Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Royal Report for Sunday July 26th, 2009 - Are photos of Kate Middleton an invasion of privacy?

The Sun recently published some photos of Kate Middleton and Prince William kissing. Are these photos an invasion of privacy or a necessary evil for bloggers?

You can listen to the episode here

Photos discussed in this episode

The Sun - Photos of William and Kate

Publications mentioned

Hello! Canada Weekly No 137 27 July 2009

Sites mentioned

Mary, Queen of Scots contest

World of Royalty Blog

British Royal Wedding

Party Pieces

Links mentioned

Press Complaints Commission - Kate Middleton

Press Complaints Commission - Kate Middleton Resolution

Tune in to the next episode of The Royal Report on Sunday August 2, 2009 9:00PM EST

The topic will be: On August 6th, 2009 The Royal Report will be 2 years old! A look back at 2 years of magical, informative, educational and hilarious reports.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Royal & The Clueless - Episode 16

On the last episode of The Royal and The Clueless, Kate Middleton vowed to make better use of her time. Recently recorded speaking in public for the first time, Kate decides to work on her enunciation with her co-worker Enrique.

Kate: Do you think I sounded okay on that YouTube video?

Enrique: Darling, you did a great job. I can hear you thanking small children for posies in that voice. But there's still work to do. Let's begin: "The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain.."

Kate: The rine in spine sties minely in the pline

Enrique: It's 'the *rain* in *Spain* stays *mainly* in the *plain*.

Kate: Didn't ah sy that?

Enrique: (sighs) Kate, you speak as well as you roller-skate. Now I want you to say it fifty times until you get it.

3 days later

Kate: The rine in spine sties minely in the pline..

Enrique slaps the palm of his hand to his forehead in frustration.

Enrique: No, no, no..the *rain* in *Spain*...

2 Weeks Later

Kate: The rine in..

Enrique (with exaggerated calm): Kate, you must work on this. A lady speaks properly. If you work hard you shall sleep in a proper bedroom, have lots to eat, and money to buy lots of chocolates. We shall take you to Buckingham Palace, beautifully dressed. If the Queen finds out you're not a lady, you will be taken to the Tower of London, where your head will be cut off as a warning to other wannabe royal girlfriends. But if you are not found out you shall have a golden page in the history books. Now let's try it again. 'The..

Kate: Rain in...

Enrique: By George I think she's got it! Where does it rain?

Kate (sings): On the plain..on the plain!

Enrique winces at her singing.

Enrique: And where is that plain?

Kate: (sings) In Spain, in Spain

Enrique: I think you've got it. But seriously, stop singing.

Can Enrique get Kate to stop singing? Will she learn how to speak better than she roller-skates? Tune in to the next episode of The Royal & The Clueless.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Royal Transportation

The Queen is the most travelled monarch in British history and she has the distinction of having taken every concievable mode transportation - horseback, carriage, train, plane, helicopter, car and bicycle. She's also ridden on an elephant, been transported on a barge and even taken public transportation.

Let's revisit some of the modes of transportation:

Royal Train - In Victorian times there were few options for royal travel but this changed in 1840 when the Great Western Railway Company built a splendid railway carriage for Queen Victoria and her family. It was also used by the Dowager Queen Adelaide, widow of William IV. It was not until 1842 that Queen Victoria could be persuaded to ride it. The first Royal train journey took place on June 13, 1842 transported Queen Victoria from Slough to Paddington. The trip took 25 minutes and her journals record the experience as 'delightful'. Thus began the history of royal rail travel. Since then, successive monarchs have used the train.

Royal Flight - While today flying is commonplace as a mode of transporation, the Royal Air Force wasn't formed until 1918. King George V never flew, even as a passenger. The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) was the first member of the royal family to fly. In 1936 he became the first monarch to do so. The first member of the royal family to become a qualified pilot was Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI) in 1919. Many members of the royal family have learnt to fly. While Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother took the controls of a Comet in 1952, the first female member to earn a private pilots licence is Sarah, Duchess of York in 1987. The present Queen first flew in 1945 with her parents to Northern Ireland. Since that point there are strict rules on members of the royal family flying together in the same plane or helicopter. To prevent disaster from striking twice, the Queen and Prince Charles do not fly together. Nor do Prince Charles and Prince William. Prince Philip was the first member of the royal family to fly the Concorde in 1972. The Queen flew in it five years later and the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother celebrated her 85th birthday in the cockpit of the Concorde.

Royal Carriage - The Royal Mews has over 100 carriages, the oldest being the Gold State Coach used by King George III in 1762. Another famous coach is the Glass coach, used to transport royal brides to their weddings. Royal Carriages are a symbol of pagentry, being used for ceremonial occasions such as the State Opening of Parliament, Trooping the Color and Coronations. Queen Victoria is said to have been very fond of taking daily open carriage rides regardless of the weather.

Royal Cars - Albert Edward, Prince of Wales was the first member of the royal family to own a car. He had his first drive in a "horseless carriage" - a Daimler - in 1896. In 1898, while some were still branding the new invention “dirty” and “evil”, he drove a vehicle for the first time on public roads. He bought his first car – again, a Daimler – in 1900. In 1905, by then Edward VII, he bought no fewer than seven Daimlers in a single year. The develoment of the motor car owes much to his enthusiasm for this mode of transport. Depending on the member of the royal family, it is quite possibly the most frequently used form of transportation. For most of her engagements the Queen uses a State car.

