Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Royal Report for Sunday April 26th, 2009 - Royal Consorts

In honor of Prince Philip becoming the longest serving British consort in history, I took a look back at royal consorts of the past.

You can listen to the episode here

Publications mentioned

Tatler - April 2009 Volume 304 Number 4

Blog articles mentioned

Royal Dontopedalogy

Tune in to the next LIVE episode of The Royal Report on Sunday May 3rd, 2009 9:00PM EST.

The topic will be: Why are we so interested in Kate Middleton?

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Question: Prince William and Prince Harry - Peace Makers?

I was thinking about the recent (media) strife HRH William & HRH Harry have gotten in & how their family prefers them challenging their efforts in defense forces, & as a hypothetical was wondering how possible (if they wanted 2) either of the Princes "taking" U.S. president Barack Obama place in The Israeli–Palestinian peace talks?
No, it's unlikely that either Prince William or Prince Harry would be able to, as you say, 'take the place' of President Obama in these talks.

The main reason for this is that as they are members of the British royal family; they cannot do anything to make the monarch look partial to a particular side. The Queen has to be strictly neutral. By remaining so, the Queen provides a sense of stability and continuity in times of political and social changes. Members of the royal family support the Queen, which is the reason why you don't see any member of the family involved in politics.

In regards to Prince's William and Harry's involvement in the defense forces, they are following a long-standing tradition within the family. At one point, a military career for princes was seen as the best possible occupation for them. However, this training would not, in any way, make them qualified to involve themselves in these types of discussions. Also, with their recent actions in the media - landing helicopters in their girlfriend's backyard, or in Harry's case - wearing pink nail-polish and being photographed in a wig and a bra - it doesn't instill confidence in any abilities they might have given the opportunity. In my opinion I feel safer leaving these issues to the professionals.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Related article

Royal Military Service

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Royal Romance Report: April edition Sunday April 19th, 2009

Is Kate Middleton having Prince William's baby? Could Astrid Harbord be the wind beneath Prince Harry's wings? Which minor royal said goodbye to Hello!? How many women does it take to make a harem?

You can listen to the episode here

Publications mentioned

Hello! Canada Weekly No 125 20 April 2009

Blogs mentioned

British Royal Wedding

Recommended biblical movie mentioned

Monty Python's The Life of Brian

Tune in to the next episode of The Royal Report on Sunday April 26th, 2009 9:00PM EST

The topic will be: Prince Philip recently surpassed the record for longest serving consort. On this episode a look back at royal consorts.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Prince Harry made him do it

Believe it or not, there was a time when royalty set fashion trends. In those days, before television or the internet, people tended to be limited to movie stars or royalty for their fashion cues. Nowadays there are other options and you'd be hard pressed to find a fashionista amongst the current Windsor crew. However, some people still do take a fashion page from royalty, and admit to it. For instance, take Julius Hart, 18, who was arrested last September under a by-law in Riviera Beach, Florida, which prevents residents from exposing their underwear. In Mr Hart's case, four inches of boxer shorts. For this crime he spent one night in prison and was fined $150.

Dusting off the freedom of expression chestnut he defended his constitutional right to look sloppy by citing Prince Harry as an example of someone wearing slouchy jeans. Well, Mr Hart..if Prince Harry jumped off a bridge...

The Duke of Windsor and his bright checks must be rolling over in his grave.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Minor royal by day, Russian hologram science officer at night

In the autumn, the royal family will get a new addition when Lord Frederick Windsor marries actress Sophie Winkleman. But Sophie isn't just any future minor royal. Not only has she played a scheming princess and appeared in a risque love scene, she now has a guest starring role as a hologram with an H on her forehead in the spaceship adventure Red Dwarf: Back to Earth. What other Royal house can say they have a resurrected Russian hologram science officer in their family tree?

And people thought Lord Freddy's mother, Princess Michael of Kent was a controversial addition to the family.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Princess Diana is no Jade Goody

Since Jade Goody died, there have been an abundance of comparisons between her and the late Diana, Princess of Wales. While there are obvious similarities (they were women, both had two sons, both were well-known, both are now dead) the differences outweigh them.

