White Cake with Red

Wedding cake pictures by Glass Slipper Gourmet.

White butter cream icing surrounded by red fondant.
Fresh red roses between the top tiers.
Topped with sugar paste bow & C monogram.

Characters' Names

It's interesting in real life how many people seem to suit their names and how quickly people make snap judgements about someone just hearing their name. Some names seem to reflect a particular status, others a religion, others - especially diminutives - even suggest something about a person's physical appearance.

Dickens, the master of memorable names, knew this so well. How many of his characters' names say a lot more about the person than any long description: the hypocrite, Pecksniff; the slimy Uriah Heap; miserly Scrooge; the hard-hearted Murdstone, Headstone and Gradgrind....and of course the Artful Dodger.

Dickens' brilliance in creating the apt-name is now so legendary that it lends itself to satire; episodes of 'French and Saunders' to 'Blackadder' have used similarly, if exaggerated names that in one word capture the idiosyncrasies of a character. Writers now surely, then, have to be less obvious than Dickens but there is still a great deal to be said for choosing memorable and appropriate names....if, indeed, the writer actually 'chooses' the name. It seems that very often, the moment a character is 'born' into a story in the writer's mind, he/she comes with the name in place already. It sometimes feels as though the character, name and all, already exists on some other plane, and the writer merely records what is already there....



...The longest reigning monarch in English and British history was Queen Victoria?She ruled the United Kingdom for 64 years. She ascended the British throne in 1837 on the death of her childless uncle, William IV. The current British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, celebrated her 58th year on the throne this year(2010).

... The shortest reign was that of Lady Jane Grey known to history as the "nine days Queen of England", she was King Henry VIII's great niece. Henry's son and successor, Edward VI, named her as his successor, ignoring his two half sisters Princesses Mary and Elizabeth. But the idea was thought to be fabricated by the Duke of Northumberland, who acted as adviser of the young King. Nine days after Lady Jane's accession, the Duke's whole scheme collapsed, Queen Mary lead the uprising, capturing the Duke of Northumberland, Lady Jane was imprisoned and beheaded seven months later. Her reign was one of the most turbulent periods in  the history of England. Infact her short Queenship was not mentioned in British history and her name was not included in the official list of monarchs of the United Kingdom.

...The oldest to become monarch was William IV, 3rd son of George III, he was 75 years old at the time of his accession, he died seven years later.

... The youngest monarch was Henry VI, he was only nine months old and his uncle John, the Duke of Bedford acted as his regent until his adulthood.

... The first Prince of Wales was Edward II, son of Edward I and Eleanor of Castile, he was born in Caernavon Castle in Wales. Since then, that title has always been the permanent title of the Heir Apparent of a British monarch with formal investiture in Caernavon Castle, Cardiff, Wales. But the title is not automatically earned, it is given at the pleasure of the monarch and not all heirs were titled Prince of Wales. King Edward VII's successor was given a title of the Duke of Clarence.
... The first Duke of York was Edmund of Langley, 2nd son of Edward III. Ironically, it was on this family branch that the famous "War of the Roses" originated. Considered as the bloodiest civil war in English history, "War of the Roses" lasted for three decades. Since the early 20th century, the Duke of York is the unconditional title of the second son of the sovereign. The current Duke of York is Prince Andrew,said to be the favorite son of the Queen.
... The first Princess Royal was Princess Anne, daughter of Charles I (Stuart). This courtesy title is always given to the first born daughter of the monarch. But like the Prince of Wales title, it is not automatically acquired, it is only granted at the pleasure of the monarch.
... The oldest monarch to ascend the throne in modern day europe was King Albert II of Belgium, a descendant of Queen Victoria through her 3rd son Prince Arthur of Connaught and that of Victoria's uncle, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, the first Belgian King, thus the name of the Royal House of Belgium is Saxe-Coburg Gotha. Albert ascended the Belgian throne in 1993 on the death of his childless older brother, King Bouduin I.
... The last true blooded Princess to be married into the British royal family was Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, first cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. She married Prince George, the Duke of Kent, youngest son of King George V.

... The last aristocrat to be married in the British royal family was the late Princess of Wales, Diana. She was the former Lady Diana Spencer, daughter of a wealthy nobleman Johnny Spencer, the 8th Earl of Althorp, a direct descendant of King Charles II of Britain. The very famous, Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire (her story is now a major hollywood film starring Keira Knightley) was Earl Spencer's great aunt.
... The childhood nickname of Diana was Duchess?it was given to her by her stepfather Peter Shand-Kydd. Until her death, she was casually called by her sisters as "Duch".

... The oldest surviving great great grandchild of Queen Victoria is Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh?he is two months older than Prince Carl Johan of Sweden, his 3rd cousin.
... Both Prince Albert II of Monaco and King Juan Carlos of Spain are Olympians? Albert represented Monaco in the Bobsled event while King Juan Carlos took part in the sailing event representing Spain.
... King Juan Carlos of Spain and his consort Queen Sophia are the only royal blooded couple in the present day europe whose marriage in 1962 was not arranged?Queen Sophia was the former Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark, daughter of King Paul I of Greece, a first cousin to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent.
... Earl Spencer, the father of Diana was once considered by the royal family as suitable consort of the future Queen, Princess Elizabeth?after the second world war, the royal family noticed that the heir presumptive started blossoming into a beautiful woman and therefore marriage is on the way, they began listing names of suitable bachelors as her future husband. British noblemen who were considered were Lord David Mountbatten, the 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven (first cousin of Prince Philip), David Ogilvy, the 13th Earl of Airlie (whose younger brother Angus married Princess Alexandra of Kent the Queen's cousin), Charles Manner, the Duke of Ruthland and John Spencer who was then Viscount Althorp, son of Albert Spencer the 7th Earl of Althorp(King George VI's closest friend) and his wife Lady Cynthia Hamilton, daughter of the 4th Duke of Abercorn and Lady-in-waiting of the King's consort, Queen Elizabeth. European Royal's who were considered suitable are Prince Bertel of Sweden (Elizabeth's 3rd cousin), Prince Gorm of Denmark (her second cousin), Prince Charles of Luxembourg and Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark (her third cousin through Queen Victoria and second cousin through King Christian IX of Denmark). Eventually the future Queen choose the latter, and according to some accounts "it was hardly a royal match because they both fell in love". Philip changed his identity to be more suitable, he took the name Mountbatten and joined the Anglican faith, he was created HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and married in November 20, 1947.
... The Royal Protection Unit of Scotland yard is the security force protecting the British royal family?they provide full protection to the monarch, her husband, her heir and all her children. They are selected for diplomacy and sense of duty. They are highly skilled at security and armed at all times.

Chocolate Drizzle Cake

Wedding cake pictures by starfin.

A creative chocolate wedding cake for chocolate lovers. Topped with white chocolate-hazelnut ganache drizzle.

"Life is what our thoughts make it"

Who decides what people want to read or what kind of music they want to hear? Who has the right to make a judgement about what kind of art, literature or music people appreciate?

An established publisher once told me that my biography of one of the most remarkable members of Queen Victoria's family - Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia, whose life led her from the glittering Romanov Court, to the slums of Moscow, to being murdered by the Bolsheviks - would not appeal to people because (a direct quote!): "it lacks sufficient scandal for the public taste". Beg your pardon?? For whose taste?
More recently I was told by someone that readers want only to read about 'the dark side of life'. How very odd!

If, as Marcus Aurelius said, "life is what our thoughts make it" or, to quote Robert Shuller, "You are what you think about all day long", is it any wonder that so many lives are steeped in dissatisfaction if we are being fed a diet of scandal and 'the dark side'?

My belief is that none of these assumptions about what people want, is true. This is the philosophy behind giving school children dross that passes for poetry ( http://christinacroft.blogspot.com/2007/11/poetry-and-dross.html ).

