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David Linley's Fiat 500

Will and Kate may have their new Bentley, but Linley can park anywhere

David Linley - the Queen's nephew, and son of original royal wild child Princess Margaret -  stole the show today when he arrived at the Queen's Christmas luncheon in a teeny-weeny Fiat 500.

The furniture maker and designer was accompanied by his daughter in the passenger seat.

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Max Mumby/Indigo

Also there were Kate - festive in a red coat and heavily pregnant Zara Phillips, who is due to give birth soon.

"Very Romantic and Grand!"

Is Pippa Middleton Engaged?

Us Weekly reports that Nico proposed in India

Maybe Pippa didn't just get sunburned on her trip to India.

For Us Weekly is now reporting that Pippa got engaged to her sporty, stockbroking boyfriend Nico Jackson during their recent trip to Asia.

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Gareth Cattermole

And although the Royalist is excited, we are trying not to get too carried away here, as it's the first we have heard of the news and Pippa was definitely not sporting an engagement ring on her return from India.

Warning

Charles on Mideast Christians

Charles delivers an impassioned speech warning that Christianity could die out in its birthplace, with calamitous consequences for peace in the Middle East

Prince Charles spoke out yesterday over his fears that Christians in the Middle East are being ‘deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants’ and warned that as a result, Christianity is at risk of dying out in its birthplace.

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Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales (2-R) speaks to religious leaders during a visit a visit to a Syriac (Syrian) Orthodox Church in west London (TOBY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images)

He said that with Christians now numbering just 4% of the population in the cradle of the faith, "We all lose something immensely and irreplaceably precious when such a rich tradition dating back two thousand years begins to disappear."

He made his comments at a Christmas reception for religious leaders at Clarence House, flanked by the Islamic scholar Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan and joined by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis.

Heirstute

Prince Harry's New Polar Beard

Harry fans hoping he will keep his rugged look for Christmas Day

Prince Harry has grown a MASSIVE ginger beard during his trek to the South Pole - and was proudly showing it off during a visit to the National Science Foundation's Amundsen-Scott South Pole station over the weekend.

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A bearded Prince Harry, Alexander Skarsgård and other members of the team (Andrea Dixon/National Science Foundation)

Although we had known for some time that Prince Harry was husbanding some chin growth, this is the first time that his new face ferret has been revealed in all its ginger glory.

Need we say he looks even more devastatingly handsome than usual?

Diana Claims

Soldiers Didn't Murder Diana

Bizarre investigation into dubious allegation draws to a close with police saying there will be no further action

When the news broke in the summer that a former SAS soldier, known only as Soldier N, had claimed that Princess Diana was murdered by an elite special forces squad, the news understandably, flashed around the world.

Now, after a three month ‘scoping’ exercise involving seven police officers working full time on the case, few are surprised that the investigation will be going no further, with the police saying today there is no ‘evidential basis’ to believe the claims.

Princess Diana

John Stillwell/PA, via Landov

To most of us, it has been clear from the outset that there was nothing to the claims, and the only question is why on earth the police decided to investigate them in the first place.

Stocking Fillers

Carole Middleton Spotted Buying Calvin Klein Boxers

Christmas is coming, and the royals are getting their gifts ready too.

Katie Nicholl reports for VF.com that Carole Middleton has been busily buying stocking fillers, writing, "My spies spotted her in the baby department of the Peter Jones department store the other week, buying cute gifts for little George. She also snapped up several boxes of Calvin Klein boxer shorts. Now who could they be for?"

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WireImage, via Getty

Get Graydon to ask Pippa!

Vroom

William and Kate's New Car

Wiliam and Kate have a pricey new set of wheels

Obama has the Beast, but William and Kate have the altogether more regal sounding Flying Spur – a new, £250,000 armored Bentley to keep them safe.

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Mark Cuthbert

As well as a top speed of 200mph, a luxurious walnut interior with wi-fi internet, the new motor also has triple glazed, bullet-proof windows with 1.5inch glass, hardened steel armour and tyres that don't deflate even when punctured.

A Kensington Palace spokesman told the Daily Mail: “The Bentley is being leased by the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry for official engagements, which is no different to any other member of the Royal family.”

Ding Dong

New Harry Engagement Gossip!

Cressida invited to royal shoot, as another of Harry's mates settles down

Fresh rumors that Harry could preparing to propose to his girlfriend Cressida Bonas are circulating after reports surfaced at the weekend that the young Prince has invited his girlfriend of two years to the big boxing day shoot at the Queen's estate.

