Thursday, May 29, 2008

Royal Review - Peter Phillips & Autumn Kelly Hello Wedding Issue

I've written several reviews for this blog but I don't believe I've ever written one about a magazine. Given the amount of interest in this issue, I've decided to do so.

I'll admit that when I saw the engagement interview that Autumn and Peter gave to Hello I was delighted with it. I couldn't get my hands on it fast enough. It was an interesting interview, no earth shattering revelations with lovely photos of the couple. But I found it curious that Peter would have done an interview given the privacy he has maintained so successfully for the last 30 years.

But I was further surprised when their wedding got the Hello treatment. Although it is referred to as a Royal Wedding, I find it rather difficult to call it that. Despite being the Queen's grandson, Peter is not royal in that he has no title nor does he carry out public duties. The only royal aspect of this wedding is the location and the guest list which included senior members of the royal family.

For a member of the royal family to sell their wedding to a magazine is somewhat unprecedented. There's nothing new about the royal family stage-managing photo-ops. But this type of interview is something you would see a celebrity couple do, not royalty. Can you imagine Charles and Camilla sharing their love on the cover of Hello? or the Queen and Prince Philip opening the doors to their fabulous Scottish retreat, as they reflect on the enduring love of their 60-year marriage? Royal PR in the 21st century.

Despite all the speculation and uproar surrounding the wedding issue, it's actually fairly tasteful. No one looks uncomfortable. As if anticipating the furor Hello points this out: "Royalty did not appear displeased", and "spontaneous applause from the guests - which did not appear to ruffle the Queen in the least". It's interesting to note that once the wedding photos have been taken that senior members of the royal family, save for Sophie, are not photographed at the reception. The focus on the younger generation, specifically Kate Middleton and Chelsy Davy. Photos show Kate laughing, Chelsy and Kate on the dance-floor, Sophie smiling and clapping enthusiastically, Chelsy and Harry sharing an intimate moment, and the bride laughing as she leaves the reception. This is obviously a joyous event; save for the historic location no different from the wedding reception of any young couple.

The photos during the ceremony are lovely, touching and in no way intrusive. With royal weddings reverting to private occasions, it is a privilege to be privy to this one. The special looks between the couple, the first kiss after being pronounced husband and wife, and the clear delight on Princess Anne's face, makes for a new style of royal wedding; intimate and real.

Does this herald a change for the next royal wedding? Hopefully we won't have to wait long to find out.

© Marilyn Braun 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Royal & The Clueless - Episode 5

On the last episode of the Royal & The Clueless Kate had a visit from royal girlfriends past and present. We also learnt that William snores. On this episode, Kate goes to Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly's wedding, standing in for Prince William, who is having a perfectly innocent visit to his childhood sweetheart, Jecca Craig, in Kenya. Kate vows to herself to change her image and decides to have people call her Catherine instead.Currently, Kate mingles at the wedding reception. Kate approaches Peter and Autumn in the receiving line.

Kate: Congratulations on your day. You look lovely. And the mini-doughnuts are an inspired choice.

Autumn: Thank you Kitty

Kate: Actually it's Catherine

Autumn moves on to another guest. Peter greets Kate next.

Peter: Hello Kat, so lovely you could make it.

Kate: Thank you Peter. I'd love it if people would call me Catherine from now on.

Peter: No problem Katie.

Kate approaches Prince Philip. Although contrary to popular belief, not mandatory in any way, Kate curtsies.

Prince Philip: Hello Kit

Kate: Actually it's Catherine sir. I'm trying to revert back to my real name - Catherine - Kate is just a nickname...

Prince Philip walks away

Prince Philip: I don't need a bloody lesson you know.

Kate grows increasingly more frustrated. Chelsy Davy approaches Kate.

Chelsy: Hello Cassi

Kate: It's Catherine

Chelsy: What?

Kate: Call me Catherine! I want people to call me CATHERINE!

