• Chelsea Flower Show 2019: dates, tickets, transport advice and the best day to go
    Style
    The Telegraph

    Chelsea Flower Show 2019: dates, tickets, transport advice and the best day to go

    It's the most glamorous event on the gardening calendar and now the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show is returning for its 106th year.

  • Spring showers: the stylish way to rain-proof your wardrobe
    Style
    Evening Standard

    Spring showers: the stylish way to rain-proof your wardrobe

    It's spring. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, there's not a cloud in th-oh wait, it's raining.

  • Three gardens to visit this weekend
    Style
    The Telegraph

    Three gardens to visit this weekend

    The garden at Melbourne is a revelation where historical importance and rarity are matched by its visual delights. Made around 1700, the garden is arguably the best surviving example of the formal French style, subtly adapted for England with formal hedged walks through woodland. The Birdcage, viewed from the 18th-century house (not open) across sloping lawn and formal water, is the most distinguished ironwork garden building in England, a bravura creation by Robert Bakewell. Elsewhere are the Four Seasons urn and other statues in lead by Jan van Nost – but if you just want a wander this is also the place for you.

  • Top 10 chillies in order of heat - how many can you eat?
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    The Telegraph

    Top 10 chillies in order of heat - how many can you eat?

    Sweet peppers and chillies, which can be grown as early as January, are great for their health benefits, versatility in cooking and the delicious flavour they bring to a range of meals.

  • Hallucinating, panicked, yet sent home by doctors: One woman’s story of suffering postpartum psychosis
    Style
    The Independent

    Hallucinating, panicked, yet sent home by doctors: One woman’s story of suffering postpartum psychosis

