The day I met the Queen | Features News

I acquired right into a taxi one afternoon in November 2007 — a type of black cabs London is legendary for. I used to be all dressed up, a flower in my hair, and was carrying two yellow roses tinged with pink that I had taken from a flower association.

“You look pretty,” the driving force stated to me, glancing in his rear-view mirror. “You going someplace particular?”

“Truly, I simply got here from someplace — I met the queen,” I stated. He checked out me, longer this time, and instructed me how fortunate I used to be.

“Some folks stay to be 100 and by no means meet the Queen.”

That’s when the magnitude of the day actually hit me; Queen Elizabeth II, then aged 81, had already been on the throne for 55 years. She had steered the UK from post-WWII poverty and devastation, by way of the transformation from an Empire to a Commonwealth, by way of the tip of the twentieth century and into the twenty first.

The Queen was the patron of the London school I had attended the earlier 12 months and was coming to go to, and I used to be one of many fortunate alumni invited.

Queen Elizabeth at the Royal College of Defence Studies
Commandant of the school, Admiral Sir Ian Garnett, takes the queen on a tour of the grand institution in central London in 2007 [File: Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images]

We have been instructed to reach early for a protocol briefing.

We have been positioned in small, pre-determined teams organized by the school with the format communicated to Buckingham Palace workers, as was the norm for such occasions.

The school secretary went by way of the listing of dos and don’ts:

  • Don’t contact Her Majesty until she provides her hand
  • Don’t communicate until spoken to
  • Name her ‘Your Majesty’ the primary time, then ma’am as in rhymes with jam
  • Don’t flip your again on the Queen
  • Don’t ask private questions
  • Don’t discuss politics or information (there was an inquiry into the loss of life of Princess Diana underway)

After every level, the secretary would look sharply at me, as if I’d be the one to embarrass the school within the presence of the Queen.

“One factor Her Majesty doesn’t get pleasure from,” he instructed the 100 or so of us gathered, “is to have a room go silent when she enters.” He instructed us to please preserve speaking to one another in well mannered tones when she arrived.

I wasn’t involved we might go silent. This room was skilled — diplomats, army officers, senior authorities officers, all well-practiced within the artwork of small discuss.

Prince Philip had accompanied the Queen and got here to speak with our group first whereas she was in one other room. I don’t keep in mind a lot of what was stated, besides that it was well mannered, perfunctory, and he was very tall.

Quickly after, the imposing picket doorways main into the room swung open and there she was — Queen Elizabeth II.

The gentleman I had been talking with a second earlier than went silent, so did the remainder of our group.

“No, no,” I stated in a soothing tone. “Hold speaking — it doesn’t matter about what — discuss to one another about what you had for breakfast, however preserve speaking.”

The school commandant, a knighted former admiral, accompanied Her Majesty and started to introduce our group. When he got here to a Romanian diplomat, the Queen stated, “Ah sure, didn’t we meet earlier than?” and talked about a earlier perform whose particulars I now overlook. The Romanian diplomat was delighted, breaking right into a smile as she stated “Sure Ma’am” (as in jam).

Queen Elizabeth in 2007
Queen Elizabeth ll meets members and workers as she visits the UK’s Defence Academy on November 9, 2007, in London, England [File: Anwar Hussein Collection/ROTA/WireImage]

I don’t know whether or not the Queen had been well-briefed or truly remembered the assembly, however I recall marvelling at how rapidly she had put everybody relaxed. Tens of hundreds of occasions she had been on the centre of occasions like this and she or he appeared curious and pleased, targeted simply on us.

She was carrying a tan and cream skirt swimsuit, and somebody got here and positioned a glass of cranberry juice into her gloved fingers — cream-coloured gloves. The glass was VERY full, and as she chatted with others in our group, I feared it will spill — nobody had instructed me the etiquette for that.

Might I point out it? Dare I? That will be talking earlier than spoken to AND interrupting. What if she spilled and I hadn’t stated something? The commandant saved the day, gently eradicating the juice and changing it with a less-full glass.

As I contemplated the protocol points, the Queen turned to me.

“And I perceive you’re the solely journalist to ever have attended right here,” she stated, earlier than asking me why. “Who wouldn’t wish to come right here Your Majesty?” I stated, gesturing to these standing in our semi-circle. “You’ve an Indonesian army officer subsequent to a Turkish diplomat, subsequent to a Romanian one,” I stated, going by way of our complete group, saying there wasn’t one other course on the planet that would have supplied me this.

