Archive for the ‘lifestyle’ Category
Catherine Elizabeth “Kate” Middleton (born 9 January 1982) is the fiancée of Prince William of Wales. Their wedding is to take place on 29 April 2011. Middleton grew up in Chapel Row at Bucklebury, Berkshire, England,and after attending Marlborough College, studied at Scotland’s University of St Andrews, where she met Prince William in 2001. They started a relationship, which was marred by excessive media scrutiny, leading them to break it off for several months in 2007.
They continued to be friends and later in 2007 they reunited. Since then, Middleton has attended many high-profile royal events. She has been admired for her fashion sense and has been placed on numerous “best dressed” lists. Once their relationship became public, Middleton received widespread media attention and there was much speculation that they would eventually marry. On 16 November 2010, the office of the Prince of Wales at Clarence House announced their engagement, with details announced one week later.
Middleton was born at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. She is the eldest of three children born to Carole Elizabeth (née Goldsmith), a flight attendant, and Michael Francis Middleton, who also worked as a flight attendant prior to becoming a flight dispatcher for British Airways. Her parents married on 21 June 1980 at the Parish Church of Dorney, Buckinghamshire, and in 1987 founded Party Pieces, a mail order company that sells party supplies and decorations. Middleton’s two siblings are a sister, Philippa Charlotte, known as “Pippa” (born 1983), and a brother, James William (born 1987). The family have complained about press harassment of Pippa and their mother since Kate’s engagement.
Middleton’s paternal family came from Leeds, West Yorkshire, and her great-grandmother Olivia was a member of the Lupton family, who were active for generations in Leeds in commercial and municipal work. Her ancestors include The Rev. Thomas Davis, a Church of England hymn-writer. Carole Middleton’s maternal family, the Harrisons, were working class labourers and miners from Sunderland and County Durham.
Middleton’s parents were based in Amman, Jordan, working for British Airways from May 1984 to September 1986, where Middleton went to an English language nursery school, before returning to their home in Berkshire. After her return from Amman, Middleton was educated at St. Andrew’s School in the village of Pangbourne in Berkshire, then briefly at Downe House. She continued her studies at Marlborough College, a co-educational independent school in Wiltshire, followed by the University of St Andrews in Fife, where she met William. She graduated with a (Hons) in the History of Art.
In November 2006, Middleton accepted a position as an accessory buyer with the clothing chain Jigsaw. In September 2007, it was reported that Middleton was planning to give up her job as an accessory buyer to become a professional photographer. It was announced that she intended to take private classes with photographer Mario Testino, who had taken several well-known photographs of Diana, Princess of Wales and her sons. Middleton and Testino apparently were introduced by Prince William. Testino later denied that Middleton was going to be working for him.
Middleton has been featured in several best-dressed lists and was selected by The Daily Telegraph as the “Most Promising Newcomer” in its 2006 list of style winners and losers. Tatler placed her at number 8 on its yearly listing of the top ten style icons in 2007. She was featured in People magazine’s 2007 and 2010 best-dressed lists. Middleton was named as one of Richard Blackwell’s ten “Fabulous Fashion Independents” of 2007. In June 2008, Style.com selected Middleton as its monthly beauty icon. In July 2008, Middleton was included in Vanity Fair’s international best-dressed list. In February 2011, Middleton was named the Top Fashion Buzzword of the 2011 season by the Global Language Monitor.
Middleton’s status as the undeclared girlfriend of William brought her widespread media coverage in Britain and abroad and she was often photographed on her daily outings. On 17 October 2005, she complained through her lawyer about harassment from the media, stating that she had done nothing significant to warrant such publicity. In February 2006, it was announced that Middleton would receive her own 24-hour security detail supplied by the Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department. This fuelled further speculation that she and William would soon be engaged, since she would not otherwise be entitled to this service.
