BEAU SANCY DIAMOND
Auctioned by Sothebys, 15th May, 2012 – It weighs 34.98 carats and has been in royal hands for over 400 years. The much-admired Beau Sancy diamond has variously resided in France, England, The House of Orange/Nassau and Prussia. The exquisite modified pear-shape gem sold for $9.7 million – far exceeding the anticipated sale price of 2 – 4 million dollars. After a fierce 8 minute bidding battle between five parties, the diamond was sold to an anonymous buyer by telephone.
Sothebys presented the famous diamond on behalf of the descendants of Germany’s last emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II. It formed part of Sothebys Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels Auction at the Beau-Rivage Hotel in Geneva, Switzerland. The Beau Sancy generated huge interest when displayed to potential buyers in Hong Kong, New York, Rome, Paris, London and Zurich ahead of the Geneva event.
Named for its first owner, the French aristocrat and diplomat, Nicholas Harlay de Sancy the double rose cut diamond features 110 symmetrical facets. It was cut and polished by the legendary Louis de Berquem of Bruges. It is a perfect colourless Golconda diamond. The Golconda mines (now all-but exhausted) in Southern India were renowned for producing diamonds of spectacular size and clarity.
Berquem’s multi-faceted “pear” cut, was, at the time, a significant innovation and as such, gave the gem tremendous status. Previously diamonds were presented in a much simpler fashion, with few facets – a format which did not properly reveal their true brilliance.
The “Beau Sancy” has been much admired and coveted down the centuries. It is said that Queen Elizabeth II has long been interested in acquiring it, due, in no small part, to its illustrious provenance. We can only speculate on the identity of its new owner…
Footnote: The Beau Sancy has a BIG sister – the fabulous 55.23 carat “Grand Sancy” which is displayed at the Louvre in Paris.
Defying global financial sentiment, Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction of fine Chinese porcelain realised some record-breaking sales figures yesterday (5th October, 2011). One of the most notable moments was when a handsome meiping Ming vase eclipsed its pre-auction estimate of US$15.39 million to attain a staggering US$21.6 million. The vase was purchased by an anonymous telephone bidder and its price represents the world’s highest ever for a piece of Ming porcelain.
Put up for sale by Swiss pharmaceutical tycoon, Stephen Zuellig and the heirs of his late brother, Gilbert, the large cobalt-blue and white vase is decorated with fruit sprays. The vase is from the Yongle Imperial period (1402 – 1424) and was an important part of the brothers’ magnificent Meiyintang collection (they have amassed some 2000 pieces since the early 1950s). Of the 55 items presented from their collection last night, 32 lots were sold (for a total of US$72 million). Sotheby’s Hong Kong has grown rapidly in prominence in recent years, thanks to the burgeoning wealth of mainland Chinese and a renewed interest in collecting Chinese fine art, porcelain and premium jewelry.
QUEEN OF ROYAL ASCOT
She did it!! On Saturday 23rd June 2012, in front of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and an excited crowd of 75,000 at Royal Ascot, champion Australian mare Black Caviar triumphed in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes – but only just!!
Fending off a challenge by French mare Moonlight Cloud, Black Caviar snatched the win by just a nose in a photo-finish. Her time was 1:14:10. Much to the delight of her fans, this valiant effort leaves her impressive record of 22 straight wins intact and she retains the title of fastest sprinter in the world today.
Black Caviar has garnered a huge following since her debut in 2009 and her fans go all-out to demonstrate their support for the elegant liquorice-coloured 5 year old. The huge Australian contingent at Ascot was no exception, with many sporting her distinctive colours – bold black spots on salmon-pink.
The nail-biting finish was, by jockey Luke Nolen’s own admission, the result of a risky decision to ease back on the approach to the finish line (as he usually has in Australian events). Historically the mare has cruised to easy wins with energy to spare, but up against the stiff competition at Royal Ascot, she really had to work to maintain her position up front in the last stages of the 1200 metre race. A disconcerted Nolen was forced to put the pressure back on in the final tense seconds. After the race he expressed his disappointment at not delivering a more spectacular victory for the fans.