She requested me who paid my tuition, as others have been sponsored by their nations or organisations. “I did,” I stated.

Queen Elizabeth II with Admiral Sir Ian Garnett at the Royal College Of Defence Studies in 2007
Queen Elizabeth ll and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, are taken on a tour of the UK’s Defence Academy by the Commandant of the Faculty, Admiral Sir Ian Garnett, on November 9, 2007, in London, England [File: Anwar Hussein Collection/ROTA/WireImage]

After which she moved on.

I felt as if I had hit a diplomatic residence run — in entrance of the Queen no much less. I had remembered everybody’s particulars, acquired to incorporate the entire group in our chat — no gaffes, no embarrassment.

Later, we watched as she and Prince Philip descended the grand onyx staircase and took their go away.

Nonetheless feeling fairly pleased with myself, I went to the eating room for lunch. As I used to be nearly to select up a sandwich, the commandant got here in and stated, “What did you say to Her Majesty?” within the booming authoritative tone of a former army commander.

“Me? I didn’t say something about something,” I stammered, wracking my mind about how I may have tousled. “As I used to be escorting her out, Her Majesty requested about why you paid your strategy to come right here,” the commandant stated.

I instructed him she had requested me the preliminary query and I had answered.

“Does that imply I’ll get a refund?”

“No,” he answered emphatically.

The Queen had spoken to not less than 100 folks after our temporary encounter — I used to be astonished that she remembered that element.

There are pictures of that day, however none of me talking with the Queen. Possibly it’s higher that means.

For a couple of moments, I used to be within the presence of a lady who had seen greater than most of us would see in 100 lifetimes. I appeared into her curious and smiling eyes, watched as she laughed together with a few of my colleagues, and I felt her real sense of obligation and obligation.

She left an indelible mark.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 130 | Russia-Ukraine war News

Because the Russia-Ukraine warfare enters its a hundred and thirtieth day, we check out the primary developments.

Listed here are the important thing occasions to this point on Sunday, July 3.

Get the newest updates right here.

Combating

  • Ukrainian separatists backed by Russia say they’ve “utterly” encircled the important thing metropolis of Lysychansk within the japanese Luhansk area. In the meantime, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has conceded that town of Lysychansk, Ukraine’s final huge bastion in Luhansk, may fall to the Russians.
  • Ukrainian forces hit a Russian base with greater than 30 strikes within the Russian-occupied southern metropolis of Melitopol within the area of Zaporizhia, in line with town’s exiled Ukrainian mayor, Ivan Fedorov. Russia’s RIA information company confirmed the assaults.
  • A minimum of three individuals have been killed and dozens of residential buildings broken within the Russian metropolis of Belgorod, in line with the native governor. Russia has blamed Ukraine however Kyiv has but to remark.
  • The Belarusian president says his military has shot down missiles fired into their territory from Ukraine and promised to reply “immediately” to any enemy assault.
    INTERACTIVE - WHO CONTROLS WHAT IN UKRAINE- JULY3,2022
    (Al Jazeera)

Diplomacy

  • The European Union is getting ready an emergency plan to assist member states reduce on Russian vitality. The brand new measures — due by mid-July — will construct on Might’s REPowerEU plan to desert Russian vitality sources due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • Leaders from dozens of nations and worldwide organisations will collect on Monday and Tuesday within the Swiss metropolis of Lugano to debate rebuilding Ukraine, hoping to attract up a “Marshall Plan” for the nation’s reconstruction.

Financial system

  • Russia stays a “dependable producer and provider of grain, fertilisers and vitality”, President Vladimir Putin assured Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Fearing Russia may minimize off pure gasoline provides, the pinnacle of Germany’s regulatory company for vitality has referred to as on residents to avoid wasting vitality and to arrange for winter, when use will increase.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 124 | Russia-Ukraine war News

Because the Russia-Ukraine battle enters its 124th day, we check out the primary developments.

Listed below are the important thing occasions thus far on Monday, June 27.

Get the newest updates right here.