Is this the result of a few huge companies monopolizing much of the publishing market, and those companies being led not by people with an interest in literature, but rather by marketing and sales departments, and perhaps even by people with a very cynical view of the world. Is this the same philosophy that says only horror stories and scandal sell newspapers?
Do we really want only to dwell on unpleasantness? Don't we have enough of that from the news? What a low opinion of people, those who make these decisions must have!
People are, by nature, always striving for something better, something more beautiful, something more real and uplifting. Literature isn't meant to drag people down, but rather to raise them up, to entertain and to lead to a deeper understanding of what it is to be human.
Well...if some people believe that to be human means dwelling on the dark side and wanting to be fed only scandal, it is a great pity for them.
To return to Marcus Aurelius, if life is what our thoughts make it, and we all have a responsibility for the life of the world, then we surely have a duty to write and read and fill our minds with what is noble, good and beautiful.


PLANTAGENET - started from the reign of King Henry II, great grandson of William the Conqueror. The name founded through his father Geoffrey the Count of Anjou who was fond of wearing plantagenet styled hat. The first plantagenet king was known throughout the English history as the most powerful monarch in the christendom. He was not only King of England at that time but owned vast land in France. That dominance in French territory was further strengthened by his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine(the first wife of Louis VII, King of France), heiress to most powerful Duchies and counties in France. However, towards the end of the King's life, he was embittered and died a broken man. His last years in power were marked with domestic strife and betrayal with his own sons who fought themselves for the throne. His successor, Robert, died fighting his brothers. His wife, who turned against him aided her favorite son, Richard who later became Richard I the lionhearted and succeeded by his brother John lockland, perhaps the worst king in English history. It was during King John's reign that the famous Magna Carta-the great charter of liberties-was approved, when he was forced by the angry Barons to sign the charter in runnymede near Thames river.This royal house ended in the reign of Richard II, the grandson of Edward III-known in world history as the man who initiated the "Hundred Years of War" between England and France that lasted for 116 years-Richard II was deposed due to his tyrannic rule.

LANCASTER-this royal house was founded through the line of Edward III's 3rd son John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. This was conceived through conflict which later known as "the War of the Roses" against rival House of York. Prince Henry, John of Gaunt's son succesfully won the throne after his cousin's (Richard II) exile but his reign marked with struggle with the Yorkists, who headed by the Duke of York, Richard Plantagenet himself the cousin of Henry. Lancaster ended in the reign of Henry VI, the most unfortunate king ever seated in the English throne, he was the youngest to succeed in the two kingdoms of England and France, his father Henry V (called as the Hero King of England)died when he was only 9 months old, as the treaty to end the "Hundred Years of War"stated that Henry V will inherit the French throne(his wife was Princess Catherine, daughter of King Charles VI of France) when the insane French King died. But the English King predeceased Charles VI. Henry V's brother John, the Duke of Bedford acted as regent until the infant monarch reached his adulthood. Henry VI was a deeply religious man but lack strength and resolute character like that of his father to govern a Kingdom and later inherited the insanity illness of his maternal grandfather Charles VI. At the course of the civil war that sweep throughout the kingdom, Henry VI suffered bout of madness that he was reportedly laughing and singing while his soldiers fought for their lives. He was soon imprisoned by his cousin Edward of York in the tower of london with his young heir Prince Edward and later on murdered, his wife Queen Margaret escaped and fled to France.

YORK-After the armed conflict with its rival house, the House of Lancaster, the Yorkists emerged victorious after the death of Henry VI, its leader mounted the English throne as Edward IV but the curse of the "War of the Roses" still haunted the newly build House of York. The unstable kingdom attracted another controversy, this time the private life of the King himself. Edward married Elizabeth Woodville by whom he had 10 children including Princess Elizabeth (the future consort of Henry VII), Prince Edward , his heir and Prince Richard, the Duke of York (the famous Princes of the Tower), they married secretly in the Woodville's home at Northamptonshire which enraged some of his allies. It had been noted that the king had promised himself to marry Lady Eleanor Butler and the promise of marriage at that time was considered a legally binding contract so much so that when the King died his marriage was declared null and void and all his children were declared through an Act of Parliament as illegitimates. His successor the 13-year-old Prince Edward ascended briefly as Edward V but 2 months later, after the declaration of nullity of his parents' marriage he and his young brother Prince Richard, the Duke of York were imprisoned at the Tower of London suspectedly ordered by their uncle Richard, the Duke of Gloucester. The throne is now occupied by their uncle which took the name Richard III.The Princes mysteriously vanished and their whereabouts were unknown, many believed they were both killed in the gloomy tower. Richard III, many years later was killed in the battle of Bosworth field by the troops of Henry Tudor (from the Lancastrian descent), ending the House of York reign.

TUDOR-perhaps one of the most famous royal houses in the history of English monarchy. After the death of the last Yorkist Richard III, Henry Tudor ascended the throne as Henry VII. Inorder to effectively reconcile the warring two houses, he married Edward IV's daughter Princess Elizabeth which earned him the title as "Solomon King of England". The couple's eldest daughter Margaret became Queen Consort of Scotland and produced the future Mary Queen of Scots. Their son Henry VIII, became famous as the King with several wives who didn't hesitate to eliminate some of those women to strengthen his court. He first marry his brother's widow Catherine of Aragon and bore him a daughter later ascended as Mary I. Henry was deeply religious and was initially wanted to become an archbishop, he staunchly fought the teachings of the church which earned him a title "Defender of the faith"a title which the monarch of England still bear up to these days. It was during his petition for the nullity of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon that he broke all his ties to Vatican City. When the Pope refused to annul his marriage he separated from Rome and established the Church of England and declared him as Supreme Head. The last monarch of this house was his daughter Elizabeth who become Elizabeth I. She was known as "The Virgin Queen" because she did not marry and no reported relationship involvement (except at one time that she was linked to the Earl of Leicester, Robert Dudley, her closest friend). She was known with her imperious character and was believed to have sealed the death warrant of her great niece Mary Queen of Scots whom she accused of Treason. Many historians claimed that the fiery Queen refused to name her successor but on her death bed, according to reports, she uttered the name "My cousin in Scotland"referring to Mary Queen of Scots' son King James VI.

STUART-James VI of Scotland was named as Elizabeth I's successor, He ascended the English throne as James I, the first of the Stuarts monarch and the personal union of Scotland and England was born, thus conceiving the geographical name of Great Britain. He was succeeded by his son Charles I, the new king's policy was not popular among the Members of Parliament, his declaration that the monarch will be the ultimate arbiter of the law did not suit well to the masses, the King soon arrested and beheaded by the Cromwellians and its leader Oliver Cromwell became the "Lord Protector of England" for 10 years. When he died, the monarchy was restored and Charles I's son Charles II became King. Charles II had no legitimate children, his wife (Princess Catherine of Braganza)was barren, but he had at least 10 illegitimate children from his various mistresses, 3 of his sons The Duke of Lennox, The Duke of Marlborough and the Duke of Richmond were direct ancestors of Diana, Princess of Wales and Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The last monarch of this name was Queen Anne, Charles II's niece, she died without an issue, so the kingdom was passed to her nearest protestant heir, George I of Hanover.

HANOVER-Prince George of Hanover ascended the British throne as George I, he was the son of Princess Sophia of Hanover. He was succeeded by his son George II. It was on the reign of George III that the United Kingdom was established. The third Hanoverian King was neither resolute nor skillful, infact he was partly blamed for losing many of the English territories in America, he suffered from mental illness probably inherited from his ancestor, Henry VI. He was known to historians as severly insane who seen talking and hugging trees at Hyde Park. When his only legitimate granddaughter Princess Charlotte, the daughter of his son and successor Prince George, died from childbirth, his remaining bachelors' son scrambled to get married to insure the continuity of the House of Hanover. This paved the way for his fourth son, Prince Edward the Duke of Kent to propose to the sister of Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg Gotha (widower of Princess Charlotte and later King of Belgium), Princess Victoria, she bore him one child the Future Queen Victoria, the Duke then approaching his 50's when his daughter was born did not live long to inherit the crown. Victoria succeeded his paternal uncle William IV to the throne.

SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA- Queen Victoria ascended the British throne in 1837 but could not inherit the Hanoverian crown, because of the salic law prohibiting "a woman nor a claimant through a woman from succeeding". Thus, she used the name Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, where both her mother and her husband, Prince Albert-her first cousin, descended. Victoria has the distinction of being the longest monarch ever reigned both in English and British history, she died in 1901. She was succeeded by her son Bertie who reigned for only 9 years as Edward VII. On his death in 1910, Britain finally had a King who could speak English without a German Accent. George V, who represented his country and subjects with his graciousness and punctuality, regarded his family as British with no German traces despite the fact that both her parents and wife are Germans. He effectively buried his German roots in 1917 when he decided to change his royal house name to Windsor. During world war I, his English subjects condemned Germany's tyranny and oppression that every German living in England was either ridiculed or ostracized, the King was no exemption. He finally fed up when one english newpaper called him "alien and uninspiring", cautious to secure his Kingdom, he consulted his advisers of the name changing, his Lord Chamberlain proposed for WINDSOR, the name signifies tradition and pageantry taking from the ancient fortress which had been the home of many monarchs since William the Conqueror. The official declaration was made on July 1917.

WINDSOR-George V declared on July 1917 that all his descendants would be known henceforth as the House and Family of Windsor. He was succeeded by his son Edward VIII but 11 months after his accession he rendered his voluntary abdication in order to marry the twiced divorce American woman Wallis Simpson sending his shy brother Prince Albert, the Duke of York to the throne, he reigned for 16 years as George VI and was succeeded by his daughter Lilibeth who became Elizabeth II in February 1952. In 1960, the Queen declared that unlike any other women in the realm, she would not carry her husband's name but her descendants who are not direct successors to the throne would take the name Mountbatten-Windsor.


This law stated that descendants of King George II should seek the sovereign's permission before she/he can proceed to marriage and that permission must be declared first in the council. This is especially referred to descendants inlisted in the line of succession to the British throne. Those who would not seek permission or would not permitted by the monarch to marry will be excluded in the line of succession and consider their marriage in Britain as null and void and any children born in that marriage will be considered illegitimate. The Church of England won't perform marriages among divorces, and royal family members who wish to marry again in the church rites opted to marry outside England, Princess Anne walked down the aisle again with Navy Commander Timothy Lawrence at Crathie Church at their Balmoral Estate in Scotland were remarriage among divorces are allowed.

This law was established to prevent the catholic descendants of James II from acquiring the British Crown. After the death of the last Stuart Monarch Queen Anne, the act of settlements took effect which stated that "Only protestant descendants of Her Excellence Princess Sophia of Hanover could inherit the throne of the United Kingdom, all her descendants regardless of country of birth will be automatically acquire a British citizenship". Princess Sophia was the great granddaughter of King James I of England who married the Prince of Hanover. Unfortunately Princess Sophia predeceased Queen Anne, so her son Prince George ascended the British throne as George I.

This law is punishable by death through execution of the sword (a public execution mostly done in the Tower of London). Anybody who betray the crown either by revolt or by behavior is charged of this act. This includes the adultery with the wife of the King to insure legitimate heirs. Two of King Henry VIII's six wives were sent to the scaffold for misconduct, the supposed lovers of his second wife (Anne Boleyn, the mother of Queen Elizabeth I) and his fifth wife Catherine Howard were executed also.


Royals often have extravagant vacations, extending from the pristine beaches of the West Indies to the scallop powdery mountains of Austria and Switzerland for traditional skiing. They often do this as a breather from their hectic royal engagements. When they are traveling, the monarch and heirs should not be together in the same flight. In 1983, the tension in the court of England was intense when the 22-year-old Princess of Wales, Diana insisted that she would take Prince William on their extended tours to Australia and New Zealand with Prince Charles, the hazard of the two heirs traveling terrified the courtiers, but Diana wrangled, so the Queen agreed, but that was only once. Today, Prince Charles, Prince William and the Queen never share the same transportation facilities when traveling.

When taking tour abroad, royal family members always have one suitcase for mourning dress in case a family member died during a trip. When the heir to the throne is travelling outside the country, he/she has one suitcase for documents of Accession declaration incase the monarch died at home. This was the case in February 1952, when the then Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh were both in Kenya for a holiday. several days after they left, King George VI died in his sleep in Sandringham estate. Princess Elizabeth's private secretary took the documents and swore the new sovereign before them in a private room of the hotel. She was the first monarch after George I who was not at home in the time of her accession.

Royals did not carry cash, or own a credit cards or pay their own bills. Their finances are managed by the head of their household taking from their civil list allotment. Their toddlers usually never joined in the formal dining area during meals but on the nursery with the nannies. They call their snack time as "Tea Break". They told to wear hats in public (for females only).

In England, values and graciousness are often the standard protocol among elites including the way they wear clothes. For gentlemen part of their lifestyle is shooting and are often lived in country estate and they call themselves "Squire". All British Kings were proud to call themselves "Proper Country Squiremen" and aristocrats judged those who don't know the country life as "morons". George VI was a very conscious man who was too pre-occupied with his clothes than on his games mused by his father George V. In 1946 when Prince Philip was still courting Princess Elizabeth, the King was aghast when Philip did not know what plus four is all about. Plus four is a trouser wore on hunting and shooting, it is 4 inches longer than ordinary knickerbockers. In Britain a man without tweeds or plus fours is a man without breeding. Prince Charles when visiting Scotland always wear a full tartan garb because he is the colonel-in-chief of the gordons of scotland. Tartan garb consist of knee highsocks, plaid kilt and leather sporran.


The rigid class system in Britain clearly defines the invisible barrier that separates royalty from ordinary folks. The Royal Protocol is the standard decorum of the court and strictly imposed in the Kingdom. It refers to the proper flow of the activities of the royals including the discipline, formality and lifestyle. This decorum is the basic guide for commoners how to treat royal family members.

There's also an unwritten rules of "order of precedence" for men and women in the realm that traditionally followed. In the hierarchy of royals and nobles, royals come first with the ruling sovereign as the highest order of human being. The commoners including those royal members should give bows and curtsies when facing the monarch and should move slightly backward when the sovereign is approaching. This royal treatment fascinated the young Elizabeth, when the future Queen was 10 years old, according to the book of Kitty Kelly "The Royals", she slipped from her nanny and paraded back and forth at the palace corridor where the scarlet uniformed guard, clicked his heels, present an arm with his rifle and stood ramrod each time she passed.

The royal engagements should be planned 6 months before the actual date, this is carefully organized by the staff called courtiers, they also determined the kind of speech and audience the royal members should uttered or faced. The audience would not raised questions without the consent of the courtiers. The monarch should be addressed properly with "Your Majesty" and the members with HRH style is "Your Highness". Children of the sovereign would have "The" before their names, example: The Princess Anne or The Prince Charles.

In attending church ceremony, the royal family members occupied seats on the right area of the church and would not be mixed by people without any titles or significant positions in the government. In public sport events, they seated in a specially designated area called the "royal box". During ancient times until the early 20th century, divorce and homosexuals are not permitted to join the royal circles or be in the presence of the monarch. This prompted one reporter to say "It is possible for a divorce person to enter the Kingdom of God but not in the Palaces of Great Britain". In 1953, Princess Margaret was forced to renounce her relationship to Group Captain Peter Townsend because he was a divorcee. But in the early 1990 all children of the monarch (except for Prince Edward who just married in 1999) ended their marriages in divorce and the sweeping changes in protocol occured.

The order of precedence for men in the UK: The highest being the Duke of Edinburgh because he is the husband of the monarch, followed by his son Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales then Prince William because he is the future king then the Duke of York then the Earl of Wessex. Important note: the order of precedence is different from the line of succession to the British throne. This is the order of ranking among gentlemen in the realm. HRH with a Prince title should comes first followed by Dukes with HRH status and Earls with HRH style. For women, the Queen is the highest ranking female, followed by the Queen mother( if she's still alive) then the Princess of Wales (if there is). In the case of Camilla Parker Bowles, technically she is the Princess of Wales because she is the wife of Prince Charles, but she choose to be known as Duchess of Cornwall, taken from the secondary title of her husband, Duke of Cornwall. In the order of precedence in Britain, Duchesses come after the Princesses, so Camilla's ranking is below HRH Princess Alexandra, the Honorable Lady Angus Ogilvy (the Queen's cousin). Presently, the Queen is followed by her daughter HRH the Princess Royal then Princess Alexandra, the Duchess of Cornwall then the Countess of Wessex.

