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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

THE OTHER STUFF . . .

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Touch Down in Dublin! The Newlyweds' First Ever Airport Arrival. Harry and Meghan are taking Ireland! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrived in Dublin on Tuesday to kick off their two-day Ireland visit, where they'll immerse themselves in the culture and history of Dublin, especially local sports, the arts and entrepreneurship. After touching down at Dublin City Airport early Tuesday evening, the couple were greeted by the Taoiseach, or Prime Minister, of Ireland, Leo Varadkar. They started the day alongside Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Kate Middleton to mark the 100th birthday celebrations of the Royal Air Force with a service at Westminster Abbey and a balcony appearance at Buckingham Palace. Meghan changed out of her bespoke Audrey Hepburn-inspired black Dior dress and into a chic Ireland-inspired green ensemble by Givenchy (her wedding gown designer!) for their arrival. The Duchess of Sussex also swapped her newly-adopted clutch style for her former go-to: a Strathberry tote. Next they are headed to a summer garden party at the residence of the British Ambassador to Ireland, Robin Barnett, where Harry is scheduled to deliver a speech. In March, the couple made an unannounced visit to Belfast, Northern Ireland. For nearly 40 years, the area was rocked by shootings and bombings as the Irish Republican Army demanded an end to British rule there. The royal family endured its own heartbreak through the troubled history, with Prince Charles' beloved uncle, Louis Mountbatten, assassinated in 1979 by an IRA bomb. Kensington Palace officially announced that Meghan and Harry would make a trip to Ireland in mid-June, but it was first rumored in March, when the couple was in Belfast on a pre-wedding tour. Their first foreign tour as a married couple will be this fall, and they will travel to Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga and New Zealand. (People)

Princess Charlotte Saluting the Royal Air Force Is the Cutest Thing You'll See All Day. Princess Charlotte showed her patriotic spirit on Tuesday by giving a salute during the flypast for the Royal Air Force centenary. While many members of the royal family watched the display from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, the 3-year-old princess and her brother Prince George caught all of the action from inside the palace walls. Charlotte wore an adorable bright blue dress for the occasion while George donned a snazzy blue polo. However, it looks like the young royal wasn't afraid to show off her silly side. Photographers caught the little one sticking out her tongue in the middle of the flypast. While George and Charlotte stayed at Buckingham Palace for the centenary, their parents, Prince William and Kate Middleton, stepped out earlier in the day for a service at Westminster Abbey. The Duchess of Cambridge stunned in a pastel Alexander McQueen coat and Sean Barrett hat while her husband donned a uniform. The two royals were joined by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The Duchess of Sussex wore a dress by Dior, as well as a Stephen Jones fascinator. Harry also wore his uniform. Meghan lovingly held her husband as they entered the church. Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla attended the service, as well. Afterwards, the royal family members headed back to Buckingham Palace for the Presentation of Colours and the flypast, which featured 100 aircrafts. They then headed inside for a reception to celebrate the achievements of the RAF over the past 100 years. There, they socialized with veterans, serving personnel and their family members. (Eonline)

Meghan Markle Shows Slight PDA With Prince Harry and Commits Another "Royal Faux Pas." Meghan Markle and Prince Harry showed some minor PDA in London on Tuesday. While arriving to the Royal Air Force's centenary at Westminster Abbey, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were photographed linking arms. While this may not seem like a big deal, the couple was photographed alongside Prince William and Kate Middleton, who are rarely spotted engaging in any PDA. A photo of the foursome walking together on Tuesday shows Meghan holding on to Harry, while William and Kate kept a bit of distance between them. William and Harry's former butler, Grant Harrold, told TIME in May that when it comes to royal PDA it "depends on where the royals are and what situation they're in." Choosing not to engage in any displays of affection in public could just be a personal preference of the couple. "We don't need to see too much -- they have a private life of their own," he said of William and Kate. Inside the church service on Tuesday, Meghan was spotted committing another "royal faux pas" when she crossed her legs, instead of her ankles. Video posted to Daily Mail shows Meghan correcting her seating position from crossing her legs to her ankles during the service. She had previously been criticized for crossing her legs, a move frowned upon for royal family members, at an event in June. After attending the service, Harry and Meghan took a flight to Dublin to kick off their first official visit to Ireland. It's been a busy week for the couple so far. On Monday, the duo was spotted attending Prince Louis' christening at The Chapel Royal at St. James' Palace. The location is the same place where Meghan was baptized before her wedding to Harry. (Eonline)