Nonetheless – whilst not as decisive as her usual wins, Caviar’s triumph at Royal Ascot is a truly magnificent achievement, especially considering this was her first competition on foreign soil and she was not her usual vigorous self.
After the event, Black Caviar was introduced to the Queen, whose attentions were well-received.
There are whispers about that the mare may be retired having now claimed glory on the hallowed course of Royal Ascot – many would hope not! Others talk of her racing in Hong Kong. Her trainer Peter Moody dismisses all speculation as premature – he just looks forward to getting his champion safely back home. In any case – the beautiful Black Caviar has given her all and truly earned her place in racing history.
Add a bit of sparkle and pizzazz to your next cocktail party with these bright jewel-coloured “Vega” martini glasses by Baccarat. Hand-crafted in France from full-lead crystal, these glasses feature decorative stems and are available individually in clear, ruby, sapphire and olivine. Also from Baccarat is this vibrant crystal ring – from the “Fleurs de Psydelic” collection – this one is “Day”. I love the warm, summery colours – pinks, reds, honey and amber, set in sterling silver and actually bought one when I was recently in London. I receive lots of compliments when I wear it. There are two other versions – in shades of blue – “Dawn” - aqua blues and violet, and the moody “Night” – deeper blues and light to dark greys. The particular crystals used create lovely sparkling colour variations as they catch the light.
FROM THE HOUSE OF DUNHILL
Compact, practical and rather gorgeous, this sleek portable solar powered recharger for mobile phones and mp3 players is a perfect gift for the discerning technophile. Made of lightweight and durable brushed aluminium (aerospace grade) and discreetly embellished with the Alfred Dunhill insignia, this nifty device delivers 30 hours charge time and comes with a smart Chassis leather carry case. The clever little unit is self-charging with its built in solar panel or via a computer USB. And just released is the new Dunhill fragrance for men – “Custom” Eau de Toilette – presented in chunky 50 and 100ml bottles. This is a welcome addition to the sophisticated Dunhill fragrance range. “Custom” exudes a masculine energy – warm and woody, spicy and sensual. The heavy glass bottle has a metal cap which can be personalised to order, with your own monogram.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!
Best wishes to all our readers for a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous 2012! The past year has been tumultuous and challenging on many fronts globally. I hope we can all embrace this New Year with optimism and also resolve to imbue our lives with love and grace.
23rd August 1924 – 10th November 2011Acclaimed Australian ceramicist and painter David Boyd has died in Sydney at age 87. Surrounded by three generations of the famous Boyd art dynasty, David passed away quietly after a short illness.
Boyd’s work is very much in demand – exhibited at the National Gallery of Australia and represented internationally in public and private collections.
Many of his paintings are instantly recognisable – possessing a dreamlike quality – whimsical, surreal and child-like – in fact, naïf, romantic depictions of children proliferate much of his work. The rendering however is deceptively complex and sophisticated. His stylised motifs and techniques bear recognisable similarities to those of his brother – renowned landscape painter, Arthur Boyd.[Read more...]
AFTER THE CUP – BYRON BLISS
Aaahh – Byron Bay – one of my favourite places when I need some R & R! Our “beach house” sits high on a hill in our own little tropical forest, so while we enjoy some of the most spectacular views of the ocean, we have virtually complete privacy – and it’s just a short drive to the beaches! Often as not we’ll just opt for the pool, which looks directly out to sea anyway! We catch the most delicious Pacific breezes – heaven in a hammock!!
My sister just loves coming here and is really enthusiastic about our recent extensions to the main house – apparently it’s looking quite “Caribbean”. She too is a designer (fashion and textiles) so we always have much to talk about – lots of “brainstorming”! Currently she and her partner are restoring a romantic old villa in Perugia, Umbria. It’s quite a challenging project – it will take at least another year to complete, but it’s bound to be magnificent. I’m going to help her re-create some of the original gardens. Of course that means a few jaunts to Italy – any excuse…!!
We had such a great time together over Melbourne Cup Week (the highlight of the Spring Racing Carnival) [Read more...]
