Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Royal & The Clueless - Episode 14

On the last episode of The Royal & The Clueless, Kate had a dream that she was 80 and still dating Prince William. Awoken from this dream by the smouldering yet professionally dressed Enrique, Kate vowed to do things differently. She mysteriously disappeared shortly afterwards, leaving royal watchers in a frenzy over her location and whether she was still doing things she should be doing differently. This week, Chelsy Davy broke up with Prince Harry, thus putting more pressure on Kate. Before he leaves for his helicopter training course, William has organized a special tyrst at the stables at Windsor.

Prince William: You know, when I read the reports that said that you were allergic to horses, it greatly concerned me.

Kate: (congested) Those media types never get it right.

Prince William: After all, riding is our life. It's the only thing we royals know how to do properly.

Kate is trying to stifle a sneeze

Kate: Yes, you look so good on parade. All those shiny medals....

Kate's eyes start to water. William looks at Kate. He is touched.

William: Yes it really is moving isn't it? Watching us on parade. I never get the chance to watch myself but it must be impressive.

Kate: (extremely congested and nasally) There's no where else I'd rather be.

William: But there's more to it than parades. There's polo. A royal wife must be able to watch me from the sidelines. It's a tradition. And then stomp the divots during champagne and canapes. (Wistfully) It must be so much fun.

William, pulls her towards him. Kate, unable to hold it any longer, sneezes.

William: Are you okay my darling?

Kate: (nasally) I have a confession to make William

William: (offering her a handkerchief) Yes darling?

Kate: I am allergic to horses

William: (lets Kate go) Oh, I see.

Kate: But, I can still stomp the divots!

William: (brightly) Yes, that's right, you can still stomp the divots. And watch me play polo.

Kate: (blowing her nose) I'll never miss a match

William smiles and grabs a bouquet of flowers that he had hidden in one of the stalls. He hands then to Kate.

William: Well, at least you're not allergic to flowers.

Kate looks at the bouquet wanly and sneezes.

Is Kate allergic to flowers too? Does this spoil her chances of becoming royal? Why isn't Enrique in this episode? Tune in to the next episode of The Royal and The Clueless.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Update: The Royal Report episode The Trouble with Prince Harry moved to February 1, 2009

Note: I'm still not feeling well so I've postponed this episode to Sunday February 1, 2009. Same time, same place!

In the interim, enjoy these fantastic previous episodes of The Royal Report!

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Royal Review: Doomed Queens by Kris Waldherr

There are two things I like about Doomed Queens. One, it's short. Two, it gets to the juicy stuff quickly. No complex analysis of the relationship between the Queens, chapters about conniving courtiers, power struggles, growing unease, and religious conflicts. All the stuff which belongs in heavy history books, if you have the time to read them.

Unlike heavy history books, this one is interesting and humorous. Lest you think you you're not learning anything, each Chapter offers quizzes. Not to worry though, the answers are at the bottom of the page. (Note: you need to turn the book upside down in order to read them). At the very end of the book, there's a Cosmo style quiz to discover what kind of Queen you are.

True to the title, these are Doomed Queens. No happy endings. But the way the women are presented, you forget being depressed fairly quickly. There is a helpful Graphics Key at the front of the book, with various symbols to illustrate how they met their end. A skull with a crown on it means the Queen was beheaded. The flames symbol means she was burned to death, an upside down crown means she was deposed. A speeding motorcycle means death by paparazzi. When you begin reading about each queen, right under her name you can see the symbol so there's no surprise ending. Of course, if you want to prolong the suspense, just put your thumb over the symbol.

But of course, maybe you don't know what beheading is? Or you're unfamiliar with the poisoning technique? Though out the book there are sidebars which explain, in detail, what's involved and how their enemies went about it. Did you know that the most popular poison to use was arsenic? Or that starvation has been used as a method of execution since the dawn of civilization? Well, now you do!

