The Royal Wedding: William and Kate

The Royal Wedding: William and Kate

The most anticipated wedding of the year has come and gone. Prince William and Kate Middleton are officially a married couple. In a beautiful ceremony in Westminster Abbey among world leaders and close friends, the couple exchanged vows. After the ceremony, the couple made their way to Buckingham Palace where they shared the much-anticipated kiss. Following a ceremony hosted by the Queen in Buckingham Palace, the couple drove off in an Aston Martin with Prince William in the driver’s seat. While at Buckingham Palace, William and Kate posed for official photographs with their families.

Friday’s Royal Wedding may not have ushered in a new dawn for the royal family, but it certainly proved that the British still know how to combine pageantry, solemnity and romance better than anyone else in the world. Carrying on the royal tradition of taking a title upon marriage, Prince William and Kate Middleton became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The title dates back to the early 18th century during the Stuart rule, and the title has been extinct since 1981 when the last Duke of Cambridge died without an heir. The Queen also gave William the titles of Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus, titles which Kate also came into when they were married.

Viewers can read more about The Royal Wedding in The New York Times here.

The Royal Wedding in 60 Seconds

The Royal Wedding Vows

The Royal Wedding: William and Kate Kiss on the Balcony

Slide Show: The Royal Wedding of William and Kate

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The Royal Wedding: Grand Pomp and Circumstance

The Royal Wedding: Grand Pomp and Circumstance

The Royal Wedding is a short film documenting the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, as interpreted by the royal popsicle-stick finger puppets. What you will see in this short film is exactly what millions of people from all around the world will be watching tomorrow when Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the royal knot. All the pomp and circumstance! All the drama and all the British accents! Just watch!!

Thanks to Jezebel.

The Royal Wedding: Grand Pomp and Circumstance

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A Theater of Manners: Portraits of the Wealthy, Social Nobility and Politically Powerful

Jim Dow, “The Dining Room, Morgan Library, New York City” (1999 / 2010)

Jim Dow, “The Library, Metropolitan Club, New York City” (1999 / 2010)

Jim Dow, “The New York Society Library, NYC”

Annie Leibovitz, “Queen Elizabeth II” (2007)

Martin Parr, France. Paris, “Haute Couture” (2007)

Daniela Rossell, “Paulina with Lion, Mexico”

A Theater of Manners: Portraits of the Wealthy, Social Nobility and Politically Powerful

Portraits and Power: People, Politics and Structures is a collection of photographs showing the seldom seen hidden lives of the wealthy, social nobility and politically powerful persons of our times. The collection is currently on exhibition at The CCCS, Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, in Florence, Italy. The images portray the representatives of a social class that normally exercises careful control over the circulation of pictures of its members, whether in the form of family photographs or of official portraits.  The photographs unveil the game of social roles and attitudes conducted by the subjects, a veritable Theater of Manners, which demands enough sensitivity on the viewers’ part for them to focus on those details in the pictures that render hidden and non-immediately obvious features visible.

In addition, many of the photographs present an authentic and rare view of the architecture, furnishings and frameworks of some of the most exclusive private circles of New York City, circles that have a long and significant history, such as the renowned Metropolitan Club. Though there are over twenty such circles of this kind in New York City, outsiders will very seldom notice their presence. Presently, an increasing number of politicians and businessmen are choosing to meet in these secluded rooms, which public opinion often perceives as places of intrigue and the setting for various kinds of secret appointments. The photographs give a face to these exclusive meeting places, inviting viewers to  admire the timeless opulence of their rooms.

Portraits and Power: People, Politics and Structures

Slide Show: Theater of Manners/Portraits of the Wealthy, Nobility and Politically Powerful

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President and First Lady Obama Meet with Queen Elizabeth II

President Obama Looks Forward to Meeting Queen Elizabeth II

As he was getting ready for his meeting with Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday, President Barack Obama hailed what he calls an “extraordinary affinity and kinship” between the people of the United States and Britain. When he was asked at a news conference in London about what it is that he loves about Great Britain, Obama singled out the British people. He added that an American visiting England feels a “sense of familiarity as well as difference” that makes it a “special place.”

But he also mentioned the queen, and said he’s “very much looking forward to meeting her.” He said that his wife, Michelle, had been giving that meeting a lot of thought. Obama said he values “what the queen stands for, including decency and civility.

President Obama Looks Forward to Meeting Queen Elizabeth II

President and First Lady Obama Meet with Queen Elizabeth II

President and First Lady Obama arrived at Buckingham Palace Wednesday evening for a private meeting with Queen Elizabeth II. Thousands of well-wishers crowded the traffic circle in front of the Buckingham Palace gates on Wednesday, cheering and waving as the limousine carrying Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama drove past. The Obamas arrived at Buckingham Palace at around 5:30 p.m. (London time). President Obama gave Queen Elizabeth an iPod during their private meeting, which contained video footage of her state visit to the United States in May 2007. The Queen gave the president a silver framed photograph of herself and her husband. President Obama is scheduled to attend a dinner with G-20 leaders later tonight.

President and First Lady Obama Meet with Queen Elizabeth II

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The World Honors Nelson Mandela: Madiba’s 90th Birthday Celebration

The World Celebrates Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday

Mandela’s Campaign Against South African Apartheid

On August 5th, 1962, Nelson Mandela was arrested after living in underground hiding for seventeen months, and was initially imprisoned in the Johannesburg Fort. He was imprisoned after being charged with involvement in planning armed action and a conspiracy to help other countries invade South Africa. The arrest was made possible because the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) tipped off South African security police as to Mandela’s whereabouts and disguise. Mandela was later imprisoned on Robben Island, where he remained for the next eighteen of his twenty-seven years in prison.

