Naomi Watts Takes On the Insufferable Cult of Diana
November 01, 2013
"The film is so vague, so fuzzily adoring, that it ultimately tells us far more about the annoying endurance of the cult of Diana than it does about the princess herself."
How We Talk About Royal Baby Bodies
July 23, 2013
Just how long will it take for the body-con hordes to descend on the Duchess of Cambridge? “I hope Kate’s lost her baby weight by now. I mean, it has been four hours now, you know,” quipped Hadley Freeman on Twitter yesterday.
Royal Baby Iconography Through the Ages
July 22, 2013
Fast on the heels of the announcement of Mini-Kate or Mini-Wills, will come the inevitable proliferation of royal baby shlock, from creepy dolls to serious potraiture.
Richard Burton Was a Great Writer
December 20, 2012
The Richard Burton DiariesEdited by Chris Williams (Yale University Press, 693 pp., $35) JUNE 14, 1969, and for a dawn moment he was calm, remembering Wordsworth and Dylan Thomas: “I love my wife. I love her dearly. Honest. Talk about the beauty, silent, bare.... Sitting on the Thames with the river imitating a blue-grey ghost. My God the very houses seem asleep.
Why the British Press Can’t Figure Out What It Wants From Kate Middleton
September 19, 2012
The long and complicated relationship between the British royal family and the press.
Two weeks ago, Britain was a nation lost, permanently ill at ease, with a mutant, hybrid government and an air of meekness and gloom. There wasn’t anything to distract us, to feel particularly ashamed or proud of—everything was just a bit depressing. Nine out of ten news stories were about Kate Middleton’s hats (too Canadian?) or clavicles (too pointy?). In Europe, we would have just looked insensitive if we had complained about our dull, entrenched problems, given the exuberant sleaziness in Italy and chaos in Greece.
‘Newsweek’ or Trashy Romance Novel?
May 05, 2011
When it came to the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Tina Brown, the editor of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, truly flooded the zone. In the week of the wedding, the two publications featured an account from Brown herself of the big day; an interactive feature detailing Kate’s trajectory from commoner to princess; assessments of Kate’s dress, her sister Pippa’s dress, the hats, and the possibility that Prince Harry and Pippa might hook up; and a piece from a sex researcher analyzing what Kate and William’s balcony kiss revealed about their love life.
The Royal Wedding and "Commoner" Genes
April 27, 2011
Prince William of Wales will marry his girlfriend Kate Middleton in Westminster Abbey on Friday, April 29, as you may have heard on every single television news channel in existence. In two days, then, Middleton will become the first "commoner" to marry a future English king in 450 years, since Anne Hyde married James I in 1660.
April 12, 2011
“Kate Middleton: A Kennedy?”Vanity Fair tweeted on April 1, linking to a story that purported to uncover a genealogical link between the princess-to-be and the Kennedy family. The story was based on a “never-before-seen” photograph of a little girl (who looks nothing like Middleton) sailing with Teddy Kennedy. The April Fool’s story was a nicely executed satire of the magazine’s preoccupation with America’s own royalty, but Vanity Fair has published equally ridiculous stories with a straight face—most recently, a book excerpt from an opportunistic old girlfriend of John F.