Tag Archives: Prince Harry

Life in London Part IV: Royal Wedding Mania

7 Jun

You should have seen this one coming. And now that I’ve had a month to bask in post-wedding tabloids, entertainment news programs, and Barbara Walters specials, it’s my turn to write about the Royal Wedding.

William and Catherine. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Future Prince and Princess of Wales (once Charles is finally king). Future King and Queen (once the current Queen dies, Charles becomes king and dies). Quite a lot of titles and future titles. I like to think of them as Will and Kate, this blog tends to be informal (see: awkward statues, nerdgasms, my new boyfriends).

How adorable is this photo? Answer: too adorable.

I’ve always been in awe of royalty, it kind of comes with being a girly girl. Then I went to London in 2005 and, in two short days, I was hooked on all things House of Windsor. Add an obsession with Shakespeare and the History Plays and a fascination with all things “sparkly” and my current obsessions are warranted.

One of my favorite things that was shown to me so graciously by my dear friend Sam, is this blog:

Kate Middleton for the Win

Now, I love Kate Middleton. I think she’s an incredibly classy lady who will do wonderful things for the British monarchy just like Diana before her (but in much better clothes and hair, naturally). But this Tumblr takes images of Kate and slaps snarky phrases on them, such as this:

What makes these so funny to me is I don’t picture her to be at all like this, and I doubt the blog’s creator does either. But nonetheless, they’re good for a laugh.

I was lucky to be in London during the lead up to the Wedding, and saw much of the preparations…

Like people camping out and camera crews setting up at Westminster Abbey two days before.

Some of my friends joined the chaos by camping out by Buckingham Palace! I flew out the day of the wedding (no lines, no waiting!) but I waited to leave for the Tube until Will and Kate were officially married. I couldn’t leave without seeing that part of the ceremony.

And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for: What did I think of the dress(es)?

Kate wore a dress by British designer Sarah Burton, the late Alexander McQueen's protege. She took over the label after his tragic suicide last year. To start, I love the modest train. Diana had a 25 foot train which was, let's say it, RIDICULOUS. A tradition of respect at Westminster Abbey mandates that shoulders be covered, which is why the dress has sleeves. I love that Kate went with a lace overlay for the sleeves and collar of the dress. It gives the look a classic feel while still being a little sexy underneath. As for the veil it's quite sheer, which I like as I detest most veils. Plus that loaned tiara suits her.

Notice the detail of the lace: it is completely sheer at the sleeves but a bit denser at the shoulder/collarbone. The edging is lovely. Her makeup is flawless, and as most people (well, most royal wedding obsessees like myself) know, she did her own makeup. Is there anything she can't do?

For the after party Kate changed into another Sarah Burton design. The overall silhouette is similar to the first dress, but this is a little less church and a little more party. The shrug is playful (but looks kind of itchy to me) and the crystal belt highlights her slim figure. As usual, her hair is glorious.

Pippa Middleton in Sarah Burton. Who wouldn't want to look this good in a dress this beautiful? She (almost) upstaged her sister. I want this dress. Also, perfect hair clearly runs in the Middleton family.

How can I resist posting a picture of the ever-charming Prince Harry? Especially when he is in uniform...

I should note that, since being back in the states, two people have told me I look like Kate. The highest of all compliments, if only my hair looked like hers every day…

Madam Tussaud’s

27 Mar

On Friday the 25th I went with Sam and our friend Bri to the wax museum, Madam Tussaud’s. I went to the one in New York City a few years ago and it was a lot of fun so I knew I had to come to the one in London.

The museum is on Baker Street, which is, of course, home to Sherlock Holmes.

There are many shops and restaurants that pay homage to the Great Detective

The whole point of Tussaud’s is to goof around and take pictures with wax models of celebrities, politicians, and other famous people. I tend to be silly and nerdy on a daily basis so me in the wax museum is like a kid in a candy store: ecstatic, hyperactive, and enjoying a natural high. I hope you are as amused at my photos as I was at the museum.

Miley Cyrus: Quite possibly the most terrifying thing I've ever seen. I was prepared to defend myself.

Kate Moss: Sometimes I like to pose like wax figures of models. I think I've got the face down.

Audrey Hepburn: We had Breakfast at Tiffany's together.

Henry VIII: He snuck in on my portrait sitting. But it's ok, his cod piece really adds to the impressiveness of the painting.

Prince Harry: He's single, he's a ginger, and he's at least 5 inches taller than me. Oh, and unlike his brother he has a full head of hair.

Oscar Wilde: This is me hoping to gain a fraction of Wilde's talent by standing next to a wax representation of the author.

The Beatles: I joined the band AND got to touch Paul McCartney's leg. (unfortunately, these figures aren't exactly accurate, especially George.)

Justin Bieber: I finally met the Biebz. And I am indeed a good five inches taller than he is (he's on a platform) but that hair is just so glorious...

Lady GaGa: She says, "you can call all you want but there's no one home and you're not gonna reach my telephone," but lucky for GaGa, I was there to answer the phone.

Beyonce: Yes, I do know the "Single Ladies" dance. I go to Emerson, it's kind of a requirement.

Dali Lama: I like to practice Tree Pose with his holiness.

Pope: See, the thing is...

Samuel L. Jackson: I put my sunglasses on out of respect.

Spiderman: I like to get piggy back rides from Spidey. We're technically upside down, hanging from the ceiling. That's skill right there.

