Before Kate Middleton became a royal, and forgot about working forever, she spent a few months at British high-street clothing company Jigsaw, owned by friends of the Middleton family.
While she was hired as an accessories buyer, Kate apparently dabbled in a few designs of her own and you guessed it... you can now buy her necklace creation online.
The silver bean and rose quartz chain, made in collaboration with jewelry designer Claudia Bradby, is set at the pleb-friendly price of $71 on Braby's website.
The piece is described as:
Perfectly feminine and pretty simple pendant, designed in collaboration with Kate Middleton during her time at Junior Jigsaw. Re-issued in limited edition as part of the heritage collection. Works beautifully layered up with the Kate Necklace
The Queen is well known for her love of Corgis, the stubby-legged pooch with an oversized head and a notorious bad-temper that is amusing to poke fun at until it latches onto your ankle.
But the heir to the throne's bride-to-be Kate is a Spaniel owner.
While it's not as bad as if William's betrothed was a cat lover, Kate's choice of pets has some hits and misses when it comes to joining the royal clan:
Personality: Spaniels are known for their gently and easy-going personality with a propensity for engaging in rough and tumble games. Bright, intelligent and loyal, Corgis are renowned for their stubborn-going-on-bossy temperament. Described by some as "a twinkie" and legs, it is difficult to imagine the Queen's Corgi posse enjoying being rolled on by Kate's game-loving pooch.
Breed: Here Kate's choice in pet has the edge. Spaniels, a British breed (points here), are known as a hunting dog, retrieving ducks or pheasants after they've been blasted to earth. As Kate joins a family with a long hunting history her pet can really help her fit in with her in-laws by proving its hunting chops.
Corgis are also a British breed. Originally used to drive flocks of geese to market and protect poultry flocks, the Corgis' usefulness to the royal family is less apparent, unless there is a mouse problem at Buckingham Palace -- Corgis are very good ratters.
Queen Victoria’s had a Collie called Noble who was buried on the grounds of Balmoral when he died in 1887 with a tombstone that read:
Noble by name by nature noble too Faithful companion sympathetic true His remains are interred here
King Edward VII's terrier Caesar (a worrying choice of name for a ruling monarch) outlived the king and followed his coffin during the funeral procession.
The Queen now owns four Corgis called Linnet, Monty, Willow and Holly and three Dorgis (a cross-breed of Corgi and Dachsunds) called Cider, Candy and Vulcan. Princess Margaret was also given a Dorgi by the Queen.
And there is good news for Kate -- a daughter-in-law has already rebelled when it comes to her choice of dogs. Camilla Parker Bowles owns two Jack Russell terriers, Tosca and Rosie.
Notoriety: Unfortunately for Kate, her Spaniel Otto has already shown himself to be a rebel in the face of royalty. The dog is rumoured to have eaten a pair of antique, pearl earrings given to Kate as a gift from the Prince for her 28th birthday. While there was no confirmation from Clarence House whether the story was true, or the earrings ever retrieved, it's probably safest to keep Otto away from the Queen's tiara collection -- just in case.
Princess Diana wears the "Cambridge Lovers' Knot" tiara on a royal visit to Halifax in 1983. (File photo)
Gliding down the aisle in a puffy dress towards a royal opens many doors, including the one to the Queen’s tiara collection. Traditionally the Queen gives one of her many jewel encrusted headgears to the bride-to-be as a wedding gift, opening the vault dubbed the "jewel pool."
Amongst one of the largest tiara collections in the world, here are a number of tiaras Kate could chose from including:
The “Girls of Great Britain and Ireland" tiara given to the Queen by her grandmother.
The Cambridge "Lover's Knot" tiara frequently worn by Diana after the Queen gave it to her as a gift.
The Queen Mary or the “Durbar” tiara the Queen loaned to Camilla parker Bowles for a state banquet.
“The Strathmore” floral tiara that the Queen mum was given by her parents when she wed Prince Albert.
“The Duchess of Teck” owned by Queen Mary’s mum and eventually passed down to the Queen.
“The Scroll” made for the Queen mum and worn by Princess Margaret to a state banquet in 1954 and again by Princes Anne during a tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1970.
As a commoner, Kate could go Fergie’s route covering her tiara with flowers as she enters the church only to have them removed as she emerges as a royal after the ceremony. Princes Diana chose to use a tiara from her family’s collection for her wedding to Prince Charles instead of one of the Queen’s.
