Young Royals tour of scotland continues today
Earlier this week, Pippa Middleton was boasting of her family's ping pong prowess, and now here's a good video of her sister Kate and hubby William playing table tennis while on their mini-tour of Scotland.
First of all the two warmed up with a knock about on their own, and then they were joined by two youngsters for a game of doubles.
Kate's got a pretty mean smash, we feel sure you'll agree. But the heels make me nervous. We do not need a trip or a fall right now.
Kate Middleton showed off her burgeoning baby bump today at the start of a two-day tour of Scotland in a short tartan coat.
Kate - known as the Countess of Strathearn when north of the border - wore £425 blue and grey coat by British label Moloh.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
William and Kate paid a visit to one of the venues for events at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.on the firsat day of a two-day tour of Scotland.
Engulfed in scandal and plagued by ill-health, the Spanish royal family is teetering on the brink of extinction
The king is sick, his female friend has fled the country, the press are asking questions, his staff are on strike and now his youngest daughter has been summoned to appear in court. Could the Spanish monarchy be the first royal house of the twenty-first century to fall?
Almost exactly a year ago, King Juan Carlos of Spain gave a speech in which he claimed that the plight of the unemployed – who currently make up 26% of the Spanish population – kept him awake at night.
King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Sofia of Spain. (Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images)
It was just the kind of unifying speech that Carlos had perfected over his many decades in power since the Spanish monarchy was reinstated by the fascist dictator Franco. Franco saw an ally in Juan Carlos, and declared that after his death (which came in 1975) the King would take over from him and continue his autocratic rule, but Franco was posthumously double-crossed by Franco, and in 1977 the King voluntarily gave up his role of absolute monarch and oversaw Spain’s transition to a modern, multi-party democracy. In 1981, Juan Carlos was the focal point of resistance to an attempted military coup.
It is perhaps unsurprising, therefore, that for many years the Spanish have adored King Juan Carlos and been wiling to overlook the infidelities and improprieties of the Royals, and the estimated ten million euro a year they cost the state.
Pippa issued a challenge to the London mayor in a column today to play her at Ping Pong and he has accepted. The world awaits the showdown...
It's shaping up to be the over-privileged celebrity Londoner grudge match of the decade.
Boris Johnson, the tousle-haired and plummy-accented mayor of London, has accepted a challenge to play a game of Ping Pong against Pippa Middleton.
Look out Pippa: this is how Boris rolls playing ping pong against school kids (Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images)
The world’s most famous bridesmaid threw down the gauntlet in a column written for today's issue of the British establishment’s house magazine, the Spectator, and BoJo, as the Old Etonian London mayor is known, responded enthusiastically via twitter.
Prince Charles Gets British Meat Award
For all his faults, few would dispute that Prince Charles has been a tirelss campaigner for the British countryside and farmers, and the Prince has now been presented with an award to recognise his support of the British livestock industry, the Royal Smithfield Club Bicentenary Trophy Award.
Prince Charles sniffs a pork pie (Getty Images) (WPA Pool)
On presenting the trophy the Club’s President said the award was being given in recognition of Charles's work over many years to support for British livestock farmers and the British meat industry. During the many difficult times for the industry, The Prince has supported the British sheep industry by setting up the Mutton Renaissance and the Campaign for Wool. His Royal Highness has always supported organic enterprise and has inspired many livestock producers through the running of his own organic farm at Highgrove.
He was referred to by the committee as "an extraordinary ally" of the industry.
Public would like to see more of William and Kate, however
The British public remain approving of the Queen, and believe she is doing a good job, although increasing numbers think she should take things easier and hand over more responsibility to William and Kate.
75 per cent of 2,000 respondents to a poll by celebrity magazine Hello! said they agreed or strongly agreed that the Queen has done 'a wonderful job' over the last 60 years, while 69 per cent said it was time for the Queen to lighten her schedule.
The Queen on Easter Sunday (Steve Parsons/WPA Pool, via Getty)
80% of respondents said they would like to see more of William and Kate.
Kate Middleton's reps have trademarked her royal title so it can be used on clothes and other products
Kate Middleton has been a massive boost not just to the Royal Family’s popularity but also to the finances of its charitable arm, the Royal Collection (£4m pounds in wedding china, £10m in ticket sales to see her wedding dress) so no surprise that Kate’s people have now applied to the Intellectual Property Office to trademark her royal title, the Duchess of Cambridge, so that it can be used on "a wide range of goods and services" which specifically include clothing, footwear and headgear.
The latest revelation will add fuel to speculation that a special range of baby clothes will be produced to mark the birth of the royal baby, expected in early July.
However, any “Duchess of Cambridge” branding would be used solely for charitable fund raising. Kate’s title is to be trademarked as part of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, and will be used purely to raise money for a wide variety of charities, according to Richard Eden, writing in The Telegraph.
A spokesman said of the new application, “We included clothing in case we choose, for example, to make T-shirts in years to come, for marathon runners, etc."
Animal welfare charity calls on Queen to abandon lifelong commitment to racing pigeons
Animal rights activists have called on the Queen to drop her lifelong support for pigeon racing, accusing the sport of “a culture of... deliberate cruelty to birds”.