    Sophie Wood had never truly appreciated the feeling of soft carpet underneath her toes. Nor the luxury of boiling a kettle without being watched, chopping an apple with a knife, or using a hairdryer. But six weeks after being admitted under the Mental Health Act (1983) to a Mother and Baby Unit (MBU), she was slowly starting to remember the minutiae that make life interesting.“For weeks, I’d had someone sitting at the end of my bed watching me, monitoring exactly what I ate, the medication I was taking, and how I was caring for my baby,” the 35-year-old tells The Independent. “I felt like a prisoner. At the beginning, all I wanted to do was escape.”After longing to start a family for years, this isn’t exactly how Sophie had envisaged the first few weeks of motherhood. In April 2016, Sophie gave birth to her daughter, Isabella. Like the majority of new mums, she fully expected long sleepless nights and problems latching in the early stages. “I didn’t sleep at all for three to four days after giving birth,” she admits.“While I was excited and elated to have a baby, I felt entirely responsible for looking after my daughter all the time. I became obsessed with checking she was breathing. Every time she cried I went to pick her and feed her. I felt I needed to be with her, constantly.”These may sound like the concerns every mum feels after giving birth, but Sophie and her husband soon realised her experience of motherhood wasn’t the norm as her obsession soon turned into delusion. Unbeknown to Sophie, she was suffering from postpartum psychosis (PP) – a severe form of mental illness which usually begins in the first two weeks after childbirth.National charity Action of Postpartum Psychosis (APP) estimates that more than 1,400 women experience PP each year in the UK (one to two in every 1,000 mothers). Symptoms can include hallucinations, delusions, restlessness, confusion, and a manic mood.Dr Trudi Seneviratne, chair of the perinatal faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, says it’s often difficult to pinpoint whether someone is suffering from PP or the “baby blues” (when women experience low mood and feel mildly depressed after childbirth) given the natural fluctuations in mood due to hormone changes after a woman gives birth.However, Seneviratne notes that 75 per cent of women who suffer from PP often exhibit behaviours that make them appear overly-energetic. “They might write down a list of ideas all at once, become busy and obsessive with certain concepts. Their sense of taste, smell and hearing may also become heightened.” What is postpartum psychosis? Postpartum psychosis (PP) is a rare but serious mental health illness that can affect a woman soon after she has a baby, the NHS states.It is estimated that over 1,400 women experience PP each year in the UK (one to two in every 1,000 mothers).Symptoms of PP include hallucinations, delusions, restlessness, confusion, and a manic mood.Dr Jess Heron, director of the national charity Action on Postpartum Psychosis concurs, adding: “The early symptoms of PP can be difficult to identify because many women feel a little bit elated and sleep deprived in the first few days after having a baby. There are some mums at particularly high risk of PP: mums who have previously experienced an episode of bipolar disorder, or a previous postpartum psychosis.”That said, for around half of women – including Sophie – PP can come completely out of the blue.“The only way I can describe PP is like an iceberg,” she says. “If you look at the pictures of me after I’d given birth, I looked like a perfectly normal and happy new mum holding my baby. Underneath I was suffering from chronic anxiety and confusion.”While Sophie still doesn’t know what triggered her PP, she believes the lack of aftercare she received in the first few hours following childbirth played a key role. After undergoing an emergency caesarean section as a result of her daughter being in breach (when a baby is born bottom first instead of head first), Sophie found herself becoming increasingly distressed.“It was around midnight when my husband was booted out of the hospital and I was put on the general ward with other mothers and babies,” she recalls.“It was pitch black and I was connected to multiple tubes and a catheter. My daughter was screaming and I really felt incapable of helping her. I kept pressing my buzzer but no one came to help. I could see she might need feeding but my milk hadn’t come in. I panicked.”That night, Sophie tried to breastfeed to no avail, resulting in her nipples becoming raw and bleeding. A midwife later told her that “this feeding malarkey” might not be for her. “It was excruciating,” she says. “I beat myself up about it so much in the first few days.“My daughter gradually started to lose weight because I couldn’t feed her. I felt I was it was my fault as I couldn’t give her the natural thing she needed. I felt I was failing as a mother.Four days after coming home from hospital with her child, Sophie experienced her first psychotic episode. After falling asleep amid exhaustion, she recalls having a horrific nightmare. “I woke up screaming in a hot sweat and shaking. My husband ran up the stairs to find me babbling nonsense. I told him I felt unsafe and that I didn’t know what was going on.” Sophie could feel herself getting jittery, battling racing thoughts and talking quickly.> It was so sad for my family to watch me go from being happy, organised, and positive about becoming a mother, to someone so anxious and fearfulMoments later, Sophie’s husband found her doing the Michael Jackson-inspired moonwalk across the landing (“I wasn’t even aware I knew the entire Thriller routine”), before forcing him to watch the Lion King. “I remember holding up my daughter like the monkey on Pride Rock showing Simba to the pride. “Look, she’s ours, she’s amazing,” I kept repeating to my husband. The couple recognised how out of character Sophie’s behaviour was and were increasingly concerned. “I felt like I was coming in and out of dream world,” she says, describing her mental state at the time. “My husband knew something was wrong and told me he thought I was having a psychotic episode but he was naturally scared to call anyone in fear social services would take me and the baby away.”Despite visiting A&E that night, Sophie was told she was experiencing the normal anxieties of becoming a new mum and needed sleep. After being handed a cup of tea and a sedative, she was soon sent home.Over the next few days, her mental state deteriorated rapidly. She began hearing voices in her head and was convinced her brother had died. She even lost the ability to speak and spent hours watching her wedding video on repeat. To this day, she still has the in-depth business plan she wrote out on her phone about a new invention she’d created to help new mums suffering like she was. “I genuinely thought I was the new Richard Branson,” she jokes.Eight days after giving birth, Sophie was forced into an ambulance and admitted to an MBU which provides support for mothers who experience severe mental health difficulties during and after pregnancy. She remembers her husband breaking down into tears as he signed the forms to have her sectioned.“It was so sad for my family to watch me go from being happy, organised, and positive about becoming a mother, to someone so anxious and fearful,” she says. “No one saw it coming.”During her initial stay at the unit, Sophie feared male staff would hurt her and she couldn’t bare people looking at her with Isabella. “I was tearful, quiet, and fearful. I ended up singing a lot to myself. It was a very lonely time,” she says.Despite taking numerous forms of medication including mood stabilisers, attending group therapy, mindfulness and group counselling sessions, at no point during her time in the facility did anyone tell Sophie she was suffering from PP. She says: “I used to ask people ‘what’s happened to me, why am I here?’ They used to tell me I was unwell which I thought was ludicrous. ‘Unwell’ is what you are when you have a cold or food poisoning.”While Sophie showed signs of improvement during her time at the unit, her battle with PP was far from over. She suffered from chronic anxiety and feared going outside. For the first month after leaving the MBU, she called the crisis team on a daily basis. “I was traumatised. I kept having flashbacks of what had happened,” she says. She didn’t step foot into a supermarket on her own for six months.Heron says: “Women go on to make a full recovery, however, the journey to full recovery can be long and difficult.”According to the NHS, most women will require treatment for PP in hospital, ideally at an MBU. Treatment may include medication, psychological therapy, and on extremely rare occasions electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).Seneviratne says: “Ninety per cent of sufferers will make a good recovery thanks to a combination of medication which can include anti-psychotics, that have mood stabilising properties, and sedatives that help them to sleep. However, while medication is important, so too are psychological therapies.“The term ‘psychosis’ is a hugely stigmatising term as it can be a reason why people don’t seek help early enough – PP is a severe condition. It’s important to talk openly about PP and give families the platforms to do so. Sufferers should in no way feel embarrassed about sharing their experiences.’’As her treatment continued, Sophie underwent counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and was finally diagnosed with PP some four months after giving birth. She came off her medication 11 months later and has attended numerous meet-ups and peer support groups through APP to share her experience. With hopes to have more children in future, she has also discussed several contingency plans with her doctor on how she can try to avoid suffering from PP again.“We’ve spoken about the need for medication, making contact with a perinatal mental health support nurses, birth plans, bottle feeding – anything so I can feel as calm as possible if I fall pregnant,” she says.As a result of her experience, Sophie has also become a media volunteer for APP and is setting up a blog to detail her journey through future pregnancies about how she plans to prevent PP, if she can, for women, families, and healthcare professionals.“It is not the ‘baby blues’ or a bad patch, rather a serious mental health condition. The earlier you get intervention, the healthier you’ll be. It takes a long time to recover from this illness but it is possible, there is hope.”To find out more information about postpartum psychosis, click here. For more help on the condition, contact www.app-network.org

  • Fibromyalgia: What is the condition that Kirsty Young and Lena Dunham suffer from?
    Style
    The Independent

    Fibromyalgia: What is the condition that Kirsty Young and Lena Dunham suffer from?

    Today is World Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, an annual day dedicated to raising awareness of the debilitating condition and of those who suffer its effects.The condition, which affects Girls creator Lena Dunham and former Desert Island Discs host Kirsty Young, as well as an estimated 10m other people in the US, causes chronic pain. Read on for everything you need to know about fibromyalgia. What is fibromyalgia?Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition characterised by chronic pain and tenderness across the body.While there are some common symptoms, such as fatigue, everyone experiences fibromyalgia differently, with some cases more severe than others.It’s fairly common, according to the charity Arthritis Research UK, which claims that up to one person in every 25 may be affected.The symptoms for fibromyalgia can be very similar to inflammatory or degenerative arthritis, however, the conditions are not linked.There is no specific test for fibromyalgia, meaning it can often be difficult to diagnose. Who is affected?Fibromyalgia can affect anyone at any age, though it typically affects roughly seven times as many women as men.It usually develops between the ages of 30 and 50. What causes fibromyalgia?It’s not clear what causes fibromyalgia, but researchers suggests it’s related to abnormal amounts of particular chemicals in the brain which disrupt the central nervous system and the way pain is processed in the body.Others speculate that the condition is genetic.According to the NHS, in many cases, fibromyalgia is triggered by physically or emotionally stressful events, such as giving birth, having an operation or bereavement. What are the symptoms?The most common symptom experienced by people with fibromyalgia is widespread chronic pain, which may be more severe in the back and/or neck. Other symptoms include fatigue, insomnia, hypersensitivity, spasms, diarrhoea, dizziness and muscle stiffness.Fibromyalgia can also affect your mental wellbeing, causing something known as “fibro-fog”: problems with memory and concentration. How is it treated?There is no known cure for fibromyalgia, however, it can be managed through treatment, which varies depending on your symptoms.This can be a combination of painkillers, antidepressants, cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling.Some sufferers may also be advised to embark on specific exercise programmes and relaxation methods in order to help manage and alleviate the pain.For more information on fibromyalgia, visit Fibromyalgia Action UK, a charity which supports people with the condition.