Here's Why Kate and William Served Their 7-Year-Old Wedding Cake at Prince Louis' Christening. Let them eat 7-year-old cake! Guests who attended Prince Louis's christening on Monday were served tea and fruit cake, which was originally baked for and served at Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding in 2011. While some Americans preserve the top tier of their wedding cake to eat on their first anniversary, the British custom is to serve the wedding cake each time a child of the couple is christened. That means this cake is older than Prince George, who's turning 5 on July 22, and Kate and William will have eaten it on four separate occasions by the end of the day! Designed by Fiona Cairns, William and Kate's wedding cake consisted of 17 individual fruit cakes and had eight tiers. It was decorated with roughly 900 flowers and leaves using cream and white icing. The garlands around the middle of the cake were chosen to match the details of the room where it was displayed for the wedding, the Picture Gallery in Buckingham Palace. In addition to the cake, Prince Louis's christening gown was also recycled. Prince George and Princess Charlotte wore it for their own christenings in 2013 and 2015 respectively. And Kate Middleton reused designers, too: She wore a dress by Alexander McQueen and a hat by Jane Taylor to all three of her children's christenings. (People)

North West Just Made Her Modeling Debut Thanks to New Fendi Campaign With Kim Kardashian. North West is ready for her close up! While she may be five years old, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's eldest child is ready to follow mom and dad's footsteps by exploring the world of modeling and photo shoots. In new photos obtained by E! News, North participates in a shoot for Fendi's #MeAndMyPeekaboo campaign in honor of the brand's 10-year anniversary of the Peekaboo bag. Joined by Kim and Kris Jenner, North looks totally stylish as she is photographed in a field with her mom and grandma. In another pic, she hangs out in the backyard of a Los Angeles home where a giant pool and gorgeous views await. The campaign hopes to capture their authentic and intimate personalities while the frames create a sort of family album. Perhaps North's taste of the modeling world shouldn't be a big surprise to Keeping Up With the Kardashians fans. Besides, Kim has been open about what interests her daughter in the fashion space. "The other day, it was so funny. My daughter watches so many YouTube tutorials and videos," Kim recalled to WWD. "She was unboxing the My Little Pony Colourpop collection and I thought to myself, 'I wish I was recording this' because her reaction was so funny." Kim continued, "And then she did makeup on the My Little Pony that they gave and she said, 'Mom, I want to do a YouTube video.'" As for North's love for makeup and beauty, let's just say Saint West and Chicago West's older sibling already has her hands in the field -- literally. "Every night we play, after her bath, in bed, and you know my purse is always kind of by my nightstand, so she always says 'purse!' So she grabs my purse, and that means she wants my makeup bag, so I give her my makeup bag and it's empty. And if I just turn around for one second, she has my lipstick like all over her face," Kim previously recalled to Elle. "So I have to give her her own little makeup bag. She's obsessed with makeup and watching me get ready and getting ready herself. She just loves the process, she could not be more ultimately girly-girl." (Eonline)

Justin Bieber Still Doesn't Follow Fiancee Hailey Baldwin on Instagram. What do you mean Justin Bieber doesn't follow his future bride on Instagram? The pop star sent hearts breaking around the world on Monday when he personally confirmed the weekend news that he is indeed engaged to model Hailey Baldwin after years of dating on and off and recently reconciling. The singer popped the big question while on vacation Saturday night in front of a crowd in Baker's Bay, one source told E! News. "Justin made arrangements for the ring when they were in NYC and knew that he wanted to propose to her," the insider said. "It was a sudden decision, but Justin always knew Hailey and him had a special bond that was incomparable." "Hailey I am soooo in love with everything about you!" the musician gushed on Instagram in response to the headline. "So committed to spending my life getting to know every single part of you loving you patiently and kindLY." As he continued to pour out his heart on social media, "My heart is COMPLETELY and FULLY YOURS and I will ALWAYS put you first! You are the love of my life Hailey Baldwin and I wouldn't want to spend it with anybody else." While the Canadian native is clearly active on Instagram, it seems the love of his life hasn't made the cut when it comes to the accounts he follows on the social media platform. As of this writing, Baldwin follows her future hubby, but he hasn't returned the favor. He does follow 91 people, among them stars like Drake, Will Smith, Sofia Richie and Shawn Mendes. Come on, Justin -- click the follow button on Hailey's page and maybe it won't be too late to say sorry. (Eonline)

Hours after officially signing his L.A. Lakers contract, LeBron James and his wife celebrated in Malibu ... with his OLD Cleveland Cavs teammate Tristan Thompson (and Khloe Kardashian!). The foursome -- along with a ton of security and others -- hit up Nobu in Malibu ... one of the most expensive sushi joints in town. Not like price matters (LeBron just signed a $154 million contract, Tristan is in an $82 mil contract and Khloe is rich as hell too). So, why is Bron out with the old teammate instead of bonding with his new Lakers squad? Could be because the Lake Show is in Vegas at the moment competing in the NBA Summer League. Then again ... it's not like LeBron couldn't have flown out (or flown them in) for a first official dinner together. ... Or maybe he just really likes Tristan and Khloe?! On that note, TT and KK were ALL OVER each other in the car -- kissing and hugging up ... and posting it on social media for everyone to see. (TMZ)

