John Brown was Queen Victoria's medium, enabling her to communicate with the ghost of Prince Albert, according to an authoritative new book
Mention Queen Victoria and her ghillie John Brown, and the minds of most royalists will automatically recall the film with Judi Dench in which Brown was memorably portrayed by Billy Connolly as a kind of gruff platonic Scottish lover of the bereaved Queen, who adressed her not as “your majesty” but “woman.”
However, according to, “Whisperers”, an authoritative new study of the influence of apparent spirit contact on the course of history from ancient times to the present day by Irish author J.H. Brennan, John Brown was much more than just a plain-spoken friend and shoulder to cry on – he was Queen Victoria’s medium, carrying messages to and from her dead husband Albert.
Queen Victoria (1819 - 1901) seated on her horse at Balmoral with her ghillie John Brown (1826 - 1883). (Archive Picture / W. and D. Downey / Getty Images)
Brennan – who may be better known to readers with teenage kids as Herbie Brennan, the author of the New York Times best-selling series of the young adult fantasy books "Faerie Wars" – writes at some length about Victoria’s obsession with spiritualism and seances, which was very much of the age.
Naomi Watts stars as the People's Princess
Could go either way, this one.
The first trailer of the new Diana film is out. The movie focuses on the last two years of her life and looks like it will probably not be highly complimentary about the papparazzi.
The Countdown is on, but, as Kate knows, babies come when they are ready...
The Royalist has been told that Kate's baby is due in early July, while other media outlets are speculating on a July 13 due date.
Tomorrow is her last day of official work – no sniggers please, it’s exhausting stuff being the face of a modern monarchy, all those church services and all that hand-shaking - meaning that if the baby was due on 4 July, she would be taking a reasonably modern three weeks off work to make final preparations for the birth of her baby.
Danny Martindale / Getty Images
These are being hindered significantly by the fact that Kate and William's new apartment in Kensington Palace is not ready as planned.
Pippa and Nico Get Hot and Heavy
Pippa Middleton was snapped snogging her new boyfriend stockbroker Nico Jackson after playing a game of tennis in London.
The future queen's sister, wearing a baseball cap and short white skirt, was photographed in quite a clinch with Nico, actually grabbing his butt as they made out in their sports clothes, fuelling rumours that the two, who have been dating for eight months, are planning to move in together.
Nico is sporty (his dad owns a ski-gear shop) and Pippa wrote recently in Vanity Fair about her love of tennis - seems like the game is even better when it's a love match too.
Trooper James Wharton says Harry confronted six soldiers who threatened him
Is there anything handsome Harry can't do? A gay solider has written a book about his experiences of being out in the British army, including a remarkable story of how Prince Harry, who was his tank commander, confronted six soldiers who threatened to “batter” him, telling them to "back the f*** off".
Prince Harry in Afghanistan in September 2012 (John Stillwell/AFP/Getty)
Trooper James Wharton describes the Prince as "one of my greatest protectors", after he tearfully told him "I think I'm going to be murdered by the infantry,” the Mail on Sunday reported.
As he explained what had happened Harry had a “complete look of bewilderment” on his face and responded: “Right I'm going to sort this ---- out once and for all."
William tells of his satisfaction at saving lives in his work
Yes, “Helicopter Rescue” is back for a second series and, call us cynical, but we can’t help feeling it’s got something to do with the star attached to the show, one Flight Lieutenant Wales, aka Prince William.
SAC Faye Storer
In tonight’s new episode, the BBC website tells us, “Flt Lt Wales flies the Sea King to rescue a young boy injured in a North Wales quarry; in atrocious weather, winchman Ed Griffiths rescues four students stranded on a cliff-edge in a wintry Snowdonia; and in an emotional reunion at RAF Valley, a young girl meets her rescuers almost a year after her horrific car crash in mid-Wales.”
In an interview, William says: “I don’t think there’s any greater calling in life. To be able to see a son or daughter’s face when you bring their father or mother back from the brink of death and you watch them cuddle – it’s very powerful.”
Updated 1947 GMT: The Queen has visited Prince Philip in hospital - carrying a birthday card - as the palace says he is 'in good spirits' but will take two months to convalesce following his fourth hospitalisation in 18 months
Being laid up in a hospital bed for one’s birthday is bound to be a pretty miserable state of affairs for anyone, but for Prince Philip, a man who counts carriage-racing as a hobby and has always prized vigour and getting on with it as much as he detests “a fuss,” confinement to a hospital bed is likely to be a particularly unwelcome birthday gift. The Queen visited her husband this evening - carrying a birthday card - and the palace issued a short statement saying that while he was 'comfortable' and 'in good spirits' he will take 'a period of convalescence of approximately two months" when he is discharged from hospital.
As a rule, the royals don’t visit each other in the hospital as it causes too much—that word again—fuss. But, like everything about the royals, this is changing too.
Queen Elizabeth II arrives to visit Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh on his birthday on June 10, 2013 in London, England. (Simon James/FilmMagic)
June, it seems, is a bad time to be Prince Philip. This time last year, during the Jubilee celebrations, he also spent much of his time in the hospital with a bladder infection after spending several hours on a barge in the Thames on a cold day as part of the ill-fated riverboat pageant. He had to make do with watching the bulk of the celebrations of his wife’s 60th year on the throne on television.
