What Britain Talks About This Week – St. Andrew’s Day | Rihanna | COVID Boosters | Messi | Spotify Wrapped

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A Parade of Online Wishes as Scots & Brits, including the Royal Family, Celebrate St. Andrew’s Day

Typically celebrated with country dancing, bagpipes, Scottish feasts and cèilidh (a social gathering), the official National Day of Scotland was slightly different than normal this year due to the pandemic restrictions. Here are the news trends and tribulations that keep the UK talking.

However, the spirit was the highlight and wishes poured in from British Royals, St. Andrew’s societies across the globe as well as those connected to Scotland around the world.

A Tweet by Scottish Actor & Comedian, Eleanor Morton featuring a parody of Queen Mary reading a hate mail went viral.

Celebrations were organized at Edinburgh Summerhall and Glasgow where the streets were lit up with a parade of torchlights.

Meanwhile, some passengers started ceilidh while waiting for their train on Perth Station.

St. Andrew’s Day is observed on 30th November every year in honour of Scotland’s eponymous patron saint and marks the beginning of the Winter Festival.

Ahead of a Possible Omicron Wave the UK Prime Minister Pushes Adults to Book Covid Booster Jab

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson speeds up the timeline for a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine setting January 22 as the target, for all adults over the age of 18 to get theirs.

In a statement calling the top-up dose as the best defence against the latest Omicron variant, he said,

“We are going to throw everything at it, to ensure everyone eligible for the booster shall be vaccinated within 2 months”.

However, one of the leading scientists behind the Oxford vaccine for Covid-19, Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert said she does not support booster jabs for all!

In addition to this great British vaccination effort, other measures such as mandatory face masks in indoor settings and PCR tests for travellers entering the UK came into force from Tuesday to help prevent another deadly wave of the pandemic.

The new coronavirus variant B. 1. 1. 529 Omicron was first reported by Scientists in South Africa and carries 50 mutations including 26 that are unique. The WHO warned of the risk of high infection across the globe but has criticized the travel bans issued by countries, calling the measure ‘extreme and not sustainable”.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director from WHO Africa division, expressed her solidarity with the African countries.

Spotify Wrapped 2021: A Trip down memory lane with a surprise

The much-awaited Spotify ‘Wrapped’ playlists are out with new experiences and features for all users worldwide. Teasing a release early this week, Spotify had its users waiting with bated breath for the third edition of Wrapped and the campaign went viral.

A Twitter user’s comment about his timeline being flooded with #SpotifyWrapped tweets went viral too!

Even Brands like KFC in the UK joked about their playlists being revealed.

Among numerous Spotify fans, Member of UK Parliament, Zarah Sultana, also shared her playlist with BTS as her most streamed artist.

And the biggest surprise this year is Ed Sheeran, who despite his chart-topping comebacks with Shivers and Bad Habits, did not top the list for most popular UK artists globally!

The title goes to Dua Lipa, with Ed coming in a close second. The most-streamed artist in the UK was Drake, followed by Taylor Swift.

Wrapped is the company’s exciting way of showing its users all the songs they’ve streamed and how they have used the App over the past 12 months. The ‘Wrapped 2021’ experience goes in line with their New Normal campaign presenting very vibrant colours.

Emotions Run High as Footballer Messi Wins His Seventh Ballon d’Or

Extraordinary performance in Copa America won Lionel Messi his record-breaking 7th Ballon d’Or beating Robert Lewandowski in the closest race in years.

The Ballon d’Or was cancelled in 2020 and when the results were announced this year, social media went into a frenzy!

While many in the football community believe Messi deserved the win, others criticized and felt Lewandowski was the frontrunner.

Former Footballer Gary Lineker congratulated Messi on Twitter.

Real Madrid Mid-fielder Tony Kroos commented that his first choice would have been Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.

British media personality Piers Morgan expressed his displeasure on the Ballon d’Or results as well.

Lionel Messi, the Argentinian football legend, continues his streak of phenomenal success and excellence while becoming the first player to win a Ballon d’Or at a French Club.

Although, it is ironic that he did not win the award for anything he has done playing at Paris Saint-Germain, which is perhaps part of the controversy of his victory this time.

Barbados Officially Declares Rihanna a National Hero While Parting from the Queen

Pop sensation Rihanna was honoured as a ‘National Hero’ by Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley at an event celebrating Barbados’ new status as a republic.

In a historic move, the country parted ways with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state after 396 years of the monarchy to become the world’s newest republic.

The PM addressed Rihanna by her real name ‘Robyn Rihanna Fenty’ and referred to her 2021 hit song Diamonds in her speech, “may you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honour to your nation”. The singer has Caribbean roots and has always been proud of her Bajan Heritage.

Fans rejoiced and here’s how Twitterati blew up.

British journalist and UK’s first race correspondent for the Independent, Nadine White, shared some of the words from Rihanna’s powerful reaction.

In his latest segment, The Daily Show host Trevor Noah titled Rihanna as Queen Riri, with an undertone of gaining independence from “white supremacy”.

Senior front-page editor for Huffington, Post Philip Lewis tweeted a new title suggestion for the artist as the Right Honourable Robyn Rihanna Fenty.

The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles also attended the inauguration ceremony and called the Barbadian story, ‘one of greatest pride’ in his speech at the event.

And that’s a wrap for this week, but do not worry, more trends and tribulations are on the way!

Post curated by Nidaa Koreishi & Manuela Willbold

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