In March 1982, Mandela was transferred from Robben Island to Pollsmoor Prison, in part to enable discreet contact between him and the South African government. In 1990, State President F.W. de Klerk reversed the ban on anti-apartheid organizations, and announced that Mandela would shortly be released from prison. Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison in Paarl on February 11th, 1990, an event that was broadcast live all over the world.

South Africa’s first multi-racial elections were held on April 27th, 1994. The African National Congress won 62% of the votes in the election, and Mandela, as leader of the ANC, was inaugurated on May 10th, 1994, as the country’s first Black President, with the National Party’s de Klerk as his first deputy. As President from 1994 until 1999, Mandela presided over the transition from minority rule and apartheid, winning international respect for his advocacy of national and international reconciliation.

Mandela’s leadership was recognized when he was awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.

Mandela’s London Arrival for the Birthday Celebrations

Nelson Mandela arrived in London on Monday, June 23rd, 2008, for a week of events to celebrate his 90th birthday. Mandela met with Queen Elizabeth II, as well as with a number of other high-profile celebrities who included Gordon Brown, the former U.S. president Bill Clinton and the talk-show host Oprah Winfrey. The outdoor concert in honor of the former South African President was scheduled to take place at Hyde Park, London, on Friday, June 29th, with performers including Amy Winehouse, Josh Groban, Annie Lennox, Leona Lewis, Queen and the Soweto Gospel Choir.

Celebrities Greet Mandela’s Arrival in London

Celebrating Mandela’s 90th Birthday: The 90th Birthday Concert

40,000 Fans Pay Tribute to Mandela

Will Smith charmed the huge 90th Birthday Concert crowd, and Amy Winehouse wowed them with her performance. However, Nelson Mandela proved to be the biggest star of all at the concert Friday in honor of the South African statesman’s 90th birthday.

Acts including Queen, Razorlight, Leona Lewis and a host of African stars joined more than 40,000 music fans for the outdoor show in London’s Hyde Park. Josh Groban and the Soweto Gospel Choir also performed at the event, which came 20 years after a 70th birthday concert for an absent Mandela at London’s Wembley Stadium. Mandela, an anti-apartheid activist, had at that point been imprisoned in South Africa for 25 years. He told Friday’s crowd that that concert made a big difference in his eventual release and the fight against the racist system, which was dismantled in the early 1990s.

Your voices carried across the water to inspire us in our prison cells far away,” said Mandela, who received the biggest cheers of the night. “We are honored to be back in London for this wonderful celebration.”

But even as we celebrate, let us remind ourselves that our work is far from complete.”

Mandela Speaks at the 90th Birthday Concert

Amy Winehouse Performances: Mandela’s 90th Birthday Concert

Josh Groban Performs at the Birthday Concert

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Photos of the Day: Great Smooch and Big Hats

God Save the Queen:

The Hapless Essence of Britishness: Great Smooch and Big Hats

Great Smooch: Being Seen in Big Hats at The Ascot Races

The Queen’s Sartorial Commands

The queen has decided to “impose her will” by demanding that “inappropriate” and revealing outfits be banned in The Royal Enclosure at the famous Berkshire sporting event, which runs from June 17 to June 21 at Ascot. A royal source divulged: “Ascot has been overrun with tattoos, inappropriate attire and bare flesh in recent years. The queen has noticed these things and she doesn’t like them. She knows it is something that goes on across the country, but Ascot is her course and she can impose her will there.”

Later this month, race-course chairman and Her Majesty’s Representative at Ascot, the Duke of Devonshire, will send all 80,000 Royal Enclosure badge holders a strict dress code. The rules will include an insistence that ladies wear a hat or “substantial feather fascinator.” Miniskirts and off-the-shoulder dresses will be considered “unsuitable”, as will dresses with straps “less than one-inch wide.” The duke stated: “Midriffs must be covered and trouser suits must be full length and of matching material and colour.”

Ascot course spokesman Nick Smith added to Britain’s Daily Express newspaper: “There won’t be someone in a bowler hat checking straps with a tape measure. It is common sense. Ladies who turn up with bare shoulders will be sold pashimas before they can enter the Royal Enclosure. Standards had also been slipping in the general enclosure and men will be required to wear a shirt and tie. Jeans, no matter how expensive, will not be allowed.”

The Royal Crown Commands: Ladies Must Wear Hats or Fascinators

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Queen Elizabeth by Annie Leibovitz: Her Majesty Loses Her Cool!

The Official Portrait of Queen Elizabeth

Photography by:  Annie Leibovitz

From today’s edition of The London Daily Mail:

This is the extraordinary moment the Queen lost her temper and stormed out of a photoshoot, after a celebrity photographer dared ask her to remove her crown.

Less dressy? What do you think this is?”

Photography by:  Annie Leibovitz

The astonishing footage is taken from a new BBC documentary entitled A Year With The Queen and captures the moment when Her Majesty lost her cool.

During the program, US celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz sizes up the Queen in her full regalia and ventures: “I think it will look better without the crown, because the garter robe is so…”

Before the photographer can finish saying “extraordinary”, the Queen raises her eyebrows, fixes Leibovitz with an icy stare, and snaps: “Less dressy? What do you think this is?” pointing to what she is wearing.

TV cameras followed the Queen storming off, with an official lifting the large train of her blue velvet cape off the floor as the Queen tells her lady-in-waiting: “I’m not changing anything.  I’ve had enough dressing like this thank you very much.”

Photography by:  Annie Leibovitz

You can read more and see a short video here.

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