Ceremony today attended by Euro royalty and New York social elite
Dressed in a flowing Valentino gown, Princess Madeleine of Sweden, 30, the youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf married British banker Chris O'Neill, 38 in a suitably lavish ceremony in the Nordic country today.
The two both live in Manhattan, where they met, and are are well known on the New York social scene.
According to the Telegraph, Madeline moved to New York three years ago after her fiancé had an affair during a ski holiday. In New York, she has worked for the non-profit World Childhood Foundation, which was founded by her mother.
Queen wandered into shot of newsreaders
If she's missing her husband, the Queen didn't show it today, as she photobombed the live news. It's too bizarre. You just HAVE to watch the video.
Palace tries to play down concern over Duke's health
Buckingham Palace tried today to play down fears about the Duke of Edinburgh’s health, telling the Daily Beast that the operation for ‘abdominal investigations’ taking place today "was planned" and that the duke is otherwise in "good health". However, they reiterated earlier guidance that the Duke faces a long hospital stay, and is expected to stay in hospital for up to two weeks.
The Duke, who turns 92 on Sunday, attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace for 8,000 people yesterday afternoon and was said to be on good form.
The abdominal surgery follows tests last week.
Meanwhile, the Queen put a cheerful face on the first of what is likely to be many solo engagements following her husband’s hospitalization, when she visited the new HQ of the BBC in central London, walking through the newsroom and at one stage appearing somewhat bizarrely in the background of the studio shot.
92-year-old consort admitted to hospital for "exploratory operation".
Prince Philip has been dramatically admitted to the London Clinic for what is being described as an “exploratory operation” on his abdomen, and he is expected to remain in hospital for two weeks, Buckingham Palace said tonight.
Prince Philip attends a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London on June 6, 2013. (Pool photo by Matt Dunham)
The admission to hospital for an unspecified operation to be carried out tomorrow under general anaesthetic comes after the Duke looked unwell at a coronation commemoration ceremony, on Tuesday, and missed several engagements.
Various news outlets in the UK are now claiming that the reason that Philip missed events earlier this week was because he had lost his voice as a result of having endoscopic scans, which have now resulted in this admission.
The controversial movie wil premiere in London in September.
A film about the last few years of Princess Diana's life, including the story of her affair with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, will be released on September 5, just days after the 16th anniversary of Diana's death.
Diana, which stars Naomi Watts in the eponymous starring role, will launch with a premiere in central London.
Naomi Watts channels her inner royal princess as she films scenes for “Diana” at a community center in Hemel, England, on August 8, 2012. (FlynetUK)
"Diana" - the film was originally title 'Caught in Flight' - focuses on the last two years of the Princesses life, and, in particular, her affair with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan. In many ways they were the most 'showbiz' years of her life, as, freed from royal protocol by her divorce to Charles, she went out of her way to promote herself in the service of her charitable endeavors, particularly the anti-landmine campaign.
Charles announces initiative to support wildflower meadows in UK
Prince Charles’s devotion to the rural landscape is long-established and well-documented, so a welcome but unsurprising development today as the heir to the throne announced the Coronation Meadows Initiative, which aims to re-establish wildflower meadows across Britain.
Since the advent of intensive farming in the 1930s, it is estimated that up to 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost, with native British speciae of flora and fauna suffering huge decreases in their populations as a result.
Chris Jackson / Getty Images
Speaking in the bucolic setting of a wildflower meadow at Highgrove, his country home, Charles told a reporter from the Daily Express: “As the Diamond Jubilee last year provided a wonderful opportunity to plant Jubilee woods and avenues and things like that, I suddenly thought why don’t we use the Coronation anniversary this year as an excuse to do the same things with wildflower meadows.”
Pippa has a new gig - as contributing editor of Vanity Fair
So, now we know why Pippa Middleton was setting up her own company.
For the sister of the future Queen of England has landed a fancy pants new job as a Vanity Fair contributing editor.
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, right, speaks with her sister Pippa Middleton as they arrive to watch Roger Federer of Switzerland face Andy Murray of Britain during the men's final match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England, Sunday, July 8, 2012. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
A few highlights of her first editorial for the glossy are available online at VF.com, in which the 29-year-old sister of the Duchess of Cambridge reminisces about her most memorable experiences at Wimbledon, the British tennis tournament synonymous with the English summer which starts at the end of June.
Paul Flattley sold stories to the paper for over three years
A corrupt copper who raked in over $10,000 selling stories to the Sun in three years offered to check with his boss to see if rumours that Kate Middleton and Prince William were engaged were true.
His former sergeant was Kate’s protection officer.
Paul Flattley also tipped off the newspaper about a theft from Zara Phillips’s car. He was jailed for two years in March but the details were only today made public, in The Telegraph, after reporting restrictions on the case were lifted.
In 2010, just weeks before the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced their engagement, the newspaper asked him if he could help verify a rumour that the then Prince William was about to propose.
He texted a Sun reporter to say he would “get one of our lads to do a few passes by her place” that day to “see if there were any extra Old Bill on duty”.
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.