Stefan Wermuth / Reuters
Westminster Bridge in front of the Big Ben Clock Tower, in London March 8, 2011.
Elspeth Lodge Mar 14, 2011 – 4:00 PM ET | Last Updated: Mar 14, 2011 4:18 PM ET
James Blunt will ‘play’ not ‘sing’ at royal wedding
James Blunt became a household name because of the hit romantic song ‘You’re Beautiful’ that caused many women (and some men) to swoon. So, it seems odd that Prince William won’t be having Mr. Blunt sing at the wedding, but rather play the organ.
On Monday, Mr. Blunt announced in an interview that he will be organist at the royal wedding.”I’m actually playing. I’m not singing, I’m playing the church organ there,” Blunt told Italian news channel SkyTG24 during a concert tour stop in Italy following the release of his third album Some Kind of Trouble.
Sick of K-Mid? There’s always her sister, Pippa
- Paul Ellis / AFP / Getty Images
“Pippa has always had high standards,” friends say of Kate’s younger, equally-skilled-with-headgear sister to Vanity Fair. “Ideally, her date has to be wealthy and clever, and preferably he’ll have a double-barrel surname. It will help that she is now the most sought-after singleton in London. Pippa’s a great networker, like her mother. At Edinburgh she made sure she hung out with the right crowd.”
Or her brother, James
James “is very good-looking and likes to flirt,” one of his friends tells Vanity Fair.
“He dropped out of Edinburgh, where he was studying English, after a year. He was a big drinker and loved to party, but he was more interested in drinking and going shooting than girls.”
James has to be careful not to talk about Kate: “I really want to promote my company, but I have to be careful. I work really hard — we all do, and I love what I do — but I can never talk about my sister.”
Finally, the latest on royal wedding accommodations, for all budgets
If you’re pretty sure you don’t have the extra cash floating around for a hotel room in London during the royal wedding, don’t cancel your plane ticket to the city just yet. There are cheaper options: “Camp Royale” is to be set up on Clapham Common in south London.
What is “Camp Royale?” Nicknamed the “Big Royal Wedding Sleepover,” the camp will be open from April 28 until May 1 at a cost of £75 for three nights.
The camp organisers say there will be hot showers 24 hours a day, clean toilets, and round-the-clock security teams. There will also be a constant flow of free tea!
The camp will accommodate up to 10,000 people, who will get to watch the event on a giant screen. There will be prizes offered for the most eye-catching tents, reports the Mirror. A Camp Royale spokesman told the publication: “We hope it will appeal to people who thought they couldn’t afford to join in.”
Sanctuary House Hotel
Distance to Westminster Abbey: 0.32 km
St. Ermin’s Hotel
Distance to Westminster Abbey: 0.48 km
51 Buckingham Gate
Distance to Westminster Abbey: 0.64 km
Crowne Plaza Hotel St James
Distance to Westminster Abbey: 0.80 km
The Royal Horseguards – A Guoman Hotel
Distance to Westminster Abbey: 0.97 km
The Ritz London
Distance to Westminster Abbey: 1.45 km
InterContinental Hotel Park Lane
Distance to Westminster Abbey: 2.09 km
Hilton London Green Park
Distance to Westminster Abbey: 1.77 km
InterContinental Hotel Park Lane
Distance to Westminster Abbey: 2.09 km
London Hilton on Park Lane
Distance to Westminster Abbey: 2.25 km
With Files from AFP and Thomson Reuters
Cathal McNaughton / Reuters
Britain’s Prince William and his fiancee, Kate Middleton, leave after their visit to City Hall in Belfast
Elspeth Lodge March 8, 2011 – 11:01 am
On Tuesday Prince William and Kate Middleton showed up in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, for a surprise visit.
The trip was a secret kept under lock and key until the day itself, due to security threats. The couple had series of engagements that lasted for the entire day, in and around the capital, including Belfast’s City Hall.
“Police kept the traffic flowing in front of City Hall, but they also maintained a tight security cordon with security force personnel, using binoculars, keeping watch from the top of the building, as well as one directly opposite,” reports the Telegraph. “By the time the couple left after meeting Lord Mayor Pat Convery, Dame Mary Peters, the Lord Lieutenant of Belfast, and Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson, the crowd had swelled to several hundred.”
