Liz Smith: What to Give to People Who Have Everything? (Ask Obama and Queen Elizabeth).

The Obamas visited Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in London this week

And more from our Gossip Girl: Bob Benton saluted in New York City … Chris Meloni out, Angelina Jolie, thin!

“PEOPLE who say they don’t care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don’t care what people think,” said George Carlin.

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WHAT DO kings, queens, presidents exchange as gifts? (Anyone who is such a VIP usually can’t even keep such a gift personally. Normally, it goes into library archives, etc.)

Well, the other day President Obama and the Queen of England gave each other pretty much the same thing – handmade albums of rare memorabilia. The Queen’s gift documented a visit by her parents to Washington, D.C. back in 1939. The President’s gift was a collection of letters sent by Queen Victoria to U.S. presidents, right from the Royal Archives. (These weren’t originals; they were facsimiles, and they included a letter from John Quincy Adams to the young princess Victoria before she became Queen. Another was from President McKinley to Queen Victoria on her Diamond Jubilee.)

First Lady Michelle Obama did receive a neat gift from the Queen which she can actually wear, although it will eventually go in the Presidential Library. It was an antique  gold and red coral brooch in the form of roses.

Charles, The Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall were given seedlings and plants from the White House lawn. And the newly-wed William and Kate got laptop computers which they promptly gave away to the Northern Ireland PeacePlayers International (a charity for children.)

So, there you have it if you “wonder,” as many do, “what the king is doing tonight?”

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YOUR LIZ will have a brief hiatus from her office for a hospital stay June 1. But don’t worry, I can still write while hors de combat. In the meantime, as usual, important things are happening that I don’t want you to miss.

For instance, my University of Texas pal, the fabulous writer and movie director Robert Benton, is being saluted here in New York at the Academy Theater at Lighthouse International on June 2.

This happens at 111 East 59th Street, and you can call 212–821-9255 for details and maybe get in. This excellent man won the Oscar for “Kramer vs. Kramer,” one of the first of the many fabled outings by actress Meryl Streep. Mr. Benton has been making movies ever since and his worth is inestimable.

I wish I had married Robert Benton when we both graduated and came to NYC, but he has been living happily with “the other woman,” artist Sally Benton, for many years. So I lost out!

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MY TERRIFIC producer at Fox News is Kristine Kotta, and she dreamed up a series of TV outings for the program “Lips & Ears,” wherein we delved into the biggest gossip stories of the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s ’s and even of the 2000s in the current 21st century.

These will be running on Fox News through the early days of August and Kristine describes them as “Open Animation with a Montage of New Music” — whatever that means. Hope you can see them.

I hope I can see them! We might try condensing them for right here where you are reading.

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THE GLOSSY magazines and supermarket tabloids are always telling us who is too this or that — usually they’re just using a bad shot to make an unflattering point. But the Globe tabloid has a big scare piece about Angelina Jolie’s weight, with shots of her from Cannes, in that gown that showed too much of her rather fleshless legs. (I called them “spindly” when I saw the shots last week.)

She is such a beauty. But she now looks like a strong breeze could knock her flat.

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WOW! Talk about something coming from left field. Just a few days ago we speculated that Christopher Meloni hadn’t signed his 13th season “Law & Order: SVU” contract because he was probably negotiating for a salary comparable to his co-star Mariska Hargitay. Not only was I correct, but Meloni is now out of “SVU” and the search is on for somebody to replace him next season — a season that will not even see as much of Mariska as usual. (She is lightening her workload, and Jennifer Love Hewitt’s name is still in circulation as the new lady cop on the long-running series.)

Fan reaction has been as violent as Meloni’s character Elliot Stabler often is, with those pervy perps he knocks around.

Well, maybe Mariska and Chris will work together again in lighter fare? I’ve run into these two at various events. Both are surprisingly funny and have a rowdy back and forth, parry and thrust kind of banter. No guns, no growls, no tears — just a lot of laughs.

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ENDQUOTE:  From comic Seth MacFarlane –“Honestly, I was sort of hoping the world would end on Saturday, ‘cause then I wouldn’t have to tweet anymore!”

Seth, nobody has to tweet. Really.

13 comments so far.