When Jade Goody died on Mother's Day few people were shocked by it. Her death at the age of 27 was inevitable. On a daily basis the media was on death watch, milking the melodrama of it all: Jade's last wishes, her hope to live until Mother's Day, her last visit with her sons, and pictures of her on a stretcher being taken to the hospital. Comments in articles about these updates ranged from the sympathetic to the cynical. Tired of hearing about Jade, some took an above it all approach, yet it didn't stop them from reading about it.

After Jade died any furor surrounding her death was a product of her own savvy ingenuity. Tragedy is interesting as long as it isn't in our own lives. The minute details appealed to the macabre in us; like Jade being buried in her wedding dress still wearing her wedding ring, photos of her beloved son's at her side, how she was hallucinating and struggling for breath at the end. Did we really need to know that?

In Diana's case her 1997 death was incredibly shocking. There was no death watch. To have someone so well-known suddenly taken in such a violent manner was not part of the invented fairy-tale. Her death was unexpected and caused a outpouring of grief that cynical people are still trying to understand 12 years later. Diana could not have predicted this let alone planned for it.

Unlike the aristocratic Diana, Jade couldn't rely on her status or ancestry to carry her through life. Instead Jade took control of her destiny. And when her 15 minutes of fame should have been up she parlayed it into a perfume line, an exercise video, books, interviews, and lucrative wedding photos. All in the space of 7 years. In her 16 years in the spotlight, Diana never used her fame to sell products; luckily she had people to do that after she'd died.

Had Diana lived, she probably would have visited a rehabilitation/counselling centre for people like Jade (with two drug addicted parents and a grim poverty-stricken childhood) to turn their lives around. An appearance, while well meant, would have only underlined the difference. Diana's life might have been something people could only dream about, but it was never on the same level.

And no flower covered funeral cortege through town, lined with the curious and the genuinely concerned changes that.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Royal E for Effort

In a regular series of unflattering photos Princess Beatrice get's scrutinized for everything. *Gasp* she's wearing high heels! Oh dear, she's wearing a bikini! Good grief, who let her out of the palace wearing butterflies on her head? Now she's wearing her beautiful hair in a plait across her forehead.

Like her mother, she may have little to no fashion sense, but give her some points for trying.

Let he/she who doesn't have body issues or an awful fashion choice in their history cast the first designer knock off bag.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

This post was inspired by the following link

Photo: Mail Online

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Royal Report for Sunday April 5th, 2009 - Is Prince William coasting on his mother's memory?

On this episode I discussed whether Prince William was coasting on his mother's memory, the proper way to meet the Queen, the music on her iPod, and a 105 year old virgin.

You can listen to the episode here.

Publications mentioned

Zoomer Canada Special Royal Report - April 2009

Blogger mentioned

mandysroyalty - The Royal Representative

Television episode mentioned

Top Gear - Season 8 Episode 1

Because it's Easter next week there will be no show. Tune in LIVE to the next Royal Report on Sunday April 19th, 2009 9:00PM EST (North America)

The topic will be: The Royal Romance Report - April edition

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Friday, April 03, 2009

Queen Elizabeth II reaches out and touches someone

With all the fuss surrounding Mrs Obama giving the Queen a hug, you'd think she'd greeted her Majesty with a fist bump and high-fived her for the hospitality. The Queen is said to not be very touchy-feely; even with her own family. It's a rare occurrence to see her make physical contact and when it does happen it all becomes frightfully significant to those with too much time on their hands.

But was it not Her Majesty who initiated the contact? Did she not put her arm around Michelle Obama's waist first? Thereby throwing royal and presidential protocol to the wind? The instant replays seem to reveal the Queen as the guilty party.

Were the two women just having a moment, or was this a serious breach of protocol?

Just ask those with too much time on their hands.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Royal Wedding Bouquets

An occupational hazard of marrying into the royal family is receiving thousands of bouquets throughout your royal career. While these flowers may be easily forgotten, the most famous flowers, their wedding bouquets are freeze framed in the official pictures for other future brides, royal and non-royal, to take inspiration from.