  • YouPorn launches Instagram's first AI porn influencer
    Style
    Evening Standard

    YouPorn launches Instagram's first AI porn influencer

    First we had influencers, then we had AI influencers and now we have a virtual porn influencer. Porn site YouPorn has announced the introduction of its new virtual Brand Ambassador, Jedy Vales, an artificial Intelligence porn star. YouPorn hopes that Jedy will be for the porn world what Lil Miquela is for the fashion world - basically a "sentient robot" capable of interacting with social media users and posting (presumably) risque Instagram posts.

  • Royal baby boy: What title will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son have?
    Style
    The Independent

    Royal baby boy: What title will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son have?

    On Monday 6 May, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed the arrival of a son.The baby boy, whose name is yet to be revealed, is seventh in line to the throne, and Queen Elizabeth II's eight great-grandchild.While some are speculating if Prince Harry and Meghan will give their son a traditionally royal first name, others are wondering whether the child will obtain a royal title.Despite the fact that the baby's first cousins are princes and a princess, the Sussex's son won't receive a royal title unless granted one by the Queen.In 1917, King George V passed a Letters Patent, which stated that "...the grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales shall have and only enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms".This means that Prince Harry and Meghan's son will likely not become a prince or known as "His Royal Highness", and may instead be known as Lord (forename) Mountbatten-Windsor.The royal couple may choose to forego a title for their son altogether, in which case he may be known as Master (first name) Mountbatten-Windsor.However, the Queen could issue a new Letters Patent to change this, as she did for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's children.In December 2012, the Queen issued a Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm declaring “all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of royal highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour”.This explains why Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis all have HRH titles.Another title that the Sussex's baby may receive bears links with an ancient Scottish kingdom.On the day of the royal wedding in May 2018, one of the subsidiary titles Prince Harry was bestowed by the Queen was Earl of Dumbarton.As the son of a duke, the baby is entitled to be known as this title.Before Prince Harry was granted the title by his grandmother, it had not been used for more than 260 years.The town of Dumbarton in Scotland, founded in the fifth century, was once the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde.According to Historic Environment Scotland, Dumbarton Castle in the region was a "mighty stronghold in the Dark Ages".Legend dictates that the fort was visited by the wizard Merlin, from Arthurian legend, in the sixth century.For all the latest news on the royal baby, visit The Independent's live blog here.

  • Royal baby news – live: Alexander bookmakers' favourite name for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's son
    Style
    The Independent

    Royal baby news – live: Alexander bookmakers' favourite name for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's son

    The Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a baby boy, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.The duchess went into labour during the early hours of Monday morning. Prince Harry was by her side.A statement was released on the royal couple's official Instagram account, revealing that the baby was born before 6am."We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019," the statement reads."Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7lbs. 3oz."The announcement adds that the duchess and the newborn are both "healthy and well".Please allow a moment for the blog to load...

  • Zendaya channels Cinderella at Met Gala by leaving her glass slipper on pink carpet
    Style
    The Independent

    Zendaya channels Cinderella at Met Gala by leaving her glass slipper on pink carpet

    Zendaya turned a classic fairytale into reality with an unforgettable performance on the Met Gala’s pink carpet. The Greatest Showman actor attended the star-studded event on Monday night looking exactly like Disney’s Cinderella in a bold blue gown designed by Tommy Hilfiger.As she arrived at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Zendaya’s stylist, Law Roach – who was incidentally dressed as her fairygodfather – began waving a wand that emitted dramatic wisps of smoke.Moments later, the 22-year-old’s dress slowly began to light up from top-to-toe.Speaking to Vogue, Roach said that Zendaya’s look was created to reflect her own career evolution from the Disney Channel to her latest endeavour Euphoria, a teen drama which is set to debut in June.“[It’s] the total opposite of every character I think she’s ever played and a huge stretch from K.C. Undercover,” Roach told the publication. “It’s almost like this is the last hoorah and the last time people will identify her as a Disney princess—which isn’t a bad thing.“It has to be literal enough so that people get it. When you see Cinderella, you know right away it’s her; the baby blue dress and the hair and the French twist it all works together.”But, Zendaya’s devotion to delivering the fairytale dream didn’t stop there.As she walked up the museum’s grand staircase, the actor played on the lost shoe trope from the famous film, leaving her glass heel on the pink carpet.People quickly took to social media to praise the star for the lengths she went to execute her Princess-inspired performance. Most people just walk a red carpet, Zendaya performed a whole ass movie on hers,” one person wrote.Another added: “She really did it. She really left her shoe. No one can touch Zendaya.”A third commented: “Zendaya left a glass slipper on the stairs. This is not an outfit, this is a PERFORMANCE.”> ZENDAYA IS THE QUEEN OF THE MET GALA EVERY SINGLE YEAR. That’s it. That’s the tweet. MetGala pic.twitter.com/fwYqCDZVBs> > — we need bloodline as the 4th single Ariana, i- (@carvonds) > > May 7, 2019Others compared the actor’s look to a similar outfit worn by Claire Danes to the Met Gala in 2016.For the theme “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology”, Danes sported a sky-blue ball gown created by Zac Posen. > i'm crying she really left her shoe y'all. bibbidi bobbidi, and i cannot stress this enough, BOO MetGala @Zendaya pic.twitter.com/mTVOOSYMLd> > — Tanuja Anne (@TanujaAnne) > > May 7, 2019The hand-sewn creation was crafted from organza and fibre optics, which allowed the dress to light up in the dark.

