Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Beauty

It is reported that when Prince Harry looked back at Kate Middleton walking down the aisle, he leaned into his Brother and said;

"Wait until you see her".

Breathlessly Beautiful

Catherine Middleton, 
Duchess of Cambridge

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge :: William and Catherine

"We were supposed to have just a small family affair" 
Prince William to the Bride and her Father as they meet at altar.

Prince William's warm sense of humour and sincerity was evident this morning at the altar when he leaned over to his Bride and her Father and offered his explanation for the crowd.

In a perfectly pitched ceremony at Westminster Abbey the new young Royals exchanged marriage vows setting a new tone on tradition. The family, friends and celebrities arrived; the beauty of the Abbey was enhanced even further with the regal elegance of a deep red carpet rolled the length of the church, the aisles flanked by enormous maple and hornbeam tree's.

Prince William and Prince Harry arrived in full Military uniform. William appeared remarkably calm and relaxed, while Harry seemed to ring his hands in nervousness prior to the ceremony.
But it was a brief moment at the altar that the brothers exchanged a private moment. It is protocol for the Groom to face the altar and not watch the Bride come down the aisle; but Harry turned and took a peak, smiled and shared a quick comment with his Brother.

The procession of vehicles continued to arrive; two young groomsmen, four little bridesmaids and the Brides sister Pippa who looked striking in her ivory white gown.

Pippa's gown was elegant and understated enough to not take away from the Bride; yet the gown is elaborate enough to be worn by a bride of non-royal status. This gown, as well as Kate's, will be copied and worn by Bride's around the world. It is timeless and Pippa looked stunning.

And then...... The Bride and her Father arrived. Kate emerged from the car to the sounds of gasps from the crowd and the world watching; and finally the secret dress was revealed. And it did not disappoint.
In a gown designed by Sarah Burton for the house of McQueen, the traditional styled sweetheart lace neckline gown had a reminiscence of both Princess Grace and Princess Margaret's wedding gowns.

With just the right amount of full ballgown skirting, the elegance of lace covering the bodice and extending as sleeves, and a manageable length of train (10 feet); the gown presented a timeless quality that will be know as one of the most perfect Royal wedding gowns.

The blusher veil was highlighted with the Cartier Halo tiara. The understated headband of diamonds tiara was originally a gift to Queen Elizabeth on her 18th birthday and has been lent to Kate for her wedding to the Queen's Grandson.

Kate wearing the Cartier Halo Tiara
When Prince William did turn and greet his Bride and took her hand from her Father, visibly it could be seen that he said "You look beautiful". It can be generously said that Kate looks beautiful every day, and today she was radiant.

"Marriage should transform, not reform when you marry"

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge :: April 30, 2011

When the Duke and Duchess settled into the carriage for the ceremonial ride back to Buckingham Palace, Kate it is rumoured said to William "are you happy'. They both radiated the look of happiness and love as they glanced at each other between waves to the enormous crowds estimated at 200,000 people along the route. 

The waiting crowds were treated to not one, but two generous kisses from the Newlyweds; showing the world that this step away from old protocol mixed with the right amount of tradition is the face of the new Royals.

William and Catherine, 
the world wishes you a lifetime of love, happiness and good health.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Glamourous & Regal

The strikingly beautiful and regal elegance of Audrey Hepburn. 

Wedding Jitters

The night before the 'big day' ....... Every bride feels the pre-wedding excitement wrapped in anxiousness that can only be labeled 'the wedding jitters'. Now take that to an ultimate level with the knowledge that 2.5 Billion people will be watching you walk down the aisle, and it equates to a sleepless night.

Kate Middleton is about to venture not only into marriage, but a new and very public life as she weds Prince William. The media has remarked that Kate has had much 'guidance' over the recent months to prepare her for the event and changes. Thank heavens for that.

The Goring Hotel :: London, England

Kate and her family will spend the night before the wedding at The Goring Hotel, which has been noted as London's Top Luxury Hotel, and has the right to boast 'One Hundred Years, One Family'. Steeped in tradition and elegance, it is no surprise that the Goring has been selected as the home away from home for many Royals and celebrities.

Suites at The Goring Hotel

Bath in one of the suites at The Goring Hotel

The Royal Men.............. well, they are more accustomed to the public eye. William, in his maturity and calm sense of himself, will still likely feel the excitement and jitters that every groom feels.

The Royal Men :: A Prince and his Sons.

For any bride, the night before the wedding is the time to catch your breath and settle into a sense of calmness; if that is at all possible with the constant thought that the world will be watching your every move. With the strong likelihood of a constant hum of people hovering around the hotel for blocks, it's even more important that the Royal bridal party retreat to an oasis within their suites.

For all Brides ::
Surround yourself with people who add calmness, it's not a place for your nervous, fretful friend. Add a bit of bubbly............ a luxuriously warm bubble bath with a glass of champagne.

A massage therapist will be able to locate and dissolve the stress points that your body is wearing; and help with breathing techniques to assist you to sleep.

Pedi's and mani's are a must for the wedding party. It's a fun thing to share with your bridesmaids and Mother, and wonderfully relaxing.

When it's time to finally turn in for the night make sure that your room is dark and cooler rather than warm. Chose a distraction to the silence of the room (or outside noises) by putting your favourite playlist on your iPod; turn it on to a low volume setting in a free standing Pod player. Another option to block out sound and take you easily into slumber land is a white noise machine........... sure to do the trick.

When morning comes and you've slept more soundly than you imagined you could, you will be ready for your special day.

