Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Royal Report for Sunday August 30, 2009 - Are the younger royals taking their roles seriously?

On this episode Prince William drinks out of toilets, Princess Eugenie prefers ketchup bottles, Prince Harry likes wearing disguises and Princess Beatrice just wants people to call her Beatrice. Are the younger royals taking their roles seriously? Also on this episode, I called Party Pieces (several times) to find out if Kate works there.

You can listen to the show here.

Publications mentioned

Hello! Canada Weekly No 141 31 August 2009

Blog post that inspired this episode

The Royal Representative - Who's taking the business of Monarchy seriously?

Tune in to the next episode of The Royal Report on Sunday September 6, 2009 at 9:00PM EST.

The topic will be: It's September and still no engagement between Prince William and Kate Middleton. Is it time to *gasp* give up hope?

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Question: The Windsor name

How far does the name Windsor go back? Does that apply to all of the Kings and Queens until there where no last names at all?

The Windsor name goes back to 1917. Prior to that point members of the royal family did not have a surname but the name of the house or dynasty which they belonged.

At the time King George V was head of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha dynasty. During the First World War, in reaction to anti-German sentiment, the King changed the name from the German sounding Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor; chosen after the ancient castle of the same name. This change applied to both the Royal House and as a surname for his family should one be required.

This change was made official at a meeting of the Privy Council on July 17, 1917. The King declared that 'all descendants in the male line of Queen Victoria, who are subjects of these realms, other than female descendants who marry or who have married, shall bear the name of Windsor'. This surname is used by all male and unmarried female descendants of King George V. For instance: Lord Frederick Windsor, Lady Gabriella Windsor, Lord Nicholas Windsor.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Royal Report for Sunday August 23, 2009 - What date will Prince William and Kate Middleton marry on?

Rumours are swirling that Prince William and Kate Middleton have set a date for their wedding. On this episode, I made a prediction for what that date will be.

Listen here to find out what my prediction is.

Publication mentioned

Hello! Canada Weekly No 140 24 August 2009

Blog articles used to research this episode

Royal Engagements

Royal Weddings

Question: Royal Wedding Tradition?

Tune in to the next episode of The Royal Report on Sunday August 30, 2009 9:00PM EST.

Topic to be determined!

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Royal & The Clueless - Episode 17

On the last episode of The Royal & The Clueless, Kate took speech lessons from Enrique and broke out into song. During her lessons, engagement speculation reached fever pitch, yet William had not proposed. On this episode Kate, frustrated with a lack of engagement, decides to take a different approach.

Kate: I've tried everything, and William still hasn't proposed. I've taken up hunting, canoodled by dead pheasants, shown an interest in his polo even though I'm allergic to horses...

Enrique: Wearing the cardboard sign didn't work?

Kate: No, he's still trying to read it.

Enrique nodded, perplexed. William obviously isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer but he should be able to read. He thought for a moment rubbing the perfectly trimmed stubble on his chin. Suddenly an idea came to him. No, it couldn't work. It's too simple. Even for William. Enrique mulls it over and starts to warm to the idea.

Enrique: Have you tried wearing the color blue?

Kate: What?

Enrique: The color blue. You're attending a wedding aren't you? You should wear a blue outfit. You can accessorize it with shiny objects. That will get his attention!

Kate: That is a brilliant idea!

Enrique grabs Kate's hand and takes her shopping. 10 stores later, Kate finally comes out of the change room and models the outfit she's chosen. She twirls around in a gray blue dress pleased with herself.

Kate: What do you think?

Enrique (shaking his head): That's Wallis blue. It might remind him of the abdication.

Kate goes to try another dress on. She comes out wearing baby blue.

Enrique: No, that might be too much pressure on him. Wear that once the ring is on your finger.

Kate: Why does the dress have to be blue? Why not purple?

Enrique: Purple is the color of royalty. They might think that you're getting too ahead of yourself. Stay away from all purples.

Kate goes and changes into another dress, this time in royal blue.

Enrique, smouldering and intense, walks over to Kate. He takes her into his arms and looks deeply into her eyes, his face inches from hers. When he speaks his voice now sounds like Antonio Banderas.

Enrique: If I were William (Enrique pauses for effect). I would propose on the spot.

A few days later at the wedding. William comes up to Kate and leans in to kiss her. He stops and looks her up and down.

William: Wow, shiny objects!

Can Prince William stop staring at Kate's shiny objects? Does he have competition in the smouldering form of Enrique? Tune in to the next episode of The Royal & The Clueless.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

President Obama has a paper cut!..and other such nonsense

Sometimes royal news seems to be just that silly. Take for instance Prince William and Kate Middleton. Recent reports say that they are secretly engaged, that they have come to an understanding, that Kate is sending subtle messages by wearing the color blue to a society wedding. Don't believe me about the blue dress? Take a look here.

Forgive my skepticism but over the years I've heard so many rumours surrounding their engagement, so many signs that it's imminent, so many commentators with straight faces letting us know that This. Will. Be. The. Year.

Maybe, maybe not. But then 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and even this year, 2009 have been THE year too. Pull a number out of a hat, such as 2011, and if they're still together by that point, one day commentators may be right.

I'd like them to get engaged just as much as the next pro-Kate royal watcher. But I'm not going to hold my breath, I'm taking a wait and see approach. My hopes have been raised and then dashed one too many times.

