Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Royal Report for Sunday January 30, 2011 - Westminster Abbey and the Royal Family

On this episode, new ways to enjoy the royal wedding with a friend, who is waging war on 'moronic muzak'? On his wedding day, what potentially controversial item will Prince William be wearing under his military uniform?

Find out on this episode:

The Royal Report - Westminster Abbey and The Royal Family

Publications mentioned

Hello! Canada Weekly No 203 31 January 2011

Royalty Monthly - January/February 2011

Majesty Magazine Volume 32 No 1

From My Royal Collection


Resources used to research this episode:

Westminster Abbey - Official Site

The Official Site of the British Monarchy

Crown and Country: A Personal Guide to Royal London by Edward Wessex

Atlas of royal Britain

Two Centuries of Royal Weddings by Christopher Warwick

Tune in to the next episode of The Royal Report on Sunday February 6, 2011 9:00PM EST (North America)

The topic will be: Should the Royal Family get jobs?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dismantling Kate Middleton

Now that Kate Middleton is engaged to Prince William she has become fair game to criticisms about her appearance. Not that she didn't have her fair share of them beforehand but the criticisms were aimed mainly at her employment status and her daring to wait for a proposal; which earned her the unflattering nickname 'Waity Katie.'

Prior the her engagement, except for a few items of clothing, her personal appearance was less of a focus.  To tear her down would have broken the spell, minimizing the illusion of her as the perfect candidate. A Cinderella in waiting cannot be expected to be perfect if our fantasies doesn't require her to be. It was her ordinariness that made the possibility real to the rest of us.

The engagement announcement changed that. Copies of Kate's engagement dress may sell out, her ring might be in high demand, she may be tall and beautiful, but there is always room for improvement.  Like Diana, Kate will be scrutinized from head to toe, in minute detail. For the rest of her life. It's enough to make less fortunate souls run for the hills. Without her face on the tea-towels we're giving her way out. Shouldn't we be giving Kate second thoughts after the ring is on her finger and there is no escape?

Now the pressure is on Kate to be perfect; lest it shatter the illusion of what a princess is supposed to be. For the rest of her life Kate cannot have PMS, she cannot have a pimple, or a run in her stocking. People will expect her to be well-dressed and smile at all times. Anything less than this raises ire.

But Kate shouldn't be too perfect because then she would be out of reach and we can't relate to that. Because we're not perfect it would no longer be possible for us to become a princess too. Then we would have no choice but to knock her off her pedestal. She should be well-dressed, but not too well-dressed. She should wear new clothes, but not too many new clothes. She should recycle her clothes only when the mood strikes us. Everyday will be a bad hair day when we want her to change it. It's only a matter of time before we get around to her weight and that won't please us either. Is it any wonder that Diana had an eating disorder?

People will deplore the amount of coverage on Kate's appearance yet be oblivious to our contribution to it. As long as she looks good, will it matter to us if she cracks under the pressure?

Somehow I doubt it.

© Marilyn Braun 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Royal Report for Sunday January 23, 2011 - William, Kate and the spectre of Diana

Will there be three people in William and Kate's marriage? Is Chelsy Davy indifferent to royal warrants? Would a buzz-cut have hastened a royal engagement? What does Fergie have that Oprah doesn't?

Find out on this episode:

Prince William, Kate Middleton and the spectre of Diana

Publications discussed

Hello! Canada Weekly No 202 24 January 2011

Websites and blogs mentioned

World of Royalty Website

World of Royalty Blog

From My Royal Collection

Diana, Unseen Archives by Alison Gauntlett

Tune in to the next episode of The Royal Report on Sunday January 30, 2011 at 9:00PM EST (North America)

The topic will be: Royal Focus - Westminster Abbey

© Marilyn Braun 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Royal Wedding Report for Sunday January 16, 2011

What was the first royal scandal of 2011? Was Kate destined for greatness as a child? Should Carole and Pippa Middleton ever leave their house again? What does William & Kate's commemorative wedding china have in common with royal flushes?
Find out on this episode:

The Royal Wedding Report - January Edition

Publications discussed

Hello! Canada Weekly No 198 13 December 2010 - Cover story - The Real Kate

Hello! Canada Weekly No 201 17 January 2011

Websites mentioned

Westminster Abbey - Royal Weddings

From My Royal Collection

Grace Kelly: Icon of Style to Royal Bride (Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Tune in to the next episode of The Royal Report for Sunday January 23, 2011 at 9:00PM EST (North America)

The topic will be: William & Kate and the spectre of Diana. Will there be three people in their marriage too

© Marilyn Braun 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Royal Engagement Tribute from British School

Demos and Kitty took the roles of Prince William and Kate Middleton as part of the royal engagement celebrations at The Kingsley School.

Pupils at the private school in Warwickshire made a special congratulations card to send to the happy couple.

The young pupils were photographed with the card before it was sent by the Royal Mail to Buckingham Palace.

The school hopes that the fantastic card will stand out from the others as the junior school pupils made the card themselves, as well as including this photograph of the young lookalikes of Prince William and Kate Middleton from the school.

Here’s a photo of the happy couple!

Thank you to Andrew Parker for sending me this info!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Royal Report for Sunday January 9, 2011 - the 2010 Royal Year in review

What major news stories happened in 2010? Fergie's cash for access scandal, the Queen's first great-grandchild, Prince William's first official tour, and the long awaited engagement announcement of Prince William to his girlfriend Kate Middleton. But what else happened in 2010? Find out on this episode!

You can listen to the episode here

Resources used to compile this episode:

World of Royalty Blog

Netty's Royalty Page

Tune in to the next episode of The Royal Report on Sunday January 16, 2011 at 9:00PM EST (North America)

The topic will be: The Royal Wedding Report - January edition

© Marilyn Braun 2011

Friday, January 07, 2011

Question: King Edward VIII Commemorative items

I have a souvenir tumbler for the coronation of Edward VIII, 12th May 1937. The design seems to be a transfer, with a portrait of the King and a wreath of thistles and roses with the crown at the top. Not interested in selling it, just wondered how common souvenir items of the coronation which did not take place are, are they sought after?

Doing a quick search of Edward VIII coronation souvenirs comes up with a large amount of items. From busts, glassware, medallions, china, stamps, biscuit boxes, handkerchiefs, and even to commemorative coins. Items commemorating the Coronation that never was are by no means rare.

Producing these items would not be unusual and given the amount of time between his accession and his abdication there was plenty of time to prepare them, meaning it wasn't a last minute or limited production. Companies offering these items could not have anticipated the abdication crisis so there was no reason to hold back on making them in large quantities.

I'm not an expert on royal souvenirs - I just like to collect them! Only a dealer can give you an answer regarding it's value to a collector. On eBay, the prices for these items vary greatly and sellers can ask whatever price they choose. Because of this I'm inclined to say that any item related to the brief reign of Edward VIII  is only as valuable as what someone is willing to pay for it.

© Marilyn Braun 2010

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Whose royal wedding is it anyways?

With each royal wedding update, Prince William and Kate (Catherine) Middleton are making it clear that they will organize their wedding their way. Case in point, it was recently announced that Catherine would not be travelling to Westminster Abbey in the traditional Glass Coach, but in a car. While arriving by car is not unheard of, even in royal weddings - Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys Jones' 1999 wedding is a good example - it goes against fairytale expectations.

Prince William and Catherine's wedding is in a different league from Prince Edward and Sophie's. For one, Edward and William are in different positions - William is second-in-line and Edward is seventh. Given Edward's position, few would have expected a lavish royal wedding. Instead of a procession through London to roaring crowds, Edward and Sophie were married in St George's Chapel Windsor. Unlike Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, who arrived at their respective weddings by coach, Prince Edward walked to his ceremony from Windsor Castle with his brothers as his supporters.

