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It’s been 11 years, right? That Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley have hosted the Country Music Association Awards? The point is, it’s been many, many years. It’s now a tradition. And as I’ve said over the years, I enjoy watching them, I enjoy their chemistry. I especially enjoy that they keep sayin…

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit the BBC

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were out and about again today, which means that they scheduled several events for two days in a row. Yesterday, they were in South Yorkshire for most of the day, doing a series of mental health and business-related events. Today, they made a trip to the BBC in London to “mark Anti-Bullying Week by working to combat cyber-bullying,” according to WENN. This was a “surprise visit,” according to the Daily Mail. It’s true – this event was not announced in advance. William and Kate have been doing that with more frequency the past few years, they’ll do a “surprise” visit somewhere, and surprise, all of the royal photographers are there.

For this surprise visit, Kate repeated an Emilia Wickstead dress. She repeated her look yesterday too, although I have to say… I was a bigger fan of yesterday’s Eponine repeat. This Wickstead dress is fine, and she paid enough for it originally (£1,200), so I’m glad she’s repeating it. She wore this Wickstead in New Zealand in 2014, and I wasn’t wild about it then either. I think it’s the shade of teal – it feels “off” somehow, like it should actually be a bit darker. That being said, I like when she wears brighter colors, so I’m not complaining too much. I also think this was not a straightforward retail piece – I think this was “bespoke” in the sense that Kate had the waist and the hemline raised, which is why everything looks slightly “off” with the proportions.

Also: I wonder how late they stayed at Prince Charles’ party last night? Neither of them looks hungover. I wonder if they even had some wine and really “partook.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the BBC

Photos courtesy of WENN.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit the BBC
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit the BBC
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit the BBC
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit the BBC
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the BBC
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the BBC

US First Lady Melania Trump in Egypt

People are still fascinated – bizarrely fascinated – by this Melania Trump-Mira Ricardel story. From what I’m seeing, Ricardel really was fired, although it didn’t happen immediately after Melania’s office publicly torched her on Tuesday. According to the NYT, Ricardel did pack up her office on Wednesday, but she’s being transitioned over to some other position in the administration. Maybe. Ricardel was the deputy national security advisor, an important position within the National Security Council, and a driver of foreign policy and more. And Melania wanted her fired, allegedly because of Ricardel beefing with some members of Melania’s staff. The New York Times did a follow-up story on what really went down:

Aides pointed out that Ricardel was one of the highest-ranking female members of the administration, and that she had never met Mrs. Trump. It turns out she didn’t have to. A dust-up between Ms. Ricardel and several East Wing senior staff members before and during the first lady’s trip to Africa last month ended up eliciting Mrs. Trump’s attention, and the conflict led to an internal dispute that festered for weeks.

Among Ms. Ricardel’s offenses, three people familiar with the situation said, was a dispute over airplane seating — she wanted to have a say over who was given seats on the plane to Africa. She grew angry when a seat for a National Security Council staff member on the plane was pulled to accommodate journalists. Ms. Ricardel also withheld resources from the first lady before she traveled to Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Egypt last month, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Before and during the trip, Mrs. Trump’s senior staff members operated without logistical information, readily available policy documents or basic communication as they arrived in places where security could be tight and tense, and the movements hectic. They said Ms. Ricardel was the reason for the delay.

The episode so incensed Mrs. Trump that she brought up those infractions and others — including her belief that Ms. Ricardel was spreading negative stories about her and her staff — to John F. Kelly, Mr. Trump’s chief of staff. Complaints from Mrs. Trump and her aides made their way to the national security adviser, John R. Bolton, but the tension continued unaddressed until this week, when Mrs. Trump’s office all but called for Ms. Ricardel’s removal.

Mr. Trump was initially not happy to learn of the rogue statement issued by the first lady’s office, according to a senior administration official familiar with the president’s reaction. But he eventually came around. The president, that person said, is proud of his wife’s independent streak.

