Queen is not pleased...
The lace gown that Kate Middleton wore for her wedding to Prince William is the centerpiece of Buckingham Palace's annual open house -- fitted on a headless mannequin that Queen Elizabeth II pronounced "horrid."
For about $28 per adult ticket, you can join the hordes of visitors herded through the palace rooms to gape at the dress, the shoes, the cake, a selection of Faberge eggs and choice Old Master paintings in a Disneyland-like tour that may entice as many as 500,000 visitors between now and Oct. 3.
Buckingham Palace has linked its summer exhibition to the April 29 nuptials to raise cash for the royal collections while the queen is on holiday.
"It's horrid, isn't it? Horrible," Her Majesty said within earshot of the television cameras as she previewed the ghostly wedding-gown dummy late last month, her own Cartier tiara suspended over it.
Helping East Africa...
A Bob Marley song and the social media power of celebrities like Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Eminem may help the crisis in East Africa.
The "I'm Gonna Be Your Friend" campaign was launched this week to raise money and awareness. About 10 million are suffering through a famine in Somalia due to a blistering drought.
A short film about the crisis was set to the Marley & the Wailers song "High Tide or Low Tide." Stars like Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber and about 150 others have pledged to promote it and the cause on Facebook and Twitter. The video will be for sale on iTunes, through Bob Marley's Facebook page and the website of the campaign. Funds raised will be donated to Save the Children.
Singing for King again...
When a young Aretha Franklin accompanied the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to churches in the early days of the civil rights movement, he usually made a special request for her to sing one song in particular: "Take My Hand, Precious Lord."
On Aug. 28, when a memorial in his honor is dedicated on the National Mall in Washington, Franklin, 69, will again sing the song for her mentor and friend.
"I'm really looking forward to this moment. It's going to be another great, great moment in American history, and in African-American history," Franklin said in a phone interview Tuesday.
"It means as well, after so many years of traveling with him in the early '60s at the advent of the civil rights movement, that again, many years later, I would perform in his honor and in tribute to him, and I'm really looking forward to that moment and singing one of his favorite songs, his most requested song by me," she said.
Don't hold your breath...
Alec Baldwin says he's thinking of running for mayor of New York, but not until he learns more about the job.
The "30 Rock" actor tells the New York Times (http://nyti.ms/mSAkvB ) he'll sit out the 2013 race but will consider running in a later election.
In a wide-ranging interview, the 53-year-old says he's talking with two universities about enrolling in a master's program in politics and government. He says he wants to better understand what the fiscal imperatives of the mayor's job are.
He says running in 2013 is impossible because he's obligated to complete the current season of "30 Rock."