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CHRISTOPHER STEVENS on TV: Silk, ribbons, stockings… it’s Fifty Shades of Queen Victoria!

CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews the weekend’s TV: Silk, ribbons, stockings… it’s Fifty Shades of Queen Victoria!

Queen Victoria: Love, Lust And Leadership

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The Trump Show: Downfall

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She called him ‘Master’. He called her ‘Child’ and would kneel to tie the silk ribbons at the tops of her stockings after another sleepless night of sensuality.

Victoria and Albert were the kinkiest couple ever to occupy Buckingham Palace. If a movie is made about their sex life, it’ll have to be called Fifty Shades Of Our Gracious Queen.

Every morning, claimed Dr Annie Gray, in Queen Victoria: Love, Lust And Leadership (C5), the Prince Regent would assist the monarch with the ties of her thigh-length stockings. This took Albert, said the historian, directly into the giggle zone, so-called because ‘when you get that far, you’re laughing’.

The couple argued as furiously as they made love so, far from being the Teutonic bore we all imagine from watching Tom Hughes play him in ITV’s costume drama, Victoria, the prince put the sex into Saxe-Coburg. Little wonder Her Majesty had six children before she was out of her 20s.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were the kinkiest couple ever to occupy Buckingham Palace

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were the kinkiest couple ever to occupy Buckingham Palace

All that passion and childbirth left the Queen mentally exhausted. A recently unearthed journal by her personal physician records that three weeks after the birth of her second baby — the future King Edward VII — Victoria was suffering hallucinations.

She complained of seeing spots on people’s faces that turned into writhing worms. Aware that her grandfather, George III, suffered long bouts of insanity, she feared she was losing her mind.

Much of this threw a fresh slant on a well-worn royal story. The documentary promised to show us ‘Victoria as we’ve never seen her before’, which was ambitious: many programmes have covered this ground, not least the three-part Queen Victoria’s Children, currently being repeated on BBC4.

Cheap send-off of the night:

Keeley Hawes dug a grave in the garden for her dead hubby and his cardboard coffin, in Finding Alice (ITV). Dad Nigel Havers sniffled: ‘I think it’s great you’re thinking outside the box.’ That puts the fun in funeral.

The segment on her governess Louise Lehzen, who preserved locks of the Queen’s hair in her scrapbooks, exactly replicated a story told by Lucy Worsley in her recent tour of the royal palaces.

But I’d never heard the roll call of servants the couple took on trips to Scotland: a hairdresser, a pastry cook, a confectioner, 11 footmen, a nursery maid, two messengers, a roasting cook, a baker, an upholsterer and a ‘table decker’. You wonder how they ever managed to get any privacy for, well, you know — sending her victorious.

Orange Donald’s conviction that he was victorious in last year’s U.S. presidential election was the theme of The Trump Show: Downfall (BBC2). 

That word ‘downfall’ is a none-too-subtle reference to the last days in Hitler’s bunker, charted in a film of that name. 

This hour-long programme, however, suffered badly from its brevity. Bogged down in coverage of legal appeals and incoherent speeches, it left itself only five minutes to show the appalling events of January 6, when the outgoing Commander-in-Chief whipped up a mob to invade Congress. It also ignored the Twitter ban entirely.

Jon Sopel and Anthony Scaramucci made no secret of their loathing for the man. The BBC reporter, who crossed swords with Trump at White House press conferences, compared him to fictional gangster Tony Soprano.

The Mooch, once sacked by Trump for being too foul-mouthed and back-stabbing, summed him up: ‘This is a cunning sociopath — he’s nuts, but he’s very cunning.’

That is not, I predict, the harshest thing we’ll hear said about the ousted President in the coming months.

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Headline USA Politics

Georgina Rodríguez receives an unexpected message from Queen Sofía | The State

It’s been a few weeks since the Christmas festivities ended, but just Georgina Rodriguez He found a very important Christmas card in his mailbox. It is a personalized card that he could not bear to show off on his social networks, since the sender was nothing less than the Queen Sofia.

It was in her stories section on Instagram where she shared the message signed by Doña Sofía herself with the Royal House stamp and dated December 31, 2020 that said: “We wish you a merry Christmas and a prosperous year 2021.”