The Greatest King We Never Had

Today is the 146th anniversary of the death of the greatest king we never had. Prince Albert, Consort of Queen Victoria, was not only a gifted artist, musician, composer, politician, diplomat and scientist, but also one of the most forward-thinking men of his generation. In an age where royalties had little direct contact with their children, he personally thought up so many brilliant schemes to educate his 9 children giving them both a social conscience and a well-rounded education. At Osborne House he allotted each child a garden, like an allotment, where they grew flower or vegetables which he then bought from them. In the quaint Swiss Cottage, the young princes and princesses learned to cook and to live independent lives, regardless of their royal status. Unlike, too, most princes of the day, he was forward thinking enough to place as much emphasis on his daughters' education, as that of his sons.
He was a man with a social conscience, too, never tiring of discovering how workers lived and the conditions in which they worked, so that he might make suggestions to parliament in improving their lot. His belief that with the privilege of royalty, came responsibility, was one he instilled in his own children too.
There was never a prince more deserving of all the monuments erected in his honour and his untimely death at the age of 42 was not only a tragedy for his widow and children, but also for the whole country.

Blood Butterflies

Flowers in the Attic
Flowers in the Attic

Ive just bought this t-shirt from Threadless - Flowers in the Attic. Its running out of stock though as they are having a $10 sale. This shirt seems totally emo. I bought several other shirts while waiting for this one to be reprinted (it was so popular, I knew it would be eventually). Fortunately it only took two weeks before the magic reprinting notice! I'm wearing it now. One of those designs that just sticks in your mind forever. I love it so much. Visit Threadless for a bunch more wonderful tees.

The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword

"The pen is mightier than the sword" in that ideas always outlive violence or force, but it's a pity sometimes that the pens of the victors are those who write history. Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra, are perhaps two of the most maligned people thanks to the pens of those who wanted to justify their murder. Nicholas and Alexandra have been presented and misrepresented for so many decades that even now he is so often seen simply as 'weak' and she as 'obsessive'. Nicholas' strength of character, his absolute loyalty to his allies (who showed far less loyalty to him) and his country (which led to his abdication) and the extreme pressure under which both he and Alexandra lived is often overlooked.
The same is true of the hugely maligned Richard III, whose character was blackened beyond recognition first by the usurper, Henry Tudor, and then by Shakespeare's portrayal of him.
Historical fiction is often closer to the truth than what is deemed to be historical fact. If the historical fiction writer is able to capture the essence of a person, there is far more room for an accurate portrayal rather than what the propaganda of the victors would have us believe.


COMMONER – in a nation ruled by a monarch, this term refers to a person without any official royal or noble title, in a formal term neither a sovereign nor a peer. In British class system, this term refers even to the members of the aristocracy and royalty. Technically, Princess Anne (the only daughter of the Queen) is a commoner. Though, she is a princess of the blood royal and has Princess Royal courtesy title, she is not a member of the British peerage. Even the future king, Prince William is technically a commoner also, as Prince-of-Wales in waiting, he has no title to his own other than that of his father. Someday, the enchanting prince would yield great powers but while he awaits his destiny, he remains to be untitled but Buckingham Palace is preparing him to take royal engagements, making goodwill tours, visiting hospitals and organizing charities in preparation for his future role. According to Hello!magazine, Prince William might take a civil job in the Foreign ministry office after his stint in the army, unlike his brother Prince Harry, William won't make military a lifetime career because of his future kingship. His mother and paternal great-grandmother were both commoners, as daughters of a titled Earl, they were only"LADIES" in the British nobility, it is a courtesy title but not an official one.

DUKE-the highest hereditary rank in Britain ranking just below a prince. A British Duke not born of a royal blood has a courtesy title of HIS GRACE. Traditionally, a son of the reigning sovereign who is not heir apparent would have a Duke title with HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS status. However, sons of the monarch can only pass the Duke title only once, the first born son of their heir must bear their second title which is Earl. Example: Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester and 3rd son of George V passed his title to his only son Prince Richard, but his eldest son Alexander will no longer be Duke upon his father’s death, but instead will take the Duke’s secondary title which is the Earl of Ulster. This title can only be inherited by a male child, Prince Andrew the Duke of York has no sons, when he died this title will become dormant. But there was an exemption to this case, when Alexander Duff, the Duke of Fife and husband of Princess Louise, the eldest daughter of Edward VII, died without a male issue, his wife’s grandmother Queen Victoria issued a letter patent passing his title to his first born daughter Lady Alexandra Duff who married her second cousin Prince Arthur of Connaught (first cousin of Princess Louise's brother Prince Arthur, the Duke of Connaught-3rd son of Queen Victoria), but Alexandra's only son, Alastair predeceased her so the Dukedom of Fife was inherited by her nephew James George Carnegie, son of Alexandra's younger sister, Lady Maud. The Duke is currently listed as the 54th in line of succession to the British throne.

MARQUESS-ranking below a Duke and above an Earl. Normally the secondary title of a British Duke not born of a royal blood. Gerald Grosvenor, the 6th Duke of Westminster is also the Marquess of Westminster. By tradition, the heir of a nobleman would take their secondary title, but in the case of Dukes their heirs would carry their 3rd title which is Earl and not Marquess, hence the heir and only son of Lord Grosvenor, Hugh Richard Louis is known today as Earl Grosvenor and not Marquess of Westminster. Even this title would not automatically make them a peer, therefore they would remain a commoner until such time they could inherit the full title of the father.

EARL-a British nobleman ranking below a marquess and above a Viscount. Both Diana and the late Queen mother were children of an Earl but remained commoners however since they had no independent noble titles. This noble title is the usual peerage granted by the sovereign in creating a new nobleman in honor of his outstanding performance in “Her majesty’s government”. This would also the usual title offered by the sovereign to commoners who married into the royal family’s direct members. When The Honorable Angus Ogilvy married Princess Alexandra of Kent, the Queen’s cousin, in 1935, Her Majesty offered him an Earldom but he declined preferring to remain a commoner, Captain Mark Phillips declined the Queen’s offer in 1973 when he married Princess Anne. Tony Armstrong-Jones accepted the Earl of Snowdon’s title in 1960 after his marriage to Princess Margaret, the Queen’s only sister, because he wanted his children to be noblemen. His only son, David carries his secondary title Viscount Linley while he is still alive.
This could only be inherited by male descendants, but in 1979 when the Earl of Burma and Baron Romsey, Lord Louis Mountbatten assassinated by Irish Republican Armies, his title passed to his eldest and favorite daughter Patricia Knatchbull. Lord Mountbatten, the uncle of the Queen’s husband known to the royal family as uncle dickie has no sons and made an arrangement with the Queen to pass his noble title and inheritance to his daughter who by then married to the fourth Baron Brabourne, John Knatchbull. This concession of the monarch is limited only to a nobleman who rendered exceptional service to the crown, Lord Mountbatten was a decorated war hero, having been the Supreme Commander of the Allied forces during world war II and an Admiral of the fleet of the British Royal Navy. Lady Patricia became Countess of Burma and his son and successor Norton Knatchbull will have the courtesy title of Lord Romsey. Earl's daughters will have the courtesy title of a 'LADY' while his eldest son and successor will be known as 'LORD', younger sons will be known only as "The Honorable". Princess Alexandra's husband, the late Angus Ogilvy was an Earl's younger son.

VISCOUNT-ranking below an Earl and above a Baron and usually the secondary title of an English Earl. When Diana’s father, John Spencer became the 8th Earl of Althorp in 1975 his only son and Diana’s younger brother Charles became Viscount Althorp. children of the Viscounts would have the "The Honorable" courtesy title. When Diana was born in 1961, her correct style was "The Honorable Diana Frances Spencer", it was in 1975 when she formally become Lady Diana Frances Spencer.

BARON-the lowest hereditary rank in Britain. Diana’s maternal grandfather, Maurice Burke Roche was the fourth Baron Fermoy. Children of Barons are known as "The Honorables".
COURTIERS-also called equerries. One of the most important branch of royal service in the Kingdom. They are choosen for their significant ties to the monarch mostly of noble birth, Diana's father, her great-grandfathers and grandfathers to both side served as equerries to many monarchs. Courtiers are protectors of the crown and made sure the Kingdom looks regal with high respect from the outsiders. They determined what the monarch should do or say in public or whom the sovereign would see or meet. They did this by controlling the flow of information to the public.

