After days of controversy over who will walk Meghan Markle down the aisle on May 19 when she marries Prince Harry, Kensington Palace has made the announcement. It’s Prince Charles, Prince Harry’s father.
Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas, is unable to attend the wedding, after undergoing heart surgery.
Kensington Palace said the Prince of Wales was “pleased to be able to welcome Ms Markle to the Royal Family in this way”.
Prince Harry’s grandfather, 96-year-old Prince Philip, will also attend the wedding, Buckingham Palace confirmed.
Prince Philip has been recovering from a hip operation.
Meghan Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, will take her daughter to the wedding at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
Doria Ragland will meet Queen Elizabeth for the first time at Windsor Castle later, accompanied by Meghan, 36, and Prince Harry, 33.
Meghan Markle’s mother has already been introduced to Prince Charles and Prince William and Kate Middleton. She met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, at Windsor Castle on May 17.
She took tea with Prince Charles and Camilla at Clarence House in London on May 16.
Thomas Markle had been due to arrive in the UK earlier this week, but became caught up in controversy over the apparent staging of photographs with the paparazzi.
Meghan Markle released a statement on May 17 saying she hoped her father could be given space to focus on his health.
The wedding ceremony begins at 12:00 BST and will be broadcast to the world.
Meghan Markle will have 10 bridesmaids and pageboys, who are all under the age of eight.
The bride decided against having a maid of honor, saying she wanted to avoid choosing between her closest friends.
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla met President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden at the White House’s Oval Office.
Barack Obama has told the Prince of Wales of the “fondness” of American people for the Royal Family.
The president joked during the White House meeting that some “liked them much better than their own politicians”.
Barack Obama and Prince Charles last met four years ago when the king-in-waiting flew to the US a few days after the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Photo Fox News
Prince Charles also visited an adult education school and took part in 10-pin bowling during this part of his four-day US “goodwill” tour.
On March 19, Prince Charles visited the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School in Washington DC, which provides education and training for the capital’s adult immigrant population.
He played 10-pin bowling during his tour of the city’s US Armed Forces Retirement Home.
The six-lane bowling alley is designed to provide exercise for the veterans who live at the home.
Earlier in their tour, Prince Charles and Camilla visited monuments to Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. and were joined by figures from the American civil rights movement, Jesse Jackson and Congressman John Lewis.
Prince Charles and Camilla have visited monuments to Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. as part of their three-day trip to the US.
They were joined by figures from the American civil rights movement, Jesse Jackson and Congressman John Lewis.
Later, speaking at an environmental conference, the Prince of Wales called on governments and businesses to end the dumping of plastics into the oceans.
Prince Charles and his wife will meet President Barack Obama at the White House on March 19.
The couple – who arrived in Washington DC for their three-day visit on March 17 – were given a guided tour of the Lincoln Memorial sculpture, pausing at the spot where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his famous “I have a dream” speech in 1963.
At Dr King’s nearby memorial, Prince Charles and Camilla met Rev Jesse Jackson and Congressman John Lewis, who helped organize the famous civil rights march in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 – dramatized in the recent movie Selma.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were also given a tour of Mount Vernon – home of America’s first president, George Washington.
The duchess also paid a visit to Washington’s Shakespeare Theatre Company.
Prince Charles also visited the National Archives, where he viewed the United States’ Charters of Freedom and the 1297 version of the Magna Carta.
He later told leading delegates to an environmental conference on marine waste of his concerns about the “increasing quantity of plastic waste” in oceans.
The prince said he had been “haunted” by images of seabirds found dead after mistakenly eating plastic, and called for better recycling and disposal of plastics.
The solution to problems caused by a “throw-away society” was to move towards a circular economy, where “materials are recovered, recycled and reused instead of created, used and then thrown away”, he said.
The US visit will see also the royals join in commemorating several important milestones.
These include the 150th anniversaries of the end of the American Civil War and the death of President Lincoln, and the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.
Prince Charles is also expected to receive an award for exceptional leadership in conservation from the International Conservation Caucus Foundation.
Prince Charles and Camilla will also visit the home city of boxer Muhammad Ali, who was born in Louisville, Kentucky.
Prince Charles and Camilla are to meet President Barack Obama during a four-day tour of the US.
The White House said President Barack Obama will host the royal couple in the Oval Office on March 19.
Charles and Camilla will be in the US from March 17 to March 20 to “promote the UK’s partnership with the United States”, Clarence House said.
They will also mark the Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary during their trip.
Other parts of their tour will include a tour of Mount Vernon – home of America’s first president, George Washington – and a visit to Louisville, Kentucky, home city of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali.
While in Washington DC, the Prince of Wales will mark the Magna Carta’s anniversary during a visit to the National Archives.
