Wednesday, January 26, 2011

No Hard Feelings, Mate

Prince Charles paid tribute to the courage and resilience of Australians during an address he gave in London in acknowledgement of Australia Day. It seems that HRH has warm and affectionate feelings for Oz, despite being teased and called a "Pommy b**tard" while there as a lad in 1966.

From left: Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt, Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mum), The Pommy b*****d, and Mrs. Zara Holt. Australia, 1966

According to Wiki: The term pommy, often shortened to pom, in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, commonly denotes a person of British (English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish) origin. A derogatory term, it was controversially ruled no longer offensive in 2006 by the Australian Advertising Standards Board and in 2010 by the New Zealand Broadcasting Standards Authority. Despite these changing views, many British people or those of British origin consider the expression offensive or racist when used by people not of British origin to describe English or British people, yet okay within that community: for example, the community group British People Against Racial Discrimination was among those who complained to the Advertising Standards Board about five advertisements poking fun at "Poms", prompting the 2006 decision... The Oxford English Dictionary(OED) strongly supports the theory that pommy originated as a contraction of "pomegranate". The OED also suggests that the reason for this is that pomegranate is extinct Australian rhyming slang for immigrant; it cites an article from 14 November 1912, in a once-prominent Australian weekly magazine The Bulletin: "The other day a Pummy Grant (assisted immigrant) was handed a bridle and told to catch a horse." A popular alternative explanation for the theory that pommy is a contraction of "pomegranate", relates to the purported frequency of sunburn among British people in Australia, turning their fair skin the colour of pomegranates. However, there is no hard evidence for the theory regarding sunburn. Another unofficial explanation is that P.O.M.E. stands for 'Prisoner of Mother England' or that P.O.H.M.E. stands for 'Prisoner of Her Majesty's Exile'. However, the OED states that there is no evidence for these terms or abbreviations being used and that they are an unlikely source. It has also been suggested that POM stands for "product of Mother England".


Whatever the etymology, we hope that our friends down-under take encouragement and hope from HRH's kind words and anywhere else they can and that the tough times they are facing end soon.
It may be a day late, but the sentiment is heartfelt: Happy Australia Day and best of luck to all!

Job Opening(s)

The first is certain. Clarence House has announced that Sir Michael Peat, long time principal private secretary to the Prince of Wales, is stepping down
Sir Michael has been a significant part of palace life for 18 years having worked for both HM Queen Elizabeth as well as her son, Charles. A somewhat controversial figure, it seems that Sir Michael, an accountant by trade, leaves behind some very tight shoes to fill. Indeed.

The second is not so certain. Oprah Winfrey may be looking for someone else to star in 'Finding Sarah' on her new television network. The six-part programme is all about, you guessed it, Sarah Ferguson as she struggles, with the help of various professionals, to rehabilitate herself, her reputation, and her bank balance (perhaps not in that order) following her most recent indecent act.

Although the mogul is apparently denying it, the problem seems to be that the footage of  Sarah's tearful trek through the dank forests of self-discovery is not very interesting. Really? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Grace of Good Genes

Seeing pictures of Charlotte Casirasghi taken at the runway shows in Paris reminded us of two things.

First, that good genes are a gift from God.

(Unless they skip a generation. Or two.)
Princess Stephanie of Monaco attends a press conference before the summer Gala of Fight Aids Monaco on July 17, 2009 in Monaco, Monaco.

AND another royal wedding many years ago.

Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway Turns 7

A charming piece from Hello about the little girl who will one day be queen of Norway, celebrating her 7th birthday with a family trip to India.

Such a lovely family.

Crown Prince Haakon, Prince Sverre Magnus, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, and Marius (Ingrid Alexandra's half-brother)

Ingrid is the first child of her papa, Crown Prince Haakon and the second child of her gorgeous mama, Crown Princess Mette-Marit. Ingrid is the first royal child born after by the1990 change in Norwegian succession law to absolute cognate primogeniture, meaning the first child, regardless of gender, takes precedence in the line of succession. Interestingly, the law was not retroactive, so Haakon takes precedence over his older sister, Princess Martha Louise.