In the image he attached a heart, a thank you emoji and a flag of Spain, it would only be necessary to know why the mother of the King Felipe VI he writes to a person so alien to his environment.

The explanation could reside in the solidarity collaborations in which Georgina has contributed as with the NGO ‘Nuevo Futuro’ or also with him Food Bank and that is how she encouraged the Queen to congratulate her.

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A post shared by Georgina Rodríguez (@georginagio)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Georgina Rodríguez (@georginagio)

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Queen ‘is preparing a special secret to honour Kate’ to mark 10 years of marriage to Prince William 

Queen and Kate Middleton have a ‘fantastic relationship’ and monarch is is ‘preparing a surprise’ to honour Duchess on 10th wedding anniversary in April, royal expert claims

  • Queen ‘likely planning something’ for Kate and Prince William’s 10th anniversary
  • In 2019, Queen made Kate a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
  • Royal expert said Duchess of Cambridge and Queen have excellent relationship
  • He added it was believed that Kate taught Her Majesty how to use video calls  

It’s almost 10 years since they walked down the aisle at Westminster Abbey, and the Queen is reportedly planning a new honour for Kate Middleton to mark a decade of marriage to the future King. 

On the couple’s eighth anniversary in 2019, the Queen bestowed her highest seal of approval, making the Duchess of Cambridge, 39, a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. 

Awards under the Royal Victorian Order are made personally by the Queen for services to the sovereign, and the Queen is said to be considering another prestigious honour for April, in recognition of Kate’s work as a member of the monarchy

Royal expert Duncan Larcombe told OK! magazine: ‘It’s highly likely she’ll be planning a special secret something to honour Kate’s 10 years in the royal family – something she can do to mark it.  

The Queen is likely planning something to honour Kate Middleton as she and Prince William prepare to celebrate their 10th anniversary in April

‘Kate and the Queen have a fantastic relationship. 

Kate strikes that balance between bowing to her as head of the royal family in public but being able to check in with her as the great-grandmother to her children.’

He added that, despite the ongoing pandemic, the Queen and Kate have remained close with the Duchess having a direct line to speak to Her Majesty.

Kate checks in on her and gives her updates on her and Prince William’s children – George, seven, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two. 

On the couple's eighth anniversary in 2019, the Queen bestowed her highest seal of approval, making the Duchess of Cambridge, 39, a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order

On the couple’s eighth anniversary in 2019, the Queen bestowed her highest seal of approval, making the Duchess of Cambridge, 39, a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge married on 29 April 2011 and share three children - George, seven, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge married on 29 April 2011 and share three children – George, seven, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two 

Duncan also said that it is believed Kate taught the Queen how to use video calls, so that she could see her great-grandchildren while they were unable to visit each other. 

Through her royal work, the Duchess of Cambridge has supported her own causes such as early years development of children. 

She has also travelled to the Commonwealth on behalf of the monarch and helped to raise awareness about mental health alongside her husband and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. 

Kate recently thanked NHS staff for ‘going the extra mile’ after hearing how a nurse played Bon Jovi as he held the hand of a dying patient. 

She spoke to nurses from the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust via video link to hear about their work and thank them for their efforts during the pandemic. 

He added that, despite the ongoing pandemic, the Queen and Kate have remained close with the Duchess having a direct line to speak to Her Majesty and is 'believed Kate taught the Queen how to use Zoom, so that she could see her great-grandchildren via video call'

He added that, despite the ongoing pandemic, the Queen and Kate have remained close with the Duchess having a direct line to speak to Her Majesty and is ‘believed Kate taught the Queen how to use Zoom, so that she could see her great-grandchildren via video call’

During the call, Kate heard the touching story of a senior nurse who held the hand of a dying patient and played his favourite band Bon Jovi after his wife could not make it to his bedside.  

Kate praised Vasu Lingappa for going the ‘extra mile’ and shared a lighter moment with the NHS worker who joked the patient’s wife had wanted him to sing the rock group’s hits – but he declined because of his strong Asian accent.

She made the call from the Queen’s Sandringham estate on Tuesday, after the monarch loaned her and Prince William the residence to use as their working base during lockdown.

