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Royal transition from Elizabeth II – Charles III – what is the law?

 

  • The King Never Dies
  • Accession Council officially announces new Monarch
  • Oath to maintain and preserve the Church of Scotland
  • Televised for the first time

Common law rule – Rex nunquam moritur meaning “The King never dies”.

Accordingly, Charles automatically became King upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Act of Settlement 1701 ensures a Protestant succession to the English throne reinforces the Bill of Rights agreed by William and Mary in 1689.

The Accession Council officially announces the name of the new monarch – usually within 24 hours of the death of the sovereign.

As part of operation London Bridge, the Accession Council met in St James’ Palace at 10am on 10th September to proclaim Charles the new sovereign.

For the first time in history the Accession Council was televised.

The Accession Council is formed of Privy Counsellors, Great Officers of State, the Lord Mayor and High Sheriffs of the City of London, Realm High Commissioners, some senior civil servants and certain others.

The Accession Council is presided over by the Lord President.

Penny Mordaunt was appointed by Liz Truss on 6th September to be the Lord President.

The Accession Council is divided into two parts.

In the first part, during which the Sovereign is not present, The Lord President announced Queen Elizabeth’s death.

The Lord President then asked the clerk of the council, retired civil servant Richard Tilbrook, to read out the Accession Proclamation confirming the name of the new monarch.

The Accession Proclamation was then signed by the members of the Royal Family, the prime minister, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor and the Earl Marshall.

The Earl Marshall is a key behind-the-scenes figure. It is an hereditary role. Responsibilities include arranging the state opening of parliament, organising the state funerals of sovereigns and the accession and coronations of new monarchs.

Traditionally, the position is held by the highest ranking Duke in England, which is the Duke of Norfolk. The current Earl Marshal is the 18th Duke of Norfolk, Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 65, who inherited the title when his father died in 2002.

The Lord President then read out the outstanding items of business including disseminating the Proclamation and directing artillery guns to be fired at London’s Hyde Park and the Tower of London.

The second part of the Accession Council was the first meeting of the Privy Council held by the new monarch.

King Charles III made the following declaration:

My Lords, Ladies, and Gentlemen.

It is my most sorrowful duty to announce to you the death of my beloved Mother, The Queen. I know how deeply you, the entire Nation - and I think I may say the whole world - sympathise with me in the irreparable loss we have all suffered. It is the greatest consolation to me to know of the sympathy expressed by so many to my Sister and Brothers and that such overwhelming affection and support should be extended to our whole family in our loss. To all of us as a family, as to this kingdom and the wider family of nations of which it is a part, my Mother gave an example of lifelong love and of selfless service.

My Mother’s reign was unequalled in its duration, its dedication and its devotion. Even as we grieve, we give thanks for this most faithful life.

I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of Sovereignty which have now passed to me. In taking up these responsibilities, I shall strive to follow the inspiring example I have been set in upholding constitutional government and to seek the peace, harmony and prosperity of the peoples of these Islands and of the Commonwealth Realms and Territories throughout the world.

In this purpose, I know that I shall be upheld by the affection and loyalty of the peoples whose Sovereign I have been called upon to be, and that in the discharge of these duties I will be guided by the counsel of their elected parliaments. In all this, I am profoundly encouraged by the constant support of my beloved wife.

I take this opportunity to confirm my willingness and intention to continue the tradition of surrendering the hereditary revenues, including the Crown Estate, to My Government for the benefit of all, in return for the Sovereign Grant, which supports My official duties as Head of State and Head of Nation.

And in carrying out the heavy task that has been laid upon me, and to which I now dedicate what remains to me of my life, I pray for the guidance and help of Almighty God.

Under the terms of the Act of Union, new monarchs are also required to make an oath to maintain and preserve the Church of Scotland.

The Garter King of Arms, England’s senior herald, then read the Proclamation from a balcony above the Friary Court at St James’s Palace. The Garter King of Arms was joined by the Earl Marshall and other officials wearing traditional heraldic garments.

The proclamation was also read with similar ceremony in various locations around the country including in Edinburgh by Lord Lyon King of Arms (who parallels The Earl Marshall in England), in Belfast and Cardiff and in the City of London.

The date for King Charles III’s coronation has yet to be announced. Queen Elizabeth became Queen on the death of her father, King George VI, on 6th February 1952. Her coronation was 16 months later on 2nd June 1953.

Flags – why is the royal standard never flown at half-mast?

The Royal Standard is only flown when the Sovereign is in residence.

The Royal Standard must always be flown at full mast because The ‘King never dies’Rex nunquam moritur.

The union flag was first flown over Buckingham Palace at half-mast in 1997 after the death of Diana as that was the only flag that could be flown at half-mast.

The flags in Whitehall, lowered to half-mast upon Queen Elizabeth’s death were raised again at 11am on 10th September to confirm the accession of King Charles III.

