ICYMI: Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview, the Queen’s response and more news from last week
Here is a summary of all the biggest news from last week including the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey; the Queen’s response; the COVID-19 vaccine updates in Nigeria and from around the world as well and more.
Royal family saga
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry revealed that his wife, Meghan saved him and shouldn’t be regarded as the villain that made him step back from official royal duties. He said he had felt trapped and she gave him the strength to leave.
Additionally, Meghan herself mentioned that she was not treated justly during their time with the royal family. She says there were discussions about her son’s skin colour before his birth which was why he wasn’t given the title of prince and security as was the protocol.
Also, during the interview, the couple said that they were in a tight place when they left the family and were cut off financially. Popular filmmaker Tyler Perry had offered them his own home and security while Harry had to dip into funds his late mother, Princess Diana, had left him.
The Queen’s response
Following the online response to the concerning details from the interview and its extensive media coverage, the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II issued a response on behalf of the royal family.
She expressed her sadness at hearing of the couple’s challenges and promised to address the matter privately. “Harry, Meghan, and Archie will always be much-loved family members,” the statement ended.
Samantha Markle comes for her sister
This is not the only popular response that came out regarding the interview. Samantha Markle, Meghan’s half-sister, also weighed in on the matter especially the part of the interview where the former actress claimed to have lost her father because of the royal family pressures.
According to Samantha, Meghan Markle had ‘iced’ her dad, cutting communication with him by herself. She called her sister a narcissist and a liar who is playing the victim for sympathy in her interview.
Now, let’s move away from the royal family drama to entertainment news.
Nicolas Cage marries for the fifth time
In a secret wedding ceremony held back in February 2021, 57-year-old Hollywood superstar Nicolas Cage tied the knot with his 26-year-old Japanese girlfriend Riko Shibata. This is the fifth time the actor was getting married.
Cage had been married to Patricia Arquette between 1995 and 2001, Lisa Marie Presley (from 2002 to 2004), Alice Kim (2004 to 2016), and his last marriage to Erika Koike lasted three months between March 2019 and June 2019. He filed for divorce from Koike after four days of their marriage.
The “National Treasure” star and Riko Shibata tied the knot at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas on 16 February 2021 with only a handful of people in attendance in what is described as an ‘intimate wedding’. One of his ex-wives turned friends Alice Kim also attended the wedding ceremony, she and the actor share a 15-year-old son named Kal-El.
Beyoncé’s heartfelt tribute to Lyric Chanel
Multiple Grammy award-winning singer and music icon Beyoncé recorded a tribute to Lyric Chanel that included her singing a medley of “Brown Skin Girl,” “Halo,” and “Love On Top.” She also added Lyric’s name to the ending of the song before saying in conclusion, “I love you with all my heart.” Chanel’s family thanked Beyoncé for her heartwarming gesture in a post just after she passed away.
Lyric Chanel was a 13-year-old girl who passed away from brain cancer on 5 March 2021 after documenting her battle with the disease for two years. She was also popular for singing and rapping to songs from Beyoncé, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Offset and others. You can read more about her here.
A tweet worth over $100K?
Billionaire and Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey has announced that he is selling his first tweet ever. The first tweet by the platform’s boss was posted on 21 March 2006 and it reads: “just setting up my twttr”.
The tweet which will be 15 years old later in March 2021 is being sold as an NFT – a nonfungible token. An NFT is a cryptographic token that is enjoying popularity with artists and musicians. The digital assets are stored on the blockchain.
The tweet received a bid of $110,000 a couple of hours after Dorsey announced that it is up for sale.
Now, onto the world of sports …
No Ronaldo or Messi in UCL last 8
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have both dominated the football scene over the past decade are nearing the twilight of their career as both players for the very first time since the 2004/05 season won’t feature in the last 8 of the UEFA Champions League.
Juventus crashed out despite beating FC Porto 3-2 in the return leg of their fixture as they were undone by the away goals rule while Leo Messi and Barcelona could not overturn a 4-1 first-leg defeat to PSG.
Novak Djokovic breaks ATP record
Novak Djokovic who has recently broken Roger Federer‘s record of 310 weeks ranked as world number one says it has taken “a lot of blood, sweat, and tears” to do so.
In the 48-year history of the ATP rankings, this past Monday was the first time the record was broken by the 33-year-old Serb who now holds the most weeks at number one.
Still speaking of Roger Federer, the Swiss great returned to Tennis at the Dohar Open in Qatar and did well to upstage Britons Dan Evans in his first competitive match after his injury layoff. But, he was beaten by Nikoloz Basilashvili in the quarter-finals on Thursday, ending his sweet comeback from injury.
The 39-year-old was unable to secure a second win in as many days as Basilashvili completed a 3-6 6-1 7-5 victory.
Europa League roundup
Arsenal overturned a seemingly frustrating game to win 3-1 away at Olympiakos in their first-leg round-of-16 tie as Spurs also enjoyed an easy win on the night leaving only Manchester United as the only English side who played a draw.
The Gunners had late goals scored by Gabriel Malaghaes and a belter from Mohamed Elneny after yet another horrendous defense almost cost them.
Tottenham on the other hand moved one step closer to sealing a spot in the quarter-finals of the Europa League as Harry Kane’s double inspired a comfortable 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday night while Simon Kjaer scored a last-gasp header to gift AC Milan a draw against Manchester United in the 1-1 draw when both sides clashed in the Europa League last 16 first leg.
On Saturday, 6 March 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo received their first doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The next day, the presidency announced that they had experienced no side effects.
Buhari told Nigerians; “I have received my first jab and I wish to recommend it to all eligible Nigerians to do [the] same so that we can be protected from the virus.” The move was to encourage more Nigerians to step forward and take the vaccine.
However, on 12 March 2021, seven European countries suspended the administration of the vaccine following reports of blood clots in some people who have so far received the shots. These countries are Denmark, Norway, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg.
At the time of the suspension, there had been no correlation established between the vaccine shots and the blood clot reports and it was more of a precautionary measure.
Also, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced that it is still evaluating the situation adding that 22 cases of blood clots were reported on 9 March 2021 among more than three million people vaccinated in the European Economic Area.
Countries like the UK and Spain have said that they will continue to administer AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shots and other health experts are arguing that the vaccine is not likely to be the cause of the blood clot reactions.
The news has raised serious concern among people concerning the safety of going ahead to take vaccine shots.
Coronavirus updates in numbers
As of Friday, 12 March 2021, the total number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Nigeria was 160,332. 2,009 deaths have been reported while 144,059 patients have recovered and been discharged from isolation facilities across the country. This means that the number of active cases was 14,264.