HONORARY BRITISH KNIGHTHOOD is an annual listing of honors given by the British sovereign to individuals with excellent achievement in their respective field. This can also be given to the citizens outside the British commonwealth of nations. The recipient of this award automatically become an aristocrat but this title is not hereditary. The male recipient would have the courtesy title of SIR while for females DAME. Sir Isaac Newton was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705 for his unprecedented contribution in the field of science, Sir William Herschel, the discoverer of the planet Uranus was knighted by King George III. Sir Paul McCartney of the Beatles was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1992 for his great service in the music industry. Barbara Cartland, the romance novelist stepgrandmother of Diana become a DAME in 1980 for her achievement in the field of writing. Hollywood film director Steven Spielberg received this prestigious award in 2005 but could not used the title SIR because he is not a commonwealth citizen.
NOBLE ORDER OF THE GARTER-is the highest honor in Britain. This is usually given to a person with distinctive service to the crown. British Prime minister who does not defeated in a general election have this honor. This Chivalric order was established in 1340 by King Edward III(initially to revive King Arthur's Knight of the round table). The Plantagenet King selected 24 distinguished men to complete the order.

In British class sytem, the titles can be tricky compared to other European royalty. Marriage does not automatically made one a Princess. After the marriage of Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 to Prince Charles, Buckingham Palace published a correct style for the newly created Princess of Wales. She is not Princess Diana because she was not born a princess or The Princess Diana because only children of the sovereign would have the “The” before their names. Normally the wife takes the title and status of her husband. Diana became Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales which means she ranked third (after the Queen and the Queen mother) in the order of precedence among other titled female individuals in the realm. Commoners are expected to curtsy and bow in her presence. This title is arrived in marriage and departed through divorce, hence following her divorce from the Prince of Wales in 1996, she was known only as Diana, Princess of Wales stripping the HRH style. But historian's argued that Diana should retained the HRH style because she is the mother of the future king. Nevetherless the style had been stripped along with her regimentals in the military, her son, William told People magazine in his 2000 interview that he would reinstate his mother's HRH style when he assumed the throne.
Usually, ex-wives of the British peers retained their titles they enjoyed in marriage but with the condition that they will not remarry. In 1969 Diana’s parents divorce became final, at that time her father was still the Viscount Althorp, her mother Frances Burke Roche retained her style as Viscountess Althorp but when she decided to get married again to a wealthy commoner Peter Shand-Kydd, she ceases to be Viscountess and was known only as Mrs. Shand-Kydd. Prince Charles’ younger brother Prince Andrew the Duke of York divorces his wife Sarah Ferguson known simply as Fergie, but continues to be known as the Duchess of York because she remains single up to these days. However the complication occurs when the peer decided to remarry as the title would be used by his second wife subsequently. Camilla Parker Bowles avoided the Princess of Wales title because this is much associated with Diana, instead she choose to be called the Duchess of Cornwall taken from Charles secondary title, Duke of Cornwall. Camilla, according to the order of precedence of women in Britain ranked fourth below HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent. Although she is the wife of the future king, she did not carry the Princess status and would not be crowned as Queen when Charles ascended the throne, she is divorce and the Church of England prohibited it.

In other European countries, a wife of a Prince automatically become a princess through a referendum issued by the monarch, even if the couple will end up in divorce the princess style is a lifetime title of the ex-wife unless she choose to remarry. When Prince Joachim, the second son of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark divorces his wife Princess Alexandra in 2005, she remains a Princess of Denmark but when she decided to marry her long time beau, her former mother-in-law created her Countess of Frederiksborg, but this is only a personal title and cannot be passed to her descendants. Prior to the 21st century royal houses of Denmark and Sweden maintained a strict rules for members of the royal family who might succeed to the throne to marry a fellow royal from the existing reigning houses in Europe, disobedience meaning stripping of their royal titles and inheritance. Two sons of Prince Knaud of Denmark (uncle of Queen Margrethe II) were excluded in the line of succession to the Danish throne when they choose to marry a commoner and the title Prince of Denmark was stripped from them, they were created Count of Rosenborg.

In Britain, a female royal is not created a noblewoman in her own right even if she is the next sovereign and has no official title compared to her male counterparts. The then Princess Elizabeth was not invested as Princess of Wales as suggested by some royalists, because that title is reserved for the wife of the Prince of Wales only. The heir apparent's title is always be "The Prince of Wales" but this is not automatically acquired by the first born son of the ruling sovereign, it is conferred through an investiture by a monarch. King Edward VII's son and heir apparent Prince Albert Victor was not invested as Prince of Wales, he was known as the Duke of Clarence until his death at the age of 28. His younger brother, Prince George was to become the Prince of Wales and reigned for 30 years as George V.
Grand Duke/Grand Duchess-the title of the rulers of Luxembourg. These are also the titles used in some states in Germany before World War II. In the former Imperial Russia these are the titles of the sons/daughters of the Emperor. They are superiors than Princes and Princesses.
Tsarevitch-heir to the throne of the Russian Empire.
Infante/Infanta-titles of the children of a Spanish King, except for the heir to the Spanish throne who takes the title of a Prince.
Archduchess/Archduke- titles of the children of the Emperor/Empress of the former Imperial Austria.
Dauphin-title of the heir to the French throne( when France was still a kingdom).
United Kingdom- Prince of Wales
The Netherlands - Prince of Orange
Belgium - Duke of Brabant
Spain - Prince of Asturias

White Castle Cake

Wedding cake pictures by el cad.

Three tier cake with castle as topper. You can make it by creating 3 tier square cake first. Then, put a castle with stone constructed on the top of cake. To make it looks real, put decorated cylindrical towers on every sides.

The Current British Royal Family

Queen Elizabeth II ascended the British throne in 1952 on the death of her father, George VI. She was born on April 21, 1926 but the official celebration of her birthday is on the second saturday of June during Royal Ascot party, making her the only world leader in the world with two birthday celebrations. She married her 3rd cousin (through Queen Victoria and 2nd cousin through King Christian IX of Denmark) Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. Early on, the Greek Prince renounced his Greek nationality, royal title and religion to qualify for a royal match. He adopted his maternal surname Mountbatten and was a first class lieutenant in the British Royal navy at the outbreak of world war II, he was created His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh by his father-in-law George VI. Prince Philip currently is the oldest surviving great-great grandchild of Queen Victoria and the only husband of the sovereign who held a British peerage title after Prince George of Denmark, husband of Queen Anne. They married on November 20, 1947 at the historical Westminster Abbey where English sovereigns had been crowned for more than 500 years. Together they produced four children.

I. Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales (the heir apparent) - November 1948
II. Princess Anne, the Princess Royal - August 1950
III. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York - February 1960
IV. Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex - March 1964

Prince Charles- His official titles are: Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, Lord of the Isles and renfrew and Great Steward of Scotland. He first married in July 29, 1981 to Lady Diana Spencer, who bore him 2 sons Prince of William and Prince Harry. They were separated in December 1992 and divorced four years later on August 1996. The Prince of Wales remarried in April 2005 to his long time mistress Camilla Parker Bowles, the divorced woman whom he had a brief affair in 1971 and carried out an extra marital relationship all through out his marriage to Diana. Camilla took the title Duchess of Cornwall, the Clarence House spokesman announced that the new wife of the Prince of Wales avoided the Princess of Wales title as this title is much associated with Diana and the Buckingham Palace worried that this would cause a public outcry if it will be given to the woman whom the late Princess of Wales referred to as homewrecker which caused her much suffering. Prince Charles, who is immune to criticism, regarded his second wife as his lifetime confidante. Though she is now the legal wife of the Prince, Camilla would not be crowned as Queen when Charles became King instead she would take the much lesser title as Princess Consort. Prince Charles received an annual income from the Duchy of Cornwall to support his expenses. When he is in Scotland he is known there as Duke of Rothesay.

