Category Archives: Royal Wedding

Princess Diana’s Wedding Gown Scrapbook Auction & Savile Row Under Seige

Today we have a number of quick Bits and Bytes to share, beginning with an auction item from an event that seems long ago and far away.

PFC Auctions

We’re talking about an amazing scrapbook created by one of Diana’s dress designers, Elizabeth Emanuel.

PFC Auctions via The Morton Report

The not-your-average-scrapbook is crafted of handmade paper, its cover shows Princess Diana (still Lady Diana Spencer at that point) on the steps of St. Paul’s, heading into the Cathedral.

PFC Auctions via The Morton Report

Inside there are sketches of bridesmaid dresses, a fabric swatch, and lace sample used for the wedding gown.

PFC Auctions via The Morton Report

The item will be auctioned online by PFC Auctions, bidding starts tomorrow at £2000, roughly $3400 at today’s exchange rates. You can read more about the auction in the Morton Report’s story, or visit PFC Auctions.

One item in the PFC Auctions sale that truly mystifies your trusty scribe: the lot featuring a Slice of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Wedding Cake.

PFC Auctions

Here’s more from the Lot Description:

A slice of cake was presented to each of the 650 close friends and family who attended the afternoon reception at Buckingham Palace.

Accompanied by the 16 page Order of Service from Westminster Abbey which includes the vows, hymns, prayers and Blessing from the Wedding.

Believed to be the first piece of William and Kate’s wedding cake to appear at auction.

My very favorite part of the description?

In fine condition.

What would you think determines ‘fine condition’ for a piece of cake more than a year old….? We’re thinking it must have been kept in the freezer, that’s what TP & The Consort did with ours, bringing it out on our First Anniversary.

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Also today, a quick update about another happening on the far side of the pond, this one a protest on, of all places, Savile Row. Note the apparel worn by the folks with the picket signs, for this is not what one generally thinks of as average picket line attire.

PHOTO: Stephanie Wolff

Yes, many a protester is in a three-piece suit, perfectly proper attire if the cause being debated is keeping that-retailer-that-shan’t-be-named Abercrombie & Fitch away from the hallowed tailoring grounds. For those unfamiliar with the area and its heritage, a little background via The Guardian: :

The Row is the heartland of English bespoke tailoring, source of the most beautifully crafted suits in the world. It was here that tailors made the uniform worn by Horatio Nelson when he was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar; it was here that Edward VII invented the dinner jacket.

We learn more about the protest in Gawker’s story:

…”swathes of immaculately dressed chaps and chapettes” descended on No. 3 Savile Row, former home to the legendary Apple Studio, where they engaged in a peaceful protest of Abercrombie & Fitch’s imminent soiling of the celebrated shopping street with a new children’s clothing store.

This may surprise some readers, but historically TP has not been seen on picket lines for, or against, things. However, in 7th or 8th grade I did partake (actually I was the lone participant) in a silent protest, having the temerity to wear pants to school. (Back in the Dark Ages young ladies at my school did not wear anything other skirts and dresses, no further discussion merited or allowed.) One could look at my rebellious stance as both a success and a failure: short-term I failed and was sent home shamefaced to change into a skirt; longterm it was something of a success because school administrators relented, allowing girls to wear pants. On Fridays. (Obviously no jeans or denim, don’t even go there.) Thus the tale of my non-picket-line protest, remotely related (cough-cough) to the topic under discussion.

But we digress, back to the topic at hand, we tend to concur with The Guardian on this one, not just because we loathe what Abercrombie has become, but because some traditions need to remain just that: traditional. From The Guardian’s story:

You can go to practically any street in any city in Britain and buy the sorts of clothes peddled by Abercrombie & Fitch. You cannot, however, go to any street in the country to get a bespoke suit, and this is why the trade should remain where it is – so that when the time eventually comes that we can afford Savile Row’s prices, we know where to go.

What reverence has Abercrombie & Fitch for the tradition or heritage of Savile Row? It is only interested in the street’s iconic status on the tourist map.

We can’t replace this….

The Culture Concept

With this.