No engagement occurred and Middleton was not granted an allowance to fund this security. Media attention increased around the time of Middleton’s 25th birthday in January 2007, prompting warnings from both Charles and William and from Middleton’s lawyers, who threatened legal action. Two newspaper groups, News International, which publishes The Times and The Sun, and the Guardian Media Group, publishers of The Guardian, decided to refrain from publishing paparazzi photographs of her. Middleton attended at least one event as an official royal guest, William’s Passing Out Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on 15 December 2006. In December 2007, it was reported that Middleton had moved in with Prince William at Clarence House, the residence of the Prince of Wales in London. Clarence House later denied this.
On 17 May 2008, Middleton attended the wedding of William’s cousin Peter Phillips to Autumn Kelly, which the prince did not attend. On 19 July 2008, she was a guest at the wedding of Lady Rose Windsor and George Gilman. William was away on military operations in the Caribbean, serving aboard the HMS Iron Duke. In 2010, Middleton pursued an invasion of privacy claim against two agencies and photographer Niraj Tanna, who took pictures of her over Christmas 2009. Middleton obtained a public apology, £5,000 in damages, and legal costs.
Breakup and reconciliation
On 14 April 2007, The Sun newspaper broke a “world exclusive” suggesting that Prince William and Middleton had split up. Other media outlets such as the BBC confirmed the story as the day progressed. The couple decided to break up during a holiday in the Swiss resort of Zermatt. Clarence House made only one comment about the relationship’s end, according to The Times, stating, “We don’t comment on Prince William’s private life.” Newspapers speculated about the reasons for the split, although these reports relied on anonymous sources.
The original report in The Sun quoted a “close friend of the couple” as saying that Middleton felt William had not been paying her enough attention. The paper highlighted reports that William had been spending time with other young women, and said the Prince, aged 24 at the time of the split, felt he was too young to marry. A report in the Daily Mail blamed a desire by royal courtiers not to “hurry along” a marriage announcement, and William’s desire to enjoy his bachelor status within his Army career. The Mail also suggested that William’s friend Guy Pelly encouraged the Prince to take a “careless approach” to relationships. The same article suggested that Middleton had “expected too much” in wanting William to demonstrate his commitment to her.
In June 2007, Middleton and William insisted they were “just good friends” following reports of a reconciliation. Middleton and her family attended the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium, where she and William sat two rows apart. The couple were subsequently seen together in public on a number of occasions, and several news sources, including the BBC and the Daily Mail, stated that they had “rekindled their relationship.” Middleton also joined William and Charles on a deerstalking expedition at Balmoral and attended the wedding of William’s cousin, Peter Phillips, even though William, due to a prior commitment, did not. In April 2008, Middleton accompanied William when he was awarded his RAF wings at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell. On 16 June 2008, Middleton attended William’s investiture into the Order of the Garter along with the Royal Family.
Engagement and wedding
Prince William and Kate Middleton became engaged in October 2010 in Kenya, East Africa, during a 10-day trip to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to celebrate William’s passing his RAF helicopter search and rescue course. Clarence House announced the engagement on 16 November 2010. The couple are to marry in Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011, with the day declared a bank holiday in the United Kingdom.
Title upon marriage
Unlike the majority of royal brides, and in contrast to every previous queen-in-waiting for over 350 years, Middleton does not come from a royal or aristocratic background. While she may inherit or acquire various titles bestowed on William and his family, she has no titles of her own. Similarly, William currently holds no titles other than the style of “Royal Highness”, as a British prince; the wife of a son or grandson of the Sovereign is entitled to the same style. Thus, upon marriage she will take the title of “Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales”, also taking her husband’s name.
It is customary for royal men to receive a dukedom when they marry, whereupon Middleton would assume the title of duchess. The British media have speculated extensively on possible dukedoms for the couple, including Clarence, Cambridge, Sussex, Kendal, Strathearn and Windsor; some of which have been vacant for centuries. In November 2010 The Daily Telegraph published a summary of the Royal Dukedoms – along with a reminder that the Queen is at liberty to create new titles anywhere in the UK or the Commonwealth Realms – and concluded that the dukedoms of Sussex or Cambridge were the most likely candidates for William to receive.
