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CONGRATULATIONS to Prince William and Kate Middleton on their big day!
It’ll be information overload for a few weeks. But here are the facts you really want to know! (Perhaps. ).
* Although only 29 years of age, Kate will be the oldest bride to marry into the Royal Family. Princess Diana, was barely 20 years old when she married Prince Charles in 1981. Statistics show that marrying at this age means that Will and Kate are less likely to divorce.
* William and Kate are 12th cousins once removed according to The Daily Mail (!) (ancestor Sir Thomas Leighton) or 15th cousins (descended from Sir Thomas Fairfax) according to other sources – from the 16th century.
* David Cameron wants the nation to “get on and have fun and celebrate our country” this Friday, advising councils to allow the British public to throw street parties. Around 4000 applications for street-party licenses were received and an estimated 2 million people will be celebrating on the streets.
* Among the 1,900 guests include (make of this what you will!) Victoria and David Beckham, rugby coach Clive Woodward, comedian Rowan Atkinson, director Guy Ritchie, Kanye West, the landlord of Kate’s local pub, TV presenter Ben Fogle….as well as two of Kate’s exes and four of William’s (including Jessica Craig, Olivia Hunt, and Rupert Finch…heterosexual pairings btw! ).
* Around 40 foreign royals have been invited, including the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, the Sultan of Brunei, the Emperor of Japan, and kings of Malaysia, Tonga, and Thailand.
* President Obama has not been included due to the high costs of additional security, but will visit the UK in May for a royal dinner and ball to pay his respects to the newlyweds. Sarah Ferguson has also been snubbed, oh dear. :-/
* Senior Royals and dignitaries will be shuttled between Buckingham Palace and Westminister Abbey in minibuses…not Prince Charles though, he’ll be chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce style. (Get him! ).
* Male military guests will be required to wear their armed forces dress uniform, while women have been advised to wear elegant afternoon dresses with or without a smart coat or hat.
* Prince William’s Mum got married at St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1981. Like Princess Diana, Kate is following in her would-be mother-in-law’s footsteps by not promising ‘to obey’.
* The Wales-Middleton union will be the 15th royal wedding conducted during the 1,000-year history of the Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster, to give Westminster Abbey its formal name. Victoria’s granddaughter, Patricia of Connaught, chose to marry her naval aide-de-camp Alexander Ramsay in 1919. Only then did the trend for 20th-century royal weddings begin.
* Prince William and Kate Middleton are said to have chosen the abbey for its beauty, historic and recent personal royal connections and intimacy.
* In particular, Prince William’s mother Diana, Princess of Wales had her emotional funeral service here. 29th April 2011 will surely be an important day for him in many ways when he places a wedding ring next to his mother’s engagement ring on his bride’s finger.
* After the royal couple’s first press conference, Kate wants to be known as Princess Catherine. If she and William make it to the throne, Kate will be the sixth Queen Catherine of England. (Get her! ).
* William and Kate are allegedly going to be the first royal couple to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement.
* William and Kate’s wedding reception will have 600 chosen guests enjoying a lunchtime buffet – his parents celebrated with a 120-guest breakfast hosted by the Queen.
* Kate will spend her last night as a single woman at The Goring Hotel in Belgravia – the Queen Mother called it her favourite hotel and in 1952 most Royal guests for the Queen’s coronation stayed there.
* William will not wear a ring but Kate will wear a gold ring passed down to William from the Queen, traditionally sourced from the Clogau St David’s mine at Bontddu in North Wales.
* Lookalike agencies can be in huge demand. And having ‘Wills & Kate’ on the books could be the holy grail of all lookalikes. Easyjet recently ran a competition, the 2 winners of which winning free flights for a year (Wills & Kate on Easyjet?!) Out of 20 finalists, Simon Watkinson, 29, from London and Orsola Rossi, 29, from Milan have been crowned the most convincing Prince William & Kate Middleton lookalikes across the whole of Europe. Simon and another Kate lookalike – Jodie Bredo – feature in this T-Mobile Royal Wedding viral ad…love the song choice!