As a descendant of Britain's KingEdward VII, Crown Prince Haakon is in the line of succession for the British crown under the Act of Settlement of 1701. As you may recall, this 300 year old law of primogeniture is currently being discussed in Parliament and elsewhere where such things are of immanent concern

Monday, January 24, 2011

Coming in March...

"No More Waity, Katie" a commemorative nail polish from Butter London, an eco-friendly nail care company. At $22 the limited-edition polish is "grayish-blue and glitter-filled, while remaining organic and animal friendly without the use of any carcinogens (no formaldehyde, toluene, or phthalates)". Organic, animal friendly glitter? Oh well - we still want it.

Monarchist League of Iowa members based in the Capitol can purchase Butter London's nail polish locally in Urbandale at Bombshell or by pre-order via on the first week of March. In the mean time, since we're still waiting for OPI's new Katy Perry line, we'll make do with the splendid nail polish from Deborah Lippmann. (Life is tough.)
Breaking: we've just discovered that Butter's nail polish can be also ordered on

The Professional Royal

Royal aides have confirmed that working girl Kate Middleton has officially resigned from her family's web-based business"She has handed over her work to colleagues and is now preparing for her future life." 

Smart. Of course, this new life includes a very high profile wedding in just over 94 days, 15 hours

We find it sweet and rather charming that the young couple is apparently concerned to keep certain particulars of their wedding hush-hush, "They don't want the world to be sick of their wedding before they become husband and wife. To them it is very important for people on the day to feel they are a part of something which is fresh and new."

Also in question, is where the young couple will reside once Wills' military obligations have ended. Will it be St. James' Palace

Or William and Harry's childhood home, Kensington Palace

Time will tell but whatever they decide, one can be sure it will be William's Way.

Wills and the Real Girl

An interesting piece about Wills and Kate from Katie Nicholl's new book, extracted by Vanity Fair. The more we learn about this handsome young couple, the more we like them.

Pictures of the Real Girl as a little girl.

Isn't she cute?.

Not Quite Pukka

Christina Odone's column on HM's less than dazzling sons includes

well deserved compliments for their hard-working sister and

a hopeful nod toward the younger generation.

Here's to the many benefits of mixing-up the gene pool.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In Case You Missed It

The June 2010 wedding of Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling.

Representing the Windsors, the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Don't they look smart.

Duchess Non Grata?

It seems the Duchess of Pork, uh, so sorry, York is being readmitted onto the fringe of the inner circle at least for one day in April. Good old Wills yet again doing just the right thing, honouring his mother's one-time friend

as well as his cousins' beloved mother. Well done.
Lifeline: Pince William has apparently insisted that the Duchess of York receive an invitation to the Royal wedding and is expected to accompany daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie

Petronella Misses the Point

The UK Daily Mail's Petronella Wyatt has an item today where she reminds us and, maybe even the bride-to-be sweet Kate, that there may be unintended consequences to asking for charitable donations in lieu of gifts. On the other hand, perhaps the unselfishness of the young couple will lead to greater gifts later on. Our guess would be, they are thinking longer term...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Looking Back

King George VI and The Queen Mum

Wedding Tiaras for a Girl of Great Britain

As speculation over every aspect of the April wedding of Wills and Kate mounts, we turn our attention to the all important Wedding Tiara.
First, some background:

"In modern times, however, a tiara is generally a semi-circular or circular band, often metal, and decorated with jewels, which is worn as a form of adornment. It is worn by women around their head or on the forehead as a circlet on very formal or high social occasions. Tiaras are frequently used to "crown" the winners of beauty pageants. In western countries, a bride often wears a tiara as part of her bridal gown.
Queen Elizabeth II is said to have the largest and most valuable collection of tiaras in the world, many of which are heirlooms of the British Royal Family. She is often seen wearing them on state occasions. Her personal collection of tiaras is considered to be priceless. She received many of them through inheritance, especially from Queen Alexandra, and gifts from foreign countries."
With this in mind, we turn our attention to a few of the options
Should the groom's other family be willing, would Kate want to wear the lovely Spencer Tiara as did Diana on her wedding day? 

