Mar 12

It never rains, it pours


Phew! It’s all non-stop action with the royals these days – weddings, dancing, births (congratulations Vicky and Dan), dancing, anniversaries…..

 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, seems to be going gangbusters in her new job as royal celebrity. Stepping out sans Will, she seems to be managing her official duties with aplomb. Meeting the people, smiling for the cameras, managing the flower collection (always bemused by the volume of flower collecting the female royals have to do) – Kate is doing it with style  – extra points as she’s new (ish) to the game, having  lived most of her life as a ‘private citizen’.   Next stop, March 19 for public speaking.  And yikes, will it be public with the world’s media on hand, no doubt, to record and transmit her efforts to the world’s news broadcasters.  Kate says she’s looking forward to it – I’ll shake in my boots for her then!

QEII is also full steam ahead, as indeed she promised in her 60th anniversary statement on Feb 6. What I’m really enjoying is her outfits these days. Yes, she’s privy to her pick of the world’s designers but I love the happy colours she chooses and the way she co-ordinates the colours to the event. It seems almost….playful!  An inspiration for all the mature ladies out there, methinks. 

Of course, her fave hat maker, Philip Somerville prefers to describe QEII as ‘professional’ –  “the most professional hat wearer in the world”  in fact.   Now, I would love that job!  Imagine waking up in the morning knowing that you were: ‘The Most Professional Hat Wearer In The World’ .  No-one wears a hat more professionally than I, one could think. In the world, one could add.  One could feel one’s work was done with that, really….


And one last thing. I note Hello’s recent headline,“Shy Harry delights locals with his Carribbean capers”….
Yep.  There’s Harry,  just exuding shyness !! 
P.S   Sadly, amongst all the commotion, there’s been royal tragedy as well with Prince Johan Friso’s accident. His poor wife and their two young daughters having to endure such a terrible limbo. And his mother, dear old Queen Beatrix, for whom I have a soft spot since seeing her ambling nonchalantly along the red carpet at theSwede’s royal wedding of Victoria and Daniel, casually chatting and waving as she went.  It’s a very different story now for her family. We certainly hope for a happy ending  to this one….



Aug 11

Tying knots with the Tindalls

Zara and Mike’s wedding looked such a lovely occasion with lots of smiles and all that beautiful warm-looking sun – wish I’d been there ! Even if only to watch the passing parade along with the rest of the crowd.  And lots of fun was had judging from the happy dishevelment of exiting guests next morning (hello Harry!).  Zara looked beautiful in her simple but elegant gown, and despite being a sporty, no-nonsense kinda gal, I note she didn’t pass up the opportunity to don a tiara – no girl can resist a blingy piece of  head jewellery when she can get away with it. 

Speaking of crowning glories,  lots of festive hats on display, and I have to say for my money the mature ladies led the pack with the Queen’s pink number – loved the gorgeous combo of pink and orange feathers, and Camilla in her flamboyant feathery-flowery-grassy-meadowy thingy… whatever you call it, it’s a style she certainly favours for her formal headwear, and I think it suits her very well. I like how she co-ordinates the colour of the headpiece so nicely with her hair-colour, and indeed, on this occasion she co-ordinated quite nicely with the colours of the bridal flowers, too.

Zara exudes such a bright and breezy energy, as though nothing phases her.  I guess she gets her down-to-earthiness from her mother who’s straightforward style made quite an impression on me as a child. I recall a newspaper report about Princess Anne telling a press photographer to ‘naff off’ or some such as she competed in an equestrian event. Of course, it was all very controversial, but I was full of admiration for this attractive, long-haired princess (i.e. my childhood idea of how a princess ‘should’ look) who said it like she thought it.  Although she seems to manage the press attention without ‘naff-offs’ (she is one step removed from the frontline than Princess Anne was as a young woman), ‘Mrs Tindall’ seems to have inherited her mother’s straightforward, down-to-earth ways.

Anyways, may she and Mike enjoy a long and fruitful marriage – although not so much chance of little Tindalls anytime soon judging by Zara’s ‘not broody’ comments. Lucky QEII and Prince Phillip have Wills and Kate to rely on for great-grandchildren….