Princess Anne(no official title, Her Royal Highness is known as the Princess Royal, but is not included in the British peerage, it's only a courtesy title traditionally granted to the monarch's eldest daughter and it's not hereditary). The Princess Royal's first marriage took place in 1973 to Captain Mark Phillips, a champion Equestrian, they have two children Peter and Zara. In November 1992 their divorce became official and seven months later Princess Anne married Navy Commander Timothy Lawrence. His son, Peter, announced his engagement to Autumn Kelly, a Canadian born Roman Catholic, if Atumn remains a roman catholic on their wedding day, Peter would lose his place (he is 12th) in the line of succession to the British throne.

Prince Andrew-His official title are: Duke of York, Earl of Inverness and Baron Ralleagh. He married Sarah Ferguson, the daughter of Major Ronald Ferguson in July 1986 but announced their separation on March 1992 following a rocky marriage which lead to their divorce three years later. Fergie, as she is known informally to the public has a rather boisterous character compared to Diana, too blunt and vulgar according to royal palace insiders and unfit to become a member of the British royal family. In the book of Kitty Kelly "The Royals" she was described as a dull witted and slow learner, after finishing the secretarial course at the bottom of her class she complained bitterly that she barely know how to type. She was a sports enthusiast and a good rider, but lack dedication to her royal duties, some observers commented that the Duchess of York bounced to her royal title too eagerly "like an excited labrador". However, Fergie remained close to Prince Andrew after their divorce, they often spotted taking vacations together with their daughters, it was even reported that she was occupying a suite at the Sunninghill Park, their former marital home and where Prince Andrew and their children presently staying. Today, the Duchess of York through the years of receiving unfavorable comments from the press lead a peaceful life free from any controversies, she is still visible in the world of glamour but hardly attracts gossip instead generating praises for her tireless crusade in different charities. Their two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie are 5th and 6th respectively in line of succession to the British throne.

Prince Edward-His official title:Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn-he is destined to inherit his father's title the Duke of Edinburgh. He is the only child of Queen Elizabeth II who lead a smooth marriage by far, his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, whom he married in June 1999 was the former Sophie Rhys-Jones a career-oriented woman co-owner of RH-Jones, a PR relation's company in London. They had a daughter, the Lady Louisse and both eagerly expecting a second child due on Christmas day of this year, 2007, but Hello!magazine reports recently confirmed that the Countess of Wessex will delivered through a caesarian-section earlier than expected-on December 21 (Note: The Countess give birth to a healty baby boy named James, Viscount Severn and would placed ahead of his elder sister in the line of succession). There are controversies however attached to the couple, who are both accused of cashing their titles for their own benefits. In 2002 they both decided to give up their respective career in public relations and film productions respectively to devote more time on their royal duties, with both Edward's siblings dysfunctional married life, he is expected by the public to represent the monarchy well in terms of happy family life. The Wessexes decision not to grant their daughter and future children a royal title of a Princess or a Prince created debate within the royal circle. Technically, Lady Louisse is a Princess and she may use this title in her adult life if she wants to, so far, she is the only granddaughter of Her Majesty in a male line who didn't hold a Princess title. This situation is very confusing in the traditional British royalty and nobility, as Earl, Prince Edward's eldest son would have a courtesy title of Viscount Severn but his other sons (if ever)would only assumed the "The Honorable"style. This will contradict however to his future status as a Duke, because Duke's sons will be known as "Lord"and not "The Honorable".

1. Prince Richard, the Duke of Gloucester-first cousin to the Queen and the only child of Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester and Lady Alice, daughter of the 6th Duke of Beuccleaugh. He married the former Birgette Van Deura and has 3 children: Alexander, the Earl of Ulster, Lady Davina and Lady Rose.
2. Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent-first cousin to the Queen and the eldest child of Prince George, the Duke of Kent(youngest son of George V who died in a plane crash during world war II at the age of 42)and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark(first cousin of Prince Philip and the last true blooded Princess married into the British royalty). He married Katharine Worsley and has 3 children: George, Earl of St.Andrews, Lady Helen and Lord Nicholas (he lost his place in the line of succession because he married a roman catholic)
3. Princess Alexandra-only daughter of Prince George and Princess Marina. She married The Honorable Angus Ogilvy and has 2 children, Marina and James.
4. Prince Michael of Kent-youngest son of Prince George and Princess Marina. He too, lost his place in the line of succession in 1978 because he married a German roman catholic woman Marie Christine Von Reibnitz, she became Princess Michael of Kent after their marriage, their children, Lord Frederick and Lady Gabriella remain in the line of succession because they are in communion with the church of England.

First Person or Third Person

Some of the greatest classics are written in the 1st person - Dickens' 'David Copperfield' and Charlotte Bronte's 'Jane Eyre' spring to mind immediately.
Writing in the first person makes the thoughts, emotions and motivation of a character more immediate and accessible but there are many disadvantages to it. The central character has to be in every scene so unless the story is character-led rather than plot-led it could slow the pace of the novel. It is difficult to portray the admiration or love others feel for the central character without having him/her sounding arrogant and consequently becoming unattractive. Of course, through dialogue it is possible to overcome some of these difficulties and also, through flashbacks to switch scenes for variety. Perhaps one way to create the immediacy felt in a novel written in the third person, is to original write each scene in the first person from the viewpoint of one of the characters and then to rewrite it in the third person.

EMO T-Shirts

Emo, which is a shortcut for “emotional,” is an important fashion trend nowadays. Emo clothing is rooted in other fashion styles, such as goth and punk. Emo fashion is associated with dark tight-fitted clothes, with occasionally flashy accessories.

Emo t-shirts are important pieces in the closet of any emo. Emo t-shirts can be very symbolic and expressive of the person’s feelings and interests. If you want to dress like an emo, here are the basic characteristics of an emo t-shirt that you need to know.

  • Emo t-shirts are typically dark colored t-shirts. A plain black t-shirt is a favorite among emos.
  • If you are not into wearing plain dark-colored t-shirts, striped or checkered t-shirts will also do.
  • Dark colored t-shirts mixed with other colors, such as neon, can also be worn.
  • Typical designs for emo t-shirts include various ghoulish symbols, such as a skull or a broken heart.
  • Emo t-shirts may also have logos of emo bands, such as Dashboard Confessional and Hawthorne Heights, printed on them.
  • Emo t-shirts are usually slim-fitted.

Emo t-shirts are best worn with pencil-tight jeans, studded belts and oversized belt buckles, and a pair of Vans or Converse shoes. Also consider getting a pair of horn-rimmed glasses and a black messenger bag. To complete the emo look, it is advisable to get an emo haircut and put on some simple black eye make-up, such as eyeliner or eye shadow. These tips apply for both guys and girls.

Although these are the clothes commonly worn by emos, you should not be limited to these. Remember that being emo calls for a sense of creativity, individuality and non-conformity. Your clothes say a lot about who you are and what you are feeling at the moment. Be true to yourself! Be emo!


The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the only monarchial government in the world who claimed a direct opposition to divorce for their heirs who might succeed. The Church of England prohibits this as the monarch will automatically sat as Supreme head of the Anglican church and therefore he/she is expected to be married in the church rites ONLY ONCE. In British history only one monarch was divorced at the time of his accession, George I, the first of the Hanoverian sovereigns, he divorced his wife Sophia Dorothea because of misconduct while he was still ruling Hanover, a tiny electorate in Germany, he never remarry however and Sophia Dorothea died in seclusion. One monarch who was divorced during his reign was Henry VIII, who got six wives during his life time, he first divorced Catherine of Aragon (the mother of Queen Mary I)his first wife and secondly Princess Anne of Cleves, his fourth wife.

In 1936, this issue became controversial again generating international media interest when Prince David became Edward VIII on the death of his father, George V. The new king posed a complicated problem threatening a constitutional crisis. He was so besotted with Wallis Simpson, a twice divorced american woman that he wanted her to be his consort, but the British establishment is against this and would not accept Wallis as their Regina. According to Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin: "for the oldest monarchy on earth who revered tradition and mystique, it's unthinkable to call a woman with two living husbands a fairytale Queen.

