BBC News is an operational business division of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online news coverage; the service maintains 50 foreign news bureaus with more than 250 correspondents around the world. Fran Unsworth has been Director of News and Current Affairs since January 2018; the department's annual budget is in excess of £350 million. BBC News' domestic and online news divisions are housed within the largest live newsroom in Europe, in Broadcasting House in central London. Parliamentary coverage is broadcast from studios in Millbank in London. Through the BBC English Regions, the BBC has regional centres across England, as well as national news centres in Northern Ireland and Wales. All nations and English regions produce their own local news programmes and other current affairs and sport programmes.
The BBC is a quasi-autonomous corporation authorised by Royal Charter, making it operationally independent of the government, who have no power to appoint or dismiss its director-general, required to report impartially. As with all major media outlets it has been accused of political bias from across the political spectrum, both within the UK and abroad; the British Broadcasting Company broadcast its first radio bulletin from radio station.2LO In 14 November 1922. Wishing to avoid competition, newspaper publishers persuaded the government to ban the BBC from broadcasting news before 7:00 pm, to force it to use wire service copy instead of reporting on its own. On Easter weekend in 1930, this reliance on newspaper wire services left the radio news service with no information to report after saying There is no news today. Piano music was played instead; the BBC gained the right to edit the copy and, in 1934, created its own news operation. However, it could not broadcast news before 6 PM until World War II.
Gaumont British and Movietone cinema newsreels had been broadcast on the TV service since 1936, with the BBC producing its own equivalent Television Newsreel programme from January 1948. A weekly Children's Newsreel was inaugurated on 23 April 1950, to around 350,000 receivers; the network began simulcasting its radio news on television in 1946, with a still picture of Big Ben. Televised bulletins began on 5 July 1954, broadcast from leased studios within Alexandra Palace in London; the public's interest in television and live events was stimulated by Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953. It is estimated that up to 27 million people viewed the programme in the UK, overtaking radio's audience of 12 million for the first time; those live pictures were fed from 21 cameras in central London to Alexandra Palace for transmission, on to other UK transmitters opened in time for the event. That year, there were around two million TV Licences held in the UK, rising to over three million the following year, four and a half million by 1955.
Television news, although physically separate from its radio counterpart, was still under radio news' control – correspondents provided reports for both outlets–and that first bulletin, shown on 5 July 1954 on the BBC television service and presented by Richard Baker, involved his providing narration off-screen while stills were shown. This was followed by the customary Television Newsreel with a recorded commentary by John Snagge, it was revealed that this had been due to producers fearing a newsreader with visible facial movements would distract the viewer from the story. On-screen newsreaders were introduced a year in 1955 – Kenneth Kendall, Robert Dougall, Richard Baker–three weeks before ITN's launch on 21 September 1955. Mainstream television production had started to move out of Alexandra Palace in 1950 to larger premises – at Lime Grove Studios in Shepherd's Bush, west London – taking Current Affairs with it, it was from here that the first Panorama, a new documentary programme, was transmitted on 11 November 1953, with Richard Dimbleby becoming anchor in 1955.
On 18 February 1957, the topical early-evening programme Tonight, hosted by Cliff Michelmore and designed to fill the airtime provided by the abolition of the Toddlers' Truce, was broadcast from Marconi's Viking Studio in St Mary Abbott's Place, Kensington – with the programme moving into a Lime Grove studio in 1960, where it maintained its production office. On 28 October 1957, the Today programme, a morning radio programme, was launched in central London on the Home Service. In 1958, Hugh Carleton Greene became head of Current Affairs, he set up a BBC study group whose findings, published in 1959, were critical of what the television news operation had become under his predecessor, Tahu Hole. The report proposed that the head of television news should take control, that the television service should have a proper newsroom of its own, with an editor-of-the-day. On 1 January 1960, Greene became Director-General and brought about big changes at BBC Television and BBC Television News. BBC Television News had been created in 1955, in response to the founding of ITN.
