Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A bumper year for royal news!

2010 began like any other year. Ho hum royal tours and continuous nauseating royal engagement speculation. If it wasn't Prince William and Kate Middleton's will they/won't they saga, then it was Prince Harry and Chelsy Davy's on/off relationship.

Therefore, there was no reason to believe that 2010 would be any more remarkable than previous years. Royal news tends to come in spurts.The family hadn't had a major royal wedding since 1999 and the Queen's last grandchild had been born in 2007, the same year, The Queen and Prince Philip celebrated their Diamond wedding anniversary.  Her first grandchild married a Canadian in 2008. With the exception of a few minor weddings and births, it seemed like the royal family hadn't had any real news in ages.

Then, in the summer of 2010 that changed. Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn, were expecting a baby. But this would not be just any baby but the Queen's first great-grandchild. The last reiging sovereign to welcome a great-grandchild was Queen Victoria, whose eldest, Princess Feodora Saxe-Meiningen, had been born in 1879.  Peter Phillips himself is not only the Queen's first grandchild but also the first-great grandchild of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

This year would continue to bring happy news with the long-awaited engagement of Prince William to Kate (Catherine) Middleton. And now today's engagement announcement of Zara Phillips to her long-time boyfriend Mike Tindall. With two upcoming weddings and a new baby, what better news could anyone ask for?

At this rate, 2011 promises to be a bumper year for royal watchers!

© Marilyn Braun 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Boopity Boop supports Sentebale!

Boopity Boop! Writes Her First Poem is a new book written by actress Masiela Lusha, the US ambassador to the charity Sentebale.

In BOOPITY BOOP! Writes Her First Poem, the main character Boopy, is a spunky and colorful 6-year-old girl that is learning of her inner strengths and encouraging children to pursue their own passions. This book shows each child that major accomplishments are possible and that happiness awaits if they have the courage to dream.

Sentebale was founded by Prince Harry, following his gap year visit to Lesotho a mountainous landlocked country in southern Africa. Overwhelmed by the plight of the children he met, Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso, younger brother of King Letsie III of Lesotho, made a long-term commitment to the children of Lesotho through Sentebale. Sentebale means ‘forget me not’ in Sesotho and is named in memory of the late, Diana Princess of Wales and Queen ‘Mamohato Bereng Seeiso, the late mother of Prince Seeiso).

The focus of Sentebale is to make a life changing difference to Lesotho's orphans, vulnerable children and the forgotten victims of poverty and the HIV/Aids epidemic that ravages this kingdom. Every day in Lesotho, more than one hundred children have their lives shattered by the death of a parent. One quarter of the population of the Forgotten Kingdom, as Lesotho is aptly known, are children who face horrors that no child should ever face.

Lesotho is fighting for survival. Nearly one third of Lesotho's people are infected with HIV/AIDS - the third highest rate in the world. There are an estimated 400,000 orphans and vulnerable children in a country of 1.8 million. Life expectancy has plummeted to 34 years.

Published in 2010 by Little Black Dog Publishing, 25% of the wholesale proceeds of Boopity Boop! Writes Her First Poem will go directly to support Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso's charity.

Boopity Boop! Writes Her First Poem by Masiela Lusha not only supports an important cause it also supports childrens literacy. Order your copy through Amazon today!

© Marilyn Braun 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Royal Report for Sunday December19, 2010 - The best of Prince William & Kate Middleton episodes

In honor of Prince William & Kate Middleton's recent royal engagement, on this episode a look back at the best of William & Kate episodes.

You can listen to the episode here

Tune in to the next episode of The Royal Report on Sunday January 9, 2010 at 9:00PM EST (North America)

The topic will be: 2010 - The Royal Year in review

© Marilyn Braun 2010

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Why Kate Middleton IS the new Diana

Yes, you read that right. Kate Middleton IS the new Diana.

Sure, it has become fashionable to write articles diminishing the idea but it remains a fact nonetheless. Embrace the idea or live in denial like Prince William. The moment he slipped Diana's ring on Kate's finger she automatically filled the void left by her, mainly the desire for glamour and the potential for royal renewal. The royal family has been stuck in a rut and Kate is the perfect antidote. A lot rides on her slim shoulders, including the collective weight of our expectations.

On a superficial level, like Diana she will be looked upon to reinvigorate the British fashion industry, potentially setting trends in the process. As well, she will be expected to stay model slim, look like the modern version of a princess and smile while standing up to our minute scrutiny.

Like Diana, Kate will be denied the perks of her newlywed status; enjoying time as a couple before children arrive. Sooner rather than later, she will be expected to produce a photogenic heir, preferably a male so people don't have to go through the trouble of changing those pesky succession rules.

Oh yes, and let's not forget those dirty words: 'Cinderella' and 'fairy-tale'. Unrealistic? Yes, but you would be hard pressed to avoid them now. What's a royal wedding without the fantasy? Tiara - check. Glass carriage - check. Handsome prince - check. It borders on plagiarism. Deny it all you like; it will be the purple elephant in the royal wedding pews.

Also like Diana, Kate will be expected to live happily ever after. Read: Stay married and look happy - regardless of the reality. People will expect nothing less. Especially given the last marital implosion. Kate will also be expected to find her own role, look good while making a difference, and avoid overshadowing the rest of the royal family.  No tall order.

Sound familiar?

© Marilyn Braun 2010

Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Royal Report for Sunday December 5, 2010 - Should the crown bypass Prince Charles and go to Prince William?

Doubts have been cast on whether Prince Charles should inherit the throne. Many people favor the crown bypassing Prince Charles altogether and go to Prince William. Should William inherit the throne instead of Charles?

Also on this episode: I wave my royal magic wand, Why is Peter Phillips walking on egg-shells? Weird royal collectibles and the people who buy them, creepy royal wedding plans and am I on the verge of becoming a monarchist?

Listen to the episode to find out:

Should the Crown go to Prince William instead of Prince Charles?

Publications discussed

Hello! Canada Weekly No 197 6 December 2010

Blogs mentioned

World of Royalty Blog

Links mentioned

The Prince of Wales - At Work

From My Royal Collection

Cecil Beaton: The Royal Portraits

Tune in to the next episode of The Royal Report on Sunday Decmeber 19th, 2010 - 9:00PM EST (North America)

The topic will be: The best of Prince William & Kate Middleton episodes

© Marilyn Braun 2010