City Pages

There is actually an online Save Savile Row petition, the page addresses an element of the debate that has nothing to do with tailoring per se, but everything to do with the controversy:

There is also the issue of abercrombie & fitch’s habit of pumping foul-smelling cheap cologne out of its doors to entice gullible tourists in: this will affect not only the look of Savile Row but the smell.

We’re not the only ones who would find it abhorrent, we’re guessing Mr. Grant, seen here in a bespoke Kilgour suit, would concur with the sentiment that some things need to remain true to their heritage.

Via The Culture Concept

Indeed.

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, Royal Wedding

A Preppy Mickey Mouse? Also, An Anti-Prep Lives Up To Wall of Shame Status

Happy Halloween, this is one of those goofy two-day posts, we’re so busy it’s unlikely we’ll be able to pop back in for a visit until Wednesday. We begin today with news of yet another collaboration, this one between two powerhouses, Disney and Tommy Hilfiger.

Women’s Wear Daily had the story today:

The “Meet the Family” capsule collection features a raft of Disney characters, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Pluto dressed in the Tommy Hilfiger spring children’s collection.

The collection is not going to be sold in the US, it will be available primarily in Europe and South America.  The WWD story quotes Mr. Hilfiger:

“Disney…has a lifestyle and core values that are aligned with our brand,” said Hilfiger. “It was a true honor and joy to be the first designer to give a preppy spin to the looks of our favorite Disney characters.”

The designs do look cute. (How about that hair on the young man in the green tee below right, it’s positively Bieberesque.)

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Speaking of collaborative efforts, there are two very large such partnerships about to hit stores. Because of all the pink we couldn’t help but write about Versace for H&M lands in stores in a few weeks, how lovely is this piece?

Versace for H&M

As one would expect with Versace, there is no shortage of bright colors.

Versace for H&M via Racked.com

This collection is not for the faint of heart.

Versace for H&M via Racked.com

(I don’t know about you, but I have a serious crush on that pink shirt.) There are 87 pieces in the group, it launches November 17 at H&M.

Versace for H&M via Racked.com

Click here to see the entire lookbook at Racked.com or here for H&M’s Facebook album. This one strikes me as a line that could go the way of Missoni at Le Boutique Targét, it seems to have very high sellout potential.

The other sizable collaboration we mention is Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku for Target line, we’ll have more on that later this week. In the meantime, a quick update on two other design partnerships the ‘cheap chic’ retailer is doing:

Albertus Swanepoel for Target is now in stores and online, below we show three different hat styles.

Albertus Swanepoel for Target

Also available now in stores and online, the Josie Natori for Target collection.

Josie Natori for Target

Josie Natori for Target is in stores now through Dec. 22, with a second group of merchandise being offered Jan. 1 through February 23.

Josie Natori for Target

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A quick note from the good folks at Jack Rogers.

Jack Rogers

The company has debuted its new Highlands Rain Boot, it looks cute as can be, and very practical as well. Fans of the brand may be interested to learn Jacks are on sale through 11am Wednesday at flash sale site Rue La La. Obviously the brand new Highlands is not included (there are no boots), there isn’t an enormous selection, but still worth a peek if you are in the market. (If in need of an ‘invite’ to Rue La La, just click here.)

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With apologies to our Facebook friends who may have already seen this, we had to share a comment seen on Twitter multiple times this afternoon:

Kim Kardashian sold the rights to her wedding for $17.9 million. Her marriage lasted 72 days. That comes to a nifty $10,358.80 per hour.

I feel less-than-prep for even writing about the topic, but the woman is one of our original members of the Anti-Prep Wall of Shame. A meritorious member we might add, for she never fails to disappoint.

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We leave you with much cheerier sights, more seasonal in nature. First, our friend Leslie (aka Southern Social) is stunning in a Princess manner of speaking, she looked lovely for this weekend’s Halloween parties.

Southern Social

That wasn’t the only Kate Middleton costume seen this year, not by a long shot. Below, Al Roker and Matt Lauer were part of the fun in the Today Show’s royal wedding reenactment.

The Today Show/NBC Universal

It actually was pretty funny, click here to see the whole thing. To look at a plethora of royally-themed costumes, click here to visit our sister site, What Kate Wore.

