Missed the news this weekend? Don’t sweat it – we’ve got you covered.
Here are some news stories you probably should have heard about to help you survive the dreaded Monday morning ‘water cooler chat’ at the office.
In this Monday’s Water Cooler Chat, we cover everything from Prince Harry’s birthday to London Fashion Week – it’s been an eventful weekend.
Prince Harry celebrated his 35th birthday
Prince Harry celebrated his birthday this week, with the Duke of Sussex turning 35-years-old.
‘Wishing a very happy birthday to His Royal Highness Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex!,’ the Sussex Royal Instagram account posted alongside a series of photographs about the nation’s favourite, going on to share a personal message from Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.
‘Your service to the causes you care so deeply for inspires me every day. You are the best husband and most amazing dad to our son. We love you Happiest birthday!’
Other royal family members were quick to wish Prince Harry a happy birthday, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge taking to Instagram to post : ‘Wishing a very happy birthday to The Duke of Sussex today! ’
It is not known how Prince Harry spent his birthday, but it is being assumed that he spent the day with his wife Meghan Markle and his new baby, Archie. This will be Harry’s first birthday since becoming a father.
London Fashion Week came to the capital
London Fashion Week SS20 came to the capital, making viral news for everything from those photographs of Harper Beckham and Anna Wintour FROW at VB SS2O to the extinction rebellion protests.
Felicity Huffman has been sentenced for the college admissions scandal
The college admissions scandal came to a head this weekend as actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced to jail time for her involvement.
Huffman, who was one of the parents caught bribing school officials to get their children into top colleges, allegedly facilitated where and when one of their daughters would take an SAT which would then be falsified, sending a $15,000 wire payment to a charity in payment.
The 56-year-old has been sentenced to 14 days in prison after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud earlier this year.
Lori Loughlin, another actress involved is yet to be sentenced.
The first term of university is nearing, and you’re either packing your bags and getting ready to head off or you’re simply reminiscing about your freshers year. Living in halls with a bunch of strangers, spending a fortune on Amazon book deliveries and deciding to join the fencing team because why the hell not.
Ahh, the fun of it all.
But do you ever wonder where each member of the royal family decided to get a degree? Did they all go? And did they spend every Wednesday night at Vodka Revs?
After leaving school with 12 GCSEs and 3 A-levels, William took a gap year and spent time in Chile and Africa. He then started at the University of St Andrews, where he initially studied History of Art before changing subjects to Geography two years later.
The Duchess of Cambridge also studied History of Art at the University of St Andrews, which is where she met William.
Harry decided not to follow in his brother’s footsteps and didn’t attend university. Instead, he joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as an Office Cadet.
Meghan enrolled at Northwestern University in Illinois, United States with a double major in Theatre and International Relations.
Charles became the first heir apparent to get a degree after studying at Cambridge University. He initially studied Archaeology and Anthropology, before switching to a History degree and leaving with a 2:2.
Queen Elizabeth II was educated privately, and while she didn’t attend university she was taught by scholars at Eton College and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Fancy.
Eugenie studied a joint degree in English Literature, History of Art and Politics at Newcastle University and graduated in 2012 with a 2:1.
Beatrice chose to study History and the History of Ideas at Goldsmiths College and graduated in 2011 with a 2:1.
The Crown season 3 is on its way, and this time Olivia Coleman will be taking over from Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II. Fans of The Favourite Oscar winner are eager to see how she takes on the role of the monarch in November, alongside Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret.
But there will be a subtle difference between Olivia and the Queen – and it’s all to do with the colour of their eyes.
Queen Elizabeth II has blue eyes, as does Claire Foy. Olivia Coleman, however, has brown eyes and she won’t be opting for contact lenses to change their hue.
The former Peep Show actress told US Vogue that she can’t because she has ‘very strong eyelids’.
She explained that when she did attempt to wear them: ‘It was basically like an exorcism: “Just hold me down and thrust it in!”‘
According to director of The Crown, Ben Caron, Olivia’s portrayal of the Queen completely changed when they did attempt to use blue coloured contact lenses.