According to an undercover investigation by Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), an average of 75 per cent of the birds taking part in cross-Channel races never make it home. For one race last year, from Fougères in Brittany, the loss rate was nearly 90 per cent, it said.
Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II, left) and her younger sister Princess Margaret prepare to release a carrier pigeon on 20 February 1943. (Topical Press Agency / Getty Images)
Peta investigators claimed that, of the four pigeons from the Queen’s loft at Sandringham entered for the race, none returned. The organisation claimed she had lost an estimated 100 birds over the last decade.
The royals declined to comment, but pigeon fanciers quoted in The (paywalled) Times said that the figures did not take into account the birds that returned home several days after the end of a race.
William and Kate are getting a new house
Nesting is a common phenomenon amongst expectant parents, but few of us get to engage in the activity on the scale of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The couple have been granted planning permission to undertake major building work at Anmer Hall, the ten-bedroomed Norfolk mansion on the grounds of the royal estate in Sandringham that the couple have been given by the Queen as a country pad.
I know, nice gift eh?
Anmer Hall on the Sandringham Estate (Indigo / Getty Images)
Diana dressed up as a gay man for secret visit to gay bar with Freddie
Princess Diana was a hero to many in the gay community thanks to her groundbreaking hospital visits to patients dying of AIDS (it seems hard to believe now, but Diana shocked the world with her compassion by simply holding hands with a stricken victim while the cameras were rolling), but it seems her fondness for the gay community extended to gay nightlife. For a new book reveals that Diana, dressed in a military jacket, dark shades and policeman's hat, once visited a gay bar with the Queen singer Freddie Mercury.
Princess Diana and Freddie Mercury. (AP; Getty)
The extraordinary claim was made yesterday in a new book, The Power of Positive Drinking, by the 80's British TV star and model Cleo Rocos, who went on the jaunt with Diana, Mercury and a British comedian named Kenny Everett.
No, this is not an April Fool story.
Traditional church attendance on Easter Sunday
A crowd of well-wishers gathered outside St George's Chapel in Windsor today to see the royals as they arrived for the traditional Easter service on a cold March morning.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were joined by their grandchildren, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, but William and Kate were not present.
Paul Hackett/WPA Pool, via Getty
Prince Edward was there with his wife Sophie, who wore an electric blue suit and a peacock feather hat.
Suspicions grow that Prince is unhappy with contracting-out of service to US firm Bristow
Ironically enough, just as a new BBC documentary prepares to air over the Easter weekend showing Prince William talking rapturously about his 'calling' to be a serach and rescue pilot, chatter suggesting that Prince William will probably stop flying search and rescue missions when his heir is born in the summer is reaching boiling point.
SAC Faye Storer
People mag is the latest publication to report that ‘changes are afoot in William’s life’, and he may well be preparing to ditch search and rescue for other roles. Palace officials will only say what they have always said, that William has several options: to stay in the RAF; move to another branch of the military (including possibly going back to the original regiment he joined, the Household Cavalry); or to leave military service completely and concentrate on life as a full-time working royal.
In fact, it’s far from settled what the not-so-young Prince will do next. He is said to have changed his mind several times in the last few months alone. And who could blame him? He and Kate are reluctant to give up the cosy, almost-normal life they have in the Welsh countryside, living in a remote farmhouse on the estate of wealthy landowner Sir George Meyrick.
“Changes are afoot.”
Prince William will soon be Papa William, and that means a change in lifestyle. According to People, the royal will soon announce plans to leave the Royal Air Force once his current tour of duty ends. “Changes [in his life] are afoot,” says a source. The soon-to-be-dad is reportedly mulling options for his next step in life. There’s a possibility that he’ll stay in stay in the RAF—but in all likelihood, he'll move to another branch of the military or leave the service in order to assume a greater role in the royal family and perhaps head a charity. The real reason that the Duke is leaving the RAF, says The Daily Beast's Tom Sykes, is because his search-and-rescue outfit was recently privatized to an American company, against William's wishes.
More great advice from the royal queen of home entertaining.
YES!!! Pippa Middleton's latest foray into the world of literature is here, and her debut article for Waitrose supermarket magazine contains the absolutely vintage advice that Friday is a better night for partying than Saturday because, wait for it, it's further away from Monday.
The feature reveals that Pippa is often exhausted by the end of the working week and suffers from “pre-Monday melancholy”.
Quick reality check on Pippa's 2013 so far: holiday in Mustique, skiing break in St Moritz, cross country ski race in Sweden. All that and writing all this stuff? Who wouldn't be wrecked!
John Brown Media
Ceremony honouring pensioners dates back centuries
The Queen appeared to be back in full health as she performed one of the most ancient ceremonies of the monarchy - presenting the so-called 'Maundy Money' to pensioners deemed to have contributed in outstanding ways to their communities.
Today, the Thursday before Easter, is known as 'Maundy Thursday' in the Christian calendar, and the Maundy Service, which was held in the city of Oxford, dates back to the 13th century, and echoes the story of Christ washing the feet of his disciples shortly before his death.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, left, stands with Prince Philip, center, and Princess Beatrice, right, as they leave the Royal Maundy Service. (Arthur Edwards/AFP/Getty)
The king or queen originally washed the feet of those who received 'Maundy Money' but foot-washing ended with James II in the 18th century.
Sixty years and hardly a slip.