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Why Having A Virtual Meeting Assistant Is Always A Best Choice

There’s enough motivation for business leaders to consider hiring a virtual meeting assistant. Opt now for a virtual meeting assistant for your virtual meetings.




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Entrepreneurs are a unique breed. They are highly passionate, driven and super charged professionals. They leave the comfort of their secure, high flying careers behind to embrace the challenges that their ventures entail. Coarsely put, they are ready to embrace the suck!

While the above holds true, every entrepreneur, even while bootstrapping acknowledges the need for an extra set of hands- the Executive Assistant. And no, we aren’t talking about the rather glamorous PAs who ran the offices of MadMen.

For an entrepreneur to be able to focus on tasks that are business critical, delegating mundane administrative tasks to a virtual PA can save a great deal of bandwidth. With AI already accelerating many key business functions, online meeting assistants like AIRA are redefining this space. This lends further impetus to the role of a virtual personal assistant, while helping business leaders access more intelligent and actionable insights into key business functions.

The list of administrative tasks that a virtual personal assistant can perform for you is diverse. Some important ones are:

  • Managing your virtual front desk
  • Taking notes from your business calls and meetings
  • Managing your email
  • Managing social media accounts
  • Calendar management
  • Preparing presentations
  • Proofreading documents
  • Booking appointments
  • Responding to customer queries
  • Relationship building with customers
  • Vendor management

As you can see, these tasks, though mundane and repetitive, clearly cannot be avoided. You could free up so much of your intellectual bandwidth by delegating many such tasks to a virtual personal assistant. Furthermore, by adding AI meeting tools like AIRA into this mix, you can transform a rather mundane activity like taking meeting notes into a key intelligent business process.

One of the best traits of a virtual meeting assistant platform like AIRA is her meeting scheduling capability. Aira will record, transcribe, and analyse your meetings. This fantastic AI-powered technology will also automate your business’s meeting scheduling on your behalf. Her machine learning and artificial intelligence capability will analyse your team’s productivity patterns for nuances of timing preferences.


Why Has It Become So Important to Have A Virtual Personal Assistant In COVID-19 times?

Long before the pandemic engulfed the world, entrepreneurs began to realize the importance of a virtual personal assistant. Cut to 2020, a virtual personal assistant is on its way to becoming a very critical element, or rather the front line to the CXO office.

COVID-19 brought the usual way of running a business to a grinding halt via government issued lockdowns. All essential business functions now had to be conducted remotely, and this mode of work has now become the usual order of business.

Businesses continue to adapt with the constraints of working with remote and distributed teams. As such, the need for business leaders to have a reliable entity at their beck and call to delegate and coordinate is crucial.

Additionally, cost resilience amid COVID-19 is determining what functions will get downsized. These decisions will greatly alter the nature of how businesses conduct themselves even in a post pandemic world. Reports suggest that up to 60-90 percent of businesses in industries such as Manufacturing could experience significant losses.


In this article, we’ve thus far established why having a virtual personal assistant is so important. Add to that the cost overheads entrepreneurs and business leaders are having to consider amidst the pandemic.as such, If there’s one function that can easily be performed with higher efficiency and much lower costs, it is the administrative tasks.

Here’s how hiring a virtual PA can help save costs:

  1. Transitioning a full time admin or a personal assistant function to a virtual PA role can help set you up for a swift cost reboot. For the most part, this role entails mundane administrative tasks. Hiring a virtual personal assistant can thus lead to decreased amount of effort and costs tied to non-strategic activities


  1. While hiring a virtual PA can seem like a tactical short term cost saving action, it can soon adopt the form of a long term strategy. Once this role becomes integrated into your organization, you can delegate a gamut of admin and overarching tasks in a matter of months


  1. The cost benefits of hiring a virtual personal assistant can be realized almost immediately. It can help you improve the flow of resources to areas of strategic importance very swiftly. Additionally, having a dedicated resource to delegate adhoc tasks can help balance the inefficiencies brought about by cutting corners in other areas

Business process optimisation has long been a popular strategy among business leaders. A pandemic ridden global business landscape further emphasizes this aspect. Given the unknowns at play in these times, business leaders need to embrace the risk of adopting new tools and modalities of conducting business. New and innovative AI driven technologies such as AIRA are reinventing ways of executing standard business tasks.

In conclusion, there’s enough motivation for business leaders to consider hiring a virtual meeting assistant. Add to that the business challenges brought on the COVID-19 situation, what appeared to be a rather non-strategic good to have role is on its way to becoming business critical. The mantra ‘local is the new global’ has assumed another connotation: ‘virtual is the new real’! If you’ve long considered hiring a virtual personal assistant, it is now All Systems Go!

