Kate and William paid an “emotional” visit to the tomb of Princess Diana, The Daily Mirror reports. William’s late mother is buried in a marble temple on a small island, known as “The Oval,” on the 14,000-acre estate of Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother and William’s uncle.
“It was very important for William to take Kate to visit his mum just before their wedding day,” a “source” told the paper. “Diana is still a huge part of her boys’ everyday life and always will be.” William obviously had his mother in mind when he gave Kate Diana’s sapphire-and-diamond engagement ring. “[It's] my way of making sure my mother didn’t miss out on [the engagement announcement] and the excitement,” he said. Kate faces constant comparisons to the late princess. In one of her rare public statements, Kate expressed admiration: “Obviously I would have loved to have met her and she’s obviously an inspirational woman to look up to.”
In other royal wedding related news:
• Carole and Michael Middleton met the groom’s grandparents for the first time yesterday. They had lunch with the Queen and Prince Philip in Windsor Castle. Also present were “a handful of household staff including the Queen’s private secretary and equerry,” The Daily Mail says. It appears that meals take longer for reigning monarchs than they do for the rest of us. The lunch lasted 90 minutes and, as the paper points out, “Her Majesty has never been one to linger long over lunch.” One wonders how long a “lingering” lunch would last. The Queen first met Kate in May 2008 – five years after she began dating William. They have met a few times since. Today is the Queen’s 85th birthday.
• The Royal Mail is now selling wedding commemorative stamps. The stamps were intended for release on the Queen’s birthday, The Press Association reports. The two stamps show now-familiar images from Kate and William’s engagement photos. One is the formal portrait taken in the Council Chamber of St. James’s palace. The other is the informal portrait – William wears a sweater – shot by photographer Mario Testino in the palace’s Cornwall Room. The stamps are the third time William has appeared on UK postage. In 2000, he was on a set of stamps to celebrate the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday. Three years later he was on stamps to celebrate his 21st birthday. And now he is the first of the Queen’s grandchildren to have a stamp produced for their wedding.
• This just in. Sophie Cranston, who was tagged by The Huffington Post April 16 as the designer of Kate’s wedding dress, denies it. Her company, Libelula, issued the following statement, printed in Women’s Wear Daily: “Libelula has a company policy of not commenting on any of the work they do for private clients, however due to the unprecedented media attention they would like to make the following statement: We are not designing Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. We, like everyone else, can’t wait to find out who is!” All we can add is that one of the following is true: either Cranston is lying or The Huffington Post is incorrect. We’ll know soon enough.
• Meanwhile, in other fashion news, Kate has been doing what any bride does before her wedding – shopping. Kate went shopping yesterday (April 20) on Chelsea’s King’s Road according to The Daily Mirror, reportedly picking up items for her honeymoon. Since the destination is a surprise, Kate must be prepared. She bought bought a pair of high-waisted blue-and-white spotted trousers for £125 ($207), a lemon yellow short sleeved T-shirt for £95 ($157.50), and a cream blouse costing £125 ($207) at Whistles. There have been reports that the cream blouse is the blouse, i.e. the blouse Kate wore for her engagement portraits and now known as the Kate blouse. Guess you can’t have too many of those.
• One must stand humbly before true talent. An Ohio man has made a portrait of Kate and William using an Etch A Sketch. That’s right, the childhood toy that allows you to draw only a single line – no erasures – by twisting two knobs. George Vlosich, 30, spent 80 hours on the drawing, which also features William’s coat of arms and a British flag. The etching is not a fluke, according to The Daily Mail. Vlosich has also crafted portraits of Barack Obama, Elvis Presley and Tiger Woods. And lest one vigorous shake ruin his creations, the aluminum powder is removed, so the works are permanent.
• A UK bakery crafted a more conventional tribute, BBC News reports. They created Kate and William figures from icing. William is 47″ tall and Kate is 41″ tall. “Our cake decorators couldn’t resist making models of the happy couple,” said David Smart, Greenhalgh’s bakery production director.
• Think you know your royal trivia? Boston.com has a terrific, challenging quiz on this topic, because it includes questions on royal history. Any duffer knows Kate met William at the University of St. Andrews, but did Anne Boleyn have the title of Lady-in-Waiting? By the way, looking up the answers gives no advantage. The faster your correct answer, the higher the score. Good luck.