Prince Charles will view the Charters of Freedom documents and the 1297 version of the Magna Carta, which is embodied in the American Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
He will also receive an award for “exceptional leadership in conservation” from the International Conservation Caucus Foundation.
Also in Washington DC, the prince and duchess will visit the Armed Forces Retirement Home, set in the same grounds as the Lincoln Cottage, where it is believed Abraham Lincoln wrote the last draft of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The Duchess of Cornwall, who has regularly raised awareness about rape victims, will carry out several solo engagements, including visiting the District of Columbia’s assault response team.
This is a coalition of 12 public and private community agencies which works to prevent assault and help victims of such crimes.
Camilla will visit a food literacy project for young people at a local farm while in Louisville, which will be where the couple ends their trip.
Prince Charles visited the Oval Office in 2011 to discuss energy and environmental issues with President Barack Obama.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel had its royal premiere on Tuesday, February 17.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have attended the British comedy sequel premiere at London’s Leicester Square which was decorated to resemble a set from the Indian-based film.
The release follows the 2012 box office hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Critics have given director John Madden’s sequel mixed reviews.
Based in Jaipur, India, the follow-up sees the original cast members reprise their roles, with Richard Gere joining the cast.
The Second Best Marigold Hotel also stars Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Dev Patel, Tina Desai, Penelope Wilton and Tamsin Greig.
Following the premiere, Tina Desai said the royal couple had been “extremely warm and gracious”, and that Prince Charles was very interested in the Bollywood film industry.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel earned more than $135 million at box offices worldwide on a production budget of $10 million.
Sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel will be released on February 26. Money raised by the premiere will go to The Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund, which provides support to film and TV industry employees and their families who fall on hard times.
Queen Elizabeth II is having health problems as she shows early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a Globe Magazine report.
Queen Elizabeth, 88, has long been subject to rumors and speculation. The same magazine reported late last year that the queen was suffering continuous shortness of breath, and that doctors didn’t really know what was wrong with her.
The report even claimed that the Queen informed Kate Middleton to make sure her funeral arrangements were ready because she could die at any time.
The new report from Globe Magazine says that the queen is actually fighting Alzheimer’s disease.
“The palace is desperately trying to hide the new health crisis Queen Elizabeth is facing–the 88-year-old monarch is reportedly showing the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease,” the magazine reported in the cover story of its October 20 edition.
Queen Elizabeth II is reportedly having health problems as she shows early stages of Alzheimer’s disease (photo Getty Images)
The Queen has been found wandering “lost and confused” in the palace garden, the tabloid claims.
She also can’t remember the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and she has mistaken her son Prince Charles for her husband Prince Philip, it says.
Sources told the magazine that that queen has multiple symptoms and that some fear that Prince Charles’ wife Camilla Parker-Bowles, with whom the queen reportedly has an ongoing feud, will try to take advantage of the queen’s plight.
The claim that the Queen has Alzheimer’s is unverified, though the royal has acknowledged her failing health recently.
She began handing over power to Prince Charles earlier this year leading up to her birthday, having him take on more head of state-style responsibilities as the Palace starts to make tentative plans for his eventual succession, the Daily Mirror reported.
One sign of the historic “job-share” agreement with Prince Charles, a first for the royals, was the merging of their press offices.
“This is about passing the baton to the next generation. The Prince of Wales’s diary is chock-full. Even he realizes with the best will in the world he can’t go on like that. This is not going to be a sudden shift. It is a gradual process which will be borne out over the next few years. It’s a gentle succession,” one aide said.
“It’s important to note that the Queen is still working very hard. Every day you see her with the red box of Government papers and giving audiences.
“Charles will be doing less of his campaigning and the things he likes to do and more of the head of state role.
“While the Queen is still in excellent health, she is inevitably becoming a little more frail because of her age. Charles and Camilla will be doing much more of the public work on her behalf.”
Prince Charles and courtiers have been studying the Regency Act, which would enable him to take over the throne even if Queen Elizabeth is still alive.
Britain’s last regency happened in the early 1800s, when King George III’s mental illness left him unable to carry out his duties, prompting his son, George IV, to be given his father’s powers under the Regency Act.
Prince Charles became the longest serving heir to the throne in April 2011, beating Edward VIII’s record of 59 years, two months, and 13 days.
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowels will divorce after nine years of marriage, GLOBE Magazine claims.
Meanwhile, Celebdirty Laundry reported that Queen Elizabeth allegedly called Camilla Parker-Bowles a disgrace after trying to force the royal family into a $350 million divorce pay out to buy her silence.
“Camilla isn’t likely to go without a fight though,” GLOBE Magazine claims.
“This chick has always been in it either for the crown or for a nice payday and so expect her to dig in her heels on this one. She has also been at Charles’ side for over 3 decades so she certainly does have a lot of dirt on him.”