Meanwhile, the Duchess has topped Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed List, which is a nice confidence boost for her in her challenging new role.  And interesting that Hello readers fave was the purple Issa number. Interesting in the sense that although the divinely rich purple was more of an out-there colour for her, the style was very typical of Kate’s traditionally favoured look than many of the other tour frocks.

Well, I thought that was interesting, anyway…..

Jul 11

Frocks ahoy!

 Having retired for a nice cup of tea and a lie down after all the excitement of Wills and Kate’s wedding do, I managed to rally just in time for the nuptials of Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock. And what an extravaganza – glamour, bling, fireworks, and wonderfully over-the-top flourishes (clock the crazy wedding cake, and that adorable little gang of bo-peep bridesmaids).  Charlene looked statuesque, elegant…and teary. Those tears made me feel for the poor girl, what with all those rumours about. But then, a three-day wedding marathon is probably enough to send even an Olympic athlete bride a bit over the edge. And really, Albert and Charlene have been together a long while now, they know each other inside out, there ain’t gonna be any surprises. And as Albert said,  “(Marrying you) was the best decision I ever took”. And just to reinforce: ‘Thank you for allowing me to share my life with you’.  So there. They’re good….Best wishes to them!

But let’s not leave out the frocks – a cornucopia of styles and colours!  There were a fair few knee-length block colour shift  dresses topped with contrasting fascinator, the floaty bling of the Princess Lallas of Morocco, Karolina Kurkova in a strange navy blue skirt suit, Ines de la F. in sophisticated beach chic complete with thong (that’s flip-flop to you) sandals, and, surprisingly, plenty of outfits in white or similar bride-like shades.  Now round my way, it’s a bit of a faux pas to wear bridal colours if one is not actually the bride, but quite clearly they do things differently over in Monaco.  And indeed, one of my favourite outfits was white. Princess Caroline’s vaguely 1920’s-anyone-for-tennis-cum-bianca-jagger-in the-70’s ensemble, , was just divine and just which have worked as well in any other colour. Close second was Naomi Campbell’s delicious delicate green number topped with long, straight hair and blush-coloured fascinator.

Meanwhile, I have enjoyed watching Kate’s tentative, but irrefutable fashion evolution as she and Wills toured Canada and United States. It is kind of thrilling to see her starting to step out of her v-necked fashion comfort zone, even if it is just trying some different arrangements around the neck area such as the cute grey number here.   However, despite her growing fashion confidence, and recent assertions about starting a family, I doubt we’ll one day see Kate tripping about on holiday in a pregnancy mini a la Carla Bruni. Who does look fabulous while doing so, mind….

Still on the Canada tour….I was horrified to see Wills and Kate cooking in the kitchen in Canada. Horrified ! Surely there is no greater perk of being royal than never having to set foot in a kitchen. Ever. Under any circumstances. Forget the on-tap clothes, shoes, and accessories; or even the fabulous housing one gets, handing over the whole  food preparation thing to someone else forever more tops it all.  Wills and Kate, it’s just not even vaguely funny. Don’t let me ever see you pull a stunt like that again. Geez, what next ? Royal Masterchef ?!!

And now, there’s just enough time for a nice cup of tea and a lie down before the next royal nuptials of Zara and Mike on July 30…

May 11

Congrats, Kate and Wills


offiical-photo-02--a.jpgThe bells have stopped ringing, the kisses have been had, the cartwheelers have cleared the church.


It’s time to take a breath, and ponder the wedding of the century (so far). Early days and all …..

For many it seems Kate and Wills wedding was all about the fashion. And, of course, it was a stellar occasion for fashion. Headgear in particular. I do so love a crazy hat, and there were plenty of those. Flowers, feathers, satellite dishes, and swirly things – all were there in full glory. From understated elegance to the fashion forehead Philip Treacy 7198-victoria-beckham-1b.jpgnumbers, of which I thought Victoria Beckham’s playful space-age air stewardess number was the cutest. And of course Bespencer nieces hats.jpgatrice’s discombobulating ensemble courted attention. Chic and elegant below the neck, Gaga-crazy above! Certainly made my head spin! And then there was Kate. Wearing a tiara (sigh of relief), though, in quintessential Kate style, an understated and comparatively modest tiara….

