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Hacking Trial

$6,500 For Prince William Bikini Pic

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Rebekah Brooks, former News International chief executive, and her husband Charlie (L) arrive for the phone-hacking trial at the Old Bailey court in London on November 1, 2013. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty)

Hacking trial hears that Brooks authorized £4,000 payment for embarrassing photo of Prince William

Rebekah Brooks signed off a £4,000 ($6,500) payment in less than ten minutes to a member of the Armed Forces for a photograph of Prince William wearing a bikini at an army fancy dress party when she edited The Sun, the London phone hacking trial heard yesterday.

The Sun never ran the picture, instead running a mocked-up version in September 2006.

The Times reports that in an e-mail forwarded by his superior to Mrs Brooks, the reporter wrote that the photograph came from his “best contact at Sandhurst”, and that he was a platoon commander who wanted the money for his wife.

The e-mail continued:  “I have the guy with the picture over a barrel because I know his identity. The chap is only happy for us to use the picture once, when Sandhurst is on a break, and wants the money upfront by Saturday.”

The reporter told his superior that although £4,000 “sounds like a lot” of money, it would “open the door for future exclusives and info”.

Condolence

Royal Tributes To Mandela

Prince Charles honors Mandela's 'zest for life,' Queen speaks of his 'peaceful legacy'.

More tributes to Nelson Mandela today from the royal family, following William's ad-hoc remarks outside a cinema where he had been watching the premiere screening of the new Mandela biopic last night,

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Charles, The Prince of Wales said:

"Mr Mandela was the embodiment of courage and reconciliation. He was also a man of great humour and had a real zest for life. With his passing, there will be an immense void not only in his family's lives, but also in those of all South Africans and the many others whose lives have been changed through his fight for peace, justice and freedom. The world has lost an inspired leader and a great man. My family and I are profoundly saddened and our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

The Queen's press secretary issued a formal statement, signed Elizabeth R saying,

William, forced to make ad hoc statement outside cinema, speaks of 'extraordinary and inspiring' man

Prince William and Kate Middleton were informed of the death of Nelson Mandela as they watched a new biopic about his life at a star-studded Royal premiere in London’s Leicester Square. Mandela’s daughter Zindzi, was also in attendance.

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William and Kate arrive for the premiere of "Long Walk To Freedom". A few hours later they were told, during the screening, that Nelson Mandela had died (Chris Jackson)

By an extraordinary co-incidence, tonight was the UK premiere of Long Walk to Freedom, the new film about Mandela’s life, and the young royals were there, fulfilling a long-standing commitment to support the new film.

William and Kate were informed of the death of Mandela shortly before the end of the film. When the credits had rolled, an announcement was made of Mandela’s death, after which a stunned minute’s silence was observed.

One Year On

Kate Prank Call DJ Resigns

DJ Mel Greig resigned today from her job at the Australian radio station, exactly one year after the prank call was played

A year to the day after two Australian DJs placed a prank call to  a London hospital where Kate Middleton was being treated for acute morning sickness with tragic results when the nurse who connected the call later committed suicide, one of the DJs, Mel Greig, has resigned.

Greig launched a claim against Southern Cross Austereo in July, claiming it failed to maintain a safe workplace.
An SCA statement today said the dispute had been "amicably resolved".

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Mel Greig, with her co-host Michael Christian, appear on Australian TV after the nurse's death (Channel 9)

Greig and her co-presenter Michael Christian made a prank call to the King Edward VII hospital in December last year and tricked staff into putting their call through to a ward where the Duchess of Cambridge was receiving treatment for severe morning sickness. The two had pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles.

Walking Tall

Prince Harry's Polar Expedition

The three teams attempting to walk to the South Pole as part of the Virgin Money Allied Challenge battle fatigue in brutal conditions.

 The teams of wounded servicemen racing to the South Pole - including one headed by Prince Harry - are suffering 'exhaustion and mental weariness' the organisers of the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge said today.
Guide Eric Philips, who was pulled out of the contest suffering altitude sickness, has now been given the all clear to rejoin the Commonwealth team.

Today is the last full day of ski-ing before an enforced 24 hour rest stop at Checkpoint 1.

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A spokesperson for the expedition said, "It goes without saying that the teams are feeling the strain as the extreme cold, elevation, dry air and mental weariness start to make even the simplest tasks a mammoth effort. It has been a steep learning curve for the teams, as the slightest mistake in looking after themselves can lead to disastrous consequences.

Baby Brain

Why Love Matters? Cressida Knows

Why was Cressida carrying two text books about babies and kids last night?

Cressida Bonas, Prince Harry's girlfriend of nearly two years standing, came face to face with his ex, Chelsy Davy, at a London carol service last night.

The service is an annual event held to commemorate the death of one of Harry and William's close friends, Henry Van Straubenzee, who died in a car crash at the age of 18 in 2002.

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

However, it is what Cressida was carrying in her hands as she entered the church tlast night that has got the Royalist intrigued this morning.

Princess Dress

Diana Dress Fetches $140,000

Princess Diana

Rex, Reuters

A 1986 dress worn by Diana fetched $140,000 in London today.

An ornate gold and white gown that once belonged to Princess Diana - described as having a 'fairytale' feel to it - has been sold at auction today for a staggering £102,000 - approximately $140,000.

The extraordinary price for the ostentatious gown proves that fascination with Princes Diana remains as strong today as ever.

The dress is believed to have been sold to a non-US or UK museum.

The ornate gold and white gown was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, the husband and wife duo who designed Diana's wedding dress. The couple, now divorced, have recently been involved in an unseemly war of words about who took the call from Diana asking them to make her wedding dress.