New reports claim Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowels will divorce after nine years of marriage (photo Getty Images)
The divorce claims intensified after Prince Charles and Camilla went on their Canadian tour after Prince William and Kate Middleton won rave reviews on their three-week tour in New Zealand and Australia. Although the couple fought against going, the Queen insisted they needed to do this to earn the public trust and after spending three and a half days on a 41 engagement with his wife, Charles packed up his bags as soon they got home.
“Upon landing in Nova Scotia on May 18th Camilla exclaimed that it would take a lot of booze to survive,” according to GLOBE‘s June 9th print edition.
“It caused constant fighting and Charles was raging every time his drunken wife threw back another gin martini.”
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were photographed recently as they paid tribute to Wales’ coal miners on the fourth day of their tour in the region. During their visit to Senghenydd, near Caerphilly, Prince Charles was spotted placing a wreath at the foot of the Welsh National Mining Memorial. Charles and Camilla also opened the Aber Valley Heritage Centre that features the history of the south Wales valleys.
“My wife and I have so enjoyed this opportunity to meet you all and if I may say so to have a chance to pay our respects at the memorial,” Prince Charles said as he paid tribute to the courage of the miners, and to those who lost their lives for digging the precious coal that helped Britain’s economy.
World heads of state are joining hundreds of veterans in Normandy to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
They will meet at Ouistreham, one of the five beaches where Allied troops landed on June 6, 1944.
French President Francois Hollande will give a speech followed by US President Barack Obama. Queen Elizabeth II and Russian President Vladimir Putin will also go.
World heads of state are joining hundreds of veterans in Normandy to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings
There will be a re-enactment of the landings, which were the start of the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe.
The day’s commemorations began at midnight with a vigil at Pegasus Bridge near Ouistreham, marking the first assault of the D-Day invasion when British soldiers began the first Allied action of the campaign.
At 00:16 on June 6, 1944, six Horsa gliders carrying 181 men from the Glider Pilot Regiment and the 2nd Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, landed silently to capture the strategically-vital bridge and another nearby.
This paved the way for soldiers landing on the Normandy beaches to move inland and reinforce their airborne colleagues. It also prevented the Germans from repelling the invasion on the coast.
Vladimir Putin will be at the ceremony with Prince Charles, who reportedly criticised the Russian president while speaking to a woman during a tour in Canada.
Ukraine’s President-elect Petro Poroshenko is expected to attend, amid tensions between his country and Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has described Prince Charles’ alleged comparison of him with Adolf Hitler as “unacceptable”.
Former Polish war refugee Marienne Ferguson, who met Prince Charles during a royal tour to Canada, said he had likened some Nazi actions in Europe to those of Vladimir Putin.
Vladimir Putin, who has faced criticism in the West over Russia’s actions in Ukraine, said if Prince Charles had made such comments they were “wrong” and “not royal behavior”.
Clarence House declined to comment.
Vladimir Putin has described Prince Charles’ alleged comparison of him with Adolf Hitler as unacceptable
Asked about Prince Charles’ reported comments during an interview with international news agencies, Vladimir Putin said: “In such cases, I am reminded of a good expression: If you’re angry, you’re wrong.
“Pass this on both to the prime minister and Prince Charles. He has visited our country many times. I did not hear him say that.
“If that is so, then of course it is unacceptable. I think that he himself understands this. He is a well-brought-up man. I am acquainted both with him and members of the royal family.
“This is not royal behavior.”
Despite criticism from the UK of Russia’s recent actions, Vladimir Putin played down a worsening of relations between the countries.
He added: “I think that if our partners in Great Britain, just as I am, are guided by national interests rather than some other considerations, then all this will pass quite quickly and we’ll continue to co-operate as we have done before.”
Prince Charles was speaking to 78-year-old Marienne Ferguson, who left Poland for Canada shortly before the Nazi occupation, at an immigration museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
They had been discussing Hitler’s takeover of countries. Marienne Ferguson said the prince said “something to the effect of ‘it’s not unlike… what Putin is doing'”.
Prince Charles and Vladimir Putin are both due to attend a D-Day anniversary event in France next month.
Prince Charles likened some Nazi actions in Europe to those of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, said Marienne Ferguson, a former Polish war refugee who met the prince in Canada.
Marienne Ferguson was speaking after meeting Prince Charles at a Nova Scotia immigration museum where she works.
As they discussed Hitler’s takeover of countries, Prince Charles “said something to the effect of <<it’s not unlike… what Putin is doing>>,” she recalled.
Clarence House said it would not comment on a private conversation.