  • Met Gala 2019: What is the theme, when is it and who is hosting?
    Style
    The Independent

    Met Gala 2019: What is the theme, when is it and who is hosting?

    The first Monday in May is one of the most significant events in the fashion calendar.On this day, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art hosts its annual Costume Institute Gala where fashion designers, artists, models, musicians and actors come together in celebration of art and the unveiling of the fashion institute’s blockbuster exhibition.Over the years, the event has served as the perfect platform for the likes of Gigi Hadid, Kim Kardashian and Zendaya to celebrate the mélange of creativity. At least year’s catholicism-themed gala, Rihanna donned a custom, pearl and crystal-encrusted Maison Margiela dress with fla matching mitre hat inspired by a papal regalia. Meanwhile, Lana Del Rey wore a feathered headpiece and a cream cape that featured a three-dimensional heart detail pierced with mini daggers.Aside from the glamour, the Gala has equally resulted in several controversial talking points over the years.[[gallery-0]] In 2015, the event was accused of racism and cultural appropriation accusations following its “China: Through the Looking Glass theme”.Two years later, the New York City Department of Health expressed their anger after footage was shared of celebrities congregating to smoke in the bathroom, violating the city’s smoking laws.And last year, the event was described as “blasphemous” by the Catholic Church following its “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” theme.In the lead up to this year’s Met Gala, here’s everything you need to know about the event, from where it is and its theme to who is hosting and more. What is the Met Gala?The Met Gala is an annual symphony of art, fashion, film, and music where the most renowned members of artistic industries come together for the museum’s latest exhibition launch. Founded by publicist Eleanor Lambert, the gala – then dubbed “The Party of the Year” – was first held in 1948 to encourage donations from New York’s high society for the Costume Institute.Fast forward to today, and the night’s is best known for its theme, be it presented via fashion or interior design. Over the years, the themes have ranged from “Goddess: The Classical Mode” to “Manus x Machina”.The 2019 Met Gala marks the event’s 71st anniversary.The Gala was recreated in the 2018 hit film, Ocean’s 8, where the likes of Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, and Awkwafina pulled off a dramatic jewellery heist at at the museum’s Egyptian edifice, the Temple of Dendur. When is the Met Gala?This year, the annual gala party is scheduled to take place on 6 May.As per tradition, the night begins with a cocktail hour involving the likes of Rihanna, Kate Moss, and Kendall Jenner, who will walk the red carpet and up the famous stairs of the museum in front of the paparazzi.Attendees are then invited to admire the exhibition during an exclusive first-look before it is opened to the general public. Afterwards, guests are treated to cocktails and a sit-down dinner before hitting the dancefloor. When does it start?The red carpet arrivals begin just before 7 pm, with the biggest names in Hollywood and from the fashion elite arriving closer to 8pm. What is this year’s theme?The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently announced its new inspiration for the Costume Institute for 2019: ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’.The theme is inspired by Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay ‘Notes on ‘Camp’, which is widely credited to have introduced the notion of ‘Camp’ to the mainstream.‘The essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration,’ Sontag once explained in Partisan Review.Andrew Bolton, the Costume Institute’s curator, admitted the theme has been on his radar for years, and has “become increasingly more mainstream in its pluralities – political camp, queer camp, pop camp, the conflation of high and low, the idea that there is no such thing as originality”.He told the NYT: “We are going through an extreme camp moment, and it felt very relevant to the cultural conversation to look at what is often dismissed as empty frivolity but can be actually a very sophisticated and powerful political tool, especially for marginalised cultures.”From influencing fashion and politics, to music and art, Bolton added that since working on the show he has found its influence to be “everywhere, and that all fashion is on some level camp”, noting the influences of designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs over the years. “It has gained such currency it has become invisible, and part of my goal is to make it visible again.”Meanwhile, Alessandro Michelle, creative director of Gucci, told the publication: ‘Camp really means the unique ability of combining high art and pop culture; it is not kitsch.” Who will host the gala?New York socialite Pat Buckley became chairwoman of the event in 1979, before Vogue US editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, took over in 1995. Wintour is tasked with choosing key figures in popular culture to serve as her co-chairs.This year, Wintours’ co-chairs include Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, Serena Williams and Alessandro Michelle. It is rumoured that Gaga or Styles will perform on the night.Previous hosts have include Katy Perry, Rihanna, Amal Clooney and Beyonce. Who will design the exhibition?The exhibition will be designed by Belgian scenographer and lighting designer Jan Versweyveld, who is best known for creating David Bowie‘s “Lazarus”, and underwritten by Gucci following Michele’s focus celebration of the power of camp since he took the helm of the Italian brand in 2015.It will be split in two parts. One will look at the origins of camp, which Bolton will explore through Victorian slang, the Stonewall riots, and the use of the word “as a language in the queer community”, he explains.The other will focus on contemporary designers’ interpretations the word “camp”, looking into the creative inspirations from Balenciaga and Miuccia Prada.Approximately 175 pieces of art including paintings, illustrations, sculpture, and both maen’s and women’s clothes will be on display. The exhibition will be hosted in the Met’s Iris and B Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall. The location will be of key significance to Met Gala fans as its where previous exhibitions including “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” and “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” have been presented. Who is invited to this year's Met Gala?While it is unknown who has received an invitation to the event, Wintour has made it clear that US president Donald Trump will not be scoring an invite.During a panel discussion at journalist Tina Brown’s 10th Annual Women in the World Summit on Friday 12 April, Brown questioned Wintour whether there was anything Trump could do to receive an invitation to the upcoming “Camp: Notes on Fashion”-themed event.“Absolutely nothing,” she said to rapturous applause from the audience at the Lincoln Centre in New York City.The news came days after Wintour said it is important to “take a stand” when deciding which influential women in politics to cover in Vogue."You have to stand up for what you believe in, and you have to take a point of view," the 69-year-old said stated.Wintour has long been a keen Democrat supporter, having hosted fundraisers for former president candidate Hillary Clinton and the 44th president of the US, Barack Obama in recent years.The 66-year-old also shed light on what she expects from this year’s event.“I haven’t decided yet, I have options,” she said of her outfit choice. “I’m really hoping that someone will arrive in hiking boots and a backpack.”Keep up-to-date about the 2019 Met Gala at The Independent here.