After the jump, photos from the visit.
A highlight of the day: when the couple took part in a Shrove Tuesday fundraising operation for cancer, where William handed Kate a frying pan and told her to have fun with the children who were tossing pancakes. The couple met with representatives from the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund who hosted the event, and then turned their attentions to the waiting crowd, reported the Telegraph.
Posted in: Posted, World Tags: Belfast, Belfast City Hall, Getty Images, Kate Middleton, Mardi Gras, Northern Ireland, Pancake Tuesday, Prince William, Prince William of Wales, royal wedding, Shrove Tuesday
Elspeth Lodge February 25, 2011 – 1:45 pm
After their visit Thursday to Anglesey, north Wales, the Prince William and Kate Middleton helped launch the 600th anniversary celebrations at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland — the place where they first met.
The couple joined Prince Harry in signing a book of condolence for victims of the New Zealand Earthquake, in London, reports the UKPA,”The trio attended the country’s High Commission in Haymarket to pay their respects to the 113 confirmed dead so far.”
Prince William and Ms. Middleton signed their condolences on a single page, while Prince Harry wrote his on another.
Elspeth Lodge February 15, 2011 – 3:19 pm
Mrs. Beckham spoke of the “honour” of dressing Ms. Middleton. “It’s tremendously exciting,” she said.” I would be honoured if she were to wear my designs. I admire her tremendously. She’s a beautiful young girl, she has a wonderful figure and I think she wears clothes beautifully,” Ms. Beckham said.
Ms. Beckham designed her fashion collection with showbiz entrepreneur Simon Fuller.
Elspeth Lodge February 14, 2011 – 5:30 pm
South African tradition dictates a groom give his fiance’s family symbolic payment for her hand in marriage. This payment is called the bride’s labola, and traditionally, the payment comes in cows.
A South African discount airline, Kulula, is offering to pay Kate Middleton a labola. If the Middleton family accepts, the corporation will deliver cows to Buckingham Palace, reports Times Live. There is one catch— fans will decide via Facebook how many cows the royal bride is worth.
Reuters / Michael Dunlea / Pool
Britain’s Prince William smiles as he walks with his girlfriend Kate Middleton at RAF Cranwell, central England on April 11, 2008
“The tradition is designed to bring the families of the couple together, encourage mutual respect, and ensure that the man is capable of supporting his wife financially and emotionally,” said a Kulula spokesperson on their Facebook page.
“Wills might have forgotten to do the right thing. So, in the spirit of über-ubuntu, we’re paying Kate’s labola. You are going to have to play the canny negotiator and help us to work out how many cows he should present to Kate’s family. Be calm and fair, think carefully and weigh up all the various attributes of the bride in your head. Then cast your vote and do your country (and Wills) proud.”
The average February vote is that Ms. Middleton is worth 30 fine cows and voting will continue till the day before the wedding.
The airline serves various destinations in sub-Saharan Africa and every flight booked from February 14 until the day before the wedding will go towards paying for the labola.
According to Times Live, the airline will source the cows in the U.K. so the animals won’t have to suffer through sea transport.
Elspeth Lodge February 8, 2011 – 9:23 am
Normally it would be an honor to be compared to Princess Diana, but the royals are taking care to see that Kate Middleton feels more prepared for royal life than she did when thrust into the spot-light.
The family has assigned Ms. Middleton a mentor and adviser who will coach her in dealing with upcoming royal obligations. He will play the same role as General Sir Frederick Browning, who advised Princess Elizabeth in the 1940′s, someone who she could truly rely on to steer her in the right direction.
Sir David Manning, the former British ambassador to the United States and a trusted adviser to both Princes William and Harry will help Ms. Middleton deal with foreign and state affairs among other concerns. .
Attesting to his skill, at the request of the Queen Sir Manning accompanied Prince William last year on his first royal obligations abroad, when he traveled to New Zealand and Australia representing the monarchy.
