Insights from the UK and beyond
Pope Benedict on Sunday expressed "shame and horror" over the wartime suffering caused by his German homeland and said he was moved to mark the 70th anniversary of a key air victory with Britons. (Photo: London during the Blitz/U.S. National Archives)
On the last day of a four-day visit to Britain that drew the biggest protest march of any of his foreign trips, the pope also beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman, one of the most prominent English converts from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism.
The pope was seen off from the airport by Prime Minister David Cameron who said Benedict had challenged the "whole of the country to sit up and think" about issues such as social responsibility during his four-day state visit.
On Sunday, Britain commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the air conflict that doomed Hitler's planned invasion of Britain. "For me as one who lived and suffered through the dark days of the Nazi regime in Germany, it is deeply moving to be here with you on this occasion, and to recall how many of your fellow citizens sacrificed their lives, courageously resisting the forces of that evil ideology," the pope said in his sermon to more than 50,000 people attending the open-air mass.
Joanna Lumley’s father fought with Nepalese Gurkha soldiers during World War Two. The late Major James Rutherford Lumley would no doubt have been proud of the way his actress daughter fought a brilliant campaign with veterans of that brigade to win the right to settle in the UK based on the simple premise that if you are good enough to die for this country you are good enough to live in it.
As Lumley and triumphant Gurkhas sipped tea in the garden of Downing Street on Thursday afternoon, Prime Minister Gordon Brown would have done well to take Lumley aside and ask for her secret.