The Spectator

What weather records were broken in 2019?

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Keeping it in the family

A study by the Middle East Technical University claimed to prove that the pronounced chin of Charles II of Spain and many of his Habsburg relatives was the result of marriage between cousins. Some royals who went even further:

— Tutankhamun’s wife Ankhesenamun is believed to have been his half-sister. She bore two daughters who both died in infancy.

— King Rama V of Siam (1868-1910), also known as Chulalongkorn, is reputed to have had 77 children with 92 different consorts, four of whom were his half-sisters.

— Princess Nahienaena of Hawaii (1815-1836) bore a daughter with her brother, Prince Kauikeaouli. The baby died.

Ultra marginals

Seats left with majorities of less than 100 after the 2017 general election:

Majority / Party

Arfon

92 / PC

Glasgow E.

75 / SNP

Glasgow S.W.

60 / SNP

Crewe and Nantwich

48 / Lab

Richmond Park

45 / Con

Southampton Itchen

31 / Con

Newcastle under Lyme

30 / Lab

Dudley N.

22 / Lab

Perth and Perthshire N.

21 / SNP

Kensington

20 / Lab

N.E. Fife

2 / SNP

Highs and lows

Some weather records broken this year (˚C):

— New national high temperature records for Germany (42.6°), Netherlands (40.7°), Belgium (38.7°), UK (38.7°).

— City highs for Paris (42.6°), New Delhi (48°), Adelaide (46.6°), Santiago (38.3°).

30.8° at Rio Grande, Argentina, thought to be the most southerly temperature of more than 30° recorded.

— State record low for Illinois (-38.9°).

— Monthly average low temperature city record for Great Falls, Montana (-17.9°).

— Deepest snow recorded in June at Weissfluhjoch, Switzerland (270cm).

Fare play

Labour said it wanted to reduce train fares by a third. How much subsidy currently goes into the rail industry?

— In 2018/19 net government support for the rail industry was £7bn, a 9% rise on the previous year. Excluding HS2, the real-terms rise was 2%.

— On average, the taxpayer subsidised rail travel to the tune of 6p for every passenger-km, a 0.3p increase.

— The highest subsidy per passenger-km was 30p on Northern Rail services.

Source: Office of Rail and Road