By Patricia Treble - Friday, May 10, 2013 - 0 Comments
Six cities in seven days—Prince Harry’s whistle stop tour of the United States may not leave much time for princely touristing, or partying (insert naked Las Vegas joke here). For one thing, this trip is dripping in serious events, such as a visit to Arlington Cemetery and meeting wounded soldiers (an itinerary is at the bottom of this post). So it’s Harry at his most solemn and most charming, not revealing the most skin.
“He is a soldiers’ soldier and will bring a spotlight on what’s being done to help these outstanding men and women,” said Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Harry’s private secretary during the pre-tour media briefing. There will certainly be no shenanigans on Lowther-Pinkerton’s watch—the ex-SAS officer is known for being very close to Harry, as well as William and Kate, and for running a very efficient, very photogenic royal tour (see Harry’s 2012 Jamaica trip—JLP is the man in the check shirt sitting beside Harry—and William & Kate’s Canadian adventure from 2011). Even New Jersey Governor Chris Christie got in on the act, saying, “Believe me, nobody’s going to get naked if I’m spending the entire day with Prince Harry” inspecting areas hit by hurricane Sandy.
By Leah McLaren - Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 7:00 AM - 0 Comments
Let’s hear it for Harry, the most huggable Windsor in history. Forget the heir, long live the spare.
Now that the royal pregnancy is safely under way, let’s turn our attention to the other brother, shall we? I mean Prince Harry, of course—that wonderful, grinning, golden Labrador of a royal—master of the TMZ generation, ruler of all frat brothers, the emperor of strip poker and a bloody good soldier. Let’s hear it for Harry, the most huggable Windsor in history. Forget the heir, long live the spare!
When Harry bounded back into the spotlight recently by giving “his most candid interview ever” to various British TV news outlets—a set of interviews conducted over Christmas and broadcast within minutes of his departure from his second tour of duty in Afghanistan—the whole world jumped up off the collective sofa and danced Gangnam-style. We did this because Harry, like weird Korean pop videos, simply makes us happy. Even in the darkest days of January, under threat of a triple-dip recession, the sight of his freckle-faced grin and strawberry-blond brush cut, gives the British public (and its Commonwealth brethren) the will to live another winter. Continue…
By Ken MacQueen - Friday, November 30, 2012 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
Celebrating a remarkable Diamond Jubilee year, our adored Queen is still going strong, in sensible shoes
In the week before Remembrance Sunday, Queen Elizabeth II trekked to the scenic London borough of Richmond Upon Thames to tour the Poppy Factory. She is patron of the Royal British Legion and Prince Harry, her gunship-flying grandson, is among the British and Commonwealth troops in peril in Afghanistan. She was greeted by local dignitaries, toured the production area, had a go at assembling a poppy, and met with staff and clients from the factory-funded employment program for wounded veterans. “The Poppy Factory hasn’t had a visit from the Queen for 20 years,” the facility’s chief executive would later remark. Not that you’d think anyone’s counting—but they are.
By any measure 2012 has been exceptional for the 86-year-old monarch. It marked her 60th year on the throne. She had a historic rapprochement with an ex-Provisional Irish Republican Army commander, whose group blew up her cousin Lord Louis Mountbatten 33 years ago. She presided over the opening ceremonies of London’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, including a star turn with Daniel Craig’s James Bond. On Nov. 20, Elizabeth and 91-year-old Prince Philip observed their 65th wedding anniversary. Continue…
By Patricia Treble - Monday, March 12, 2012 at 10:53 AM - 0 Comments
Members of the royal family don’t tend to talk about their emotions, especially during a royal tour. But then again, there’s never been anyone like Prince Harry, and his fun-filled, informal visit to the Caribbean and Brazil. At the end of his 10-day tour, Harry summed his trip up in a way only he could: “I’m absolutely exhausted but the warmth of the reception that we’ve received from every single country that we’ve been to—including Brazil—has been utterly amazing. I personally had no idea how much influence the Queen has on all these countries. And to me that’s been very humbling, and I was actually quite choked up at times seeing the way that they’ve celebrated her 60 years. She’s thousands of miles away to some of these countries and yet they celebrated her in the way they did, and made me feel as one of them, so I couldn’t thank them more.”