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Cressida Bonas attends a Christmas carol concert in aid of the Henry van Strauzenbee memorial (Danny E. Martindale/Getty Images)

Adam Helliker in the Sunday Express reports that Cressida has accepted an invitation to the annual event, the surest sign yet that Harry is preparing to welcome her into the royal fold.

It will be the third time that Cressie has been to Sandringham, but the first time that she has been there when the Queen is in residence.

Royal File

Britain’s Last Great King

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Time Life Pictures/Getty

This is the ultimate Christmas read for all you Downton Abbey fans: the fantastic life of Edward VII, the son of Queen Victoria, who was as famous for his mistresses as for his diplomatic skill.

It is not every historian who manages to combine meticulous scholarship with an unbridled appetite for salacious stories and speculation in the best tradition of royal gossip in the modern British tabloid press, but Professor Ridley manages to carry this unusual mixture off with splendid results for the reader. This very readable biography of King Edward VII, Queen Victoria’s oldest son and second child, grandfather of another “Bertie,” King George VI (the central figure in the film The King’s Speech) and great-grandfather of our present Queen, is like bacon-flavored chocolate, a canny blending of opposites, and surprisingly satisfying.

Perhaps it cannot be said that most people on this side of the pond have been waiting breathlessly for a good biography of Edward VII, but that is their mistake, and anyway here it is. I remember reading that when Violet Trefusis—the future lover of Vita Sackville-West—was a child, her Nanny would turn her face to the wall at home when they encountered a gentleman coming downstairs in the late afternoon, and that Violet always remembered the stately tread of a portly man, and the odor of expensive eau de Cologne and good Havana cigars. It was of course the King, since Violet’s mother, Mrs. Keppel, was the last great mistress of his life—indeed she played such an important role in the King’s life that when he was dying the Queen asked Mrs. Keppel to visit him on his deathbed, and hold his hand. My own Nanny, Nanny Lowe, was old enough to have seen the King alighting from his motor car (he was an early enthusiast of the automobile), puffing on his cigar and perfectly dressed, with a cane and a rakishly tilted hat, to enter a house in Belgravia in the late afternoon, no doubt for one of his cinq à sept assignations.

Bertie, which is published in the US under the rather better title of Heir Apparent, since like Prince Charles, poor Bertie seemed condemned to live forever as the Prince of Wales—he did not reach the throne until the age of sixty—is at once a splendid romp through endless stories of royal scandal and a solid, serious biography, full of meticulous and rewarding research, some of it unearthed from the archives for the first time that I am aware. This is that rare book which is at once worthwhile and great fun.

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‘The Heir Apparent: A Life of Edward VII, the Playboy Prince’ By Jane Ridley. 752 pages. Random House. $35.

‘We’ll Be Having a Few Whiskeys Tonight!’

Prince Harry Arrives at South Pole

A happy ending for the expedition, which has struggled with atrocious conditions, as Harry says South Pole arrival to be marked with ‘a few whiskeys.’

A team of wounded servicemen - accompanied by celebrity patrons Prince Harry, Dominic West and Alexander Skarsgard - did something extraordinary today when they completed a gruelling slog to the South Pole which had been bedevilled by atrocious conditions and had at one stage seemed impossible to complete at all.

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WWTW Harry arrives at the South Pole today

However shortly after 3pm GMT, Walking With The Wounded sent the first pictures of a very hairy Prince Harry and the boys celebrating as they made it to the most southerly point on earth.

Prince Harry said today “We’re here! I am about 10 meters away from the Pole. Everyone is sort of scattered now, we’ve been here for about 20 minutes maybe half an hour. It’s an amazing feeling, it really is.

The Look

Kate Wears 3D Sepcs

Kate giggled and gamely donned the glasses

Proof, at last, that there is something that Kate Middleton can't do - make 3D glasses look good.

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AFP

The Duchess and her husband both donned a pair of the multi-dimensional specs for a premiere of the new David Attenborough film - "David Attenborough's Natural History Museum Alive 3D" - at the Natural History  Museum in London last night.

Maybe the happy couple should check out some of these pairs for their next 3D engagement?

Hacking Trial

Chelsy Bombarded Harry With Calls, Court Hears

Prince Harry's former girlfriend Chelsy Davy bombarded him with text messages and phone calls while he was undergoing officer training at Sandhurst, phone hacking trial hears

Its an unhappy irony that for many of the victims of the phone hacking scandal, they are now having to relive the stories that were hacked in the first place.

