a Masters Degree (with distinction) in Middle East History and Anthropology from SOAS 

She has also been named several times in Powerlist as one of Britain’s top 100 most influential members of the black community and has been named as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Members of the African Diaspora.

The broadcaster is a trustee of BBC Media Action (the charitable broadcasting company’s charity), as well as the Chair of the Royal African Society, of which the Duke of Cambridge is patron.

She was the first presenter of the ITV Morning News, and co-presented Channel 4 News with Jon Snow from 1989 to 1998, before joining BBC News. 

The Sudanese-British broadcaster, who is an Oxford University graduate and has spent years working for the BBC, has been chosen by the royals to join the team heading up their organisation

The Sudanese-British broadcaster, who is an Oxford University graduate and has spent years working for the BBC, has been chosen by the royals to join the team heading up their organisation

The news comes as it emerged Simon Case, who was Prince William’s private secretary, has resigned as a trustee of the foundation. 

Simon spent almost two years working as Prince William’s right-hand man before temporarily moving to Downing Street earlier this year to assist with the coronavirus response. 

Earlier this month he was confirmed as the youngest head of the civil service in living memory. 

It comes as news emerged that Simon Case, who was Prince William's private secretary, has resigned as a trustee of the foundation

It comes as news emerged that Simon Case, who was Prince William’s private secretary, has resigned as a trustee of the foundation

The appointment of the 41-year-old, who officially started on September 9 and said he was ‘honoured’, represented the latest stage in the Government’s dramatic shake-up of Whitehall. 

Last July the Cambridges announced their former communications secretary Jason Knauf would become the chief executive of the organisation, when Lorraine Heggessey stood down in the autumn. 

The Royal Foundation became the ‘principle charitable vehicle for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’ from October 1, after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex broke away from the foundation last year.  

The Royal Foundation was set up by William and Harry in 2009 to run all their charitable campaigns and ventures, with Kate joining in 2011 and Meghan joining in 2018, before she and Prince Harry split last year

The Royal Foundation was set up by William and Harry in 2009 to run all their charitable campaigns and ventures, with Kate joining in 2011 and Meghan joining in 2018, before she and Prince Harry split last year 

The Foundation had an income of £7.83million in 2018, on top of £9million in 2017.

The Royal Foundation was set up by William and Harry in 2009 to run all their charitable campaigns and ventures, and joined by Kate when she became Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.

The Foundation focuses on issues such as helping young people, wildlife conservation, cyberbullying and supporting the military. 

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Footballer knocks 18-year-old off fence with accidental stray ball as she poses for photo

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footballer knocks 18 year old off fence with accidental stray ball as she poses for photo

A Northern Irish teen chose a beautiful spot to pose for a picture – but didn’t study her backdrop close enough to notice the football game going on behind her.

Aimee McFadden, 18, and her friend Mia Scullion decided to stop to for a sunset photoshoot in Lurgan, Northern Ireland one evening.

They set up their camera and balanced themselves on a fence, without considering the football pitch behind them.

The pair strike a pose, balancing precariously with one foot in the air, and smiling for the camera. 

Aimee McFadden, 18, (right) and her friend Mia balance precariously with one foot in the air during a sunset photoshoot - without considering the football pitch behind them

Aimee McFadden, 18, (right) and her friend Mia balance precariously with one foot in the air during a sunset photoshoot – without considering the football pitch behind them

Behind them, the footballers kick a ball around, until a poor kick sends an accidental stray ball flying towards Aimee. 

It hits her full force and boots her right off balance, legs flailing in the air, as she desperately tries to cling onto the fence with one arm.

She falls to the ground but seems unharmed and bursts out laughing along with her friend Mia.

The hilariously fail was caught on camera as the embarrassed footballers hung their heads in shame.

An accidental stray ball comes flying towards Aimee and hits her full force, knocking her off the fence

An accidental stray ball comes flying towards Aimee and hits her full force, knocking her off the fence

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