Through her royal work, the Duchess of Cambridge has supported her own causes such as early years development of children and helped to raise awareness about mental health alongside her husband and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex

Through her royal work, the Duchess of Cambridge has supported her own causes such as early years development of children and helped to raise awareness about mental health alongside her husband and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex

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Entertainment USA TV

Judi Dench, 86, Joins Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, The Queen, & More In Getting COVID Vaccine

As countries roll out the vaccine for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, some of the biggest celebrities are protecting themselves against the disease.

Judi Dench, 86, confirmed she’s received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. “I had one a week ago so I think my next is something like 11 weeks’ time, that’s a great start!” the Oscar winner said on the BBC, according to The Daily Mail, on Thursday, Jan. 14. The Skyfall actress didn’t indicate if she received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, both of which require two doses — but the U.K. became the first western country to begin the vaccinations in Dec. 2020. Judi has been quarantined in the United Kingdom in the last few months, where she learned how to do TikTok videos with her grandson.

Judi Dench confirmed she received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. (AP)

Martha Stewart, 79, is the latest celebrity to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The cooking legend took to her Instagram on Jan. 11 to share a video of herself receiving the preventative treatment while sitting down at the Martha Stewart Center for Living at Mount Sinai in New York City. She wrote a caption alongside the video to explain the process and her excitement in getting it.

“I was vaccinated today in a designated vaccine pod near the Martha Stewart Center for Living at Mount Sinai Downtown I am so proud of and grateful to the doctors, nurses and medical staff who are wading through the red tape and confusion of the distribution of these very important vaccines,” the caption read. “I am excited to have received my dosage and look forward to the booster. The doctors told me 10,000 applications were received by Mount Sinai right after the state released this batch of vaccines.”

“Here’s to the advancement of science and a heartfelt thanks to those working on the vaccines,” she continued. “We are all hoping for an end to this pandemic. To allay your concerns that I jumped the line know that I am in the approved age group for this batch of vaccines and I waited in line with others.”

Queen Elizabeth, 94, and her husband Prince Philip, 99, have been inoculated. The Royals received the COVID-19 vaccine by a household doctor at Windsor Castle, a representative confirmed to AP. The Queen “decided that she would let it be known she has had the vaccination,” the palace statement, along with confirming they received their first doses on Saturday, Jan. 9. Over 1.5 million UK residents have received the vaccine so far, mainly in high-risk categories.

Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip
Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip have both received the COVID-19 vaccine at Windsor Castle, where they’ve been in lockdown. (AP Images)

President-elect Joe Biden has now joined the ranks of high-profile individuals who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. The 78-year-old politician received the the Pfizer and BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, which was the first to be approved in the United States, on live TV. At a hospital in Newark, Delaware, Biden chatted with the nurse administering the vaccine and said he wanted Americans to know that it was safe. “I’m doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared, when it’s available, to take the vaccine,” Biden said. “There’s nothing to worry about. I’m looking forward to the second shot.”

After receiving the injection, he addressed the cameras. “I want to say [that] we owe these folks an awful lot. The scientists and people who put this together. The front line workers, the ones who actually did the clinical work. It’s just amazing… we owe you big, we really do.” Biden also surprisingly gave a nod to the Trump administration. “I think that the administration deserves some credit for getting this off the ground with Operation Warp Speed,” he said, referring to the Coronavirus Task Force set up at the beginning of the pandemic.

“It’s a very special day, I feel euphoric,” Sir Ian McKellen said after receiving the first of two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at Queen Mary University Hospital in London, England, per the Evening Standard. With more than 1.65 million people dead from COVID-19, Sir Ian, 81, said it was everyone’s duty to get vaccinated and help stop the spread of the disease. “Anyone who has lived as long as I have is alive because they have had previous vaccinations, the take up amongst the older generation will be 100 percent — it ought to be — because you’re having it not just for yourself but for people who you are close to – you’re doing your bit for society.”

“Of course, it’s painless… it’s convenient, and getting in touch and meeting NHS staff and saying thank you to them for how hard they’ve been working is a bonus,” said the Lord of the Rings star. “I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone. … I feel very lucky to have had the vaccine.” The United Kingdom was the first Western country to roll out the vaccine, with healthcare workers, the elderly, and people living in care homes getting inoculated at the start of December.