BIENVENUE PETITE GIULIA
First Lady of France, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (43), gave birth to a healthy girl on Wednesday evening (19th October) at La Muette maternity clinic in Paris. Giulia has the distinction of being the first child in French history to be born to a serving First Lady. Her name is the Italian version of Julia. She is the second child for Bruni, who has a 10 year old son, Aurelien, with French philosopher Raphael Enthoven. Bruni and President Nicolas Sarkozy (56) married in 2008. He has three sons from earlier marriages.
An Italian-born model, singer/songwriter and actress, Bruni attracted much attention throughout her career and during her famous liasons with Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton. She is adamant that her new daughter will be shielded from the public eye.
Back from Byron Bay and back to work. My sister has returned to Milan (sigh) and I have returned to my desk, refreshed and invigorated after a most enjoyable little holiday. My first duty is to acknowledge the 231 readers who took up our special November invitation to sign on as Registered Users and receive our complimentary ebooks. What a wonderful response!! – welcome aboard and thank you for joining us at Lovely Lifestyles.
Well – the silly season is upon us again – so soon! Hope you’re organised! I have been rifling through my gift cupboard for inspiration – looks like I still have some last minute shopping to do! At least my cards and interstate/overseas gifts are taken care of and arrangements for festive celebrations are in hand.
Thanks to my helpers, the house is looking gorgeous – especially at night – they have “decked the halls” and then some!!! The Christmas tree is just beautiful – resplendent in our new festive theme of aqua, silver and copper coloured baubles and the menfolk have done wonders with fairy lights throughout the garden! We are hosting 3 large functions here in the lead-up to Christmas – I think our guests will enjoy our creative efforts.
Immediately after Christmas we’re off to the Whitsunday Islands aboard my husband’s latest pride and joy – the newly-christened cruiser Kailani (Kah-ee LAH-nee). The name, over which we agonised for months, is of Hawaiian origin – meaning “the sea and the sky” – rather lovely I think! She arrived while I was away (nearly three months later than scheduled because of modifications) – but it was worth the wait – we are absolutely delighted! She is a beautiful vessel – very streamlined – we are all looking forward to a fun-filled maiden voyage!
We collaborated closely with the designers on the interior – they have exceeded our brief. The quality of the internal fit-out is superb – the 2 “staterooms” are rather glam and more spacious than I envisaged and the galley is state-of-the-art, with a place for everything and everything in its place! Kailani is almost double the size of the much-loved “Calista” whom we farewelled two years ago and with all her clever appointments and generous spaces will be ideal for entertaining and longer voyages and there is even room for the boys’ jet skis!
Boys being boys – my husband seems more impressed by all the high-tech stuff on the bridge! We’ve invited another yachting family along so our sons will have three other teenagers to hang out with. Kailani sleeps 10 plus so we won’t be falling over each other. The important thing is to have a memorable family adventure and spend some quality time together after a really busy and demanding year.
HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY
LOVELY LIFESTYLES ! !
Today (31st October, 2011) marks the First Anniversary of the launch of Lovely Lifestyles. From humble beginnings we have evolved and expanded, now enjoying a diverse international readership in over 130 countries.
On behalf of my wonderful team I take this opportunity to thank our loyal followers and also extend a warm welcome to new visitors. We appreciate your positive feedback and look forward to bringing you much more news and practical information as we embark on our second year.
Our Registered Users deserve special mention and as a token of our appreciation we are sending you 2 clever little self-help ebooks – “Secret Sauce Strategies” and “Practical Personal Development” which I hope you find as useful as Gabriella and I have. Readers who register with Lovely Lifestyles during the month of November will also receive these gifts. Best wishes from Lady Chatterley.
QUEEN ELIZABETH IN AUSTRALIA
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth arrived in the national capital, Canberra on Wednesday (October19th) for her 16th visit to Australia since she first graced our shores as a young queen in 1954.
Accompanied by 90 year old Prince Phillip, the 85 year old monarch disembarked from the British Airways 777 jet to a balmy Canberra afternoon and an excited throng of well-wishers. Looking fresh and relaxed Her Majesty was elegantly dressed in an “atoll blue” ensemble and matching hat, contrasted with black accessories. She also wore the stunning ”Wattle” brooch (yellow and white diamonds) – a gift from the Australian government presented in 1954 to mark her first visit. [Read more...]