He told The Guardian: ‘It was as if we had taken all of her acting ability and put it in a safe and locked it away.’
There was also the option of giving her blue eyes through the power of CGI, but he was reluctant, saying: ‘It didn’t feel like her. CGI-ing her eyes seemed to diminish what she was doing.’
Brown eyes or blue, we can’t wait to see Olivia in the new season.
The new generation of royals is a hit with the public for the simple reason that they are relatable.
Gone are the days where we would only see a royal waving from Buckingham Palace balcony. Now they are accessible, all over social media, from Prince William and Kate Middleton’s love of emojis to Princess Eugenie dominating Instagram with her behind the scenes royal snaps and the Queen and Prince Philip’s Twitter account.
But it doesn’t stop there – it seems like behind closed doors they’re pretty down to earth too, with it emerging that there is a royal family WhatsApp group.
In an interview with The Mirror, former rugby player Mike Tindall (who is married to the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall) explained that he and a few members of the Royal household have a group WhatsApp.
‘Me, my brother and then a few of Zara’s side like her brother Pete and the cousins are on WhatsApp groups. I wouldn’t say we’re cutting edge, but it’s just easier for some reason on WhatsApp.’
Could the royal WhatsApp group be getting a new member? It looks like it, with Meghan Markle announcing at the launch of her capsule collection, The Smart Set, yesterday that she had officially joined the messaging site.
After being told by one of the charity’s clients, 28-year-old Paralegal, Selam Mengitsu, that they had started a Smart Works WhatsApp group for the women who have benefited from the charity, Meghan announced that she had just started with the app.
Yes, the Duchess of Sussex reportedly explained that she had just joined the messaging service but was eager for an invite to the group, and according to the Telegraph told the women that she might ‘pop in’ with her favourite emoji – the waving hand – from time to time.
Meghan Markle made fashion news yesterday as she officially launched The Smart Set – a five piece capsule collection alongside Smart Works Charity – and in partnership with Jigsaw, John Lewis and Partners, Marks and Spencer and Misha Nonoo.
The collection – revealed this week – aims to equip the Smart Works clients with the classic wardrobe pieces to help them feel confident as they mobilise back into the work space.
‘For every item bought during the sale of the collection, one will be donated to Smart Works, this 1:1 model allows customers to directly support the Smart Works women by playing a part in their success story – how they look and more importantly, how they feel,’ Meghan explained via the Sussex Royal Instagram account, going on to express her pride in the project.
‘When you buy any item in the Smart Set Capsule Collection for Smart Works, the same item will be given to a Smart Works client, and with it, the confidence and support she needs to enter the workforce and take an important step in building a career.’
Royal fans and experts were quick to point out that there is a special hidden connection with Kate Middleton, with the Duchess of Cambridge previously working for one of the brands.
Yes, Kate Middleton used to work as an accessories buyer for Jigsaw in the London office before becoming a royal. We can imagine therefore that she was thrilled at the brand’s inclusion.
Could Jigsaw’s presence be a nod by Meghan to her sister-in-law? It looks like it.
Digital Features Editor Jenny Proudfoot spent a day with Molly-Mae in Manchester to talk about her new Pretty Little Thing collaboration and why women should support and praise each other more…
Molly-Mae Hague is one of the most talked-about women in the UK this year, with the Love Island runner up proving to be a particularly divisive contestant, subjected to a wave of online hate since leaving the show.
This however proves strange seeing as the 20-year-old social media influencer has not put a foot wrong.
So why has Molly-Mae – the girl’s girl of the 2019 Love Island villa – been victim to such an unprovoked stream of online abuse? I travelled up to Manchester to find out.
With the launch of Molly-Mae’s new Pretty Little Thing collaboration, it’s the perfect time for a heart to heart, and greeting me in her pink silk dressing gown and curlers, Molly seemed happy and relaxed as she talked through the collection and gave me a topknot tutorial.