Winston Churchill: We're just two peas in a pod.

After the wax museum Sam and I went to Jack’s for a delicious pasta dinner. On the way there we passed Warner Bros. Studios, where they filmed the Harry Potter movies.

The Hogwarts houses and the Hogwarts crest. In 2012 the studios will have a tour of several sets from the films. Which is just one more excuse for me to come back to London.

National Portrait Gallery

14 Mar

On Sunday it was drizzly so a few friends and I went for a walk to Trafalgar square to see the St. Patrick’s Day festival. We took a bus to Hyde Park and walked past Buckingham to the square. Our walk took us down the Mall (rhymes with pal) which gave wonderful views of St. James’s park.

Buckingham

Parliament is just visible through the tree's along the Mall

A sure sign that spring is here in London

There were a few kids running through the flocks of pigeons, it was adorable.

The Eye just visible beyond the park. London is beautiful in the spring.

The festival was a bit lame…

St. Patrick's Day festival stage

Irish donut stand; Abby was once told by another of our friends "You smell like a nice, fresh daisy."

A giant ship in a bottle

After we got bored with the festival, we went around the block to the National Portrait Gallery. Photography wasn’t allowed inside, but we got to see portraits of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, the Bronte Sisters, John Donne, Paul McCartney, Prince William and Prince Harry, Princess Di and Shakespeare, just to name a few.

 

First, Picadilly Circus. Second, I’m on a boat.

15 Jan

Friday was a great day simply because I got to sleep in. And for the first time, I slept well.

I convinced Sam that we needed to go to Picadilly Circus so that we could browse this giant tourist shop called Cool Britannia. We spent at least an hour if not two hours there. And then proceeded to hop from tourist shop to tourist shop until we had to head back to campus.

These gents greet you at the door of Cool Britannia. Yes, they are terrifying yet charming.

I didn’t do my silly gift purchasing this time, instead I got some postcards (including one of the princes, obviously) and stamps to send them off.

Harry does the "lean back" while Will breaks it down for the ladies.

And I got a phone booth keychain for my backpack, so that’s all taken care of. For those of you who don’t know, I collect phone booths. I have about ten of them in various sizes back home. I even have bookshelves that look like a phone booth. Sadly, I don’t have any that are capable of making actual phone calls.

After our Picadilly adventure we had library orientation (boring) and dinner (still gross). Then we got ready for the boat party.

Basically, the school rented this boat for us to have a dance party on. Translation: They rented a boat so that stupid biddies could get so drunk that they fell down every time the boat rocked. This was quite the source of entertainment for those of us who know how to behave around alcohol.

The best part of the boat ride was seeing London at night:

The London Eye and Big Ben/Parliament

Tower Bridge

Tower of London

Kensington loves dogs

13 Jan

Kensington is known as an affluent neighborhood in London. A typical 3-bedroom flat could cost you roughly $5 million dollars. That’s an apartment, not a house. A short walk from campus is the High Street, essentially a term for the “Main Street” of an area, also where you can shop and eat at chain restaurants. In another direction is Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, and Kensington Palace, where Princess Diana lived after getting divorced from Prince Charles.

A word about Kensington Palace:

  • The squirrels will not only walk right up to you, they will attempt to climb up your boots.
  • They currently have the entire visitors section decked out in “fairy princess themed” garb. A must-see later in the semester.
  • Princes William and Harry grew up there and it is rumored that Will and Kate will live there whilst in London.

This is just the front -- it's like a small college.

My dorm is decent, I wasn’t expecting accommodations worthy of Lady Di. The food they serve us is a bit like the reputation British food used to have: inedible. Take-away food will become a near and dear friend to us all.

After we got settled into the dorm and unpacked a bit we went to an IT information meeting and then my roommate and I went out in search of a drugstore, which we found on the high street. The main drug store in London is called Boots. And it is basically the lovechild of Sephora and CVS. When you first walk in, it’s upscale make-up brands. Then you reach the midpoint and it starts getting cheaper, and then there is the glorious CVS-like back of the store and sometimes 2nd floor of the store. Yeah. Two floors for shampoo and other goodies.

While we were walking I saw a dog that’s the same breed as mine and nearly broke down in sobs of “I miss my dog!” but I maintained my composure. A word about dogs in London:

  • They are ridiculously well-behaved.
  • They are walking accessories for their posh owners.
  • They all wear coats/sweaters/vests…etc. so that they may be as well-dressed as their owners.

Floppy ears will now perform "The Sweater Song" by Weezer.

After getting our supplies from Boots we went back to campus to meet for a guided walking tour of the neighborhood. Our guide was a tall blond named Savannah who had a lot of personality and walked quickly which was necessary as it was windy and freeeezing. We hit the high points of Kensington which I mentioned earlier: Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, Royal Albert Hall, High Street.

A glorious concert hall built by Queen Victoria for her husband Albert. He died before it was completed but Cirque du Soleil is currently performing and I doubt he would have enjoyed that very much.

Kensington Gardens is huge and full of dogs running around which makes me happy.

As you can see by the warm, welcoming sunshine, I did not take this photo.

Also found in the park…

Geese! It's just like the Fens back in Boston, only these geese picked a nicer park to ruin.

After the walking tour we had an orientation meeting then we went out for pizza on the high street to a place called Soprano’s. Definitely a keeper. You might say it hit a high note. (It’s my blog, I’ll make bad jokes if I want to.)