Amelia Smith

Amelia Smith

Catalonia ‘National Day’ rally draws million

Catalonia ‘National Day’ rally draws million

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionProtesters march in Barcelona to mark the national day of Catalonia

About a million people have taken to the streets of Barcelona to mark Catalonia’s “National Day” and show continued support for independence. The annual celebration is the first since Catalonia’s failed attempt to break away from Spain last October. A sea of protesters wearing red shirts and bearing red-and-yellow Catalan flags banged drums, blew whistles and chanted slogans of support. The turnout was roughly the same as last year. Catalan regional president Quim Torra and his predecessor Carles Puigdemont, who fled into exile in Belgium after the failed independence bid, had urged people to demonstrate. Mr Torra said at the end of the rally: “We are starting an endless march.” Tuesday’s Diada holiday marks the day Barcelona fell to the soldiers of King Philip V in 1714 and for the past eight years has been used as a rallying point for independence. It is the first such celebration since Catalonia held a referendum on independence on 1 October last year and then unilaterally declared independence on 27 October. But the bid failed after Spain’s constitutional court deemed the move illegal and Madrid imposed direct rule. Image copyright Reuters Image caption Red-shirted protesters blew whistles and banged drums in Barcelona Protesters formed human towers and demanded the release of separatist leaders who are in detention awaiting trial following the independence campaign. One elderly protester at the rally, Dolors Llauralo, told Reuters she would continue the battle. “I will demonstrate every year, as long as I can… I fight for [my children and grandchildren] so they will have a better life than the one we have had,” she said. Read more stories on the Catalonia crisis: More protests are planned on the key anniversary dates of the referendum and declaration of independence.

However, opponents complained the Diada was being usurped as independence was not supported by all Catalans. Catalonia’s situation “not very serious”, says Josep BorrellSpanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrel, who is Catalan, said: “We Catalans should celebrate our national day and not just a call for independence that is shared by less than half of the population.” An opinion poll in July suggested 46.7% of Catalans favoured independence and 44.9% opposed it.


Alastair Cook: How has retiring England great become a ‘beacon’ for cricket?

Alastair Cook: How has retiring England great become a ‘beacon’ for cricket?

Cook, 33, announced on Monday that this week’s final Test against India will be his last appearance for his country. The opening batsman has scored 12,254 runs and made 32 centuries in 160 Tests – all England records. “We should laud Alastair Cook as a person as well as a player,” Gooch said. “Forget his achievements, he is a super man, an icon in our sport and a beacon for his sport.” Gooch, one of Cook’s boyhood heroes and his former mentor, was one of many coaches, friends and former team-mates to pay tribute to the Essex batsman.

But, what are the factors that have made Cook a “icon” who will receive an emotional send-off at The Oval this week – and where do England go from here?

Cook the role model Gooch: “If you’re looking for a role model, if you’re looking for an icon in sport, let alone cricket, you couldn’t get a more upstanding person and lovely guy than Alastair Cook. He’s everything you want in a sportsperson.”

Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan: “I’m delighted he’s playing this week because if there is one England cricketer that deserves a whole week about him, it’s Cook. He is not the person to go searching for that, he’ll probably be a bit embarrassed, but he deserves it.”

Former England captain Alec Stewart: “He’s almost flown under the radar in breaking all these records and he is the heartbeat of that team in such a quiet, unassuming way.”

England assistant coach Paul Farbrace: “He’s just such a fantastic bloke to have in your team. When he’s had tough periods and when he was under pressure as captain, everyone was saying: ‘We want him, we need him, he’s our man.’ It was genuine. He’s a caring bloke, he’s not selfish in any way and he has just run out of steam.”

Ex-England spinner Graeme Swann: “He is one of the nicest men alive. He has lasted so long because he does have a sunny disposition and a way of thinking that cricket is not life and death. He always put in 100% but would appreciate the other side of life.”

Former England coach Peter Moores: “To be England’s most successful batsman ever but still be humble and have time for everybody is a great thing.”

All-time leading Test run-scorer Sachin Tendulkar: “Alastair Cook has been one of the finest batsmen to have represented England and his conduct on-field and off it has been impeccable.”

Former England team-mate Paul Collingwood: “It was very evident straight away that he was an unflappable character. He looked cool, he was relaxed, and it was obvious he was going to take to international cricket like no-one else.”