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Business community makes suggestions to avoid double taxation

Madison Franz



Business community makes suggestions to avoid double taxation
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PESHAWAR: The business community members on Friday made a number of suggestions to avoid double taxation.

They put forward the proposals in the presence of the government officials at the “Private Dialogue on Legal Issues of Peshawar business community”, arranged by the Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA).

The session was hosted by the CGPA in collaboration with the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority as part of the series of Public-Private Dialogues initiated by the CGPA.

It was aimed at getting input on the issues encompassing taxes, local rules and policy administration faced by the business community of Peshawar with the interaction between the business community and officials from the relevant government departments.

One of the core components of the dialogue was to discuss the possible solutions that could be put forth as policy recommendations for the government.

This was the 8th dialogue organized by the CGPA. These sessions will conclude with the formation of recommended policy consequently assisting the KP government in developing a business ecosystem in Peshawar.

Members of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Peshawar Chamber for Small Traders & Industries, Women Chamber of Commerce and others attended the dialogue.

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UK to pay half of business winter energy bills

Madison Franz



UK to pay half of business winter energy bills
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London: Britain on Wednesday launched a six-month plan starting in October to pay about half of energy bills for businesses, as Prime Minister Liz Truss seeks to stop companies going under as a result of rocketing prices.

The news precedes a mini-budget Friday when finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng is expected to unveil tax cuts to help a nation struggling with decades-high inflation.

Wholesale electricity and gas prices for businesses — except the energy sector — as well as charities, hospitals and schools will be capped at half the expected cost on the open market, the government said in a statement.

The announcement comes after Truss launched plans for a two-year household energy price freeze which also starts next month.

“We have stepped in to stop businesses collapsing, protect jobs and limit inflation,” Kwarteng said Wednesday.

The chancellor of the exchequer will Friday set out the overall cost of both energy freeze schemes.

His budget will seek to boost economic growth amid forecasts that Britain will this year sink into recession on sky-high energy bills fuelled by the invasion of Ukraine by major oil and gas producer Russia.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) welcomed Wednesday´s announcement.

“The package will ease worries about otherwise viable businesses shutting-up shop,” said Matthew Fell, chief policy director at the lobby group.

The CBI meanwhile urged a long-term energy solution to increase Britain´s supplies while ramping up efficiency measures to lower demand.

Truss took office on September 6, two days before the death of Queen Elizabeth II, after winning an election of Conservative party members on a tax-cutting platform.

She is committed to scrapping planned tax hikes on both company profits and salaries that predecessor Boris Johnson signed off upon.

Media reports suggest that the government will also scrap an EU limit on bankers´ bonuses following Brexit.

On the London stock market, homebuilders saw their shares rebound on speculation that Truss could cut tax levied on purchases of residential properties.

The tax-cutting plans like those proposed by Truss have come in for criticism from US President Joe Biden, who spoke out against the policy of “trickle-down economics” favoured by the Democrat´s Republican opponents.

The approach hinges on hopes that policies which immediately boost the wealthy will trickle down the economy to reach the less well-off.

“I am sick and tired of trickle-down economics. It has never worked,” Biden had tweeted on Tuesday.

Speaking ahead of Biden´s tweet, Truss addressed this point.

“I don´t accept this argument that cutting taxes is somehow unfair,” she told Sky News earlier this week.

“What we know is people on higher incomes generally pay more tax.

“So when you reduce taxes, there is often a disproportionate benefit because those people are paying more taxes in the first place,” she added.

The two leaders meet Wednesday at the UN in New York.

A day later, the Bank of England is expected to once more ramp up its main interest rate in a bid to dampen sky-high inflation.

Economists warn that the UK´s cost-of-living measures will ravage public finances already reeling from pandemic expenditure.

Analysts from British bank Barclays estimate the cost of the government´s total spending could hit £235 billion ($267 billion).

While official data Wednesday showed British public borrowing improved in August, it is expected to surge as the government funds the planned tax cuts.

Public sector net borrowing, the state´s preferred measure of the deficit, hit £11.8 billion last month, the Office for National Statistics said.

That was down from £14.4 billion a year earlier but was far more than its pre-pandemic 2019 level of £5.3 billion.

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Will Canada’s Barrick Gold Corporation Boost Business at Gwadar Port?

Madison Franz



Will Canada’s Barrick Gold Corporation Boost Business at Gwadar Port?
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It could. But past experience underscores the importance of Pakistan and Barrick Gold being transparent on the terms of the deal they struck.