Sir Ian McKellen attends a Meet The Actor event at the Apple Store, Regent Street, London in 2015. (Ian West/PA Wire/AP)

In addition to Sir Ian, Greatest British Bake Off judge Prue Leith, 80, and British rocker Marty Wilde, 81, also received the vaccine. “Having just had my Covid injection, I can honestly say it was an easy experience, if that’s the right word,” said Marty, who is known for being among the first generation of British pop stars to emulate rock and roll. “It was painless, and the staff were great.”

Dr. Jason Wimberly, the husband of Southern Charm star Cameran Eubanks, also got the vaccine. Jason is an anesthesiologist, per Bravo, and has been helping fight COVID-19 in Charleston. “or those wondering, Jason is still standing and Bill Gates hasn’t overtaken his mind…yet. #GratefulForScience #ImJealous #VaccinesWork,” Cameran posted to Instagram on Nov. 17.

The U.S. rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine began on Monday (Dec. 14), according to Buzzfeed. In America, the first person to receive the vaccine was Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York. She was vaccinated during a live press conference with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “I hope this marks the beginning of the end of a very painful time in our history,” said Lindsay, per Buzzfeed. “I feel hopeful today. I want to instill public confidence that the vaccine is safe, we’re in a pandemic, and so we all need to do our part to put an end to the pandemic and not give up so soon.”

The COVID-19 virus has infected over 74 million people worldwide. Among those who caught the disease are musicians (Bad Bunny, Kanye West), sports stars (Cristiano Ronaldo, Lewis Hamilton), actors (Kristen Stewart, Tom Hanks), politicians (Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani), and reality TV stars (Larsa Pippen,  Khloe Kardashian). As the rollout continues, expect more and more stars to do their part and get vaccinated.

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Entertainment USA

Tristan Thompson Gushes Over His ‘Queen’ Khloe’s Sexy Pic After Spending Holidays Together

Khloe Kardashian got some major love from Tristan Thompson on Instagram after she posted a new photo in her Good American gear.

Although Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson are currently spending some time apart due to his busy NBA schedule, he’s still making sure to let her know that he’s thinking of her! Khloe posted a photo promoting her Good American clothing line on Instagram on Jan. 10, and Tristan left her some love in the comments section. “My Queen,” he wrote, along with a crown and red heart emojis.

In the pic, Khloe is wearing a crop top and high-waisted leggings, along with a matching jacket. The outfit is complete with laced-up booties. “Head to toe Good American,” she captioned the pic. Although the pic received hundreds of comments, Tristan’s definitely stood out to fans. Many responded, letting him know that he better continue to treat Khloe like a queen now that they appear to be back together.

Khloe and Tristan spent a lot of time amidst the coronavirus pandemic, as he was in Los Angeles to be closer to her and their daughter, True Thompson, 2, during months of quarantine. He also helped take care of True when Khloe was battling COVID-19 back in March. At the time, Khloe admitted that she was in a “good place” with Tristan, but was not ready to be fully back together with him yet.

khloe kardashian tristan thompson
Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson out together. (zz/GOTPAP/STAR MAX/IPx)

In the months since, Khloe has not given fans an update on her relationship status. However, all signs point to a reconciliation between the exes, who split in Jan. 2019 after Tristan kissed Jordyn Woods at a party. Tristan joined Khloe and her family on a getaway for Kim Kardashian’s birthday in October. Then, Khloe skipped the holidays with the KarJenners to bring True to Boston so they could spend time with Tristan, who’s currently playing for the Boston Celtics.

Khloe and Tristan first got together at the end of summer 2016, and Khloe confirmed she was pregnant the following fall. Just days before Khloe gave birth to True, Tristan was caught cheating on her in photos that surfaced online. For the sake of their family, Khloe stayed with Tristan, but ended things the following January when he was caught being unfaithful again (with Jordyn). Tristan has worked hard to prove himself to Khloe and her family — and it certainly appears to have worked!