“You can’t sit there with a stiff upper lip and crossed arms and not get involved,” the prince said. ”We knew from the start that these countries were going to be fantastic fun. I’ve never taken myself too seriously and I hope everyone back home has seen it as it is but I’ve had an amazing time —I’ve had a gas.”
Near the end, he revealed he’d talked about the visit with his grandmother before he left Britain. “We had a great chat. She said: ‘You enjoy it, I hope you do me proud.’ It was a typical grandmother to grandson chat.”
Harry also added, “My family is the same as any other family when it comes to humor behind closed doors, though I’d like think I was funnier than my grandmother.”
One can only wait and wonder what he has up his sleeves for the London Summer Olympics. Maybe a rematch with Usain Bolt?
By Patricia Treble - Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 6:13 PM - 0 Comments
On the last leg of his first solo royal tour, Prince Harry showed more of his relaxed, humorous nature to denizens of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In a day spent largely on sports activities, he donned a face mask of his older brother, William, for a charity run. He also hit the beach, teaching kids the wonderfully strange rules of rugby; a sport just starting to take off in Latin America. And then, he got a lesson himself in Rio’s most famous past time—beach volleyball. Alas, photographers’ dreams of the ultimate photo op was for naught: the female players were far more covered up than they usually are in professional tournaments.
By Patricia Treble - Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 12:41 PM - 0 Comments
Prince Harry racing (and cheating against) Usain Bolt on a track. Harry showing off his dance moves to a Bob Marley tune. William and Kate competing in a dragon boat race in Prince Edward Island. Kate spending a solo Valentine’s Day visiting a children’s hospital in Liverpool. While the young Windsors deserve kudos for their relaxed, fresh new take on royal engagements, accolades should also be showered on the man who’s a step or two behind them: Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton. As private secretary to William, Kate and Harry, the 51-year-old former army officer has one of the most important jobs in the royal bureaucracy that surrounds the Windsors; after all, his charges are the future of the monarchy. Nothing happens on a public outing that hasn’t been vetted by him.
Hired in 2005 to be the private secretary to William and Harry, he is a former captain in the SAS, Britain’s legendary special forces regiment. He served in the first Gulf War and spent two years battling Colombian drug lords. After leaving the SAS he worked for Kroll Risk Management, the huge security firm. And he’s not just all action: he graduated from the exclusive school of Eton, where William and Harry were also educated, and did a stint at Clarence House as an equerry to their great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
By Patricia Treble - Friday, February 24, 2012 at 5:21 PM - 0 Comments
Members of the royal family know that just popping in at an event will give the hosting charity a platform like no other. The media will come calling, along with generous donors and loads of volunteers. Because if royalty supports it, then it must be a good cause, no? For select charities, involvement by a Windsor can go much deeper—Princess Anne’s decades-long devotion to the Save the Children Fund helped it grow into a global humanitarian behemoth. And in that same tradition, her nephew, Prince Harry, went on an Arctic expedition last spring to raise money for Walking with the Wounded, a charity that raises money to aid British troops who have returned wounded from the front lines.
The polar adventure is the subject of an intriguing new documentary, Harry’s Arctic Heroes, airing in two parts on Discovery World on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8 and 9 p.m. ET. The focus isn’t on Harry—he’s busy training to be an Apache helicopter pilot—but rather on the four soldiers who volunteer for the gruelling trek. Each was severely wounded in Afghanistan and each has to conquer both physical and mental demons while in one of the most demanding and unforgiving environments on Earth.
By Nancy MacDonald, Alex Ballingall, Emma Teitel and Cigdem Iltan - Friday, July 8, 2011 at 8:50 AM - 0 Comments
Prince Harry has a new gal, Thailand elects a woman, and at least one Canadian mayor will march at Pride
They love you, you big hairy ape
A French couple has spent the last 13 years raising a 120-kg gorilla in their home. Zookeepers Pierre and Elianne Thivillon adopted Digit after her mother refused to breastfeed her. Digit spends her days with other animals at the Saint Martin la Plaine Zoo near Lyon, but returns to her adoptive home at night where she sleeps in the Thivillon bed, according to a new BBC documentary. Digit’s brother Ginko used to live there too, but had to return to the zoo after becoming too aggressive. Life with Digit, however, is much more pleasant: she is reportedly gentle with the couple, and has been photographed hugging and kissing them. “We have a very strong bond,” Pierre told Sky News.