A key royal aide said to the Telegraph:
“Sir David is a senior adviser to Prince William and Prince Harry and so naturally would become a senior adviser to Kate as well, to provide her with advice and mentoring where needed. He is a key member of the household and offers his thoughts on a whole range of subjects, as you’d imagine someone of his experience and seniority would. His career speaks for itself and he advises on things that his experience covers – obviously that includes foreign affairs.”
Sir Manning is expected to accompany the new couple on their first foreign tour after they marry.
A respected and experienced diplomat, Sir Manning has served in the foreign embassies in Israel, Poland, India, Paris and Moscow.
Elspeth Lodge February 4, 2011 – 1:30 pm
The character of Prince William was almost played by a man of real royal connections in Lifetime’s new film Will and Kate. But, Richard Reid, 26, the son of the Queen’s treasurer Sir Alan Reid, instead will play the role of “Ian,” a character based on the Prince’s close friend and nightclub impresario Guy Pelly, reports CNN and UKPA— though, it was originally tempting, he admitted, to go after the role of the Prince:.
“I saw that they called me in for an audition and I guess it’s every British man’s dream to actually be a prince,” he told E! online. ”I think we’re all pretty jealous of them.”
However, in the end “It probably wasn’t a role I’d be able to do at the end of the day,” Reid told E! Online of playing Prince William. “I think my dad would have stepped in and put the brakes on it … I think my dad is happy and a lot more comfortable than he would have been if I had been playing William.”
Reid told E! Online that he would love to spend a night drinking with Mr.Pelly:
“He sounds like a lot of fun. He’s definitely the kind of person I would like to spend a night with drinking. I think it can be quite an incredible night.”
The Lifetime film documenting the royal love story of Prince William and Kate Middleton is slated for filming next week and set to “heir” the week before the wedding on April 29.
Speculation Prince William has chosen what to wear at royal wedding
Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images
Elspeth Lodge February 2, 2011 – 4:17 pm
As the April 29th royal wedding gets closer, royal watchers are speculating what Prince William and Kate Middleton will wear. Most of the attention has been on Ms. Middleton’s wedding dress, but attention has turned to the prince. Most want to know: will he follow tradition?
There are three reasons (in order) to predict Prince William will be sporting his RAF military garb on his big day.
2) It is a long-standing tradition of British royal military men to wear their uniforms during their nuptials: the Prince’s father and grandfather both wed in their military garb, reports UKPA.
3) He wants to be viewed as a dutiful citizen not a posh society boy.
If the Prince does indeed wear his uniform many officials say details will be of the utmost importance:
As a Knight of the Order of the Garter he is likely to wear the Order’s blue sash, with its attached badge, and star, the UKPA reports. He has received one military honor and there are reports he will proudly wear his Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
Elspeth Lodge February 3, 2011 – 5:08 pm
Last week, the shoes of Kate Middleton had yet to be filled, but, today, the fairly unknown actress Camilla Luddington has put on Ms. Middleton’s glass slippers and is ready to go from a commoner to future royal in Lifetime’s new made for television film Will and Kate. This means the actress has one week to prepare for filming.
Sister Amy told the Sun “Camilla is very excited. She has always followed the Royal Family and never dreamt she’d be playing in a movie about them.”
According to Hello Magazine, Ms. Luddington, 26, was educated at Oxford University and grew up in Berkshire, just a few miles from Ms. Middleton’s home. Though she now lives in L.A., she has only held small roles in U.S. dramas and soap operas — including Days Of Our Lives and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, said Metro U.K.
Elspeth Lodge January 31, 2011 – 12:22 pm
Kate and William have already had to switch the order of their initials on royal commemorative china (W.C., for William and Catherine, was a little too close to “water closet,” or toilet). But even worse than loo-themed souvenirs? Royal wedding themed condoms.
Produced by Royal Jewels Condoms of Distinction, the products have the classy catchphrase: “Like a Royal Wedding, intercourse with a loved one is an unforgettable occasion.”
Hugh Pomfret, a spokesman from Crown Jewels Condoms of Distinction, said in a statement:
“Crown Jewels Royal Wedding Souvenir prophylactics are a unique way to remember this great British occasion. All at Crown Jewels have worked tirelessly to craft these heirloom quality love sheathes. In years to come, they will be a timeless memento of a magical wedding day.”