Until an engagement is announced by Clarence House, speculation about their relationship is in the same league as news that President Obama has a paper cut.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Royal Romance Report - Sunday August 16, 2009

On this episode of The Royal Romance Report - Which royal just received a personalized perfume for her 21st birthday? Has the Queen really sparked lesbian rumours? Why do the Scandinavian royals have more fun? Is the Queen expecting a great-grandchild soon?

Find out the answer by listening to the episode here!

Publications mentioned

Hello! Canada Weekly No 139 17 August 2009

Tatler Magazine - September 2005

Tune in to the next episode of The Royal Report on Sunday August 23rd, 2009 9:00PM EST.

The topic will be: Rumours are heating up that an engagement between Prince William and Kate Middleton will be announced soon? Are WE ready for it?

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Royal Profile: Susan Barrantes

Best known as the mother of Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, she was part of a family that can trace their ancestry back to 1557.

Born on June 9, 1937 in Bramcote Hills Notthingham, Susan Mary Wright was the youngest of three daughters of FitzHerbert Wright, a former lieutenant in the 15th/19th Hussars and later a company director. Her mother Doreen Wingfield was the only daughter of the 8th Viscount Powerscourt. Her brother Bryan was for a time the secretary of the Dorchester Club; her elder sister Brigid married Julian Salmond, son of Marshal of the RAF Sir John Salmond; her younger sister Davina married Sir Richard Boughey, Bt.

The Wright family trace their ancestry back to John Wright, of Stowmarket, Suffolk, in 1557. Another ancestor, also John Wright, was imprisoned for eight years for raising a company in a regiment of horse in the Parliamentary cause in 1643. Later, the family moved to Nottingham, where they became principal proprietors of the Butterley Works. Susan's grandfather settled at Yeldersley Hall, Derbyshire.

Susan's childhood interests consisted of riding side-saddle and working hunter classes, where she won numerous prizes. After school, she went through secretarial college and undertook the debutante season at the age of 17 being presented to the Queen.

It was at a dance that she met her first husband, Ronald Ferguson, then serving in the Life Guards. He was at once impressed: she was lively and vivacious, and shared his equestrian interests. She had also, he said, "a touch of Irish wildness about her, and she was a country girl, having been brought up in Lincolnshire and at her grandfather's castle [Powerscourt] in County Wicklow". Moreover, he explained, "she enjoyed going to polo matches - an essential pre-requisite for a Ferguson girlfriend in those days!"

Her parents, feeling she was too young to marry, sent her to France for a year. But the attachment survived the separation, and Susan married Ronald Ferguson at St Margaret's Westminster, on January 17 1956, with a reception for 600 guests at Claridge's. In the same year she appeared on the cover of Tatler magazine.

They began their married life in London, where Ferguson was stationed at Knightsbridge Barracks, and a few years later moved to a house at Ascot, strategically close to the polo fields of Smith's Lawn and Windsor Castle. The couple would have two daughters: Jane in August 1957 and Sarah, the future Duchess of York, born in October 1959. She later miscarried a daughter, Sophia, after developing pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening condition chiefly characterised by high blood pressure.

In 1968, Ferguson's father died and the family moved to his childhood home, Dummer Down House, a Queen Anne-style farmhouse near Basingstoke. Her interests revolved around horses and she was a keen show jumper. Though the marriage was a happy one in the early years, Ronald Ferguson had an affairs, one of with her best friends. In 1972 she fell in love with a professional polo player from Argentina, Hector Barrantes, whose wife Luisita and unborn child were killed in a car crash near Buenos Aires in February 1972. Barrantes had been a star rugby player and Golden Gloves heavyweight. That summer, Susan decided to leave her family for him which created a society scandal. She was divorced from Ronald Ferguson in May 1974 and married in Barrantes in July 1975, at Chichester, Register Office, England.

She went to live in Argentina, where she and her husband maintained a large ranch at El Pucara, 350 miles south-west of Buenos Aires. There they bred 500 foals for polo, as well as cattle. And no doubt they would have remained there quietly pursuing these interests, had it not been for the marriage of Sarah to Prince Andrew, in July 1986. Thereafter, Sarah's parents and siblings were the focus of intense media attention.

Hector Barrantes fell ill with cancer of the lymph glands and died on August 10, 1990 at the age of 51. Susan experienced finanical difficulties afterwards, having to sell more than half the farm to the polo-playing Australian media magnate Kerry Packer. She gave her first reluctant interview to Hello! magazine in June 1988. She returned to that magazine with a full version of her reminiscences in 1992, and allowed further interviews in subsequent years. In 1997 she wrote the book POLO for which Prince Charles wrote the forward.

On September 19, 1998 she was killed in a car accident and was buried next to her late husband Hector in a vault below her house, next to a polo field on the Argentinian estate.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Marilyn's Royal Blog - Sparingly updated but not forgotten

Hello all,

If you visit this blog on a regular basis you may notice that I haven't updated in a while. And when I do update it's sparingly. At the moment I'm taking a writing course and working on a novel which is taking up a lot of time, hence the lack of focus on my blogs.

The course is winding up, although a new one will be starting in September. I will try to post more regularly soon. In the interim please enjoy my archives of informative articles.



© Marilyn Braun 2009

Saturday, August 01, 2009

The Royal Report for Sunday August 2, 2009 - The show celebrates 2 years!

On August 6th The Royal Report will be 2 years old. On this episode, a look back at 2years of fun, informative, thought provoking and occasionally humourous reports.

You can listen to the episode here.

Note that there will be no The Royal Report next week.

© Marilyn Braun 2009