When his father, George V was still alive, he warned his wife, Queen Mary not to receive Edward's unholy lover and the elderly Queen in return made swore all members of the royal family not to treat Wallis as" one of them". The Prime Ministers from the commonwealth of nations gave a unanimous decision to either abandon Wallis or abdicate, Edward choose the latter. In his unforgettable abdication statement he announced that it is impossible for him to continue his reign without the support of the woman he loved. He was created the Duke of Windsor with His Royal Highness status. It is understood also that along with his renounciation of his inheritance, his future children would not be in line of succession to the British Throne, luckily for the Duke, he didn't produced children with Wallis, he died in 1972 from a throat cancer and people remembered him as the most popular and the most handsome Prince of Wales in British history with "shining gold hair" and a "sad blue eyes".

Nobody predicted that decades later this issue would resurfaced again in the ground of Windsor through his great nephew, Prince Charles. The Prince of Wales, who was called by the press as a ditherer and a plodder, embraced his destiny as a way of life, unfortunately, his duty to his nation brought priveleges as well as obligation. His "honorary grandfather" Lord Mountbatten once said "Love is not an option for the man who would be King of England, it is a consideration in marriage but not a guiding force". The Prince who was still unmarried at 32 was already pressured by his countrymen to settle down to produce an heir, the media published his numerous affair and made no hesitation in commenting who were suitable and who were not and his quest for a bride became an international past time. In July1980, he found his fairytale princess, the fresh and lovely 19-year-old Lady Diana Spencer was invited to a house party organized by their mutual friends and the fairytale story paved the way.

Diana was the pretty aristocrat daughter of a wealthy nobleman, Johnny Spencer, the 8th Earl of Althorp, and the former equerry to both George VI and his successor and daughter Elizabeth II, The Earl is also a direct descendant of King Charles II through his two illegitimate sons The Duke of Grafton and the Duke of Richmond. With the Spencers remarkable background in royalty and nobility and Diana's purity and innocence, she was proclaimed as the most suitable future Queen Consort of England. During their engagement announcement Prince Charles commented "whatever love means" giving an impression that his choice for a wife is a way of duty and not based on feelings. The wedding of the century took place on July 29, 1981 at St. Paul's Cathedral in London and was broadcast nationwide with an estimated 700 million viewers worldwide. The union produced to sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. But decade later they made a sad announcement of separation and divorced 4 years later.

It was being said that one of the reasons of the fairytale collapsed was Camilla Parker Bowles whom The Princess of Wales described as "a dog who sucked into our marriage and refused to go", she was even quoted saying "there were three of us in this marriage, that's why it's a bit crowded". Mrs. Parker Bowles was the former Camilla Shand and had a brief affair with the Prince of Wales in 1971, but the royal family especially Lord Mountbatten, discouraged this relationship because Camilla lacked aristocratic background that must produced royal children. Before Diana's death in 1997, Charles and Camilla openly admitted their relationship which made his mother's subjects furious. The British media aired their comments on Charles's unsuitability for the Kingship and some even called for his voluntary concession from the line of succession infavor of his eldest son Prince William. Charles's position as a divorce man already undermined his chances to the throne according to many, to marry a divorce woman would even create a more complicated scenario. But the feckle-minded heir apparent was determined to acquire the crown, so much so that in 2005 he stubbornly asked his mother's permission to marry Camilla. In April 2005 they married first on a civil rites and received a church blessing afterwards. Camilla was created the Duchess of Cornwall, taken from her husband's secondary title, the Duke of Cornwall.

This controversial issue made headlines through out the world. While Camilla, seems enjoying her new title and status and roaming around Britain with her cheap smile and fancy wave, her husband's popularity rating drop to the bottom. Monarchy relies heavily on public approval as the sovereign became a unifying symbol of its nation, without people support his reign would be very impossible. Queen Victoria's Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli talked on the very importance of family in binding a kingdom: "this country(UK)-is represented by a family-the royal family-and therefore they should be above scandal and immorality...they reflected people's values and image"... Charles' situation is catastrophic to British people, his past adultery with Camilla which tormented Diana emotionally and his unpopularity made him unsuitable for the kingship.

Charles and Camilla, to the eye of the outsiders, contributed much stain to the most revered throne on earth. The mistress (term for Camilla) hurts the establishment by openly conducting a forbidden love affair with the Prince of Wales much to the pains and suffering of the mother of the future king, Prince William. To officially allowing her to join the establishment whom she previously mocked, is inconceivable, calling her HRH is even more ridiculous. She should stay away from the background to prevent further controversies. Today, they are seemed to be a happy couple, but whether their union signifies a continuation of the House of Windsor, remains to be seen.

The monarchy needed someone who is very popular, well-loved by the public and could carry the aura of royalty with magic. Pomp and pageantry invigorates monarchy, and this can only be felt when its ruler symbolizes compassion and beauty and not to mention popularity, enchanting image can add a public fascination. Immorality can tarnish the crown, that is a fact, this is a betrayal to the people because they looked up to royalty as the model of virtues and graciousness. Common knowledge teaches us that fairytale no matter how modern our world is, remains to be a fairytale, a great escape that life on the other side of the world seems to be surrounded by mystique and magic and almost perfect. The curtain is slightly lifted and we saw the ugly faces inside we would not want to cast in the show and these antagonists must be vanished to continue the fascination.

The monarchy is Britain's symbol to the world, without its mystique, it's hard to imagine this country playing beautiful music in Europe's majestic stature. The British monarchy slowly entering the danger zone of crumbling, with Diana's demise, they needed somebody who could outshine controversy, someone who could represents the monarchy at its best and could carry the explicable magic of a fairytale facade that binds its subjects together, someone who, not only beguiling, but well-mannered, passionate enough to the people and can hold the crown to its regal position, someone who dazzles and shine in the darkest hour of crisis. Prince William may be can change this, with his popularity and affection to the British people, he can put back together what have been lost. The 25-year-old Prince, who looked so much like his mother, has inherited Diana's compassionate manner, and together with his younger brother, Prince Harry began establishing charities, a crusade which made his mother popular. He can rescue the throne and revitalize the monarchy, he should be cautious not to commit the same mistakes his parents did by marrying well. Whatever the decision of Her Majesty in the future could greatly affect the monarchy in the long run. What to expect is as debatable as the existence of King Arthur, so as the old adage goes:
May they live Happily ever after.

Emily Bronte's Mystical World

What a mystical and complex person Emily Bronte was! Totally tongue-tied in the company of strangers, so absorbed in her own inner world and so deeply connected to nature that whenever she was forced to be away from the Moors she became physically ill. To all outward appearances she must have seemed to have lacked any real experience about which she could write, and yet not only "Wuthering Heights" but also her poetry is filled with such inner passion that must have startled the people of Haworth who saw her every day as the quiet daughter of their parson. Hour upon hour as she trudged through the 'wild and windy moors' speaking to the characters that populated her inner world and were far more real to her than the everyday people she passed on that cobbled road up to the parsonage, she must have reached depths of understanding that can only be found in silence and following her 'inner guides' until out of a short life came one of the most passionate and memorable novels ever written.

Just goes to show that it's not necessary to have a vast experience of travel or society or anything else, to create a masterpiece! It all must come from within.

The musical "Branwell" * opens when Rev. Bronte, following the death of all his children, opens the little books in which they wrote their stories of Angria and the Great Glass Town. He sings:

"Do impassioned souls find relief in dreams
Creating roles and enchanted scenes?
Of hidden worlds little fingers write
To ignite secret stars making their darkness bright.
A childish script on a tiny page
A pretty play on a paper stage
Was I too old?
How could I understand
The secret games, the names the dreams carved by their hands?

Theirs was a world that I barely saw
Like a glimpse of light
Through a half-closed door;
Like a whispered word that I almost heard
That faded with the echo of a sigh.
Theirs was a world that I could not know,
A trail of footprints in the snow
Once deep and clear then they disappear
And I am left alone to wonder why.

Was their loneliness so intense, so bleak,
That only dreams gave them tongues to speak?
Of secret scars their spirits write
To dispel hidden wounds haunting their sleepless nights.
A fairy tale or reality?
A children’s game or a desperate plea
I should have heard?
How could I ever know
The secret fears, the tears of years so long ago?

* (c. Croft & Croft 2005)

Chocolate Cake with Fresh Roses

Chocolate is used for filling this white cake. Decorated with pink ribbon & fresh cascade pink roses.

