Official documents showing how an imminent nuclear attack would have been handled by the queen are published today
Well, I suppose they have to make plans for all contingencies.
Still, the revelation that preparations for nuclear war included a radio speech by the Queen for public consumption are bound to come as an unpleasant reminder of just how bad things were in the 1980s.
Documents released today in the UK under the 30-year rule show that in 1983, as part of an extensive war game, civil servants drew up a speech to be read by the Queen in the event of nuclear conflict, which refers to nuclear war as the produxt of 'abused technology'.
No doubt it has been dusted down since then, revised and updated for the times in which we now live, but here is how the announcement of World War 3 would have sounded in Britain if it had taken place in 1983:
New Vanity Fair article explores Diana's relationship with Hasnat Khan, with movie due out this fall
A new article in the forthcoming issue of Vanity Fair about Princess Diana's 1995-to-1997 relationship with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan claims that Diana was 'madly in love' with Hasnat and was ready to move to Pakistan to be with him.
Diana in 1989 (KRAIPIT PHANVUT/AFP/Getty Images)
The article is timed to co-incide with the new film, 'Diana', starring Naomi Watts.
Jemima Khan, Diana’s close friend and the former wife of Hasnat’s distant cousin Imran Khan, tells VF writer Sarah Ellison, “Diana was madly in love with Hasnat Khan and wanted to marry him, even if that meant living in Pakistan, and that’s one of the reasons why we became friends.”
Jemima Khan tells Ellison that Diana “came to visit me twice in Pakistan to help fund-raise for Imran’s hospital, but both times she also went to meet his family secretly to discuss the possibility of marriage to Hasnat. She wanted to know how hard it had been for me to adapt to life in Pakistan.”
Friends tell Ellison that Diana made a point to get to know Khan’s family, specifically seeking the approval of his mother, Naheed. For a “son to marry an English girl is every conservative Pashtun mother’s worst nightmare,” Jemima tells Ellison. “You send your son to be educated in England and he comes back with an English bride. It’s something they dread.”
On one visit to Pakistan, Diana spent time with Imran’s sisters, Aleema and Rhanee, and in order to avoid press attention, they decided to drive themselves to the family’s home in the Model Town neighborhood of Lahore—Diana knew the address by heart. Stuck in a traffic jam, Aleema realized they were with the mother of the future King of England without bodyguards or drivers, “like sitting ducks.” As people began to recognize Diana, pointing toward the car and waving, “she was entirely unflappable . . . she rolled her window down, smiled, and waved.”
Doting grandpa reveals new royal nickname
Well, I suppose His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge is a bit of a mouthful.
No wonder then, that Prince George will be known to his family as Georgie.
Prince Charles provided the new royal nickname yesterday, while on a trip to attend the annual Whitstable Oyster Festival in Kent, where he and Camilla were given dozens of gifts by well-wishers for the new royal arrival (including this rather tasty yellow t-shirt that we are sure won't be going straight in the trash).
The royal family - along with the British upper classes - have practised circumcision for hundreds of years. Is this one tradition Prince George will be spared?
Some say it is a barbaric practice on a par with female genital mutilation, which causes loss of sexual sensitivity and can lead to psychological problems later in life. Others argue that it is an easy way to ensure good genital health, and can avoid traumatic surgery in adolescence.
Either way, circumcision is still a heated matter of debate, and, whilst very few children in England were traditionally circumcised, the Royal family and the English upper classes have a penchant for the practice, and have been circumcising their sons for generations, since the rule of George I in the seventeenth century.
Chris Jackson / Getty Images
It was partly a matter of class and partly because a circumcised penis was believed to be more hygienic than one left au naturel. And it probably was, in the days when daily bathing was a struggle.
Harry pulled back from the edge of an interview that was going pear-shaped to declare he would teach Prince George how to have fun.
For one horrible moment, it looked like Prince Harry was about to have one of his famous attacks of public pique with the press (who could forget the interview in Afghanistan when he tactfully told a reporter, on camera, “I’d prefer it if you weren’t here”) when, on his way into a charity do last night he was asked about the new royal arrival, Prince George.
A television reporter accosted Harry, who was looking charming as ever in a nice blue suit with an open-necked shirt, unbrushed hair and a toothy grin.
The first round of desultory chit-chat went rather well, when Harry said he’d be happy to babysit for William, but warned that he had very high charges. Then Harry made to head off. To be fair, he was here on important business, raising funds for his charity as guest of honor at a photographic exhibition, entitled Sentebale—Stories of Hope, and shot by royal photographer Chris Jackson.
William and Kate make like a banana and split, leaving Kensington Palace for her mom's, in an almost revolutionary statement of intent
If one ever doubted who wore the trousers in Kate and William’s relationship, it is now more clear then ever that Kate calls the shots in this marriage.
The latest indication of this is that after less than 24 hours in the royal palace, Kate bundled baby George up in his car seat and, together with William, headed off to her mom’s house in Bucklebury.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, depart St Mary's Hospital with their newborn son on July 23, 2013 in London, England. (Scott Heavey/Getty)
A three-week long parking exclusion zone has been enforced around the house, set in 17 acres, by police - but Kate could be there much longer.
"If you could bottle it, there wouldn't be government that wouldn't buy it"
A fascinating interview with Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury (the most senior Churchman in England) today in Total Politics magazine.