‘It’s just about having a good hair band,’ she reassured me as she taught me the technique. ‘I’d just say having that good strong hair band that’s not going to snap when you get it up. That’s the worst thing when you get it up to the perfect bun and you get the hairband around it twice and then “ping” it snaps off to the other side of the room.
‘You’ve got to flip your hair upside down, so you get it all right to the top, then bunch it into a pony, then lift your head up,’ she instructed me. ‘Then twist it around, wrap the hair around itself and keep going around. And then once you’ve got it into the position, then you wrap the scrunchie.’
‘That’s it!,’ Molly praised me later that evening when she greeted me at her Pretty Little Thing launch party, over a bubblegum pink frozé and surrounded by fellow islanders, Tommy, Maura, Amber, Anna and Amy.
Watching Molly interact sweetly and respectfully with everyone at the Manchester party, I was painfully aware that hateful comments and articles were soon to come, ripping every move the 20-year-old took to shreds.
I sat down with Molly-Mae to get a sneak peek at her Pretty Little Thing collection, not to mention talk overcoming online hate and analyse the negative connotations attached to the term ‘influencer’.
Pretty Little Thing
Talk me through the Pretty Little Thing collection…
I wanted to create a collection that was very wearable and I wanted to show that it’s not hard to make a cool outfit from a few simple components. You don’t need designer labels, you just need a few basic items and you can look stylish and cool. I have always been into tailoring and suits – I prefer that smarter, older and more mature style. So I wanted to create a line in a collection that really represented that, and it really does reflect me and my style. I’ve shown it to a few of my friends and they have all said ‘this is you to a T’. That’s what I’m really happy about – that people can already see that this is my style. I studied fashion for two years and it really is my passion, but dressing isn’t hard – and that’s what this collection is about. It’s about showing that you don’t have to study fashion or be a fashionista to be stylish – you can just chuck on a piece from this collection and look cool and effortless.
I’ve loved Pretty Little Thing for so long and I worked with them before I went into the villa which was amazing so to come out and continue with that relationship and to grow with a brand that I have adored for so long just felt right.
Do you have any favourite pieces in the Pretty Little Thing collection?
There is a leather long-sleeved dress. I wear it with a roll-neck underneath and little black boots which is just me to an absolutely T – I’m obsessed with it. I think it’s perfect for transitioning into the Autumn/ Winter season. A lot of my collection are more transitional pieces. I’m much more of a winter fashion girl than a summer fashion girl so I’m really happy with that in my collection.
Pretty Little Thing
What is your fashion staple?
I live in leather trousers – I really do love them. I think a good pair of leather trousers is my staple. I don’t know why but I can chuck a pair of leather trousers on and they just work – they’re always flattering, they go with anything, they’re figure hugging, they’re slimming. I think leather trousers are just the way forward. I’m all for them.
Do you feel that people attach negative connotations to the term ‘influencer’?
One hundred percent. I think that being an influencer, it’s really hard to prove that you are working a professional and real job. People need to get used to the fact that influencing is a real thing, it is a real job. It’s hard to put into words – it’s frustrating because I work so hard and there are no days off.
I moved out at the age of 18, I’m earning really good money from this job and it has enabled me to travel the world. I’ve done things that a lot of people my age could never even dream of doing and it’s because of my job, and people still turn around and say ‘It’s not a real job.’ In the villa, I tried to steer away from that stereotypical influencer outlook, but even still there are always going to be people who say it’s not a real job. I think a lot of people would love to be an influencer – it is an incredible job. And that is where I think it stems from – a lot of people would love to do it so when they see people doing it it’s easier to tear them down.
Pretty Little Thing
How have you overcome the online hate?
I think I’ve kind of proved to everyone just from my actions and the way that I’ve been out of the villa that there was just no need for it – I think it was unprovoked and unnecessary. There wasn’t any real reason behind the hate and it didn’t phase me – and I think that’s why it didn’t phase me – because I knew that they were hating for no reason. I did nothing wrong in there, I went into Love Island and I did what the show asked me – I fell in love – and I’ve got an incredible boyfriend. I think people don’t like to see other people too happy and sometimes it does provoke them to bring others down, so I knew that it was more of a reflection on that person than it is on me. And it doesn’t phase me. I think I didn’t need to ‘overcome’ it because I never went under from it anyway.
