The christening of their firstborn Wednesday is a chance for William and Kate to honor and reward their most loyal buddies. Tom Sykes on the 60 who made the cut—perhaps including Cressida Bonas.
On Wednesday afternoon, at a small London chapel within the confines of one of the London palaces, the world will be given its first snapshot of who really is who in the lives of Prince William and Kate Middleton, as they gather their friends together for the rather radical christening of their son, Prince George.
Kensington Palace is refusing to reveal the guest list on the orders of William and Kate, who are, as usual, determined to preserve as much privacy as possible for them, their son, and their guests. The couple is trying not to give out an ounce of information to the media about an occasion they view as totally unrelated to their public roles.
But what is clear is that the intimate gathering, at the Chapel Royal within the confines of St. James’s Palace, will feature only William and Kate’s most loyal friends. They will include the posh London nightclub promoter Guy Pelly; Alicia Fox-Pitt, the flame-haired old pal of Kate’s from school; Emilia d’Erlanger, another schoolfriend of Kate’s and a society interior decorator who helped Kate redecorate Kensington Palace; and Fergus Boyd and his wife, Sandrine, whose loyalty to William and Kate is unquestioned, as he shared the university house where Kate and William’s friendship developed into romance. Thomas Van Straubenzee, the Old Harrovian who this summer wed Lady Melissa “Missy” Percy, seems set to be there, as does James Meade, Wiliam’s best man, and at least one member of the Van Cutsem family—probably Hugh, whose daughter Grace was the flower girl who covered her ears on the Buckingham Palace balcony after the royal wedding.
Most Rev Justin Welby Says Baptism is For Everyone
The Church of England has scented a PR opportunity with their latest high-profile member, Prince George, and the Archbishop of Canterbury has today released a video on Youtube encouraging other parents to follow Kate and William's example and baptise their children.
In the short film the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are also warned that there will be “tough times” ahead as parents.
Churchman Justin Welby, who will christen George in the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace at 3pm tomorrow, said: “One of the things I’m sure about is that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George’s parents, have had so much advice that they could probably fill a house with it. My message to them would be, what a treat, what an amazing gift, what wonderful times that you will have. There will be great times and tough times, as there always are with children.”
The Archbishop continues: “All babies are unbelievably special, not only royal babies. As a nation we are celebrating the birth of someone who will in due course be the head of State. That’s extraordinary. It gives you the sense of the forwardness of history as well as the backwardness.
“All through Christian history, for 2,000 years, being baptised meant to join the family of the church and that’s what it means today...I will mark Prince George with the sign of the cross on his forehead and that’s exactly what every priest does at every single baptism. That is the sign by which we understand that this person belongs to God."
Malala was honored in a ceremony at Buckingham palace today
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taliban, met the Queen today and spoke to her about about the importance of education.
The 16-year-old schoolgirl was shot in Pakistan last October after campaigning for the right of girls to go to school in a part of the country where Islamic fundamentalists were trying to impose a strict form of sharia law.
Prince Philip on his usual form reduced her to giggles when he commented that in this country people wanted children to go to school to get them out of the house. Malala covered her face while she laughed.
Kate was out today for the first time on her own since the birth of baby George
Oh. My. God.
How good does Kate look today on her first solo engagement since the birth of Prince George?
Prince Spends £24.05 on take-away chicken
Prince Harry made a late-night run to Nando's, the Portugese-style chicken shop, on Tuesday evening, paying £24.05 for his takeaway dinner.
It is thought he went for the take-away after watching England qualify for next year's World Cup at a mate's house in Fulham.
Two members of the Prince’s personal security sat patiently behind him while he waited with a pal more than 15 minutes for his food, according to a report in the Mirror which has pics too.
Royal insults from Smith's frontman
A host of well-known figures feel Morrissey's wrath. Many of them are women, and many are attacked for their appearance. Sarah Ferguson, the former Duchess of York, is one of the most lustily insulted: “Wherever I go I seem to see the Duchess of Nothing,” he says. “A little bundle of orange crawling out of a frothy dress, the drone of Sloane blessed with two daughters of Queen Victoria pot-dog pudginess.”
Cressida's TV debut from four years ago resurfaces, and it makes for toe-curling viewing
It's not exactly on a par with the soft-porn film that finished Prince Andrew's relationship with Koo Stark, but still, much embarrassment for Harry's girlfriend Cressida Bonas after reports and images surfaced today of a tacky TV drama in which she had a bit part - and played one of a group of girls offering sexual favours to win student council votes.
Socialite Cressida, 24, had the cameo role in 2009 in the ITV2 show called Trinity, in which she also dances in a midriff-baring Superman cheerleader outfit.
Last night a source told The Sun (which has all the screengrabs): “Cressida will be mortified — she had been hoping this acting gig would never see the light of day.”
Cressida, 20 at the time, bagged the job through half-sister Isabella Calthorpe, who had a lead role, according to the paper.
Charles tells pensions to make sustainable investments
Is this slightly odd? Prince Charles has made another of his famous "meddling" speeches, this time calling for reform of the pension fund industry.
Prince Charles: Worried about pensions (Chris Jackson / Getty Images)
Quite why the Prince of Wales should have been invited to deliver the opening address at the annual National Association of Pension Funds conference in Manchester this morning is anyone's guess, but there it is, he was.
