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Queen 'informed' of racehorse's failed drugs test

The Queen has been informed of her racehorse's failed drugs test, her majesty's racing advisor said.

Estimate, which won the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in 2013, tested positive for morphine - a prohibited substance.

Sir Michael Stoute, the racehorse's trainer, is offering his "full co-operation" to the investigation, John Warren, from the Queen's bloodstock and racing advisor, said.

Sir Michael Stoute is offering his 'full co-operation' to the investigation. Credit: PA Wire

"Sir Michael is working closely with the feed company involved to discover how the product may have become contaminated prior to delivery to his stables,

"As the BHA investigates this matter, including potential links between the different cases, Sir Michael continues to offer his full co-operation.

"Her Majesty has been informed of the situation."

Racehorse owned by Queen tests positive for morphine

Estimate, a racehorse owned by the Queen and trained by Sir Michael Stoute, has tested positive for morphine, a prohibited substance, Buckingham Palace announced.

Initial indications are that the positive test resulted from the consumption of a contaminated feed product, the palace said.

Queen Elizabeth II pats her horse Estimate after it won the Gold Cup in 2013. Credit: PA

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Queen arrives to formally name HMS Queen Elizabeth

The Queen has arrived at Rosyth Dockyard in Scotland to formally name the largest ship ever built for the Royal Navy.

The ceremony marks the completion of the 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier after five years of construction work which took place at six different shipyards across the UK.

The Queen has arrived at Rosyth Dockyard in Scotland to formally name the largest ship ever built for the Royal Navy.

To honour the warship's birthplace in Scotland Her Majesty will smash a bottle of Islay whisky, from the first distillery she visited, against the bow.

Queen to formally name Royal Navy's biggest ever ship

The Queen will formally name the Royal Navy's biggest ever ship at Rosyth Dockyard in Fife today.

She will smash a bottle of Islay malt whisky against the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth during the traditional naming ceremony.

The vessel is the largest ever built for the navy.

The Queen will be accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh at the event, with Labour leader Ed Miliband and First Minister Alex Salmond - along with his 92-year-old naval veteran father Robert - also due to attend.

The ship and a second vessel, the HMS Prince of Wales, are the largest warships ever built for the navy at a cost of £6.2 billion.

HMS Queen Elizabeth will have 679 permanent crew and capacity for 1,600 crew members when fully operational.

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Charles 'helped' with Kensington Palace renovation

Charles and Camilla "may have" provided assistance with the costs. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive

A senior aide to Charles and Camilla has hinted that the pair helped with the private costs of renovating their Kensington Palace apartment.

William Nye, principal private secretary to the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, said: "Young couples setting up home receive some help from their parents or grandparents. Some assistance may have been provided."

William and Kate's apartment 'required complete refit'

Royal sources have defended the amount of public money spent on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's family residence at Kensington Palace, claiming it is "not opulent".

Despite more than £4 million of taxpayer cash being used to "completely reservice" the property, the source said William and Kate were "at pains" to "bear down" the cost to the public purse.

The Cambridges have been extremely sensitive to the fact that public funds were paying for a lot of this work [...]

"It is done to a very comfortable but ordinary level."

– Royal aide

Royal household sources said the apartment had required a "complete refit" and had problems such as no running water but the spending on it was now complete.

Furniture and fittings in the home, which is understood to have around 20 rooms, were met privately by the couple.

Charles earnings top £21m as state income doubles

The Prince of Wales received a record total of £21.7 million from his private estate and taxpayer funding in the last tax year, official figures have revealed.

Charles and Camilla during an eleven-day visit to India last year. Credit: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Archive

The vast majority of the earnings came from the Duchy of Cornwall, which brought in £19.5 million after a rise of 2.4% or around half a million pounds compared with 2012/13.

The amount of money drawn from the state funded sovereign grant and government departments for official activities of the Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall nearly doubled compared with the previous year to almost £2.2 million.

Charles Principle Private Secretary, William Nye, said the rise in the use of public funds was mainly down to the fact that the travel costs of Charles's official engagements had returned to a "more normal" level after being "artificially low" the year before.

Many trips of the conducted last year to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee were funded by other countries in the Commonwealth realm, they said.

Will and Kate flat refurb costs public more than £4m

Kensington Palace shown surrounded by scaffolding last year. Credit: Friso Gentsch/DPA

The taxpayer cost of refurbishing William and Kate's family home was £3.4 million last year, official figures show.

The 20-plus roomed apartment at 1A Kensington Palace was "completely reserviced" from April last year following the removal of asbestos that had made the property uninhabitable.

Around £1.1 million was spent on the property the previous year, taking the total to prepare it for the couple and their son Prince George to move in to more than £4m excluding the work to remove asbestos.

Royal household sources said the apartment had required a "complete refit" and had problems such as no running water but the spending on it was now complete.

Furniture and fittings in the home, which is understood to have around 20 rooms, were met privately by the couple as well as a kitchen and they were said to be "at pains" to "bear down" on public costs.

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