Prince Charles and Vladimir Putin are both due to attend a D-Day anniversary event in France next month.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited Pier 21, Canada’s national immigration museum in Halifax
On Monday, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited Pier 21, Canada’s national immigration museum in Halifax, during their four-day tour of the country.
The prince chatted to museum volunteer Marriene Ferguson, who left Poland for Canada just prior to the Nazi occupation.
Marienne Ferguson, now 78, managed to escape to Canada along with her parents and two sisters, but other members of her family were sent to Nazi camps, according to the Daily Mail.
“He [Prince Charles] asked when I came to Canada, I told him 1939,” Marienne Ferguson said.
They had discussed how “Hitler was going into different countries and taking them over”.
She added that she could not “exactly remember” the phrase Prince Charles had used, but that he then “said something to the effect of ‘it is not unlike what is now happening in Russia, what Putin is doing'”.
“But it was only a moment… It was a very short remark.”
Vladimir Putin has been widely condemned since he annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March.
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the same comparison between Vladimir Putin and Hitler in March, when Russia began issuing passports to Ukrainian citizens.
“Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the ’30s,” Hillary Clinton said.
Prince Charles has previously faced criticism at Westminster over his so-called “black spider” memos expressing his views on controversial issues to ministers.
Mark Shand, Camilla Parker Bowles’ brother, has died as a result of a serious head injury he sustained during a fall.
Mark Shand, 62, was in New York when the incident happened on Tuesday night.
“The duchess, the Prince of Wales and all her family members are utterly devastated by this sudden and tragic loss,” Clarence House said.
He was described as a man of “extraordinary vitality, a tireless campaigner and conservationist”.
Mark Shand was chairman of the Elephant Family, a movement which exists to save the endangered Asian elephant.
In its statement, Clarence House said it was with “deep sadness” that it had to confirm Mark Shand’s death.
Mark Shand, Camilla Parker Bowles’ brother, has died as a result of a serious head injury he sustained during a fall
It said his “incredible work through the Elephant Family and beyond remained his focus right up until his death”.
The death comes as the Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince Charles, currently understood to be in Scotland, prepare for a high-profile tour of Canada next month.
Mark Shand, the duchess’s only brother, reportedly slipped while lighting a cigarette and hit his head on the pavement outside an after-party for a charity event.
According to the New York Police Department, the emergency services picked him up where he fell outside the Rose Bar and took him to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Wednesday.
Mark Shand married French actress Clio Goldsmith – the niece of billionaire entrepreneur James Goldsmith and the cousin of Jemima Khan and Zac Goldsmith – in 1990. They have a daughter together called Ayesha, aged 19.
Jemima Khan tweeted her condolences: “RIP Mark Shand: Best man, godfather to my son & my cousin’s ex.”
Her ex-husband, former Pakistan international cricketer and politician Imran Khan also took to the social media site to pay his respects.
Imran Khan tweeted: “Shocked & saddened to learn of the death of one of my closest English friends, Mark Shand, in New York where he was raising funds 4 charity.”
Mark Shand had been in New York for a charity auction at Sotheby’s, which was in aid of unprivileged children and the Elephant Family.
The event was the finale of the month-long Big Egg Hunt NYC by Faberge, where egg sculptures were sold to the highest bidder.
It raised $1.6 million for charity and was reportedly also attended by Princess Eugenie.
In a statement, the Elephant Family described Mark Shand as the head of its family and “a true force for conservation”.
Scotland Yard has contacted Prince Charles and Mohamed Al-Fayed as the police assess claims that the SAS murdered Princess Diana.
Police said they are also getting in touch with Lord Justice Scott Baker, the judge who presided over the inquest into her death.
Princess Diana, 36, Mohamed Al-Fayed’s son Dodi, 42, and driver Henri Paul, 41, all died in a crash in Paris in August 1997.
Police are currently carrying out a “scoping exercise” as they look into claims that the trio were murdered by a member of the British Military.
They have not launched a full investigation.
Royal bodyguards and MPs have brushed off accusations that the Princess of Wales’ death 16 years ago was carried out by British special forces who then “covered it up”.
The sensational allegation surfaced in the second court martial of Sergeant Danny Nightingale, the SAS sniper convicted of illegally stashing a pistol and 338 bullets in his bedroom.
The claim was contained in a letter from the parents-in-law of Soldier N, Sgt Danny Nightingale’s former housemate, which was sent to the SAS’s commanding officer in September 2011.
Scotland Yard confirmed in a brief statement this morning that they will be contacting members of the Royal family to inform them about the new developments.
“We are in the process of notifying Princess Diana’s family, the family of Dodi Al Fayed and Lord Justice Scott Baker,” a spokesman said.
Scotland Yard has contacted Prince Charles and Mohamed Al-Fayed as the police assess claims that the SAS murdered Princess Diana
Scotland Yard routinely contact relevant parties to keep them informed about what is going on when there are new developments in a historic case.