Stewart: “There is a little bit of madness in opening the batting but he’s done it so well. He’s probably not the most naturally gifted cricketer but others have not his mental strength, and their natural talent hasn’t seen them through. The combination of talent and mental strength Cook has means he’s played such a long time and broken all the records he has.”

Moores: “A lot of his traits are the best of English people – he keeps his counsel, he gets stuck in, he’s tough, and he’s resolute under pressure.”

Gooch: “Often we see players who have physical talent – Alastair Cook is talented between the ears. He’s got a lot of skills with the bat and has enhanced those as his career has gone on but he’s very strong of mind. From the word go he had the ability to get the best out of himself, he knew exactly what he could and couldn’t do, and that’s a priceless skill. The mental side of his game never needed any coaching.”

Vaughan: “Cook has had to eke out every run through hard work and preparation. That’s why it’s remarkable he’s played for 12 years.” Cook retirement sad day for English cricket.

Former England coach and Essex team-mate Andy Flower: “From the start, he was great playing off his hips and had a brilliant pull shot to fast bowlers but it was his stubbornness, his determination, that really came through in his batting. You can’t coach that into someone, it comes from deep within, that hunger that great competitors have. He’ll want to beat you, whether it’s squash, table tennis or cricket.”

Collingwood: “Everyone doubts whether he’s got a good technique or not but never his steeliness, his resilience.”

Stewart: “He left nothing to chance, he worked hard and made sure he always topped the fitness tests.” Cook the man for all conditions Cook scored 18 of his 32 Test centuries abroad, including five in both Australia and India.

Gooch: “His performances in India in 2012-13, when he captained England to a 2-1 Test victory, stand out for me. It was an exhibition in how to play the turning ball. His runs in that series helped us beat India in their own conditions.”

Swann: “Without his runs, we wouldn’t have won that 2010-11 Ashes series quite as convincingly, if not at all.” Cook the last of a dying breed Ex-England spinner

Phil Tufnell: “I’m not sure we will see his like again. He is one of the old-school openers. But there is still room in a Test team of mine for an Alastair Cook.”

Gooch: “Apart from him and Jimmy Anderson, most of the current players have been brought up in the Twenty20 era. So Cook is a dying breed, that Test player who can occupy the crease and graft for his runs – it’s a priceless commodity. I’d like to think there’ll be someone else but I don’t see anyone on the horizon.”

Vaughan: “I hope the send-off Cook will get this week is a real lesson to everyone in cricket that if you play for a long time in Test cricket, that’s the send-off you get. If you’re a real legend – and Alastair Cook is – you get a week like this that you absolutely deserve.” But is he irreplaceable?

Gooch: “It will be very strange to see someone else walking out to open the batting for England in Test cricket.” Moores: “Maybe a completely new partnership will make it easier for somebody. It’s not always easy someone coming in with such a great record. It’s a fresh start and a chance for two new blokes to get in there and form a partnership that will hopefully be successful for the next few years.”

Collingwood: “They’re going to be difficult shoes to fill. Hopefully someone can put their hand up, come in and become a mainstay in the team.”

Farbrace: “There is a new selection group in place and it’ll be their job to make sure England have two good opening batsmen. When Cook finishes and we’re looking round at the experience you’re missing and the runs he scored, that is a massive hole for anybody to fill.”

Flower: “The game moves on and teams move on from great players. He will be missed, but there will be other hungry, strong, young Englishmen that will step in and step up. We all look forward to seeing that and Cook will look forward to seeing other young men developing themselves and challenging themselves in the international set-up.” And is he England’s greatest Test batsman?

Stewart: “If someone breaks his record of Test runs then they’ll be a very, very good player and it will take a long, long time to get there.”

Gooch: “He’s right up there. You could say there are more exciting and entertaining players to watch, but he would have to be ranked in the top two or three.”


U2 stop Berlin show over Bono voice issues

Bono was in Germany for the European leg of U2’s Experience + Innocence tour U2 fans were left disappointed when their Berlin show was cancelled after Bono lost his voice. The Irish band had played a handful of songs when the singer apologised to the crowd, saying: “I think we can’t go on. It’s not right for you.” Those at the Mercedes-Benz Arena were told there would be a short pause, but were later told the show was over. Bono promised another gig would be arranged. Some fans said Bono had announced that smoke machines had affected his voice. “Bono was in great form and great voice prior to the show and we were all looking forward to the second night in Berlin, but after a few songs, he suffered a complete loss of voice, ” U2 said in a statement.