Yesterday afternoon (9th Oct.) Sir Paul McCartney wed his “soul mate” Nancy Shevell in an intimate civil ceremony at Old Marylebone Town Hall in London. The hour long service, attended by just 30 close friends and family including ex-Beatle Ringo Starr, his wife Barbara Bach and TV presenter Barbara Walters, was described as a “beautiful and wonderful” event.
The lovely bride wore an elegant long-sleeved knee-length ivory dress created by Sir Paul’s fashion designer daughter, Stella McCartney and carried a simple bouquet of pink roses. The youthful-looking groom cut a stylish figure in a dark blue suit teamed with a pale blue tie. Beatrice McCartney, Sir Paul’s daughter with his second wife, Heather Mills, was bridesmaid. The pretty seven year old (who bears a striking resemblance to her famous father) looked very sweet in a full length dress topped with a long rose pink coat and a halo of roses in her hair. [Read more...]
BLACK CAVIAR – BY PHAR!!
She made it look easy! Champion mare Black Caviar – the darling of the racing world down-under, took out the much anticipated $200,000 Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday (8th October, 2011). Black Caviar has a massive following and in front of a huge crowd of fans she extended her brilliant record to 14 straight wins. Her stellar performance now equals that of Australian racing legend, the mighty Phar Lap, whose 37 wins out of 51 starts captivated racegoers world-wide during his four year career.
Ridden by Luke Nolen, Black Caviar was travelling effortlessly in the 8 strong field, accelerating on the home turn to cruise into first place. She took line honours in the 1000m sprint with a decisive lead of four and a half lengths. Caviar’s next challenge is the 1200 Moir Stakes followed by the million dollar Patinack Classic on November 5th. Her current form has her connections hopeful that she will compete at Royal Ascot next June.
OFF AND RACING!
The spring racing season is now underway and I’m particularly excited about it this year – for two reasons! First of all – my younger sister, who lives in Italy, will be joining us for the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Although we regularly catch up in London, it’s almost three years since she’s spent time with us in Australia. Secondly – this year, all being well – one of our horses is running in the Carnival.
So – a mad Melbourne marathon of fun, fashion, fine food and copious quantities of champagne! I had three really gorgeous hats made when we were in London mid-year (including one quite outrageous confection from the adorable Stephen Jones) – my husband calls me The Mad Hatter! I’m looking forward to all the buzz of Flemington and associated festivities – the marquee gatherings are seriously decadent and we all love the Fashions on the Field – an extravaganza of fabulous frocks and marvellous millinery (and the men are not overlooked – many a sartorial statement from the gents!!).
But it’s not all hats and halters – apart from enjoying the sport, the Carnival provides a great opportunity to catch up with interstate and international friends and acquaintances. It can be rather tiring though, so after all that socialising I plan to take my sister to Byron Bay for a couple of lazy weeks beachside!
The 151st Melbourne Cup Race – 3200 metres – will be run on Tuesday 1st November, 2011.
MELBOURNE TRUMPS VANCOUVER!
It’s official – the city of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, is now deemed the world’s “Most Liveable City”. Ranked by The Economist – the London-based publication – the top ten are, as of yesterday (30th August 2011), Melbourne, Vienna, Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Helsinki, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Aukland. Note that Australia and Canada dominate the top ten. Twice yearly the Economist Intelligence Unit studies major cities globally and assesses them on the broad categories of stability, culture and environment, healthcare, infrastructure and education, ranking them one to a hundred. Those highest ranking are typically mid-size cities with low population densities. In 2002 Melbourne shared top spot with Vancouver, but in the years since, Vancouver has consistently ranked number one.
Melbourne is a vibrant, modern city with a multicultural population of around 4 million – the second largest in Australia. Situated on and around Port Phillip Bay with the CBD sited on the estuary of the Yarra River, Melbourne is famous for its changeable weather – “four seasons in one day”. [Read more...]
24.6.1923 – 26.7.2011 Australia’s art world is a little less colourful with the passing yesterday of beloved artist and National Treasure, Margaret Olley. Aged 88, Margaret died at her home in Sydney where she was working on paintings for her next exhibition.
