Careworn image of Elizabeth may have been suppressed
Cate Blanchett she 'aint.
But this warts-and-all painting of Queen Elizabeth I, depicting her with facial wrinkles, is being exhibited at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, after being newly authenticated as the real deal.
Its only marginally less flattering than Kate's new pic.
According to The Telegraph it was produced "by the studio of Gheeraerts in the early-mid 1590s."
Should Kate become a high-class call girl in the national interest?
There is a forthcoming mini-election in the UK to fill the seat left by a disgraced Liberal Democrat minister who tried to get his wife to take his speeding fine (long story) and the official Labour candidate is the noted comedian and satirist John O’Farrell, who proposes in a recent tome that the Duchess of Cambridge becomes a high-class prostitute to solve the national debt problem.
The London Evening Standard's Londoner's diary reports that the author has "penned the passages for his new work, A History of Capitalism According to the Jubilee Line, published by Penguin as part of a 12-book series of London Underground-themed titles.
The narrative is self-styled as “Das Kapital meets the Poseidon Adventure somewhere in Zone 2” and includes an unusual remedy for the country’s economic woes: “American businessmen. Wealthy Arabs. They’d pay a fortune to give Kate Middleton one. I know I would if I had the dosh. This geezer might have actually come up with the solution to Britain’s national debt.”
William's reaction this time is very different to the last picture scandal. Once bitten twice shy?
Last time unauthorised pictures of his wife Kate Middleton on holiday were published in European gossip magazines, the famously hot-tempered Prince William flew into a rage.
Within hours of the publication, a strongly worded statement comparing the 'grotesque' photos to the ‘worst excesses’ of the press during the Princess Diana era was issued by the palace with William’s blessing, and within days legal action had been launched against both Closer magazine in France and the unnamed ‘John Doe’ photographer who had taken the snaps.
This time, bar a statement from the palace that the royals are ‘disappointed’ and regard the publication as an invasion of their privacy, there, has, in contrast, been not a peep from William. There is certainly nothing to suggest, that William is ‘screaming down the phone’ from his £19,000-a-week villa in Mustique at his aides in London demanding legal action.
True, the previous pictures showed Kate topless, whereas this time she is in a bikini, which could no doubt account for a husband’s rage, yet still the difference in reaction between the two incidents is striking.
New search for James I of Scotland proposed...in a car park
Whoever could have dreamed it would one day turn out to be so fashionable for kings to be buried under parking lots?
Following the discovery of Richard III in Leicester, claims are now being made that the Scottish town of Perth - not to be confused with the Western Australian capital - is home to a parking lot which could be the final resting place of James I of Scotland.
James was murdered in Perth on February 21, 1437, part of a coup arranged by the Scottish landowner, Sir Robert Graham, but the exact site of his grave has been lost, but the monastery at which he was believed to be buried was sacked during the Reformation - and the grounds are now the site of the King James VI Hospital, tenements, shops, roads and - intriguingly - a car park.
Murdo Fraser, a Conservative member of the Scottish parliament who is leading a campaign to find the James’s grave, told The Times (paywalled):
Charles and Camilla are going back on the road, undertaking an official tour to Jordan, Qatar and Oman from 11th March to 19th March 2013.
Attentive Royalists will note that these are all countries with royal families themselves.
The palce says the tour is aimed at "strengthening the United Kingdom’s bilateral relations with key partners in the region, relations which are underpinned by the close personal friendships that exist between Their Royal Highnesses and the Royal Families in each country."
The tour starts in Jordan and will feature meetings with The King and Queen of that country, an inter-faith gathering to discuss the “Amman Message”, a major business conference and events to highlight UK-Jordanian collaboration in the creative industries and in education.
In Qatar, Charles and Camilla will attend a major event to celebrate the “UK-Qatar Year of Culture 2013”.
Coming soon to a newstand near you (unless you live in the UK)
The pictures of William and Kate frolicking on the beach in Mustique are set to go global, with reports suggesting they have already been sold in at least four countries around the world, including the USA. William has not launched legal action and appears to accept he is powerless to prevent their global publication.
The pictures are now widely available on the internet after users scanned them into sites like tumblr last night, hours after their first publication in the Italian magazine Chi.
The notable exception to the global publication binge is the British media, who are unlikely to publish the pictures following the recent furore over press intrusion in the UK.
The Australian magazine Woman's Day has now confirmed it is printing the pictures, as well as photographs of Kate's sister Pippa in a bikini.
Chi magazine, which last year published the topless pictures, has printed long-lens pictures of Kate on holiday in Mustique.
The mother of all royal privacy rows is brewing after the Italian magazine Chi today defiantly published long-lens photographs of a pregnant Kate Middleton strolling on the beach in Mustique in a blue bikini, under the headline, "La Pancia Cresce" - "Your Belly Grows".
The magazine - which is owned by the family of Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian premier who was criticized when he informally greeted the Queen on a previous occasion - published the notorious photographs of Kate topless last year and also published pictures of Princess Diana's final moments after the Paris car crash that took her life. The latest pictures include a double page spread showing William - wearing blue stripey board shorts - strolling on the beach with bikini-clad Kate's arm around his shoulders.
The magazine - which is thought to have paid in the region of €250,000 for the set of pictures - appears utterly unconcerned by the ire of the young royals meted out to the French magazine Closer, which was taken to court after they published the topless photos of Kate
The Queen’s finances are always a hot topic in the UK - this year the royals will receive a tasty £36m towards the cost of their official duties - and now HM's closest aides face the prospect of a public grilling by MPs about where the money goes.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is expected to launch an inquiry later this year into the finances of the Queen and the Royal Family, according to a report in the Independent, which says, "Such an inquiry will cause trepidation in Buckingham Palace because of the committee’s formidable reputation for lambasting civil servants and government departments if it deems they have misused public funds."