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Mark Cuthbert

No-one is this truer for than Prince Harry, who has once again seen front pages about his alleged 'cheating' on a homework assignment at Sandhurst by asking his aide Jamie Lowrther-Pinkerton for help, and now he once again has to endure stories about his private life, including the claim that his then girlfriend Chelsy Davy was driving him 'nuts' by bombarding him with calls and texts when he was training at Sandhurst.

The royal editor of the shuttered Murdoch tabloid, Clive Goodman, allegedly sent an email to editor Andy Coulson in August 2005 saying she Chelsy was 'blitzing him with calls', a jury at the Old Bailey in Central London heard, according to reports from the trial today on blog The Drum which is following the trial in forensic detail

Hello, Harry?

Behind the Royal Phone Hack

A court hears that the Windsors may have made life too easy for alleged phone hackers by collecting the family’s private mobile numbers in a loosely-guarded “Green Book” directory.

The British tabloids’ fascination with the royal family knows no bounds, so it is perhaps unsurprising that the Windsors have on several occasions taken center stage at the phone hacking trial now underway in London, where the prosecution says reporters desperate to unlock the royals’ secrets attempted to illegally unlock their phones.

But of course, in order to hack a phone, you need to know the number, as it is by interrupting the voicemail greeting and entering a code—often not reset from the factory setting of 0000—that messages can be remotely collected by authorized or unauthorized users alike.

And where does one get the private mobile numbers of the likes of Prince Harry, Prince William and their staff?

The answer, according to prosecutors at the ongoing trial of eight former News of the World employees, including royal correspondent Clive Goodman—who has been accused of, and who has denied, being involved in allegedly corrupt payments to public officials while employed by the tabloid—is the legendary “Green Book,” the internal royal phone directory that lists the private phone numbers, including the cell phones, of senior royals and their staff.

Provocative

Racy Kate Pic Artist Wins Big

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Nick Lord/DegreeArt.com

Nick Lord, 25, wins commission to paint Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel for a portrait which will hang in the British Library.

Nothing seels like controversy, eh?

An artist who painted a daring picture of a pregnant Kate Middleton in a racy stripper-style pose has been named as the winner of the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year competition.

Nick Lord, 25, was named winner of the prize - which comes which comes with a £10,000 cheque, a year’s supply of art materials and a commission to paint Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel for a portrait which will hang in the British Library.

Will he paint Mantel in a similar state of undress to his notorious Kate pic? We think not.

30 Miles To Go!

Prince Harry's High Polar Spirits

The race was abandonned in favour of a team effort, but the end is now in sight

The end is almost in sight for the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge teams, and we now have a voice blog from Prince Harry himself (which we will be posting as soon as its available).

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2013 WWTW

Here's what he says:

“We are 3 and a half days from the South Pole. I think it is going to come all pretty quickly to us. We’ve been out here now for about 3 and half weeks.

"Everyone is in really high spirits. The race obviously got cancelled a couple of days ago – a really good thing that has happened. It is nice to see everybody intermingling with each other, not only every night because we camp together but also during the day. People are starting to enjoy it and it gives these guys a good chance to consider how they feel, to think about friends at home, to think about fellow friends who are also injured. […]

"I think it is a really, really good thing that the guys have more time on their hands to think about stuff like that, rather than just ‘grit and grind’ and trying to push through the pain barrier as they race each other.

"As I said, we are 3 and a half days away, everybody can’t wait and really excited. Spirits are incredibly high. The weather is still holding off, which is really nice – it it’s about -35ºC now and 24-hour sunlight, which is nice in these tents to keep us warm at night. […]

"Everyone just can’t wait to get to the end. I think mixed emotions probably, I think some people, for instance Duncan, double amputee,  simply doesn’t find walking to the South Pole a big enough challenge, which is why he really enjoyed the race. I think everyone back home will appreciate the fact that, just being able to walk 100km in these conditions with no legs is a pretty amazing feat in itself.  […]

"All is well and everyone is happy. “

READ ON

The Royalist

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IN CASE YOU MISSED

Dissecting Cressida's Style

Dissecting Cressida's Style

Prince Harry’s girlfriend is the opposite of Kate Middleton in every way. Tom Sykes examines the evidence: a pair of Doc Martens, some dungarees, and that infamous scrunchie.

Sibling Rivalry

Mad About Pippa

Not A Stretch

Kate Flashes Tummy on First Solo Engagement Since Birth

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