Newspaper headlines: Queen's 'two Christmases' and London Bridge hero awards

By BBC News

  • Published
The Papers 26 December 2019

Most of the Boxing Day papers carry pictures from the Christmas Day church service at Sandringham - attended for the first time by Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

It was a day which showed the Queen's "two Christmases", according to the Daily Mail. The paper says the monarch will have been buoyed by her great-grandchildren's appearance at the festive service - but the absence of a poorly Prince Philip and her son, the Duke of York, cast shadows on the event.

"The loyal family," is the Sun's headline. It says the Queen's "bumpy" year ended with an "upbeat" service at the church, which is on her private Norfolk estate. "Christmas is all about family - and the Queen knows it," the paper's Emily Andrews observes.

The Guardian says the Royal Family "mounted a show of Christmas unity" and it highlights the fact Prince Andrew attended an earlier private church service - avoiding crowds and photographers. The Daily Telegraph describes the event as a "very British day out". It says the Cambridge children "got stuck in" with greeting well wishers.

Pool horror

The Daily Mirror describes the anguish of the mother, whose husband and two children died in a swimming pool on the Costa Del Sol. The paper quotes a British tourist, Josias Fletcher, as saying the mum stayed calm and prayed as the horror unfolded.

The Sun reveals that few people use the resort's pools at this time of year because they are not heated, while the Daily Telegraph says the hotel's owners insist the pool had all its paperwork in order.

State schools could try to raise funds by recruiting sixth form pupils from China, according to the Times. The paper says the head teacher of a London grammar school - which already hosts Chinese students for short visits - thinks visas should be changed to allow one or two-year long stays.

The aim would be to charge schools in China for the exchanges, it is said. The Home Office explains that state schools can't recruit international students as they are funded by the taxpayer to educate UK students.

The Guardian, meanwhile, says the number of children being placed in unregulated homes in England has increased by 22 per cent in the past two years.

The children's commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, tells the paper that it is "simply unacceptable". The Children's Society says vulnerable teenagers placed in such accommodation are at risk of sexual or criminal exploitation.

Image source, Getty Images

The Daily Telegraph warns parents that they could risk a £1,000 fine if they have bought their children a drone weighing more than half a pound for Christmas - and failed to register it.

The Daily Mail suggests one-in-four drone owners have yet to complete an online form to sign-up their devices, despite new rules brought in last month.

Bridge honours

The Sun reports that the men who tackled the London Bridge terrorist, Usman Khan, are likely to receive the highest possible bravery awards.

The paper says the Prime Minister's spokesman has signalled that the group - which includes those who have been in prison - could be awarded the George Cross or the Queen's Gallantry Medal next year. The paper notes it is too late for them to be included on the upcoming New Year's Honours List.

Image source, Getty Images

The Daily Telegraph says more than 4,000 cancer patients will be offered free gym memberships and asked to to take part in at least nine sessions of high-intensity interval training sessions before their treatment starts.

NHS Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, tells the Telegraph there is evidence it helps to get fit ahead of chemo or surgery. But the Patient Concern group dismisses the idea as "ridiculous" and tells the Sun "we should be encouraging those who are well to go to the gym".

Boxing Day means long queues and hectic scenes across high streets and shopping centres. But the i paper suggests people will cut back in the sales because of environmental concerns. Two-thirds of shoppers say they will buy less and avoid "fast fashion" purchases, the paper says.

And while the screaming antics of toddlers may not make them the most obvious of role models - the Times reports a new book is encouraging leaders to emulate their behaviour.

The tome, called Be More Toddler, is written by a head teacher, and suggests a single-minded focus, risk taking and honesty are attributes worth copying.