Home Business Your Saturday UK Briefing: An Orderly Queue and a 15-Minute Vigil

Your Saturday UK Briefing: An Orderly Queue and a 15-Minute Vigil

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(Bloomberg) — Well, hello there.

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We’re saying goodbye to the Queen in a particularly British way: with an orderly queue. This one’s many miles long — even David Beckham waited all day Friday to see Elizabeth II’s coffin. Beyond the ritual, there is real business: Liz Truss will meet US President Joe Biden and other world leaders for the first time as prime minister. Behind the scenes, Ben Stupples reports on how the royal family’s £18.2 billion fortune is undergoing a wholesale restructuring.

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You might have expected her death to ignite a fire of republicanism in the 14 overseas nations ruled by the British monarch. That’s looking less likely by the day, David Fickling writes in Bloomberg Opinion (from Sydney). And Ben Schott takes a look at how “the Firm” will brand itself in future.

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The expected wait time for those queuing to view the Queen lying-in-state had grown to more than 24 hours by early Saturday morning and authorities were pleading with people not to try to join the five-mile-long line. 

Away from the ceremony and the pageantry, King Charles expressed concern over how his subjects will cope with the cost-of-living crisis in what promises to be a “difficult winter.” The government is developing a plan to halve energy rates for shops and factories, putting them more in line with what households are paying, sources tell Todd Gillespie and Emily Ashton. 

Variable-rate mortgages have long been something of a favorite in Britain, although that strategy is looking a bit iffy these days (reminder: BOE decision day is coming next week). But spare a thought for the Baltic nations of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia where inflation tops 20% and nine in 10 home loans are variable rate. 

And into the dark world of diamonds. Bloomberg’s commodities team delves into the secretive sales of Russian gems — many in the industry won’t touch them but there’s a tiny handful of buyers in Belgium and India snapping up large volumes at lucrative terms.

And lastly, have a listen to the “Politics” podcast, which discusses the diplomatic choreography that will mark Monday’s funeral, and talks about the latest polling on the monarchy and Charles III.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday, and we’ll be back tomorrow with a look-ahead to the coming week.


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