  1. avatar Joan Larsen says:

    Dear Liz — We think of YOU as our QUEEN Liz, giving the Queen a real run for the money in every way.  Just as you WOW us here, there is no doubt that your smart repartee and wonderful smiles will keep a steady procession trying to get a glimpse of you through your hospital door.  May your stay somehow find you with many bright moments, the best of care, and a full and fast recovery!!!

  2. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    I couldn’t sleep and woke up to Mr. Wow praising Oprah and Liz Smith promoting Fox News. Not the way to start the day.  And how do you express best wishes for a hospital stay? Fortunately Joan Larsen already took care of that.  As for laptops, one must wonder what the screensaver was on the laptops the Obamas gave to William and Kate. And on Liz Smith’s laptop. These are things one thinks about only at 4 am when one cannot sleep.  

  3. avatar Connie Turner says:

    Dear Baby Snooks,
    I have been reading WOWOWOW for quite a while and have read many of your posts. Sometimes our opinions don’t match up, but I think you would be a very fun person to know.
    Connie

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Life would be very boring if everyone always agreed with everyone else.  Despite being very opinionated I still try to keep it all in perspective of everyone else’s perspective and I was told a long time ago by someone that we learn the most from the people we disagree with the most. Which is one of the maxims I try to live by. Even if it seems at times that I don’t.  

  4. avatar Richard Bassett says:


    Since we are giving gifts to the children and grandchildren of the Queen, I would hope that she remembers the Obama children in reciprocation. I mean, it is only polite. I can understand the omission of governmental dignitaries but surely, the children must be given a gift in kind. No, they do not have a royal title but neither do the President and his wife. Just a thought on what consisted as proper protocol. Yes, ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ (1979) was the beginning of Streeps ascent into the oblivion of stardom. It also won her a Best “Supporting” Academy Award…to be soon followed by a Best Actress Oscar for, “Sophie’s Choice” (1982) for the next thirty years, she’s had to settle for endless nominations. How sad, but she continues to show up (front seat of course) on Oscar Night. When Jolie is frightenly thin, the features on her face become very prominent (and even more beautiful). I think that she set it up that way so and extra pound or two covers the goddess-like contours of her face. I can see no other reason (besides the clothes of course) that she stays so ultra-thin…unless it is a self-imposed medical condition. And Liz, without Meloni and Margitay….there is no ‘L & O: Special Victims Unit’ (13 Seasons now) for me. It was the only reason I watched the show. Both charterers were three dimensional and could transcend the good vs. bad aspect of each story line. They were given a lot of latitude, regarding acting outside the box (but not too much). Their absence is my absence. Liz Smith, I wish you God Speed in recovery. Your column represents many things to many people. Please return to us in true Liz Smith fashion.

    • avatar Deeliteful says:

      Ok, so I’m playing catch-up on wOw. My sentiments exactly, Richard, regarding SVU. Without “Elliot” and “Liv”, the show will lose many fans. The other characters are great, but the audience has not had the opportunity to get to know them. Miss Hewitt’s joining the show is another reason to stop watching. L&O: SVU, I shall miss you.

  5. avatar Liz Smith says:

    I’ve written a bit in advance.  And so long as I can use a pen or a laptop (or dictate), can read, watch TV and answer the phone when friends call with “tips,”  this column will continue.

    • avatar cb says:

      YEAH!!!!! Wishing you a Speedy easy recovery and a hot nurse!

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      The Everready Gossip Columnist – she keeps going and going and going and all of us thankful that she does!

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      And I of course suddenly feel guilty for some reason for not ever having given Liz Smith “tips” through the years but then she would have had to start running ”blind items” which as I recall she never has. But if she ever does, well, I will give her “tips.”

  6. avatar Deirdre Cerasa says:

    I did read that the laptops were for a charity on the wedding registry of William and Kate. I agree with Richard, there should have been little gifts for Malia and Sasha. I’m guessing that if anyone can make a hospital stay more spa-like, it will be Liz and those who love her. Be well, can’t wait until you are “sprung”!

  7. avatar mary burdt says:

    Liz, Wishing you Godspeed. The hospital will be a place of noisy and nosy staff, but they will love you, and maybe, feed you a little gossip they’ve heard so you can keep us all in the loop. Best, Mary

  8. avatar Roger C. Memos says:

    thinking of you, dont’ be gone too long. I need my Liz “fix” No one and I mean no one can write like you! Prayers and sunshine from L.A.coming your way!! love, roger