[From The NY Times]

Vanity Fair’s sources said that Donald Trump approved of Melania’s message too, and one source said: “The president called Johnny DeStefano today and said, ‘Get the bitch out of here or you’re gone.’” Which sounds like him. Donald Trump wasn’t upset at all that Melania so publicly burned a member of his national security staff. The Trumps LOVE palace intrigue and they love it when they’re acting out some kind of soap opera plotline. Now, all that being said, if Ricardel’s offenses against Melania and her staff were really this bad, then yes, I actually do think she should have been fired. It just shouldn’t have happened this way at all – Melania’s chief of staff should have gone to John Kelly and they should have worked it out between themselves instead of all this public drama.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid and Avalon Red.
Melania Trump makes an official visit to Ghana
First Lady Trump visits Egypt
US First Lady Melania Trump in Egypt
TRUMP_B284_320311_0010
Trumps Welcome Kenyattas of Kenya

The Queen hosted a party to celebrate Prince Charles’s 70th birthday last night at Buckingham Palace. It was a private event so the only photos available of the royals you care about were the ones of them arriving. We’ll get to the young royals later. Here’s a shot of Charles and Camilla at Clarence…

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive at Spencer House

Prince Charles’ 70th birthday was yesterday, November 14th. He celebrated it for weeks beforehand, with a new, flattering documentary, a tour of African countries, interviews and more. On his actual birthday, he and Camilla had a day-party at Spencer House in London – these are photos of their arrival – and then an evening birthday party at Buckingham Palace, black-tie only. What I love about these “tea party” photos is that Charles looks like a kid – he’s so utterly delighted that people are making a fuss over him on his birthday. He just looked purely happy (and possibly a bit toasty from some birthday cocktails).

Here’s a special story for the birthday boy too: apparently, Charles keeps his pockets full of nuts, for the squirrels he adores. I actually knew, years ago, that Charles is nutty for squirrels, specifically the beloved British red squirrel. He so loves squirrels that he lets them come into his house, and he feeds them nuts out of his pockets.

He’s nuts for them! Prince William has revealed that his father, Prince Charles, is absolutely obsessed with a certain type of squirrel.

“He is completely infatuated by the red squirrels that live around the [Birkhall] estate in Scotland,” Prince William told Country Life in a special edition of the British weekly guest-edited by Prince Charles himself. He added that the Prince of Wales likes them, “to the extent that he’s given them names and is allowing them into the house.”

Prince Charles, who celebrated his 70th birthday Wednesday, noted that the rodents are “incredibly special creatures. They come into the house at Birkhall and we get them chasing each other round and round inside.If I sit there quietly, they will do so around me. Sometimes, when I leave my jackets on a chair with nuts in the pockets, I see them with their tails sticking out, as they hunt for nuts.”

[From Page Six]

Charles is such a gentle, eccentric soul, isn’t he? I think that’s one of the reasons why he’ll make a good king – an eccentric king, ruling over an eccentric people. What does one name squirrels? Do you give them human names, like Bob, Dennis, Shirley and Yvonne? Or do you give them animal names like Prancer and Stretch? Hm.

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive at Spencer House

Photos courtesy of WENN, Backgrid.
Prince Charles turns 70 today and arrives at Spencer House for celebration tea
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive at Spencer House
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive at Spencer House
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive at Spencer House
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive at Spencer House

Jan Singer attends the 2018 Outstanding Mother Awards at The Pierre Hotel on May 11, 2018 in New York City....People:  Jan Singer (Credit Image: © SMG via ZUMA Wire)

The last time I shopped at Victoria’s Secret, I tried on bras, got annoyed with the pushy saleslady and left after considering the prices. Even with the multiple bra discount it was expensive, but I’m cheap. I’ve been known to buy underwear in bulk and discount lingerie on Amazon. Dudes are grateful whenever you wear something sexy, they don’t care if you spend $10 or $100. (Also, it’s doubtful they even care if you wear lingerie.) The last time I really splurged on underwear it was from Lively and I got some really cute matching sets.