Preventing

  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated his nation wants a extra trendy air defence system after a sequence of lethal assaults on the capital, Kyiv, in addition to the areas of Mykolaiv, Chernihiv and Lviv.
  • Greater than 100 our bodies have been present in a home within the Russian-occupied metropolis of Mariupol, the mayor’s adviser, Piotr Andryushchenko, stated.
  • The TASS information company quoted a separatist official on Sunday as saying that Moscow’s forces had entered Lysychansk from 5 instructions and had been isolating Ukrainian defenders.
  • On Saturday, the dual metropolis of Severodonetsk fell to pro-Russian forces.
    INTERACTIVE - WHO CONTROLS WHAT IN UKRAINE - June 27,2022
    (Al Jazeera)

Diplomacy

  • Leaders from the G7 held their first day of conferences, wherein 4 nations backed a ban on Russian gold – though it’s unclear whether or not there’s a consensus but.
  • Zelenskyy is ready to affix the summit of G7 leaders in southern Germany on Monday by way of video name.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend a spherical of talks with the leaders of Sweden and Finland, in addition to NATO, on Tuesday earlier than the summit in Madrid, his spokesperson stated.
  • Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will go to two small former Soviet states in Central Asia -Tajikistan and Turkmenistan – this week in what could be the Russian chief’s first identified journey overseas since ordering the invasion of Ukraine.

Financial system

  • Russia has missed the deadline on fee of its overseas foreign money sovereign debt for the primary time since 1918 amid Western sanctions over Ukraine’s invasion.
  • The US is more likely to announce this week the acquisition of a sophisticated medium- to long-range surface-to-air missile defence system for Ukraine, a supply acquainted with the matter informed Reuters information company.
  • Vitality ministers from the European Union will meet this week to try joint plans to combat local weather change and focus on emergency plans to scale back fuel demand amid additional cuts in provide from Russia.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 123 | Russia-Ukraine war News

Because the Russia-Ukraine conflict enters its 123rd day, we check out the primary developments.

Listed here are the important thing occasions up to now on Sunday, June 26.

Get the most recent updates right here.

Preventing

  • Explosions have been heard within the Shevchenkivskiy district of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klitschko stated on the Telegram messaging app, as Russian forces hit a residential complicated within the first assaults on the Ukrainian capital in weeks.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says 45 Russian missiles hit vast areas on Saturday, together with the northern, southern and western elements of the nation.

Diplomacy

  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo says he’ll urge his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts to open dialogue throughout a peace-building mission and ask Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to order a direct ceasefire.
  • Russia’s missile assault on Kyiv was meant to “intimidate Ukrainians” within the days main as much as a NATO summit, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko stated.

Financial system

  • 4 G7 powers will ban Russian gold exports in a brand new bid to cease oligarchs from shopping for the dear steel to keep away from the influence of sanctions towards Moscow, Britain stated on Sunday.
  • The G7 leaders are in Germany for a summit the place they’re anticipated to debate methods to extend strain on Putin whereas making an attempt to keep away from sanctions that would stoke inflation and exacerbate the cost-of-living disaster at dwelling.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 119 | Russia-Ukraine war News

Because the Russia-Ukraine warfare enters its 119th day, we check out the principle developments.

Listed here are the important thing occasions up to now on Wednesday, June 22.

Get the most recent updates right here.

Combating

  • Russian shelling killed at the very least 15 civilians within the jap Kharkiv area on Tuesday, together with 5 within the metropolis of Kharkiv, the regional governor has mentioned, as Russia steps up assaults within the area.
  • Russian forces have pushed deeper into the Donbas area, with Ukrainian officers saying the autumn of the front-line village Toshkivka, close to the strategically essential cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk.
  • The UK’s defence ministry mentioned it’s extremely probably that Russia is making ready to deploy a lot of reserves to the entrance strains of the Donbas.
  • A Ukrainian photojournalist and a soldier who was accompanying him once they had been killed within the first weeks of Russia’s invasion seem to have been “coldly executed”, Reporters With out Borders has mentioned, after an investigation into their deaths.

Diplomacy

  • Russia on Wednesday will mark the anniversary of the day Nazi Germany’s forces invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, with President Vladimir Putin on account of lay flowers to honour the lifeless.
  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo will go to each Ukraine and Russia subsequent week to fulfill his counterparts and push for a peaceable decision to the battle, the Indonesian international minister mentioned.
  • Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, mentioned his workplace has not obtained any requests from Washington concerning the two Individuals captured in Ukraine, in line with Moscow’s state TASS information company.
  • Ukraine is about to change into an official candidate for European Union membership on Thursday in a symbolic however morale-boosting resolution following Russia’s invasion, ministers and diplomats have mentioned.

