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Earl of Wessex opens new fire & rescue hq

Prince Edward is greeted at the new headquarters Credit: Chloe Oliver

The Earl of Wessex has opened Berkshire's new Fire and Rescue Headquarters today.

Prince Edward was given a tour of the new facility in Calcot.

The new centre will deal with all 999 emergency calls for the whole of the Thames Valley.

Earl of Wessex to open new fire and rescue hq

Preparations at Calcot this morning Credit: Chloe Oliver

The Earl of Wessex will open Berkshire's new Fire and Rescue Headquarters today.

Prince Edward will be given a tour of the new facility in Calcot.

The new centre will deal with all 999 emergency calls for the whole of the Thames Valley.



The Duchess will attend in her capacity as Patron of charity '1851 Trust'

Earlier this year the Duchess pledged her support for Sir Ben Ainslie's team Credit: PA

The Duchess of Cambridge is known to be a keen supporter of sailing, highlighted by her Patronage with the '1851 Trust', the official charity of Land Rover BAR and the LVACWSUK event, which seeks to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and the marine industry. During the visit The Duke & Duchess will visit all the America's Cup Teams in their Technical Bases in the Royal Navy base and will be introduced to each team by Land Rover BAR Team Principal, Sir Ben Ainslie and Sir Keith Mills, the Event Chairman and Land Rover BAR Founding Shareholder and Board member. They will then visit the home team at their new base before proceeding to watch the racing action .

Post racing they will visit the '1851 Trust interactive zone', in the free-ticketed public race village in the Waterfront Festival Arena, where they will be introduced to 1851 Trust CEO, Alasdair Akass and young people who have taken their first sailing steps with the Trust.

Princess Charlotte to be Christened today

Prince George kisses his baby sister Credit: PA

Princess Charlotte will be christened today using a priceless font which is usually kept with the Crown Jewels.

It will be the second public outing for the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge since she was born on May 2.

The royal ceremony will take place at St Mary Magdalene Church in Norfolk, near Sandringham from 4.30pm.

They'll be joined by the Duchess's parents Michael and Carole Middleton, who live at Bucklebury Manor in Berkshire, where Kate was brought up.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will perform the 45-minute service using an ornate Lily Font commissioned by Queen Victoria.

Inside the church where the royal christening will take place Credit: PA

Crafted out of solid gilded sterling silver, the font was made in 1840 to prevent the then Queen's children being tarnished by association with the illegitimate children of one of her predecessors.

Martin Swift, the Crown Jeweller, said: "Charles II insisted on having all his children baptised using the Charles II font, but all his children were born out of wedlock, which is why when he passed his brother James became king.

"Queen Victoria didn't like that association, so ordered the commissioning of the Lily Font."

The Lily Font and silver Ewer which will be used at the christening Credit: PA

Alongside the Lily Font at Princess Charlotte's baptism will be a christening ewer, made of solid silver and similarly gilded.

Following Royal tradition, the water used for the christening will be holy water from the River Jordan, where it is said Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist.

The service will be private but the royals will come out to greet the crowds afterwards.

A paddock close to the church will be opened to house royal well-wishers eager to get a glimpse of the young princess.

Force preparing to police next week's Royal Ascot

Thames Valley Police are preparing their operation for policing Royal Ascot which begins next week Tuesday.

The force says a "significant security operation" will be in place during the five-day event which will be attended by the Queen and other members of the royal family.

"Thames Valley Police has been involved in policing Royal Ascot for many years. Every year is different but the challenge remains the same for us to support those attending as well as those living near to Ascot Racecourse.

"The event attracts a global audience and thousands of prestigious visitors but our planning and approach is no different to any other large scale public operation.

"A great many officers and staff have been working on the plans in partnership with Ascot Racecourse Limited, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and neighbouring police forces. We anticipate the focus remaining firmly on the track but will remain ready to respond if required."

– Supt Jim Weems, Thames Valley Police
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