  • Met Gala 2019: Rihanna and Blake Lively are nowhere to be seen and Twitter isn’t impressed
    Style
    The Independent

    Met Gala 2019: Rihanna and Blake Lively are nowhere to be seen and Twitter isn’t impressed

    If you expected to see Rihanna and Blake Lively walking the Met Gala pink carpet this evening, fear not as you’re not the only one to be sorely disappointed with their absence.Amid the crowds of celebrities that showed off their "Camp"-inspired ensembles at Monday night’s fashion extravaganza at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the famous pair were notably nowhere to be seen.On Monday evening, Rihanna teased fans that her appearance at the star-studded event was imminent when she posted a photograph of US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour at the gala on her Instagram page.“Best dressed,” the singer captioned the photograph.Over the weekend, Lively debuted her growing baby bump at her husband, Ryan Reynolds, Los Angeles premiere for his latest film, Pokémon Detective Pikachu.> View this post on Instagram> > best dressed. 💕🤷🏿‍♀️> > A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on May 6, 2019 at 4:57pm PDTThe pair’s failed attendance at the gala this year has devastated several fashion fans on Twitter who were eager to see what were expected to be show-stopping ensembles.“No Rihanna and no Blake Lively? What is the met gala this year??,” one user commented.Another added: “Where are Rihanna and Blake Lively when you need them? MetGala”“WHERE ARE RIHANNA AND BLAKE LIVELY IM THIS CLOSE TO CALLING MY LAWYERS MetGala [sic],” one upset fan tweeted.Meanwhile, one disgruntled fan commented: “Rihanna and blake lively are the queens of the met gala and they didn’t come?? it’s cancelled [sic].”> No Rihanna and no Blake Lively? What is the met gala this year?? metgala pic.twitter.com/HF20s8pSzk> > — Maria (@mariaayann) > > May 7, 2019> Where are Rihanna and Blake Lively when you need them? MetGala pic.twitter.com/He9pG8BFve> > — peony (@fuckitydarkside) > > May 7, 2019> WHERE ARE RIHANNA AND BLAKE LIVELY IM THIS CLOSE TO CALLING MY LAWYERS MetGala pic.twitter.com/vhJmvtidHV> > — L (@lanawaelxx) > > May 7, 2019Another fan was quick to point out Rihanna and Lively weren't the only Met Gala legends not in attendance at tonight's event, tweeting: "No Rihanna no Blake Lively no Sarah Jessica Parker no Beyoncé Met Gala 2019 might as well have not happened."> no Rihanna > no Blake Lively > no Sarah Jessica Parker > no Beyoncé > Met Gala 2019 might as well have not happened> > — V (@vstowe) > > May 7, 2019In recent years, Rihanna and Blake Lively have come to be internationally known for their creative gala gowns designed by the likes of Riri don Comme des Garçons, Ralph Lauren, and Versace.However, while fans expected to see the sartorially-savvy pair at the event, this isn’t the first time Rihanna and Lively have been absent from the event’s red carpet.In 2016, the singer skipped the 2016 event, which ran under the them "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” just one year after stunning on the red carpet in a yellow Guo Pei-designed dress that was subsequently turned into a "pizza meme" across the world.Meanwhile, the Gossip Girl actor missed the gala in 2012 and 2015 due to rumoured work and family commitments.On Friday, Rihanna announced her beauty line Fenty Beauty will finally be available on the British high street.The Bajan singer tweeted about her beauty brand’s partnership with health and beauty retailer Boots, which will see products from the brand available to buy from the store from 10 May.

  • Met Gala: Meet the fashion student who designed Adwoa Aboah’s gown aged 19
    Style
    The Independent

