And more from our Liz: Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz share passion over pasta … Amy Winehouse — did a sudden detox kill her?
“THE GOLDEN rule when joining the Royal Family is – if in doubt, do nothing!” says one Sarah Gristwood.
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WELL, YOU and I are not likely to need the advice I am about to impart, but reading the London Daily Telegraph, I came upon an article by Christopher Middleton that tells us how to be “formal, not fawning.” This, says the in-law, is the key to getting along with the Royal Family.
Not getting along with them is called “Ma’amgate.” The writer questions how the new bride Kate, Duchess of Cambridge will handle the question of spending next Christmas either at Sandringham or slumming at the little village where the Middletons own a country place. He writes: “Just as the parents of Sparta used to give up their sons to the military from an early age, so Carole and Michael Middleton have handed over their little girl to royalty.”
And the long-reigning Queen’s own mother was merely Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, never dreaming that marrying the then Duke of York would land her on the throne next to the future King George VI. The writer notes that outsiders who marry the royals always end up in what he terms “the Windsor soup” and are never given any instructions about procedure. He lists Diana Spencer and Sarah Ferguson as two who experienced this fate. So, there should be a department to take new members of the Firm through bowing, curtseying and who has precedence over whom.
Top of the gaffe list is calling the Queen “marm” (rhymes with smarm) rather than the correct “Ma’am (rhymes with ham.) “When Lord Carnegie wed Princess Maud (grandchild of Edward VII) back in 1923, he made the mistake of addressing Queen Mary as “Aunt May.” She did not speak to him for the next 20 years.”)
Christopher writes that actually one can be quite playful with the Queen and if you just say “Ma’am,” you can get away with joking around. “It’s the same with bowing. “Give a Coburg bow, from the neck downwards, not from the waist.” And the royals detest real abasement, although you can’t get too chummy with them, either.
He says: “I have been told that when the Queen wants to signal that she’s had enough speaking to you, she will adjust her handbag from one arm to the other.” An equerry will have a word in your ear and lure you away.
The editor of Majesty magazine says: “Follow what other people do and you should be all right.”
It seems most onlookers think the Middletons have done just right “through their general passivity and simply through not doing anything too showy that might upstage the monarch or the monarchy. “
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THE OTHER day, while taping wowOwow’s radio show on Sirius XM with the Today Show’s wonderful Jean Chatzky, the two of us had a chance to talk with veteran finance wizard Jane Bryant Quinn.
After writing for Newsweek for 30 years and giving personal financial advice to hundreds of newspapers, Ms. Quinn had gotten herself into a new business on the Internet. (Covering small town newspaper audiences with local news that they can only get online.)
During this radio chat, Jean asked Jane to comment on giving advice about prenups. It turns out these two finance experts are in agreement. Both think that any couple contemplating a late marriage, or a second or third marriage, would be wisely advised to set “romance” aside and make a pre-nuptial agreement.
Jean and Jane, now in second marriages themselves, say it may be kind of hard to set up this sort of agreement, but both feel it is literally the most important thing any woman can do – for herself and for the sake of her future security.
Break the ice, bring it up early on, and get it over and done with. If there are grown children or young adults of one spouse to be considered, it is even more important to avoid a potential future problem.
And in the matter of a possible same-sex marriage, both our experts said that a prenup, with true legal advice, may be even more important because same-sex marriage is not yet the law of the whole land. Anyway – play it safe. Have a legal prenup before you say “I do!”
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HOLLYWOOD’S NEWEST, sexiest newlyweds, Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig were in Manhattan, the other night, for a screening of Rachel’s new movie, “Whistleblower.” While in town, 007 and his number one “Bond girl” were feted at NYC’s Primola restaurant by Bond film producer Barbara Broccoli. (She is the daughter of the late Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, the man who first brought James Bond to the screen in 1962.)
Rachel and Daniel looked all summery and, hot — for want of a better word. She wore a short, sexy black sleeveless number. He was in a dark gray shirt that did not hide the famous physique. He matched it with black trousers.
The pasta and red wine flowed, a good time was had, but Rachel and Daniel are still in their honeymoon mode — they picked at their food, preferring to gaze significantly at each other over the calamari.
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ENDTHOUGHT: For the all the sensational “rumors” from “insiders” that Amy Winehouse died in the midst of an “Ecstasy and drinking binge,” how interesting that her autopsy is termed “inconclusive.” There’s nothing inconclusive about a drug and alcohol binge. We won’t know the toxicology result for several weeks, but her family believes the unhappy singer might have died during withdrawal from substances — that she went cold turkey too fast and hard.
For their sake I hope that’s so. If for no other reason than to show up all these online know-it-all gossips, who often don’t know anything at all.
The other night, the Biography Channel showed its Janis Joplin program, followed by a new one on Miss Winehouse, who has now joined the “cursed 27’s.” Quite sad.