* It’s the Royal wedding of media firsts — first to be announced on Twitter, have a soundtrack released online within hours of the service and the first Royal wedding to have its own flood of smartphone apps. But no 3D… this time. All guests have been warned to switch off mobiles during the service and NOT to update Twitter. (Ha! Hopefully! We’ll see! )
* The royal couple have asked their guests donate to charity instead of buying gifts – one of 26 charities. Click HERE to see them!
* The Metropolitan Police have been carrying out extensive security checks around Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. Police have been checking every possible threat from the inside of traffic lights to inside the street-gutters. The operation is costing an estimated £20 million.
* 80,000 commoners will flock to London to cheer on the happy couple, up to a billion are expected to tune in at home. It’ll be a media beast — 8,000 TV and radio journalists, CNN is drafting in an extra 50 US staffers to add to its London desk of 75, the BBC has stationed 850 staff and Sky and ITV have 460 between them.
* The Queen is said to have sent out ‘save-the-date’ invitations via fax machine. Cute!
* Kate might get called a tart – it’s a tradition for Royal brides to get a pudding named after them, in 1947 there was the Bombe Glace Princess Elizabeth and in 1923 the Fraises Duchesse Elizabeth.
* William has invited several individuals recently saved from homelessness by his late mother’s charity, Centrepoint. He apparently wanted to include those who have touched his life in some way.
* According to it’s statistics, the alumni of St Andrew’s University, where the pair met, have a 10% chance of marrying a fellow alumnus.
* Kate has shunned riding to the Abbey in the glass carriage used by Princess Diana on her wedding in favour of taking a car — either a 1950s classic used by the Queen or the Phantom IV used by Charles and Camilla during the infamous incident at the student fees protests last year. But the newlyweds will take Charles and Di’s carriage on the ride to Buckingham Palace.
* The Royal Wedding route will include The Mall, Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and Parliament Square.
* Burglary is expected to rise significantly on Friday due to the mass public partaking in street parties while forgetting domestic security. Thieves are likely to use the occasion as a prime opportunity to target people’s houses. Be careful people!
* If William had wanted to marry before his 25th birthday he would have required the consent of his grandmother The Queen!
* Gamblers can take a punt on all things Royal wedding — topping the polls at the moment are bets on whether Harry will lose the rings (38/1) or end up drunk (33/1), and what colour of hat will be worn by Her Majesty.
* The organizers of the Rugby World Cup have invited the couple to spend their honeymoon at the tournament in New Zealand.
* When (assuming so!) he becomes King, William, at 6ft 3ins, will be the tallest monarch ever.
* The economy is set to experience a hefty boom due to amount of consumers spending on celebration products such as: bunting, decorations, alcohol and party equipment. This is estimated to generate an extra £480million to retailers across the UK…!!!
* Memorabilia Meltdown!!! Fridges embossed with a giant photo of the Royal couple, a Kate and Wills meat pie and a limited edition Princess Catherine engagement doll, who has her own Facebook page and sold at Hamleys toy store, are just some of the options. Japanese toy line Sylvanian Families has designed rabbit replicas of the royal couple, to go on sale in the UK around the time of the wedding.
* The see-through Charlotte Todd dress that Kate wore in a charity fashion show at St. Andrews University back in 2002 was recently auctioned off for £78,000. It is supposed that this modelling moment for Kate was how she first caught the attention of the young Prince.
* The Royal couple have opted for wedding music that includes Westminster Abbey Choir, Chapel Royal Choir and the London Chamber Orchestra over celebrity performers.
* The wedding flowers will be white gardenias, lily of the valley, delphinium and roses — all grown in Britain — and will stay in Westminster in the week after the service to be seen by the public. Kate’s bouquet will include a sprig of myrtle, known as ‘the herb of love’, in keeping with a tradition started by Queen Victoria in 1840. The wedding bouquet will go on the tomb of the unknown soldier, a tradition started in 1923 by the Queen Mother on her wedding day.
* Michelle Mone from Ultimo wanted to design the wedding day lingerie and even sent designs to Kate, but the regal bride is more likely to be supported in undergarments by Rigby and Peller, the Queen’s corsetières.
