The most striking news photographs of 2021
From the Capitol attack to heartbreaking scenes at Kabul airport
Amid “all the astonishing pictures of the angry mob seen storming The Capitol” at the start of the year, “the image of a shirtless man garbed in horns, a bearskin headdress and tan trousers is one that is likely to endure”, said the Evening Standard. Later named as Jacob Anthony Chansley, or Jake Angeli, he was seen “sitting in the Speaker’s chair in the Senate chamber and howling in the public gallery” in protest at Joe Biden’s election as president.
A resident of the Villa Sacra Famiglia nursing home in Rome hugs her daughter through a plastic screen in the so-called “Hug Room”. Almost one year on from the outbreak of Covid-19, families across the world continued to grapple with the emotional repercussions of the global pandemic.
Images of Patsy Stevenson being “forcefully restrained” by police at the London vigil for Sarah Everard, who died at the hands of a Scotland Yard officer, were “shared across social media, causing many to criticise the Met’s heavy-handed approach at the largely peaceful gathering”, said the i news site. The scenes “sparked outrage across the UK” and prompted calls for Met chief Cressida Dick to resign.
A “heartbreaking image of the Queen sitting alone near her late husband’s coffin” dominated the front pages of newspapers around the world the day after Prince Philip’s funeral at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, said Metro. It was due to the Covid restrictions that she was apart from her family, said Allison Pearson in The Telegraph, but “it was shocking how shrunken she looked”. “The brutality of social distancing only heightened Her Majesty’s loneliness.”
The “hot Cornish sun and the lull of the sea worked their magic on the leaders of the US and the UK” as they met face to face for the first time, said The Times. Boris Johnson and his new wife Carrie were pictured taking Joe and Jill Biden for a stroll along the seafront at Carbis Bay ahead of the G7 summit.
Jutta Schelleckes, 72, sits in her living room after it was left ruined by flooding in Bad Neuenahr, Germany. “She and her injured husband had been living in the mess for two days before firefighters arrived and decided to escort them out of their apartment and help them find shelter,” explained Deutsche Welle, noting that she was “only one of the thousands of citizens whose homes have become uninhabitable”. Several other European countries were also affected by the floods.
Photographs of parents attempting to hand their children to soldiers at Kabul airport have “become a defining image of the chaotic end to the West’s involvement in Afghanistan”, said Metro. This still from video footage showed an American soldier reaching over barbed wire to pull a baby into the protected compound during the evacuation. A Pentagon spokesman said the child was later reunited with their family.
Nothing about what Emma Raducanu achieved in September was normal, said Simon Cambers at The Guardian. “Qualifiers do not win grand slam titles; 18-year-olds do not win slams without dropping a set; teenagers do not waltz to US Open triumph on their debut.” But Great Britain’s Raducanu did it, and she “wore the biggest grin as she hugged the US Open trophy after completing her New York fairy tale and one of the most astonishing feats in sport”, said The Independent.
“Little Amal” is addressed by the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, at Westminster Cathedral after an almost 8,000km journey across Europe. The 3.5m-tall puppet, representing a migrant Syrian girl, was made by War Horse creators Handspring Puppet Company as part of a theatrical project aiming to highlight the needs of young refugees.
Protesters take to the streets of Glasgow to urge negotiators at Cop26 to take action on climate change. Dozens of similar demonstrations took place around the world. Simon Lewis, professor of global change science at the University of Leeds and UCL, and Mark Maslin, professor of earth system science at UCL, credited climate activists for the progress made inside the summit. Powerful countries “are moving too slowly” but “they are being pushed hard by their populations and particularly climate campaigners”, they wrote for The Conversation. The next moves by activists “will be decisive”.
On what The Telegraph dubbed the “day of reckoning”, Allegra Stratton tearfully announced her resignation as a government adviser outside her home after a leaked video showed her joking about an infamous No. 10 Christmas party during lockdown last year. As new “partygate” allegations continued to pepper the papers throughout the festive season, the “prime minister’s own position now clearly hangs in the balance”, said the newspaper.