Kim Kardashian West says she's still laser-focused on the women she visited in a California prison over the weekend -- so much so, she's imploring the Governor to do his part for them. Kim called on Gov. Jerry Brown to sign Assembly Bill 2550, which would restrict male prison guards' interactions with female inmates. Kim said, "The women I met at CA Women's Institution are still on my mind and in my heart." The bill would prohibit male correctional officers from conducting pat down searches on female prisoners, except in emergency situations -- such as posing a risk of immediate harm to herself or others ... or risk of escaping. It would also prevent male guards from entering areas where female prisoners are undressed ... and force them to announce their presence in women's housing units. TMZ broke the story ... Kim went to the prison in Corona, CA and met with 15 inmates to discuss the facility's conditions and women's plans upon release. The bill Kim's referring to was drafted by a partisan group of Cali lawmakers. The State Assembly still has to vote on it, before it gets to the Governor's desk. (TMZ)

LeBron James isn't going anywhere but L.A. now -- the King has officially signed his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. Klutch Sports -- which reps LeBron -- tweeted a photo of the NBA superstar grinning widely alongside Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, and a stack of papers in front of them. The sports agency added a caption, which read ... "Officially signed with the @Lakers @KingJames." In a press release, Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson is quoted as saying, "LeBron is special. He is the best player in the world ... The Lakers players are excited to have a teammate who has been to nine NBA Finals. It's a huge step closer to returning the Lakers to the playoffs and to the NBA Finals." As we reported ... LeBron's new deal is worth $154 mil over 4 years. Magic is said to have engaged in immediate talks with LeBron the moment he landed in L.A. last Saturday and was integral in landing the big fish for the Lakers organization. As for Bron ... he's clearly excited to be in La La Land. And why shouldn't he be? There are rings to be had ... and (Blaze) pizza to be eaten. (TMZ)

Coney Island Wahlburgers location reopens after financial troubles. After shutting its doors last September, the Coney Island location of Wahlburgers has reopened. "We are excited to welcome guests back in the doors," a rep for the burger chain told Page Six on Tuesday, noting it started serving customers last month under new management. Page Six previously reported that the company, which is owned by Mark Wahlberg and brothers Donnie and Paul, not only had to close the Coney Island restaurant but was also struggling to open a Times Square location. "They have not been paying their bills," a source exclusively told us in September of both shops. "They were on the verge of being locked out of Coney Island" for not paying rent. At the time, a rep for the chain told us, "Wahlburgers required its Coney Island restaurant to close due to a number of factors. The same franchise group was in the process of developing a space in Times Square. In both cases, the franchisee was not operating in compliance with Wahlburgers business practices and brand standards." Currently, there are more than 20 storefront locations and a couple of food trucks. "Ownership is in the process of restructuring their business and bringing in new management to ensure that Wahlburgers Coney Island maintains the brand's values and high criteria as both a restaurant and a workplace," the rep said in September. "We are committed to the revitalization of Coney Island and reopening there, in addition to bringing Wahlburgers to Times Square, when we're confident the leadership, staff, and resources are in place to uphold Wahlburgers' commitment to excellence in all regards." Although the Coney Island location is up and running again, its Facebook page hasn't announced an update and the official closing announcement remains. (PageSix)

YouTube Pledges $25 Million in News Grants to Fight False Information. The funding, part of a larger Google News Initiative, comes as YouTube cracks down on misinformation on its platform. After months of drawing criticism over its promotion of conspiracy videos and misinformation, YouTube has unveiled a slate of new features to improve the news experience on its platform. The Google-owned streamer on Monday said that it has teamed with the four-month-old Google News Initiative to promote quality news videos. As part of the effort, Google and YouTube are allocating $25 million in grant money to support global news organizations building video operations. The funding will be available across 20 markets and will be provided to newsrooms through an application process. YouTube has also established a working group with news organizations and experts to help it develop new product features, improve the news experience and tackle emerging challenges. Vox Media, Jovem Pan and India Today are the early members of the group. Further, YouTube plans to expand its news-support team, which provides best practices, training support, audience development and assistance with day-to-day operations. "We believe quality journalism requires sustainable revenue streams and that we have a responsibility to support innovation in products and funding for news," chief product officer Neal Mohan writes in a YouTube blog post outlining the news-specific initiatives. YouTube is also pledging to support authoritative news sources by providing previews of news articles in its search results in the hours after a major news event. In addition, the streamer is expanding its "Top News" feature at the top of search results and plans to showcase more local news results. The streamer, which has 1.8 billion logged-in users every month, has come under fire over the last year for promoting conspiracy videos or videos with misinformation during breaking news events. The company has already taken steps to address those challenges by tweaking its search algorithm to promote trusted news sources and by pledging to expand its trust and safety teams. In March, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki acknowledged that it can be hard to monitor content on such a large platform where new videos are constantly being added. She announced at the time that the company would provide more context around videos about conspiracy theories by linking to outside sources such as Wikipedia. (Hollywood Reporter)

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