But apart from the all the finery and the spectacle this royal wedding provided a ray of hope and optimism, especially given the recent spate of meteorologically-driven disasters. Of course, royal weddings usually do inject a squeeze of optimism into things, but Kate and Wills had that special ingredient of being a true love match between two people launching into their future together with all the hope, trust and optimism of newly-wed couples the world over.

If anything has given the British monarchy a new lease on life, it surely has to be this.

Because where there is love, there is hope. And we all love a bit of hope. Maybe even more than a fabulous frock, or a hilarious hat.

And now that it’s all done, Kate hopes to settle into housewifedom for a bit. Meanwhile, her father mows his lawn in Bucklebury. Ah, yes, it’s all back to normal in the world of the British royals…..

Congratulations, Kate and Wills. May you enjoy a long and happy union.



just wed car.jpg

P.S. Note to Hello! Where’s Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece in the best hat vote? Surely her gorgeous blue/grey rose number makes the cut !?

Apr 11

Four days to go

kate-middleton--e.jpgDresses, hairstyles, tiaras, bridesmaids…..oh, the tension of waiting is too much to bear. How we’ll all get through the next few days, I just don’t know!

I am looking forward to my Friday evening Royal Wedding viewing. Thank you to Wills, Kate, and the Royal Schedulers – for us Aussies you’ve chosen a very convenient time to be married.  A Friday evening barbie and beer, canapés and champers in front of the TV….it’s most civilised.

I am, however, feeling a tad concerned about rumours of Kate’s choice of headdress –  that she may be wearing only flowers in her hair as an accompaniment to her veil, that she may wear her hair half-up, half-down,  that she won’t be wearing a tiara. No, no, no, Kate! Any bride can wear flowers in their hair, any bride can wear a veil, or their hair a particular way, but a tiara? I think not (although Elizabeth Hurley may disagree).

A young lady of my acquaintance recently asked, “Is Kate’s dress ‘tailor-made’ or did she buy it from the shop?” I replied that I didn’t think she had gone to the shopping mall to buy her wedding dress. To which my young lady replied ‘”So it is tailor-made? Wow, that’s so cool!” And so it is. Yes, us ‘ordinary people’ do get our wedding frocks ‘tailor-made’, but the opportunity for a bride to wear a diamond-encrusted tiara without people thinking she’s got tickets on herself surely does come far and few between. When one really is a princess bride, for example. So, Kate, I beg you, grab that opportunity with your manicured-and-moisturised-to-perfection-in-preparation-for the-wedding hands…wear that crown with pride and joy!  Because you can. Because you really, truly are a princess bride. For all the brides out there who can’t. And as a symbol of what you are to become and the life you are about to lead. Hey, if Princess Mary of Denmark from Down Under can do it, so can you !

baptism--z.jpgSpeaking of which, welcome to Prince Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander and Princess Josephine Sophia Ivalo Mathilda. Surprising names perhaps, but fresh and energetic. Just like their big sister Isabella who always seems to be up to some cute little shenanigans. Must be that feisty Aussie spirit in her – may Prince Vince and Princess Josie carry that same spirit… 

Feb 11

An outfit in time….

35-kate-wills-small.jpgI was amused to read in Judy Wade’s blog that America is going so crazy over Kate and William’s wedding plans, and particularly their dismay that the wedding is scheduled at such an ‘inconvenient’ time ….gotta love the American’s robust sense of ‘self”!  Meanwhile, Judy says, the British are “keen, but not berserk” about the whole thing.

For Aussies I think the feeling right now would be, er, “unconcerned”. The announcement was widely reported and triggered a short-lived flurry of ‘Republic’ talk, as happens here with any significant British royal event. And of course we’re all waiting for ‘The Dress’, but what with the bombardment of floods, cyclones, bushfires, heatwaves and, of course, that spin in a fine bone china tea cup that is the Warney/Hurley circus raging around us, British royal wedding fever is only just managing a slight temperature here right now.