The PAC is behind the recent public shaming of Amazon and Starbucks in the UK.
Inevitably up for discussion will be the Royal Train, which costs around £40,000 per journey and money given to junior royals.
The Queen's annual payment represents 15 per cent of the income from the Crown Estate, whicch comprises assets such as Regent Street in London (the whole thing) , Ascot racecourse the national seabed around Britain.
Kate not named in power list
Here’s a question: would you say Kate Middleton is powerful.
Presumably the retailers who see every style she wears sell out in hours or the marketeers who use her to sell Britain around the world would argue she carries a certain amount of weight, marketing-wise, but the compilers of an annual list of the 100 most powerful women in the UK have courted controversy by passing over Kate in their list – despite naming the Queen in first place, followed by the UK’s Home Secretary Theresa May in second.
JK Rowling, Adele and Victoria Beckham also make the cut in the list compiled for the BBC radio show Women's Hour.
Mark Baker / AP Photo
Camp not properly defended, report finds
Last year's Taliban attack on Camp Bastion - just days after Prince Harry had arrived at the base - was only possible because commanders had become so obsessed with preventing attacks by Afghan soldiers within the base on allied soldiers that they dropped their guard when it cam to defending the perimiter.
The attack, by 15 Taliban suicide attackers caused "the biggest single loss of American air power since the Vietnam War," according to the Daily Telegraph.
The paper quotes a "United States Marine Corps review of the attack" as discussed on National Public Radio.
The Telegraph says:
Eight AV–8B Harrier jets belonging to the US marines were destroyed or badly damaged, and two marines were killed as British and American forces took more than five hours to kill the attackers. A US Congressional staff member familiar with the unpublished review told the radio network that allied military officers "considered this kind of an attack a low probability". They had instead been focused on "insider attacks".
Prince Charles has stepped in to save a fish smokery from closure after the family which owned it were told to close down by a town council which received one single complaint about the smell of kippers.
Walter Purkis and Sons has survived for more than 130 years - despite being bombed in the Blitz - but was told to shut up shop by Haringey council following a complaint from a resident in a nearby apartment block in Crouch End, North London.
The Purkis family were informed last month the smokehouse was in breach of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Clean Air Act 1993.
However, the Prince of Wales, a strong supporter of traditional and organic foods, has stepped in to help the owner of the business, John Purkis, whose family has been in the fish business for generations.
DJ made low-key return to radio today in Melbourne, Australia
One of the radio presenters who made a controversial prank call to a hospital in which Kate Middleton was being treated made a quiet return to Australian airwaves this morning after a two month absence.
2DayFm DJ Michael Christian, who, along with co-host Mel Grieg, made the call to the hospital which is suspected of having contributed to the suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, was broadcasting today on FoxFM’s morning slot in Melbourne, starting at 10am local time.
It was his first show since he and Grieg called King Edward VII's Hospital in central London, and, complete with barking dog noises, convinced Saldanha they were the Queen and Prince Charles.
Saldanha transferred them to the nurse looking after Kate Middleton, who divulged some details about the Duchess’s pregnancy
A long-buried royal scandal will be reopened when Prince Philip's connections to the Profumo affair are rehashed in a forthcoming West End show by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The Telegraph's Tim Walker reports:
The musical will feature claims about Prince Philip’s connections to Dr Stephen Ward, the society osteopath, who was accused of being a pimp. He killed himself on the last day of his trial on charges of living off the profits of prostitution.
Don Black, the Oscar-winning lyricist, who has written the musical with Lord Lloyd-Webber, claims of Ward’s prosecution: “It was all a put-up job by the Establishment to find a scapegoat and shut him up. He had a list of [osteopathy] clients that was like a Who’s Who of fashionable London – everyone from Prince Philip to top showbusiness stars. It was embarrassing for many at the top – he had to be shut up."
What will Aunt Camilla say?
Oh god please make it stop.
Minor royals taking off their clothes is usually good news but it's hard to feel positive about this tragic story by Emma Parker Bowles - 38-year-old niece of possible future Queen Camilla - posing in a basque and suspenders for the Daily Mail.
Miss Parker Bowles has previously had a neat line writing car reviews for Tatler magazine, and Camilla's son writes cookery books, all of which makes one wonders if this latest effort - complete with saucy snaps - is really such a good idea for brand PB. Killing the golden goose?
It's all very well for Katrina Darling to strip off NSFW as we all know that she's not really a royal, just a girl having a laugh with a slightly impenetrable claim to be Kate's fourth cousin.
Northern British cities feud for right to re-inter Richard
King Richard III must be wondering why he couldn't have been as popular in life as he is in death.
Two British cities are now feuding over the right to bury the hunchbacked king's bones, with the leader of a Yorkshire council claiming that the city of Leicester has had its chance and "misplaced" the monarch for 500 years and ought not to be trusted to look after him again.
Scarborough Borough Council's Conservative leader Tom Fox told the BBC: "It's only fitting Yorkshire is his final resting place. To be perfectly blunt, the people of Leicester misplaced him for more than 500 years. Would we really wish to entrust his remains to them again? I think not."
It seems a bit rough to assume the negligent burghers of Leicester would make the mistake of losing him again, but the accusation is part of a Machiavellian bid (of which the scheming Richard would surely approve) to get the skeleton of the last Plantaganet (a word we can all now spell) buried at York Minster Cathedral.
But Leicester mayor Peter Soulsby said "the decision has already been made" to bury the king at the city's Cathedral.
Sixty years and hardly a slip.