Prince Harry Beats Robert

Prince Harry Beats Robert
Prince Harry Beats Robert

April Wedding Giveaway

I celebrated my 40th birthday in March and I thought that I should extend my celebration for a couple months. Well I thought that I would continue my celebration by giving away a gift. I recently wrote a blog post on tile wedding jewelry. The creator of the wedding jewelry has graciously offered to give one of her necklaces for an Inspired giveaway. Happy Birthday from me.To enter for a

Question: Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester as king?

Why didn't Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester become king when George VI died? By everything that I know, as the next male in succession, George V's third son should have become king after the first abdicated and the second died.

The type of succession that you are referring to is called agnatic primogeniture. Inheritance according to the seniority of birth amongst the of sons of a monarch.

King George V had five sons. Prince Edward (future King Edward VIII), Prince Albert (future King George VI), Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, Prince George, Duke of Kent and Prince John, who died as a child. After King George V's death, in 1936 and King Edward VIII's abdication in 1937, the next son came to the throne as King George VI. In 1937, at the start of King George VI's reign, the first four places in the line of succession were occupied by Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Prince George, Duke of Kent.

The succession to the British throne is by male preference primogeniture. Males have precedence over females, however if there is a female she is not excluded. Because of this, King George VI's elder daughter, Princess Elizabeth became the sovereign and not Prince Henry. If the King died without children, then Prince Henry would have become king in 1952 because he was next in line. If this had occurred then after King Henry IX's death in 1974, his son, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester would be king, possibly reigning as King Richard IV.

It is interesting to note that had King Edward VIII not abdicated and not had children, the succession would likely look as it does today. The only difference is that the present Queen would have come to the throne upon the death of her uncle in 1972 instead of 1952 when her father died.

© Marilyn Braun 2011

The Sports Jilbab abaya

Ok, so I'm usually not one to contradict the efforts of people trying to create things that will make the life of hijabis easier. In fact I really liked the idea of the Islamic swimsuits but when I saw the jilbab meant for doing sports in, I did chuckle to myself.

Have you ever tried running in a full length dress? The excessive material is so unpractical not to mention dangerous. I could hardly use a running machine let alone an exercise bike wearing one of these:

I know that the material is specially made for sports and I respect the fact that some women don't feel comfortable unless wearing the jilbab but practicality and safety in sports is important.

I think these sport suits I found on Primo Moda, an online hijab store, are a far more practical alternatives to the jibab while still maintaining an appropriate level of modesty:

If you do not like the idea of wearing these then you could join a ladies only gym which are avaliable in some places.
P.S. This is simply my opinion and I do not intend to offend anyone who wears the sports jilbab.

Princess Kate Middleton | Biography

Catherine Elizabeth "KateMiddleton (born 9 January 1982) is the fiancée of Prince William of Wales. Since their relationship began, Middleton has received widespread media attention and there was much speculation that they would eventually marry. On 16 November 2010, the office of the Prince of Wales at Clarence House announced their engagement. On 23 November, it was announced the wedding will take place on 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey, with the day declared a bank holiday in the UK.
Middleton grew up in Berkshire and, after attending Marlborough College, went to the University of St Andrews, where she met Prince William, also studying there, in 2001. They started a relationship, followed by media attention, triggering complaints by Middleton that the media were harassing her. In April 2007, the press reported that William and Middleton had split up. They continued to be friends, and later in 2007 they reunited. Since then, Middleton has attended many high-profile royal events. She has been admired for her fashion sense and has been placed on numerous "best dressed" lists.

Theme Thursday 34: Let's Go Camping!

I came up with this board while I was working on Alternative Wednesday this week.  I found a cute camping wedding with the bridesmaids in separates so I created a board around their looks!  I think camping/campground weddings are so casually fun and adore the wildflower bouquet in this board.  I'm starting to think wildflowers are the perfect touch to any casual outdoor wedding!

The Royal Wedding at Westminster Abbey in London

Westminster Abbey, one of Britain’s greatest medieval buildings and among the best-known churches in the world, has a history stretching back over a thousand years. Founded as a Benedictine monastery in the mid-tenth century and with the shrine of its principal royal founder, St Edward the Confessor (died 1066), at its heart, it is also the coronation church where monarchs have been crowned amid great splendour since 1066.