Come the big day, I’m sure I’ll have to allow my children to stay up way past their bedtime so they can enjoy the spectacle on TV. I still have memories of watching Princess Anne’s wedding as a child way back in 1973. I was transfixed by Princess Anne’s wedding gown, and thought she looked just like a princess should with those fabulous gothic sleeves, swept back hair, sparkling tiara, and long veil (and yes, I remember all those details without doing a sneaky google check first!). I’m sure Kate’s ensemble will be equally memorable.

aaa army uniform.jpgAs for William’s outfit for the big day, my pick has to be the regal-looking Army uniform with it’s striking slashes of cobalt blue and yellow – surprisingly debonair for the old Army to my mind (army/khaki, khaki/army), and entirely suitable for such a special occasion. Wills cannot seriously consider the RAF blue uniform. It may be smart, it may be proper and practical for official busy RAF work, but as a royal wedding kit-out it’s almost as dull as a week-long heatwave, which surely is the most tedious weather pattern to be visited upon humankind. (Sorry, Air Force. I know you provide an essential humanitarian and security service, but fashion service? ‘Fraid not.)

I may be in the minority on my choice, though, as it seems Hellomagazine.com readers prefer the black and white navy uniform. Crisp, yes. But somehow I’d keep waiting for the moment William breaks into a bit of a song-and-dance routine down the Abbey aisle…..”In the Navy, you can sail the seven seas…..”.  

Anyway, no doubt excitement for the royal wedding will continue to build as we head towards the big day, and I, for one, am looking forward to the big ‘reveal’.

P.S.  I’ve noticed that William and Kate have managed to conduct their personal relationship without the assistance of Twitter. Yes it’s true, Shane and Liz. Something to mull over perhaps….

Nov 10

A Magical Marriage

interview--z.jpgFinally, we can all breathe a sigh of relief! The most anticipated ‘secret’ of the last month or so has been revealed – Wills and Kate to Marry. Or as one Scottish publication trumpeted: ‘Couple who met at university to marry’….now we know why we all prefer HELLO!

Indeed, so secret was it that Wills says even his grandmother didn’t know. Now, don’t come the raw prawn with me, Wills…you don’t really expect us to believe that QEII had no inkling you were planning to propose??? Although, Kate herself did so sweetly and modestly say that the proposal was a ‘total shock’. Awwww!

And, surprisingly, she mentioned first meeting the Queen in 2008!  What, they’d been a couple for nigh on five, six years before Wills introduced his girl to his particularly special and important grandmother – my, things really have changed in the English royal family. Maybe Wills really is doing things his own way…..

Speaking of Kate ‘mentioning’ this and ‘saying’ that, it certainly was interesting to hear her inmag-cover--z.jpg full verbal action after so many years of visuals only. She certainly seems poised and dignified. Indeed, to answer questions as thoughtfully as she did while exposed to that ferocious onslaught of photographers’ flashes (sorry….pun intended) at the engagement announcement certainly takes a goodly amount of presence of mind and unflappability…useful qualities for a future which will be spent in the full glare of the spotlight.

One thing that really sticks in my craw about all this, though, are the comparisons to Diana, such as a double-page spread in a mag here of photos of Kate/Diana in ‘similar’ outfits. Please!  Yes, William made an understandable gesture by proposing with his mother’s engagement ring – whether Kate would have secretly preferred her own, fresh engagement ring we’ll never know – but Kate is not Diana in any way, shape, or form, and deserves to be let alone to, as Wills says, ‘make her own future and…destiny’. Well said, Wills!

To William and Kate, congratulations and good luck!  I wish them all the best for a happy and fulfilling marriage. Their genuine ease and affection for one another will no doubt hold them in good stead for what will be a Hell-o of a ride !

P.S. And now we can all re-bate our breaths as we wait for the….‘The Dress’….

