Royal Roundup: William and Kate’s Roast Dinner Portrait

Perhaps this is someone’s idea of good taste. Crown Carveries, a UK pub chain, has unveiled a portrait of Prince William and Kate Middleton using only the ingredients in a roast dinner. Taking inspiration from one of their Mario Testino engagement shots, turkey is used for the skin, beef for the hair, carrots for Kate’s dress and gravy for her engagement ring, The Press Association reports. I wonder what Wills and Kate think about this?

In other royal news:

- In a reversal, Canada’s postal service now says it will issue a commemorative stamp to mark the royal wedding. The announcement marks quite an about-face for Canada Post. Only last month postal officials said it takes two years to plan, design and issue a stamp and that there simply was not sufficient time. After howls of protest from “monarchists” and collectors, “It made us take a look and say, ‘Wow, this is something that people want,’” a Canada Post spokesman told the National Post. The stamps are awaiting royal approval and should be available May 2.

- For some planning to attend the wedding, they now have an excuse to leave the U.S. early. Epsom Downs Racecourse, a track 30 minutes from London, is admitting all people with the first name Kate, Catherine, or William for free on April 20th, according to the London-based publication, Your Local Guardian. Tracks in England are not the downmarket affairs they are in the U.S. Horses race on grass only 15 days per year, and patrons can pay $266 per person to sit in a private box with balcony. Founded in 1779, Epsom Downs promises “all visitors are made to feel like royalty.”

- Hello! magazine has a slide show on past royal wedding gifts. After a look at this loot, small wonder there are persistent reports that Kate and William will ask their guests to make donations to charity. Perhaps the oddest gift is from Princess Margaret to her older sister, Queen Elizabeth. A picnic hamper? Complete with a china teapot and matching cups? It’s difficult to imagine the Queen, and her husband, Prince Philip, eating chicken salad sandwiches while sitting on a blanket. Other highlights include a pensive Princess Diana wearing a diamond-and-pearl tiara given to her by the Queen, and a picture of Kate on rolling skates at a 2008 charity event. (What this has to do with royal wedding gifts is not entirely clear.)

- A compromise has been reached on Kate Middleton’s “black sheep” uncle, The Daily Telegraph reports. Gary Goldsmith, 45, is the younger brother of Kate’s mother, Carole. He is not estranged from his niece. In fact, he entertained Kate and William at his villa, La Maison de Bang Bang, off the coast of Spain. But two years ago he was caught in a newspaper sting, filmed by tabloid reporters chopping up what appeared to be cocaine, handing out pills he said were ecstasy and boasting of his royal connections. Goldsmith will be invited to the ceremony at Westminster Abbey but will not attend the Buckingham Palace reception. “[N]o one would want to cause Her Majesty [The Queen] any embarrassment,” says a courtier.

- When Prince William proposed to Kate on the slopes of Mount Kenya, he may have fueled the practice of proposing while on vacation. American Express has named the “engagementication” one of the top five travel trends of 2011. At the five-star Woodlands Inn, outside of Charleston, SC, a “betrothal butler” will walk clueless grooms-to-be around the property and suggest where to pop the question, reports South Carolina newspaper The Post and Courier. Incidentally, reservations are still available for the Woodlands Inn’s Valentine’s Day package, which costs about $1,350 for two, with breakfast and dinner included.

- The Daily Mirror says Kate will follow tradition and place her wedding bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. As is true of many royal wedding practices, this one began when the Queen Mother (William’s great-grandmother) married George VI in 1923.