Financial system

  • Russian companies are more and more relocating from Switzerland – lengthy dwelling to middlemen serving to to match Russian producers with worldwide consumers – to Dubai on account of sanctions.
  • Turkey is planning to host Russian, Ukrainian and United Nations officers for talks within the coming weeks geared toward resuming the export of grain that’s presently caught in Black Sea ports, in line with media stories.
  • EU leaders goal to take care of stress on Russia at a summit this week by committing to additional work on sanctions, a draft doc confirmed, with gold amongst belongings which may be focused.
  • Germany faces a sure recession if already faltering Russian gasoline provides utterly cease, an trade physique warned.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 116 | Russia-Ukraine war News

Because the Russia-Ukraine struggle enters its 116th day, we check out the primary developments.

Listed here are the important thing occasions up to now on Sunday, June 19.

Get the most recent updates right here.

Combating

  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited front-line troops once more, together with close to Severodonetsk, praising troopers holding ahead positions as courageous and hardworking.
  • The Common Workers of Ukraine’s Armed Forces says they’ve suffered a navy setback in Metolkine, to the southeast of Severodonetsk.
  • Three Russian missiles destroyed a gasoline storage depot within the jap city of Novomoskovsk, stated the pinnacle of the regional administration.
  • Russia is sending numerous reserve troops to Severodonetsk from different battle zones to attempt to achieve full management of the jap metropolis, which they management most of, stated Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai.

Diplomacy

  • NATO Secretary-Common Jens Stoltenberg has warned that the struggle in Ukraine may final years as he known as for state-of-the-art weaponry for Ukrainian troops.
  • Two commanders who defended the Azovstal metal plant in Mariupol have been transferred to Russia for investigation, Russia’s state information company TASS reported.
  • Ukraine’s defence intelligence directorate stated 5 Ukrainian civilians had been returned in a swap for 5 Russian prisoners. It didn’t say whether or not the Russians had been combatants.
  • British Prime Minister Johnson warned of a necessity to organize for a protracted struggle, which meant making certain “Ukraine receives weapons, tools, ammunition and coaching extra quickly than the invader”.

Financial system

  • BP stays Rosneft’s greatest non-public shareholder regardless of having introduced its departure in February, stated Igor Sechin, head of the Russian oil main. BP couldn’t be reached for remark.
  • Russia’s 2022 coal manufacturing may fall 17 p.c to 365.1 million tonnes and exports may lower 30 p.c to 156 million tonnes, Russian information company Interfax reported, citing the vitality ministry.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 115 | Russia-Ukraine war News

Because the Russia-Ukraine conflict enters its one hundred and fifteenth day, we check out the principle developments.

Listed here are the important thing occasions to this point on Saturday, June 18.

Get the most recent replace right here.

Combating

  • Russia closely shelled the japanese metropolis of Lysychansk, killing a number of individuals and making a key freeway out of the town impassable, based on Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai.
  • Russian media broadcast what it stated have been pictures of two US residents captured whereas combating for Ukraine. US President Joe Biden stated he had been briefed concerning the lacking People however was unaware of their whereabouts.
  • Ukraine stated its forces hit a Russian naval tugboat with two Harpoon missiles within the Black Sea, the primary time it has claimed to have struck a Russian vessel with Western-supplied anti-ship weapons.
  • Russia has freed a Ukrainian medic whose footage was smuggled out of Mariupol by an Related Press group, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy introduced.

Diplomacy

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson provided army coaching for Ukrainian forces as he met Zelenskyy in Kyiv on his second go to to Ukraine for the reason that begin of the conflict.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West of colonial vanity and attempting to crush his nation with “silly” sanctions that amounted to an financial “blitzkrieg”.
  • Ukrainian overseas minister Dmytro Kuleba urged the West to not “counsel peace initiatives with unacceptable phrases”, apparently referring to remarks by French President Macron {that a} diplomatic resolution requires not humiliating Russia.
  • A US plan to promote 4 massive, armable drones to Ukraine has been paused for worry its refined surveillance gear would possibly fall into enemy fingers, two sources advised Reuters information company.