We love the Tipsy Skipper’s pumpkins.

The Tipsy Skipper

And we love an argyle pumpkin: we haven’t been able to identify those on the left, the group on the right is from Horchow.

This beautiful group is from the folks at Lilly Pulitzer Palm Beach Gardens.

Lilly Pulitzer Palm Beach Gardens

Here are two more beauties, these are by the talented ladies at The Pink Palm in Richmond.

The Pink Palm

This classic duo by Susan Trader is always fun to see.

Susan Trader

With that we say Happy Halloween, may all of your candy be fresh!

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Filed under Argyle, Collaborations, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Preppy People, Pretty in Pink, Royal Wedding, The AntiPrep

Popped or Not, Nantucket or the Vineyard?

Hello-Hello and happy Monday.

For those who don’t summer an entire season at the shore it is once again that time of year, friends and families are packing up and heading off for for a few days at the beach. That makes a story in today’s Boston Globe perfect reading, it looks at two of our favorite places.

Via Weather-Forecast

Islands Apart” considers the age-old debate about which is the preferred island: Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard…? The story suggests that perhaps sentiments on the topic have intensified.
“But what has changed, natives say, is how rabid the rivalry has become off the field, especially among the summer people… who care very much about what their island choice says about them.”
Now, we don’t come from the school of “let’s pick where we summer based on how it will impact the way people think of us”.  IOHO basics like proximity, history, ease of access, and weather make more sense when determining one’s vacation spot, no? Nor are we sharing our personal preference between the two islands (full disclosure: yours truly grew up summering on the shores of Lake Michigan, these two lovely spots are merely places we have been fortunate enough to visit), but we can say many of the observations made by residents and visitors in Billy Baker’s article ring true:

“Both islands, of course, are summer paradises of great natural beauty. They are also very expensive, very exclusive, and very preppy. Nantucket, the broad-brush argument goes, is just more extreme in all categories. In other words, many Vineyarders say, “snobby.’’

One point made in the article involves simple geographic distinctions:

“Martha’s Vineyard is much larger and more populated, with six towns that have distinct personalities; while Nantucket is just one town. The Vineyard is also considerably closer to the mainland. The traditional ferry takes just 45 minutes to arrive, and well over two hours to get to Nantucket.”

The story hones in on an aspect of the rivalry that may be easiest to envision, fashion differences between ACK and the Vineyard, more specifically, brands.

“In Vineyard Vines, a self-described “preppy’’ clothing store that began on Martha’s Vineyard and has now spread to other Sperry meccas, including Nantucket, pastels, braided belts, and shorts with whales on them rule the day.”

And it’s here where we get to a hot-button issue for many Princess readers, the article quotes a VV assistant store manager, Julia Graham:

“It’s basically the same style,’’ said Graham, who is from Greenwich, Conn. and has been summering on the Vineyard her whole life. “But in Nantucket, they pop the collars up.’’

The popped collar, even for a girl from Greenwich, is a thing, a symbol, the epitome of the preppy snob. Except that on Nantucket, many wear that exact stereotype as a badge of honor.”

Full disclosure #2: your trusty correspondent does not ascribe to the popped collar practice.  With no disrespect to those who do, we never have, it is more-than-unlikely we ever will.

Murray's Toggery

When presented with Graham’s assessment, John Murray, the latest generation of his family to own Murray’s Toggery Shop in Nantucket, the birthplace of Nantucket Reds – perhaps the quintessential preppy trouser – did not dispute the pop-collared joke.

“I’m OK with that,’’ he said. “We like to think of ourselves as more sophisticated.’’

Via Damee NYC

Your thoughts? Is one or the other considered a favorite?

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Also today, a quick update on this weekend’s Red Cross Ball in Monaco. Below we see newlyweds Prince Albert and Charlene, behind them you can just about see the Prince’s sisters, Princesses Caroline (L) and Stephanie.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Princess Charlene wore a deep fuchsia gown by Akris, as well as a custom-made necklace by Van Cleef and Arpels.

Reuters via The Daily Mail

As an update to our post that shared some of the rumors about the couple’s relationship and marriage, the Palace says those reports are untrue; the couple is suing L’Express, a French magazine that printed allegations about the Princess trying to flee the country just days before her wedding. Hmmmm.