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Entertainment USA

Kourtney Kardashian, 41, Is A ’70s Disco Queen In Tight Sequin Jumpsuit: ‘Take A Bow’ — See Pics

Kourtney Kardashian looked incredible when she posed in front of a vanity mirror while wearing a dark silver sequin jumpsuit and black boots in several new Instagram photos.

Kourtney Kardashian, 41, got her Instagram followers’ attention on Jan. 10 when she shared a brand new series of pics that had her showing off her figure and fierce facial expressions. The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star posed in a dark silver sequin jumpsuit and black heeled boots while in front of a lit vanity mirror in the snapshots, and had her long dark locks up in a high ponytail. “take a bow,” she captioned the post.

In the poses, Kourtney is sitting across a table in front of the mirror with her legs stretched out. She has her hands stretched out behind her and is giving the camera a serious and confident look in one, while looking behind her in the mirror in another. The eye-catching post brought on a plethora of positive comments from fans.

“Perfect,” one fan wrote while another called her an “amazing girl.” A third compared the beauty to a “Disney princess” and a fourth told her she’s “so pretty.” Many others left heart-eyed emojis that signified their love of the pics.

Kourtney Kardashian always knows how to look stylish. (SplashNews)

Before Kourtney’s wowed with her latest photos, she shared two gorgeous photos of herself posing in a black mini dress on Jan. 7. The mother-of-three was standing in a bedroom with bright red lighting and was holding up her phone to take the mirror selfies. She paired the look with black knee-high boots and a black belt and kept her long hair down and parted to the side.

Before that, she looked equally as fantastic in a flirty photo that promoted her lifestyle site Poosh‘s January picks on Jan. 6. She wore another plunging black mini dress under a black puffer jacket and looked off to the side in the photo. Although she didn’t tag a location, the KarJenner clan are believed to have been vacationing in a $450K a month mansion in Aspen, CO.

Whether she’s wearing a jumpsuit or sexy dress, let’s face it, Kourtney knows how to look her best in any style! We look forward to seeing what else she shows off throughout the new year.

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Headlines UK London

Russian beauty queen who married the former Malaysian King has defied orders of his powerful family

Russian beauty queen who married the former Malaysian King has defied orders of his powerful family to share pictures of her 18-month-old son on Instagram as a paternity battle rages

  • Oksana Voevodina shared a sweet image of her and her son on her Instagram 
  • It comes as she and Sultan Muhammad V are locked in a divorce battle 
  • The Sultan denies that the child, 18-month-old Leon, is his  

The Russian beauty queen who married the former Malaysian King has defied orders of his powerful family to share pictures of her 18-month-old son on Instagram as a paternity battle rages on. 

Oksana Voevodina, 28, shared a sweet image of her and her son on her Instagram account this week. 

It comes as Oksana and her former husband the Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan are at war after their ill-fated and short-lived marriage.

The couple married in 2018 before divorcing just a year later. 

Oksana Voevodina, 28, shared a sweet image of her and her son on her Instagram account

Oksana and her former husband the Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan are at war after their ill-fated and short-lived marriage

Oksana and her former husband the Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan are at war after their ill-fated and short-lived marriage

The former spouses are locked in a bitter battle over a financial settlement and over the paternity of her 18-months-old son, Leon, with the Sultan, 50, who denies that the child is his. 

This week, Oksana took to the image sharing platform to post a picture of her with her son to her 595,000 followers. 

In the caption, she wrote: ‘We all want our wishes to be fulfilled. By themselves or with someone’s help.

‘This year I decided to start differently and change the position of expectation to action.

Oksana Voevodina with her then husband, Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan. The couple were married in a low-key Islamic ceremony in Malaysia in June 2018

Oksana Voevodina with her then husband, Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan. The couple were married in a low-key Islamic ceremony in Malaysia in June 2018

Oksana Voevodina and her son Leon. The Sultan denies the child is his but Oksana said she is ready to take a DNA test

Oksana Voevodina and her son Leon. The Sultan denies the child is his but Oksana said she is ready to take a DNA test

Oksana Voevodina with her son

Oksana Voevodina with her son

Oksana is pictured with her son Leon, left and right, who is now 18 months old 

‘So, my dears, the first thing I did was fulfill your wish-Leon appeared in the profile again.’

Oksana was reportedly put under pressure by the Royal family to stop showing images of him online. 