Click here to see a gallery of some of the royal tiaras and here for some music to accompany them.
Kate Middleton has now survived two very public royal engagements; pouring a bottle of champagne over a lifeboat in Wales on Thursday and returning to St. Andrews University to kick start their 600th anniversary celebrations on Friday.
While the princess-to-be always knew she was going to be in the public eye when she signed on to marrying Prince William, actually being thrust into the spotlight can overwhelm the best-coached royal newbie. So, how has the Kate fared in the eyes of the press and the adoring public?
“The bride-to-be, with a dazzling smile, quickly charmed the crowd of more than 1,000 people and bent to speak to the youngest, drawing flattering comparisons with Princess Diana,” declared the Daily Mail after she posed glowing by the life raft.
“Utterly approachable, showing a distinct lightness of touch and comfortably relaxed: this was Kate Middleton accompanying Prince William yesterday on their first formal joint outing since their engagement – and the cheering crowds in Anglesey responded with joy” the Telegraph joined in.
Fashion guru Tim Gunn praised her fashion choices on ABC’s 'Good Morning America'.
"She has a sophistication and a taste level that is really unexpected in someone so young. She's clearly very fashion savvy," Gunn told the show, adding Kate “understands counterpoint” with the sleek pairing a headpiece with a tailored coat for her Welsh outing.
But there are signs Willilam's fiancée could be feeling a little overwhelmed as she sets upon a lifetime of royal smiling-and-waving tours, with Middleton sporting the same red dress suite from her personal wardrobe for both her morning appearance at St. Andrews and then later at the New Zealand Embassy, a more sombre occasion where she, William and Prince Harry signed a book of condolences for earthquake victims.
And while she looked gracious and effortless waving to the crowd in Scotland, her comments to onlookers showed she was still getting used to the public attention as the crowds of on-lookers jostled to get her attention and shrieks of "he touched me!" could be heard after William shook someone's hand.
Abigail Pearson, a 22-year-old student from Staffordshire, told the Guardian she offered her best wishes to Middleton for her wedding. "She [Kate] replied 'Thank you so much, it does feel a little weird coming back here but it is very nice'," she said.
Inez Gordon, a student from Germany, told the BBC: "Kate seemed very overwhelmed and said 'oh my gosh, there are so many people' as she walked towards us."
A call for the people of Berkshire to chip in for a royal wedding gift hasn’t gone over well. Mary Bayliss, the Lord Lieutenant of Kate Middleton’s home county, had hoped local parishes would hand over donations towards a present to commemorate the young couple’s big day.
But she didn’t count on the anti-monarchist gift uprising.
"Some of our members are republicans and were strongly against it,” Gill Hall, chairman of Cold Ash Parish Council, a few miles from Middleton’s home town of Bucklebury, told the Mirror, adding that she didn’t feel comfortable contributing taxpayer money.
"We have a budget which does not include an item for such matters. Although we represent the parishioners we felt we could not contribute without consulting them."
Parish councils are the most local level of government in the U.K.
While other parishes were happy that the monarchy still reigned, they still weren’t up for handing over any cash.
“The wedding's going to gel the country and it's going to be a good occasion. I think it's a marvellous thing - what with redundancies and firms closing and all that,” Keith Williams, branch secretary of the Newbury Royal British Legion told the Mirror.
"But I think if West Berkshire had done it as a block, we could have contributed together to a charity," he added.
The parish council inhabited by Middleton’s family did make a contribution.
Blayliss insists she never asked for taxpayer funds in the letter sent to the parishes and hope private donations will raise the four-figures needed to purchase the perfect gift.
So, what does an entire county buy you as a wedding gift? Apparently, the funds are going towards an engraved silver plate by artist Rauni Higson.
Still no word yet on what Prime Minister Harper plans to hand over to the happy couple on behalf of Canada, but you can probably cross off the list our past royal wedding gifts of mink skins (for Elizabeth and Philip in 1947) and a four-poster maple bed (for Charles and Diana in 1981).
Kate Middleton’s weight is up for discussion, again, with the British press eager to anoint the bride-in-waiting as the royal waif.
Writing about Middleton’s recent meeting with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall the Telegraph notes Kate’s media savvy before delving into her disappearing figure:
The one, less positive aspect to the new-look bride-to-be is her extreme thinness, and the spectre of Diana, Princess of Wales, that it raises. She has her predecessor’s rock – please God spare her the eating disorder issues. To photograph thin, one has to be very, very spare. Miss Middleton’s face is alarmingly gaunt, her hair dragging her drawn face down still further.