He argues that the monarchy hasn't changed, but their PR strategy has.
The church is not the first ancient institution to face a crisis of popularity. Just a few decades ago, members of the royal family shredded their dignity by donning Olde England fancy dress and taking part in televised party games for It’s a Royal Knock Out, an embarrassing spectacle which was followed by a string of messy royal divorces. The public’s attitude to the Queen and her progeny dipped, but, a quarter of a century on, popularity is at a record high. It’s an exercise in public relations which Welby has watched with admiration.
The heir has arrived, and we're tracking the latest developments here.
William pulls off the first public task of fatherhood perfectly, sources tell the Royalist he did practise
Few new fathers would not have identified with Prince William as he theatrically mopped his brow with exaggerated relief after performing the ultimate feat of new fatherhood – installing the car seat for the first time.
If he looked like he knew what he was doing, that’s because he did. “He had a few practice runs,” a source told The Royalist this morning.
These did not take place in a secret underground bunker at Kensington Palace but at Bucklebury Manor, the impressive country house that is the Middleton’s home, where William and Kate spent much of the week preceding the birth.
Kate Middleton stood up for new mums everywhere when she walked out of hospital yesterday, completely unembarrassed by her post-partum tummy.
As Kate Middleton stood proudly on the steps of the Lindo Wing yesterday with her new baby, she chose to wear a cornflower blue polka-dot dress—remarkably similar to the one William’s mother, Diana, had worn when she appeared from the same hospital carrying her first son.
Watch the new parents introduce their baby to the world.
But whereas Diana had stepped out of the hospital in a dress that would have been more use on a camping trip than at a cocktail party—a huge, figure-shrouding gown that hid her post-pregnancy body—Kate, as we should have expected, had other ideas.
Kate emerged in a light Jenny Packham dress in silk crepe de chine, with a gathered empire waist that actually belted above her tummy, making no effort to hide her changed body shape.
A $2,000 stroller? A pony? See what Prince William and Kate Middleton will likely use to raise the royal baby—and just how far they are from what American families use for their kids.
What do you get the baby who has everything? It’s a question that’s never been more appropriate as the world celebrates the arrival of the royal baby. Will and Kate’s wee one, who was finally born on Monday afternoon, will have no normal upbringing, after all. Only the finest, most lavish baby products will be used to raise the future king of England—a stark contrast from the more economical and practical tools used by the typical American family. In other words, while you’re pretending your plastic spoon is an airplane while feeding your baby mushy cereal, Kate’s crowning achievement, we can only imagine, will be eating pureed organic produce off an engraved, gold-plated spoon.
So just how different will the royal baby’s upbringing be from your average American kid’s? We spoke to royal experts, researched what Princess Diana used to raise her boys, and trusted our royal intuition to find the stroller, bassinet, and other products Kate and her fellow caretakers will likely be using. To compare, we dug up the most popular baby products purchased by Americans. The difference is … well, take a look-see:
When the palace announced that the Duchess of Cambridge had birthed a royal son, the Internet couldn’t quite contain itself. Here are a few of the instant classics.
It’s a boy! Now that The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth – what will her son wear? Six things we know about the new royal heir’s future fashion.
On Monday, Kate Middleton gave birth to an 8 lb, 6 oz baby boy, who is now third in line for the throne. With a mum as internationally recognized for her fashion as Kate, her son is likely to inherit her sense of sophistication and flair. Here's what we know about the new royal baby's future style.
1) He Knows Where He Came From: The royal baby’s christening gown is inspired by the dress commissioned by Queen Victoria for her eldest daughter to wear to her christening in 1841. After 167 years of wear, the original gown was retired; the Queen's personal assistant and dresser Angela Kelly, and the team of dressmakers at Buckingham Palace, created an exact replica of the Victorian dress. The style of the gown is similar to the original, consisting of a lengthy skirt, a high-waist, short sleeves, a thick silk sash, elaborate collars, and a bow.
2) He's Supporting The Greek Economy: The Crown Princess of Greece, Marie-Chantal, is also a fashion designer, with her own line of luxury children's wear. She plans to give the new heir one of her signature clothing pieces: a white velour onesie adorned with a pair of gold angel wings.
3) He Could Be A Man in Tights: New-mom Kate Middleton received a special Finnish 'baby box'-- which doubles as a sleeping vessel-- from the Nordic country, which is comprised of baby clothing—including everything from “a snowsuit, hat and mittens to light rompers and leggings in unisex colors and patterns” -- condoms, and bra pads. "We were delighted to receive the very kind gift of the maternity package from the Finnish government. It was a very thoughtful gesture and we're very grateful for it," a Kensington Palace spokesman told BBC. "I'm sure the Duke and Duchess will be very interested to see the contents."
All hail the future king of England! Kate Middleton has given birth to a boy. Tom Sykes has all the details.
There are scenes of jubilation today outside Buckingham Palace, where it has just been announced that Kate Middleton has given birth to a baby boy.
A gun salute in Hyde Park is expected shortly, and the bells of St. Paul’s Cathedral are already pealing in delighted celebration.
The sex of the baby, along with his weight (8 pounds, 6 ounces) and the time of his birth (4:24 p.m.), was confirmed via press release, a last-minute departure from the original (and traditional) plan to post it on a sheet of paper outside the palace.
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.