The eight-page correspondence claims Soldier N boasted it was the SAS that had “arranged Princess Diana’s death” and that it had been “covered up”. Sergeant Danny Nightingale, 38, was found guilty last month of illegally possessing a pistol and ammunition at a Hereford house he shared with Soldier N.
Soldier N, who is serving a custodial sentence for possessing firearms at the same address, was originally reported to the police by his wife, from whom he is now separated.
The letter was sent to Soldier N’s commanding officer in September 2011 and passed to the Service Prosecuting Authority before the start of the Nightingale trial.
All references to the SAS were removed by the SPA.
The paragraph referring to the death of Princess Diana says: “He also told her [his wife] that it was the *** who arranged Princess Diana’s death and that has been covered up.”
The letter says Soldier N told his wife there is a “box which members of his unit use for private jobs”.
“They put in the box the name, address and details of what they want done and then one of them who wants to earn extra money does that job.”
When Soldier N was challenged by his mother-in-law, he is accused of saying: “Let me stop you right there – I kill women and I kill children.”
As well as hiding weapons in his house, in a “reign of terror” on his family Soldier N allegedly attacked his son after mistaking him for the Taliban.
His children were also allegedly driven around in the boot of his Land Rover and he had hung his son 30ft above the ground in a tree.
An inquest in 2008 found that Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed were unlawfully killed due to the ‘gross negligence’ of driver Henri Paul, a security manager at the Paris Ritz Hotel, who had been drinking.
Henri Paul’s mother Gisele said she believed her son was murdered together with Princess Diana and Mohamed Al-Fayed when the Mercedes he was driving crashed in an underpass.
Gisele Paul, 83, said: “We believe there was a plot to kill the Princess that terrible night in August 1997.
“We know in our hearts that our son was murdered and we still live with the hope that one day the truth will be known.”
The new information was also welcomed by Mohamed Al-Fayed, who also insists the couple were murdered. He said he trusted the Metropolitan Police would investigate the new claims “with vigor”.
A Royal spokesman said there would be no comment from Prince William, Prince Harry or Clarence House.
Prince Charles and the Duchy of Cornwall’s tax affairs are due to be examined by an influential set of MPs in the UK.
Prince of Wales’ most senior official, William Nye, has been called to give evidence to the Public Accounts Committee on Monday afternoon.
The committee will consider whether Prince Charles is paying his fair share of tax and explore why the duchy does not pay corporation tax or capital gains tax.
It is only the second time that royal accounts have been examined this way.
The last time Prince Charles’s representatives came before the Public Accounts Committee they were accused of performing financial “jiggery pokery” and he was said to be the recipient of the “best housing benefit scheme in the world”.
Prince Charles and the Duchy of Cornwall’s tax affairs are due to be examined by an influential set of MPs in the UK
The Duchy of Cornwall provides the heir to the throne with a private income.
Royal officials argue the duchy is a private landed estate, not a corporation or a public body, so it is exempt from capital gains tax.
They also say Prince Charles pays income tax on the money he receives from the hereditary estate after business expenses have been deducted.
Earlier this month, the prince faced calls from Andrew George, the Liberal Democrat MP for West Cornwall, to “come clean” about the Duchy of Cornwall’s tax arrangements.
The duchy is a £762 million ($1.2 billion) estate of about 131,000 acres, mostly in the south-west of England, from which the prince received a record £19 million ($30 million) last year.
Clarence House has said public funding for the Prince of Wales fell by £1 million to £1.2 million in the last financial year, out of a total income of £20.2 million.
Prince Charles today said he was “thrilled” at Kate Middleton’s pregnancy, after the beaming Duchess of Cambridge left hospital following four days of treatment for acute morning sickness.
The Prince of Wales expressed his delight at the “marvelous” news and added: “It’s a very nice thought to become a grandfather in my old age. I’m very glad my daughter-in-law is getting better, thank goodness.”
Prince Charles also alluded to a prank call to the hospital by two Australian DJs on Tuesday morning that duped a nurse into revealing details about Kate Middleton’s health, joking to reporters: “How do you know I’m not a radio station?”
Kate Middleton, 30, was discharged from the King Edward VII Hospital in central London – where she smiled and told reporters she was “feeling much better” – and headed to Kensington Palace to rest.
Prince Charles said he was thrilled at Kate Middleton’s pregnancy
Kate Middleton, who is less than 12 weeks pregnant, was wrapped up against the cold in a coat and scarf, and the royal couple will now spend time at their London home to allow for her to recuperate.
She was admitted on Monday after developing the condition of hyperemesis gravidarum, and was suffering from the effects of dehydration.