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Finally today, an early look at one of the soon-to-be-released ads promoting the upcoming Missoni for Target collection.

Courtesy Image

The enormous collection launches September 13, and will be a major component of Targét’s Fashion’s Night Out event.

We’ll be back on Wednesday, until then may the sun be shining on your island, wherever it may be.

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Filed under nautical, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle, Royal Wedding

Of Polo and Parties on a Royal Weekend

Hello-Hello and welcome to a Monday.

We are brief today, trying to catch up a zillion business-related projects, so we are going to do a ‘One Topic Tuesday’ on a Monday. (Gasp.)

As some readers are no doubt aware, a certain royal couple was in California this weekend.

Hans Gutknecht - Pool/Reuters

Saturday there was a little polo match, with a luncheon beforehand. As you might imagine, a number of celebrities were at the event. Below we see chef Giada de Laurentiis, who did the lunch, and actress Nicolette Sheridan (?).

Reuters/AP Photo

Actor Rob Lowe brought his son along, John Owen.

Ian Vogler-Pool/Getty Images

Actresses Rosario Dawson and Jennifer Love-Hewitt also attended the function.

AP Photo

The event was at the Santa Barbara Racquet and Polo Club, a fundraiser for the Prince William and Prince Harry’s charitable foundation.

Gus Ruelas/Reuters

Prince William’s team won quite handily.

Ian Vogler-Pool/Getty Images

Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed the players holding rather recognizable boxes in a certain color. They are precisely what you thought, Tiffany was a sponsor of the event, creating the trophy you see being hoisted in the picture above.  That robin’s egg blue could also be seen atop tables set up for lunch.

Via Kate Snow Twitter Feed

Then it was on to the big Hollywood bash, the gala BAFTA dinner (British Academy of Film and Television Arts). Prince William is the president of the organization.

Kate wore a lilac Alexander McQueen gown, accessorized with Jimmy Choo platform sandals and clutch.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images via Just Jared

Gossip Girl stars Blake Lively and Ed Westwick attended the big party.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

As well as Jennifer Lopez and wacky Jack Black.

AP Photo

Several people savvier than I have noted that Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Garner and Blake Lively were all in attendance at the dinner, Ben Affleck was not. If anyone wants to help me grasp the deeper meaning of this, any and all comments explaining things would be more-than-appreciated. :)

Also taking part in the festivities, Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson.

Bret Hartman/AP Photo

Here we see Prince William joking with Nicole Kidman.

Mark Large via The Daily Mail

Sunday morning brought more functions and fundraisers, below we see Reese Witherspoon greeting Kate at a private breakfast for Tusk Trust, a group working to conserve wildlife in Africa.

Chris Jackson-Pool/Reuters

Then it was on to Inner City Arts, the newlyweds painted with children in this program. (It seems William may be looking to Kate for inspiration.)

John Stillwell - Pool/Getty Images

The real stars at this event were the children who are part of the Inner City Arts program.

Kevork Djansezian - Pool/Getty Images

Throughout Kate and William’s nine day tour Kate has seemed particularly drawn to the children she meets.

Chris Jackson-Pool/Reuters

The couple wrapped up Sunday’s activities with an appearance at a Mission Serve job fair. “Hiring our Heroes” was the theme of the fair, with 1,500 veterans and military spouses meeting potential employees. William also spoke at the event.

“The idea behind Service Nation Mission Serve, an initiative strongly supported by The First Lady and Dr. Biden, is simple, but truly inspirational. To help those returning from active service to open a new chapter in their lives and find employment when they retire from the military.”

Francine Orr - Pool/Getty Images

Prince William noted this was the most important speech of the tour:

“This is because it is about men and women who—of their own freewill—choose to put their life on the line for their Country. They are the front line of a remarkable relationship between the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, which has safe-guarded our freedoms for a century. But Mission Serve is about something more than just men and women in uniform. It is about our other halves. The half that makes the loved one’s duty and sacrifices possible and worthwhile. It is about you: families, partners and friends.”

The couple also helped pack boxes for children of military personnel, ‘care packages’ of a sort.