Neither a cathedral nor a parish church, Westminster Abbey was established as a ‘Royal Peculiar’ in 1560 by Queen Elizabeth I. It means that the Abbey is outside the jurisdiction and responsibility of the Church of England and that the Abbey receives no regular funding from the Crown, the Church of England or the government.

The present church, begun by Henry III in 1245 is a treasure house of architectural and artistic achievement on which each succeeding century has left its mark.

Fifteen out of the thirty-nine sovereigns crowned in Westminster Abbey also lie buried within its walls. Their medieval and Renaissance tombs, though among the most important in Europe, form only a small part of the extraordinary collection of gravestones, memorials and monumental sculpture for which the Abbey has long been famous.

Many of the significant individuals in British history are remembered here: royalty and aristocracy, clergy and politicians, writers, scientists and musicians. They include Geoffrey Chaucer, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, George Frederick Handel and William Gladstone.

Fifteen royal weddings have taken place in Westminster Abbey since King Henry I and Princess Matilda of Scotland married on 11 November 1100. They include HM The Queen and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten (20 November 1947), King George VI and Lady Elizabeth Bowes later to become the Queen Mother (26 April 1923), Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones (6 May 1960), Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson (23 July 1986) and Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips (14 November 1973).

More than a million people visit Westminster Abbey every year and several hundred thousand come to worship at its daily services.

The Grave of the Unknown Warrior

The Grave of the Unknown Warrior is at the west end of the nave. It is a black marble gravestone encircled by red poppies with an inscription in brass letters which commemorates the many thousands killed in the 1914-18 war who have no grave.

The grave contains the remains of an unidentified serviceman taken from the battlefields of the First World War. The idea came from an army chaplain, David Railton, who had noticed in a garden at Armentieres a grave with a rough cross bearing the words ‘An Unknown British Solider’. In the aftermath of the war the grave became especially symbolic to the bereaved whose husbands, fathers or sons had no known burial place.

The Unknown Warrior was buried on 11 November 1920 in the presence of King George V and other members of the Royal Family, the Prime Minister, members of the Cabinet and the chiefs of the armed forces. A hundred holders of the Victoria Cross formed a guard of honour through the nave. The grave contains soil from France and the Union Flag, known as ‘the Padre’s Flag’, which covered the coffin on its journey from France, hangs in St George’s Chapel. It was presented in 1921 by David Railton, who had used it as a coffin pall and altar cloth during his war service. 

Other artefacts associated with the Unknown Warrior are near by: the ship’s bell from HMS Verdun, the destroyer that brought the Warrior’s body to England, was presented in 1990 and hangs on a pillar to the south; on a pillar to the north hangs the Congressional Medal of Honor, conferred by the USA in 1921.

The inscription on the grave reads:




St Edward the Confessor’s Chapel and the Shrine of St Edward

At the heart of Henry III’s rebuilding of Westminster Abbey was the magnificent shrine of St Edward the Confessor, whose patronage of the monastery was largely responsible for its wealth and importance.

The shrine stands in its own chapel behind the high altar and occupies the lofty, apsidal east end of the Gothic church. Its importance is emphasised architecturally by the processional ambulatory surrounding it and by the radiating chapels beyond. The original lavish decoration included a Cosmati-work pavement, laid at the same time as the great pavement in the sacrarium, though in a different style. Originally the shrine could be seen from the crossing and quire, and only when the altar screen was built in the mid-fifteenth century did St Edward’s Chapel become the enclosed space it is today.

Saints’ shrines were found in many medieval churches, but in Britain most were destroyed at the Reformation, and Edward is the only major English saint whose body still rests in its medieval shrine. Henry III’s devotion to the Confessor led him to choose burial close to the shrine. Several of his successors followed his example and five kings (Henry III, Edward I, Edward III, Richard II and Henry V) and four queens (Eleanor, Consort of Edward I, Philippa of Hainault, Anne of Bohemia and Catherine de Valois) now lie here in some of the most artistically important medieval tombs in the country.

The Shrine was in medieval times an important place of pilgrimage. In recent years, some elements of pilgrimage have been restored. Twice a day, some of the Abbey’s community and visitors assemble in the Shrine for prayer, in addition to parish pilgrim groups each week and a national pilgrimage in October, an important element in the Abbey’s annual rhythm of prayer and devotion.