Poor taste aside, people who purchase the condoms should be sure to read the following disclaimer: “Crown Jewels Royal Wedding Souvenir Condoms are a novelty condom not suitable for contraception or protection against STDs.” Meaning a few more heirs — royal or otherwise — might soon emerge if consumers don’t read the fine print.
Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton pose in one of two official engagement portraits.
Elspeth Lodge January 26, 2011 – 3:29 pm
While swanky, hand-written, gold-embossed invitations make their way to royal wedding guests, the Queen is relying on 1992′s favorite technology, the fax, to make sure Europe’s crowned heads don’t make other plans for April 29th. She instructed her personal secretary to fax save-the-date letters to the most important European heads of state.
“It’s a sort of pre-invitation, asking them to keep the date free. It’s been done because of their diary commitments, but they haven’t received a gold embossed invitation yet,” a senior Buckingham Palace official told the Daily Express.
Protocol dictates that European heads of state are given earlier notice than foreign heads of state and non-VIP guests, writes the Telegraph.
A Buckingham Palace courtier explained to the Mail: “Faxes have been used before for large-scale events. They are an efficient and polite way to inform people as quickly as possible.”
In the past few days, spokesmen have been responding on behalf of the families who received the faxes and several guests have already been confirmed, including the royal households of Spain, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Belgium.
The Express reports the first household to respond was that of the Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia (the godson of the Queen). His representative said: “Their Royal Highnesses are delighted to attend the marriage and are very happy for the young couple.”
Elspeth Lodge, National Post · Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011
A group celebrating the country’s loyalty to the British Crown is asking for a stamp honouring the upcoming wedding of Prince William to Kate Middelton, but Canada Post said it has no plans to commemorate the royal nuptials.
“It would be a nice gesture towards Canada’s future king and queen. It would also be a best-seller, no doubt,” said Robert Finch, Dominion chairman of the 10,000-member Monarchist League of Canada.
Canada Post requires two years’ notice to issue a stamp and its 2011 stamp program was finalized last March, said Jim Phillips, director of stamp services at Canada Post.
“Physically, I don’t even think we’d be able to do it,” he said about issuing a William and Kate stamp in time for the April 29 wedding.
Canada Post receives as many as 600 stamp ideas from the public each year, Mr. Phillips said, but this is the first time he has heard a request to commemorate the royal wedding. There have, however, been about 15 requests to recognize Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, a stamp that is in the works.
Most new stamps need to be about something Canadian, Mr. Phillips said, although Canada has produced stamps to honour the monarchy as Canada’s head of state since the reign of Queen Victoria.
Mr. Phillips said he hasn’t even heard an announcement from The Royal Mail, the British postal service, about a royal wedding stamp. But if the United Kingdom issues a commemorative stamp, Canada Post will try to make some available for Canadian customers since they would likely be collectors’ items.
Mr. Finch said Canada Post has been good about producing new stamps honouring Queen Elizabeth over the past few years. “It used to be that we monarchists would have to mount campaigns to have a Queen stamp produced. That’s not the case today. So, we’re happy in that sense,” he said.
Nathan Tidridge, author of the upcoming book Constitutional Monarchy, was disappointed by the postal service’s decision not to honour the upcoming royal wedding given the importance of the monarchy in Canada.
“I believe it stems from a lack of education,” he said of the Canada Post decision. “When we create a stamp we’re not doing it to celebrate the British monarchy, we’re doing it to celebrate the Canadian monarchy.”
2010 in Review: The year in royalty
Elspeth Lodge December 29, 2010 – 8:10 am
They may be members of the leisured classes, but the world’s aristocrats stayed plenty busy in 2010. From shacking up to hits in the “crown jewels,” broken legs, peeing snakes and snake-clad “glamour models” — oh, and apparently some sort of engagement — we present the year in royalty.
January 6: The first-ever joint portrait of Princes William and Harry is displayed at The National Portrait Gallery. Prince Harry complains that it makes him too “ginger” and that it gave his brother more hair than he deserved.