The Sun doesn’t beat around the bush, brandishing the headline “Royal Bride is not so weighty Katie,” before continuing:
As she left a London restaurant the sporty curves that first caught Prince William's eye seemed to have changed.
Kate's fitted taupe jacket flattered her figure but her Diane Von Furstenberg dress was a little shapeless. Her legs, previously toned but shapely, looked very thin.
The tabloids are claiming Kate has already dropped two dress sizes and after already plummeting from a UK size ten to a size four.
But this isn’t the first time Middleton’s weight has made headlines with the Daily Mail blaming her on and off again relationship with the Prince for the loss of her curvier, more athletic figure.
Prince Harry arranges stag party…stripping ensues. No one could have expected anything less from the raucous prince. But don’t worry, William won’t be in for a tawdry last night of singledom as Harry has apparently gone classy with burlesque. An unnamed ‘friend’ of Harry’s told the Daily Star:
Two of Harry's closest friends saw the girls perform at a private event in Kensington in October and kept in touch with them. They have since popped along to a couple of their Supper Club shows and were very impressed. It's the talk of Harry's circle.
He doesn't want to let his brother down and wants to find something suitably saucy that won't get him into trouble. And even Kate wouldn't mind these girls. Although their set is very raunchy and they take their clothes off, it is intelligent and very theatrical.
Guess there won’t be any costumes to look out for.
‘Herb of Love’
Kate Middleton will be taking a traditional good luck charm with her as she marches down the aisle of Westminster Abbey, when she adds some myrtle to her bouquet.
Myrtle has been carried by royal brides since Queen Victoria planted a shrub of the stuff on her property on the Isle of Wight, after her marriage to Prince Albert.
The herb was hailed as sacred to Venus by the Romans and has since been used as a hedge around the world. After the event, Kate could always take the Sardinia approach and turn her sprig of love into the boozy beverage known as Mirto.
Bovines for the bride
Still trying to figure out what to get William and Kate as a wedding gift? Well, you can cross cows off the list.
South African Airline kulula.com is planning to send the couple the “finest cows” they can get their hands on for the day of the wedding. In South Africa an onslaught of beef on your wedding day follows a traditional known as a lobola where, the man pays the family of his fiancée in cows for her hand in marriage.
The see-through dress that caught the eye of Prince William, when his now fiancé strutted down the catwalk flaunting her knickers, is up for auction. The 20-year-old Kate Middleton wore the sheer, strappy bag at a St. Andrew’s fashion show in 2002. Until that point her and the Prince had merely been friends, but apparently the dress changed everything.
"The dress is a part of fashion history -- the moment William could first have fallen in love with Kate -- and that makes me really proud. ... The only person I'd probably give it to is her -- maybe in exchange for a wedding invitation," the piece's designer Charlotte Todd, who thankfully decided not to pursue a career in fashion, told the Daily Mail last November.
Seems that times have changed with the sheer number being auctioned off to the highest bidder on March 17.
The dress was originally designed to be a skirt. It is not clear if Middleton or the designer decided on the last-minute torso hike.
According to rumours swirling around the fashion world, Bruce Oldfield may not be designing Kate Middleton’s wedding gown. Why? Because he isn’t holed up in the Royal Palace. Seems that Middleton’s dedicated wedding team has been enclosed behind the royal walls to keep the paparazzi out. "She has people in there just doing shoes. She's got people in there doing the dresses and stuff like that. That's the rumor on the street," Dora Fung, a British editor of Chinese Vogue told New York magazine. Imprisoned fashion designers -- this can’t be a royal first.
Turns out entertainment royalty and soon-to-be actual royalty are related. Ellen DeGeneres announced on her show last Thursday that she had received a letter from the New England Genealogical Society explaining she and Middleton are 15th cousins. Is that enough for a wedding invite?
Looks like Wales isn’t the best place to celebrate the upcoming royal nuptials. According to Wales Online, the North Wales and Gwent Police have cut funding for the traffic management of carnivals, fairs and street parties, possible spelling an end to raucous wedding street parties and the raising of commemorative cups in the street.
And just in case you wanted to subtly celebrate the occasion, Proporta is releasing a golden union jack cell phone cover (about $60) to celebrate the royal wedding. The case is made from the "the highest quality golden coloured real leather." Right.
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