Charles called for pension funds to help create an economic system "designed for the 21st and not the 19th Century," and even managed to work in a number of references to some of his favourite hobby-horses, saying, "We live in an increasingly uncertain time. We are facing what could be described as a perfect storm: the combination of pollution and overconsumption of finite natural resources, the very real and accumulating risk of catastrophic climate change, unprecedented levels of financial indebtedness and a population of seven billion that is rising fast.
Kate always heads direct for the 60% off rack, author says.
Mark Ellwood, author of Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World, has revealed some of the shopping habits of Kate Middleton when she makes a trip to her favourite outlet, Bicester Village.
According to an interview with the author in MailOnline, Reiss's 60 per cent off rack is what she homes in on first, but she never makes a fuss, (unlike fellow royal the Prince of Thailand).
A Reiss shop assistant told him: "You look up and there'll be Kate and her same two friends going through the 60 per cent off rack. You have no idea she's there and security must be outside, but she comes in all the time. And she's totally different to the Prince of Thailand, who I heard shut down a restaurant and brought his own staff when he visited Bicester."
MPs hear the details of the Queen's finances
British aristocrats have long worried about ‘keeping the roof on’ their ageing and stately piles, and it seems the Queen is not immune from such concerns.
The Royal train in Queen Victoria's Day (Science & Society Picture Librar)
The Keeper of the Privy Purse Sir Alan Reid revealed yesterday - as he faced his annual grilling from MPs - that buckets are used to catch water leaking through rooves, and that most of the state rooms used for entertaining foreign heads of state have not been decorated since the Queen came to the throne 60 years ago.
The maintenance of the royal palaces has been neglected as the royals have attempted to cut costs.
Hillary Clinton fell foul of a fearless London parking warden at the weekend. What a shame the Americans in London refuse to pay their parking fines.
Even in a relationship as special as ours, there are limits.
And Hillary Clinton well and truly overstepped that mark at the weekend when her people-carrier parked illegally in London – and was promptly slapped with a ticket by a London parking warden, despite a posse of security men leaping out of the car and trying desperately to keep the man away from her vehicle.
Olivia Harris/Reuters, via Landov
But British parking attendants are made of sterner stuff than that. It takes more than a few heavily armed secret service dudes to put them off. And, most importantly, in this country, just because you are a former first lady and secretary of state, that doesn’t mean you cannot pay your £3:30 hourly parking rate and expect to get away with it.
Critics accuse the government of genocide, but Commonwealth meeting will go ahead as planned
Charles and Camilla will make a nine day visit to India next month, before moving on to Sri Lanka where The Prince will represent the Queen at the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), it was announced today.
Prince Charles in India in 2011 (ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP / Getty)
The conference in Sri Lanka is controversial as activists have accused the Sri Lankan government of carrying out genocide against the minority Sri Lankan Tamil people during and after the civil war in that country which came to an end in 2009.
This will be Charles and Camilla's third official visit to India together. Their office said that they will undertake a broad range of engagements "to promote the strong UK-India partnership in key areas such as conservation, education, growing business links, women's empowerment and training."
Prince Harry's girlfriend is the opposite of Kate in every way. Tom Sykes examines the evidence: a pair of Doc Martens, some Dungarees, and that infamous scrunchie.
The easiest way to understand Cressida Bonas, Prince Harry’s epically-named girlfriend who is currently in the hot seat to be his bride, is to think of her as the anti-Kate.
Where Kate is mild-mannered and middle-class, Cressy, 24, is a wild, blue-blooded aristocrat with bohemian heritage. Her mother, noted Sixties beauty Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon, has been married no less than four times and posed topless covered in engine oil for a gentleman’s magazine, back when posing topless covered in engine oil was still considered rather daring.
While Kate was horrified when Prince Harry was photographed naked in Las Vegas, Cressy – who was actually going out with him at the time – told friends that she really didn’t see what all the fuss was about. After all, what self-respecting Prince wouldn’t get naked with a bunch of blondes one had just met in the casino downstairs on lad’s weekend in Sin City?
And while Kate was always rather eager (too eager, some said) for William to put a ring on it, Cressida is really rather hoping that Harry doesn’t rush into things, and is careful to put him off marriage and baby talk at any opportunity.
Latest security headache at Buck House
An armed man has attempted to gain entry to Buckingham Palace in the latest dramatic security scare to take place at the royal palaces.
At 11:30 today, the man who was armed with a knife, attempted to force his way in via the North Gate, the main everyday entrance to the palace to the right of the ornate central gates used for ceremonial occasions.
Buckingham Palace, seen here during the summer's Royal Baby fever (Justin Tallis/Getty via AFP)
The police said they arrested the man following the incident, on suspicion of trespassing on a protected site and possession of an offensive weapon. He is in custody at a London police station.
Unprecedented invite insures family unity
I know it's a bit early to ask, but, what are you doing for Christmas?
I only enquire because the Sun is reporting that Mike and Carole Middleton are going to be gathered round the festive table with the Queen, after being invited to her country estate at Sandringham for Crimbo.
"This year's celebrations are set to be extra special after Prince George's arrival," a royal source told The Sun.
"What better way to mark such a magical year than by having the whole family present?. Kate is very close to her family. Any child's first Christmas is one no grandparent would want to miss."
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.