“We don’t know what has happened and we’re taking medical advice,” the band added. ‘So sorry’ It was the second night of the European leg of U2’s Experience + Innocence tour, which had kicked off at the same venue on Friday night. Bono had been singing Red Flag Day when he lost his voice, according to those at the concert. U2 fan Paul Jones said: “During the fourth song, Red Flag Day, Bono’s voice deteriorated massively – he said it was something to do with the smoke that was set off.” He was trying to “soldier on” with the next song, Beautiful Day, when he called a stop to proceedings. In a video posted by a fan of the Saturday night concert, Bono appeared to be coughing and told fans he was “so sorry”. “I’m sure this is not a big, big problem – but I’m going to have to do something.” he said. “If people want to go home, that’s fine – we’ll play another show for you another time.” Bono said he needed a short break “to find out what’s happening” but then did not return. US actress Ashley Judd was at the concert and said “the crowd so felt for him” as he was “powerless and vulnerable”. Many fans said they understood and wished Bono well.

Another said Bono had appeared “visibly distressed” when he announced he was having to take a break. One fan said she had travelled from England for the gig for her partner’s 50th birthday – and was unlikely to be able to return for a rescheduled date. She told BBC News that Bono “complained his voice had gone due to smoke from smoke machines”. He said he would either cancel or take a short break, but after 30 minutes it was announced the concert was cancelled. Sharon said: “Very sad it’s cancelled but can’t be helped if he can’t sing.”


Anti-Semitism row: Corbyn has been misinterpreted, says close ally

Anti-Semitism row: Corbyn has been misinterpreted, says close ally

Corbyn a ‘danger’ to British Jews, says ex chief rabbi. Labour can resolve its anti-Semitism crisis quickly, John McDonnell has said, insisting Jeremy Corbyn’s views on Israel have been “misinterpreted”.

The shadow chancellor told the BBC that the party should accept in full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance guidelines on anti-Semitism, as long as free speech was protected. But ex-Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks said Mr Corbyn must also “repent and recant”. And ex-PM Gordon Brown said Labour must act now or undermine its values. Speaking at a meeting of Jewish Labour MPs in London, Mr Brown said the party needed to be “cleansed of anti-Semitism and racism”. The party has been beset by arguments over the issue throughout the summer, prompting two MPs – John Woodcock and Frank Field – to resign the whip and others to threaten to do the same. Eighteen months of rancour within the party over claims of growing anti-Semitism came to a head last month when footage from 2013 emerged of Mr Corbyn saying a group of British Zionists had “no sense of English irony” despite a lifetime in the country. Labour MP Luciana Berger said it made her “feel unwelcome” in the party while Lord Sacks branded his comments as “the most offensive statement” by a politician since the late Conservative MP Enoch Powell’s 1968 Rivers of Blood speech.

Ex-chief rabbi ‘wrong’ over Corbyn anti-Semitism attackSpeaking publicly for the first time since he made those remarks, the former chief rabbi told the Andrew Marr show he stood by his criticism of Mr Corbyn and suggested British Jews were considering leaving the country because of the prospect of him becoming prime minister. “Jeremy Corbyn must repent and recant as quickly as possible,” he said. “When people hear the kind of language that’s been coming out of Labour, that’s been brought to the surface among Jeremy Corbyn’s earlier speeches, they cannot but feel an existential threat.

Former MP Ivor Caplin, who is chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said it and other groups were only prepared to have a dialogue with Mr Corbyn if he made it “very clear” that he would take firm action against anti-Semites in the party and others engaging in “bad behaviour” at a local level. Amid growing warnings that Labour was facing a 1980s-style split, Mr McDonnell said the party must remain a “broad church” and he hoped Mr Field would “come back into the fold”. The Birkenhead MP, a former welfare minister, quit the Labour group at Westminster on Thursday over what he called the party’s “tolerance” of anti-Semitism and a “culture of nastiness”. While Labour MPs who resigned the whip should normally trigger a by-election, Mr McDonnell said in this case he did not want to “go anywhere near that” given Mr Field’s long service to the party.