Have you undergone therapy since leaving the villa?
There was a lot of rumours going around about me having therapy because of the online criticism but that’s just not true. I had one mandatory session which everyone had. I was having my makeup done and eating pizza and everyone was like ‘Molly-Mae’s in therapy’ and it’s just not the case. I haven’t even felt the need to even speak about the taunting – even to my family and friends – because it hasn’t phased me. I just was never touched by the hate.
I watched a couple of episodes back and I couldn’t work out what people were trying to criticise. You can’t be bothered by it when people are just making it up. I think you know going into Love Island that there’s going to be mixed opinions and not everyone’s going to like you, and I knew that so it was absolutely fine.
Do you have any advice for others experiencing online bullying?
I would sit here and say don’t even read it, but I read it. I read pretty much every comment that was about me. I’m lucky that I have thick skin and that it would take a lot to upset me because people literally commented on everything – there were even death threats. But it just didn’t get to me because I’m really confident in myself and I have people around me that are so incredible and believe in me. The comments of someone that I’ve never even met behind a computer just cant get to me. So, other people experiencing online bullying should understand that it’s really more of a reflection on that person than it is on you, and you’ve done nothing wrong. You just need to rise above it.
Pretty Little Thing
What does sisterhood mean to you?
I think sisterhood is everything. It’s so important to surround yourself with people that support you and have your back and that you do the same for them. Even when you experience things like trolling or fallouts, nothing will get to you as long as you’ve got a good group of people around you.
Having a good strong group of girls around you is so important. My parents got divorced and it has always been a very girly household so I think going into the villa that really showed for me and I did try to have everyone’s back and bring all the girls together. I’m always there for my friends and hope that they would do the same in return. I think in the villa we all had such great relationships and I made some really, really incredible friends in there.
What is one change you’d like to see for women?
I would like women to stop tearing each other down and to support one another. It’s so sad that there is so much negativity in this world that we live in and when jealousy comes in, it just causes people to speak negatively about others who they don’t even know. I think from my experience of being trolled, I definitely want to speak more about it and how it affected me to help others who are dealing with it, because I know if I didn’t have thick skin it could have really affected me. Some of the things people said about me could really have torn down a more shy or timid person. I’d just love to see us all supporting each other and having each other’s backs and praising each other. It’s important.
Meghan Markle made fashion news today as she officially launched The Smart Set – a five piece capsule collection alongside Smart Works Charity – and in partnership with Jigsaw, John Lewis and Partners, Marks and Spencer and Misha Nonoo.
The collection – revealed today – aims to equip the Smart Works clients with the classic wardrobe pieces to help them feel confident as they mobilise back into the work space.
Opening up about the exciting new collection, Meghan delivered an emotional speech about how she starting working with the charity.
‘When I first moved to the UK, it was incredibly important to me personally to be able to connect with people on the ground in really important work and one of the places that I went to very early on was Smart Works,’ Meghan announced when unveiling The Smart Set.
‘Now, funnily enough and purely by coincidence it was just a year ago, at this same time that I was working on a project in Grenfell with this woman at a community centre called Al-Manaar, and that’s when we put together the ‘Together’ cookbook. So though this is a year later and obviously this is fashion, not food, at its core these are very similar projects because they’re about women who are empowering each other.
‘[I] have the opportunity to meet them, get to know them, learn from them and then say what can I do in some small way, how can I try to help you amplify this? How can we make this even better, greater and more impactful for the movement that you’re trying to help?’