Other sources have suggested that William may prefer not to accept a dukedom at all, remaining simply Prince William. The BBC suggested that the Queen could simply grant Middleton the title of Princess of the United Kingdom, continuing a precedent first established in 1957, when she issued letters patent to accord her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh “the style and title of a Prince of the United Kingdom”. In this case Middleton would be known as “Her Royal Highness Princess Catherine”.
Middleton was formally introduced to public life on 24 February 2011, two months before the wedding, when she and William attended a lifeboat naming ceremony in Trearddur, North Wales. On 16 February 2011, Clarence House announced that Middleton’s and William’s first royal tour of Canada would take place in July 2011.
Middleton shares many ancestors with Prince William. The closest relationship via William’s mother is a common descent from Sir Thomas Fairfax and his wife Agnes Gascoine. The closest relationship via William’s father is a common descent from Sir William Gascoine and his wife, née Lady Margaret Percy. The Daily Mail also contends they both are descended from Sir Thomas Leighton (ca. 1530–1610), Governor of Guernsey from 1570 to 1609, and his wife Elizabeth Knollys (1549–1605), who was a cousin of Queen Elizabeth I.
A Lifetime TV movie entitled William and Kate aired in the U.S. on 18 April 2011. Middleton is played by Camilla Luddington and William by Nico Evers-Swindell.
William and Kate might like to give this idea for their big day a miss.
A couple have turned the other cheek to tradition by getting married – in a naked wedding.
Melanie Schachner, 26, and Rene Schachner, 31, had racked their brains to come up with something so memorable for their big day that they would never forget.
Wedding tackle: Melanie Schachner, 26, and Rene Schachner, 31, stripped off for their wedding in Feldkirchen, Austria, while guests remained clothed
The groom and not-so-blushing bride decided to strip off and get married in the nude in front of their family and friends.
They walked down the aisle in a register office service in Feldkirchen, Austria, before celebrating with a reception in a nearby castle.
Melanie wore a traditional veil and white high heels. Her breasts were exposed but a flesh-coloured thong covered her nether-regions.
The groom, however, remained totally nude throughout the service, using only a top hat to cover his modesty when posing for wedding pictures.
The cheek of it: The bride walked down the aisle in a traditional veil while the groom only had his top hat to cover his modesty
Thankfully for the couple, the registrar managed to keep her embarrassment under control and make it through the reading of the vows.
Melanie said: ‘We’re not ashamed of our bodies and we wanted to do something different. It certainly saved on a wedding dress.’
In 2009 Australian couple Ellie Barton and Phil Hendicott, who conducted their nuptials in the nude back in 2009.
They won a radio competition which awarded them a free wedding – as long as they both wore nothing at all.
But their 250 wedding guests were allowed clothes.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1376927/Something-old-nude-Groom-blushing-bride-marry-naked-wedding.html#ixzz1JnEUvgCA
The Arab Tsunami started a couple of months before the one that struck Japan. The one in Japan was a natural calamity, but the one in the Arab region was man-made.
Not that the world was unaware to the long simmering across the region. What they did not anticipate was the acceleration and momentum of the rebellion that it created.
Well, the street vendor from Tunisia can be considered as the small wave that started the Arab Tsunami, the repercussions of which were felt across the Arab world.
The Internet, via, FaceBook, Twitter & YouTube just added the much needed support within the timeframe, in order to create that ‘moving’ force.
This rebellion by the populace is against the suppression of the aspirations on civilians, particularly the youth. This suppression is by the government spearheaded by the ruler, be it a monarch or an autocrat; some of which have succumbed to the rebellion demands (some by pressure & some by being extra-charitable overnight), while the defiant still continue to uncomfortable on their “thorny” thrones.
The Arab Tsunami threatens roll some more dictatorial and “possibly” some monarch heads; if they are not flexible enough to accede to the demands of the civilian population. It is a well known fact that during the thunderstorm even the mighty oak falls, but the humble grass stays on.