Soon after the then monarch used Islamic law to divorce her and the couple are now in a bitter financial battle.  

The palace claimed she refused twice to have a DNA test on the child, something she denies, stressing she is ready anytime.

She has told the former monarch that the baby is ‘a copy of you’ and is ready for a DNA test.

Her son was conceived on a romantic Australian royal holiday after their secret Islamic wedding in 2018, she said.

Oksana Voevodina, 27 with her former husband, ex-King of Malaysia Tengku Muhammad V Faris Petra

Oksana Voevodina, 27 with her former husband, ex-King of Malaysia Tengku Muhammad V Faris Petra

Oksana has told the former monarch that the baby is 'a copy of you' and is ready for a DNA test

Oksana has told the former monarch that the baby is ‘a copy of you’ and is ready for a DNA test

Oksana Voevodina and her son Leon at three months old

Oksana Voevodina outside a mosque

Oksana Voevodina (right outside a mosque) and (left) with her son Leon at three months old

The 27-year-old model is known to be consulting London lawyers over the row and is examining new ways to push her claim. 

The English-educated sultan quit the Malaysian throne one year ago after controversy over his secret wedding to the former Miss Moscow.

He has not publicly acknowledged the boy as his son nor met the child.

But a leaked draft divorce settlement offer from his lawyers made longterm financial provision for the boy – as long as he was raised a Muslim and never contacted the ex-king. She rejected the package.

She has accused the sultan of shutting out his son conceived in love during their short marriage before walking out on her.

Meanwhile she has restarted her modelling and marketing career, recently featuring in a video from five star hotel Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre.

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Headline USA

Video of the last goodbye to Ximena Hita, Miss Aguascalientes: “This is how a queen is fired” | The State

The year was just beginning when the Miss Mexico Organization announced the unfortunate death of Ximena hita, Miss Aguascalientes, who was just 21 years old and preparing to be a paramedic, in addition to working in a foundation that sought to prevent suicide.

And on social networks, an extremely moving video of what was his last goodbye was circulated in his native Aguascalientes, in which the team of paramedics that was part of paying honors around the coffin adorned with an arrangement of sunflowers on the outskirts of a religion center.

“Ximena Luna Hita? Present!” Exclaimed the paramedics amid the tears of their loved ones. Later they dedicated several seconds of applause to him.

In the clip they wrote: “This is how a queen is fired”, and it should be noted that, judging by her social networks, the beauty queen had a happy life, full of work, projects and the love of her loved ones, so his death was surprising to everyone.

Although investigations into the causes of the death are still continuing, the first reports indicated that it was a suicide. Well, police elements responded to a call that alerted them to an unconscious person inside their home and of whom, upon arrival at the site, a woman told them that she had found her daughter hanging inside her room.

Keep reading:

They reveal the last message of Ximena Hita, Miss Aguascalientes, and the supposed causes of her death

Ximena Hita, Miss Aguascalientes who was fighting suicide and found dead at 21

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Headlines UK

Commemorative coin to be issued for 95th anniversary of Elizabeth II

The Royal Mint will make an unusual gift

On April 21, 2021, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain will turn 95 years old. For the anniversary of Her Majesty, the Royal Mint will issue a new commemorative coin with a face value of £ 5, writes the BBC. It will feature the royal monogram EIIR and engrave the words “my heart and my dedication”. The words are a reference to Elizabeth II’s 1957 Christmas address, which was first broadcast on television.

Photo: instagram.com/royalmintuk

“In ancient times, the monarch led his soldiers to the battlefield and personally directed them. But today things are different. I do not lead you into battle, I do not participate in the development of laws and trials, but I can do something else – I can give my heart and my devotion to the old islands and all the peoples of the Commonwealth of Nations. “– said then the queen.

In addition, four more coins will be issued in 2021. One of them will be dedicated to the 250th anniversary of the birth of the writer Sir Walter Scott, the second will be timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the death of the writer Herbert George Wells. Both coins will be £ 2 denominations.

Photo: instagram.com/royalmintuk

Two more 50p coins will be issued for the 50th anniversary of the new design of the UK and the 75th anniversary of the death of the inventor John Loughie Byrd, who became famous for creating the first mechanical television system. The set will be available for purchase on the Royal Mint website.

