This week's UK news: 4 April 2014
4 April 2014

Baby Prince gets in the headlines

It was Mother's Day in the UK at the weekend, and the Royal Family gave a photograph of baby Prince George to newspapers and TV. There have been no official pictures of the prince since he was born 8 months ago, so he had changed a lot.

The photo got a lot of good publicity for the Royal Family, and helped to publicise a visit to Australia next week by the baby prince and his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall.

The Prince was in the news again later in the week. The Queen visited Pope Francis in the Vatican, and he gave her a present for the baby. The present puzzled a few people. It looks like a blue stone ball with a silver cross on top. Officially, it is a royal "orb" which is a symbol of power.

The Queen gave the Pope a hamper of food, including honey made from bees which live in her Palace garden, and a bottle of whisky.

England football fans complain about shirt prices

The England football team are not very likely to win the World Cup. But this week their replica football shirts went on sale to fans -- and are among the most expensive in the world.

The shirts are GBP 90, with a cheaper version for GBP 60. This is almost double the price of the Brazil shirt, or even the Manchester United shirt.

Fans complained on Twitter about the price of the shirts, saying that they were "a joke" and "a disgrace". Even the Prime Minister has commented on the price.

Nike, which makes the shirts, says the GBP 90 shirts are identical to those worn in matches and include "specialist" technologies. They say they expect most of the shirts sold to be the GBP 60 shirts.

The most expensive World Cup replica shirts are a limited edition Italy shirt which sells for GBP 124.

First same-sex weddings

Gay couples in the UK have wanted to be able to marry their partners in the same way as straight couples. There has been a special ceremony, for same sex couples only, for ten years, but campaigners argued that this was not equality.

The law changed, and from midnight on Friday the first same-sex marriages took place. One couple married in Brighton's Royal Pavilion at just after midnight, and other early weddings took place in London and other parts of the UK. News programmes and newspapers were full of photographs of happy couples.

Not everyone agrees with the new law, but around 80 per cent of people who were asked said they would accept an invitation to a same-sex wedding.

Winter disappearing in the UK

Climate change may be getting rid of the British winter, research says. Autumn is ending much later in the year than it used to, and spring is starting earlier.

Researchers at Southampton University looked at satellite pictures to see when trees were losing their leaves, and when new growth was beginning. Professor Peter Atkinson said it was "a massive concern". He did not know whether winter would disappear, or how much the weather would have to change before plants got confused.


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