The royal beekeeper has informed the bees that live at Buckingham Palace that HM Queen Elizabeth II has passed away.
Although that may sound fictitious, it’s actually a ritual based on a historic tradition.
Telling the bees, as it’s often known, is a tradition in many European countries where hives of bees are told of important events in their keeper’s lives – such as births, marriages, departures and returns in the household, and of course, deaths.
If the custom is not practiced or forgotten, and the bees were not “put into mourning”, then back in the mid-19th century when the tradition is believed to have originated, it was believed that a penalty would be paid.
This could mean the bees leave their hive, which would stop the production of honey or dying.
So, following HM Queen Elizabeth II’s death at aged 96, and with several royal households home to tens of thousands off bees, John Chapple – who is the official royal beekeeper, and has been so for the past 15 years – told the Daily Mail that he travelled to the Buckingham Palace and Clarence House on Friday (9 September) to carry out the formality.
Buckingham Palace is home to five beehives, and Clarence House is home to two – with each hive containing an estimated 20,000 bees each.
Chapple also told the bees that a new master would be in charge – King Charles III.
Giving a little more insight into the decades-old tradition, Chapple explained: “It is traditional when someone dies that you go to the hives and say a little prayer and put a black ribbon on the hive.
“I drape the hives with black ribbon with a bow.
“The person who has died is the master or mistress of the hives, someone important in the family who dies and you don’t get any more important than the Queen, do you? You knock on each hive and say, ‘the mistress is dead’.”
Chapple explained that he visited the hives at Clarence House first to inform them, before heading to tell the bees living at Buckingham Palace.
Chapple said it had been a “wonderful privilege” to care for the bees under the Queen’s reign, and he hopes to continue in his role as King Charles III ascends to the throne.
“I hope they still want to keep the bees on their premises,” Chapple concluded.
HM Queen Elizabeth II died aged 96 on 8 September 2022.
During her reign, Elizabeth II served as Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth – undertaking an important symbolic and unifying role as a head of state, spanning numerous geographical regions, cultures, and religions.
She was not just the longest-reigning British monarch in history, but she was also the first-ever monarch to reign in the UK for 70 years.
She was beloved by many for her sense of duty and devotion to her role.
Asda praised for launching £1 cafe meal deal for over 60s to help with cost of living
People have been heaping praise on Asda for launching a £1 meal deal for over 60s at all in-store cafes to help with the cost of living.
With the cost of living crisis continuing to make its impact felt nationwide, and inflation now at a 40-year record high of 10.1%, one of the UK’s largest supermarket retailers has announced a range of new ‘winter warmer’ initiatives to support its customers and community groups who are struggling with the rising costs.
The supermarket is offering all over 60s the chance to enjoy soup, a roll, and unlimited tea and coffees for just £1 in any of its 205 cafes.
The offer will be running all day and every day throughout November and December.
Asda says it is “stepping up its support for older customers” as they continue to be “disproportionately affected” by spiralling living costs – with the supermarket’s latest Income Tracker showing those aged 65 to 74 experienced a £163 drop in disposable income in August, compared to last year.
Age UK also estimates that 2.8 million older households will still be living in fuel poverty this winter, despite the Government freezing the energy price cap.
The new £1 meal deal initiative for over 60s will also run alongside the supermarket’s current ‘kids eat for £1’ offer – which the retailer says continues to be hugely popular.
“We know that this winter is set to be incredibly hard for thousands of pensioners as they worry about how to keep themselves warm in the face of rising living costs and a fixed income,” Asda co-owner Mohsin Issa said on the launch of the meal deal initiative.
“We’ve already been able to serve over half a million meals through our Kids Eat for £1 initiative in our cafes and we’re hoping our new offer of soup and hot drinks for over 60s will prove just as impactful for those who need it most.”
Other initiatives announced by Asda during economic uncertainty include the supermarket’s charity, the Asda Foundation, providing funding worth £500,000 in the form of grants to support community groups that are struggling with rising operating costs or increased demand for their vital services.
Priority for grants of up to £2,000 will be given to groups and charities that need financial help to cover increased energy costs, or to those who want to use their facilities to create ‘warm banks’ – which are spaces where people can keep warm this winter if they are unable to afford to heat their homes.
The supermarket is also running a ‘Community Cuppa’ campaign in its cafes.
This will be done by creating spaces for community groups who “may otherwise struggle to meet due to rising energy costs”, with spaces available on weekdays in November and December from 2pm – 6pm and all those visiting receiving unlimited free tea or coffee.
Man City star Ilkay Gundogan’s wife blasted after calling Manchester’s restaurants ‘horrible’
The wife of one of Manchester City‘s star players has come under fire after taking a hit at the city’s restaurants and branding them “horrible”.
Sara Arfaoui – who is the wife of Manchester City midfielder and club captain, İlkay Gündoğan – took to social media this week to give her opinion on Manchester‘s thriving, ever-expanding, and much-loved hospitality community in response to a fan who asked her to list some of her favourite places to grab a bite to eat in the city.
The model and TV presenter is known for being a keen foodie herself, so it’s no surprise that fans want to hear what she has to say about the food and drink scene in her new home city.
What does seem to have shocked people, though, is that she’s not really a fan of what’s on offer here.
In response to a question during a Q&A on her Instagram Stories yesterday, Sara explained: “Sorry… I’m sad to be honest but nothing.
“I tried so bad to find a good restaurant but… horrible food everywhere.
“Can’t find a real Italian or good sushi or just fresh food… everything frozen. Restaurants here are just focus on making money with drinks and shot like night clubs not quality food.
“Maybe in London but in Manchester nothing. I’m sorry.”
Given the fact that us Mancs don’t take too kindly to those hitting out our beloved city, Sara’s comments have been met with a wave of backlash from Manchester’s restaurant owners, leading industry figures, and legion of dedicated foodies – who have all hit back online with their own views throughout today, and have urged the public figure to reconsider what she said.
Not only that, but renowned food critic Jay Rayner has even waded into the argument.
“This is a ludicrous point of view,” Rayner said.
“Manchester’s packed full of brilliant, independent restaurants. It’s an absolute gem of a place to eat and comments like this during difficult economic times are not helpful to businesses struggling to make ends meet.”
One local un-named restaurant owner apparently even contacted Sara herself to ask her to clarify some of the comments she made, according to reports in The Sun, saying: “There’s so many great restaurants in Manchester. I suggest you do research before you speak. And only because your husband is a footballer and you have money and you have everything probably paid for and a great life given to you here in Manchester.
“You should be grateful for that, instead of slagging off restaurants.”
At this challenge though, the 27-year-old model – who married the footballer earlier this year in May – likely didn’t give the response the restaurant owner was looking for, and deciding to double down on her comments, explaining: “So because we are successful people we can’t give an honest opinion?
“I tried all the best restaurants here but for me it’s a no. I can’t lie. Unfortunately I’m used to Italy so you can imagine it’s hard to compare.”
She did, however, add that Manchester is “a great city” with “great people” – but “not for restaurants.”