Royal Roundup: Kate & William – A Portrait in Jellybeans

Does the medium exist that has not portrayed the royal couple? Aside from the conventional forms, Kate and William have been cast in Lego, roast dinner meats, toothpicks and wool. So it’s hardly surprising artist Malcolm West has unveiled a jellybean portrait of the royal couple. The 4-feet 7-inch x 3-feet 11-inch portrayal took more than five weeks and 11,000 jelly beans to create. Kate and William stand, with a British flag flying in the background. While the jelly bean portrait is a good likeness of the pair, William appears to be gritting his teeth rather than smiling, at least according to The Mirror‘s photo.

In other royal-related news:

• Alexandra Shulman, Vogue’s longtime UK editor, has been up to a lot more lately than just consulting Kate about her wedding dress. Shulman reportedly advised Kate to tap Sarah Burton of the Alexander McQueen label as her designer. (For months, Burton has been the oft-touted and oft-denied dress creator.) For the first time in its 92-year history, Vogue is using three different covers for its May issue. Dedicated to the royal wedding, the edition is a “delicious confection of all things matrimonial,” Shulman writes in her editor’s letter. Each cover shows a different model in a different wedding gown. One of the wedding outfits was designed by Bruce Oldfield, and all of the cover photos were shot by Mario Testino. (Stylite.com has an easy way to view the covers.) Those last two names should sound at least vaguely familiar even to non-fashionistas. Oldfield was once considered the front-runner to design Kate’s dress, and Testino shot the official engagement portraits. But all is not fluff in the magazine. One piece considers the searing question of whether Kate “has what it takes” to be “a perfect modern princess.” I can’t imagine the answer.

• Continuing on the fashion theme, that peerless fashion bible, Forbes magazine, offers advice on how to make your hair look just like Kate’s. The piece says: “Achieving Kate’s easygoing, polished look,” the piece says, “takes just a few simple steps and basic tools.” And I’m Warren Buffet. The basic tools are shampoo, conditioner, volumizing mousse, circular boar-bristle brush, Velcro rollers, curling iron, blow dryer and hair spray. And, by the way, “If you have a minute to drop by the salon for a trim, ask to have split ends sheared off, add a few long layers and create a wispy bang on one side, like Kate. Round off the shape in back and leave the front a little longer to achieve a slight flip up.” There’s an accompanying slide show in which  Chicago hair stylist Charles Ifergan shows how it easy it is to duplicate Kate’s look. It probably helps if you’re 29 and have straight, perfect brunette hair.

• Although Buckingham Palace clings to the fiction that Kate and William have considered every last detail of the wedding, it’s simply impossible for any two humans — especially one with a fulltime job, William — to handle an event of this scope. The Mirror looks at some of the royal staffers planning the day. At the top of the pyramid is Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, William’s private secretary. Lowther-Pinkerton is described with the same trio of adjectives deployed for any senior royal aide, “quiet, calm and discreet.” (Hysterical, temperamental and loudmouthed do not fit the bill.) An Army veteran and father of three, Lowther-Pinkerton was equerry to the late Queen Mother, William’s great grandmother, in the 1980′s.

While Lowther-Pinkerton concentrates on the public elements of the wedding day, Helen Asprey, William’s personal private secretary, focuses on the private aspects, such as the evening reception thrown by Prince Charles. Asprey, a member of the famed UK jewelry family, also works as Kate’s personal private secretary.

Parts of the wedding involving the Palace are coordinated through the Lord Chamberlain’s Office. That office is run on a day-to-day basis by Comptroller Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Ford. Reporting to Ford is Air Vice-Marshal David Walker. Walker is The Master of the Household, which means he runs a 250-person department consisting of all the food, catering and craft personnel working at Buckingham Palace.

• Given that wedding fruit cakes are a rarity in this country, few home cooks will attempt to serve the dessert constructed by baker Fiona Cairns. But the no-bake crumbled cookie cake requested by Prince William is another matter. The Associated Press has managed to devise a recipe. While what’s involved is too long to reproduce here (just click on the link), the dessert needs only six ingredients: butter cookies, heavy cream, butter, bittersweet chocolate, honey and vanilla extract. Happy eating.