At its inception in 2007, Gwadar Port was expected to be a success. Its strategic location at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz — an important waterway that opens into the ocean and through which over one-sixth of global oil production and one-third of the world’s liquefied natural gas (LPG) passes — was expected to attract international shipping, and commerce and industry to the port.

However, these expectations have not materialized. While 15-17 million barrels of oil pass through the waters just off the Gwadar coast each day, the port itself has remained silent with very little activity.

There are several reasons for the lack of activity at Gwadar Port. Foremost among these is the political instability and the armed insurgency in Balochistan Province over the last two decades. But also, the current low capacity of cranes, docks, berths, storage and other infrastructure and facilities at the port is a major hindrance in making the port a successful “gateway” to China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

However, through expansion of port facilities, construction of the free zone and the East Expressway in Gwadar, both Pakistan and China have been seeking to attract trade and deals with foreign companies. One such deal that is in sight is that with the Canadian Barrick Gold Corporation, one of the world’s largest gold mining companies.

Barrick plans to mine gold in Balochistan from an areas which is around 1,000 kilometers from Karachi Port and 650 kilometers from Gwadar Port. At present Chinese companies, which are extracting minerals from northwest Balochistan, are trucking them all the way to the already busy Karachi Port.

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As the Barrick team and the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) discussed in their recent meeting, using Gwadar Port would reduce the distance, time and cost of transportation. Half of the distance between the gold reserves and Gwadar port is reachable through the M8 motorway. A new motorway will need to be constructed for the rest of the route.

Barrick’s interest in investing billions of dollars in the gold mining project and Gwadar Port, and in using the latter to ship out the minerals appears to be an opportunity for Gwadar to tap into its long-anticipated economic potential.

But past experiences with international investors and mineral mining in Balochistan evoke much skepticism. This skepticism is not without basis.

Barrick plans to work on the Reko Diq Gold mines in Balochistan’s Chaghi district, which borders Iran and Afghanistan (Pakistan’s nuclear tests in 1998 were carried out in Chaghi).

The Pakistan government, the Balochistan provincial government, and the Barrick Gold Corporation have reached a preliminary agreement under which the corporation will invest $7 billion in the mining project and own 50 percent of the shares, while the balance 50 percent will be shared equally between the federal and Balochistan governments.

The Reqo Dik area reportedly contains the world’s fifth largest gold deposits, in addition to several other minerals. Its mineral wealth and the high profits it promises have prompted international companies to take the risk of investing here despite the fragile political situation and multiple security threats they face here.

Their interest began as early as 1961 after the Geological Survey of Pakistan and the U.S. Geological Survey identified the region as being rich in minerals. More extensive studies in 1971 and 1974 confirmed the findings of previous surveys.

The two main areas that these surveys identified in Chaghi district were Saindak and Reko Dik. A Chinese company signed an agreement with Pakistan and began mining in Saindak in 2002. As for Reqo Dik, the Balochistan Development Authority and an Australian mining company BHP Minerals signed a deal in 1993 under which the Chaghi Hills Exploration Joint Venture was set up to explore the Reqo Dik area for minerals.

When BHP’s feasibility study confirmed Reqo Dik as one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper and gold deposits, it claimed 75 percent of the share in overall discoveries for the next 56 years. However, the company did not begin mining for several years.

Then in 2000,  deal to Tethyan Copper Company (TCC), a joint venture of Antofagasta of Chile and the Barrick Gold Corporation. Both these  to take complete charge of the project in 2006. Meanwhile, in 2010, media investigations publicized the terms of the deal, which angered Baloch nationalist activists and politicians as the terms were seen to allow “outsiders” to exploit and benefit from Balochistan’s natural resources even as the people of the province struggled with extreme poverty.

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Under pressure from the nationalists, the Balochistan government refused to convert the exploration permit to a mining license, thus ending the deal with TCC. In 2011, the TCC took the case to the Supreme Court of Pakistan which ruled in favor of the Balochistan government. TCC did not give up and took the case the same year to the World Bank under the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. In 2016, TCC won the case and Pakistan was liable to pay billions in damages for breach of agreement and refusal of a mining license to TCC.

To avoid paying the penalties, Pakistan engaged in out-of-court negotiations with TCC for several years. Finally, in early 2022, it announced a settlement on the case but through a new deal under which Antofagasta stepped back from reinvesting in or restarting any project relating to Reqo Dik. However, Barrick Gold Corporation is once again in the game.

As of now, Barrick plans to invest not only in mineral extraction but also in the Gwadar Port for shipping purposes and social sector development of the Gwadar area and larger Balochistan. The mining work is expected to start in 2027-28. Early investments are expected to create thousands of jobs in the region, especially in Chaghi and Gwadar. But whether local people will benefit remains to be seen.