The Cosmati Pavement

The Cosmati Pavement is a remarkable floor in front of the High Altar, nearly 25 feet square, composed of more than 30,000 pieces of porphyry, onyx and glass, cut to different sizes and shapes and set in geometric designs. The materials were brought from Rome and assembled here in 1268 as part of the decoration of Henry III’s church. The name ‘Cosmati’ refers to the Italian family who specialised in this technique, and the idea of laying such a pavement in the Abbey probably came from Abbot Richard Ware, who went to Rome in 1258 to have his election confirmed by the pope and would have seen similar pavements in the churches there.

There are thought to be only three of these pavements left in the UK, and Westminster Abbey has two of them, the one on the High Altar and the other in the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor. The third is in Canterbury, but it is a fragment and almost entirely restored – the Abbey has the only two complete pavements in their original positions and never to have been wholly re-laid.

The Cosmati Pavement was covered by carpet to protect is fragile surface for most of the last 150 years. It was not visible at either HM The Queen’s wedding or her Coronation. A two-year conservation project completed in May 2010 means that it is now on permanent display to the public.

St Edmund’s Chapel

St Edmund’s Chapel off the South Ambulatory is dedicated to Edmund, king of East Anglia. It has a number of monuments and floorstones, the most significant is the tomb of King Henry III’s half-brother, William de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (d. 1296).

The chapel windows are plain except for three pieces of heraldic glass, placed here in 1938 which depict the three lions of England for Henry III, the red pallets of Provence for his queen, Eleanor, and the red lion rampant crowned for Richard, earl of Cornwall, Henry’s brother-in-law.

Westminster Abbey Bells

The Abbey’s ten bells will be rung prior to the wedding for up to half an hour. After the service a full peal of 5,000 changes will be rung that will take in excess of three hours. Full peals are rung on the Abbey’s bells only for significant occasions. The ringers do this without a break and need to concentrate throughout.

In change ringing the sequence in which the bells sound alters continually. No sequence is repeated. The peal commences and concludes with ‘rounds’, which is the ringing of the bells in order from the highest to the lowest note. A rhythmical and flowing effect is the objective.

The changes to be rung are determined by ringing methods (similar to scripts or scores) which the ringers commit to memory. The Royal Wedding peal will combine two methods, London and Bristol, resulting in a peal of Spliced Surprise Royal.

The conductor, while ringing one of the bells, announces frequently which method is to be followed. He also provides other instructions to achieve the peal length of 5,000 changes.

Abbey Ringers
Members are elected to the Westminster Abbey Company of Ringers, a voluntary group, and are able bell ringers. They come from all professions and past members of the Company have included a train driver, a school teacher and a medical consultant. The current membership includes architects, bankers, civil servants, a lawyer, IT workers, a supply chain manager and management consultants.

Diana would have been 'very, very proud' of Prince William, says Harry

Diana would have been 'very, very proud' of Prince William, says Prince Harry

You would have thought Prince Harry would have other things on his mind as he prepared for his gruelling Arctic trek to the North Pole with a group of wounded servicemen. But getting used to sub-zero temperatures hasn't stopped him from thinking about his big brother's ( Prince William ) wedding at the end of April.

Prince William Wedding News: Diana would have been 'very, very proud' of William, says Harry

The 26-year-old said today that his late mother would have been 'very, very proud' that Prince William was getting married.

wedding love: a country fete wedding

I just adore this relaxed and sweet country fete wedding with its romantic and dreamy photographs and beautiful details.

It's the lovely wedding of Maike and Travis of welovepictures. Maike gathered so many beautiful details, many that she made herself... colourful bunting, hand picked flowers, sweet little blackboards and flower filled birdcages.

Maike and Travis were married under a rustic wooden 'chapel' with guests seated on hay bales. The couple even had a 'decorate your own cupcakes' table, yum! I also love the fact that Maike called her best friend the 'mate of honour' not maid, cute!

The next couple of photos are my favourite, they are so romantic and beautiful. 

(Photography by Otto Schulze, found via Lanalou and The Pretty Blog)

One Lovely Day Hearts Etsy Wedding Divas (Part 1)

One Lovely Day features Etsy Wedding Divas.  They will be featuring our twelve (12) talented divas on their blog not just for one posting but three (3)!  Thank you so much Kate and Jeannie for the spotlight, you ladies are awesome!