Queen Victoria (1840) a small posy made up solely of snowdrops (Prince Albert's favorite flower).

Queen Mary (1893) The bridal bouquet was of rare white flowers, with the old Provence rose 'House of York' predominating. The bouquet also included white orchids, lilies of the valley, orange blossom and a new white carnation called 'The Bride'.

Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother (1923) Some reports say the bouquet was created by Edward Goodyear and included roses and lilies-of-the-valley with a white rose on either side. Other reports say that the bouquet was comprised of white roses and heather and was made by the Worshipful Company of Gardeners. None of the wedding photos show the flowers because upon entering Westminster Abbey she placed her bouquet on the tomb of the unknown solider.

Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent (1934) A bouquet of lilies

Queen Elizabeth II (1947) Supplied by the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, and made by Longmans florists. It was was made up of three kinds of British-grown orchids: cattleya, odontoglossum and cypripedium - to which was added a sprig of myrtle from a bush at Osborne House, Queen Victoria's house on the Isle of Wight.

Princess Margaret (1960) bouquet comprised of white orchids and stephanotis

Princess Alexandra (1963) Victorian posy of freesias, narcissi, stephanoitis and lilies-of-the-valley

Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester (1972) bouquet made by her mother-in-law Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester. Modeled on a traditional Danish wedding sheaf, it was comprised of white and cream summer flowers bound with satin ribbon.

Princess Anne, Princess Royal - (1973) Bridal bouquet of white roses, lilies of the valley and stephanotis was "something old" —a sprig of myrtle grown on the Isle of Wight from a sprig of Queen Victoria's wedding bouquet—and a bit of white heather for good luck. Second wedding (1992) she carried a posy of heather and wore white blossoms in her hair.

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York (1986) Wore a headdress of gardenias (Prince Andrew's favorite flower) during the ceremony. After signing the wedding register she wore a borrowed tiara. In her memoirs she writes: "It was my time to be Cinderella. I had stepped up as the country girl; I would walk back as a princess." The bouquet was an 'S'-shaped spray of cream lilies, palest yellow roses, gardenias, lilies-of-the-valley and the traditional sprig of myrtle.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex (1999) The shower bouquet was created around a new variety of tall lily named after Sophie. The rest was comprised of blown ivory garden roses, scented stephanotis, clustered lily of the valley and ivory freesia.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (2005) Designed by Shane Connolly of Shane Connolly Flowers Ltd For the Service of Dedication she carried a small, simple elegant floral bouquet bound with silk from her dress. Complementing the grey blue of her dress, Auricular flowers in dusty shades of greys and creams with touches of gold, have been mixed with clusters of Lily of the Valley both for the scent and the sentiment. Again, these flowers are cut from English grown plants later to be grown in the gardens at Highgrove. A sprig of myrtle, representing happy marriage, was sent from a well wisher in Cornwall for the bouquet.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Thank you for enjoying this article. If you use the information for research purposes, a link to credit the work I've put into writing it would be appreciated.

Related articles

Royal Weddings

Royal Wedding Dresses

Question: Princess Diana's wedding bouquet

Question: Queen Victoria's wedding dress and bouquet

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Princess Diana, Come back!

Some say she lives on an island called The Oval and only comes out at night. Legends abound that she visits Paul Burrell's house and sorts through her belongings. She was once quoted as saying: "Whoever is in distress, I will come running".

Obviously she's true to her word. We don't know if she wears a cape but her approach is distinguished by the click clack of her Manolo Blahniks. Wearing her priceless sapphire and diamond amulet around her neck, a wedding gift from a generous Sheik, she can stop the Global economic crisis. She can get AIG executives to return their bonuses by throwing her Spencer tiara like a boomerang when they try to make a deposit.

She's Diana, Princess of Wales. And she's currently off to find Osama Bin Laden so that she can give him a hug. If anyone can find him, it's her.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

This article was inspired by the following link