Home Prince William was created Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathhearn and Baron Carrickfergus on the morning of his wedding to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey. The Duchess’s dress was designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. It did not rain and a million or so people cheered in the streets, with 25 million in Britain watching on television. During the wedding a Union flag was burnt by republicans in Chetwynd Court in King’s College Cambridge. The Duke and Duchess returned two days later to their house on Anglesey. April was found to have been the warmest for 350 years. Wildfires broke out on heathland in England and Scotland, sweeping through the estate at Balmoral.
The British people voted in a referendum on whether the Alternative Vote system should be used for elections to Parliament. After the death of Osama bin laden, David Cameron, the Prime Minister said: ‘We will continue to work with Pakistan.’ The level of threat from terrorists continued to be assessed as ‘severe’. Five men, all believed to be of Bangladeshi origin, were held under the Terrorism Act after being arrested close to the Sellafield nuclear site. The 700,000 eastern European immigrants form countries that joined the EU in 2004 has an insignificant effect on economic growth, according to a report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. The Charity Commission approved a draft scheme to sell the house in Salisbury Cathedral Close left ‘for the education of the public’ by Sir Edward Heath.
Acoroner’s jury found that Ian Tomlinson was unlawfully killed by PC Simon Harwood of the Metropolitan Police at the G20 protests on 1 April 2009; the policeman had acted illegally, recklessly and dangerously, and used ‘excessive and unreasonable’ force in striking the alcoholic newspaper-seller. Three men were charged in connection with the murder of Giuseppe Massaro, 80, and his wife Caterina, attacked with a hammer and a knife at their house in Wolverhampton. Sir Henry Cooper, the boxer, died, aged 76. Professor Richard Holmes, the historian, died, aged 65. Exeter residents were told to keep their windows shut when a plague of brown-tail moth caterpillars swarmed.
Abroad Osama bin Laden was shot dead in his house in Abbottabad, about 30 miles north of Islamabad, Pakistan, by US Navy Seals. It was a ‘good day for America’ commented President Barack Obama of the United States. Bin Laden’s large, threestorey house in a high-walled compound, was close to Pakistan’s leading military academy. He was not armed, the White House said, although it had said he resisted. He was buried at sea after his body had been washed and Islamic prayers said. Of the 17 or 18 in the compound three others were killed in the operation and another person taken away alive. A Yemeni wife of Bin Laden said she had been living at the house for some months; a 12-year-old daughter said she had seen her father killed. An American helicopter crashed in the compound. Leon Panetta, the director of the the spectator | 7 May 2011 | www.spectator.co.uk
CIA said ‘It was decided that any effort to work with the Pakistanis could jeopardise the mission.’
ANato air strike on a house in Tripoli killed Saif al-Arab, the youngest son of Colonel Gaddafi, and three of his grandchildren. The British embassy in Tripoli was set on fire. Libyan forces pursuing rebels from the Western Mountains crossed the border and had a gunfight with Tunisian soldiers. Nato refused permission for a ship from the International Organisation for Migration to dock at Misrata to take off migrants, because of fears over sea mines. In Syria, tanks and soldiers occupied Deraa, where demonstrations had been taking place. Hundreds were arrested. Security forces were also said to have surrounded Baniyas. A bomb at a cafe in Marrakech killed 16, three of whom were Moroccan.
Pope John Paul II was beatified in Rome before some 1.5 million people. In Afghanistan, 488 Taleban prisoners escaped from a jail at Kandahar through a tunnel dug from outside. Sony apologised to 77 million subscribers to PlayStation whose personal data may have been stolen by hackers. The Conservatives won the Canadian elections, and Michael Ignatieff resigned as leader of the Liberals, who were beaten into third place. President Obama’s full birth certificate was shown on television to quell rumours he was not born in the United States. Tornadoes ripped through five American states — 266 in 24 hours — leaving 250 dead and destroying thousands of houses. CSH