Today, four (4) Divas are on the spotlight.  CadyBriar (clutches), BelCantoDesigns (headpiece), LolainLace (garter) and Maylui (jeweled bracelet).

Keep following us at Etsy Wedding Divas Facebook fan page   & Etsy Treasuries

    From Etsy Wedding Divas

:: Please mention our blog if you find this blog post interesting. Blog responsibly ::

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY: A Gorgeous Bride by Unique Concepts Studio

The photographer caught this bride at an amazing moment during her wedding day. Gorgeous. Photography by Unique Concepts Studio, Inc in Philadelphia.

Is Prince William's hair destroying the monarchy?

The monarchy is facing its biggest crisis to date and they're powerless to do anything to prevent it. They didn't see it coming. Who would have thought it could ever happen? It started about five years ago, slowly chipping away at the the very foundation the monarchy prides itself on.

Its good looks.

Everything they hold sacred as the arbiters of style is at risk. Thank goodness for Kate Middleton. Her long, glossy locks will shore up the ranks. But for now the royals are in trouble. A recent poll showed that Britons want Charles as king instead of William. No wonder. Charles has more hair than William. Coincidence? I think not.

Who is ultimately to blame for William's hair? Diana's father, Earl Spencer was balding therefore it must be her fault. She has obviously done more damage to the monarchy than first thought. Luckily Prince Harry inherited genes from his father otherwise there would be no hope left for the monarchy as we know it. Enter the republican movement at stage right.

The media is already asking tough questions on whether Prince William is losing his appeal. Where's a celebrity scandal when you need it? Isn't there a disaster in another country? No, this is just too big an issue. We cannot ignore reality even if the royal family wants us to. If only there was a big event with lots of pagentry to distract us from the inevitable. So we can celebrate while we still have reason to.

On his wedding day, all eyes will be on Prince William. After all, he is the future of the monarchy. Billions of people watching the gradual demise of the royal family. This could get depressing. Let's hope William's uniform comes with a hat.

© Marilyn Braun 2011

Note: This article is meant to be satirical. I think Prince William looks perfectly fine. :) Kate Middleton is a lucky woman who obviously loves him and her opinion is the only one that counts in this respect.

Prince William will not be wearing a wedding band

Prince William will not be wearing a
wedding band when he marries Kate
Prince William has decided not to wear a wedding ring following his marriage to Kate Middleton, palace officials revealed today.

Prince William Wedding News: Prince William will not be wearing a wedding band when he marries Kate Middleton
According to senior royal sources the Prince William discussed the issue with his fiancée but has chosen not to. 'It is simply down to personal preference,' an aide said. Prince William's decision not to sport a wedding band is likely to cause some surprise, however, as it is so commonplace nowadays.

I'm the newest Babbling Bride blogger!

I am very happy to share the news that I have been chosen to be a bride blogger for one of my favorite wedding inspiration websites, Babbling Bride! They have posted my introduction and my first blog post, which is our engagement story and the history of my ring. I'm excited to be able to share my wedding planning experiences with their blog readers.

European Jewelry 2011 - thinner jewelry for girls 2011 - Jewelry for the evening 2011

European Jewelry  2011 - thinner jewelry for girls 2011 - Jewelry for the evening 2011
European Jewelry  2011 - thinner jewelry for girls 2011 - Jewelry for the evening 2011
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Tattoo for Girls 2011 - European Tattoo 2011 - the most beautiful forms of tattoos 2011

Tattoo for Girls 2011 - European Tattoo 2011 - the most beautiful forms of tattoos 2011

Tattoo for Girls 2011 - European Tattoo 2011 - the most beautiful forms of tattoos 2011
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Hair styles for brides 2011 - thinner hair styles for brides 2011

Hair styles for brides 2011 - thinner hair styles for brides 2011

Hair styles for brides 2011 - thinner hair styles for brides 2011
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European Eye makeup 2011 - the most beautiful makeup for Girls 2011

European Eye makeup 2011 -  the most beautiful makeup for Girls 2011
European Eye makeup 2011 -  the most beautiful makeup for Girls 2011
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Interstate Pigs and Bean & Leek Soup with Caramelized Radish

Interstate pigs and bean soup?   This might sound a little crazy, but there's a connection, I promise.

