Many of the front pages had to be hastily re-printed late last night, as details of the Queen’s overnight stay in hospital emerged.
The Sun reports that her medical team decided she should be admitted on Wednesday “out of an abundance of caution” and that she spent the night because it was getting too late for her to make the 26 mile journey home.
According to the Daily Mirror, she was said to have been showing slight signs of a seasonal cold – although she is understood to have tested negative for Covid-19. The Daily Mail says sources have insisted there is no cause for alarm, with her aides confident she will be well enough to undertake appointments next week.
Several papers report that ministers and scientific advisers are discussing plans to shorten the time period between a second and third Covid jab to five months, rather than six.
The Guardian describes the move as “a scramble to shore up the faltering vaccination programme and avoid imposing Covid restrictions.” The Daily Telegraph says the change would “open up vaccines to millions more people” and calls on the government to replace the current “inertia and complacency” with “action and urgency”.
The i dubs Maggie Throup the “missing vaccines minister” on its front page. The paper complains that she has “made zero national media appearances” in the six weeks since she was appointed and accuses her of “not prioritising public health messaging”.
Although Ms Throup may not be indulging the media with interviews, she did make her first major appearance at the House of Commons dispatch box on Thursday – which many sketch writers are keen to dissect.
“The Throup voice was a listless monotone,” writes Quentin Letts in the Times, adding that “she could never record car sat nav instructions – as she’d send drivers into a delicious sleep”.
For the Daily Mail’s Henry Deedes, her performance was “rickety to put it mildly”, with answers “punctuated by hesitant pauses and the occasional flash of bamboozlement”. “Small wonder No 10 is yet to unleash her on a tour of the television studios,” he concludes.
Several papers report on government moves to stop schools teaching “white privilege” as fact.
The Guardian says Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi described the term as “a contested theory and opinion”. He made the remarks while giving the government’s response to a committee report into the educational disadvantages faced by white, working class pupils.
The Daily Telegraph says the Department for Education is drawing up new guidance to “help schools understand their duties”. But the National Association of Head Teachers tells the paper teachers need to be trusted to have conversations with pupils, which are “right for their contexts and communities”.
The libido of Spain’s former king Juan Carlos gets extensive coverage.
The Daily Express is among those to report claims that the royal – who lives in exile in Abu Dhabi – was given hormones to control his sex drive. The allegations come from a former police chief on trial for blackmail, who says the king’s amorous urges were considered a “problem for the state”.
According to the Daily Mail, the royal is said to have had 5,000 lovers – causing so much chaos that Spain’s secret service injected him with female hormones and testosterone blockers.