Mario Anzuoni-Pool/Reuters

With that the nine-day visit was over and the royal couple headed to LAX for a flight home. (They actually flew commercial.) Below we see them boarding their plane.

EPA via The Daily Mail

(For anyone interested in the fashions worn by Kate during the trip, our sister site, What Kate Wore has many posts on the topic.)

For now, goodbye until next time, may the rest of your Monday be simply splendid.

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Filed under Gossip Girl, preppy, Royal Wedding

When You Wish…

Hello-Hello, all.  The Consort sauntering casually mikeside to entertain you while The (lovely and very talented) Princess tends to some prior obligations.  There have been some events these past few days that I’m sure you noticed.  That’s right, Canada is rolling out the red (how appropriate) carpet for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  Or, as we refer to them here at The Prepatorium, William and Kate.  As they tour Canada the royals have been welcomed by great crowds and much to-do.  But I noticed some images that captured the impact the Prince and Princess are having on some of Canada’s smallest citizens.  And those images made me think for a moment.

When I was just a young Consort I imagined myself doing great things.  Shouldn’t all children have those dreams?  My lovely bride tells me many young girls have the familiar fantasy of marrying a prince and becoming a princess.  It’s a fairy tale and part of growing up.  Adults are mature enough to realize life is not a fairy tale.  But children don’t know that yet.  So what happens when the dream comes to life right in front of the youngster’s eyes?

Have you ever seen such precious children?  While the littlest girl greets a real-life princess with her best curtsey the other girl is enthralled.  This meeting will live forever in their minds because this is the moment they saw that dreams can become real.  And that dream can be close enough to touch…

 
This little girl put her pretty yellow flower in her hair and waited at the fence with hundreds of other people.  Can you imagine what she is feeling in this instant?  This is the moment when Kate came to her, crouched to look her directly in the eyes and shared a few words.  It is a private time in an extraordinary public event.  Now the little girl with the pretty yellow flower in her hair has met a real-life princess and knows that dreams do come true.

When does the dream of becoming a princess begin?  Perhaps for this young girl it started in this moment.

She’s delivered her flowers to the Princess and now she has her eye on the Prince.  What could she be thinking?  Is this the moment when she realizes princes are real and within reach?

And for some children meeting a prince and princess brings just too much joy to contain.

This little girl in Quebec is saying so much with her smile.  She is moments away from an encounter that she will likely never forget.  And she will know that fairy tales can come true because she met a woman who became a princess.

Here at The Preppy Princess we hope your dreams come true.

Thank you for indulging me.  My Princess will be back with you tomorrow and I hope to revisit you all soon.  Until then, remember to take care of your waitperson because they’re working hard for you tonight.  I’ll leave you today with a singer who knows a thing or two about dreams.  Good night, everyone!

Photo credits:  Splash News via The Daily Mail, Reuters, Andy Clark/Reuters,  Christinne Muschi/Reuters

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Filed under Posts by the Princess Consort, preppy, Royal Wedding

Of Royal Weddings And Rumours

Hello-Hello, welcome back to the ‘real world,’ it truly feels like summer now, the fireworks and celebration of freedom yesterday make it seem more seasonal.

Today’s post might be considered ‘old news,’ and many readers may have already read about it, so do accept our apology if it is somewhat stale information! Of course, we are talking about this weekend’s wedding in Monaco. Festivities really began with an Eagles concert last Thursday night, below we see Prince Albert II and Charlene with the band.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

As a refresher for those not quite as obsessed not entirely up to speed on how things work, there were two ceremonies for the former Charlene Wittstock and Prince Albert, the first was Friday’s civil ceremony, below we see the couple at that event. The bride wore a powder blue pantsuit she is said to have co-designed with Karl Lagerfeld, the Grand Pooh-bah of Chanel.

Getty Image via The Daily Mail

Crowds watched the ceremony on giant screens set up outside the Palace.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

The religious ceremony was held Saturday and the (now) Princess Charlene was stunning. Here we see her father escorting her in to the courtyard of the Palace in Monaco, where the mass was celebrated.

Bauer-Griffin

The dress was created by Giorgio Armani, the bride is a longtime customer of the house.