Kris Boyson dumps Katie Price who moves on with Alex Adderson

Kris Boyson dumps Katie Price as he reveals they want different things

KRIS Boyson has ended his relationship with Katie Price. The fitness trainer took to Instagram today to reveal the news, admitting it was a difficult decision to make after around five months of dating.

Instagram Kris Boyson has dumped Katie Price The fitness trainer took to Instagram today to revealed the news, revealing it was a difficult decision to make Katie Price accidentally calls boyfriend Kris Boyson Kieran during a ghost hunt He told fans: “This wasn’t an easy decision for me to make, however Katie Price and I are no longer together. “It’s just clear we both want different things… “Who knows what the future will bring but I wish her all the best.”

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A post shared by Kris Boyson (@krisboyson) on

Just yesterday Kris told fans he was missing Katie, who is currently believed to be away on a hen do, but he seems to have had a u-turn in the last 12 hours. The decision comes just days after the couple attempted to fix their relationship with a make or break trip to Scotland.

Katie had been out with minted high-flyer Alex Adderson behind Kris’ back, which left their romance on the rocks. Former glamour model Katie met the loaded hunk through mutual friends a few weeks ago and the pair are said to have “hit it off” immediately. Katie was later pictured holding Alex’s hand as they left The Blue Boar in Abridge. Alex has also taken Katie for fancy nights out in central London and told punters in The Blacksmiths Arms in Adversane, West Sussex, on Thursday that she was “dumping Kris”. Katie had been out with minted high-flyer Alex Adderson behind Kris’ back, leaving their romance on the rocks.

Since Kris’ Instagram message of the break-up yesterday, Katie has moved on – as seen in the below photos –

Man jailed for plot to kill Theresa May

A man who plotted to kill the prime minister in a suicide attack has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 30 years. Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman, 21, from north London, was convicted last month of preparing acts of terrorism. Rahman had planned to detonate a bomb at the gates of Downing Street and then kill Theresa May with a knife or gun. Sentencing him, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said Rahman “would have carried out his attack” had he not been arrested. Rahman was captured by an undercover operation involving the Metropolitan Police, MI5 and FBI. He was arrested moments after collecting a bag and jacket from an undercover operative that he believed had been fitted with explosives. The judge said: “I am sure that at all material times Rahman believed the devices to be real and capable of causing serious harm.” He added that the undercover officers involved in the case were “scrupulous” at all times and Rahman was the “instigator and author” of his own actions. How Rahman was caught By BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani Rahman made contact with IS recruiters via social media – but unbeknown to him the contact was actually an FBI agent. That agent referred Rahman to an MI5 team of online role players who convinced him that they were genuine IS figures. “I want to do a suicide bomb on Parliament,” Rahman told the MI5 role players. “I want to attempt to kill Theresa May. All I need now is a sleeper cell to lay low for now.”

Undercover officers gave Rahman a fake bomb Rahman, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said, had been “told and believed” that the rucksack bomb given to him was “capable of causing casualties on a scale comparable to those caused at the Manchester Arena”, where 22 people were killed. Rahman’s lawyer argued he had been brainwashed by his uncle – who was later killed in a drone strike while fighting for the Islamic State group in Syria – and said his client had not intended to go through with the plot. But a probation report read to the court by the judge revealed that Rahman had admitted in prison he would have carried out the attack had he been able to. A pre-sentence report described him as a “clever and cunning” young man who had the potential to “operate below the radar to dreadful effect”. Mr Justice Haddon-Cave told Rahman he would have “plenty of time” to study the Koran in prison, adding that Islam was “a religion of peace”. The judge added that Rahman – originally from Birmingham – was a “very dangerous individual” and it was hard to predict if he will ever be de-radicalised. Image copyright Met Police Image caption The jacket was filled with fake explosives

During his Old Bailey trial, Rahman pleaded guilty to a separate charge of engaging in conduct which assisted the preparation of terrorist acts, which related to a “sponsorship” video he filmed for an associate who allegedly wanted to join IS in Libya. In addition to the life sentence, Rahman was handed six years in prison for the IS sponsorship video. The sentences will run concurrently, rather than consecutively.


