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Queen visits site of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp

The Queen has spoken of the "horrific" scenes British forces faced when they liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp as she visited the notorious site.

At the camp in northern Germany where 70,000 people died from disease, starvation or brutal mistreatment, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh paid their respects by laying a wreath.

With quiet dignity and the minimum of protocol, the royal couple toured the site which was razed to the ground and is now a museum and memorial to those who died during the Second World War.

ITV News Royal Editor Tim Ewart reports:

Queen lays wreath to Bergen-Belsen dead

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh lay a wreath at Bergen-Belsen. Credit: Reuters

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have laid a wreath at the former Nazi death camp at Bergen-Belsen.

In Her Majesty's first trip to the site of a concentration camp, she paid her respects to the tens of thousands of people who died there.

The royal couple toured the site in northern Germany which was razed to the ground and is now a museum and memorial.

At the site's Inscription Wall, she and Philip laid a wreath near the words "To the memory of all those who died in this place".

The royal couple toured the site in northern Germany. Credit: Reuters
Security was tight around Bergen-Belsen ahead of the visit. Credit: PA



Royal train costs £114 per mile, figures reveal

The royal train costs around £114 a mile to use, according to the annual financial statement from the monarchy.

The royal train costs around £114 per mile Credit: PA

The most expensive journey taken on the train cost more than £30,000, taking the Queen and Prince Philip from Windsor to Haverfordwest, and on to Ystrad Mynach, in April 2014.

The price of a standard rail ticket for the journey is £109.50.

The shortest distance travelled in one journey by the train was the 140 miles between London Euston and Wolverhampton, costing £15,956 - compared to the £88.50 pricetag on a standard ticket.

Royal workers take fewer sick days than UK average

Royal household staff take fewer sick days than the UK average, clocking up 5.8 each compared to the typical worker's 6.6, the monarchy's annual financial statement reveals.

Inside the correspondence room at Buckingham Palace, where staff take fewer sick days than the UK average Credit: PA

A Buckingham Palace aide said the healthier record of royal workers was down to "almost no internal politics", as staff were simply happy to serve the Queen - as well as a comprehensive benefits package including in-house medics, access to leisure facilities and a colleagues' football team.

We're not a money-orientated organisation. There is almost no internal politics in the place - you can't have the top job because you're not born the right way. It's gone and we know who the successor is.

At the end of the day, you just do your very best to serve the Queen and that seems to make for a very healthy organisation.

– Buckingham Palace aide

Maintaining Crown Estate is 'significant financial challenge'

The maintenance of the Crown Estate and Buckingham Palace presents a "significant financial challenge", the keeper of the Privy Purse has said.

Sir Alan Reid - the official treasurer to the Queen - said financial officers had managed to keep down expenditure.

We have contained expenditure, and that is down to strong financial planning and discipline.

We've worked hard this year to bear down on costs.

Over the coming years, the maintenance of the Estate and in particular Buckingham Palace, will present a significant financial challenge. We will continue to work closely with the trustees to ensure that the funding for the royal household reflects that challenge.

– Sir Alan Reid, Privy Purse
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