Bauer-Griffin

Here is another angle better showing the dress and train.

WENN via Clebitchy

Princess Caroline’s daughter, Charlotte Casiraghi, was pretty in pink at the Catholic Mass.

Eric Gaillard/Reuters

We see her again with her Albert’s sisters, Princesses Stephanie and Caroline of Monaco.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

For the evening’s festivities there was another gorgeous gown for the bride.

via The Daily Mail

That night there was a formal dinner, and Princess Charlene changed into another gown, also designed by Armani, with ruffled tiers of sparkling white fabric.

The weekend was filled with functions mandating very serious party frocks, and even a tiara or two. Some refer to Princess Caroline’s children as the next generation of royals, here we see Pierre Casiraghi, Charlotte Casiraghi and Andrea Casiraghi on their way into the formal dinner Saturday night.

EPA via The Daily Mail

As one might expect, there was royalty everywhere.

Below left, Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel, on the right we see  Princess Mary of Denmark with Prince Philippe of Belgium.

 

Prince Louis Alphonse of Bourbon and Princess Marie Marguerite are seen on the left, and on the right Prince Laurent of Belgium.

 

Italy’s Prince Carlo of Bourbon-Two Sicilies is shown lower left, on the right we see Thailand’s Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana.

 

Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa of Luxembourg are seen lower left, on the right we show Princess Sophia and Prince Alois of Liechtenstein.

There were also fireworks.

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

But perhaps not the kind everyone expected.

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

It seems there may be some truth to the unfortunate rumors surrounding the wedding, allegations involving more illegitimate children fathered by Prince Albert, one hypothetically born in the last 2 years. (Ms. Wittstock moved to Monaco to be closer to Prince Albert several years ago.) From the London Telegraph:

“But sources cited by the French press on Sunday said the former Charlene Wittstock, 33, had even tried to take refuge in her country’s embassy in Paris in an attempt to get out of the wedding.

Instead senior Palace officials confiscated her passport and then persuaded her to take part in the weekend’s nuptials.”

The story was originally reported last week by a French newspaper and largely ignored by ‘mainstream media’. But “palace confirmation” of some aspects of the story have moved the rumors onto more prominent pages of newspapers, many the kind of publications that don’t generally traffic in such discussion.

More from the story in The Telegraph:

“The sources said that when Charlene visited Paris in May to try on her white-silk Armani wedding dress she “took refuge” in the South African embassy.

Later that month she also tried to escape during the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix, they alleged. Then, last week, she allegedly had her passport confiscated en route to Nice airport via the helicopter service which runs between regularly between Monaco and France.

Senior police officials were reported to have confirmed the passport confiscation to Le Figaro newspaper last week.”

Both the bride and the Palace denied the rumors last week. The tears shed by the Princess consort (technically her title) during Saturday’s mass only served to heighten the tone and tenor of the conversation, the internet fed the fire.  There are numerous video clips of the bride’s tears making their way around the internet and I watched one. As someone who wept with joy (so much I had difficulty mopping up during the ceremony!) during her wedding, these do not look like happy tears.

Monaco Television/Reuters

On the other hand, I don’t know the bride and have no idea if she was filled with joy or sorrow. Either way, she did make a beautiful bride, and it was a lovely wedding; we hope the rumors are found to be false and the marriage is a happy one.

Until next, may your day be summery and bright. :)

ADDITIONAL PHOTO CREDITS:

  • Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images
  • Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
  • Sean Gallup/Getty Images
  • Emma Foster/Pool/Reuters

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Filed under preppy, Royal Wedding

Royal Outrage While Newsweek Execs “Couldn’t Be Happier”

Welcome to a Wednesday, we are fairly brief this afternoon, the crush of business mandates we embrace brevity in today’s post.

We seem to be amid a rush of royally-related news, we begin with a look at the latest media stunt, Newsweek’s ridiculous cover showing “Diana at 50.”

Newsweek

Friday would have been Diana’s 50th birthday, the magazine’s ‘coverage’ of this includes additional photoshopped images along with other content.