January 15: Kate Middleton watches William’s graduation ceremony (reportedly, he passed with “flying colours”) from a Royal Air Force advanced helicopter training course (skills which include: night handling, advanced and emergency handling, and formation flying).
Dylan Martinez/ Reuters
Britain’s Prince William’s girlfriend Kate Middleton (R) smiles during the Sovereign’s Parade at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, southern England December 15, 2006. Prince William, eager to draw a line under a decade of conspiracy theories about the death of his mother Princess Diana, graduated as an army officer on Friday to launch his military career. REUTERS/Tim Ockenden/PA/WPA/Pool (BRITAIN)
William gets one step closer to his goal of becoming an RAF search and rescue pilot, and Kate’s attendance sparks speculation of an impending engagement.
January 17: Prince William arrives in Auckland for an official visit to New Zealand. (He flies business class in an attempt to be a “regular guy.”) While playing rugby with Auckland’s under-10 rugby squad, he’s hit in the groin with the ball; a youngster says proudly afterwards: “We got him in the crown jewels.”
Jan.25: Prince Harry reportedly moves in with long time girlfriend Chelsey Davy, with Ms. Davy giving him a key to her London flat for weekend visits.
CHRIS RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images
(FILES) Photo shows Prince Harry and his girlfriend Chelsea Davy laughing before the Investec Challenge international rugby match South Africa vs. England in Twickenham, west London, on November 22, 2008. Prince Harry, third in line to the throne, has split with his girlfriend Chelsy Davy after five years, British media reported on January 24, 2009.AFP PHOTO / Chris Ratcliffe (Photo credit should read CHRIS RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
February: Asked about the prospect of an invite to the Royal wedding, William says “Oh, you’ll have to wait a while yet.”
March 17: Prince William and Kate holiday with Kate’s family on the slopes of Courchevel, France. Rumors of an impending engagement grow stronger.
March 25: Prince Charles visits troops in Afghanistan. The prince, an honorary colonel of 10 regiments, reportedly laid a wreath at Camp Bastion in memory of 276 members of the British forces who have died; he spent the night with troops at a camp in Helmand province, after visiting Kabul.
April 8: Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, breaks her leg while hiking in Scotland.
April 9: It comes to light that Prince Carl Philip of Sweden began dating glamour model Sofia Hellqvist, known chiefly for her skill at posing alluringly while wearing only a snake.
April 15: It’s announced that Prince William is to be posted to Anglesey, North Wales as a search and rescue pilot.
April 25: Princess Beatrice becomes the first royal to complete the London marathon. And it was as part of a “human caterpillar.” According to the Telegraph, the 21-year-old princess joined her American boyfriend David Clark and 32 other people to run the length of the 26.2-mile course tied together with bungee cords.
April 30: “The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health,” a charity founded by Prince Charles, closes just days after a former official was arrested for money laundering.
May 7: Prince Harry graduates from an army pilots’ course at the Army Aviation Center in Andover, England. Chelsy Davy attends.
May 9:Princes Harry and William’s favorite polo pony, Drizzle, dies of a heart-attack at a charity polo match. The princes are said to be “very upset.”
May. 20: Prince Harry celebrates his qualification as helicopter pilot by going to Africa with Chelsea Davy and backpacking through Botswana and South Africa.
May 23: Princess Eugenie has a new boyfriend, soon after break-up with Otto Brockway, the nephew of Virgin tycoon Sir Richard Branson. (Apparently, completing a marathon tied together doesn’t cement relationships). Her new beau is barman Jack Brooksbank.
June: The official announcement that Prince Albert of Monaco is engaged to his long-time girlfriend Charlene Woodstock, a South African who swam in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
June 15: Prince Harry threatens William with a python (as a joke) at Mokolodi Wildlife Foundation near Gaborone. The snake, clearly not impressed by royalty, then pees next to William’s feet.
June 17: The two princes visit orphans in Lesotho.
June 19: Princess Victoria of Sweden marries Prince Daniel, Duke of Vastergotland in a traditional ceremony at Stockholm Cathedral. In a previous, less heavily titled life, Daniel was the princess’ personal trainer.