The changes made by Greene were aimed at making BBC reporting more similar to ITN, rated by study groups held by Greene. A newsroom was created at Alexandra Palace, television reporters were recruited and given the opportunity to write and voice their own scripts–without the "impossible burden" of having to cover stories for radio too. In 1987 thirty years John B
Queen's Official Birthday
The Queen's Official Birthday, or the King's Official Birthday, is the selected day in some Commonwealth realms on which the birthday of the monarch is celebrated in those countries. It does not correspond to the date of the monarch's actual birth; the Sovereign's birthday was first marked in the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1748, for King George II. Since the date of the king or queen's birthday has been determined throughout the British Empire, the Commonwealth of Nations, either by Royal Proclamations issued by the Sovereign or Governor, or by statute laws passed by the local parliament; the date of the celebration today varies as adopted by each country and is set around the end of May or start of June, to coincide with a higher probability of fine weather in the Northern Hemisphere for outdoor ceremonies. In some cases, it is an official public holiday, sometimes aligning with the celebration of other events. Most Commonwealth realms release a Queen's Birthday Honours list at this time. Australian states and territories observe the Queen's Birthday on the second Monday in June, except in Western Australia and Queensland.
As Western Australia celebrates Western Australia Day on the first Monday in June, the Governor of Western Australia each year proclaims the day on which the state will observe the Queen's Birthday, based on school terms and the Perth Royal Show. There is no firm rule to determine this date, though it is the last Monday of September or the first Monday of October; some regional areas of Western Australia celebrate the Queen's Birthday public holiday on alternative days for locally significant dates or events. In 2012, Queensland celebrated the holiday in October, as the June holiday was reserved to mark Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee as Queen of Australia, after which the holiday has reverted to its traditional date in line with the other eastern Australian states. Starting in 2016, Queensland celebrates the holiday on the first Monday of October; the day has been celebrated since 1788, when Governor Arthur Phillip declared a holiday to mark the birthday of the King of Great Britain. Until 1936, it was held on the actual birthday of the monarch, after King George V died, it was decided to keep the date on the second Monday in June.
This has more evenly spaced out public holidays throughout the year. While George V's successor, Edward VIII celebrated his birthday in June, the two sovereigns since have not: George VI's birthday was in December close to public holidays for Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years, while Elizabeth II's birthday falls shortly after holidays for Good Friday and Easter and close to ANZAC Day; the Queen's Birthday weekend and Empire Day were the traditional times for public fireworks displays in Australia. The sale of fireworks to the public was banned in various states through the 1980s and by the Australian Capital Territory on 24 August 2009. Tasmania is the only state and the Northern Territory the only territory to still sell fireworks to the public; the Queen's Birthday Honours List, in which new members of the Order of Australia and other Australian honours are named, is released on the date of the Queen's Birthday in most states. A Royal Proclamation issued on 5 February 1957 established the Canadian monarch's official birthday as the last Monday before 25 May.
The Sovereign's birthday had been observed in Canada since 1845, when the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada passed a statute to recognize Queen Victoria's birthday, 24 May. Over the ensuing decades after Queen Victoria died in 1901, the official date in Canada of the reigning monarch's birthday changed through various Royal Proclamations: for Edward VII it continued by yearly proclamation to be observed on 24 May, but was 3 June for George V and 23 June for Edward VIII. Edward VIII abdicated on 11 December 1936, three days before the birthday of his brother and successor, George VI; the new King expressed to his ministers his wish that his birthday not be publicly celebrated, in light of the recent circumstances. But, the Prime Minister at the time, William Lyon Mackenzie King, the rest of Cabinet, Lord Tweedsmuir, the Governor General, felt otherwise, seeing such a celebration as a way to begin the reign on a positive note. George VI's official birthday in Canada was thereafter marked on various days between 20 May and 14 June.
The first official birthday of Elizabeth II, daughter of George VI, was the last to be celebrated in June. The two holidays are in law distinct except for being appointed to be observed on the same day; the Queen's official birthday is marked by the firing of an artillery salute in the national and provincial capitals and the flying of the Royal Union Flag on buildings belonging to the federal Crown, if there is a second flag pole available. The Canadian monarch has been in Canada for her official birthday twice; the first time was 20 May 1939, when King George VI was on a coast-to-coast tour of Canada and his official birthday was celebrated with a Trooping the Colour ceremony on Parliament Hill. The second time was when Queen Elizabeth II was in Canada from 17 – 25 May 2005, to mark the centenn
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered to the north by Spain; the landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of, a densely populated town area, home to over 30,000 people Gibraltarians. In 1704, Anglo-Dutch forces captured Gibraltar from Spain during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne; the territory was ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. During World War II it was an important base for the Royal Navy as it controlled the entrance and exit to the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar, only 8 miles wide at this naval choke point, it remains strategically important. Today Gibraltar's economy is based on tourism, online gambling, financial services and cargo ship refuelling; the sovereignty of Gibraltar is a point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations because Spain asserts a claim to the territory. Gibraltarians rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum and, in a 2002 referendum, the idea of shared sovereignty was rejected.
