Thursday evening news briefing: Prince Harry and Meghan 'ignored Queen' by releasing 'stepping back' statement

Chris Price
The Queen is thought to have given the Duke and Duchess of Sussex a clear instruction to delay publishing their statement - AP

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Harry and Meghan 'ignored Queen's plea for delay'

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are said to have ignored an instruction from the Queen not to go public with their bombshell announcement that they would be stepping back from royal life. It was claimed today that the Queen personally appealed to the Duke of Sussex to delay any announcement after he requested a private meeting with her on the Sandringham estate. But the couple went ahead and released it last night, leaving aides reeling and admitting it came as a "bolt from the blue". The shock move raises many questions about their future, not least whether Harry and Meghan's attempt to redefine their royal lives with their son Archie is sustainable. Gareth Davies examines the key questions here.

It is fair to say the announcement shocked the world. Here is how the media around the globe reacted. Many have argued the split has been a long-time coming. This video looks at how the Duke and Duchess of Sussex fell out of love with the Royal family. The couple said they plan to divide their time between the UK and North America. Daniel Capurro outlines why Harry and Meghan moving to Canada would be no bad thing. And you can look back at their lives together in pictures.

PS - The only royal seen so far today has been the Duchess of Cambridge, who was pictured arriving at Kensington Palace on her 38th birthday. Bethan Holt outlines 38 style lessons we can all learn from her.

Prime Minister tells Iran he still supports nuclear deal

Boris Johnson has urged Iran's President Hassan Rouhani today to end the confrontation with the US and underlined Britain's commitments to Tehran's nuclear agreement, Downing Street said. Mr Johnson said the UK viewed the 2015 nuclear deal as "the best arrangement currently available to deliver on our goal of stopping Iran from having a nuclear weapon", his spokesman said. Earlier, the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had suggested Britain could pull out of the Iran deal. Here's what the latest news has done to global share prices. Of course, this all has repercussions for the US presidential race as well. US Editor Ben Riley-Smith explains why the Iran stand-off has helped Donald Trump over his impeachment. Stay up to date with the new US 2020 newsletter.

Wildfire victim whose home was ravaged wins lottery

When a bushfire victim saw his uninsured family home destroyed in the raging Australian wildfires, all that was left were a "few charred teacups". But his despair turned into elation when his wife's lucky numbers came up on the Australian lottery, making him a millionaire. The man, from Queensland, said the timing was "impeccable". Read on for details.

News digest

Video | 1917 review: Verdict on awards front-runner

Like a well-drilled regiment awaiting orders to advance, the awards nominations for 1917 have lined up for battle. Earlier this week, Sam Mendes' First World War survival thriller amassed Bafta nods in nine categories, while at Sunday's Golden Globes it was the surprise winner of Best Motion Picture – Drama, putting it in pole position for the coming Oscar race. Read Robbie Collin's review of the film.

Comment

World news: The one story you must read today...

Plane crash | The crew of a Ukrainian aircraft that crashed in Iran never made a radio call for help and were trying to get back to the airport when the plane went down, according to an initial Iranian report released today on the disaster that killed 176 people. The report suggested a sudden emergency struck the Boeing 737 operated by Ukrainian International Airlines early Wednesday morning. Read on for more.

Editor's choice

  1. Climate impact Why plastics may not always be the worst option for the planet
  2. Terrifying tech | Five ways that Black Mirror's digital dreads have been brought to life
  3. What Bieber is going through | What it's like to live with Lyme disease

Business and money briefing

John Lewis drama | The first ever female managing director of John Lewis will exit the company next month after the retailer warned on profits and hinted it may not pay a staff bonus for the first time in 67 years. Read on for details of what sparked Paula Nickolds' departure.

Sport briefing

Premier League relegation battle | With more than half the season played, 10 teams are still deeply embroiled in what is promising to be one of the most unpredictable relegation battles in years. Read the predictions of The Telegraph’s team of football experts.

Tonight's TV  

Death in Paradise, BBC One, 9pm | All aboard for another round of clear blue skies, gorgeous tropical warmth and bloodless murder investigations neatly crafted to help shake off the winter blues. Read on for more.

And finally...

An excuse for a cuppa | Tea drinkers live longer, with the biggest boost linked to green variants, a major study has found. Research on 100,000 adults suggests those who enjoy a cup of Rosie Lee regularly lived for an average of a year and a half longer. Read on for details of what experts think is behind the phenomenon.