June 24: The Queen visits Wimbledon and reveals she’s not a huge tennis fan when she asks nine-time champion Martina Navratilova if she played in Wimbledon often.
July: The 22nd official royal visit to Canada by the Queen. She gets that most Canadian of tributes: an exhibit at the Hockey Hall of Fame, with PM Stephen Harper telling her: “You are not only victorious, happy and glorious, you are also Canada’s most valuable player.”
July 6: The Queen addresses the UN for the first time since 1957. The U.S. ambassador had more pressing issues to deal with and skipped the event altogether.
July 10: Buckingham Palace announces that Peter Phillips and his Montreal-born wife, Autumn, are “delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby” — a child who will be 12th in the line of succession, and the Canadian believed to have the best chance of someday assuming the throne
Jul.25: The Queen opens her photographs up to the world on Flickr—more than 600 pictures of the royals, both archival and new.
August 6: The Danish Court announces Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary are expecting twins, due in January 2011.
August 7: The Duchess of York faces a reported US$8-million in debt. One key adviser reportedly tells her that declaring bankruptcy may be the only way out.
August 25:Prince Nikolaos of Greece marries Tatiana Blatnik, an even planner for Diane Von Furstenberg.
October: Prince William is in Africa on holiday. At some point, he proposes to Kate Middleton in Kenya; the world is kept in the dark about the engagement until November.
October 23 :Kate and William are photographed attending the Gloucestershire wedding of a friend, again sparking rumors of engagement.
November 2: Kate Middleton’s parents visit Balmoral, the Royals’ country estate. Many believe this is the definite sign that the couple are engaged.
November 7: The Queen joins Facebook. Anti-monarchist comments appear on her wall, and are quickly quashed.
November 16: Clarence House officially announces the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The world goes insane, and Kate Middleton’s blue engagement dress is the subject of a £25 supermarket knock-off.
November 19: Prince Charles suggests in a television interview that the Duchess of Cornwall could become ‘Queen’ Camilla when he becomes king.
November 20: We have a venue: it’s announced that Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding is to be in April at Westminister Abbey.
November 21: Prince William’s former nanny says the royal engagement is “fan-flaming-tastic!”
November 23: David Cameron confirms the royal wedding will be a public holiday. Businesses warn that the long weekend will cost the economy £5-billion.
December 2: Snoop Dogg’s royal tribute is announced: a “perfect anthem for Prince William or any playa to get the club smokin.’” Snoop expresses his desire to perform at the royal stag party, but his invitation must still be in the Royal Mail.
December 10: As many as 20 protesters fighting education price hikes surrounds the car of Prince Charles and Camilla, smashing its windows and throwing white paint. Some yell “Off with their heads!” The couple still makes it to a planned charity event, but makes the return trip in a police van.
December 21: It’s announced that Zara Phillips is engaged to her rugby playing boyfriend, Mike Tindall. Ms. Phillips is the eldest granddaughter of the Queen, who is reportedly delighted by the news.
December 28: Alas, a wax Kate Middleton won’t appear at Madame Tussaud’s until after the royal wedding, Reuters reports. Once Ms. Middleton agrees to pose, the wax sculpture will take up to four months to complete. The museum is waiting to hear if the future royal will donate an authentic “Kate Middleton” dress for the statue. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, and Princes William and Harry have already been modelled in wax.
With files from National Post staff
Post Primer: The royal engagement photos
Elspeth Lodge December 13, 2010 – 12:12 pm
The official engagement photos of Kate Middleton and Prince William were released to the world on Sunday. Below, the portraits demystified.
Were the photos airbrushed?
Mario Testino, the photographer of the two “official” engagement portraits, freely admitted to airbrushing the shots. However, sources say he only touched-up the pictures minimally and nothing was done to change the physical appearances of either the Prince or Ms. Middleton.
OK. So what, exactly, was done?
“There was a minimal amount of airbrushing done,” said one insider to the Telegraph.“The final portraits amount to a piece of art, rather like the official paintings that would have been done in previous generations, and so they were touched up a little to get them just right.”