There are so many online shops and competition, particularly from ThirdLove, Savage X Fenty, Aerie, etc. These companies emphasize comfort and inclusivity, showing larger models who aren’t pin thin. They also emphasize comfort over sexiness, but not Victoria’s Secret. They just had their runway fashion show and it was as model-centric as usual and didn’t include a single woman who was above a size 4, I’m assuming. When asked about the fact that Victoria’s Secret hasn’t had a plus size, older or transgender women on their runway, their male Chief Marketing Officer was dismissive and rude. He said that the show was a fantasy and that “I don’t think we can be all things to all customers. It is a specialty business; it isn’t a department store.” Victoria’s Secret doesn’t carry plus sizes either.

Other businesses realize that women of all sizes buy underwear and they’re outperforming VS, which is clinging to an outdated male-oriented notion of sales. Their CEO Jan Singer, who used to run Spanx, just resigned after about two years. At least they had a woman as CEO for a while.

The head of Victoria’s Secret Lingerie has left the company after just over two years in the role, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Jan Singer, chief executive officer of the L Brands Inc. unit, was responsible for the company’s more than $4 billion lingerie business, which includes Victoria Sport, according to its website. The former head of Spanx joined Victoria’s Secret in September 2016.

Victoria’s Secret has been under scrutiny for failing to keep up with shifting consumer demands, especially involving themes of female empowerment and diversity. Its reticence to change has been made even more pronounced with the emergence of competitors like Rihanna’s lingerie company Savage X Fenty and ThirdLove, which aim to be more inclusive of women of different shapes, sizes and backgrounds. Underwear trends have also been shifting toward comfort and athleticism, rather than lacy, padded and push-up.

[From Bloomberg]

Singer must have been facing an uphill battle at that company given the bullsh-t that the CMO just spewed. The company wasn’t willing to change or embrace all women and we’re the ones who buy their poorly made bras. The dudes running companies would rather fantasize about their ideal woman than analyze the market and take our money. I bet they brought in Singer to shake things up but that the culture was so entrenched she wasn’t able to effect much change. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe she toed the line and that didn’t work either.

View this post on Instagram

About last night…swipe for the Angels show-stopping #pinkcarpet looks! . . . Watch the #VSFashionShow Dec. 2, 10/9c on @abcnetwork

A post shared by Victoria’s Secret (@victoriassecret) on Nov 9, 2018 at 1:08pm PST

View this post on Instagram

IT’S SHOWTIME! We’re filming the #VSFashionShow TODAY. Head to our Stories & Live for your all-access pass—and watch it all on the runway Dec. 2, 10/9c on @abcnetwork

A post shared by Victoria’s Secret (@victoriassecret) on Nov 8, 2018 at 10:38am PST

Embed from Getty Images

Photos credit: Avalon.red, Getty and via Instagram

Macron Meets Trump

You know what I’d like to see in the very near future? I’d like to see legit media outlets stop quoting unnamed sources who claim that this week – not last week, or the week before – is the craziest they’ve ever seen Donald Trump. At some point, it’s just dumb to keep hyping Trump’s stupidity and rage as some progressively next-level thing. The man is stupid and angry all the time. Some weeks, he throws tantrums and some weeks he doesn’t. Well, Vanity Fair has a new story about how THIS WEEK Trump has been especially crazy and angry and it’s all about how he’s going to fire everybody, and how he worries that rain will mess up his hair, and how he’s super-upset that the midterms weren’t as good for him as he initially thought. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

He’s super insane: “This is a level of insanity I’ve never seen before,” one former West Wing staffer told me. Current and former officials are debating different theories for Trump’s outbursts, ranging from his fears over his son Don Jr.’s legal exposure to the prospect that House Democrats will unleash investigations in January. “He’s under a tremendous amount of mental stress,” one prominent Republican close to him told me.

He’s really stupid too: Last Tuesday, he was in high spirits as he watched election returns come in with about a hundred friends at the White House. Trump told people that his barnstorming rally schedule had mobilized his base and held Republican losses to historical lows, while increasing Republican gains in the Senate. “He really thought he won the midterms,” a prominent Republican who spoke with Trump said.