Evidence of Neanderthal habitation in Gibraltar from around 50,000 years ago has been discovered at Gorham's Cave. The caves of Gibraltar continued to be used by Homo sapiens after the final extinction of the Neanderthals. Stone tools, ancient hearths and animal bones dating from around 40,000 years ago to about 5,000 years ago have been found in deposits left in Gorham's Cave. Numerous potsherds dating from the Neolithic period have been found in Gibraltar's caves of types typical of the Almerian culture found elsewhere in Andalusia around the town of Almería, from which it takes its name. There is little evidence of habitation in the Bronze Age, when people had stopped living in caves. During ancient times, Gibraltar was regarded by the peoples of the Mediterranean as a place of religious and symbolic importance; the Phoenicians were present for several centuries since around 950 BC using Gorham's Cave as a shrine to the genius loci, as did the Carthaginians and Romans after them. Gibraltar was known as Mons Calpe, a name of Phoenician origin.
Mons Calpe was considered by the ancient Greeks and Romans as one of the Pillars of Hercules, after the Greek legend of the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar by Heracles. There is no known archaeological evidence of permanent settlements from the ancient period, they settled at the head of the bay in. The town of Carteia, near the location of the modern Spanish town of San Roque, was founded by the Phoenicians around 950 BC on the site of an early settlement of the native Turdetani people. After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, Gibraltar came under the control of the Vandals, who crossed into Africa at the invitation of Boniface, the Count of the territory; the area formed part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania for 300 years, from 414 until 711 AD. Following a raid in 710, a predominantly Berber army under the command of Tariq ibn Ziyad crossed from North Africa in April 711 and landed somewhere in the vicinity of Gibraltar. Tariq's expedition led to the Islamic conquest of most of the Iberian peninsula.
Mons Calpe was renamed the Mount of Tariq, subsequently corrupted into Gibraltar. In 1160 the Almohad Sultan Abd al-Mu'min ordered that a permanent settlement, including a castle, be built, it received the name of Medinat al-Fath. The Tower of Homage of the Moorish Castle remains standing today. From 1274 onwards, the town was fought over and captured by the Nasrids of Granada, the Marinids of Morocco and the kings of Castile. In 1462 Gibraltar was captured by 1st Duke of Medina Sidonia. After the conquest, Henry IV of Castile assumed the additional title of King of Gibraltar, establishing it as part of the comarca of the Campo Llano de Gibraltar. Six years Gibraltar was restored to the Duke of Medina Sidonia, who sold it in 1474 to a group of 4350 conversos from Cordova and Seville and in exchange for maintaining the garrison of the town for two years, after which time they were expelled, returning to their home towns or moving on to other parts of Spain. In 1501 Gibraltar passed back to the Spanish Crown, Isabella I of Castile issued a Royal Warrant granting Gibraltar the coat of arms that it still uses.
In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, a combined Anglo-Dutch fleet, representing the Grand Alliance, captured the town of Gibraltar on behalf of the Archduke Charles of Austria in his campaign to become King of Spain. Subsequently most of the population left the town with many settling nearby; as the Alliance's campaign faltered, the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht was negotiated, which ceded control of Gibraltar to Britain to secure Britain's withdrawal from the war. Unsuccessful attempts by Spanish monarchs to regain Gibraltar were made with the siege of 1727 and again with the Great Siege of Gibraltar, during the American War of Independence. Gibraltar became a key base for the Royal Navy and played an important role prior to the Battle of Trafalgar and during the Crimean War of 1854–56, because of its strategic location. In the 18th century, the peacetime military garrison fluctuated in numbers from a minimum of 1,100 to a maximum of 5,000; the first half of the 19th century saw a significant increase of population to more t
History of Gibraltar
The history of Gibraltar, a small peninsula on the southern Iberian coast near the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea, spans over 2,900 years. The peninsula has evolved from a place of reverence in ancient times into "one of the most densely fortified and fought-over places in Europe", as one historian has put it. Gibraltar's location has given it an outsized significance in the history of Europe and its fortified town, established in medieval times, has hosted garrisons that sustained numerous sieges and battles over the centuries. Gibraltar was first inhabited over 50,000 years ago by Neanderthals and may have been one of their last places of habitation before they died out around 24,000 years ago. Gibraltar's recorded history began around 950 BC with the Phoenicians; the Carthaginians and Romans worshipped Hercules in shrines said to have been built on the Rock of Gibraltar, which they called Mons Calpe, the "Hollow Mountain", which they regarded as one of the twin Pillars of Hercules. Gibraltar became part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania following the collapse of the Roman Empire and came under Muslim Moorish rule in 711 AD.