Several studies, including a recent one by scholars at the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) in the U.S. Naval War College, emphasize that mining and exporting Balochistan’s mineral resources are a huge commercial opportunity for the region. These studies point out that a large number of shipments and quantities of exports especially of high-value resources can bring unprecedented profits to Pakistan and make Gwadar Port one of the key ports in the region.

But, the fact that Barrick took Pakistan to court earlier in cases that ran for over a decade and could have cost Islamabad billions of dollars does not bode well. It is a fact that Pakistan allowed Barrick back only to escape paying huge penalties.

Gwadar could indeed emerge as an important port. But first, Pakistani and Chinese authorities and now Barrick Corporation need to improve the port’s access to water, power and other basic facilities. Importantly, Barrick, the federal and provincial government and the Gwadar Port Authority should make the details of the deal public so that people are aware of what is happening to their resources and the port, and where they fit in the big picture.

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Five Essential Attributes of an Effective Business Strategist

Odyssey News



Five Essential Attributes of an Effective Business Strategist
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The position of the business strategist in today’s commercial organizations is essential. A good strategy is one of the reasons why some companies execute better. Nevertheless, the characteristics necessary to be effective in that capacity are sometimes unclear or misinterpreted. The business strategist is responsible for taking the ideas and visions developed by corporate executives and transforming them into prepared strategies that can be carried out in order to achieve the desired results. To put it another way, a business strategist finds the many available options, assesses each one, and then suggests the most effective way for the company to achieve its long-term objectives.

What are the essential qualities of a successful strategist? The following five qualities of character are the foundations upon which success is built:

  1. Optimistic.It is more feasible for a person to lean into a stressful scenario (instead of shrinking away from it) if that person believes in good results and feels the individuals with whom he or she works have the talents to effectively implement the strategy. The enthusiastic individual expects the greatest possible result with self-assurance and a pleasant attitude. When companies are going through challenging times, having a company analyst who is an optimistic role model may inspire the workforce responsible for putting the action plans into action.
  2. Realistic.A professional business strategist can take all the rose-colored spectacles and see things as they really are. Instead of hoping and praying for a different conclusion, the individual may realistically describe what will happen next.
  3. Anticipatory.The capacity to predict future events is essential to a successful strategy. Analyzing what has been accomplished in the past in order to forecast what the most reasonable aims should be for the future. Because it is like a strategist to be responsible for preparing for the future, it is advantageous for that individual to have a high skill level in predicting what might be expected.
  4. Ethical.Being ethical is the most apparent quality necessary to have as a part of developing a good character. To ensure that the company’s culture will accept the conceptual strategy and follow the strategists’ lead, one of the most important things that strategists can do is model conduct that is seen as having high moral standards, including honesty, integrity, and acceptance of what is considered to be acceptable moral behavior. No culture can properly execute any strategy if the culture does not trust in the leadership that established the plan. All business strategists need to carry the gravitas that comes with acting ethically.
  5. Good communicator.Do people truly understand what is anticipated from the strategy developed by the strategist? Confusion will ensue without a clear communication style, whether via written word, electronic medium, or spoken presentations. Until the strategic strategy is clarified, employees will either incorrectly understand the instructions, pursue their own creative agendas to perform the work, or completely reject the demands. Poor communication slows down and minimizes the work that can be accomplished, which may cost firms both time and money to rectify. Establish clear and reasonable expectations from the outset by ensuring that everyone is aware of the function that will be assigned to them.

One of the most important aspects of strategic leadership is the ability to see possibilities that are not apparent to competitors, devise practical strategies to achieve the results that are sought, and make certain that the individuals responsible for putting the plan into action buy into what you are demanding and understand precisely how they are to carry out the tasks that are required. The role of the business strategist is essential in elevating average companies to the level of industry leaders.

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Nissanka, Mendis, Shanaka, Theekshana – the heroes of Sri Lanka’s memorable Asia Cup campaign

Madison Franz



Nissanka, Mendis, Shanaka, Theekshana - the heroes of Sri Lanka's memorable Asia Cup campaign
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Having been poor in T20Is for the past several years, they were not expected to make the final