Wedding cake pictures by Herbert Harper.

How Do I Make My Curly Hair look Emo?

For those who have curly hair and want to look emo, here are some tips that would somehow help you achieve the emo look. These are all taken from the comment section. Thanks to all who have taken time to write these mini guides.

Oh, wow.
This could be a lot of work, but if you are willing to be dedicated to it, then it would look awesome.
Emo guys are so hot!
Alright, first off..
I know some people are scared of it, but there is nothing wrong with the people there.
Just go. Almost every single thing in that place will make you look emo.
You don't necessarily have to wear skinny jeans. Regular jeans are ok too, as long as they are a dark color.

Ok, now for your hair.
You don't really have to dye it if you don't want because your hair is pretty dark as it is.
But you will need a straightener.. hate to say that but it's true.
Or you could get it chemically straightened, but that is like really expensive.
You might want to grow your hair out a bit, but it's not required, because emo is all about being yourself.
[Cough, cough.]
But you will need to have it straight.
Go to a stylist, or get a friend to cut it for you. You will need side bangs. Lots and lots of side bangs. And make sure they cover at least one eye.
One side of your bangs needs to be longer than the other side.
Cut the back part on top of your head kind of short and spike it up.
The best type of gel is Got-2-B-Glued.
Or, if you don't like that, you could try a faux-hawk. They are pretty cool.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. SHOES!
Oh, how I love shoes.
You will need Vans slip-ons or Converse. Or some black skate shoes like Etnies or Adios.

And the best type of hoodie for an emo guy is either a plain black one, or a band hoodie, or one that is a zip-up with, like, black and grey wide horizontal stripes.
[Like one Pete Wentz would wear.]

Here's the part where I would tell you to try to be yourself, but it's a little too late for that now.

Well good luck, I think it will look great!
I wanna know how it comes out.

By: Katie

First off all,
u have to straighten it.. its a must.
if u cant dye your hair, and u've straightened it, buy some moisturizing spray so it looks like your hair it makes your hair dark and messy. style it so it comes across your forehead at an angle then use hairspray to lock it in place.

after that, go to your hair dresser and ask him to layer the back and think it out and little but not take any length away from it.
then buy your self some hair clayy and go wild. pull your hair away from your head and then sort of twist it with your fingers and srunch it up. it gives it a reli messy spikey look. then hold that in place with hair spray. u dont have to spike it. if you dont comb it down constantly.

Becuase your hair is quite short go buy some reli huge womens sun glasses which will cover your eyes and try to pull you hair over your glasses.

Next if you cant buy any good emo-ish shirts go to like a childrens store and buy the tightest and smallest spiderman or transformer shirt u can fit into. dont worry if its a bit short and your belly is showing it just adds to the 'i'm not afraid to show my self and i dont care what u think look'

then buy some reli tight jeans and either vans old school skate shoes or slip-ons with a reli funky or childish design. if u cant the converse will have to do. Start listening to quality music like faber drive and as i lay dying ,which reli express how u feel then buy your self the bigeest head phones u can afford and have them on all the time it stops people from talking to you, and is reli anti social. Then find a tight zip up hoodie that is black, dark purple or pink. Wear your studded belt side ways also if u've got 2 put the other one on aswell.

By: Richard_died-inyourarms

The best way for me to get the emo look is to get a hair straightner and some straightening gel. If you have money to throw away, look into japanese hair straightening. Make sure to get heat protecting spray as to not fry the hair. Then for me I have to straighten twice a day so it falls flat and doesnt poof on me. Then apply palmade or clay. I should also add my hair is extremely thick so I had to get it thinned a bit as to once again so it wouldnt poof on me. My picture on thier is a month or 2 old. Ill get a new one soon.

Hey that dude with curly hair, what you should do instead of frying your hair with the irons, go to the hair salon and get a CHEMICAL straightner on it. Then you will have straight hair full stop. It's like a perm, except they make it straight instead of curly. Styling wise, I've seen your myspace. Dude it's a mess. Get it cut. You have a fairly long face, so it's best to keep your hair long all around. Get it cut just above the eyes and stop the spiking at the back. Keep it flat. It won't look like a mess. That's for the long hair look. Looking at your other pictures with your short hair, personally i think you look much better with short back and sides :P


Personally I don't think people with curly hair should bother with the emo style. If you have curly hair, you're lucky, i love the ringlets lol. Emo guys, if you want emo hair just give it about half a year to grow and go and see your hairstylest mate. If you're afraid of your hairdresser like me and cut your own hair. Here is how.

You need some basic tools first.
Scissors. Not ones you cut paper with PROPER scissors.
A Sharp Object. Maybe a blade. Prefrably a rasor, small one.

Okay the razor will be used to cut your sharp pointy fringe at an angle. Start from the left or right however you want to do it and about half way down your forehead. Cut it whatever angle you want.

Used the scissors to just trim down the sides of your hair and the top otherwise you will end up with the thickest, gayest and afrolikish hair. Not too short. Juut trimmed. Same with the back.

Comb it through and check your results. But note: USE A MIRROR and use two mirrors to cut the back of your hair.

By: The guy that is a master at cutting emo hair

Nick needs Help

Very cute Nick here needs some help. Lets help him become an emoboy. Post your thoughts on the comment section.

Hi my names Nick. I saw your advice on emo hair.
I am guessing your emo. Or whatever.
I want to look like that.
I just don't know what to do.
I don't know if this matters at all but heres my description along with pic.
I am 5'5 (short I know) i have about to my top of my eyes (when straight) brown ungodly curly hair. I ABSOLUTELY HATE IT. I wear hollister (not emo I know but what the heck idc its clothes) I have an awesome studded belt. I want to look emo. I also am a little like pudgy. I don't like it I want ab's. I am 14. I am NOT a kid and I know what I want.
I'd really appriciate your help.

Biography v. Historical Fiction

A script writer creating the dialogue for a film about the real war time experiences of a living person, recently described the difficulties she encountered when the real person looked at the script and repeatedly said, "I would never say that!" "I never did such a thing!"
This is surely the difficulty, too, in writing real characters into historical fiction. Is it alright to attribute thoughts and feelings to people, which they might never have thought or felt? In writing a factual biography, on the other hand, the writer - unless he/she is to come in for a load of criticism - is limited to expressing only what the primary sources show their subject to have thought, felt, said or done. How much allowance is made for the biographer to interpret the motives behind the subject's actions? Unless it comes 'straight from the horse's mouth' with a mountain of footnotes to support it, critics often object to a biographer expressing the subject's feelings without the cautionary 'perhaps', or 'maybe' which makes for very stilted reading.
Those authors who succeed in weaving authentic fiction - grounded in historically verifiable facts, with the added dimension of humanity, emotion and thought which is often lacking in biography - seem to me often to create a truer picture of real historical characters than can be found in factual biography. Sandra Worth's beautiful "Rose of York" trilogy, for example, brings the real Richard III alive again on the page in a way that a factual biography could never do.
Perhaps the writer of 'true' historical fiction has a harder -and far more exciting and rewarding - task - than a biographer, in that he or she must capture not only the events, reactions and interaction of the subject's life, but also capture the very essence of the person so that by the end of the book the reader feels he/she has truly become acquainted with a real person, and not just a two-dimensional character from history.

Temple Newsam

Temple Newsam House, birthplace of Lord Darnley, is a Tudor-Jacobean mansion set in the most glorious grounds. Long before the present house was built, the land - as the name suggests - was the property of the Knights Templar. Local street names: Knight's Hill, Baronsway etc. still bear witness to this. Being a law unto themselves, before they were banished from England, the properties they owned were marked with a Templar Cross and the inhabitants of houses with this mark were exempt from taxes, since they owed allegiance only to the pope not the king. It's interesting that several 18th century houses in the area of Temple Newsam still bear that cross and I wonder if - despite the banishment of the Templars - that right still holds (unbeknown to the residents) today.

"Beckford House" in "The Fields Laid Waste" and subsequent novels in the trilogy, is loosely based upon Temple Newsam House. The gardens, the rare breeds farm and the beautiful lakes and landscapes provide such a perfect background. The woods, even now, have a mystical feel about them...does this come, I wonder, from the ancient rites of the Templars...