His press conference last week was unhinged: “He was furious about the narrative. He said, ‘Look, I went to all these states and now people are saying Trump lost the election,’” the Republican who spoke with him recalled. Within hours, Trump forced out Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him with Matt Whitaker, who’d been a frequent cable-news critic of the Robert Mueller investigation. Next, Trump directed his press office to revoke CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass, something he’d wanted to do for months but had been talked out of by aides. “This is a matter of the president now being on his own without any countervailing force whatsoever,” a person close to Trump said. “It’s just 100 percent Donald Trump doing what Donald Trump wants.”

He argued with May: He got into an argument with British Prime Minister Theresa May during a phone call on the flight across the Atlantic on Friday.

Why he didn’t go to the memorial in France: One Republican briefed on the internal discussions said the real reason Trump did not want to go was because there would be no tent to stand under. “He was worried his hair was going to get messed up in the rain,” the source said. “[John] Bolton and everyone was telling him this was a big mistake.” A former administration official said Trump hates being outside in wet conditions. “What I honestly think? He woke up and said, ‘It’s pouring rain. This is a joke and I’m not doing this.’”

He’s desperate to fire John Kelly: “Kelly has decided to hang in there and get humiliated day after day,” a person close to Trump said. Trump recently told a former official that he was worried Kelly would campaign against him in 2020 if he fired him, a person briefed on the phone call said. But Trump may be getting over those concerns. According to two sources, Trump and Melania had a conversation on election night last week about the chief of staff position with Nick Ayers, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s top choice to replace Kelly. Ayers, politically gifted but conspicuously ambitious, and with questionable loyalty to Trump, would bring his own baggage to the job. “Half the West Wing told me they’d walk out,” a Republican close to the White House said.

[From Vanity Fair]

I understand that VF’s sourcing is on-point and I believe everything in this piece. But I just don’t see why any of it is so remarkable, or like this is a new level of insanity? Hello, HE HAS BEEN THIS WAY SINCE THE BEGINNING. He’s been firing people right and left for two years. He’s been giving unhinged press conferences this whole time. And yes, he’s been scared of the rain this whole time too. Poor Bigly Baby didn’t want to get his hair wet, so sad and low energy.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.
Macron Meets Trump
Macron Meets Trump
Macron Meets Trump
Centenary of Armistice Day in France
Centenary of Armistice Day in France
Centenary of Armistice Day in France

Intro for November 15, 2018

Author: | Filed under: Celebrities

Dear Gossips,

Mariah Carey’s new album, Caution, comes out tomorrow. Mimi’s previous album, Glitter, is currently #2 on iTunes. It’s a surprise. It happened because of the Lambily and the movement they call #JusticeForGlitter. Glitter, as you know, was a punchline when it came out but, like othe…

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Rotherham

For years, it’s been known that the Duchess of Cambridge hates speaking in public. I’m not going to get into the nuances of whether it’s a “fear” of public speaking, or whether she’s just never bothered to take public speaking lessons and work to master a vital part of her role as a public figure. We don’t know which it is, we only know that Kate barely averages one speech a year, and her speeches are never very good. Meanwhile, the Duchess of Sussex is very comfortable on a stage with a microphone. Meghan gave three speeches during The Royal Sussex Tour, and she’s already shown herself to be legitimately keen on communicating. So, take it away “royal expert” Camilla Tominey:

Meghan Markle recently returned from a royal tour of Australia after marrying Prince Harry in May. Meanwhile, last month the Duchess of Cambridge marked her return from maternity leave after giving birth to son Louis in the spring. As she resumes her solo royal duties, eyes are on how she copes with the demands of public life. However, royal expert Camilla Tominey has expressed one concern.

Speaking on Yahoo’s The Royal Box, she stressed her “huge respect” for Kate Middleton but argued that she lacks confidence in public speaking. Meghan’s career as an actress, meanwhile, has put her in good stead for dealing with the spotlight.

“Meghan’s put herself out there,” Camilla says by comparison. “As modern women, we can’t have the Duchesses of Cambridge or Sussex as princesses who are seen and not heard,” she adds.