So Sri Lanka have won four matches in a row, and go into the final as the form team of the Asia Cup final. The disclaimers: they have won all four tosses, and as such have been allowed to chase.
Not only do they historically prefer chasing, Dubai – where three of those four wins have come – has favoured chasing teams to an almost extreme degree – 17 of the last 20 T20I winners there having been sides that batted second.
Nevertheless, this is an impressive run from a team that was not expected to make it to the final, and have been poor in T20Is for the past several years. Although this is not a team that has relied on star power, there have been key performers. Here are some of the best.
Pathum Nissanka – the engine room
Like a go-kart gaining momentum as it comes down the hill, Pathum Nissanka has played better and better innings as the Asia Cup has gone on. He scored 3 in the bad loss to Afghanistan, but then made 20 off 19, in the victory against Bangladesh, before truly hitting his straps in the Super Fours.
Against Afghanistan, he hit 35 off 28, and was part of a 62-run opening stand that set the platform for their chasing down 176 – a Sharjah ground record. Then came the fifties – the 52 off 37 against India, in which he and Mendis again put on an excellent opening stand. On Friday’s match against Pakistan, Mendis fell second ball, and Sri Lanka lost three wickets inside five overs, but Nissanka held the innings together, eventually finishing with 55 off 48, as Sri Lanka cruised home.
His tournament strike rate of 118.70 isn’t particularly impressive, but he is Sri Lanka’s top scorer, with 165 runs.
Against Afghanistan, he hit 35 off 28, and was part of a 62-run opening stand that set the platform for their chasing down 176 – a Sharjah ground record. Then came the fifties – the 52 off 37 against India, in which he and Mendis again put on an excellent opening stand. On Friday’s match against Pakistan, Mendis fell second ball, and Sri Lanka lost three wickets inside five overs, but Nissanka held the innings together, eventually finishing with 55 off 48, as Sri Lanka cruised home.
His tournament strike rate of 118.70 isn’t particularly impressive, but he is Sri Lanka’s top scorer, with 165 runs.
Theekshana’s economy, and Madushanka’s wickets
All through his T20I career, Maheesh Theekshana has been almost unfailingly miserly – his career economy rate of 6.53 a testament to how much discipline he brings to his unorthodox craft. In this tournament, he’s been no different. After 20 overs bowled, some of those in the powerplay, and others at the death, Theekshana has gone at just 6.85 an over, and claimed five wickets besides.
On the seam-bowling front, no one has been more impressive than Dilshan Madushanka, and is in fact their highest wicket-taker alongside Wanindu Hasaranga, with six dismissals.
In the absence of Dushmantha Chameera, his inswing (to the right-hander) with the new ball, has been frequently menacing. And he’s been good at the death, which had been a problem for Sri Lanka.
He’s conceded just 44 from 30 deliveries he has sent down from the 16th over onwards. His inswinger to flatten Virat Kohli’s off and middle stumps is perhaps Sri Lanka’s most memorable moment of the tournament.
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King Charles III proclaimed Canadian head of state at Rideau Hall ceremony

Madison Franz



King Charles III proclaimed Canadian head of state at Rideau Hall ceremony
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King Charles III has been proclaimed Canada’s head of state at a ceremony held at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Saturday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the order-in-council and the proclamation for the accession in the presence of Governor General Mary Simon.

After Trudeau signed the documents, the Chief Herald of Canada Samy Khalid read out the proclamation on the accession of King Charles III.

READ MORE: As King Charles III begins his reign, what legacy will he bring to the British throne?

The event was marked with 21 gun salutes, which lasted a little over three minutes.

Trudeau said in a statement that while Canada continues to mourn the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, the government also looks to the future with the proclamation of the accession of King Charles III as Sovereign of Canada.

Trudeau added that Canada has “enjoyed a long history and a close friendship” with King Charles III, who has visited our country many times over the years.

“We have no doubt that his deeply felt commitment to education, the environment, and the empowerment of young people will provide a strong foundation from which he will continue to work toward the betterment of the Commonwealth and its people,” said Trudeau. “On behalf of the Government of Canada, we affirm our loyalty to Canada’s new King, His Majesty King Charles III, and offer him our full support.”

Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, Dominic LeBlanc, also gave a speech reflecting on Queen Elizabeth II’s death at the ceremony.

“As Queen of Canada for 70 years, Her Majesty accompanies Canadians through some of the most defining moments in our country’s history,” said LeBlanc. “Through her reassuring presence, and graceful demeanor, she was an immense source of inspiration and pride for countless Canadians.”

LeBlanc also mentioned that he was touched by King Charles III’s interest in Canada when he visited Rideau Hall 25 years ago.

“We have every confidence that His Majesty will be very much present and involved in the life of our country as was his mother,” said LeBlanc.

In a message from the governor general released shortly after the ceremony, Simon wrote that Canadians’ collective grief is “a reflection of the deep and abiding affection” they had for Queen Elizabeth II and “the very real connection she had with Canada.”

