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13 April

In the headlines

The “spare will be there”, says the Daily Mirror, after Prince Harry confirmed that he would attend his father’s coronation next month – but without Meghan. The prince is said to be planning a “quick trip”, and probably won’t take part in the post-crowning procession or appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony. Second-home owners will have to get planning permission to rent out their properties as holiday lets, Housing Secretary Michael Gove has announced. The proposals are designed to stop locals being pushed out of areas like Cornwall and the Lake District by speculators, who buy up housing to list on platforms such as Airbnb. New York has appointed its first-ever “rat czar” to help tackle the city’s rodent infestation. The $155,000 position has been taken by former schoolteacher Kathleen Corradi, who has vowed: “You’ll be seeing a lot more of me – and a lot less rats.”

Love etc

Last summer, says Gabriel Sherman in Vanity Fair, Jerry Hall received an email from her then-husband Rupert Murdoch while waiting for him at their Oxfordshire estate. “Jerry,” it began, “sadly I’ve decided to call an end to our marriage.” Hall was “blindsided” – the pair had “never fought”, she told her friends. The 1970s fashion icon was given 30 days to remove her belongings from Murdoch’s Bel Air estate – after showing receipts to prove items belonged to her – and signed a settlement promising not to give story ideas to the writers of Succession. She only realised why their marriage may have ended so abruptly four months later, when she saw pictures of Murdoch holidaying with his new squeeze, former dental hygienist Ann Lesley Smith. Hall made an effigy of the media tycoon, “tied dental floss around its neck, and burned it on the grill”.

Inside politics

In the run-up to the 1997 general election, John Major visited the former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie at his office in a Canary Wharf skyscraper, says Mark Mason in The Spectator. Looking out of the window, the prime minister commented: “Incredible view you’ve got from here, Kelvin.” “Yes,” replied MacKenzie. “On a clear day, you can almost see a Tory voter.”


“Catastrophic sea level rise and habitat destruction are obviously bad,” says Tom Whipple in The Times, but climate change may also make cricket more exciting. American scientists have found that because hotter temperatures make the air less dense – and thus easier for a ball to travel through – global warming is resulting in more home runs in baseball. Specifically, every degree in temperature rise yields an almost 2% increase in the boundary-busting hits. Study author Chris Callahan, from Dartmouth College, says the same must “absolutely” be true for cricket.


Shops are cashing in on the Coronation to flog all sorts of tat, says the Evening Standard. At the upper end, Conway Stewart is selling a £575 sterling silver fountain pen featuring a detailed engraving of the King’s profile. Historic Royal Palaces – the charity in charge of Kensington Palace and the Tower of London – is flogging everything from key rings to biscuit tins. Emma Bridgewater has a £23 mug which says “King Charles” on it; Fortnum & Mason is selling a “trinkets box” for £60. Even some in the family are taking a slice – the party company owned by Carole Middleton, Kate’s mum, is selling a full coronation party set, including bunting at £1.60 a metre.

On the money

The most expensive number plate ever has sold at auction in Dubai for an eye-watering £12m. The rich reg, which reads simply “7”, was snapped up by an unidentified bidder at a charity auction. The number seven isn’t of any special significance – it seems rich folk just like single digits. The previous £11.4m record, also set in the UAE, was for “1”.


It’s “Fedha”, an AI-generated news presenter who will soon be reading online bulletins for Kuwait News. In a 13-second preview clip posted to the outlet’s Twitter account, the blonde-haired, blue-eyed host asks viewers in Arabic for their ideas on stories she should cover. “Fedha is a popular, old Kuwaiti name that refers to silver,” says deputy editor Abdullah Boftain. “We always imagine robots to be silver and metallic in colour, so we combined the two.”


quoted 13.4

“Fashion passes; style remains.”

Coco Chanel