This week's UK news: 18 June 2011
18 June 2011

The race where silly hats are a tradition

The annual horseracing week at Ascot celebrated its 300th year last week and as usual was in all the newspapers.

Ascot is famous for several reasons. One is that many members of the Royal Family attend, often arriving in open carriages.

The second reason Ascot is famous is Ladies' Day, when women dress in amazing ways. There are rules about what can be worn, but the informal dress code is huge silly hats and tiny dresses. This year one woman wore a picnic on her head, complete with tea cups. Look here for photos of some of the outfits.

Ascot was also in the news this week because some of the smartly-dressed men had a public fight with each other, using chair legs as weapons. Nobody seems to know what the fight was about.

Royal Family celebrates birthdays

The Royal Family are in the news in the UK at the moment. The Queen's husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, has just celebrated his 90th birthday. What did the Queen give him for this birthday? She made him Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom, which means he is a symbolic head of the Navy.

The Queen traditionally celebrates an "official" birthday as well as her real one. The Queen's official birthday is one of two occasions in the year where she gives "honours" to people which usually marks public work they have done.

This year's most famous honour went to an 83-year-old entertainer called Bruce Forsyth, who became Sir Bruce Forsyth. The Governor of the Bank of England and a former chief inspector of schools were also given the title of Sir. Singer Bryan Ferry and actor Colin Firth were made Commanders of the British Empire, which means that they can put the letters CBE after their names.

Take That reunion tour sends women to hospital

Take That were a very popular "boy band" in the 1990s. They're a bit older now but they are back on a huge tour and their fans are really enjoying themselves. More than a hundred women had to be taken to hospital after their concerts in Manchester last week, and hospitals treated 10 per cent more patients than usual. Many of the injuries were caused by the women drinking too much before attending the concerts.

We also found out this week that more than 20,000 people a year are taken to hospital after falling out of bed. Another 12,000 go to the emergency room after falling out of a chair, and more than 6,000 need treatment after falling off a ladder. Finally, more than 1,200 were taken to hospital after falling out of trees.

How to make the perfect cup of tea

A group of researchers at the University of Northumbria have been experimenting with how to make the perfect cup of tea.

Volunteers tried 285 cups of tea in the lab before the perfect method was found. The trick is to pour 200ml of freshly-boiled water into the mug with a tea bag, allow it to brew for two minutes and then remove the bag. You should then add 10ml (two teaspoons) of milk and wait six minutes before drinking. The tea will then be at its best temperature of 60C.


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