“His Majesty The King ascends at an important time in history for Canada and the Commonwealth,” it reads. “We face many complex challenges, many of which cannot be resolved without global co-operation and dedicated leadership.”

“The Crown has come to reflect our ever-changing country and society, representing and fostering our relationships with each other, with Indigenous peoples and with the international community,” Simon stated.

She added that Canada looks forward to have conversations with King Charles III and the Queen Consort about “reconciliation, diversity and our global well-being.”

The federal government will also roll out a series of events to commemorate the legacy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The date of Canada’s national commemoration ceremony for Queen Elizabeth II is yet to be decided.

The State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will take place at Westminster Abbey on Sept. 19, according to the Royal Family’s website.

King Charles III wishes for a period of Royal Mourning to be observed from now until seven days after The Queen’s Funeral, the website states.

Trudeau is also expected to attend the state funeral in London.


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In pictures: Queen Elizabeth II in North America

Madison Franz



In pictures: Queen Elizabeth II in North America
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Over a period spanning more than 70 years, Queen Elizabeth met more than a dozen US presidents and 12 Canadian prime ministers.

The only American president elected during her reign that the Queen did not meet was Lyndon Johnson. The rest, from Harry Truman to current President Joe Biden, all met Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

The Queen visited Canada – where she was head of state – more than two dozen times taking in every province and territory.

Then-Princess Elizabeth met her first US President in 1951, when Truman greeted her and Prince Phillip at Washington National Airport at the start of a two-day visit to the city.

The president referred to the pair as “a wonderful young couple that so completely captured the hearts of all of us”.

“You will leave many happy memories among the people who have greeted you here,” he said. “We want you to come back again.”

Six years later, the Queen was hosted by President Dwight Eisenhower and First Lady Mamie Eisenhower at the White House for four days.

A reciprocal visit to Scotland by the Eisenhowers two years later ended with a promise that she would send the president the recipe for drop scones, a Scottish delicacy for which he had developed a taste.

“Seeing a picture of you in today’s newspaper in front of a barbeque grilling quail reminded me that I have never sent you the recipe of the drop scones I promised you at Balmoral,” the Queen wrote the following year. “I now hasten to do so and I do hope you find them successful.”

The Queen visited Canada more than any other country during her reign. During one visit in 1977, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau took the Queen to a Canadian football game.

He later remarked that the occasion was one of the few public appearances in which he wasn’t heckled by critics.

The Queen was introduced to the prime minister’s five-year old son Justin – who would eventually become the last Canadian leader to meet her.

In July 1976, President Gerald Ford and his wife Betty hosted the Queen at the White House to mark the 200th anniversary of the US declaring independence.

The dinner famously saw President Ford and the Queen dance to The Lady is a Tramp – perhaps not the most felicitous choice of tune, as many commentators noted afterwards.

“The Queen was easy to deal with,” Betty Ford later wrote in her memoir. “She was very definite about what she wanted and what she didn’t want.”

Canada’s 20th prime minister, Jean Chrétien, first met the Queen while he was a junior minister in 1967. Three years later, Mr Chrétien – by then Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development – escorted the Queen to the Northwest Territories aboard a small plane.

“It was a great occasion,” Mr Chrétien told Canada’s CTV network. He added that both the Queen and Prince Philip took the opportunity to practise French – which she spoke fluently.

Queen Elizabeth’s relationship with Canada came full-circle in October 2015, when she held a private audience with Justin Trudeau at Buckingham Palace during one of his first trips abroad as prime minister.

“You were much taller than me last time we met,” Mr Trudeau said, prompting the Queen to remark that the meeting was “extraordinary to think of”.


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UK royals latest updates: King Charles III proclaimed new monarch

Madison Franz



UK royals latest updates: King Charles III proclaimed new monarch
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  • King Charles III has been proclaimed as Britain’s new monarch in a ceremony followed by gun salutes and the reading of proclamations in London and across the four corners of the United Kingdom.
    • locations.The proclamation was read publicly in the other capital cities of the UK – Edinburgh in Scotland, Belfast in Northern Ireland, and Cardiff in Wales – and at other

    read more

  • Monarchy represents nation’s identity, says historian

    Jonathan Spangler, a lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, has praised the evolvement of the monarchy.

    “Over the centuries, the monarchy has been evolving and changing from the people who wield power into a more ceremonial, symbolic dynasty who represent the identity of the people,” he said.

    “This is a transfer of power of a nation’s spiritual identity, and therefore the nation should see it [televised].”

