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22 March 2018

Royal wedding cake announced

Prince Harry and actor Meghan Markle will marry in May, and details are being announced every couple of weeks. So far we have learned that the ceremony will be at Windsor Castle, just outside London, and that over 2,000 ordinary people, including school children and charity workers, are invited to watch the wedding guests arrive and leave from inside the castle.

This week details of the wedding cake were announced.

It has been traditional for Royal wedding cakes to be very grand, and to have dried fruit in them. This cake sounds a bit different. It is being made by baker Clare Ptak, who is from California like Ms Markle.

It is going to be a lemon and elderflower cake. It will be covered in buttercream icing (this is soft, and made of butter and powdered sugar) and fresh flowers.

What were previous Royal wedding cakes like?

  • The cake of Queen Victoria weighed 300lbs
  • The cake of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip was 9ft tall, and decorated with pictures of the couple, family details, and little sugar figures doing activities that they liked
  • Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake was 5ft high, weighed 255lb, and was made by the Royal Navy's cookery school.
  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had two cakes – one was an iced fruit cake, with eight layers of cake (called tiers). The other was a chocolate fridge cake made with broken biscuits, chocolate and dried fruit and nuts. This was a favourite of Prince William when he was a child.


What are the most popular tourist attractions in the UK?

The top five tourist attractions in London are the British Museum, Tate Modern, the National Gallery, the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Outside London, the top five are the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle, Chester Zoo, the Scottish National Gallery and Stonehenge.

Visitor numbers rose by over seven per cent overall, but rises were much smaller in London and much larger in Scotland, which had an extra 13.9 per cent of visitors.


UK teacher wins international award

Andria Zafirakou, who teaches in London, has won a $1m prize for her contribution to the profession. She is the first British teacher to win the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize, beating 30,000 other applicants from 137 countries.

Ms Zafirakou said: "I was shocked. I didn't realise it was me," and said that all teachers in the UK worked hard and the award was for all of them.

She teaches art and textiles in Brent, one of the poorest areas in the UK, where 130 different languages are spoken. She has found many ways to help her students, including learning basic phrases in many languages, visiting their homes, organising extra lessons during the school day and at weekends, and finding them quiet places to work.


Free water refills in London

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched a scheme which helps people fill their water bottles for free.

Mr Khan wants to help people cut down on plastic by giving alternatives to buying water and throwing the bottle away. The scheme is being tried out in five areas of the city at 65 different places, including the National Theatre and Tate Modern as well as Costa Coffee, the Leon fast food chain and others. Businesses taking part in the scheme will have a special sticker on show. If the scheme is a success it may become more widely available in London this summer.

There are already around 5,700 places in the UK which will refill bottles – you can use the Refill app to find them, or the website

In the UK, 38.5m plastic bottles are used every day and just over half are recycled. The others are thrown away.



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