Camilla, who is Associate Editor of the Daily Telegraph and NBC’s royal expert, also reveals that she has spoken to members of the royal household several times about Kate. She added: “I’ve said on a number of occasions, get her confidence up!”

Host Kate Thornton sympathises with the Duchess’ fears, saying: “It must be terrifying.”

However, Camilla explains why it is crucial that Kate overcomes her nerves.

“It’s important for her as a future queen,” she argued. “We need her to be on a world stage. Kate’s got a great deal to offer on her own terms, not just as Prince William’s wife.”

[From The Daily Express]

What strikes me about Keen Kate: 2018 Version is that, as many of her most ardent defenders note, she seems happier than she ever has before. Kate’s defenders say that she’s simply more content now that she’s got three kids, and that she’s no longer “the new girl,” and that she’s gained confidence because she’s been showing Meghan the ropes. Some or all of that may be true, but I have another suggestion/theory: Kate seems happier and more confident because after seven years of trying to figure out how to duchess, Meghan came along and duchesses quite naturally, and so Kate has just been copying Meghan’s laidback, happy vibe. What I’m saying is that I bet you $10 that Kate will give a speech in the next few weeks and suddenly she’ll be a much better public speaker, because she saw Meghan do it. And yes, it’s something Kate could have been working on for years. But she didn’t. She waited until she had competition.

Pregnant Meghan Markle delivers a speech during the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games 2018

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, WENN.
Pregnant Meghan Markle delivers a speech during the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games 2018
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Rotherham
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Rotherham
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Rotherham
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Rotherham
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Rotherham

Taylor Swift performs on stage at the BBC's The Biggest Weekend in Swansea

We didn’t cover the original story when it happened last year, but here we go. If you remember, Taylor Swift went dark for more than a year. Her year of darkness began after she and Tom Hiddleston broke up in the fall of 2016 and extended until pretty much the fall of 2017. There were only a handful of paparazzi photos of Taylor during that time, and even diehard Snake Stans couldn’t keep track of her movements. Was she in Nashville, was she in London, was she in New York? No one knew. Even if the stans were sure that she was in New York, they were expecting to see her coming in and out of her apartment building and those photos never came. Well, at one point, a photographer from Splash News posted photos of two of Taylor Swift’s bodyguards carefully carrying a heavy suitcase from her building and putting it in her car. The Splash News caption said Taylor Swift was in the suitcase, and everyone freaked out. Splash News had to take down that caption and apologize. But the story has remained out there, and people have always wondered if Tay really went that far to avoid being photographed. Here’s the photo:

Wait. Did Zayn Malik just let slip that Taylor Swift really was hiding from paparazzi in this suitcase after all? ?>>> https://t.co/2TgT8fusYz pic.twitter.com/gvm9IeH54Q

— MTV UK (@MTVUK) November 15, 2018

So, as I said, there were always denials from Team Snake. But then Zayn Malik – who is friends with Taylor – seemingly confirmed the suitcase story?!?

[Malik] seems more like an undergrad than an internationally swooned-over famous person. Though his small talk is a giveaway. “She was travelling around in a suitcase,” he says, eyes agog, of his pal Taylor Swift’s ability to avoid the paparazzi.

[From British Vogue via Glamour]

Zayn might have simply been referencing the tabloid reports, or he could have insider information, considering he is legitimately friendly with Taylor. The thing that bugs me is not the idea that Taylor might go to such lengths to avoid being photographed. The thing that bugs me is not that she’s a control freak. The thing that bugs me is that as soon as she slithered out of her suitcase, she actually got her people to call Splash News and DENY it.

remember when Taylor Swift stuffed herself inside of a suitcase to avoid paparazzi? now that’s a mood pic.twitter.com/s35aadlzn0

— nat (@rllynatalia) November 14, 2018

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red and Backgrid.
Taylor Swift teams a catsuit with platform boots as she heads to her concert in Cleveland
Taylor Swift performs on stage at the BBC's The Biggest Weekend in Swansea
Taylor Swift steps out of her apartment showing off her legs in a pair of short shorts
Taylor Swift leaves her apartment in New York City
2018 American Music Awards - Arrivals

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