It was permanently settled for the first time by the Moors and was renamed Jebel Tariq – the Mount of Tariq corrupted into Gibraltar. The Christian Crown of Castile annexed it in 1309, lost it again to the Moors in 1333 and regained it in 1462. Gibraltar became part of the unified Kingdom of Spain and remained under Spanish rule until 1704, it was captured during the War of the Spanish Succession by an Anglo-Dutch fleet in the name of Charles VI of Austria, the Habsburg contender to the Spanish throne. At the war's end, Spain ceded the territory to Britain under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713. Spain tried to regain control of Gibraltar, which Britain had declared a Crown colony, through military and economic pressure. Gibraltar was besieged and bombarded during three wars between Britain and Spain but the attacks were repulsed on each occasion. By the end of the last siege, in the late 18th century, Gibraltar had faced fourteen sieges in 500 years. In the years after Trafalgar, Gibraltar became a major base in the Peninsular War.
The colony grew during the 19th and early 20th centuries, becoming a key British possession in the Mediterranean. It was a key stopping point for vessels en route to India via the Suez Canal. A large British naval base was constructed there at great expense at the end of the 19th century and became the backbone of Gibraltar's economy. British control of Gibraltar enabled the Allies to control the entrance to the Mediterranean during the Second World War, it was attacked on several occasions by German and Vichy French forces, though without causing much damage. The Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco declined to join a Nazi plan to occupy Gibraltar but revived Spain's claim to the territory after the war; as the territorial dispute intensified, Spain closed its border with Gibraltar between 1969 and 1985 and communications links were severed. Spain's position was supported by Latin American countries but was rejected by Britain and the Gibraltarians themselves, who vigorously asserted their right to self-determination.
Discussions of Gibraltar's status have continued between Britain and Spain but have not reached any conclusion. Since 1985, Gibraltar has undergone major changes as a result of reductions in Britain's overseas defence commitments. Most British forces have left the territory, no longer seen as a place of major military importance, its economy is now based on tourism, financial services and Internet gambling. Gibraltar is self-governed, with its own parliament and government, though the UK maintains responsibility for defence and foreign policy, its economic success has made it one of the wealthiest areas of the European Union. The history of Gibraltar has been driven by its strategic position near the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea, it is a narrow peninsula at the eastern side of the Bay of Gibraltar, 6 kilometres from the city of Algeciras. Gibraltar is on the far south coast of Spain at one of the narrowest points in the Mediterranean, only 24 kilometres from the coast of Morocco in North Africa.
Its position on the bay makes it an advantageous natural anchorage for ships. As one writer has put it, "whoever controls Gibraltar controls the movement of ships into and out of the Mediterranean. In terms of military and naval power, few places have a more strategic location than Gibraltar."The territory's area measures only 6.7 square kilometres. Most of the land area is occupied by the steeply sloping Rock of Gibraltar which reaches a height of 426 metres; the town of Gibraltar lies at the base of the Rock on the west side of the peninsula. A narrow, low-lying isthmus connects the peninsula to the Spanish mainland; the North Face of the Rock is a nearly vertical cliff 396 metres high overlooking the isthmus. Gibraltar's geography has thus given it considerable natural defensive advantages, it is impossible to scale the eastern or northern sides of the Rock, which are either vertical or nearly so. To the south, the flat area around Europa Point is surrounded by cliffs which are up to 30 metres high.