 

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Ukraine War: Rapid Advances in the Donbas

 

  • Ukraine is winning & Russia is losing.
  • Ukrainian army on the offensive in Donbas Kherson in the south
  • whole of the Kharkiv Oblast recovered
  • Russian forces lose 00s of aircraft & helicopters, 000s of tanks & fighting vehicles, & 00000s of soldiers
  • Russians abandon Kherson or being trapped & forced to surrender

Russia’s advances into Ukraine stuttered to a halt in the face of unexpectedly ferocious resistance by defenders bolstered by weapons and training provided by the west. To date, the Ukrainian armed forces have been supplied with enough weaponry and materiel to ensure they do not lose; now that support needs to continue and be multiplied so that they can win. But now we see the Ukrainian army taking the initiative in both the Donbas and around Kherson in the south, going over to the offensive in both areas over the past couple of weeks.

In Donbas the Ukrainian advances have been spectacular, and it now appears that the whole of the Kharkiv Oblast is back in their hands, including the important logistics and communications hubs of Kupyansk and Izium. In the south around Kherson progress has been slower, but there is now a very real possibility that the Russians will either have to abandon Kherson city or risk being trapped there and forces to surrender.

The Russian forces are in dire straits. It’s notoriously difficult to get accurate figures for casualties in this war, as neither side wants to give away its secrets, but a conservative estimate might put Russian losses to date at around hundreds of aircraft and helicopters, thousands of tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles, and tens of thousands of soldiers. It may be that Ukrainian losses are just as heavy in proportion, if not in absolute numbers.

It is clear, however, that at this moment Ukraine is winning and Russia is losing. No doubt there will be other turns and twists in the road ahead but there is a real feeling of optimism that Ukraine will prevail and expel the Russian invaders. Whether this extends to the previously occupied areas of the Donbas and Crimea itself remains to be seen.

Russia Buys Weapons Abroad

  • Russia used 35% of ammunition stocks in just over 6 months
  • Now trying to buy Soviet era 122mm & 152mm ammunition on world markets – but shortages force
  • Russia to try to buy from North Korea
  • drones & unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Iran

As international sanctions bite and battlefield loses whittle away at Russia’s weapons inventory, Russia is increasingly looking abroad to replenish its military inventory. It has been estimated that Russian may have expended close to thirty-five per cent of its artillery ammunition stocks in just over six months and has already started trying to hoover up Soviet era 122mm and 152mm artillery ammunition natures on world markets.

Russian armaments manufacturers will need some time to ramp up production to meet the demands of the Ukraine war, where ammunition expenditure has far exceeded most peacetime estimates. It’s reported that, whilst the production of shell and missile casings is relatively straightforward, there is a dearth of explosives to fill the shell cases and the charges to fire them. This could be a major problem in the artillery exchanges that now characterise this phase of the war.

To fill the gap we now learn that Russia is actively seeking to buy weapons and other materials of war from North Korea, although the details of what and when are vague. Better documented is the fact that they are also purchasing/procuring drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Iran. The Iranians manufacture a variety of reconnaissance and armed UAVs, and it is known that the Russians have ordered between 50-100 of their Ababil 3 drone, which has a range of some 250 kilometres and an endurance of up to eight hours. It is primarily a reconnaissance and surveillance craft but can be adapted to be armed.

Meanwhile Ukraine continues to receive weaponry and training from the west. Another hefty aid package has been announced from the USA, including additional HIMARS rockets, 105mm howitzers and ammunition, and night vision aids amongst other things. This support from the USA and other NATO countries has allowed Ukraine to undertake offensive operations to the east of Kharkiv, where significant advances have been achieved, and simultaneously towards Kherson in the south.

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HRH Queen’s Funeral is a military affair

  • Britain’s military heavily involved in HRH’s funeral arrangements
  • 1,500 personnel from all three services
  • Cortege route will be mine swept by Army & RAF units
  • Army sniper teams & armed soldiers to disrupt or destroy drones

It will come as no surprise that Britain’s military is heavily involved in Her Majesty the Queen’s funeral arrangements. We have already seen the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, 5 Scots, providing the bearer party for the Queen’s coffin at Holyrood Palace and St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, where it lay for 24 hours whilst thousands of Scots and visitors filed past to pay their respects.

At the Queen’s lying in state in Westminster Hall in London, and on the day of her funeral, the military involvement will be huge and crucial. It is estimated that as many as 1,500 personnel from all three services may be involved in the ceremonial aspects, headed by the Household Cavalry and Brigade of Guards who are well versed in such occasions if not to this scale. It is expected that sailors from the Royal Navy will pull the gun carriage on which the coffin will lie and that there will be an RAF flypast. This will be the very visible presence of our armed forces.

Less visible will be those elements which will be providing the police and security at the event. The route of the cortege will be swept, possibly several times, in advance by British army and RAF units versed in bomb disposal. The high vantage points along the route will probably be manned by police and army sniper teams, and also soldiers with the weaponry to disrupt or destroy drones. There will undoubtedly be Special Forces on standby somewhere close.

Completely invisible most of the time will be the large numbers of logistics personnel. With the expected influx of military personnel from across the UK and abroad, a huge logistic exercise will already be underway. All those coming to London for the funeral have to be given a bed and otherwise accommodated, fed, transported and provided with medical and other support. It’s a big task!

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