Hence, there is a desperate need to change the mindset of the Arab rulers, if the region has to survive peacefully and see some radical growth, in line with the world. Just waking up with a philanthropical thought after the catastrophe, is not going to resolve, defuse or bridge the gap between the ruler and the ruled. It has to be inclusive growth in line with the aspirations of all the strata of the society.
Those rulers directly in the “line-of-fire” are doing their bit to assuage the fire; but it a fact that their other peers are not immune to such uprisings.
It is said that Western world is being very selective and disparate in their responses to these uprising Arab Tsunami. They have been blamed for their “double standards” in dealing with such situations from across the world. They are considering their selfish interests in giving their support to this situation.
The tsunami has already swept across Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, & Libya.
So one may ask, “Who’s next”? Change is inevitable. Its not if, but when?
Mohamed Bouazizi, the fruit vendor who died after setting himself on fire, has become a symbol of defiance in Tunisia.
The revolution in Tunisia was born through a slap in the face of Mohamed Bouazizi by a honest but arrogant lady municipal inspector, Faida Hamdy, 45, in Sidi Bouzid, a police officer’s daughter. This revolution was not triggered by a political speech or by some provocative act of repression by the dictator. It was set in motion by an altercation between a honest but cruel municipal inspector and a honest and poor vegetable vendor.
Let us read this great story. Mohamed Bouazizi, the poor fruit vendor, spent his whole life on a dusty, narrow street here, in a tiny, three-room house with a concrete patio where his mother hung the laundry and the red chilis to dry. By the time Mr. Bouazizi was 26, his work as a fruit vendor had earned him just enough money to feed his mother, uncle and five brothers and sisters at home. He dreamed about owning a van.
Faida, the honest Municipal Inspector during the course of her duties inspected buildings, investigated noise complaints and fined vendors like Mr. Bouazizi. It was not known whether his business was legal or not.
Other vendors said that on the morning of Dec. 17, Faida tried to confiscate Mr. Bouazizi’s fruit, and then slapped him in the face for trying to yank back his apples. This act of bravado by the lady inspector humiliated a man who eked out his living by hard work.
Bouazizi, who became embarrassed and angry, wrestled with Ms. Faida. In the meantime, two of her colleagues started beating Bouazizi and confiscated his electronic scale. Then, the disheartened vegetable vendor walked a few blocks to the municipal building and demanded his property. But he was again beaten. Then he marched to the governor’s office, demanding an audience but he was refused.
Unable to bear with this humiliation, the frustrated man, sometime around noon, in the two-lane street in front of the governor’s high gate, drenched himself in paint thinner and then lit himself on fire. He was immediately hospitalized and the doctors treated this as a case of 90 percent burns. Ultimately, he died on Jan. 4. This incident immediately triggered street protests that started over Mr. Bouazizi’s treatment in Sidi Bouzid and then spread to cities throughout the country.
The blood of this martyr brought about a revolution in Tunisia and drove the dictator away from the nation.
via – Allvoices
Image courtesy: Reuters
Take a look at your shoe collection – some might beg for the dust to be shaken off, the faithful and over worn need repair, while others look like bridal shoes from a decade ago and demands to be booted away- right away! Finally, make some space for your new shoe babies that will keep you well heeled in 2010.
1. Patterned Shoes
If your New Year resolution is to feel grateful and happy whenever the blues creep in, then here’s something that’ll bring on the smiles and become conversation starters too. Patterned shoes like Indian mojris or these eye-popping-heart-melting beauties add a lot of fun to any outfit. Get your feet into them and that’s all you’ll need for company!
Image courtesy: Reuters
2. Military and Hunting Boots
Grr…the winter is cold and dreary and you are on a combat mode to fight the chills. Bring out the big guns with military and hunting boots. You can’t escape the military trend – trench coats with military badges, military jackets, military green and khaki hues. So it’s time to clear the clutter in your shoe wardrobe because the army is going to check on you!