While I’m on the topic – Kate’s sartorial style has always struck me as ‘nice’, ‘inoffensive’, maybe even a little ‘yawn’ (rhymes with prawn). Perhaps, now, as she relaxes (if that’s possible) into her new life and role, maybe we’ll see a little more flair, befitting of a modern English princess and future queen.  After all, with the cream of British and European designers at her fingertips, the world’s her prawn. I mean oyster….seafood…mmm….

Sep 10

Right Royal Celebrities

While the royals go about their ‘official’ lives, I thought I’d take a look at the some other ‘blue-bloods’ for this post – namely movie and rock ‘n’ roll royalty.

gwen-stefani.jpgHellomagazine.com recently reported that the waxwork model of Gwen Stefani was made ‘chubbier’ than real size in anticipation of the Las Vegas heat. Well, if that waxy washboard stomach is ‘chubby’ then, please, let me, too, be ‘chubby’!  And not to get too technical, but doesn’t the science go that things expand in the heat and shrink in the cold?  Or perhaps they’re expecting the Las Vegas heat will melt the Stefani statue down to size….  

Apart from wax, it’s nice to see (the real) Gwen frocking that left-of-field sartorial style again.  Not that Gwen was ever photographed in regulation mummy-wear – i.e. old t-shirt with stain of pureed food , fraying cargo pant with inner-thigh seam split-  but she did seem to get a little conservative for a while there. With these fabulously-coloured, halterneck dresses she’s been sporting lately, there’s ‘no doubt’ Gwen’s back with her trademark sense of verve and originality.

geldof-family--z.jpgSad news that Tigerlily’s estranged grandmother, Patricia Glassop, has passed away, if only that Tigerlily will never have the opportunity to know her. When Tiger’s mother passed away, it seemed only right that she remained in her homeland of England, with the half-sisters she knew and loved, and protective and loving parents in Sir Bob and Jeanne Marine. Recent pictures of her at her step-grandfather’s funeral showed her growing into a gorgeous young woman.

However, we humans seem to have an almost primal need to connect with our genetic roots, and it can be devastating to know that it’s all too late, that all one’s significant forebearers have already passed away. Circumstances and geography have made it difficult for Tigerlily to know her biological grandparents. Let’s hope she’s one of the few ‘adopted’ children that don’t seem to have that urge for their genetic connections…

kate winslet.jpg

P.S. Must say I’m rather jealous of Kate Winslet. Look at that stunning new man man she’s with these days! She’s clearly put the painful past behind her and got a new lease on life. I know it’s a cliché, but, you go, girl!

Jun 10

Girls just wanna have fun!

official wedding couple.jpgCongratulations, Victoria and Daniel! I think I can safely say they gave good wedding.  And thanks to Hello’s website for making me feel like I was there.

Waving to the crowds from their horse-drawn carriage, followed by a meander down the river on an ornate gold-encrusted gondolier (sounds more glam than ‘barge’, don’t you think) and a gentle walk across green lawns to the cathedral, Victoria and Daniel’s arrival was the perfect beginning to a regal and romantic wedding day after eight years together.

I must admit to an initial slight sense of underwhelm-ment at the simplicity of Victoria’s dress, but then, it’s Sweden – land of the pared down, the natural fibre, the clean, simple design (just don’t mention Abba’s Eurovision outfits…it was a long time ago, after all). Was instantly in love, however, with the gorgeous gold and pearl cameo-topped crown Victoria wore (where can I get me one of those!) which looked beautiful with the delicate, scalloped-edge veil floating behind her. And Dan, refurbished like the Swedish Cathedral in which they wed, looked dashing and debonair.

I couldn’t help feel for poor Dan, though. While Victoria, unsurprisingly, took it all in her stride, Dan looked a little less relaxed – his expression seemed to veer from nervous to happy and back to nervous again. Yes, he’s had eight years to get used to the royal way of doing things, but he did sometimes look as though he was only just managing under all the pomp and ceremony of the day – and who’d blame him, really?!