Renowned for her gloriously colourful still-life studies, with her subject matter often the flowers, crockery, fabrics and bric-a-brac that cluttered her Paddington house, Margaret Olley was the sitter for friend Ben Quilty’s winning portrait in the recent Archibald Prize competition.[Read more...]
SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONS GUARDI MASTERPIECE
In the late 1760’s Francesco Guardi produced four monumental works portraying aspects of Venice and on Wednesday night (6th July) at Sotheby’s in London, “A View of the Rialto Bridge, Looking North, from the Fondamenta del Carbon” sold for 26.7 million pounds ($42.7).
This impressive painting, measuring115 x 199cm, is considered one of Guardi’s most important works. It was secured by an anonymous buyer after a protracted contest with another telephone bidder.[Read more...]
I have a lovely new companion – slim, sexy and very entertaining. This special friend is so easy to get along with, a real communicator – very clever and reliable and also great in bed. I think I’m smitten – it’s my new Amazon KINDLE 3G
My tech-savvy husband did the research and decided I needed the latest 3G plus Wi-Fi model. This is a greatly enhanced version of the original – it’s lighter (weighs about 8oz), offers vastly improved screen contrast and capacity for up to 3,500 books – double the storage of its predecessor. The page turner is faster and the zoom function is great for images, but my favourite feature is probably the cutting-edge E Ink Pearl technology which is very easy on the eyes. The text is clear and sharp (8 font sizes available in 3 styles) with no background glare. It is very readable, even in bright sunlight.
Available in classic white or graphite, this new model loads a book in just 60 seconds, has a text-to-speech facility for English content and an enhanced PDF Reader. The Kindle 3 has an excellent battery life, plays MP3 and AAC audio and incorporates a new WebKit web browser. I now have quick and portable access to newspapers, magazines, blogs and hundreds of thousands of books (invaluable in my line of work!). It allows me to post highlights on Facebook and Twitter without leaving the page and keep track of my emails. The cost of the 3G global connectivity is covered by Amazon.
There is a huge selection of fashionable and practical protective cases and covers available for Kindle, including decorative skins, leather, vinyl and neoprene cases, dust and waterproof covers and printed designer wallets in canvas. Some feature adjustable stands and led lights. American designer Diane von Furstenberg has produced an exclusive range of Kindle “clutches” in bold prints. I opted for Amazon’s smart leather cover with built-in light, available in seven great colours – mine is the lovely edgy Burnt Orange.
29th April 2011
Well – it was certainly worth the wait – what a day! The weather – worrisome at first was ultimately kind and considering the scale of the event and the complex logistics, the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton ran incredibly smoothly.[Read more...]
ROYAL TWINS’ CHRISTENING IN DENMARK
14th April, 2011.
As is tradition in the Danish royal family, until the baptism the babies’ names are known only to their parents. This of course has stimulated much debate over possible choices, with much focus on historic royal Danish precedents.
Born on January 8th, 2011, the third and fourth children of Prince Frederik and Princess Mary have been baptised Prince Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander and Princess Josephine Sophia Ivalo Mathilda. The twins’ siblings are Prince Christian (5) and Princess Isabella (almost 4). The babies are fourth and fifth in line to the Danish throne, with the little prince being the elder by 26 minutes.
Some 300 guests attended the televised afternoon service which was conducted at the 16th century Holmens Kirke ,Copenhagen. The twins were baptised at the magnificent silver font which has been used for many Danish royal children since 1671. The christening was followed by a reception at Amelienborg Palace and later a celebratory dinner for 60 guests.
The Tasmanian Government (Princess Mary is Tasmanian-born) will mark the event by presenting the little prince and princess with matching hand-crafted wooden chests containing selections of children’s story books. Launceston furniture maker Rex Heathcote was commissioned by Premier Lara Giddings to produce the handsome pieces which are made from birdseye Huon pine, trimmed with Blackwood and finished with decorative tops.
THE 2011 BAFTA AWARDS
LONDON – 13th February.
It came as no surprise that the awards were dominated by “The King’s Speech” which garnered seven of the prestigious accolades [Read more..]
EVENT – Official Opening of the MUSEUM OF OLD AND NEW ART
Date: 21st January, 2011.
