Newspaper headlines: Taj Mahal photograph and Brexit controversy

Duke and Dunchess of Cambridge at the Taj Mahal Image copyright Reuters

Almost all the papers voice their admiration for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's tour of India and the pictures of them sitting in front of the Taj Mahal where Princess Diana was photographed in 1992.

The papers estimate the couple's time on the bench at between 25 and 30 seconds. The weather was so hot that local workers had doused the bench in iced water before they sat there, writes Roya Nikkhah in the Sunday Times.

Still, she adds, the pair are said to have "absolutely loved" their tour, and to have been "surprised by how much interest there still is in them".

But Victoria Murphy in the Sunday Mirror says the pair "have reminded us all that they know how to charm the crowds".

The visit is a far cry from that of Diana, who enigmatically described her trip to the Taj as "very healing", as the Sun and Mirror recall.

According to Katie Nicholl in the Mail on Sunday "Nothing was left to chance and there has been at times a lack of spontaneity".

The Mirror says the duke and duchess will know that they have "done the Queen proud" as she (and the papers) prepare for her 90th birthday celebrations.


The Pope's refugee camp visit

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  • Pope Francis's visit to migrants in a camp on the Aegean island of Lesbos figures in most of the papers
  • "Adults and children broke down in tears and kissed his feet as the Pontiff walked among them" reports the Sunday Express print edition.
  • The fact that he took 12 refugees back to Italy in his plane was "a strong rebuke to Europe's political elite", says the Observer's correspondent.
  • But "aid workers noted" he left behind 3,000 people in the camp and 53,000 elsewhere in Greece, the Sunday Telegraph adds.

The paper says her children's complicated personal lives have made the Queen "a modern monarch with a real insight into how millions of her subjects live".

But according to the Telegraph she "reaffirms an ancient connection between age, wisdom and fitness to rule."

In the Mirror, Gyles Brandreth pens a tribute entitled: "She believes in what she does, that's her secret."

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Media captionLaura Hughes, political correspondent at the Daily Telegraph, and Mihir Bose, columnist for the Evening Standard, join the BBC News Channel to discuss Sunday's front pages.

"I'm not sure she's put a foot wrong since 1952. Happily, we know she'll never abdicate," says the broadcaster and ex-MP.

The Telegraph also has a cartoon of the Taj Mahal and that bench - with David Cameron and Boris Johnson at opposite ends, staring moodily away from each other as the Brexit debate ploughs on.

The Observer reports that the Treasury is to "fire a statistical broadside" against Britain leaving the EU and "show the economic merits of Britain's membership".

And in the Telegraph Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb urges people to ask themselves what will be best for their job prospects, their community and their children, and "make the right choice... to remain".


Eye-catching headlines


In the Sunday Times England cricketing hero Sir Ian Botham writes that "We all have the chance to do our bit and vote to get Britain out of the racket that the European Union has become" - an intervention which the paper says will "whack the PM for six".

Sir Ian also lets fly in the Mail, but against the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for wanting to prevent the re-establishment of eagle owls in England. The owls are the victims of a struggle involving the RSPB, the threatened hen harrier, and the grouse shooting community, he says.


A Roman villa in the garden

Image copyright PA
  • Most of the papers record the accidental discovery of a huge and previously unsuspected Roman villa during the digging of a trench for electrical cables in Wiltshire.
  • The Sunday Times quotes an archaeologist as saying the find is "incredibly rare and important" and very well preserved.
  • Landowner Luke Irwin said "it was not something you expect to find at the bottom of the garden", reports the Sunday Express.
  • Excavators say the presence of oyster and whelk shells shows the owners could afford to transport the shellfish in barrels from the sea, according to the Observer.
  • The Telegraph printed edition includes a (surely exclusive) picture of "possible well-to-do residents". But the villa must be grassed over again to preserve the remains, it adds.

There is general agreement that British forces are to become more involved in the fight against so-called Islamic State and its sympathisers in the Mediterranean region.

The Star Sunday edition says "heavily armed Brit special forces will be deployed near holiday hotspots to protect UK tourists this summer". It will be led by SAS troops based on Cyprus but will also be on "permanent patrol" says the paper.

According to the Sunday People and Sunday Mirror, 1,000 British personnel could be "sent into Libya to fight Islamic State fanatics" after talks to be held in Rome this week. The Sunday Times says British and American special forces are already there "with suitcases full of cash" to persuade tribal leaders not to resist international intervention.

In addition, says the Sunday Express, an MP is calling for a new Home Guard in Britain to resist attempts by "desperate migrants" to find new ways into Britain through the country's smaller ports.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption There are many pictures of disastrous landslides following the Japanese quakes.

And the Star reports that new British tanks are being fitted with PlayStation-style controls to "encourage video game 'geeks' to join the Army" because they are the best gunners.

Most of the papers have startling pictures of the devastating landslides caused by the double earthquake in Japan. The Sun quotes a survivor as saying "I was thrown about like I was in a washing machine" as "teams scoured collapsed buildings and mudslides for signs of life".

The Mirror pictures collapsed and up-ended houses and what appears to be a yellow line down a road which has been split in two along its length.

"Many frightened people wrapped in blankets sat outside their homes while others camped out in rice fields," reports the Express.