news

News in 5: Harry and Meghan's final royal duty, emotional MH17 roll call, Weinstein 'miserable'.

1. Harry and Meghan’s final royal outing.

The royal family has come together at London’s Westminster Abbey for the last public event before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle set off on a new career path devoid of official duties.

The annual Commonwealth Service is the first time Harry and Meghan have been seen with the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate and Camilla since they thrashed out an exit deal from their royal roles in January.

Harry and Meghan smiled and Meghan waved at William and Kate as they arrived in the Abbey to take their seats on Monday.

The couple then chatted and laughed with Prince Edward, who was sitting next to them.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stand behind the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey, London on Commonwealth Day. Image: Phil Harris/Daily Mirror/PA Wire.

Royal biographer Penny Junor said she imagined everybody would be on their best behaviour.

"But goodness knows what they will all be thinking privately," she said.

The January agreement, which comes into action at the end of the month, will see the Duke and Duchess of Sussex seek to carve out "a progressive new role", mainly based in North America, that they aim to finance themselves.

Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, will stop using their HRH titles - His or Her Royal Highness, will not use "royal" in their branding, and Harry, who will remain a prince, will relinquish his military titles.

2. MH17 roll call steeped in emotion as murder trial begins.

A solemn roll call of the hundreds who died in the MH17 disaster has brought emotions to the surface for their families, as a long-awaited trial begins in the Netherlands.

Prosecutor Dedy Woei-A-Tsoi read out the names of all 298 people who died in the 2014 disaster, including 38 who called Australia home, at the Schiphol Justice Complex on Monday.

ADVERTISEMENT

The oldest victim was 82 and the youngest just one-years-old.

Netherlands Ukraine Plane
Rob Fredriksz, who lost his son Bryce and his girlfriend Daisy, places a sign next to 298 empty chairs, each chair for one of the 298 victims of the downed Malaysia Air flight MH17, placed in a park opposite the Russian embassy in The Hague, Netherlands. Image: AP Photo/Peter Dejong.

Russians Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky and Oleg Pulatov along with Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko are being tried in absentia for murder and destroying a civilian airliner after Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was shot down in Ukraine.

The men are former rebel fighters for the Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic and are accused of co-ordinating the deadly missile attack.

Dutch District Judge Hendrik Steenhuis, feeling the heavy emotion in the room after the roll call, briefly adjourned the court so families and friends could compose their thoughts.

"The heavy silence in this room when the names were being read out... makes abundantly clear that everyone sitting here was lost in their thoughts," he said.

Sydneysiders Serge and Vera Oreshkin, who lost their 29-year-old son Victor in the crash, said the roll call was upsetting.

"That brings the day that I heard it on the phone, brings the memories back (from) five-and-a-half years ago when I received that morning phone call at work," Mr Oreshkin said outside court.

"However, we are glad to hear our son's name to be remembered," Mrs Oreshkin said.

"He's not forgotten," her husband added.

Day one of the trial heard that the missile launcher that shot down MH17 was actually one of two deadly systems smuggled from Russia into Ukraine - with prosecutors suggesting Moscow played an even greater role in supplying weapons than first thought.

ADVERTISEMENT

3. Harvey Weinstein having a "miserable" time in prison.

Convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein isn't much loving his new life behind bars, with his spokesman telling Page Six, the former movie mogul is "miserable".

The 67-year-old is housed in the North Infirmary Command of Rikers Island - a notoriously rough prison - with two 'older' cellmates.

After his conviction Weinstein was transported to hospital instead of the prison, but has since been moved to a cell.

Juda Engelmayer said he took a bad fall on the weekend.

Harvey Weinstein trial
Harvey Weinstein is awaiting sentencing on March 11, behind bars for the first time. Image: Getty.

“He fell on his head and thinks he has a concussion,” she told Page Six. “His head has been pounding since yesterday.”

Weinstein has been locked up since February 24 for raping Jessica Mann in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on Mimi Haleyi in 2006 - but there have been more than 90 accusations of sexual misconduct against the producer.

He's facing up to 29 years when sentenced on March 11, and has another trial to go in Los Angeles for more rape charges.

“He’s miserable but trying to be optimistic as best he can,” Engelmayer said of his new life. “He has had a lot of time to think about his life and be humbled, but he thinks it’s going to be a long, uphill battle from here.”

-With AAP

Feature image: AP/AAP/Doug Peters.

For a “different” way to look at the news, sign up for my weekly Deep Dive newsletter

00:00 / ???