    • Guards march during the proclamation of Britain’s King Charles III, following the passing of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, at the Royal Exchange in the City of London, Britain, on September 10, 2022 [Toby Melville/Reuters]
    • ‘The crown never dies’: Royal historian

      Ed Owens, a royal historian, said the “highly choreographed pageantry” of Saturday’s ceremony is a direct message to the British public that the monarchy is very much entrenched in the fabric of Britain’s history.

      “There’s a clear emphasis on pomp, pageantry – a vision of British history unfolding before our eyes,” Owens said from London.

      “The point here is that the crown never dies,” he continued. “As soon as the mortal monarch dies, the crown then passes directly to the successor.

      “The professionalisation of the kind of royal spectacle that is unfolding in central London today really took place in the late 19th, early 20th century. And that is because the monarchy sought to make itself the centre of British history, and the kind of orchestration of these kinds of events that we’re witnessing today are about presenting to the masses, especially to television viewers, what is it that British history means.

      Putin offers his ‘sincerest congratulations’ to Charles III

      Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated King Charles III on his accession to the throne.

      “I wish Your Majesty success, good health, and all the best,” Putin said in a statement, tweeted by his country’s embassy in London.

      Continuity of tradition is reassuring, says former diplomat

      William Patey, the former British ambassador to Afghanistan, has praised the ascension ceremony.

      “I never really had any doubt that it would be done according to military precision and that it would all run smoothly,” Patey told Al Jazeera.

      “What strikes me is the continuity, which is reassuring. I am a historian as well as a former diplomat and these traditions go back a thousand years – and none of us have seen them. It’s very interesting times.”

      • Members of the public gather at St James’s Palace in London, on Saturday, September 10, 2022 after King Charles III was proclaimed at the Accession Council [Kirsty Wigglesworth, AP Photo/Pool]
      • King Charles declares late queen’s funeral a public holiday

        King Charles III has approved an order that the day of the late queen’s funeral will be a public holiday.

        Lord President of the Council Penny Mordaunt said: “Drafts of two proclamations. One – appointing the day of Her late Majesty’s state funeral as a bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

        “Two – appointing the day of Her late Majesty’s state funeral as a bank holiday in Scotland. And of two orders in council, directing the Lord Chancellor to affix the great seal to the proclamations,” she said.

        King Charles answered: “Approved.”

        King Charles III signs an oath to uphold the security of the Church in Scotland during the Accession Council at St James’s Palace, London, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, where King Charles III is formally proclaimed monarch [Victoria Jones/Pool via AP]

        ‘Hip, hip, hurrah’: King Charles’s proclamation read from palace balcony

        A crowd cheered on as David White, the Garter King of Arms, read out the official proclamation of Charles as Britain’s new king from a balcony above London’s St James’s Palace.

        “Three cheers for His Majesty the King,” the senior herald in England shouted from the balcony, prompting a response of “hip, hip, hurrah” from soldiers below.

        Accession ceremony a constitutional step in introducing new monarch

        The ceremony at St James’s Palace, a royal residence in London, is attended by the Accession Council, made up of senior politicians and officials who advise the monarch. They met without Charles, officially confirming his title, King Charles III. The king will then join them to make a series of oaths and declarations.

        It is the first time the ceremony has been held since 1952, when Queen Elizabeth II took the throne.


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Queen Consort Camilla ‘has no expectations of love’ from UK

Madison Franz



Queen Consort Camilla ‘has no expectations of love’ from UK
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Queen Consort Camilla has not ‘expectations’ of love or adoration from the Royal Family because she reportedly considers herself a ‘stable influence’ for King Charles III.

This insight has been shared by former secretary of state David Mellor, in a candid interview with GB News.

He was quoted telling the outlet, “Because I’ve always had a soft corner for her and she’s always been on occasions that we meet, very kind and she’s cultured as he is.”

“And she loves music and all the rest of it, but you know because she’s a very decent person and she had no expectations of being loved.”

“And there was no sense of flouncing around like a Hollywood actress, we’re not going to mention any names, of course, she has won the affection of British people, well done her.”

“She’s very relaxed, very informal and I think this is going to be the making or the breaking of her because it was either going to be a totally destructive experience or it was going to be a new dimension.”

“And I think it’s not any good for her, the way that she is received, as a kind and decent woman but also I think he has needed a lot of picking up and polishing.”

When asked about Camilla’s impact on Prince Charles, Mr Mellor claimed, “One has the impression that it has been good for him too, to have a stable influence by his side.”

She is the love of Charles’s life, his confidante since they were young and his wife of 17 years. And now, she is his Queen Consort.

The public has got used to seeing Camilla by her husband’s side at key national and international events and celebrations, but as she has admitted, it has been far from easy.

