23 March 2020 14:31
Please log in Register with your social account or click here to log in I would like to receive lunchtime headlines Monday - Friday plus breaking news alerts, by email Update newsletter preferences The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have shared a series of treasured photos to mark Mother's Day, as they sent wishes to families in Britain at "this difficult time". Kate and William shared four photographs on Instagram, including a previously unseen one of the duke and duchess giving George and Princess Charlotte a piggyback. Another image featured a colourful card depicting a yellow vase with flowers, which six-year-old Prince George made for his mother. Boris Johnson has urged the nation to avoid visiting their parents amid the coronavirus pandemic. Sharing the pictures on @KensingtonRoyal Instagram account, they wrote: "To mothers new and old and families spending today together and apart – we are thinking of you all at this difficult time." Meanwhile, The Royal Family used its Instagram account to share a black and white image of the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, in 1951 with her mother, Queen Elizabeth, holding on to their hats as they arrived at Westminster Abbey for a wedding.
On Instagram, a message said the royals were thinking of mothers everywhere on what could be "a different and difficult day". "Today may be a different and difficult day for those who would usually plan to spend time with their mothers, as we adapt to the necessary changes and disruption to our normal routine and regular patterns of life. Clarence House wished people a Happy Mother's Day "particularly in a year when families may not be able to be together". The post featured an image of a young Prince Charles playing in the Clarence House garden with his mother in 1950. The 93-year-old Queen, along with the Duke of Edinburgh, is socially distancing herself at Windsor Castle with a reduced household, having left London on Thursday. London has begun to shut its public parks after thousands of people flaunted coronavirus social distancing rules at the weekend.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council has become the first local authority in the UK to close all of its parks after they were 'full of people' on Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile, The Royal Parks which runs numerous public spaces in the capital including Hyde Park, Regent's Park and Richmond Park has threatened to shut all of its gates unless people follow social distancing guidelines. The government has advised against all non-essential travel and social contact with those who do go outside for exercise told to stay at least two metres away from other people. But there are growing fears some people are failing to take the outbreak seriously enough as they continue to meet up in groups and stand too close to each other. The start of the parks shutdown came as the government updated domestic travel advice to tell people not to visit second homes, holiday homes, campsites or caravan parks. Ministers said people should not visit those places either for self-isolation or for a holiday because doing so would place unnecessary strain on rural communities. The continued failure of some people to adhere to the government's social distancing and travel guidance means Boris Johnson is now considering whether or not to impose more draconian measures which could see rules being legally enforced. Boris Johnson said yesterday the government could toughen social distancing rules if people refuse to comply as ministers urged people not to visit second homes, holiday homes or campsites The Royal Parks has warned that unless people respect social distancing guidelines its parks will have to shut. Today the roads were shut around Richmond Park in a bid to reduce the number of people visiting There were still large numbers of people using Richmond Park today but signs have been put up telling them to stay at least two metres away from other park users The weekend saw numerous examples of crowds of people visiting tourist hot spots, parks and markets across the country. Hammersmith and Fulham Council said it was acting to close all of its parks in the west of London in order to observe the government's social distancing guidance but insisted the decision will be kept under review. Councillor Stephen Cowan, leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, said: 'Our parks have been full of people this weekend with a significant proportion ignoring government guidelines on social distancing. By closing our parks, we are putting the safety of all our residents first.' The Royal Parks said in a statement that its public spaces will remain open because they are 'vitally important at this time' because of the physical and mental health benefits they can provide. But it made clear that if people fail to follow the rules on staying away from each other then the parks will shut. It told users social distancing is 'absolutely crucial' as it also announced all cafes and kiosks would close in a bid to prevent people congregating in one area while roads would also be shut in some parks. 'We have also made the decision, based on police advice, to start closing our roads to traffic in the outer parks (Richmond, Bushy and Greenwich Parks),' the organisation said. All parks remain open to cyclists. If people do not follow social distancing guidelines, we will have no choice but to consider closing the parks.' It came as updated cross-government UK travel advice issued last night told people not to visit holiday homes or campsites and urged everyone not to travel 'unless it is essential' in order to help stem the spread of coronavirus. The advice warns of the potential impact second home owners or holiday home owners could have on vital rural services if they leave their primary residence and head for the countryside. It states: 'This guidance is for people planning to visit second homes or holiday premises during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 'Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays. 'People should remain in their primary residence. The government has already advised against 'all but essential international travel' as countries around the world respond to the crisis. Many people continue to use Hyde Park in central London. Pictured is a group of runners using the park on Saturday These fitness enthusiasts were in Hyde Park on Saturday as they tried to stick to the government's social distancing guidance Mr Johnson yesterday delivered a warning to the UK that unless everybody takes the government's social distancing guidance seriously ministers will be forced to go further. Speaking at his daily coronavirus press conference in 10 Downing Street, Mr Johnson said: 'You've got to observe social distancing. The potential toughening of the measures could involve the UK following the lead of France, Spain and Italy where people are only allowed to leave their homes for essential reasons. The government could also decide to unilaterally close all of the UK's parks.