Meaghan Blanchard blew every rule of etiquette at once when she seemed to combine “duke” and “duchess” and accidentally called Prince William a “douche,” moments before performing for William and his new wife Kate in Charlottetown. “I can’t believe that just happened,” the red-faced, 22-year-old singer exclaimed. But the royal couple saw the funny side of the gaffe, sharing a hearty laugh, and Blanchard recovered quickly, delivering a flawless performance of the self-penned Waltzing With You. “I felt awful,” Blanchard later said, “but sometimes that’s just life, you gotta roll with the punches.”
By Anne Kingston - Monday, May 30, 2011 at 9:50 AM - 5 Comments
Exit Waity Katy. Enter the hot sister, the vengeful mum, and the ‘Baywatch’ blondes
On April 29, the British tabloids officially lost “Waity Kaity,” the nickname they’d foisted on Kate Middleton. But the gods of fame and rumour more than compensated with a cast of characters destined to feed the gossip mills and paparazzi for years. And just in time: post-engagement and wedding, the “Wills & Kate” narrative is in cruise control until the inevitable “baby bump” rumours fly.
Westminster Abbey, the focus of a billion eyes, provided an ideal incubator for celebrity creation—which clearly has a lot less to do with talent or accomplishment than genetics, timing and exposure. The day served as a snapshot of the piffle that excites the masses—derrières, dresses, outlandish hats. The day’s breakout star, Pippa Middleton, was already well known to the tabs: the 27-year-old party planner has been a girl about London for years. In 2008, Tatler named her “the No. 1 society singleton,” but couldn’t resist snarking: “Goes to a lot of parties, but mainly as the caterer.” That was before the royal seal of approval, back when the Middletons were ridiculed as parvenus and Kate and Pippa dubbed the “Wisteria Sisters” for their social climbing acumen.
Then, presto, Pippa donned The Dress and minced up the aisle, a journey that served as a primal dog whistle, launching a million tweets and the “Pippa Middleton Ass Appreciation Society.” Pippa hadn’t exited the church on Prince Harry’s arm before speculation raged that the two would hook up at the reception. It’s a scenario ripe for triangulation, dragging in Pippa’s now-famous beau, Alex Loudon, a handsome former cricket player turned financier known as “Minotaur,” and Prince Harry’s off-on girlfriend Chelsy Davy. The permutations are endless.
By Kate Fillion - Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
Six young children, two highly eligible wranglers in Prince Harry and Pippa—all the ingredients for royal chaos, but the attendants behaved (almost) perfectly
Nothing says courage quite like including six young children in your wedding party, unless it’s choosing as wranglers a young man who’s been called the bad boy of the royal family and a young woman who’s been called the most eligible singleton in the kingdom. With so many wild cards, anything could have gone wrong.
But nothing did. Pippa Middleton made sure of that. After helping her sister exit the car at Westminster Abbey and expertly arranging the train of the wedding dress just so on the red carpet, she took charge of the children, smiling calmly throughout. Walking up the aisle hand in hand with the pair of three-year-old bridesmaids, she summoned memories of Diana’s easy, natural way with children. And yet the impression she created was all her own: while her unobtrusive manner indicated a willingness to fade modestly into the background, Pippa’s form-fitting dress, with buttons up the back and a small train of its own, made that quite impossible. Unusually, it was only a shade or two away from Kate’s own gown, and the cut was substantially more revealing. There were whispers, and within minutes, squawks and tweets: had the maid of honour upstaged the bride? Online, detractors emerged, sniffing about the chestnut hue of Pippa’s fake tan. But in the church, she dispatched her duties serenely and with dignity.