Chelsy: (looks around, embarassed) Calm down Trina


Will people ever call Kate by the name Catherine? Will we ever find out what the Queen really thinks of the Hello magazine photos? Tune in to the next episode of The Royal & The Clueless.

© Marilyn Braun 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Royal Report for Sunday May 25th, 2008 - Did Peter and Autumn sell out by giving an interview to Hello Magazine?

Note: There will be no Royal Report on Sunday June 1st and Sunday June 8th, 2008. I will return with a new show on Sunday June 15th. Topic to be determined!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Upcoming Royal Report - Did Peter and Autumn sell out by doing Hello?

Join me for the next Royal Report on Sunday May 25th, 2008 - 9:00PM EST (North America)

The topic will be: Did Peter and Autumn sell-out by giving an interview to Hello magazine?

© Marilyn Braun 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Warning: Marrying into the royal family could be hazardous to your family's privacy

She's movie star beautiful. It's not difficult to see why people are interested in her. She's not a public figure, nor is she royal. Telma Ortiz is the sister of Crown Princess Letizia of Spain and she recently went to court to seek a restraining order against 50 media outlets covering her. A judge denied her request, stating that she was indeed a public figure. In effect, Telma lost her right to privacy.

She's not the first person in proximity to a royal to become the focus of media attention, nor will she be the last. Unfortunately the focus isn't normally on their accomplishments. The late Diana, Princess of Wales' brother, Earl Spencer became the subject of intense scrutiny, especially in the wake of his relationships, tumultuous first marriage and brief second one. His electrifying eulogy at Diana's funeral further raised his profile.

Sarah, Duchess of York's father, the late Major Ronald Ferguson became tabloid fodder for a visit to a massage parlour. He moved in royal circles for years as Prince Charles' polo manager. But it wasn't until his daughter married Prince Andrew in 1986 that he became public property.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall's son Tom Parker Bowles had a run in with the law after he was found in possession of cocaine. Kate Middleton's mother chewed gum at Prince William's passing out parade at Sandhurst. Suddenly she became a manipulative mother intent on getting her daughter to the royal altar by any means necessary. If she wasn't doing so already.

Now that the wedding is over, Autumn Kelly's family and friends have become casualties with revelations of her twin brother 'smoking a distinctly suspicious looking cigarette'. In the absence of any real controversy, publishing unflattering photos of one of her friends in the Daily Mail will suffice.

Telma Ortiz's request for a restraining order 'backfired' on her. According to a Time magazine article*: "She's going to get exactly what she didn't want, which is to become more famous." What did she do wrong? She tried to prevent coverage from all media outlets. Who does she think she is?

Someone who, like the examples above, didn't ask for this attention.

© Marilyn Braun 2008

This article was inspired by the following postings on the World of Royalty Blog:

Telma Ortiz wants privacy

Telma Ortiz gets more famous

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Royal Watcher on CBC Radio

Fulfilling a long held dream to be on the radio, I had the opportunity to be interviewed on CBC Radio One about the wedding of Peter Philips and Autumn Kelly. 12 interviews in all, coast to coast across Canada, here are two of them.

This is the very first interview: Moncton, New Brunswick

Another one: Quebec City, Quebec

© Marilyn Braun 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Royal Watcher on CTV Newsnet

On Friday I had the opportunity to appear on CTV Newsnet to discuss the wedding of Peter Phillips to his Canadian fiancée Autumn Kelly.

P.S.: In case you're wondering the answer to that last crucial question. According to another CTV report, the bride, in a concession to her Canadian roots, served amongst other things, powdered sugar donuts.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Royal Report for Sunday May 18th, 2008 - Was Prince William's trip to Afghanistan a PR stunt?

Join me for the next Royal Report on Sunday May 25th, 2008 - 9:00PM EST (North America)

The topic will be: Did Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly sell out by giving an interview to Hello Magazine?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Upcoming Royal Report - Sunday May 18th 2008

Tune in to the next Royal Report on Sunday May 18th 2008 at 9:00PM EST.

