New York, Feb 20 (AP/UNB) — Meghan Markle has been spotted at several swanky venues in New York City, cradling her baby bump as she visited friends for what is rumored to be a baby shower.
The 37-year-old pregnant Meghan, formally known as the Duchess of Sussex, was seen Tuesday entering The Mark hotel on Manhattan's Upper East Side, at a restaurant on the ground floor of The Met Breuer and at The Surrey Hotel.
Meghan wore sunglasses, a black William Vintage trapeze coat and neutral high heels with a matching bag. As photographers waited outside the Mark, a high-end boxed crib and pink flowers were delivered.
Abigail Spencer, a co-star on Meghan's former TV show "Suits," was spotted at one of the gatherings.
Meghan and Prince Harry announced the pregnancy in October.
London, Feb 3 (AP/UNB) — Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has written personal messages to women being helped by a charity that seeks to help sex workers break free from prostitution.
Prince Harry's wife took the unusual step of writing the messages on the skins of bananas destined for the food parcels that would be handed out to the women Friday.
Meghan wrote sentiments such as "You are strong," ''You are special," and "You are brave!" with hearts next to them. She was visiting the One25 organization in Bristol, southwest England.
She said the messages were inspired after she learned of a program "this woman had started in the States on a school lunch program when on each of the bananas she wrote an affirmation or something to make the kids feel really empowered."
Nashville, Jan 6 (AP/UNB) — Singer Kid Rock has hit another sour note with some in Nashville, this time over a large sign planned for his recently opened bar.
News outlets report the 20-foot-tall (6-meter-tall) neon sign will feature a giant guitar in which the base of the instrument is intentionally shaped like a woman's buttocks.
Metro Council approved the necessary aerial encroachment to allow for construction and installation of the sign. Mayor David Briley signed into law the council resolution authorizing the sign Friday.
But its approval didn't sit well with several council members, who called the sign tacky and bemoaned that Lower Broadway has steered further away from a place for family fun.
In November, Kid Rock's profane comments on live TV got him booted from leading the Nashville Christmas Parade.
England, Dec 26 (AP/UNB) — Queen Elizabeth II wove personal reflections into the latest edition of her annual Christmas message, saying she hoped her long life brought a measure of wisdom and noting her grandchildren's contributions to Britain's royal family.
The 92-year-old queen, the world's longest-reigning living monarch, also included the customary tribute to military personnel and wishes for world peace in the message, which was pre-recorded at Buckingham Palace and televised Tuesday.
"Some cultures believe a long life brings wisdom," Elizabeth said in the recording. "I'd like to think so. Perhaps part of that wisdom is to recognize some of life's baffling paradoxes, such as the way human beings have a huge propensity for good and yet a capacity for evil."
On a lighter note, the queen listed the House of Windsor's 2018 milestones with the same unabashed pride of someone writing their yearly Christmas letter for friends and far-flung relatives.
"It's been a busy year for my family, with two weddings and two babies, and another child expected soon. It helps to keep a grandmother well occupied," Elizabeth said, not forgetting to mention her own firstborn,
"We have had other celebrations too, including the 70th birthday of The Prince of Wales," otherwise known as heir to the throne Prince Charles.
The annual message was broadcast to many of the 53 Commonwealth countries. Elizabeth recalled that her father, King George VI, welcomed eight former British colonies at the first meeting of Commonwealth leaders in 1948.
"Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding," she said.
The queen mentioned her father, from whom she inherited the throne when he died in 1952, again while expressing gratitude for soldiers and sailors past and present. During World War I, two decades before his own unexpected ascension to the throne, he served with the Royal Navy and saw friends killed in battle, Elizabeth said.
"At Christmas, we become keenly aware of loved ones who have died, whatever the circumstances. But, of course, we would not grieve if we did not love.
Earlier in the day, Elizabeth and her family received cheers from a Christmas crowd when they arrived for a church service in the English countryside. A chauffeured limousine delivered the queen, while her descendants and their spouses walked from a nearby estate of the monarch's.
Prince Charles led the way, followed by his sons: Prince William and his wife, Catherine, and Prince Harry and his pregnant wife, Meghan. Harry and the former American actress known as Meghan Markle married in May and are expecting their first child in the spring.
The couple walked arm in arm next to William and Catherine. Many in the crowd wished them "Merry Christmas" as they strolled to the church in the English countryside on a cold, wintry morning.
After the 45-minute service, people gave them flowers as they headed back for a traditional Christmas lunch.
The queen's husband, Prince Philip, who is 97 and largely retired from public life, did not attend the service. Charles' wife Camilla, who is recovering from flu, also missed church.
William and Catherine's three children — Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and 8-month-old Prince Louis, also stayed home.
Britain's royals usually exchange small gifts on Christmas Eve, a practice popularized by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The queen typically frowns on extravagant gifts, and many of the presents are novelty items.
When the queen was younger, Christmas meant a brisk family walk through the woods on Christmas or an excursion on horseback.
Elizabeth delivered her first Christmas Day message when she took the throne in 1952. The seasonal addresses aired on the radio until she made the transition to television in 1957.
They have been broadcast during every year of her reign save one. In 1969, the queen decided her family had received enough exposure from giving a TV crew unusual access for a documentary.
That year, she issued the message in writing.
London, Dec 18 (AP/UNB) — Thomas Markle appealed to his daughter Meghan to call home, saying Monday they hadn't spoken since her wedding to Prince Harry in May.
The former actress, now known as the Duchess of Sussex, has ignored his attempts to get in touch, Thomas Markle told ITV. Markle had been scheduled to walk his daughter down the aisle, but pulled out of the wedding at the last moment because of heart problems.
"I love my daughter very much and she has to know that, and I would really appreciate if she would call me, just reach out to me," Markle said in the interview from San Diego.
In Markle's first television interview since the duchess announced her pregnancy in October, the 74-year-old grandfather-to-be agreed he'd been "ghosted" by his daughter. He suggested the royal couple had been influenced by media reports about him.
"The funny thing about my daughter and Prince Harry is that they believe everything they read in the paper," he said. "What's happened, I'm not sure. I'd love to talk about it. I think it comes back to the fact that reporters pick up on interviews I've done and write their own stories and tell lies."
Markle hopes Queen Elizabeth II will help heal the rift.
He also rejected the notion his daughter had a habit of dumping those she no longer needed.
"That's really not a character trait," he said. "She's always been very polite to everyone, never been rude to anyone. I don't know what's really happening right now."