Prince Harry, too, stepped up, which is to say that he was subdued and entirely proper throughout the ceremony, after cracking his brother up with a whispered aside as Kate approached the altar holding her father’s hand. There was nothing inappropriate in that, though: the best man’s job description is to lighten the mood. And after the ceremony, heading to the palace in a carriage with the youngest members of the wedding party, he was impeccably avuncular, reassuring the children and putting them at ease.
By Nancy Macdonald and Maclean's staff - Friday, April 1, 2011 at 11:06 AM - 0 Comments
Danny Williams’s big snit, the Barefoot Contessa gets raked over the coals, and can one million Leafs owners be wrong?
The heartless contessa?
Celebrity chef Ina Garten, of Barefoot Contessa fame, was shamed into fulfilling a six-year-old cancer patient’s dying wish of cooking a meal with her. “Last year, Ina gave a ‘soft no,’ supposedly because she had a 10-month book tour,” Enzo Pereda‘s mother explained in a blog post. Her son, who was diagnosed with leukemia three years ago, loves watching Garten while resting in bed; he told Garten’s people he would wait. Even after being turned down a second time, last week, she wrote, “he STILL loves the Contessa.” Garten, who was criticized by bloggers and news sites, said she “became aware of Enzo’s story this weekend,” and will be calling him immediately to invite him to the set.
It’s my party, I’ll cry if I want to
Danny Williams‘s big snit continues. After abruptly cancelling a tribute in his honour—an event organized by his own brother, lawyer and veteran Tory fundraiser Tommy Williams—the ex-premier accused his replacement Kathy Dunderdale and her ministers of distancing themselves from him. “They don’t even want me to have the cell numbers of cabinet ministers—I mean, I can’t explain that,” Williams told the CBC. Newfoundlanders who want to relive the memory of his happier days can pick up a copy of Danny Williams: A Profile, a newly released collection of photos from his time in office.
A different kind of lone gunman
A five-foot-seven-inch Gurkha soldier from the British county of Kent who single-handedly repelled a Taliban attack has been awarded Britain’s Conspicuous Gallantry Cross—its second-highest honour—for outstanding bravery. Acting Sgt. Dipprasad Pun, 31, spent more than 400 rounds of ammo and 19 grenades in his lone-wolf battle against 30 Taliban fighters at a remote checkpoint in Helmand province. At one point, when his gun would no longer fire, he wielded it like a bat and knocked a Taliban fighter off the rooftop, shouting “Marchu talai“—”I will kill you,” in Nepali.
Bachmann in overdrive
With Sarah Palin’s star apparently on the wane, get set to hear a lot more about Michelle Bachmann. The Tea Partier from Minnesota told ABC News she’s “in for 2012″—not an official declaration, but enough to whip the chattering classes into a tizzy. The darling of the far right garners a lot of attention, not all good: she’s famous for delivering a state of the union rebuttal while staring goofily into the wrong camera, declaring “not all cultures are equal,” and calling for her colleagues to be investigated to see if they are “pro-America” enough. Expect more hyperbole in months ahead as she zeroes in on Barack Obama, whom she calls the “worst president ever.”
Madonna’s planned $15-million Raising Malawi Academy for Girls has been scrapped amid charges of eye-popping embezzlement by its now-ousted board of directors. A damning audit showed lavish spending on offices, cars and golf memberships, but not the school, funded by Madonna and fellow Kabbalians like Gwyneth Paltrow—there isn’t even a valid land title. For Madonna the fiasco goes on: staffers are suing the pop star for wrongful dismissal and lost wages.
Where is Iman?
As though Iman al-Obeidi‘s account of a gang rape by 15 of Moammar Gadhafi‘s men after her arrest at a Tripoli checkpoint wasn’t chilling enough, she now faces criminal charges for speaking out. “The boys accused of doing this are furious,” said Libyan spokesman Moussa Ibrahim, in a nightmarish twist to the story. “They have filed a case to defend their family name.” Obeidi has been missing since being dragged off by security forces after trying to tell foreign reporters of her two-day ordeal. So far, Libya has levelled a litany of excuses, variously claiming she was drunk, “mentally ill” and a prostitute; according to her family, she’s a lawyer. They told al-Jazeera they were offered money and a house in return for her recanting her story.