Few women have been as publicly vilified as Camilla Parker Bowles. She was “the other woman” in the marriage break-up of the century, endlessly compared to Diana, Princess of Wales.

In choosing Charles, she upended her life. For years she was hounded by the press, her character and appearance relentlessly attacked. But she weathered the storm and gradually cemented her position as the most senior female member of the Royal Family.

Camilla Parker Bowles (L), age 4, with her brother Mark Shand and sister Annabel

It has been quite a journey for the woman who, it is said, Prince Charles immediately fell for when they met in their early 20s.

Full acceptance from Queen Elizabeth II took time, but in her final years she was unequivocal in her support for Camilla. The new Queen may never achieve full acceptance from the public, but as she said herself, in an interview with Vogue magazine earlier this year: “I sort of rise above it and get on with it. You’ve got to get on with life.”

Marrying the heir to the throne would not have been the future predicted for Camilla Rosemary Shand, who was born on 17 July 1947. Her family were upper-class, wealthy and well-connected, but definitely not royal.

She grew up in a close-knit, loving environment, playing with her brother and sister on a picturesque family estate in Sussex. Her father, Bruce Shand, a retired Army officer, liked to read her bedtime stories, and her mother, Rosalind, ferried the children to school, activities, and the beach. It was a very different childhood to that of Charles, who had long periods of time without his parents as they travelled the world.

A finishing school in Switzerland prepared Camilla for life as a debutante in London society. She was popular, and from the mid-60s she was in an on-off relationship with a Household Cavalry officer called Andrew Parker Bowles.

The role of king is a solitary one – and Charles’s reluctance to give up Camilla is perhaps because he knew she was the only person who could provide the companionship he will need in the role he is taking


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There are more than 4.7 million banknotes in the UK with the queen’s face on them. They will all be replaced

Madison Franz



There are more than 4.7 million banknotes in the UK with the queen's face on them. They will all be replaced
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London (CNN Business)Billions of banknotes and coins around the world featuring the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II are set to be replaced following her death.

For almost 70 years, the Queen’s image has appeared on the United Kingdom’s coins, with different portraits of her profile as she aged. She was featured on the nation’s banknotes for more than 60 years, the first British monarch to do so. Her portrait also features on the currency of several countries that were formerly under British rule.
Since 1953, one year after the Queen took the throne, UK coins have borne five different versions of her portrait. She appeared on the country’s banknotes starting in 1960
But now, the Bank of England, which prints the country’s banknotes, and the Royal Mint, which makes its coins, face the sizeable task of withdrawing that currency from circulation and replacing it with money bearing the portrait of King Charles III.
There are more than 4.7 million banknotes in circulation in the UK, worth a collective £82 billion ($95 billion), according to the central bank. There are also around 29 billion coins circulating, the Royal Mint said.
The new money is likely to introduced gradually, and coexist as legal tender with the old notes and coins for a period of time.
A similar phase-in happened in 2017, when the Royal Mint began issuing a new 12-sided £1 coin. The new coin circulated at the same time as the old round-shaped £1 for six months before the latter lost its status as legal tender.
But it’s not just cash that will require a makeover. The UK faces a mammoth operation to change the royal insignia on thousands of post boxes and newly issued passports.

No changes yet

The Royal Mint said in a statement on its website that coins bearing the image of the Queen “remain legal tender and in circulation,” and that their production would continue as usual during “this period of respectful mourning.”
The Bank of England said that the Queen’s “iconic portraits [were] synonymous” with some of its most important work.
“Current banknotes featuring the image of Her Majesty The Queen will continue to be legal tender,” it said in a Thursday statement. (At one point Friday, so many people were attempting to access the Royal Mint’s website that there was a virtual queue to get in.)
The central bank said it would lay out its plans to replace existing banknotes once the period of mourning ends. The Royal Mint also said that it would make an announcement in due course.
The Queen’s image is also emblazoned on some banknotes and coins across the Commonwealth — an association of 54 countries, almost all of which were formerly colonized by the UK.
In Canada, where the Queen remains the head of state, her image features on plastic $20 banknotes.
“The current polymer $20 bank note is intended to circulate for years to come. There is no legislative requirement to change the design within a prescribed period when the Monarch changes,” Amélie Ferron-Craig, a spokesperson for the Bank of Canada, said in a statement to CNN Business.
Canada’s finance minster is responsible for approving the design of new banknotes, Ferron-Craig added, and issuing those notes usually takes a few years.
In Australia, too, the Queen’s portrait features on the $5 note. The Reserve Bank of Australia said on Friday that there would be no “immediate change” to its banknotes.
It added that its $5 notes would “not be withdrawn

” and would likely stay in circulation for years.

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