Although it covers doomed queens, there are a few women featured who were not queens: Eva Peron and Diana, Princess of Wales to name two. Maybe Eva Peron was seen as a queen within Argentina, but the lyrics to Don't Cry for Me Argentina don't officially say that. Fascist, yes. Whore, depends on who you ask. Queen, no. Diana, may have wanted to be known as 'Queen of People's Hearts' but there's no government paperwork to that effect. Nonetheless, their stories and ultimate demises, make for interesting reading and serve as cautionary tales. In Diana's case: 'Avoid men with cameras'. Words to live, and die by.

There are wonderful illustrations throughout. The cover shows the floating heads of Marie Antoinette and Mary, Queen of Scots. A notable one is a sitting skeleton which looks as though it's reliving itself. Another one enthusiastically comes out of the page, sickle in hand, another jumps for joy. Who knew the gruesome and tragic deaths of these women could be presented in such a fun way?

Doomed Queens definitely succeeds in that, while being interesting at the same time. Try and find that in a heavy history book!

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Royal Report for Sunday January 18th, 2009 - Royal Scandals

On this episode I revisited several royal scandals - the juicy, the salacious, and the anti-climatic ones that didn't bring down the monarchy.

You can listen to the episode here.

Publications mentioned:

Vanity Fair - February 2009. Article: The Princess and the Photographer

Snowdon: The Biography by Anne De Courcy

Tune in to the next episode of The Royal Report. The topic will be: The Trouble with Prince Harry

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Royal Romance Report - Sunday January 11th, 2009

On this episode I discussed Prince William's and Kate Middleton's relationship and tried to make the British Royalty family sexy.

You can listen to the episode here.

Publications mentioned

Hello! Canada January 12, 2009 Special Holiday Edition - The Best of 2008

Blog articles mentioned

Royal Engagements

Websites mentioned

The Royal Channel on YouTube

World of Royalty

Swedish Royal Court - Official Biography of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

Blogs mentioned

Sophia's Royal Sweden

Tune in to The Royal Report on Sunday January 18th, 2009 9:00PM EST.

The topic will be: Royal Scandals!!

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Monday, January 05, 2009

Is Kate Middleton A Sure Thing?

Prior to April 2007 when the couple reportedly broke up, I would have been willing to believe that it was a nobrainer that Kate, depending on global economic circumstances, would walk down the aisle at St. George's Chapel Windsor, or Westminster Abbey. Or possibly St. Paul's Cathedral should William want to tempt fate. All fodder for royal watchers. Woolworth's had prepared the prototype designs for wedding china. Robert Jobson had written a book called William's Princess which all but put the glass slipper on her foot. Only to look foolish later on. Could they have jinxed it? Let's say they did for want of a better explanation.

I like to think of myself as a realist. I'm not a betting person. I don't like taking risks. Which is why, despite running The Kate Middleton Report I still approach the situation with caution. Like a suitor whose heart has been broken one too many times. Who keeps coming back for more, obviously in need of therapy. This emotional roller coaster has taken it's toll on my ability to come up with original material. Will they breakup? Can William ever make up his mind? Can Kate make herself look consistently useful? All questions which I can only blog and podcast about for so long. However I'm still a royal romance junkie who wants the happy ending if only for the opportunity to buy more books and souvenirs.

Why can't it be like in the movies? Kate and her band of singing rodents who catch the ear and the heart of Prince William, wearing tights, cape flying in the wind, who happens to be riding by on his trusty steed (sold separately). A Prince with a focused determination to go after what he wants, while simultaneously declaring his love in song. A love that endures through 90 predictable minutes. Where the only nemesis is an evil Queen/Step-mother/dragon with control issues. The dragons who are magically slayed with a dagger the equivalent of a letter opener. The Prince who is willing to kiss a complete stranger in a catatonic stupor. I love happy endings.

There are lessons for William to be learn from Disney's Cinderella and Snow White, if only someone would send him a copy in DVD Region 2 encoded PAL format. Maybe then he might get the message to stick with the script we expect him to follow.

Maybe I'm a dreamer after all..

© Marilyn Braun 2009