Perhaps he could look to Queens Sofia of Spain and Beatrix of Netherlands for inspiration – had to chuckle on viewing the guest arrival video clip as these two ladies strolled down the blue carpet as nonchalantly as if they were taking a afternoon turn around the back yard in their trackie dacks – and adorable Beatrix’ absent-minded waving as she nattered away to Sofia. Now there’s your royal role models, Daniel!

wedding waltz.jpgAnd was that wolf-whistling from the esteemed guests I heard during the bridal waltz video clip? Not a custom at any wedding I’ve ever been to, but perhaps for those crazy royals it’s the done thing to wolf-whistle the happy couple during the wedding waltz. Which Victoria and Daniel performed very stoically. And visibly cheered up when the rellies joined in.

queenmargretheII.jpgRoyal Frock of the Event has to be a tie between Princess Mathilde of Belgium in delicious crushy pink, and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark in that gorgeous serene green. And that necklace…I want one of those as well!  Where is she in the Hello! Best Frock nominations?!!?  Along with her husband, Prince Henrik, adorned in his fluffy hat and festively-decorated uniform,they were a winning couple – apart from the bride and groom, of course.

Of the non-royals girls, my frock picks go to Charlene Wittstock and Tatiana Blatnik. Now, is that a coincidence or what! As we now know, they are both now poised to walk down the aisle

tatiana-nicolas---a.jpgthermselves – perhaps it was the glow of impending bride-dom that caught my attention as much as their stunning gowns….

Special mentions to Denmark’s Prince Frederick who must have rummaged through the dress-up box for the occasion…. still, it’s always good to buy a couple of sizes bigger – room to grow and all that. Also to Princess Mabel of the Netherland for her, er, interesting corporate ballet combo.

Yes, all in all, it’s been a fabulous dose of royal wedding….and now, more to come. Ahh, happy days…

Congratulations Victoria And Daniel – may you be happy together forever !

P.S. Just a note: may I say, time to lose the glasses, Dan. I think Clark Kent has well and truly left the building…

P.P.S.  Along with Princess Victoria’s historic wedding, Julia Gillard being appointed the first female Prime Minister of Australia has made this a week to remember! Strewth, think it’s time for a soothing glass of sav blanc – go, girls!


Jun 10

The foibles and fashions of the royals


sarah-home.jpgFergie, Fergie, Fergie….

I’ve been wondering what to say about this, because, really, such things should stay between the individuals involved. I mean, it’s bad enough that it happened, let alone that it became public… I can’t help but shake my head in disbelief at the whole debacle.

Sarah says she was drunk and desperate. Hmm, I think there’s a time limit on using that old excuse to explain away one’s indiscretions and bad behaviour. It might just wash for an over-excited 17-year-old who’s had too many rum and cokes down at the local disco (believe me, I know it), but not for her.

Fergie also says she was trying to help out a friend in need. But should she be helping out by essentially selling her ‘best friend’, as she refers to Prince Andrew? I think if my best friend tried to sell me – for whatever amount of money – I might just feel a little bit betrayed. They could at least have run it by me first.

Indeed, it has been reported that Fergie incurred all her business debts because of her over-generosity – paying acquaintance’s hospital bills and the like. Maybe her heart’s in the right place, but her head needs to have more of a say in her decision-making.

Perhaps Sarah’s path is not the one of ‘entrepreneurial businesswoman’ that she persists in following. Perhaps her true route lies somewhere else, and maybe it’s time to face that and stop trying to be something she isn’t. That’s got to be better than doing shonky business deals and publicly embarrassing the family. As Joan Cusack said to Melanie Griffith in the film Working Girl – for those of us who can remember that far back – “You know, sometimes I sing and dance around the apartment in my underwear. Doesn’t make me Madonna… never will”. Wise words indeed, Joan.

And so ends today’s lecture… hopefully happier days are ahead for Fergie and her family.

mary floral dress.jpgMeanwhile, I have to mention that sartorial superstar Princess Mary of Denmark – formerly Mary Donaldson of Tasmania, Australia. She has been causing a stir again with her fab sense of style. I’ve just gotta feel proud of Mary – we breed ‘em stylish down this way!


Speaking of style: I’m waiting avidly for Princess Victoria’s wedding dress reveal on June 19. Only nine more sleeps – from my end, anyway!

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