    Met Gala: Meet the fashion student who designed Adwoa Aboah’s gown aged 19

    Dubbed the “Oscars for fashion”, the Met Gala is the most prestigious sartorial spectacle of the year. The event takes place every year on the first Monday of May, an annual fundraising gala for the Costume Institute at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. It boasts the most exclusive red carpet around, complete with Hollywood actors, musicians and models, offering an unrivalled platform to fashion designers who spend months vying to dress them.Two years ago, a 19-year-old student from Bedford, New York was one such designer. Conner Ives had only just enrolled at London’s Central Saint Martin’s (CSM) when a mutual friend, casting director Madeleine Østlie, suggested he make one of his signature T-shirt dresses for rising British model and activist, Adwoa Aboah.After receiving the dress, Aboah took a screenshot of another piece from Ives’ latest university project, sent it to him over Instagram direct message and asked him to recreate it for her for 2017’s Met Gala. The gala’s theme centred around the work of Comme des Garçons’s Rei Kawakubo. And the event was just was six weeks away.“I didn’t think she was serious,” Ives, now 21, tells The Independent, “but after a few messages I realised, ‘oh, this might actually happen’. I was freaking out.”> View this post on Instagram> > 2017 has been the most bewitched and magical year of my life. The most rewarding experiences with the most generous people I’ve come to know. Thanks to everyone who made it what it was; I can’t wait to see what’s next ❤️> > A post shared by Conner Ives (@connerives) on Dec 29, 2017 at 7:30am PST“Adwoa had gone to the Met Gala the year before and wasn’t really happy with what she wore,” he continues, explaining how major fashion houses often dress 10 to 15 celebrities and attend in one stylish cohort to boost publicity for the brand. In 2016, Aboah wore a sparkling navy gown from Calvin Klein Collection that featured 134,000 sequins and took 850 hours to complete.“I think sometimes the creative process can get a bit lost in that, especially for someone like Adwoa who is so driven and has such a clear idea in her head of what she wants. I really wanted to make her something special.> Adwoa had gone to the Met Gala the year before and wasn’t really happy with what she wore“The Met Gala is the biggest stage that you can get to for any designer, let alone one who, at that time, didn’t even had a studio yet.”Ives made the entire outfit – a hand-embroidered mini dress and a tuxedo-style coat with a billowing train – in his student flat, which he shared with two flatmates.“It was the funniest thing,” he recalls. “I would be sitting at my kitchen table with friends who would come and go throughout the week. We would sit there all day sewing sequins onto this little dress.”> View this post on Instagram> > Still feels like a dream @adwoaaboah ❤️> > A post shared by Conner Ives (@connerives) on May 12, 2017 at 11:02am PDTGiven the time constraints (“I can still feel some of that anxiety”), Ives only had one fitting with Aboah prior to the event. He flew with her to New York for the big day, bringing his parents along for support. What is this year’s Met Gala theme? The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently announced its new inspiration for the Costume Institute for 2019: ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’.The theme is inspired by Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay Notes on Camp, which is widely credited to have introduced the notion of camp to the mainstream.“The essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration,” Sontag once explained in Partisan Review.Andrew Bolton, the Costume Institute’s curator, admitted the theme has been on his radar for years, and has “become increasingly more mainstream in its pluralities – political camp, queer camp, pop camp, the conflation of high and low, the idea that there is no such thing as originality”.After dropping her off on the red carpet (“I was quickly ushered off after laying out her train”), Ives tried to go out for a celebratory dinner with his parents. “I fell asleep at the table about four times,” he remembers. “I had been awake for six weeks straight, living of Starbucks double-shot espresso. It was really crazy, but I live for that, the exhilaration. It’s the reason why I do this. I could not believe that I had gotten my work to a platform where people were seeing it and discussing it and considering me as a part of this whole thing."Since then, Ives has been busy, to say the least. Just days after the 2017 Met Gala, Rihanna was pictured wearing one of the designer’s now famous T-shirt dresses and he has since sold capsule collections at major retailers, including Liberty and Browns. Ives spent the last year enjoying a “hiatus”, during which he worked on his own collection and various freelance projects (including a secret one he can’t talk about yet). Clearly, an exciting future lies ahead for Ives, who is set to graduate with a bachelor of arts degree from CSM next year.> View this post on Instagram> > @badgalriri in scarface long sleeve tee 💀💀> > A post shared by Conner Ives (@connerives) on May 10, 2017 at 8:07am PDTBut will anything ever exceed the prestige of having your designs at the Met Gala? “Doing the Met Gala was good practice for me because I realised when you have a high that is like that, it sets the bar for what I do next. At first I was like, ‘well, what now?’ because this is something designers do with 10-15 years of experience, not when they’re just starting out.> I had been awake for six weeks straight, living off double-shot espresso“But I’ve since realised I don’t have to top it. I can appreciate that it was a really unique experience and leave it at that. You don’t have everything at once.” This year’s Met Gala takes place on Monday 6 May, follow The Independent’s coverage here.

  • Royal baby latest: Meghan Markle gives birth to boy as world waits for his name to be revealed
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    The Independent

    Royal baby latest: Meghan Markle gives birth to boy as world waits for his name to be revealed

    The Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a baby boy, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.The duchess went into labour during the early hours of Monday morning. Prince Harry was by her side.A statement was released on the royal couple's official Instagram account, revealing that the baby was born before 6am."We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019," the statement reads."Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7lbs. 3oz."The announcement adds that the duchess and the newborn are both "healthy and well".Please allow a moment for the blog to load...

  • Royal baby boy: Where does Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s child fit in the line of succession?
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    The Independent

    Royal baby boy: Where does Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s child fit in the line of succession?

    On Monday 6 May, Buckingham Palace announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had welcomed a son in the early hours of the morning.The arrival of the couple's first child, who is yet to be named, changes the line of succession for the throne.Prince Harry and Meghan's son is seventh in line to the throne, meaning that Prince Andrew, the Queen's second eldest son, is now eighth in line.The first few members of the royal family in the line of succession remain unchanged.First in line is Prince Charles, who became the longest-serving heir apparent in 2017.The Prince of Wales beat a previous record of 59 years, two months and 13 days set by his great-great-grandfather King Edward VII.Prince Harry's older brother, the Duke of Cambridge, is second in line to the throne.He and the Duchess of Cambridge's three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – follow behind, in third, fourth and fifth place respectively.The Duke of Sussex is sixth in line, which subsequently places his newborn son in seventh place.In April 2018, Princess Charlotte made history as the first female member of the royal family to retain her claim to the throne following the birth of her younger brother.Prior to the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013, a female royal’s claim to the throne would have been diminished by the arrival of a younger brother.However, as stated by the legislative act when it was passed six years ago: "In determining the succession to the Crown, the gender of a person born after 28 October 2011 does not give that person, or that person’s descendants, precedence over any other person (whenever born).”Following the announcement of his son's birth, Prince Harry addressed the press in Windsor.The beaming father said that watching his wife give birth was an "amazing experience"."I’m very excited to announced that Meghan. and myself had a baby boy early this morning, a very healthy boy," he said."How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension."We're both absolutely thrilled and so grateful for all the love and support from everybody out there. It's been amazing."For all the latest news on the royal baby, follow The Independent's live blog here.