For medical staff to allow Kate Middleton to go home, her severe vomiting must be under control and they are likely to have given her anti-sickness medication.
According to newly-updated “protocols” approved by Queen Elizabeth II, Duchess of Cambridge has been placed firmly down the royal pecking order.
A document is said to have been circulated privately in the Royal Household, clarifying Kate’s status.
Despite being the future Queen herself, as a former commoner, the once Kate Middleton must apparently show reverence to the “blood princesses”.
This means Kate is expected to curtsey to those born royal, such as Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie – both in public and in private.
The rule only applies when her husband, Prince William, is not present.
Royal observers suspect Kate will not mind the new rules as she is keen to please everybody, but Prince William may be less happy.
In his absence, Kate must also curtsey to other blue-blooded women in the Royal Household including Princess Anne and Princess Alexandra, the Queen’s cousin.
In the case of the Countess of Wessex, it is she who will have to curtsey to Kate – even though she is a generation older and is married to the Queen’s son, Edward.
According to new protocols, Kate Middleton is expected to curtsey to those born royal, such as Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, both in public and in private
The Earl of Wessex’s wife was once the second-highest ranking woman in the Royal Family because neither of the Queen’s other sons, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, were married.
This is effectively Sophie’s second “demotion”, having been pushed down the list in 2005 after Prince Charles married Camilla, and finding she was expected to curtsey to the Duchess of Cornwall.
The complex new rules come in a little-known edict entitled the Order Of Precedence Of The Royal Family To Be Observed At Court, which the Queen has updated to take into account Prince William’s wife.
When Prince William is with her, Kate does not need to bend the knee to either Beatrice or Eugenie.
But she must always curtsey to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, whether Prince William is present or not.
The thorny question of how Kate would fit into the UK’s first family has long been a subject of speculation among royal observers.
The Princess Royal, for example, is said to have refused to ever curtsey to Princess Diana or to Camilla, on the basis they were outsiders whereas she had given her whole adult life to royal service.
In an effort to avoid an epic battle of royal egos, the Queen drew up the first Order of Precedence in 2005, after Prince Charles married Camilla.
Its effect was to change the order along “blood lines” so that Princesses Anne, Beatrice, Eugenie and Alexandra – the granddaughter of George V – were all ahead of Camilla.
The etiquette, though arcane to some, is taken very seriously by the royals, who bow and curtsey to each other in public and behind closed doors.
The Order of Precedence affects other aspects of royal protocol too, such as who arrives first at an event. For example, Camilla was forced to wait in the drizzle outside the Guards Chapel, Windsor, for the arrival of Princess Anne at a memorial service in 2006, because Prince Charles had not accompanied her.
Royal historian Brian Hoey, an expert on court protocol, predicted when Prince William married Kate that: “Kate will take the rank of her husband, which means that when she’s at court, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie should curtsey to her. But I don’t think there’s a chance they will.”
While Prince William feels warmly towards his cousins, Beatrice and Eugenie, he’s conscious of the fact that they are lesser royals.
“As future King, he will wish to see them behaving correctly towards their future Queen – but their attitude is likely to be: <<Why should I? I was born royal – Kate wasn’t>>.”
Prince Charles presented the weather forecast during a tour of BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay headquarters.
Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, visited the broadcaster as a part of their annual Holyrood Week.
BBC newsreader Sally Magnusson handed over to Prince Charles, who read his version of Reporting Scotland’s lunchtime weather.
The prince, also known as the Duke of Rothesay, had earlier met students at the City of Glasgow College.
Against a backdrop of the BBC’s weather map, Prince Charles delivered a specially written script which included references to royal residences in Scotland.
Prince Charles presented the weather forecast during a tour of BBC Scotland's Pacific Quay headquarters
Looking directly into the camera, he said: “The best of the bright and dry weather will of course be in the northern isles and the far north of the mainland. So, a little hazy sunshine for the Castle of Mey in Caithness.
“But a cold day everywhere with temperatures of just 8C and a brisk northerly wind. Thank God it isn’t a bank holiday.”
The duke and duchess spent more than an hour at BBC Scotland, which is celebrating 60 years of television broadcasting.
Sacha Baron Cohen already caused a stir promoting his new film The Dictator when he tipped Kim Jong-Il’s “ashes” over Ryan Seacrest at the Oscars in February.
Now, the London-born comedian has controversially attacked Queen Elizabeth II in a new trailer for The Dictator made especially for the UK.
Sacha Baron Cohen wished Her Majesty well for her upcoming “blood diamond” jubilee and said he hoped it was a smooth transition when Prince Charles kills her and takes the throne.
The hyped-up film tells the story of a fictional leader, General Aladeen, who is thought to be based of Kim Jong-Il and Saddam Hussein, of the fictional Republic of Wadiya.