Many readers may recognize the name of the individual responsible for decisions to do such coverage; Newsweek’s editor is Tina Brown. Previously she edited Vanity Fair and Tatler, also writing the 2007 bestseller “The Diana Chronicles”.  Ms. Brown also co-founded The Daily Beast with Barry Diller, merging it with Newsweek late last year. Below, another image from the magazine.

Photo Illustration by R. Mutt Studios for Newsweek; Source Photo: Tim Graham / Getty ImageS

In reality Ms. Brown didn’t just give approval of the coverage, she created some of it, penning a ‘story’, Diana at 50.  Here are a few snippets from Ms. Brown’s creative writing exercise:

  • “After so many loves and losses, she would finally have let go of her rancor toward Camilla.”
  • “The rising public adoration of Kate would have afforded Diana some tricky moments. Pleased, yes. But, like Frances Shand Kydd—who, days before Diana’s wedding, suddenly burst out, “I have good long legs, like my daughter”—Diana would have had to adjust to a broadening of the limelight.”
  • “I suspect she would have retained a weakness for men in uniform, and a yen for dashing Muslim men.”

Perhaps the most riotous speculation was a statement that Diana would have “ostentatiously made Carole Middleton, Kate’s dynamic mother, her new BFF”.  As one might imagine, the tumult surrounding the issue (pun intended) is substantial.

The bizarre ‘coverage’ doesn’t stop with the photoshopped Princess Diana on the magazine’s cover. The magazine also made up a Facebook page in the late Princess’s name.

As one might expect, most of the reaction to all of this is rather scathing. Below, from the UK’s Telegraph:

“What inspired the once awesome Tina Brown to become Newsweek’s grave-robber? Did she think this would help flog her biography of Diana, or did she wish to show the world that she no longer felt any loyalty to the Royal family back in her homeland? Whatever the motive, the outcome is a stain on her, and Newsweek’s, name.”

From the popular CafeMom blog:

“This is pure brilliance. I’ve never understood why a magazine called Newsweek would waste its time having reporters write about current events or world affairs when it could simply make up stuff.”

Additionally there is supposed to be a Twitter account the magazine created.

Really?

Newsweek magazine is now in the business of creating bogus Facebook pages and fake Twitter accounts? After spending 17 years as part of “the media,” I was under the illusion we report the news, we don’t make the news up. Silly Princess.

CNN’s blog shares some of Ms. Brown’s justification:

I wanted to make her a time traveler,” she said, adding that she viewed Diana as a “global, mover shaker kind of woman.” “She loved the limelight but she would have professionalized all that humanitarian giving,” Brown said. “She would have been very much a woman of our time.

Please forgive the tedious blathering commentary from these quarters, but this one really is so over the top we couldn’t help ourselves.  Of course, the furor does precisely what Ms. Brown and other Newsweek execs hope, newsstand sales must be up. For this issue. But the real problem for Newsweek isn’t this week, or next week or next month. It’s the longterm impact that should be troubling to executives, a damaged brand may experience a brief sales spike but almost always loses the race over the long haul.

Normally this sort of conduct would qualify for our Help Me Understand category, but unfortunately we understand perfectly.  As Meghan Casserly at Forbes put it:

But Tina Brown’s no idiot. A Newsweek staffer tells me the powers that be couldn’t be happier with all the buzz. When summer magazine sales are slow, she’s stirred up conversation—and given herself the liberty to write a fanciful piece of name-dropping fiction sure to sell at the newsstand—all while plugging her 2007 book, The Diana Chronicles.

The reaction online isn’t limited to blogs, award-winning writer Cheryl Anderson Brown is using Twitter to provide a concrete suggestion for those upset with Newsweek, suggesting that people ‘Don’t Buy Newsweek’ or cancel their subscription.

PalacePrincess on Twitter

The #DontBuyNewsweek ‘hashtag’ (a way of identifying specific topics on Twitter) is gaining some traction, magazine management may discover that those who live by technology may also be die by technology.

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On a more positive royal note, tomorrow marks the first day of the Royal Visit to North America, William and Kate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge begin their visit in Ottawa, Canada tomorrow afternoon. We will be busy here as well as at our sister site, WhatKateWore. Yikes!

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Filed under Help Me Understand, preppy, Royal Wedding