* Some pop stars will feature on the DVD of the Royal Wedding. Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley has recorded a duet of ‘True’ with Irish pop princess Carol Anthony.
* William’s no-bake chocolate crunch cake, a childhood favourite, will contain 1,700 McVitie’s biscuits and more than 18kg of dark chocolate.
* Two of the horses taking part in the ceremony are named after Prince William and Catherine Middleton. The horses are part of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.
* The couple WILL re-enact a kissing photo-op on Buckingham Palace balcony.
* Despite not making it on to the guest list, rapper Snoop Dogg (left, below the Beckhams), sent William a wedding gift, a song called Wet, which he composed for the stag do.
* Four stylists — James Pryce, Richard Ward and their two assistants — have been drafted in to monitor Kate’s hair throughout the day.
* Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who will marry the couple, is hard of hearing in one ear, unable to drive and at school had a note permanently excusing him from PE.
* The bride has commissioned four pairs of shoes for the day with varying heel sizes but will walk down the aisle in a pair of silk slipper flats.
* Cake-maker Fiona Cairns, behind the multi-tiered wedding cake iced in 16 different blooms, first met Prince Charles 10 years ago at a Fortnum & Masons event in London when his opening chit-chat was “Do you do wedding cakes?”
* A recession-conscious Queen has opted for ‘two bite’ buffet canapes for her 600 guests at the Palace rather than a sitdown meal. The lucky 300 guests invited to Prince Charles’ do later in the day will be treated to an organic three-course meal served up by award-winning Swiss chef Anton Mosimann.
* Sarah Burton, creative director of Alexander McQueen, is the name emerging from royal quarters as the designer of Kate’s dress.
Happy Royal Wedding Day everyone! XXX I wonder if they’ll be dancing to this?…
Who doesn’t love their Mum’s food?! I’m no exception.
My Mum loved to cook. She sadly never met a lot of my nearest and dearest (passing away recently), whom we’d both always wanted her to meet. She would have totally loved to cook for all of us.
So, I thought it would be good to share some of my (the few that I know! ) Mum’s recipes with everyone, so others can enjoy her food and know of her.
First up…prawn curry!
I love Indian sub-continent food…that’s home food for me! Such dishes often need many hours of preparation with ingredients and cooking methods many people may not be used to. But the beauty of this dish is that it’s really rather simple. From students to connoisseurs…all can enjoy!
Feeds 4 hungry people.
* 1 large chopped onion.
* 3 chopped green chillies (or less if you’re sensitive!)
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon pepper
* 1 heaped teaspoon turmeric powder
* 1 heaped teaspoon red chilli powder
* 4 cloves of crushed garlic
* 4 teaspoons chopped ginger
* 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
* 5 tablespoons of sunflower oil
* Fresh coriander
* 2 cinnamon sticks
* 300g basmati rice
* 600g to 650g peeled prawns
* 1 red onion
* 1 cucumber
* 1 chopped tomato
* 1 fresh lemon
* Large live yoghurt tub
* Cumin seeds
Heat the oil on high in saucepan.
Add onion to oil and brown.
Add the green chillies, salt, pepper, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garlic and ginger, keep heat on high for a few minutes while stirring.
Add the tin of tomatoes and cinnamon sticks and stir for a few minutes.
Turn the heat to a simmer, add the prawns and cover. Cook for 45 minutes or until sauce is fairly thick, stirring and tasting periodically.
During this time, rinse the rice well and allow to soak for 15 minutes, before adding to boiling water in another saucepan with a pinch of salt. Allow to simmer, stirring periodoically, for 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Drain in a sieve before serving.
For the salad, chop the tomatoes, cucumber and red onion and a sprig of coriander, and toss well with a dash of lemon juice. Mix 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds with the yoghurt.
A few minutes before the prawns are ready, chop a twist of the coriander (about 2 tablespoons), add to the curry and stir.
Serve the prawns with the rice and salad, and garnish with some coriander. Yoghurt is traditionally served with Indian food to aid digestion, so make sure you add a few table spoons on the side!
I look forward to tasting your efforts!
Love Fiez (and Fiez’s Mum) X X