“I have some things to say – you might not want to hear them.” David Walsh wants to stimulate conversation and debate. Well…!!!
Welcome to MONANISM. It was a BIG weekend in Hobart, Tasmania with the much anticipated opening of The Museum of Old and New Art – the realisation of years of planning for multi-millionaire art collector, investor and professional gambler, David Walsh. [Read more..]
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
I won’t bore you with my full name, but, as is tradition in my line, I have been endowed with four – the mixed blessings of heredity! Fortunately they are classics and together have a nice flow – my dear parents put a lot of thought into the composition and I am eternally grateful!
The modern penchant for dubious inventions like “Beyonce” seems short-sighted rather than clever. Also, we now have the re-working of otherwise quite acceptable monikers, which can be quite problematic.
Please, please! do not saddle your poor child with some fanciful invention which will forever be a burden – the spelling alone will present complications, let alone the potential embarrassment of the name itself. Indeed, an ill-chosen name can disadvantage a child socially and professionally.
The use of old and familiar surnames has been re-popularised for boys in recent years – whilst some of them have a strong, masculine resonance (Fraser, Mitchell, Cooper etc.) others like Jackson and Riley, should have been left where they belong. And then we have the “atlas names” – Brooklyn, Montana, Dakota – I cringe in anticipation of a little Miss Mississippi!!!. I do however, make an exception for “India” – a long-established girl’s name within a particular British demographic, and am warming to “Sienna”…
One must consider how the chosen name will suit in adulthood – imagine a 75 year old Destiny or Makaylah, or a C.E.O. saddled with Trey or Kayden, Jayden, Brayden etc. Phonetics and rhythm are also important considerations – Tatiana Tennant is too – T-T-T and Aaron Noonan is n-n-nooo! A name needs a little flow and air – not the staccato of too many sharp consonants – a beautiful name is no accident! Our multicultural society presents some truly lovely and exotic possibilities (especially for girls) – particularly names of Asian/Indian and Middle Eastern origin – again, consider how they sit with your family name (are they too much at odds with each other?) and will the spelling and pronunciation be confusing.
In certain quarters of society some names are perennial and rightly so – who can resist the timeless lyricism of Isabella, Lucinda and Sophie – these, with their open endings, attach themselves comfortably to any surname.
It’s interesting to see the resurgence of even older girl’s names. Many have their roots in Greek and Roman mythology and offer lifetime “wearability”.
With the advent of the Royal Wedding we can expect a surge of Kates, Catherines & Williams, such is the influence of these events. Happily these are elegant and timeless appellations. May all your children carry their names with pride and grace.
MAY WE ALL BE KINDER TO EACH OTHER
Don’t allow your dog to jump up at guests on arrival. Whilst you find it adorable that your dog likes your friends as much as you do, from the perspective of a visitor, it is rude and annoying. Even if you know and like the animal, it is unpleasant to have it launch itself enthusiastically upon you, all paws, fur and slobber! Apart from the interruption, one might suffer a scratch to ones person or worse, ones new handbag!!
Your dog is a member of your family and as such, should be taught to behave properly. An unruly dog reflects poorly on its masters.
If your beloved pooch is one of the naughty ones, don’t despair – it’s never too late for re-programming, but, as with children (and, dare I say – husbands!) obviously, the earlier you start educating them, the better. Training available ranges from puppy school to programmes for mature dogs. Of course, many of us have managed to raise happy, well-behaved dogs without going the formal route – but that said, there are some wonderful resources out there to help with problem pets and pet care in general. You might like to start with online research…
If you know your visitor is dog-phobic it would be considerate to keep the two entirely separated.
You might find this site helpful – Dog Training Techniques
”Dog Training Tips” Preventing Jumping
Preparations for the much anticipated marriage of Prince William of Wales to Catherine Middleton on Friday 29th April, 2011, are approaching fever-pitch. The 11a.m. service will take place in London at Westminster Abbey. Among some1900 guests will be close friends and family, royalty from home and abroad, heads of state and other dignitaries.
The bride, accompanied by her father Michael, will travel in a Rolls Royce Phantom VI, with the procession moving down the Mall, along Horse Guards Parade, through Whitehall and Parliament Square to Westminster Abbey. Up to a million well-wishers are expected to line the route.