By Jonathon Gatehouse - Monday, November 22, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 5 Comments
Charming, gaffe-prone Prince Harry may enjoy being out of the spotlight
If there is any justice, Prince Harry will get to organize the stag night. It wouldn’t just be his duty as presumptive best man (current odds from British bookmaker William Hill: 12-1), it would play to his proven natural talents. For of all the royals, 26-year-old Henry Charles Albert David, third in line to the throne, is the indisputable party boy.
Charles and Diana’s second son, or “the spare,” as the late princess used to teasingly call him, has long had a taste for fun, and occasionally trouble. At 16, the tabloids revealed he’d been drinking to excess down at the local pub, and smoking pot on the grounds of his father’s Highgrove estate. (The Prince of Wales reacted by dispatching him to a London drug rehabilitation clinic for one short, sharp, shocking afternoon.) At 20, he got involved in a 3 a.m. scuffle with a paparazzo outside a posh London nightclub, leaving the man with a cut lip, and a highly lucrative photo. He celebrated his 25th birthday—and the official inheritance of $14.5 million from his mother’s estate—with a $32,400 African booze cruise, on a houseboat ﬁlled with friends, lager and smokes.
“Does everyone expect me to be just the caring person and not to have a cigarette, not to have a beer?” Harry asked an interviewer who inquired about his “party prince” reputation a few years ago. “If that’s a problem with anyone, then I’m very sorry.”
By Anne Kingston - Friday, June 25, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 11 Comments
Through family tragedy and scandal, William and Harry’s one constant has been each other
This month, a cold-blooded African rock python provided the British royal family with its most heartwarming photo op in years. In a gesture that suggests relaxed regard for the future of the monarchy, the deadly reptile was draped around the necks of a smiling Prince William and a decidedly trepidatious Prince Harry during their visit to Botswana. The snake, too, was apparently nervous, urinating on the floor. Then, in a classic younger-brother moment, Harry grabbed the snake’s head and mischievously pushed it toward his older sibling as they both laughed, and camera flashes popped.
Such affectionate gestures punctuated the brothers’ African trip, their first joint overseas tour. William showed the same easy warmth and charm for which his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, was famed; Harry followed his lead, as he bonded with orphans and visited an orphanage funded by the Sentebale AIDS charity he helped found in Lesotho.
By macleans.ca - Friday, May 14, 2010 at 8:00 AM - 2 Comments
Prince Harry takes ﬂight, Very enterprising and Will we see less of Oprah’s fans?
Prince Harry takes ﬂight
The Apache attack helicopter is a nasty piece of weaponry, bristling with rockets, a 30-mm machine gun and 16 Hellfire missiles. It may soon be in the hands of a member of the British Royal Family. Last week, Prince Harry got his wings from the colonel in chief of the Army Air Corps, who happens to be his father, Prince Charles. Harry also received the Peter Adams Trophy for the student showing the best tactical ability. That, and the decision of Air Corps brass to train him on the challenging Apache—an assignment awarded the top two per cent of the class—show the army has considerable faith in the 25-year-old prince. Next up, eight months of intense training and perhaps a ticket back to Afghanistan. “There is still a huge mountain for me to climb if I am to pass the Apache training course,” he said.
Will we see less of Oprah’s fans?
The latest issue of Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, O, has Victoria dermatologist Dr. Mark Lupin’s phone ringing off the hook. Lupin is one of a handful of Canadian doctors offering the UltraShape treatment, a “non-invasive” technique that uses ultrasound waves to break up fat cells beneath the skin. UltraShape is cleared for use in 57 countries, but it has yet to receive FDA approval in the U.S. Patients feel “just a slight tingly sensation,” Lupin told O magazine. The treated fat cells are burned as calories or eliminated from the body as waste.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 11:14 AM - 16 Comments
The pool report from the meeting of Prince Charles and the Prime Minister this morning.
Their highnesses went on to meet Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen. They went into Rideau Hall’s large drawing room, where they stood beside four Canadian rangers wearing their red sweaters. Harper handed two ranger caps and sweatshirts to the Prince to give to his two sons.