Royal Yacht -In the early to mid part of the 20th century, cross Atlantic royal travel was by ship. As Princess Elizabeth, the Queen arrived at her first overseas visit via HMS Vanguard in 1947. The royal family has a long tradition of sailing for sport and strong ties with the yacht racing community. While the Queen has christened many a ship, the one most closely associated with her is the Royal Yacht Britannia. Launched in 1953 it was designed to be a venue for official entertaining and receptions as well as a residence for Royal tours. During its 44 years of service it went on 696 overseas visits before being decommissioned in 1997.

Riding - While not as efficient a mode of travel to carry out royal engagements, riding is arguably the oldest form of royal transport. Since there has been a royal family there have been horses. Horses have been ridden into battle and to play polo, the sport of kings. Like carriages, they are used for ceremonial occasions. They are also used for competition and for pleasure. Most members of the royal family ride, most notably Princess Anne, The Princess Royal. She is an accomplished rider, having competed in the Montreal Olympics.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Question: Does the Queen wear wigs?

I say QE II has worn wigs in public for many decades. Have you talked about this in your blog? My sister says she wears expensive wigs . Michael Fagan said he saw her wigs on her makeup table. Can you verify this? I would appreciate your
insight. I say she wears wigs and does so as a convenience.

In all of the books I've read about her, I don't think I've ever heard about her wearing wigs. I'm going to have to say no, I don't think that the Queen wears wigs. Yes, when Michael Fagan broke into the Queen's bedroom in 1982 there were reports that he had seen a wig. The Sun, a tabloid newspaper, reportedly paid his wife, Christine for the rights to her story. Amongst the tantalizing revelations, the Queen wore a shortie nightgown and had the figure of a 16 year old. Viewing photos of her circa 1982, can you picture her owning either?

The Queen has had the same hairstyle, with some slight variations, for the last eighty years. Towards the end of the 1940's, when it was almost to her shoulders, was the longest length she wore it. In the 1950's she had the petalled pin-curl style, fashionable at the time. In the 1960's it resembled a football helmet circa 1938 and she has more or less stuck with this particular look since then.

Unlike her late sister, Princess Margaret, the Queen has never experimented with her looks. She's never worn elaborate updos or changed the color and she seems blessed with hair that hasn't thinned as she has gotten older. When it started to go gray in the late 1980's she stopped dying it altogether. Like her mother and grandmother, the Queen has had the same ubiqitious style - handy for keeping the look of stamps and currency consistent. The only instance of false hair I can find is that her grandmother, Queen Mary, as a young woman, wore an artificial fringe attached to the front hairline called a 'bang'.

She has used the same hairstylist, Ian Carmichael, for the last 11 years. If she wears wigs then only her hairdresser knows for sure.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Monday, July 06, 2009

Michael Jackson vs Diana - Who will win the funeral stakes?

Since Michael Jackson died almost 2 weeks ago there have been comparisons to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in terms of how shocked the world was when they died. I have to say that Diana's death was far more shocking than Michael Jackson's. He had looked ill and fragile for some time and Diana was bursting with vitality, ready to write the next chapter in her post-royal life. Like Diana, Jackson's death was premature and like Diana, he will be raised to an iconic status. In time we will only remember the good about both of them.

The next comparison to Diana is her funeral. Watched by a billion people it effectly brought most of the world to a stand-still for the week leading up to it. The British royals know how to throw a funeral, on par with the American talent for throwing presidential elections. Diana's funeral was a class act from start to the last glimpse as the hearse drove through the gates of Althorp.

Both funerals could have been private events but each family realized that each of them touched peoples lives. Neither did anything quietly in life, therefore why should it be any different in death? While Diana may have sold more books and newspapers, Michael Jackson is selling more CDs and DVDs. Diana may be frozen in time as a beautiful princess, but Jackson will always be a brilliant entertainer having influenced many of todays top performers.

It will be tough to gauge the response to the memorial service planned at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles on Tuesday. The service will be broadcast like Diana's funeral, to a world wide audience. But unlike Diana in 1997 we now have Twitter and Facebook to add the element of participation for those unlucky enough to not have won tickets to the event. Billed as the hottest ticket in town, the royals must be shaking their heads at the absence of dignity. Diana may not have been royal, but she was given a send off that set the bar high for the demise of any future public figure. So who will win in the world-wide funeral stakes?

It depends on your tastes.

© Marilyn Braun 2009

Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Royal Romance Report for Sunday July 5th, 2009

On the July edition of The Royal Romance Report, can Michael Jackson top Diana in the funeral stakes? Should Andrew and Fergie get back together?

You can listen to the episode here.

Publications mentioned

People Magazine – The Talent and Tragedy of Michael Jackson 1958 – 2009

My Story by Sarah, Duchess of York

Blogs mentioned

British Royal Wedding

The Royal Report will be on hiatus for the next 2 weeks. The show will return on Sunday July 26th, 2009 - topic to be determined. Please feel free to check out my show archives in the interim.

© Marilyn Braun 2009