The western side is the only practicable area for a landing, but here the steep slopes on which the town is built work to the advantage of a defender. These factors have given it an enormous military significance over the centuries. Gibraltar's appearance in prehistory was different. Whereas today it is surrounded by sea, th
Boxing Day is a secular holiday celebrated the day after Christmas Day. It originated in the United Kingdom and is celebrated in a number of countries that formed part of the British Empire. Boxing Day is on 26 December, although the attached bank holiday or public holiday may take place either on that day or two days later. In some European countries, such as Romania, Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, 26 December is celebrated as a Second Christmas Day. There are competing theories for the origins of the term; the Oxford English Dictionary gives the earliest attestations from Britain in the 1830s, defining it as "the first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box". The term "Christmas-box" dates back to the 17th century, among other things meant: A present or gratuity given at Christmas: in Great Britain confined to gratuities given to those who are supposed to have a vague claim upon the donor for services rendered to him as one of the general public by whom they are employed and paid, or as a customer of their legal employer.
In Britain, it was a custom for tradesmen to collect "Christmas boxes" of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys' diary entry for 19 December 1663; this custom is linked to an older British tradition: since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts and sometimes leftover food. In South Africa as as the 1980s, milkmen and garbage collectors, who had little if any interaction with those they served, were accustomed to knock on their doors asking for a "Christmas box", being a small cash donation, in the week or so before and after Christmas; the European tradition, which has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions, has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown.
It is believed to be in reference to the Alms Box placed in areas of worship to collect donations to the poor. It may come from a custom in the late Roman/early Christian era, wherein metal boxes placed outside churches were used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen, which in the Western Church falls on the same day as Boxing Day. Boxing Day is a secular holiday, traditionally celebrated on 26 December, the day after Christmas Day. 26 December is Saint Stephen's Day, a religious holiday. In the UK, Boxing Day is a bank holiday; when 26 December falls on a Saturday, the Boxing Day public holiday is moved to the following Monday. If 26 December falls on a Sunday, the substitute public holiday is the following Tuesday; as Boxing Day was traditionally the first weekday after Christmas, it cannot technically be on a Sunday as, considered to be the day of worship. However, 26 December is nowadays referred to as Boxing Day when it falls on a Sunday. In Scotland, Boxing Day has been specified as an additional bank holiday since 1974, by Royal Proclamation under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971.
In Ireland – when the island as a whole was part of the United Kingdom – the Bank Holidays Act 1871 established the feast day of Saint Stephen as a non-moveable public holiday on 26 December. Following partition in 1920, Northern Ireland reverted to Boxing Day. In Hong Kong, despite the transfer of sovereignty from the UK to China in 1997, Boxing Day continues to be a public holiday. Government offices, post offices and most other offices are closed on Boxing Day. If it falls on a Sunday, a compensation day is given on the immediate next weekday. In Australia, Boxing Day is a public holiday in all jurisdictions except the Australian state of South Australia where a public holiday known as Proclamation Day is celebrated on the first weekday after Christmas Day or the Christmas Day holiday. In New Zealand, Boxing Day is a statutory holiday. In Canada, Boxing Day is a federal statutory holiday. Government offices and post offices/delivery are closed. In some Canadian provinces, Boxing Day is a statutory holiday, always celebrated on 26 December.
In Canadian provinces where Boxing Day is a statutory holiday and it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, compensation days are given in the following week. While not observed in the United States, on 5 December 1996, Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld declared 26 December as Boxing Day in Massachusetts in response to the efforts of a local coalition of British citizens to "transport the English tradition to the United States", but not as an employee holiday. In Nigeria, Boxing Day is a public holiday for working students; when it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, there is always a holiday on Monday. In Trinidad and Tobago, Boxing Day is a public holiday. In Singapore, Boxing Day was a public holiday for working students. However, in recent years this tradition has ceased in Singapore. In the British overseas territory of Bermuda, the costumed Gombey dancers perform throughout the mid-Atlantic island on Boxing Day, a tradition believed to date back to the 18th century when slav
Barbary macaques in Gibraltar
From the Atlas Mountains and the Rif Mountains of Morocco, the Barbary macaque population in Gibraltar is the only wild monkey population on the European continent. Although most populations in Africa are experiencing declining populations due to hunting and deforestation, the population of Barbary monkeys in Gibraltar is increasing; some 300 animals in five troops occupy the Upper Rock area of the Gibraltar Nature Reserve, though they make occasional forays into the town. As they are a tailless species, they are known locally as Barbary apes or rock apes, despite being monkeys; the local people refer to them as monos when conversing in Spanish or Llanito. The name Barbary refers to the Berber People of Morocco who since the beginning of history had ties with the animals surrounding their region, as the Barbary macaques; the macaque population had been present on the Rock of Gibraltar long before Gibraltar was captured by the British in 1704 and according to records, since prior to reconquest of Gibraltar from the Muslims.