There is huge speculation and anticipation around what the 28 year old princess-to-be will wear, with the style of Catherine’s wedding dress tantamount to a state secret. The general consensus seems to be that it will be slender and elegant – something of a contrast to the voluminous confection of ivory silk taffeta and lace worn by a 19 year old Diana. That famous dress, with its impressive 25ft train, was made by London designers David and Elizabeth Emmanuel at an estimated cost of then 9000 pounds.
Catherine will be attended by her 26 year old sister Philippa (Pippa) as Maid of Honour. She will also be assisted by four young bridesmaids – 7 year old Lady Louise Windsor, daughter of the Earl (Prince Edward) and Countess of Wessex, the 8 year old daughter of Viscount and Viscountess Linley, The Hon. Margarita Armstrong-Jones and Misses Eliza Lopes and Grace van Cutsem (Prince William’s goddaughter) – both 3.
Prince Harry will be his brother’s Best Man and filling the roles of pages – Master William Lowther-Pinkerton, aged 10 and Master Tom Pettifer (Prince William’s godson) aged 8.
Catherine’s engagement ring is the same worn by Princess Diana – a stunning 18 carat oval blue sapphire, surrounded by a cluster of 14 diamonds, from Garrard Jewellers – the official Crown Jewellers.
The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, will conduct the wedding service, with Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, performing the marriage ceremony. The address will be delivered by the Bishop of London, the Right Reverend Richard Chartres.
The couple will travel from the Abbey to their reception at Buckingham Palace in a handsome 1902 State Landau. This same carriage transported Prince William’s parents from their wedding service at St Paul’s Cathedral in 1981. A lunch-time celebration for 600 guests will be hosted by the Queen and in the evening festivities continue with a dinner and dance for 300, at the palace, hosted by Prince Charles.
The honeymoon destination also remains a closely guarded secret. Catherine celebrated the traditional “Hens Night” with a discreet gathering of friends. Organised by her sister Philippa, the party included a former university flatmate, Olivia Bleasdale and Astrid Harbord, an ex-girlfriend of Prince Harry. Prince William’s “Bucks Night”, held at a country estate, was a low key affair with about 20 close friends.
UKTV will provide live and uninterrupted coverage of the event via a direct simulcast of the BBC One coverage in the UK. A global audience of over 1 billion is expected to tune in.
EARTH DAY – 22.4.2011
On 26th March at 8:30pm we observed Earth Hour 2011, with a record participation of 134 countries and territories across all continents. More and more households, businesses, public buildings and landmarks switched off electric lighting for one hour in support of energy conservation and a sustainable future. Particularly encouraging was the enthusiastic response from emerging economies.
Friday the 22nd April is an even more pro-active event, when, as a global community, we are encouraged to perform acts of “greenness” – it can be something as simple as reducing your workplace or domestic [Read more...]
Mark this date on your calendar so that you too can support our precious planet. Earth Hour is a simple, but highly effective environmental initiative first started in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. The annual event now has huge global participation, as was demonstrated in 2010 when 100s of millions of people and businesses in 128 countries and territories around the world, switched off their electric lighting for 1 hour. Homes, landmarks and famous buildings were plunged into temporary darkness in recognition of our ever-changing environment and the need to be pro-active as communities and individuals.
As was expected, the much-lauded Anglo/Australian production “The King’s Speech” was the star of the show at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre today. The cast of this finely tuned masterpiece is a veritable who’s who of British stage and screen. The film collected Oscars in the major categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Leading Actor and Writing (Original Screenplay). The only surprise was that Geoffrey Rush did not win the Best Supporting Actor Award for his sublime portrayal of the eccentric Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue, but as a co-producer he still has much to smile about. [Read more...]
IT’S A BOY & A GIRL!
Friday, 2011-01-07 after much public anticipation Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has given birth to a healthy boy and girl at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen. The Princess (who is reported well and happy) and her husband Crown Prince Frederik already have a 5 year old son, Prince Christian and a daughter, Princess Isabella,3.
ROLEX SYDNEY HOBART RACE WINNERS
After enduring gruelling conditions crossing Bass Strait with huge seas and winds of up to 50 knots, 100ft super maxi yacht Wild Oats XI took line honours in a time of 2 days, 7 hours, 37 minutes and 20 seconds. [Read more..]