The Goring Hotel Breakfast
Make sure you start your day with long deep breaths......... and a breakfast with protein. Your nervous energy will eat through your body's insulin, take time throughout the morning to fuel your body.

The busy schedule of a Bride begins with hair styling and makeup application. Dab your favourite fragrance.......... the one he loves to nuzzle in at your neck. Wearing something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue, can be fun even if you are not traditional.

Have friends or your Mother assist you to get into your gown and shoes; this ensures that you do not accidentally get makeup on the dress. Your hairstylist should assist with your headpiece and veil.
For Kate Middleton it will mean a stylist who is experienced in securing a diamond tiara.

You are ready to go and enjoy your day. One last thing to do...... take a long look in the mirror directly into your own eyes, and know that you are about to make a commitment of love for life.
Now it's time to meet the man who has been tugging at your heart.......... and he is there waiting for you at the alter, with the same commitment of love.

LoVe is Glamourous...... if you just let it be.

Union Jack Salute

Two and a half BILLION people :: the estimated number of viewers who will watch 
The Royal Wedding.

Sit yourself down and watch the festivities unfold in good 'ol British style. 
Salute the Union Jack.

 @ doesn't cost the earth 

 Graham and Green has a bevy of fun accents for your home.

Don't you just love the juxtaposition of the Union Jack a'la a British Bulldog pillow...... French Je t'aime highlight.... all snuggled around an Irish Setter. 
Very International. 
@ Graham and Green.

from interiors online

* union jack chair source unknown

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Royal Wedding :: Headlines from 1947

The media is gearing up and preparing for the Royal Wedding which will take place on Friday. It was in November of 1947 that the newspaper headlines world-wide boasted about the marriage of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten (who became the Duke of Edinburgh upon their marriage).
Princess Elizabeth was twenty at the time of her marriage; only six years later Elizabeth was crowned Queen of England.

At the time of the Royal Wedding the country was still rebounding from war, and the material for Princess Elizabeth's wedding gown was bought with ration coupons. Philip's German relatives were not invited to the wedding as it was viewed as in appropriate in this post-war time.  

Headlines around the world depicted the details of the nuptials; it was a bright spot of celebration during a the post-war gloom.

via flickr

There will be an abundance of information in print and via the internet about the Royal Wedding, and the transformation of Kate to Princess Catherine. But the most important title Kate will wear is that of WIFE.
Beyond the pomp and ceremony of every wedding; at the beginning and the end of the day, it is really only about Love Ever After.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Glorious Greece :: OIA

I took this picture on our trip to Greece; it is at one of the most recognizable points of Santorini. The church bells are on the cliffs edge on the tip of OIA. Travel brochures generously show the image of OIA on the island of Santorini with the white buildings shining like beacons against the Aegean Sea.
I took approximately 100 pictures per day while we were in Greece, and I feel fortunate that I had several days to explore Santorini to capture the beauty with my camera (ok, I admit it...... I was in heaven). 

Richard and I wandered through the streets in OIA and discovered the steps at the edge of the crescent shaped island ....... all 510 of them. We walked down the winding steps to the fishing village at the sea edge. On the way down to the village we discovered many beautiful buildings that are a glorious patina mix of rustic original stonework and new white stucco walls.


Sitting on the dock at the fishing village with the sea slapping up against the shore was a memorable experience. The open air restaurant had a huge grill with fresh calamari .... our absolute favourite. So we enjoyed the sea, the sunshine, some wine, village salad and grilled calamari.

We could eat this every day........ so yummy.

Of course the problem with enjoying wine and food in the sun is you feel a little too relaxed after............ and there were 510 steps to walk back UP. We could have taken a taxi, but thought it's not a big deal. Thankfully we hadn't had too much wine, but 510 steps down and then back up ...... are a big deal.


Buganvilias grow everywhere in a variety of colours.

We rented a car and explored the rest of Santorini, first visiting Fira which is the capital of the island and the port where the cruise ships come to dock. And just like the end of the island in OIA, Fira has a generous amount of stairs for visitors to climb before they reach the bevy of shops and restaurants at the top. There are donkeys to transport travelers up the steps; and it's a frenzy of noise and animal aroma in the process. 

Fira, Santorini, Greece
We drove out to explore a few of the wineries on the far end of the island and discovered some incredible wine and beautiful vistas. Grape growing in Greece is a bit different than anywhere else. There is a big hole dug into the ground to allow the grape vines to grow in a spiral down into the open hole. When the leaves sit over the open hole and vines, it keeps the grapes safe from the strong sun.  The moisture from the sea or the rain drips into the pit keeping the vines moist.

Grape Vine Spirals

Gorgeous doors at the winery in Santorini

We recorded several movies on the camera along the way in the car (complete with Greek music playing in the background), at the wineries, and at the beach. We landed at a spot called White Beach..... which is connected to Black Beach....... and Red Beach. Hmm, a real theme. All beaches names are noted because of the colour of the stones that washed ashore.

At White Beach :: Santorini, Greece
I have watched all of the movies several times since we came home; it's a wonderful way to show the kids what the vista is really like on our trips. When you take more than just pictures on a trip it allows you to revisit and reminisce on a broader level.

Watching our little movies again, I heard myself giggling like a school girl and realized how much Richard makes me laugh, how much fun we have together. I loved exploring Greece with him and making more memories together.

For Glorious Greece : OIA part one click here.

Up next.......... Glorious Greece :: Rhodes.