  • Madonna says giving phones to older children ‘ended her relationship with them’
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    The Independent

    Madonna says giving phones to older children ‘ended her relationship with them’

    Madonna has said giving phones to her two eldest children had a hugely negative impact on her relationship with them.Despite having given 22-year-old Lourdes and 18-year-old Rocco phones when they were in their early teens, Madonna does not plan on doing the same for her 13-year-old son David."I'm going to stick that one out for as long as possible, because I made a mistake when I gave my older children phones when they were 13," the Madame X star told Vogue."It ended my relationship with them, really."The singer has five children, ranging in age from six to 22 years old.> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by Madonna (@madonna) on Oct 14, 2018 at 10:46am PDTMadonna explained that Lourdes and Rocco's phones became a "very, very big part of their lives", largely due to the growth of social media."They became too inundated with imagery and started to compare themselves to other people, and that's really bad for self-growth," the multi Grammy Award-winner said.Of all her children, Madonna believes David is the most similar to her in terms of his "focus and determination"."I'm pretty sure he got it from me. He's the one I have the most in common with," she stated.As for her eldest child Lourdes, whose father is actor Carlos Leon, Madonna is jealous of her "insane" talent."I'm green with envy because she's incredible at everything she does – she's an incredible dancer, she's a great actress, she plays the piano beautifully, she's way better than me in the talent department."During a recent interview with MTV, Madonna revealed becoming a "soccer mum" while living in Portugal made her feel "depressed".The musician explained that she wasn't suited to the lifestyle change, saying she found herself with "no mates".According to a report published by Ofcom in January, a growing number of children under the age of 11 are using social media.Despite the fact that most social networks do not allow children under the age of 13 to register, 18 per cent of eight to 11 year olds were found to have created online profiles.The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) recently called for clinicians to consider the impact social media can have on the mental health of children.“Although we recognise that social media and technology are not primary drivers of mental illness in young people, we know that they are an important part of their lives and can be harmful in some situations," said Dr Bernadka Dubicka, chair of the child and adolescent faculty at RCP.

  • Baby Sussex's birth announcement included a sweet tribute to Princess Diana
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    Elizabeth Di Filippo

    Baby Sussex's birth announcement included a sweet tribute to Princess Diana

    "It's incredibly special."

  • Meghan Markle: Everything the Duchess of Sussex has ever said about motherhood
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    The Independent

    Meghan Markle: Everything the Duchess of Sussex has ever said about motherhood

    The Duchess of Sussex has given birth to her first child.The announcement was made on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s recently launched Instagram account.“We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019,” the statement reads.Meghan Markle has spoken openly about her desire to become a mother on several occasions in the past, saying in a 2016 interview that having a family would be a “dream”.Here are all the times the duchess has opened up about motherhood: A family heirloomWhile speaking to Hello! magazine in 2015, the duchess revealed that she plans on passing on a sentimental gift to her future daughter.The Californian-born royal explained that when she discovered Suits had been renewed for a third season, the legal television drama she starred in from 2011 to 2018, she “totally splurged” on a £4,200 Cartier French Tank watch.She had the piece engraved with the message “To M.M. From M.M.” to remind herself of the significance of the piece. The duchess said that she planned to give it to her daughter one day. Ticking off the bucket listIn 2015, Ms Markle was interviewed by Best Health magazine about her healthy living regime for the magazine’s May 2016 cover.During the interview, the then-Suits actor also spoke about her plans for the future.When asked what’s on her bucket list, the duchess answered: “I want to travel more and I can’t wait to start a family, but in due time.” Leading a balanced lifeIn 2016, Ms Markle told Lifestyle magazine that her life is “more amazing” than she ever thought it could be.“I dreamt of becoming a successful working actress, which I can now very thankfully tick off the list. And I also dream to have a family,” she said.The duchess added that it’s “all about balance”, and that having a family would enable her to feel more “grounded”.“Raising a family will be a wonderful part of that,” she explained. Time for a bedtime storyWhile answering rapid fire questions for a 2016 interview, Ms Markle was asked what children’s book she couldn’t wait to share with her future children.The duchess gave The Giving Tree as her answer, a children’s picture book written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein.First published in 1964, the book documents the relationship between a young boy and a tree. Taking an interest in baby products​Two months prior to their wedding, the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle toured the Belfast campus of Northern Ireland’s next generation science park.> Prince Harry and Ms. Markle then visited the Belfast campus of Northern Ireland’s next generation science park, @CatalystIncHQ, to meet some of Northern Ireland’s brightest young entrepreneurs and innovators. pic.twitter.com/OUgBw4FUDE> > — Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) > > March 23, 2018During their visit, the couple were introduced to a company called Schnuggle which makes hypoallergenic baby products.“I’m sure at some point we’ll need the whole thing,” Ms Markle said, when perusing the company’s range of products.For everything you need to know about the royal baby, click here.

  • Royal baby boy: Prince Harry expresses admiration for women after Meghan Markle gives birth
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    The Independent

    Royal baby boy: Prince Harry expresses admiration for women after Meghan Markle gives birth