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Headlines UK London

‘Queen of Hammer Horror films’ Barbara Shelley dead at 88

Hammer Horror screen legend Barbara Shelley was mourned today after dying aged 88 – after a lifetime thrilling viewers who still sent her fan mail.  

The actress – who starred in 1950s and 1960s Hammer Horror films – acted with other icons including Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

And her credits included some of horror’s best-known films in The Gorgon, Dracula, Prince Of Darkness and Rasputin, Quatermass And The Pit, as well as Blood Of The Vampire, and Village Of The Damned.

Shelley was one of the movie stables’ most glamorous leading ladies but insisted ‘no one said I was beautiful’.

She also appeared in the Doctor Who episode Planet Of Fire, starring Peter Davison as the fifth Doctor.

Her agent, Thomas Bowington, said: ‘She really was Hammer’s number one leading lady and the technicolour queen of Hammer. 

Barbara Shelley and Christopher Lee in the classic Dracula: Prince of Darkness, the film for which she was best known

Shelley shared the bill with Christopher Lee in the horror hit regarded as an all-time classic by Hammer Horror studios

Shelley shared the bill with Christopher Lee in the horror hit regarded as an all-time classic by Hammer Horror studios

Barbara Shelley in Quatermass and The Pit

Barbara Shelley as the monster in The Gorgon

Barbara Shelley was one of horror’s best-known faces and starred in 104 films and TV series up until 2000

‘On screen she could be quietly evil. She goes from statuesque beauty to just animalistic wildness.

‘She was a regular favourite of Hammer events and autograph shows but also performed on stage with the RSC.’

He added: ‘She adored Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and loved working with them, that was very dear to her.’

Mr Bowington said Shelley had recently been in hospital, where she had caught Covid-19, but had since recovered. 

Barbara Shelley, seen here in 2009, was dubbed the 'technicolour queen of Hammer' and one of the series' famous names

Barbara Shelley, seen here in 2009, was dubbed the ‘technicolour queen of Hammer’ and one of the series’ famous names

Barbara Shelley and Martin Stephens in the 1960 classic Village of the Damned from Anglo-German director Wolf Rilla

Barbara Shelley and Martin Stephens in the 1960 classic Village of the Damned from Anglo-German director Wolf Rilla

He said: ‘It wasn’t the Covid that took her, she had underlying issues.’ 

Nicola Bryant, who played Doctor Who’s assistant Peri Brown alongside her, revealed she still treasured a present she gave her on set.

She said today: ‘So very sad to hear of the passing of Barbara Shelley.

‘A darling person and a talented actress. When we worked together on Planet of Fire she was so kind to me.

‘She gave me a little owl, still in my possession and some good advice. RIP Barbara Shelley. Wise and wonderful lady.’      

Born Barbra Kowin in 1932, Shelley was also known for TV roles in series including The Saint, The Avengers, The Borgias, Blake’s 7 and Crown Court, and later played Hester Samuels in EastEnders.

Jan Waters, Barbara Shelley and Jack Hedley pose in this black and white still from her long acting career in film and TV

Jan Waters, Barbara Shelley and Jack Hedley pose in this black and white still from her long acting career in film and TV 

Shelley wrapped up warm in a large scarf against the cold outside a film premiere back in 1967, the height of her stardom

Shelley wrapped up warm in a large scarf against the cold outside a film premiere back in 1967, the height of her stardom

In 2010, writer and actor Mark Gatiss interviewed Shelley about her career at Hammer Films for his BBC documentary series A History Of Horror.

The London-based production company, founded in 1934, made a string of hit Gothic horror films from the mid-1950s until the 1970s.

Many of these involved classic horror characters such as Baron Victor Frankenstein, Count Dracula, and the Mummy.

In an interview with the Express in 2009 she said she was told at a sci-fi convention by female fans they loved her for her strong roles.

She said: ‘Which I thought was a brilliant thing to have said about one. I never thought of it in that way. The fact that I’m still getting mail from my horror fan base really touches me.

‘No one told me I was beautiful. They said I was photogenic but no one said I was beautiful. If they had I would have had a lot more fun!’