In an intro to the latest trailer, the bearded character, played by Sacha Baron Cohen, is seen sitting on a chair surrounded by gun-wielding plebs.
He addresses the camera, saying: “I would like to congratulate your dictatoress Elizabeth on her blood diamond jubilee and I hope it is a smooth transition when her son Charles eventually kills her and seizes power.”
Sacha Baron Cohen wished Her Majesty well for her upcoming “blood diamond” jubilee and said he hoped it was a smooth transition when Prince Charles kills her and takes the throne
A news report is then shown that says tensions are rising between the world community and the “rogue North African Wadiya” intensified when United Nations weapons inspectors were refused access to the country by General Aladeen.
It cuts to a clip of U.S. president, Barack Obama, saying he will “take no options off the table”.
The report than delves into the background of Aladeen and he is seen as a baby with a full beard.
The voiceover says he did not know his mother who died in childbirth – but a clip is shown of her being smothered with a pillow.
The only son of dictator, Omar Aladeen, he is said to have gained power at the age of seven.
He apparently changed more than 300 words to “Aladeen” including the words negative and positive, causing mass confusion.
A clip is shown of a man in a doctor’s surgery being asked if he wants the “Aladeen news or the Aladeen news” and he is told he is “HIV Aladeen”.
The dictator even launched his own Olympic games and is seen winning a sprint race by shooting his opponents.
He won 14 gold medals at the games.
Sacha Baron Cohen caused chaos at the Oscars in February when he arrived dressed as Aladeen and emptied an urn of “ashes” over Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet.
He told the E! presenter: “These are the ashes of my good friend Kim Jong-Il and it was his dream to come to the Oscars and be scattered on the red carpet and on Halle Berry’s chest.”
On Monday, Sacha Baron Cohen attended CinemaCon in Las Vegas dressed as the character.
As he approached the stage, he jokingly asked a member of the crowd: “How much for your daughter?”
Then, after referring to CinemaCon as “Cinnabon,” Sacha Baron Cohen he spoke of his love of movies such as When Harry Killed Sally, 14-Year-Old Virgin and the “family comedy” Planet of the Rapes.
He also took a swipe at DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg and recently departed Walt Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross.
On Jeffrey Katzenberg, who had just finished his presentation promoting Madagascar 3 and Rise of the Guardians, Sacha Baron Cohen said: “I thought I was the only dictator speaking tonight. So imagine my surprise when I found out that Jeffrey Katzenberg was speaking. He rules with an iron fist.”
Sacha Baron Cohen then threatened the exhibitors to put The Dictator in their theaters, or he would detonate bombs underneath their seats.
“Is that chewing gum underneath your seat? Certainly they are not plastic explosives. Trust me, there are bigger bombs than John Carter. Just shoot the executive behind that. Oh – wait, you did,” he said, referring to Rich Ross’ recent departure from Disney.
Sacha Baron Cohen urged the audience to see a screening of The Dictator later that evening, promising free Rolexes, blood diamonds, and young girls “or boys, if you are from DreamWorks”.
In a new book by Spanish author Pilar Eyre is claimed that Princess Diana was just one of the many young ladies King Juan Carlos of Spain pursued in a romantic career in which he is said to have bedded more than 1,500 women.
The explosive claims are made in one of the six volumes about the Spanish royal family written by Pilar Eyre.
Imperious and suave, Juan Carlos looks every inch the old-style monarch with the autocratic manners to go with it. He loves hunting bears, skiing and boating and bedding the opposite sex.
In one picture, King Juan Carlos of Spain sits with the small Prince William, while a radiant Princess Diana, a protective arm round toddler Prince Harry, leans in to share a pleasantry with the good-looking monarch. At the other end of the couch, Prince Charles seems scarcely part of the same holiday party in 1986. He is staring glumly straight ahead like the proverbial gooseberry.
Apparently, it is an open secret in his circles that he is such a keen womanizer that the only woman he does not spend much time with is his wife, Greek-born Queen Sofia.
According to Pilar Eyre, King Juan Carlos, now 74, and Queen Sofia have not shared a bed for 35 years.
In fact, the new book, “The Solitude of the Queen”, says, following an operation on a benign lung tumor at a Barcelona hospital in 2010, the woman who spent most of the time consoling King Juan Carlos during his convalescence was a 25-year-old German interpreter called Corinne.
But can it really be true that our very own Princess Diana was one of Juan Carlos’s most significant conquests? And that it was the relationship between her and the then 48-year-old king, in the prime of his romantic life, that finally put paid to any chance of reviving his marriage?
It is certainly the case that Princess Diana, together with Prince Charles and their young children, holidayed in Majorca with the Spanish royal family several times during the 80’s.