The source told the Telegraph that nothing had been done to alter the couple’s features, such as thickening Prince William’s hair, and that the fixing up had more to do with background colour contrast.
Miss Middleton, who had never posed for an official studio portrait before, did her own hair and make-up; she also insisted on choosing her own clothing — two of the outfits were reportedly from the mid-level U.K. chains Reiss and Whistles.
ElleUk.com calls Miss Middleton’s style in both photos “luxurious, but accessible.”
In the less formal, more intimate photo Miss Middleton wears a cream coloured Whistles blouse that retailed for £95 when on sale. It was from the brand’s first collection—apparently the blouse is two years old.
How are companies cashing in?
Whistles plans to bring the blouse back so fans can buy it. Said a Whistles spokesperson:
“We are delighted that Katherine has chosen to wear Whistles in her engagement photographs. Whistles is known for its vintage inspired silk blouses which are currently best sellers in its stores. Due to a surge of customer interest we will be re-releasing the ‘Kate’ blouse as a limited edition in early 2011.”
In second, more formal picture Ms. Middleton is in a cream colored dress with a ruffle up the side— a ‘Nanette’ dress from Reiss’s current collection, which would have retailed for £159 when it was in stores last year and Links of London earrings.
So what message is Ms. Middleton sending?
According to ElleUk online, Reiss Brand Director Andy Rogers commented on Ms. Middleton’s wardrobe choice:
“I take it as a real endorsement of the British brand — she went for a premium British brand, rather than a British designer. I think that’s important; she could have gone for any designer in the world. I think she went for us because it meant she was able to wear something luxurious, something of a good quality, that’s appropriate for the current climate.”
U.S. celebs swarm Prince Andrew for invitations to royal wedding
Elspeth Lodge December 8, 2010 – 3:38 pm
“No you can’t have an invite!”
Prince Andrew was seen recently at the New York house party where he was badgered by A-list celebrities – including actor Woody Allen and CBS News anchor Katie Couric – for invitations to the the upcoming wedding of his nephew Prince William and Kate Middleton.
“Most of the chat started off about trade but by dessert, everybody could not hold back and asked him about the wedding. Everyone at the table, including Woody Allen, jokingly asked him for an invite to the wedding, but he just smiled,” a source told the Mail Online.
Ms. Couric pushed the topic and said she would be broadcasting live from outside Westminster Abbey, she half-joked with the prince that she should mail him a Blackberry, so he can report to her what’s happening inside.
Prince Andrew didn’t extend any invitations to the eager celebs at the high-powered party, hosted by his long-time friend, hedge-fund tycoon Jeffrey Epstein.
A source said to the Mirror:
“Prince Andrew was amused his dinner companions were so interested in every detail. What would Kate wear? What would the Queen wear? Would his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson be invited?
“But he politely batted it away and said, ‘I do not know, I have been away on business’.”
Dario Ayala/Postmedia News
Could rapper Snoop Dogg be a performer at Prince William’s upcoming bachelor party.
Elspeth Lodge December 1, 2010 – 3:34 pm
American rapper Snoop Dogg has created a PR field day by announcing his new song was written especially for Prince William’s bachelor party. But has the rapper actually been invited to the event?
There is speculation that Prince William has asked Snoop Dog to perform, but ABC reports it was Prince Harry who is trying to get the well known American rapper (once banned from Britain) to perform at the event.
Eonline.com and Aceshowbiz.com both reported that Snoop admits he has yet to be approached with an invitation to perform at the Prince’s bachelor party. According to these two sources the rumors of an impending invitation led him to the studio to write the new bachelor party anthem, for William.
A recent press release from Allhiphop.com claims Snoop will be definitely be performing at the party.
Entertainment Weekly said recently that “though it’s been rumored, we’ve got no clue if Prince William of Wales has invited hip-hop royalty [Snoop Dogg].”
Snoop said in the Allhiphop.com press release “When I heard the royal family wanted to have me perform in celebration of Prince William’s marriage, I knew I had to give them a little something, ’Wet’ is the perfect anthem for Prince William or any playa to get the club smokin’,” he said.