    The Duke of Sussex has stated he is in awe of the Duchess of Sussex, saying that watching his wife give birth was an "amazing experience".Following the announcement made by Buckingham Palace that Meghan gave birth in the early hours of this morning, Prince Harry addressed the press outside Windsor Castle.As he stood in front of the stables unable to conceal his joy, the duke said he was "very excited" to announce the birth of the couple's newborn son."I’m very excited to announced that Meghan. and myself had a baby boy early this morning, a very healthy boy," he said.The royal went on to express his admiration for women's strength in the act of childbirth."How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension," Prince Harry said."We're both absolutely thrilled and so grateful for all the love and support from everybody out there. It's been amazing."Prince Harry stated that both Meghan and their baby, whose name is yet to be revealed, are both doing "incredibly well".Ian Lloyd, a royal photographer and commentator, said that new father's expression of emotion is "typical of him"."He is expressing the sheer wonder of childbirth and how you feel at this awesome moment in your life," Lloyd tells The Independent."It's typical of him as he is able to express those emotions. Traditionally, the royal family would never have said that."Lloyd adds that the nature of Prince Harry's announcement is a sign of how he and Meghan "function as a couple"."It's a move away from the traditional royal reticence of expressing emotions. He is a new-age father," the photographer states.Several royal fans have praised Prince Harry for his appreciation of the difficulties of childbirth."The kudos he gave to his wife, and all women for going through the process of childbirth was beautiful!!" one person tweeted."Listening to Prince Harry talk about the birth of his son (and tearing up) and praise women for the powerful work of childbirth gave me all the feels this morning," another remarked."I can't help but tear up myself and think 'his mother would be so proud of the man he is'."For all the latest news on the birth of the royal baby, follow The Independent's live blog here.

  • Why Meghan Markle and Prince Harry won’t have legal custody of royal baby
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    The Independent

    Why Meghan Markle and Prince Harry won’t have legal custody of royal baby

    In October, Kensington Palace announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were expecting their first child in spring 2019.While the couple and their relatives expressed their excitement over the news, there is a fascinating law in place that means that Prince Harry and Meghan won't have full legal custody of their child when the duchess gives birth to the royal baby.A law enacted more than three centuries ago means that the Queen would actually have full legal custody of the children, royal expert Marlene Koenig explains.The law, called “The Grand Opinion for the Prerogative Concerning the Royal Family,” was introduced by King George I in 1717.“George I did not get along with his son, the future George II,” Koenig tells The Independent. “I believe it came about when the Prince of Wales [George II] did not want to have the godparent for his son that his father wanted - so George I got Parliament to come up with something.”According to Koenig, issues surrounding the law arose in 1994 when Diana, Princess of Wales separated from Charles, Prince of Wales.Diana expressed wishes to take their sons, Harry and William, to live with her in Australia, but couldn’t due to the regulations laid out by the custody law.An annual register published in 1772 goes into greater detail explaining the details of the regal ruling.“They said that the opinion of 10 judges, in the year 1717, was a confirmation of the legality of this prerogative, which admitted the King’s right to the care of the marriage and education of the children of the royal family; and that the late opinion acknowledges, that the King had the care of the royal children and grandchildren, and the presumptive heir to the crown…”, the register outlines.While the law indicates that the Queen legally has custody of her great-grandchildren, which also includes the children of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Koenig doesn’t believe that she would ever feel the need to act upon it.“I would doubt that the Queen would interfere. [It’s] more of a formality,” she says.“I think the Queen has let her children raise their kids.”Last year, it was revealed that a law that states that only sons can inherit hereditary peerages was being challenged in the European Court of Human Rights.If the law were to be changed, this would mean that a daughter born to Prince Harry and Meghan would inherit a royal title, whereas she wouldn’t have been granted one before.“Under the current system, any child of the Duke and Duchess won’t automatically have a royal title,” royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams explained to The Independent.“The peerage, unlike the succession to the crown, favours males and if they have only daughters, the title of Sussex could die out as it did before."

  • Royal baby latest: Meghan Markle gives birth to 'a very healthy' boy, Prince Harry announces
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    The Independent

    Royal baby latest: Meghan Markle gives birth to 'a very healthy' boy, Prince Harry announces

    The Duchess of Sussex is in labour, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.The duchess went into labour during the early hours of Monday morning. Prince Harry was by her side.Many royal fans will likely be keeping a close eye on social media for any further updates about the birth, especially following the recent launch of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's official Instagram account, keen to find out anything and everything about the birth of the royal couple's first child.There are many details we already know, including the fact that the royal baby will unlikely be granted a royal title.Please allow a moment for the blog to load...

  • Royal baby latest: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry prepare for birth of first child
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    The Independent

    Royal baby latest: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry prepare for birth of first child

    With the Duchess of Sussex due to give birth to the royal baby any day, excitement is brewing across the nation.Many royal fans have been keeping a close eye on any possible updates on social media, following the recent launch of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's official Instagram account, keen to find out anything and everything about the birth of the royal couple's first child.There are many details we already know, including approximately when the duchess will give birth and the fact that the royal baby will unlikely be granted a royal title.However, much information about the royal birth is being kept under wraps.Please allow a moment for the blog to load...

  • Royal baby latest: Prince Harry cancels trip as bookies suspend bets amid rumours Meghan has given birth
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    The Independent

    Royal baby latest: Prince Harry cancels trip as bookies suspend bets amid rumours Meghan has given birth

    With the Duchess of Sussex due to give birth to the royal baby any day, excitement is brewing across the nation.Many royal fans have been keeping a close eye on any possible updates on social media, following the recent launch of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's official Instagram account, keen to find out anything and everything about the birth of the royal couple's first child.There are many details we already know, including approximately when the duchess will give birth and the fact that the royal baby will unlikely be granted a royal title.However, much information about the royal birth is being kept under wraps.Please allow a moment for the blog to load...

  • Royal baby latest: Rumours Meghan Markle has given birth lead bookies to suspend bets
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    The Independent

    Royal baby latest: Rumours Meghan Markle has given birth lead bookies to suspend bets

    With the Duchess of Sussex due to give birth to the royal baby any day, excitement is brewing across the nation.Many royal fans have been keeping a close eye on any possible updates on social media, following the recent launch of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's official Instagram account, keen to find out anything and everything about the birth of the royal couple's first child.There are many details we already know, including approximately when the duchess will give birth and the fact that the royal baby will unlikely be granted a royal title.However, much information about the royal birth is being kept under wraps.Please allow a moment for the blog to load...