Italian GP Practice Two: Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari ahead of Mercedes

Sebastian Vettel spun across the gravel in the afternoon at Monza Watch as P2 pacesetter Sebastian Vettel spun across the gravel in the afternoon at Monza Sebastian Vettel surged to the fastest time of Friday at the Italian GP, but then spun, as Ferrari outpaced Mercedes on a dramatic opening day at Monza. After the session started with a 200mph crash for Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, which the Swede emerged unscathed from, Vettel was the driver who provided the pace on the timesheet by leading a Ferrari one-two at the team’s home track. Italian GP TV times: When to watch Sky F1 All the key broadcast times for the Italian GP live only on Sky Sports this weekend.

Mercedes were third and fourth, with lead runner Lewis Hamilton finishing 0.287s adrift of Vettel’s pace-setting 1:21.105 time. “I can’t get over how quick this Ferrari is and how light it is on the tyres,” said an impressed Paul di Resta from the Sky F1 commentary box. Vettel was going faster and faster on the supersoft tyres during the qualifying simulations, but eventually pushed too hard at the Parabolica and spun backwards through the gravel. 1:44 A huge crash for Marcus Ericsson in Practice Two A huge crash for Marcus Ericsson in Practice Two His Ferrari rear wing sustained minor damage against the barriers and cost Vettel some running time in the later high-fuel race simulations. “I know what doesn’t work, so that’s good to know!” said Vettel after the session. “At least I got out of the sandpit, which was difficult as a child – but nowadays I don’t want to spend much time there.” 2019 F1 race calendar revealed.

The Formula 1 Gossip Column But the early indications from the timesheet appear to confirm pre-weekend expectations that Ferrari, fresh from a commanding victory at Spa last Sunday, are favourites for pole and victory at F1’s fastest circuit ahead of Mercedes. The dry running of P2 also underlined Red Bull’s fears, with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo fifth and sixth respectively but one second off Vettel’s pace. Watch Sky F1 on your mobile phone Race Control is now available on the Sky Sports app and your mobile phone “This is definitely the worst track for us so I didn’t expect miracles.

Certainly, in qualifying trim we are slow,” said Verstappen. The Dutchman finished a tenth ahead of Ricciardo despite his team-mate running the new ‘C-spec’ engine from Renault. Ricciardo is taking engine penalties as a result and will start Sunday’s race from the back row. Red Bull will now decide whether Verstappen also takes the upgrade for the weekend’s race, although the 20-year-old would still remain within his penalty-free engine allocation for the season. Meanwhile, having proved fastest in the wet running of the morning, Force India’s momentum since the team’s summer-break takeover continued apace as their cars lapped at the head of the midfield pack. Charles Leclerc was ninth in the sole-remaining Sauber, despite missing the early stages of the session after his team-mate’s crash as the team inspected his car’s DRS wing. It appears a DRS failure, when the rear-wing flap failed to close as usual under braking, pitched Ericsson into his frightening accident when the Sauber smashed into the barriers and then barrel rolled down the side of the track. Ericsson was able to walk away from the shunt and doctors in the medical centre gave the Swede the all-clear. With the Sauber driver not completing a timed lap, struggling McLaren finished with the slowest times ahead of what looks set to be another trying weekend for Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.

Italian GP Practice Two Timesheet Driver Team Time

1) Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:21.105
2) Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +0.270
3) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.287
4) Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +0.698
5) Max Verstappen Red Bull +1.049
6) Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull +1.191
7) Esteban Ocon Force India +1.825
8) Sergio Perez Force India +1.837
9) Charles Leclerc Sauber +1.860
10) Nico Hulkenberg Renault +1.958

The Italian GP is live only on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Sunday’s race begins at 2.10pm with build-up from 12.30pm. Get Sky Sports F1.

Boris who? Kenyan leader makes a joke at Johnson’s expense

Boris who? Kenyan leader makes a joke at Johnson’s expense

Last month he was foreign secretary, today he became “bicycle guy” when Kenya’s president delivered a humiliating putdown to Boris Johnson to avenge the multiple insults the British politician has thrown at Africa over the years. As President Kenyatta, standing next to Theresa May during her first visit to his country, sought to recall the earlier visit by the former foreign secretary, his memory abruptly failed him. “Last year, if you recall, the foreign secretary then, Boris,”

Mr Kenyatta began as his eyes darted towards Mrs May as he faltered. “Erm, Boris, Boris Johnson . . . yeah bicycle guy — that one! Boris Johnson was here.” Mrs May allowed herself a wry smile as the president eventually “remembered” the name of her former cabinet…

Theresa May, danced, literally –

Pollution ‘harms cognitive intelligence’

China is a developing country with severe air pollution. Chronic exposure to air pollution can cause detrimental harm to cognitive performance, a new study reveals. Researchers believe that the negative impact increases with age, and affects men with less education the worst.