I've been having recurring thoughts about pigs lately, spurred by two totally unrelated signs that began with my trip to Charleston this past weekend.  

Let me explain.

We were driving, as you do on road trips.    Staring aimlessly out the window.    Kind of tuning out.  I saw a truck ahead of us.    Now, you see a lot of trucks when driving, really not that unusual.   But this truck was special.   It had special cargo.  

I spotted little tails poking out the side of the truck as we passed.   Piglet tails.  Sweet, soft, tiny, curled up little pink pig tails.   Awwww.  That's when it dawned on me.   These pigs were going somewhere.   It wasn't just another road trip for them.  

I grew sad as I do when I think about animals that we eat.  It is why I regularly go back and forth between being a vegetarian and not.    The more I read and learn about how animals are 'produced' in this country, I am sickened by the conditions and the fact that this all ends up in our bodies.      Don't get me wrong, I do eat meat occasionally and certainly don't judge anyone else who does.  I've just been thinking more about what I consume, where it comes from and the effect that it has on my health.

Those little pigs heading to their next stop in the production process were nestled in my memory.  I settled back into vacation mode and ordered the pork ribs for dinner that night.   And they were amazing.   And I temporarily forgot all about the little pigs piled up in the back of the truck.

Until yesterday morning.    The pigs reappeared.    Back on the interstate again, except this time in a local news story about five pigs who got loose from a truck and ended up in the middle of morning commute traffic.      And while admittedly, some of the comments in the article are pretty darn hilarious, the whole thing just makes me sad.  
I guess the point of all this is that seeing these pigs triggered something in me that makes me want to re-examine my personal position.     I don't know if this will be fleeting or a more solid commitment, but for the moment I'm going to take a little break from meat while I reconcile my feelings.

Long story short, I made bean and leek soup for dinner last night and instead of flavoring it with bacon, I got creative with my seasonings and CSA box and came up with this version instead.  The spice mixture, containing natural hickory smoke and ginger, replicated the smoky flavor of the pork.  The caramelization of the radish added a little sweetness and a tiny bit of crunch.  A wonderful bacon substitute garnish.  The salted butter also helps to round out the flavor in this soup.

I didn't miss the bacon at all.

White Bean and Leek Soup with Caramelized Radishes


For the Soup
1 pound dried white beans
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salted butter
3 leeks, cleaned, halved and sliced thinly
3 celery heart stacks, diced
48 ounces low sodium chicken broth
1/2 to 1 teaspoon pork chop seasoning (I used Penzey's)
sea salt and pepper to taste

For the Radishes
1 small bunch of radishes, 7 - 10, large dice
2 teaspoons salted butter
sea salt and pepper to taste


Prepare beans using overnight or quick method as directed on the package.   Rinse thoroughly and set aside.

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 2 teaspoons salted butter on medium low heat in large soup pot.     Add sliced leaks and celery hearts.   Saute vegetables until soft, about 10 to 15 minutes on medium low heat.   Add 1/2 teaspoon pork chop seasoning to vegetables and mix for a minute or two until combined.

Add beans back into soup pot.    Add the chicken broth to bean and vegetable mixture.    Simmer for an hour until flavors are fully combined.  

Meanwhile, prepare radishes to finish prior to serving soup.    Melt 2 teaspoons salted butter in small saute pan on medium heat.     Add diced radishes and saute on medium low for about five minutes.   Increase heat to medium and saute until radishes begin to caramelize and form a dark crust, about another five to ten minutes.   Salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.   (Radishes are best served just out of the pan as they retain a little crunch.)

After about an hour, blend soup with immersion blender or blender until smooth.   Season with salt and pepper, as needed.

Pour soup into serving bowls and top with radish garnish.

Heading back to Charleston next with less deep thoughts and more on our weekend away!

Meanwhile, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic.   Do you think consciously about where your food comes from and how it is produced?  If you do, how does it impact your eating habits?

American Bags 2011 - large bags 2011- The coolest bags for girls 2011

 American Bags 2011 - large bags 2011- The coolest bags for girls 2011
 American Bags 2011 - large bags 2011- The coolest bags for girls 2011
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