Prince Charles never felt at ease on the sunshine island and much preferred visiting the Duke of Wellington’s estate near Granada on the mainland where the shooting was good.
In one picture, King Juan Carlos of Spain sits with the small Prince William, while a radiant Princess Diana, a protective arm round toddler Prince Harry, leans in to share a pleasantry with the good-looking monarch
But Diana, who loved lounging about on yachts in stylish bathing suits, was right at home on the shores of the Mediterranean where she could show off her figure. And King Juan Carlos, who appreciated displays of female beauty, seems to have acted on an impulse to get closer to her.
After her first trip to Majorca in 1986, Pilar Eyre alleges Diana told her bodyguard Ken Wharfe that Juan Carlos fancied her. Apparently, the king made all sorts of excuses to get tactile with her and used to love bending down with her and inviting her to stroke his old German shepherd dog, Archie.
Another royal biographer, Lady Colin Campbell, has long insisted that Princess Diana and King Juan Carlos embarked on an affair while on a cruise with their spouses in August 1986, and that they took up with each other again the following summer.
“Diana did it to make Charles jealous, but it didn’t work,” says Lady Colin. “Charles couldn’t have cared less.”
According to Pilar Eyre, rumors of the affair intensified later over the curious case of some photos of Diana in a state of undress. These were touted around the world’s publications, only to be taken off the market when someone in Spain paid $45,000 for them. That someone is rumored to have been Juan Carlos, who wanted to protect the Princess’s reputation.
But why rake all this up now? Diana is long since dead, while Juan Carlos, though he retains an eye for a pretty woman, has made it quite plain that he would never divorce his wife, with whom he has three children and eight grandchildren.
Pilar Eyre says she has revealed it for Queen Sofia’s sake.
“In a macho country like Spain, the king’s womanizing image makes him very popular,” Pilar Eyre says.
“Even the women don’t reproach him. On the contrary, they love him because he has such a seductive manner with them. But they don’t feel the same about poor Queen Sofia.
“She is seen as a cold, aloof foreigner. I wanted to show what she has had to put up with.”
Pilar Eyre says she tried hard to find out whether the Queen might also have had lovers in her time, but could come up with nothing.
Though as a young woman she had caught the eye of the Duke of Kent – first cousin to Queen Elizabeth – the Duke then fell in love with the Englishwoman he married, Kathleen Worsley.
Sofia dutifully entered into an arranged marriage in 1962, having met the highly eligible Juan Carlos on a cruise specially convened to introduce Europe’s young royals to each other.
By 1968, they had two daughters and Crown Prince Felipe. But though Sofia had fallen deeply in love with her husband, Pilar Eyre says Juan Carlos was still playing the field.
And by 1975, when he finally came to the Spanish throne after the death of the dictator General Franco, the new Queen was nursing a great sadness. For by then the royal couple was more or less estranged as a result of the king’s persistent womanizing.
According to the book, one of Sofia’s greatest humiliations happened a couple of months after Juan Carlos became king. All of a sudden he sent for a new barber and underwent such a transformation Sofia was convinced he was sprucing himself up for a lover.
A few days later the king packed his suitcase and said he was going hunting near Toledo.
“It’s an all-male outing; you’d be bored,” the king told his wife. Unwisely, Queen Sofia decided to surprise him by arriving at the estate in the middle of the night with their children, the eldest of whom was 12.
Queen Sofia burst through the door, brushed past the servants and, taking the stairs two at a time, discovered her husband in flagrante with an unknown woman. But even being caught by his entire family did not encourage the king to mend his ways.
Pilar Eyre says that throughout her reign, Queen Sofia has consequently been forced to content herself with a life of duty in Madrid, leavened by shopping trips with her daughters and occasional visits to England to visit her brother Constantine, the ex-King of Greece, who has lived in London since he was booted off the throne in 1973.
Lately Queen Sofia has taken solace in religion. She goes to Roman Catholic Mass every Sunday in the palace and attends Madrid’s Greek Orthodox church as well. Her devotions seem to annoy Juan Carlos even more.
King Juan Carlos raised his voice to his mother-in-law, Queen Federica of Greece, when he heard her telling her daughter how the Virgin Mary had appeared before her in a vision in a church near Madrid.
“There was an intense light and peace!” said Federica, at which point the king shouted: “Shut up, you! Don’t fill her head with this nonsense, she will believe it all.”
The tragedy is that despite his behavior, Queen Sofia appears to be as captivated by her husband as she was when they married 40 years ago.
At a recent family funeral Queen Sofia was seen holding tight to him and sobbing on his shoulder as if they were still the closest of companions.
Whether the book will rehabilitate Sofia in the eyes of the Spaniards or merely add to the prestige of Juan Carlos remains to be seen.