It was during the Islamic period. In his work Historia de la Muy Noble y Más Leal Ciudad de Gibraltar, written between 1605 and 1610, Alonso Hernández del Portillo, the first chronicler of Gibraltar, wrote: "But now let us speak of other and living producers which in spite of the asperity of the rock still maintain themselves in the mountain, there are monkeys, who may be called the true owners, with possession from time immemorial, always tenacious of the dominion, living for the most part on the eastern side in high and inaccessible chasms." In his History of Gibraltar, Ignacio López de Ayala, a Spanish historian like Portillo, wrote of the monkeys: "Neither the incursions of Moor, the Spaniards nor the English, nor cannon nor bomb of either have been able to dislodge them." Repeated introduction of animals and the lack of reliable data concerning founders of the Gibraltar macaque population has obscured their origin. The fact that all extant Gibraltarian mtDNA haplotypes were found in North Africa, combined with the lack of fossil evidence of M. sylvanus in Gibraltar at the end of the last glaciation diminishes the possibility that the Gibraltar macaques represent or include any remnant of the original European population, a possibility which can not be excluded.
Indeed, it had been earlier suggested that the original Gibraltar macaques were a remnant of populations that had spread throughout Southern Europe during the Pliocene, up to 5.5 million years ago. The Macaca sylvanus species is declining. About 75% of the total population is found in the Middle Atlas Mountains. During the Pleistocene, this species inhabited the Mediterranean coasts and Europe, reaching as far north as Germany and the British Isles; the species decreased with the arrival of the Ice Age, to extinction in the Iberian Peninsula 30,000 years ago. The Gibraltar Barbary macaques are considered by many to be the top tourist attraction in Gibraltar; the most popular troop is that of Queen's Gate at the Ape's Den, where people can get close to the monkeys. They will approach and sometimes climb onto people, as they are used to human interaction, they are still wild animals and will bite if frightened or annoyed. The macaques' contact with large numbers of tourists was causing the integrity of their social groups to break down, as they began to become dependent on humans.
This induced the monkeys to forage in the town, resulting in damage to buildings and vehicles. Close contact with humans has led to the macaques learning how to open pockets and unzip handbags and rucksacks in order to steal food from humans. For these reasons, deliberately feeding the macaques in Gibraltar is now an offence punishable by law. Anyone caught feeding the monkeys is liable to be fined up to £4,000. Gibraltar's Barbary macaque population was under the care of the British Army and the Gibraltar Regiment from 1915 to 1991, who controlled a population that consisted of a single troop. The'Keeper of the Apes' would keep the official records, maintaining an up-to-date register for each ape, listing their births and names and supervising their diet, which they drew every week; the food allowance of fruit and nuts was included in the budget, set by the War Office at £4 a month in 1944. They would humorously announce births in the'Gibraltar Chronicle':— "Rock Apes. Births: To Phyllis, wife of Tony, at the Upper Rock, on 30th June 1942— a child.
Both doing well." Much to the delight of readers. They were named after governors and high-ranking officers. Any ill or injured monkey needing surgery or any other form of medical attention was taken to Royal Naval Hospital Gibraltar and received the same treatment as would an enlisted service man; when UK-based infantry units were withdrawn and garrison duty was left to the Gibraltar Regiment, the Government of Gibraltar took over responsibility for the monkeys. Lt Bill Parker of the Royal Artillery Major W O Skelton of the Royal Artillery Gunner Wilfred Portlock of the Royal Artillery Regiment Sgt Alfred Holmes of the Gibraltar Regiment Cpl. Ernest Asquez of the Gibraltar Regiment On 11th May 1954, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the ape packs while on a visit to Gibraltar. A photograph captured the Queen feeding a Barbary ape while the Duke of Edinburgh stood next to battle-dressed ape-keeper Gunner Wilfred Portlock; the monkeys are managed by the Gibraltar Orni