Economic system

  • Lithuania has advised Russia’s Kaliningrad area it’ll block the import and export of a lot of items by rail due to Western sanctions, the regional governor stated.
  • Italy might declare a heightened “state of alert” on gasoline subsequent week if Russia retains curbing provides, two authorities sources stated, after power firm Eni reported a shortfall in flows from Moscow for a 3rd day.
  • Fuel flows from Germany to France have stopped since Wednesday after what German officers referred to as Russia’s politically motivated choice to cut back provides to the EU.
  • A prime US Treasury official warned bankers of elevated cyber-threats within the wake of Russia’s invasion and underscored the division’s dedication to sharing real-time intelligence.

US rolls out migration plan on final day of Americas summit | Migration News

Specialists query whether or not Summit of the Americas declaration will do sufficient to handle urgent wants within the area.

America has unveiled a plan that it says will assist nations throughout the Americas area tackle migration, as President Joe Biden’s administration seeks better cooperation to discourage rising numbers of asylum seekers from searching for to succeed in the US.

The White Home on Friday launched a factsheet describing the “Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Safety on the Summit of the Americas”, which seeks to “mobilize all the area round daring actions that may rework our strategy to managing migration”.

The Biden administration pledged lots of of tens of millions in assist to Venezuelan migrants throughout the Western Hemisphere, in addition to programmes to assist momentary family-based visas for Cubans and Haitians and ease the hiring of Central American staff, amongst different measures.

Biden and different regional leaders attending the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California are anticipated to difficulty a joint declaration in a while Friday, the final day of talks which were marked by controversies.

Particularly, the US’s determination to exclude the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua over these nations’ rights data has drawn appreciable criticism – and led Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to skip the summit altogether.

Some leaders this week slammed Washington for not extending invites to all of the heads of state, with analysts additionally declaring that the choice might hamper US efforts to handle urgent points dealing with the Americas.

On the summit’s opening session on Thursday, leaders from Argentina and tiny Belize took to the rostrum to rebuke Biden face-to-face over the visitor listing.

“It’s improper that Cuba and Venezuela [and] Nicaragua are usually not right here,” Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley instructed the convention on Friday afternoon, stressing that “we have to converse to these with whom we disagree”.

“These international locations should equally recognise that you just can not need to absolutely take part when you’re not ready equally to interact and to see progress, and the straightforward precedence should be folks – not ideology,” Mottley mentioned.

“I hope that we depart right here right this moment acutely aware that we must not ever once more come to a summit to speak at one another, however merely to speak with one another, in partnership and for the aim of the prosperity of our folks.”

‘Merely not sufficient’

Friday’s declaration aimed to create incentives for international locations taking in giant numbers and unfold duty throughout the area, in addition to cement agreements and commitments already in place.

However some analysts have been sceptical that there could be many significant commitments.

Al Jazeera’s Latin America editor Lucia Newman mentioned whereas the declaration has been touted “as being imaginative, nearly revolutionary … while you have a look at the small print, it’s merely not sufficient to cope with this extraordinary migration disaster that the area is experiencing proper now.”

Newman, reporting from Chile’s capital Santiago, additionally careworn that migration flows within the Americas are usually not solely going within the path of the US and Canada. “But in addition from international locations like Cuba and Venezuela in the direction of South America,” she mentioned.

In the meantime, the absence from the summit of the leaders of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – the so-called “Northern Triangle” international locations from which many migrants come – additionally has raised doubts about how successfully the proposed pledges will turn out to be actuality.

The Biden administration has sought to dissuade folks from searching for asylum on the US’s southern border amid a surge in arrivals, focusing a lot of its insurance policies on addressing the “root causes” of migration.

However that has not stopped many individuals from attempting to succeed in the US, as dire socioeconomic circumstances, gang violence, unemployment and different points are pushing many to flee their dwelling international locations.

This week, a migrant caravan made up largely of Venezuelans departed from southern Mexico sure for the US. However a pandemic-era restriction generally known as Title 42 has remained in place on the border, permitting American authorities to right away expel most asylum seekers with out providing them an opportunity to use for defense.

A migrant waits of the Mexican side of the border
The US has sought to dissuade asylum seekers from attempting to succeed in its southern border amid a rise in arrivals [Marco Ugarte/AP Photo]