While some sources claim the song was especially tailored for William, MTV says the song was already “slated to be featured on Snoop’s new album” called Doggumentary, which will appear in March 2011.
The lyrics of the song have nothing to do with William or the Royal family — in-fact, they might be a little too racy for a Royal event —”Can you be my doctor?/ Can you fix me up?/ Can you wipe me down?/ So I can lick you up?” The rest of the song can be found on Snoop Dog’s website .
Royal wedding to go 3D?
AFP Photo / Ben Stansall
Just think, you could see this in glorious 3D: Westminster Abbey, the wedding venue
Elspeth Lodge November 30, 2010 – 9:00 am
British broadcasters including Sky, BBC and Virgin are rumored to be seriously considering broadcasting next year’s royal wedding in 3D.
Jana Bennett, director of BBC Vision, confirms that meetings have taken place with other broadcasters and that there has been interest in airing the event in 3D,” to CNN.
But don’t rush out and buy that 3D TV just yet. Ms. Bennett tells CNN: “Our responsibility is to bring things everybody can see on air and 3D has a very limited footprint.”
According to The Daily Beast, Sky already has had success broadcasting such events as the Ryder Cup in three dimensions. But lack of 3D equipment is a definite barrier — a BBC executive told the Beast “the solution could be to pipe the 3-D broadcasts into public places, like pubs and movie theaters.”
Post Primer: Kate Middleton’s engagement ring
Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images
Kate Middleton shows off her bling.
Elspeth Lodge November 16, 2010 – 3:28 pm
Last month when Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton, he did it “the right way,” CBS reports. He asked Kate’s father for his daughter’s hand before proposing to her. And he admitted to being nervous about popping the question. “I was not sure she would say yes,” he said. “How could I be?”
While William won’t say if he got down on one knee to propose, Middleton calls him “a true Romantic,” Cover Media reports. Nothing demonstrates this more than the engagement ring he gave her last month when he popped the question to her on a quiet holiday in Kenya.
The 18 carat oval blue sapphire ring William slipped on Kate’s finger is surrounded by 14 small diamonds in a cluster setting. And that’s not the only impressive part of the ordeal:
“As you may have recognized it’s my mother’s engagement ring so it’s very special to me. As Kate’s very special to me now, it’s the two put together. It’s my way of making sure my mother didn’t miss out on today and the excitement and fact that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together,” William said at his press conference.
Diana was originally proposed to without an engagement ring in February of 1981. She chose from a selection of engagement rings provided by Garrard, the official crown jeweler of the monarchy since 1843. Garrard is responsible for maintaining the British crown jewels and resetting stones as needed.
Since the ring was from the Garrard catalogue, not specially designed for her, there was no speculation in regards to the price of the ring. In 1981 the ring was worth 28,000 British pounds ($65,000).
It was Diana’s ring that paved the way for non-diamond engagement rings in the market. It represents her timeless, elegant style.
UKPA reports that the wedding will take place in London in the spring or summer of 2011. After getting married the couple will live in north Wales, where the Prince is serving as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot.
Marriage rumours swirl after Kate Middleton’s parents visit Balmoral
Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images files
A file photo of Kate Middleton, long-time girlfriend of Prince William, right.
National Post Staff November 2, 2010 – 6:00 pm
By Elspeth Lodge
Rumors of an impending royal engagement between Prince William and long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton are swirling in Britain, again, after Kate’s parents attended a private shooting party at Balmoral, the private residence of Prince Charles.
The Daily Mail claims that the visit to the property is especially symbolic, since it had to be approved by both Prince Charles and the Queen. The Mail printed a Photo of Carol Middleton, Kate’s mother. She is lying in the grass, learning how to aim a rifle, while Kate’s father watches. They claim it is “the clearest sign yet that Kate and Prince William are poised to announce their engagement after a marathon eight-year courtship.”
AFP throws a wrench in that theory, reporting that a royal source says Prince William often spends time at the residence with his friends “and this was just another one of those occasions.”
People magazine predicts that William will pop the question in February of 2011. Ingrid Seward, a royal expert, tells People “There won’t be an announcement before Christmas because William has got to ask the Queen first, and they will get married soon after.”