The topic will be: Prince William's trip to Afghanistan - PR Stunt or did he just happen to be in the area?

© Marilyn Braun 2008

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Royal & The Clueless - Episode 4

On the last episode of The Royal & The Clueless, Prince William, Kate and Jecca Craig were left in a precarious position when their ski lift in Klosters broke from one of the cables. Through an inexplicable and conveniently timed rescue effort, Prince William and Kate escaped unscathed. Jecca Craig was rescued but for continuity reasons mysteriously disappeared shortly afterwards. In this episode William and Kate lay in bed. William is fast asleep, snoring. Kate tries to sleep but cannot. Suddenly a knock at the door. Confused, Kate gets up and opens it.

Koo Stark in an ethereal, yet tasteful, outfit stands before her. A white glow surrounds her as her hair blows in the wind from an unexplained source.

Kate: Who are you?

Koo: I'm the ghost of royal girlfriends past.

Kate: The ghost of?..

Koo: Don't worry about it. This was way before your time. I'm here to warn you what not to do.

Kate: What not to do?

Koo: Yes, many have come before you. Well, not with Prince William but there have been many royal girlfriends of the past. You must learn from them.

Kate: Am I doing something wrong?

Koo: No, but you could. Here's some tips. Don't appear in soft porn films. Don't talk to the media. Don't get married to someone else.

Kate: But I'm not doing any of those things. I won't do any of those things.

Koo: Really? Well I wish someone had given me that advice when I was dating Prince Andrew.

Kate: (furrows her brow) You dated Prince Andrew?

Koo: (wistfully) Yes, I know. But he was hot back then.

Kate: I should hope so.

Koo: Oh well, I guess you don't need me. Maybe the ghost of royal girlfriend present can help you.

Koo fades away. Kate looks down the hallway and turns back towards the bed. Chelsy Davy relaxes in a chaise lounge.

Kate: What are you doing here?

Chelsy: Jecca couldn't make it so I'm like the ghost of royal girlfriends present. Does he really snore like that?

Kate: What can you teach me?

Chelsy: (sighs) No wonder this is called the royal and the clueless. Kate, you have to play hard to get. You know, like go to a different country, clear your head. You're like making yourself too available. See, I left and look Prince Harry came running after me like a little puppy dog.

Kate: You can do that stuff, it's not like you're royal bride...

Chelsy: What?

Kate: Umm..nothing.

Chelsy: Okay well, I'm off to study for exams

Chelsy starts to fade away and then fades back in

Chelsy: Oh yeah, you might as well stay awake. The ghost of royal girlfriends future will visit you.

Chelsy fades away. Kate wakes up, startled. She gets up and looks around the room. When she calms down she starts to think.

Kate: (whispering with steely resolve) I must step up my plans. I cannot let Prince William have another girlfriend, ever. I must become his wife.

Kate starts to laugh manically. William wakes up, groggy.

William: What's going on? Darling, who are you talking to?

Kate: No one. Go back to sleep darling.

Kate smiles and climbs into bed.

Will Kate ever go back to sleep? Will William stop snoring? Tune in to the next episode of The Royal & The Clueless.

© Marilyn Braun 2008

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Royal Report for Sunday May 4th, 2008 - William & Kate: Are they close to an engagement?

Join me for the next Royal Report on Sunday May 11th, 2008 - 9:00PM EST.

The topic will be: William's trip to Afghanistan. PR Stunt or did he just happen to be in the area?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Upcoming Royal Report: William & Kate - Are signs pointing towards a royal engagement?

Tune in for the next Royal Report on Sunday May 4th - 9:00PM EST.

The topic will be: William & Kate - Are signs pointing towards a royal engagement or are we reading too much into them?

© Marilyn Braun 2008