What about the Cambrdige Lover's Knot Tiara, another favorite of the groom's departed mother, returned to HMQEII after the divorce?

Of course, every bride needs to wear something new on her wedding day.
Maybe not. HM is no longer pleased with Garrard since they hired Jade Jagger, now preferring Harry Collins.

Perhaps she'll choose the very pretty Strathmore Rose Tiara?

Or the Vladimir Tiara with either emeralds...
The Vladimir Tiara, Russia, <i>c</i>.1890
or pearls.
The 'Vladimir Tiara' set with its original pearls

We believe the best and most revealing option would be the magnificent Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara - also our favorite.

Friday, January 21, 2011

"Babykins" Middleton is Very Tall

Yes, 5'11".

Here are more fun and fascinating facts about Kate, courtesy of Wedding Fever and Hello Magazine:

1. She is marrying into a family renowned for its bright blue eyes, but hers are actually green
2. Kate owes her glowing complexion, which still looks dewy and fresh even after a night of clubbing, to avoiding alcohol. She doesn't  touch a drop.
 3. One of the best-tressed women in Britain, her glossy curtain of long, straight hair is the result of an expert blow-dry. At school and In her early years at  university she had an unruly mop of kinky curls she has now learned to tame.
4. Kate is a demon on the piste. She can outski and outlast William on any black run.
5. Like Princess Diana, her favourite sport is tennis. She even played on a court outside the rented house in Cornwall where she and her family celebrated Christmas a year ago.
6. While often seen stopping off at a Tesco  in North Wales, Kate is actually a Waitrose kind of girl. When at home in Chapel Row, Berkshire she drives off to the next village which boasts her favourite supermarket.
7. Kate grew up in a modest red brick semi in the small village of Bradfield Southend in Berkshire, where her family lived until July, 1995. It was even more modest when Kate's parents moved there in 1980, later adding a side extension used as a playroom for the three Middleton children. 
8. Not surprisingly, Kate's favourite colour for clothing is blue. She chose the blue Issa dress she wore on her engagement day, as she jokingly explained, 'to match my sapphire engagement ring.'
9. Kate belongs to the 'Less is more' school of makeup, avoiding face powder for a natural, dewy look with only a trace of eyeliner and mascara.
10. In the seaside farmhouse she shares with William on Anglesey Kate has recreated the cosiness and comfort of the farmhouse north of St.Andrews where they first lived alone together during their last 18 months at university.
11. Sharing clothes with her mother  is one way canny Kate saves money. She turned up at the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2006 wearing a brown fur hat, which Carole Middleton donned for Prince William's graduation from Sandhurst the following December.
12. She is a High Street rather than a high fashion girl. She bought that much-admired white overcoat from Reiss.
13. To avoid the London paparazzi, she has been shopping in the Reading Mall, just a few miles from her family home. 'We see her here all the time,' one shop assistant told Hello!
14. High maintenance she is not. Her nails are kept short with a natural polish.
15. Apart from her sapphire and diamond engagement ring, Kate has always liked inexpensive, ethnic jewellery. But that seems set to change once she marries and has a tiara on her glossy hair.
16. Kate left Marlborough College with three A levels, two A grades in mathematics and art, and a B in English.
17. While William spent his Gap Year in exotic places like Kenya and Peru, art lover Kate went to Florence in September, 2000 for a 12 week Italian course at the British Institute.
18. While in Italy Kate shared a flat with several girls, including singer Chris Rea's niece Alice Whitaker.
19. Kate's artistic bent emerged while working for the High Street chain Jigsaw. In 2007 she designed a £42 silver and rose quartz necklace with the help of jeweller Claudia Bradby
20. Kate shares her January 9 birthday with singers Joan Baez and Crystal Gayle as well as the late President Nixon.
21. Like Prince William, Kate drives an Audi.
22. Kate first holidayed with William's family when she joined him and Prince Charles in Klosters in 2004.
23. The first time she met the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh was at Peter Phillips' wedding in May, 2008.
24. William's pet name for Kate is 'Babykins.'
25. Her name for him is 'Big Willie.'
26. Fun-loving Kate revealed her daring side when she turned up wearing Bunny ears at a Rampant Rabbit party at St.Kitt's nightclub in Chelsea three years ago.
27. The Middletons live in a leafy village in a detached house surrounded by fields and woodlands. Behind the house is an area large enough for Prince William to land his helicopter on a flying visit.
28. Kate is the tallest bride to marry into the royal family for many decades. I am 5ft.8 and Princess Diana gave me a crick in my neck when I gazed up at her. Kate is even taller, around 5ft.11inches.
 29. At St.Andrew's boarding school  in Berkshire, Kate starred in an end-of-term play in a Victorian melodrama opposite a leading man called William. When a fortune teller predicts she will meet a handsome, wealthy man she asks, 'Will he fall in love with me and marry me? Oh, how my heart flutters."