No one expects William to walk to Westminster Abbey. Like his grandfather Prince Philip he will be arriving at the Abbey by Royal car. Few if any are unlikely to care how William arrives, as long as he does. It is the bride who is the center point of a wedding. To some, William and Catherine represents a fairytale couple they can live through vicariously. For Catherine to arrive in anything less than a coach somehow diminishes the magic.

But William and Catherine are not a fairytale couple and they might define magic differently. Catherine reportedly chose to arrive at the ceremony by car and depart the Abbey by carriage with the 'splendor of a princess' to illustrate the change in her status. As if we could forget. Much like Sarah Ferguson at her 1986 wedding, when she arrived at the Abbey she wore a headdress of flowers instead of tiara. It was only after the register had been signed that she exchanged the flowers for a diamond tiara. It was a symbolic move. In her own words: "I had stepped up as the country girl; I would walk back as a princess."

The couple are also making an effort to avoid lavishness, though it comes with the territory. No one organizes royal weddings (and funerals) better than the royal family and pageantry is expensive. It is understandable that they would want to avoid the 1981 display Charles and Diana had. But any attempt for William and Catherine to avoid pageantry unrealistic. This is a Royal Wedding and you can only scale back so far. If they truly want to do so they should marry in a registry office like Charles and Camilla. Now wouldn't that be disappointing?

Whether they like it or not William and Catherine straddle the line between wanting the day to be personal versus giving people the pageantry they expect. As new wedding details come to light, disappointment is inevitable, understandable, and ultimately futile.

After all, it's their day, not ours.

© Marilyn Braun 2010

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Royal & The Clueless - Episode 20

On the last episode of The Royal and the Clueless, Enrique tried to convince Kate that an engagement would never happen. He threatened to quit and because his character no longer served a useful purpose, his resignation was accepted. With an engagement having been announced, Prince William & Kate Middleton, err..Catherine make wedding plans in earnest. They are currently reviewing the music selections.

Prince William: I really like Snoop Dog's song..

Catherine: I think Elton would be a better choice. You do want your mother to be a part of our day, don't you?

Prince William: Yes, but we can't go overboard. You're already wearing her dress, which you'll look beautiful in. I...errr...Mummy would be so happy!

Catherine: Do you think they'll be pleased?

Prince William: Who darling?

Catherine: Everyone, of course!

Prince William: What do you mean by 'everyone'?

Catherine: All of the people who are waiting for details about our wedding. People all over the world. Everyone wants to know.

Prince William: True, it's cruel to keep them waiting for information isn't it?

Catherine: Sometimes I feel so bad...

Prince William: There, there darling. Everyone must understand how stressful this is to you.

Catherine: The ring, the engagement pictures, our interview...we can't seem to please everyone

Prince William: We can't give up, we must keep trying!

Despite resigning in the last episode, Enrique mysteriously appears out of nowhere

Enrique: You do realize that not everyone cares about you, right?

Prince William looks around for servants and realizes he doesn't have any

Prince William: How did you get in here?

Enrique: the plot was meandering, I couldn't help myself

Enrique thumbs his nose at Marilyn as she writes this episode. A stapler materializes and Enrique winces at the memory.  Catherine doesn't notice it. Yet.

Catherine: But everyone must care. It can't be that there are people who don't care about us?

Catherine starts sobbing. William tries to comfort her.

Enrique: (exasperated) You're not the centre of the universe you know!

Prince William: Yes, we know, Charlotte Church is. Everyone knows that.

Catherine: (looks perturbed) Yes, that's why we announced more wedding details. Everyone will be so pleased!

Prince William: Brilliant plan darling

Enrique: (muttering under his breath) Has everyone lost their minds?

The stapler mysteriously inches closer to Enrique

Catherine: (frowning) What did you say?

Prince William: Never mind him darling...we must get back to work..everyone is waiting..

Can William and Catherine please everyone? Is everyone really waiting for details? Will Enrique take the hint? Will Catherine notice the stapler? Find out on the next episode of The Royal & The Clueless

 © Marilyn Braun 2010