“You highness, as you know we’re very proud of our rangers and our rangers program…a great group of people who patrol our vast arctic territory,” Harper said. “Princes William and Harry are becoming honourary members, so we present this to you as a symbol of their honourary membership.”
“I hope they fit,” quipped Prince Charles.
“One-size fits all,” interjected Laureen Harper.
By Patricia Treble - Sunday, November 8, 2009 at 8:34 PM - 5 Comments
The Royal couple accepts headpieces in Victoria, and tours sites for an Olympics they’ll not be attending
Prince Charles might be the longest serving heir to the throne in British, and Canadian, history but he proved on Saturday night that he can wear a crown. At British Columbia’s dinner, he donned a Coast Salish blanket and cedar headband. His wife got the same gifts, which she wore with more aplomb than her husband.
The Victoria, B.C., event came after touring the Olympic Games athletes villages in Vancouver. One could smell the irony of Charles and Camilla looking at Olympic venues that they won’t be seeing during the Games, since neither they nor the Queen have been invited. Instead of having Canada’s head of state or her heir officially open the Vancouver Olympics, Prime Minister Stephen Harper decided that Michaëlle Jean would replicate Jeanne Sauvé’s words from the 1988 Calgary Olympics. It seems that royals are only allowed to officiate at Summer Olympics in Canada. (At the Montreal Games in 1976 the whole royal family accompanied the Queen) Which is a pity, because if the Queen came, grandsons Princes William and Harry would likely have accompanied her, to the delight of screaming girls everywhere.
Charles and Camilla had a light day on Sunday—their only event was dedicating a stained glass window at Christ Church Cathedral and commemorating the 150th anniversary of the diocese of British Columbia. On Monday, they’ll honour the 100th anniversary of the navy on Monday and then fly to Ottawa.
By Anne Kingston - Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 9:00 AM - 1 Comment
From the Summer ’09 Newsmakers family edition
Jennifer Anniston & John Mayer
Exactly what caused the sporadic soulmates’ final fade from tabloid covers was the subject of much frenzied speculation. Was it her wanting a baby? His womanizing ways? Her eternal pining for Brad Pitt? The final consensus: the former Friends star became fed up with the schmaltzy singer’s compulsive Twittering.
Prince Harry & Chelsy Davy
Commoners learned of the breakup of the blond Zimbabwe-born law student and the ginger-haired British royal stud after five years of yacht-frolicking via that great equalizer, Facebook: Davy changed her relationship status to “not in one”—accompanied by a symbol of a broken red heart. Continue…
By Lianne George - Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 9:30 AM - 1 Comment
Perez Hilton gets punched, Carla Bruni’s biggest fan, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s interesting statue
Arnold’s extra pair
In the spirit of partisan pranks-manship, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently sent a metal sculpture in the shape of bull testicles to California Senate President Darrell Steinberg—a metaphorical reminder of the bold budgetary decisions required by the state’s lawmakers in the face of a US$24.3-billion budget shortfall. Unfortunately, the joke fell flat. Steinberg, who is a Democrat, returned the sculpture to its sender, along with a note stressing the seriousness of the situation. In fairness to the governor, sources told MSNBC.com that the testicles were sent in response to a gag gift Steinberg sent to him—a package of mushrooms—after Schwarzenegger called the Democrat’s budget proposals “hallucinatory.” But the sculpture was apparently too much coming from a man who once called Democrats “girlie men.” When asked why so serious, Steinberg’s spokesperson told reporters, “We’ve got more important things on our plate right now than to waste any more time on such trivial matters.”
Too much information
On Monday, Canada’s Information Commissioner Robert Marleau resigned unexpectedly, only two years into an ostensible seven-year tenure. He was in the process of reforming the country’s access to information laws, which have come to be routinely subverted by secretive government officials. Only one day earlier, Marleau was quoted in a Toronto Star article decrying the whole system. When the Access to Information Act was introduced in 1983, he told the reporter, “we were amongst the leaders in the world.” Since then, he said, “It’s been the same song and dance, no effort by any government to have this legislation or these processes keep pace with time, change and technology.” The reasons for his hasty departure only 24 hours later, he told media, are “entirely personal and private.” Continue…