Going on to speak about the work that Smart Works does and how it is transforming the idea of charity to community, she continued: ‘When we go into our closet as a woman, we say “I’m going to make a donation”, you don’t go through your closet and just toss in a box whatever you don’t care about anymore. That’s charity, as we know it today. Community is going through your closet and saying “this is the blazer that I wore when I nailed my first job interview and got my dream job and I don’t need that anymore because I’m where I want to be”. But if I’m able to share that blazer and be part of another women’s success story, then that’s community. This is sort of how we thought of the Smart Works Capsule collection.’
Concluding her speech, Meghan announced: ’This is the kind of work that I’ve been doing for a really long time and to be able to do it here in my new home of the UK means quite a bit to me. It’s also the same range of work that my husband and I will continue doing, really strong community based projects and this is something that we’ll be excited to be able to share more about next year when we launch our foundation Sussex Royal in 2020.’
The collection – a shirt, trousers, blazer, dress and tote bag – will be on sale for two weeks starting today, aiming to sell enough pieces to give Smart Works the essentials to help dress clients for the whole next year.
Kate Middleton is one of the most talked-about women in the world, making news for everything from her royal fashion sense to her sweet family moments with her husband Prince William and three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
But it was her transformation into future Queen that made news this week as sources told People that having children had helped her with her royal role, giving her ‘passion and purpose’.
‘She is now more open with what she wants to say, and funnily enough, she is more relaxed as well,’ a source close to the Cambridge family told the publication, going on to explain how Kate has a genuine interest in the work she’s doing, with a lot of Kate’s work focusing on child welfare.
‘The duchess wouldn’t just join us, she would stay for the whole meeting,’ the director of strategy at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Kate Stanley, told People. ‘She has a deep curiosity to really understand the issues.’
Kate’s most recent official engagement was earlier this week when the Duchess opened the Back to Nature festival in Wisley.
‘Her Royal Highness has spent much of the last eight years meeting charities and organisations who work every day to make our families and communities stronger,’ read the Instagram caption on Kensington Royal.
‘The Duchess took the opportunity to invite many of them to the ‘Back to Nature’ Festival to celebrate their contribution to society and to further highlight the importance of those involved in the Early Years sector coming together to support a fundamental change in how society approaches childhood development.’
Taking to Serena’s box at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Meghan sat among some very faces, from the Williams family to Anna Wintour as her close friend unfortunately was defeated.
The trip, according to sources, was spur of the moment, with an insider confirming to The Times, ‘It is a last-minute trip,’ explaining how Meghan was simply ‘excited to support her friend, and then come back.’
Serena Williams opened up about the royal surprise this week at New York Fashion Week, praising her friend for being so supportive.
‘Meghan is amazing,’ Serena told E! News in a video that is now going viral. ‘She literally flew across the seas just to support for a few hours with a newborn baby.’
She continued: ‘She is the most positive, amazing human that I know. Everyone needs to know how amazing she is. I don’t know if I could have done that with my daughter at that age. But she did it. And that shows the kind of person that she is.’
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle celebrated their first wedding anniversary in May. They tied the knot in 2018, saying ‘I do’ in front of millions of fans worldwide before partying with the likes of George and Amal Clooney, Elton John and the Beckhams. They even had Idris Elba DJ’ing (and he recently revealed what songs he played).
Many fans decided to send their congratulations to the couple and took time to write to them on their anniversary. Now Instagram fan account @gertsroyals shared a photo of the thank you cards that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sent out to those well-wishers.
Alongside a picture of the couple standing on the steps of St. George’s chapel they shared a touching message. It reads: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were so touched that you wrote on the occasion of their first Wedding Anniversary.
‘It was incredibly kind of you, and Their Royal Highnesses send you their warmest thanks and best wishes.’
The Instagram caption said: ‘Prince Harry & Duchess Meghan’s 1st Wedding Anniversary Reply!’
Harry and Meghan previously shared some sweet photos from their big day to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. They included behind-the-scenes snaps such as Harry and Prince William on their way to St. George’s Chapel, Meghan with her mother, Doria Ragland, and the couple signing the marriage certificate.
They posted the images on Instagram, writing: ‘Thank you for all of the love and support from so many of you around the world.