The gown was worn by Diana on several occasions, including to the premiere of James Bond film The Living Daylights.

Princessy

Kate Dazzles in Vintage Tiara

Duchess of Cambridge

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the Queen's annual Diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace. (Camera Press/Redux)

The Duchess attends diplomatic dinner wearing tiara.

Kate Middleton looked dazzling last night as she arrived at the Dilpomatic Reception, one of the biggest events in the royal social calendar, wearing a tiara loaned to her by the Queen.

It was the first time she has worn a tiara since the royal wedding.

The tiara previously belonged to the Queen Mother who bequeathed it to Princess Margaret.

It was made by society jewelers Garrard, who refashioned the gems from a pendant she was given by her husband, George VI.

Booty

Middletons Accused of Cashing In

The Middletons are under new scrutiny following claims they are driving discounted Range Rovers

Another day, another ‘cashing-in’ scandal for the Middletons, and once again it is Pippa who is the lightening rod for a new chorus of criticism.

The row this time concerns allegations that Pippa and her family have benefited from dramatically reduced prices for leasing brand new, top-of-the-range vehicles which can cost up to £140,000 (about $220,000).

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Max Mumby/Indigo

Last year, it emerged that the Royal family – usually immune to the lure of the celebrity freebie – had been scoring a 60% discount on their previous favoured brand, Audi. The deal came to light when Audi’s head of PR Jon Zamett, was invited to William and Kate’s wedding.

Pictures of queen performing in teenage panto go on the block

It's pantomime season in the UK - so the timing is just right for a hitherto unseen collection of photographs showing the queen cross-dressing in a series of pantomimes as a child. The stage shows were put on in the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor castle in front of an audience of family, friends and military personnel in the early 1940s.

In 1942, the production was Sleeping Beauty with 'Princess Elizabeth' playing Prince Salvador and Princess Margaret Fairy Thistledown, in 1943 the future Queen again dressed up as a boy to play Aladdin but in 1944, for Old Mother Red Riding Boots, the future queen played a woman.

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Elizabeth and Margaret make up the chorus line (Copyright Ben Cavanna)

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Margaret's jewelry, one presumes, is 'actor's own' (Copyright Ben Cavanna)


The collection was put together by a childhood friend, Cyril Woods, who was a pupil at the Royal School in Windsor (and played the Dame). Mr. Woods subsequently became officer manager in the Crown Estate Office at Windsor, and in 1990 The Queen asked Mr Woods to write his memoirs of 'The Royal Pantomimes' and a copy of his work is now in the Royal Archives.

Free Stuff?

Is Pippa 'Cashing-in' On Royals?

Paper alleges the Middletons get cut-price Range Rovers to act as brand ambassadors

Pippa Middleton and other members of her family have reportedly been given a cut-price deal on new Range Rovers and Land Rovers, whipping up a new controversy over alleged ‘cashing-in’ by members of the Middleton family.

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Pippa leaves the christening in a Range Rover (Max Mumby/Indigo)

James Middleton was pictured arriving in a brand new £140,000 Range to the christening of Prince George earlier this month, and a few hours later Pippa was seen driving away in a Range.

The Mail on Sunday quoted an unnanmed source as saying, “The Middletons’ Range Rovers have been leased to them as part  of the VIP scheme… you pay a small percentage of the usual fee in return for certain services – which can be as little  as being seen driving around in the vehicle. Being associated with royalty does wonders for the brand.”

Don't Forget The Flag

Blue Skies As Harry And The Team Begin Their Epic Walk

Polar race finally gets underway

Prince Harry packed a Union Jack flag in his pack as he set off yesterday on the first day of the Walking With The Wounded race to the South Pole.

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Walking With The Wounded

The Prince is leading one of three teams and is clearly hoping to be able to stick his grandmother's flag into the ice at the end of the race in two weeks time.

The teams had been snowed in at the Novo base camp for several days and the whole expedition was in doubt at one stage.

Ho Ho Ho

Harry's Audio Blog From The South Pole

Harry speaks about challenges teams are facing

Prince Harry has sent an audio update from the South Pole - in which he talks about how the teams are getting 'quite worried' about the continuing delays to the trip, which is now, finally, underway.

 

 

Kate wants her mom to look after George when they tour Australia next year

William and Kate are planning yet another departure from tradition by taking Kate’s mom Carole, 58, as their babysitter on their epic tour of Australia next year.

William’s former nanny Jessie Webb, has been working for the couple part time but is unlikely to be able to manage a full royal tour to such a far flung destination.

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WireImage, via Getty

A pal of the royal couple told the Mirror: “They don’t want just anyone helping out in Australia and think Carole would be perfect.”

Jonah?

Is Prince Harry Cursed?

Once again, Harry seems to be bringing bad luck to his team

Whilst the presence of Prince Harry on the latest Walking With The Wounded Trip – a trek to the South Pole which finally got underway yesterday – has undoubtedly been a remarkable boost for the charity’s fundraising and profile, it seems that, not for the first time, the support of the Prince comes at a price.

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The first hint that Harry might in fact be something of a bad luck charm came when the three teams of wounded servicemen racing to the South Pole - UK, US and Commonwealth - tossed a series of coins to decide who chose their staring point first. Harry's team lost.

Indeed, some are now talking of the curse of Prince Harry, after this latest expedition has become mired in the kinds of problems and setbacks that seem to dog all the Prince’s practical efforts to help the charity. Yesterday the teams  finally set off on the actual trek to the South Pole, almost ten days behind schedule and with the organizers having been forced to shorten the race by 20% to allow the teams a decent shot of completing the challenge and getting home in time for Christmas.

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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