The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have accused the BBC of libel after the corporation claimed the Queen was not asked by the couple about naming their daughter Lilibet.

In an extraordinary escalation of the briefing war between Buckingham Palace and Harry and Meghan, the couple instructed lawyers to tell media organisations the BBC’s story was "false and defamatory".

Shortly after 8am – 1am in California, where the couple live – media organisations were sent a letter by the Sussexes’ London solicitors warning them not to repeat the allegation.

Read how the BBC and Sussexes are giving different accounts of the events.

Biden to warn PM not to ‘imperil’ NI peace process

The EU’s patience with the UK "is wearing very, very thin", a Brussels chief has said today, as he ratcheted up the threats of legal action and other retaliation. Three-hour talks in London this morning, aimed at resolving the post-Brexit trade disruption between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, ended in deadlock with both sides expressing frustration at the lack of progress. As the European Commission’s vice president Maros Sefcovic threatened legal action, Brexit minister Lord Frost attacked the EU’s "extremely purist" approach.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden is due to land in the UK this evening ahead of the G7 summit. He will warn Boris Johnson not to "imperil" Northern Ireland’s peace process, with his national security adviser appearing to side with Brussels as the President boarded Air Force One. As Mr Biden left Washington, he also gave a warning to China and Russia. Here are five things that will be on the President’s agenda during the G7 summit.

Slim Jong-un: North Korean leader’s ‘weight loss’

New images suggesting Kim Jong-un has recently lost weight have sparked fresh speculation about the health of the autocratic leader who retains an iron grip over nuclear-capable North Korea. Kim, whose hefty physique has long prompted debate about chronic diseases that could impair his ability to lead, was a slimmer version of himself in state media footage and photos released this week. Watch a video showing that his signature dark buttoned suit is visibly baggier than usual.

At a glance: Coronavirus evening briefing

Covid antibodies | Around eight in 10 adults in most parts of the UK are now likely to have Covid-19 antibodies, new figures suggest, amid the continued success of the vaccination rollout. Read on for details of the estimates for levels of protection across each of the home nations.

  • Cummings | Unlawful to award contract to former aide’s friends
  • Liveblog | Risk of ‘substantial third wave’ remains, expert warns
  • Blocked | SNP rules stop cruise ship touring UK stopping in Scotland
  • Economy | Why women working part-time are Covid’s ironic victims
  • Lloyd Webber’s stand | Telegraph readers on protecting the arts

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

  • Sisters stabbed to death | ‘Demon told teenager he’d win lottery’
  • Gunmen kill 10 | Workers dead at British charity in Afghanistan
  • Siblings in manslaughter | Sleeping man fed kebab meat
  • Bolivian brawl | Fight breaks out in Congress over jailed officials
  • The race to save parkrun | Why people need it now more than ever

Around the world: Man who slapped Macron pictured

French police reportedly found weapons and a copy of Hitler’s infamous book Mein Kampf when they searched the homes of two men arrested after French president Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face on Tuesday. The slapper has been identified as Damien Tarel, 28, a medieval history fan with links to the royalist far-Right who teaches European martial arts, according to social media posts. See him in costume.

Wednesday big-read

Paul Gascoigne’s Euro 96: joy, despair and a dentist’s chair


Paul Gascoigne

Friends, former team-mates and rivals remember the mad brilliance of the months in which Paul Gascoigne ruled Europe

Read the full feature

Comment and analysis

  • Ross Clark | Minorities of woke students now govern our universities
  • Andrew Lilico | Since when did teenagers represent society?
  • Naomi Greenaway | A warped debate on Israel is fuelling hatred
  • Rob Crossan | Banning booze for non-business flyers is snobbery
  • Neil McCormick | Dowden’s painful ‘vaccine playlist’ is a dated insult

Editor’s choice

  • Moral Money | ‘My kids are banking on inheriting my fortune but I want to spend it all’
  • Lady Nourse interview | ‘The stain of these allegations will last for the rest of my life’
  • Inside Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark | The Broadway bomb that almost killed its cast
  • Business and money briefing

    High street woes | Hundreds of jobs are at risk after Gap moved to close 19 stores in Britain as the fashion retailer retreats from Europe.

    • Electric future | Ferrari poaches new boss from chipmaker
    • Online scammers | ‘I bought a phone but was sent a piece of paper’
    • On top of markets | Live stocks and shares updates 24 hours a day

    Sport briefing

    ‘Big six’ fined | The six rebel clubs who conspired to join the European Super League have agreed to pay the Premier League a combined fine of just over £20m. Read the heavy penalties if they join another breakaway.

    • Lions tour | What is it really like to play against Owen Farrell?
    • The rise of Devon Conway | Second tier to Test double centurion
    • Euro 2021 | Who will win and which outsider will they beat in the final

    Three things for tonight

    • Watch | Coventry Cathedral: Building for a New Britain, BBC Four
    • Plan | The 40 best places you can take your dog
    • Game | Mass Effect Legendary Edition review: a glorious remaster

    And finally… for this evening’s downtime

    SUV or conventional estate? | SUVs are all the rage these days but buyers could be overlooking the best car to suit their needs. Alex Robbins examines which type makes the best family car.

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