3. Kitten Heels and Ankle Straps
Remember the vertiginous, sadomasochist, multi-strapped heels that were fixation for celebs and models early last year? Well, you can be grateful that they are on their way out as classic and kitten heels have made their way in. If you are in hunt for the perfect pair of kitten heels check out Prada collection for fall winter 2010/11. Ankle strapped heels will keep it sexy in spring-summer 2011. Totally crushing on Louis Vuitton’s collection.
Image courtesy: Reuters
4. Fringes and Scrumptious Jewels
Grecian straps are so last (or last to last) year so keep them away from the fashion police. Instead embrace fringed sandals and scrumptious jewels as shoe embellishments. You can never go wrong with metallic hints and depending how you wear it you can look either glamorous or edgy. Loafers are here to replace the cute ballerina. Believe it.
5. Repair and Revamp
This is a real treat for those shoes that can do with a little stitch-in-time. In this case, make it a disguise because we have to share this amazing DIY that’ll leave your shoes feeling new. All you need are a few old CDs cut into small geometric shapes and a pair of old shoes. Now stick the pieces on your shoe and voila! You’ll feel like you are walking on sunshine!
So which one are you planning to have?
With the recent wave of recall of the cars by their makers, this sign becomes significant.
THINK………….a beautiful quote read in CAR-SHOWROOM.—–
It’s not only cars that can be “recalled” by their makers.”
Another WikiLeaks sensational disclosure that may matter to the religious muslim fundamentalists.
Saudi Arabia might be an ultra-strict Islamic society , but princes’ mansions in Jeddah hide a buzzing party scene replete with alcohol, drugs and sex.
“Behind the facade of Wahabi conservatism in the streets, the underground nightlife for Jeddah’s elite youth is thriving and throbbing ,” said the November 2009 cable, released by the WikiLeaks website. “The full range of worldly temptations and vices are available — alcohol, drugs, sex — but strictly behind closed doors”. “This freedom to indulge carnal pursuits is possible merely because the religious police keep their distance when parties include the presence or patronage of a Saudi royal and his circle of loyal attendants.”
The truth is out for the world and in particular to those who hide behind the ‘veil’ of religious propriety.
Muslim religion bans a number of vices, which the Western world these days treats as acceptable behavior. So if they are doing things behind the veil, who is to be blamed for their behavior?
Is it not time that religion relaxes some of its strict principles, for the common person?
Marina Bay Sands is the world’s most expensive hotel, it’s boat-shaped ‘SkyPark’ perched atop the three 55 storey towers. This three towers are connected with a one hectare roof sky park offering 360-degree views of Singapore’s skyline and featuring beautifully sculptured gardens, restaurants and a swimming pool.
The SkyPark will be home to the world’s longest elevated swimming pool, with a 475-foot vanishing edge, perched 200 meters above the ground. While the water in the infinity pool seems to end in a sheer drop, it actually spills into a catchment area where it is pumped back into the main pool. At three times the length of an Olympic pool and 650ft up, it is the largest outdoor pool in the world at that height.
There are only 29 pieces of this Taj Mahal-embossed gold coin available for sale.
Want one? Well, you’ll have to fork out $1,40,000 or approximately Rs. 63 lakh for one of these limited edition solid gold coins.
Why? Firstly, because the coin weighs in at over 2lb, that’s about a kilo. And prices of gold have shot through the stratosphere; just 10gm costs Rs. 20,000 right now.
Secondly, the Taj Mahal gold coin is studded with 68 hand-set Cartier diamonds. That’s a lot of bling for packed into just one kilo.
The gold coin has been produced in France for the Franklin Mint – a private American mint that manufactures limited editions collectibles including a 550gm gold-plated miniature Mercedes, where the gold costs more than $25,000 and scarily real-looking Michelle Obama dolls (unfortunately, not gold-plated!).
The Taj Mahal coin comes in a $7,000 leather case designed by French luggage designer Goyard.
The gold coin is on sale in the US.