Gracing Time Magazine’s cover as its 2010 Person of the Year is Facebook CEO and co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg. At 26, Zuckerberg presides over the social networking site which now boasts a world-wide membership of 500 million. The Time accolade recognises the individual who has most influenced our culture and news media (for better or worse) in the past year and Mark Zuckerberg is the second youngest so honoured. He is also fast gaining a reputation for his philanthropy.
The marriage of HRH Prince William to Catherine Middleton will take place at Westminster Abbey in London on Friday 29th April, 2011. Around 2000 guests will attend the service. Official engagement portraits taken by Princess Diana’s favourite photographer, Mario Testino were recently published. These delightfully natural photos feature a very happy and relaxed couple, with Catherine wearing William’s late mother’s magnificent sapphire and diamond engagement ring.
LONDON 16th November, 2010.Clarence House has announced that HRH Prince William of Wales will marry Catherine (Kate) Middleton in 2011. It is thought that the London wedding will take place in spring or summer.
JOHN LENNON 9/10/1940 – 8/12/1980.
DATE – 4th November, 2010
EVENT – Cocktail Reception/ Book Launch
BOOK – “The World Of Gloria Vanderbilt”
VENUE – The new Ralph Lauren store at 888 Madison Ave, New York.
Hosted by Ralph Lauren, this elegant soiree in the sumptuous surroundings of his gorgeous new Women’s Boutique was attended by a very fashionable crowd. Among the social, political and Hollywood luminaries present were Uma Thurman (best dressed in a sophisticated full-length black ensemble), Gloria Steinem, Aerin Lauder, Devon Schuster Radziwill, Lee Radziwill, Andy Cohen, Brian Williams, Marisa Berensen, HRH Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Sarah Jessica Parker and the very chic Anne Slater. Guest of honour, the grand dame of New York society, Gloria Vanderbilt was stylish as ever in full length black (in fact, black seemed the popular choice all round). Gloria was accompanied by her son, Anderson Cooper (who wrote the foreword) and amidst the festivities she found time to sign copies of her fascinating biography (by Wendy Goodman) for her enthusiastic admirers.
It’s that time of year again, when I begin to feel the stirrings of panic as it dawns on me that I am not really organised for Christmas! Yes, menus are doing battle in my head, I still have dozens of cards to write and a large house to make festive and no – I don’t have all the gift-shopping covered! I’ve spent a lot of time travelling this year and my tightly-tuned schedule is now in tatters. It seems I will have to delegate – but enough of that – let’s talk Christmas gifts…
Quick Chat At The Races
Still recovering from Melbourne Cup festivities and jetlag…excuse my brevity…
Melbourne Cup Race Day: Tuesday, 2nd November…
Location: Flemington – it rained!!
Winner: 6yo French horse Americain – ridden by Gerald Mosse and trained by Alain de Royer Dupre.
Fashion: Some lovely black and white numbers and btw Melbourne milliners – hats off to you!
Marquee: (Emirates) – lots of lovelies – VIPs Georgia May Jagger, Jerry Hall… Will keep you posted.
EVENT - Women in Film and Television Awards
Date: 3rd December, 2010.
Venue: Luncheon at Hilton Park Lane, London..
Almost 1000 industry personalities gathered to celebrate the 20th annual Women in Film and Television Awards, hosted by actress and comedienne, Julie Walters.
Notable amongst the many recipients was actress Sheila Hancock (77), who accepted a lifetime achievement award for a career spanning nearly 50 years. Carey Mulligan (currently in the U.S.) was awarded this year’s Best Performance for her roles in “An Education” and “Never Let Me Go” and Beryl, Debbie and Sue Vertue (Hartswood Films – Sherlock Holmes, Coupling and Men Behaving Badly) were honoured with the ITV Achievement of the Year Award. Andrea Arnold (“Fish Tank”) was named “Best Director” and Jane Goldman claimed the U.K. Film Council Writing Award. Goldman’s screenplays include Stardust, Kick Ass and works in progress – The Woman in Black and X-Men: First Class.