Over four years, the maths and verbal skills of some 20,000 people in China were monitored by the US-Chinese study. Researchers believe the results have global relevance, with more than 91% of the world’s population breathing unsafe levels of air pollution. Described as an invisible killer, air pollution causes an estimated seven million premature deaths a year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. “We provide evidence that the effect of air pollution on verbal tests becomes more pronounced as people age, especially for men and the less educated,” the study published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said. Pollution also increases the risk of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, the study suggests. Exposure to high levels of polluted air “can cause everyone to reduce their level of education by one year”, explains one of the co-authors Xi Chen of the Yale School of Public Health to the Guardian, “which is huge”. Previous studies found air pollution had a negative impact on students’ cognitive abilities. In this study, researchers tested people of both sexes aged 10 and above between 2010 and 2014, with 24 standardised maths questions and 34 word-recognition questions.

Air pollution around the world – the stats About 7m people die every year from exposure to polluted air Air pollution caused 4.2m deaths globally in 2016 91% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds WHO guideline limits 14 Indian cities are among the world’s 20 most polluted, with the northern city of Kanpur topping the list Nine out of 10 people in the world breathe polluted air Source: World Health Organization Comparing people’s geographical location with when they were interviewed, allowed the researchers to match test scores with local air quality data. One of the reasons they suggest older men with less education were worst affected by chronic exposure to air population is because those subjects often work outdoor manual jobs. “Our findings about the damaging effect of air pollution on cognition,” the study concludes, “particularly on the aging brain, imply that the indirect effect on social welfare could be much larger than previously thought.”

The study suggests that while the research findings are specific to China, it can shed light on other developing countries with severe air pollution. The authors point to the 98% of cities with more than 100,000 people in low- and middle-income countries that fail to meet WHO air quality guidelines.


Prince Harry breaks into song as he takes to the stage after watching hit musical Hamilton with the Meghan

Prince Harry breaks into song as he takes to the stage after watching hit musical Hamilton with the Meghan

Prince Harry burst into song as he took to the stage after a special charity performance of hip-hop musical Hamilton, leaving the cast and audience thrilled. The Duke of Sussex joked about playing his ancestor King George III in the hit play, which mocks the British monarchy during the founding of modern-day America. He was joined by the Duchess of Sussex and the show’s creator Lin-Manuel Miranda on Wednesday night for a performance to raise money for the duke’s HIV charity, Sentebale.

And, after coming on stage to give an after-show speech, he broke into mock-song with a rendition of You’ll Be Back, which is sung by the George III character. He crooned: “You say…” before cutting himself off and saying to Miranda: “You did try, but I said no.” Miranda told the audience he envisioned the character during his honeymoon, adding: “Smash cut to 2018 I’m sitting next to his sixth-great grandson. Ladies and gentlemen, the Duke of Sussex.” Harry and Meghan meet the cast and crew of Hamilton

After meeting the duke for the first time that evening, he earlier told reporters “you don’t often get a direct descendent” to watch the show set in the 18th century. “The prince’s sixth-great-grandfather is a character so that’ll be fun and surreal for all of us,” he said. Prince Harry shakes the hands of cast and crew members after the charity performance

Harry and Meghan sat among the audience in the royal circle in London’s Victoria Palace Theatre during the show. But after the public had left they went onstage to share their appreciation for the performance with the cast, including the man who played the king. The performance was to raise money for the duke’s HIV charity, Sentebale

Meghan told actors the energy on the night was “palpable”, adding: “It was so engaging, every moment of it.” Harry said: “That was absolutely incredible.” The Duke and Duchess of Sussex take their seats next to Lin Manuel Miranda.

Both had already seen the show, but were hosting the gala performance for Sentebale, which Harry founded with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho after the duke’s gap year there. Nearly £300,000 was said to have been raised through ticket sales and donations for the charity that works to improve prospects for children and young people affected by HIV in southern Africa.