How it flutters, indeed.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Meanwhile in Denmark...

We mustn't overlook great events in the loves of other monarchs.

Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik - Wedding Of Swedish Crown Princess Victoria & Daniel Westling - Arrivals

Congratulations Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark on the addition of twins to their royal brood. (Note the hand knit shawls in the photos.)

Chicks Rule

Always. Enough said.

Belgravia SW1

Miss Kate Middleton, family, and friends will stay at The Goring hotel the night before the wedding. What an excellent choice! I wonder if they're booking every room? Belgravia's finest.

Of course, in the old days, we always stayed at the dearly departed Basil Street Hotel in Knightsbridge, close to a department store owned by a charming fellow called, something like, Dodious Fayed.

We suppose if we have to, there is always the Mandarin Oriental -

or, if needs must, even Mayfair.

No, not Claridge's. Too many celebrities.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Whirlwind of Activity

With just over 99 days to prepare, things are heating-up for our very busy Wills and Kate.


Meanwhile, we have yet another royal wedding to plan for; lovely Charlene Wittstock and Prince Albert of Monaco are tying the knot in July.

I hope there's a direct flight between Nice and Edinburgh - July will be a busy month.

Understated: Zarah Phillips and her fiance Mike Tindall after they announced their engagement

Still Warranted

Apparently, the royal warrant has lost its cache... perhaps for some few. But not for us at MLofI HQ! To the naysayers we say - really? How else does one know where to shop? What to buy? Spare us, please.

The 1701 Act of Settlement and Modern Monarchy

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is  concerned.
Unlike other, lesser, 80-plus-year-old-granny-corgi-loving-billionaires with barely 100 days to plan her grandson and heir's wedding, our dear sovereign has to consider history, past and future.
Apparently, there have been 11 attempts to change the 1701 succession laws, enacted under the reign of Dutch-born William of Orange, since 1981. The Act of Settlement does more, however, than limit the right of female heirs to inherit the throne:

"The Act of Settlement not only addressed the dynastic and religious aspects of succession, it also further restricted the powers and prerogatives of the Crown."

Uh oh.

William III (r.1689-1702) & Mary II (r.1689-1694)

"The Act of Settlement reinforced the Bill of Rights, in that it strengthened the principle that government was undertaken by the Sovereign and his or her constitutional advisers (i.e. his or her Ministers), not by the Sovereign and any personal advisers whom he or she happened to choose."

There are also serious implications for the Church of England, its relationship to the state and of course, The Monarchy. (Damn Jacobites.)