Meghan and Harry’s anthrax scare

PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle have been caught up in a frightening anthrax scare after an envelope containing white powder was sent to Kensington Palace.

The letter was personally addressed to the royal couple but was intercepted by staff before it reached them.

Ms Markle and Prince Harry — who are due to wed on May 19 — have been informed of the incident, London’s Evening Standard newspaper reports.

Analysis of the powder found that it was harmless.

According to the Evening Standard, the incident is being played down officially by police but it has put Scotland Yard on high alert ahead of the royal wedding.

Ms Markle and Prince Harry are due to ride around a public route to greet crowds in a carriage after they wed at St George’s Chapel.

The carriage procession will travel along a route through the streets of Windsor before heading back to Windsor Castle.

“They hope this short journey will provide an opportunity for more people to come together around Windsor and to enjoy the atmosphere of this special day,” Kensington Palace has said.

Last week, Vanessa Trump, the daughter-in-law of US President Donald Trump, was taken to a New York hospital after she opened a piece of mail containing an unidentified white powder that was later determined to be non-hazardous.

The wife of the President’s eldest son Donald junior, had opened a letter addressed to her husband.

She complained of nausea following her exposure and two other people who were present were also taken to the hospital.

Early this month, an investigation was launched after a “white substance” was sent to former US President Barack Obama’s office in Washington DC. The substance is thought to be baby powder.

There have been also be ongoing threats against the royal family.

Last October a terror suspect allegedly encouraged extremists to attack Prince George at school.

A 31-year-old man is due to face trial in connection with the threat in April.

Duchess Kate sports new look with tattoo

SHE might be married to the future King of England, but Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge didn’t let that stop her from getting her hand inked.

The 36-year-old royal, who is expecting her third child with Prince William in April, had a henna tattoo painted on her wrist during a visit to one of Sunderland’s most iconic buildings, The Fire Station, which was recently converted into a music and arts hub.

Chatting to a group from Young Asian Voices at the centre, Princess Kate asked if one of the girls would draw a henna design on her hand. Shajida Begum, 18, drew a black flower with a swirl.

“I said ‘Would you like a design?’ and she was like ‘Yes, if you don’t mind’,” Begum said.

“She was saying that it was really pretty.

“I was just telling her how it works. I was telling her when she can wash it off — I said ‘when it becomes flaky’.”

Kate also asked the girls for a pack of bindiis, which she said she wanted for her daughter Charlotte.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were also privy to lively performances of music and dance from local children at the venue, which they officially opened.

The pair were visiting Sunderland to witness the English city’s ever-evolving arts scene, engaging in a number of commitments and greeting hundreds of royal fans.

It comes a day after the Duchess hosted a bevy of VIP guests at Buckingham Palace, including Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, for the glittering Commonwealth Fashion Exchange event.

Ms Bishop took to Twitter to post a photo, revealing she had been talking ‘sustainable fashion’ with the Duchess.

Ms Bishop has been mingling with a string of important people during work trip to Europe, and was spotted running alongside her foreign counterpart Boris Johnson earlier in the week in central London.

The two wore ‘Protect the Pangolin’ shirts to raise awareness about the endangered animal, which is hunted and used in Chinese medicine.

Later, Mr Johnson greeted his new pal with a friendly kiss on the cheek outside his office on Whitehall.

Ms Bishop, 61, told him Australia was ‘very keen’ to do a free trade deal with the UK after Brexit.

Kate glows at designer fashion event

A GLOWING Kate Middleton used a stunning print dress to show off her baby bump as she entertained guests at a lavish Buckingham Palace reception.

The Duchess of Cambridge plumped for the stunning black Edrem number just hours after she was criticised for failing to wear black to the BAFTAs as part of a campaign highlighting sex harassment, reports The Sun.

Kate was hosting a reception for the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, which aims to create partnerships between designing talent in Commonwealth countries.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was also expected to attend the event.

In London to discuss Australian Foreign Policy and the benefits of free trade agreements, Bishop has made time to take on another, less official role, as “Fashion Minister”.

Hosting the best of British fashion event with Australian High Commissioner Alexander Downer earlier this week, Bishop caught up Australian designer Willow — who was chosen to be part of the inaugural Commonwealth Exchange Program.

Of her own style, Ms Bishop told News Corp in 2014 that she prefers to buy “investment pieces” but is careful to live within her means.

“I’m careful with what I spend but I also try to buy clothes that will promote an appropriate image for Australia,” she said.

She said she’s a fan of Armani and Isabel Aujoulet, as well as Louis Vuittonand Christian Louboutin shoes.

She was accompanied by the Countess of Wessex, who chose a simple striped Burberry dress.

Kate tenderly rested her hands on her bump as she chatted to a star-studded guest list that included designer Stella McCartney, supermodel Naomi Campbell, and America Vogue editor Dame Anna Wintour.

Kate is expecting her third child with Prince William in April.

She is already mother to four-year-old Prince George and two-year-old Princess Charlotte.

The Duchess made her first public appearance after announcing the pregnancy on World Mental Health Day after missing every official engagement for more than a month.

The time off sparked fears that she could be suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness), which may have forced her to announce the pregnancy early.

This story first appeared in The Sun.

Princess Mary honours late father-in-law

PRINCESS Mary has visited a floral tribute to her late father-in-law, Prince Henrik, as the Danish royal family mourns his death.

Draped in a flag bearing the royal coat of arms, Prince Henrik’s casket was taken on a procession through the streets of Copenhagen.

Thousands of people lined the route as the hearse, which was followed by Henrik’s wife Queen Margrethe, their two sons Prince Frederik and Prince Joachim, and other family members, left Fredensborg Palace where Henrik died on Tuesday aged 83.

Across the country, Danish flags were at half-staff and gun salutes echoed through the capital at dawn, in honour of Henrik, before his white coffin left the castle he loved.

After family members paid their respects privately, the coffin was due to be moved again and from Saturday will go on public display in the chapel of the Christiansborg Palace, which houses Denmark’s Parliament and prime minister’s office.

The funeral will be held on Tuesday for family and friends only.

Although Henrik and the queen appeared to have a solid marriage, the French-born prince had publicly vented his frustration at not being her social equal.

He was titled prince consort — the husband of a reigning queen but not a king — and he wasn’t in the line of succession, his oldest son Prince Frederik being the heir.

Henrik caused a scandal last August by announcing that when he died he didn’t want to be buried next to Margrethe in the cathedral where the remains of Danish royals have gone for centuries. The queen already had a specially designed sarcophagus waiting for the couple.

The palace has said it will respect Henrik’s wish to be cremated, with half his ashes to be spread over Danish seas and the other half buried in the royal family’s private garden at the Fredensborg Palace.

Denmark’s royal family traces its lineage back to the Viking king Gorm the Old, who died in 958.

Mary’s father-in-law dead

DENMARK’S Prince Henrik, the husband of Queen Margrethe, has passed away aged 83. He was surrounded by his wife and their two sons, a palace statement said.

His son Crown Prince Frederik, 49, cut short his visit to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang to return home to his sick father last week. Prince Frederick married Australian Mary Donaldson in 2004.

Henrik and Margrethe have another son, Prince Joachim, who is 48.

The French-born prince, who was admitted to Copenhagen highly specialised hospital Rigshospitalet on January 28 for a lung infection and a benign lung tumour, was transferred to Fredensborg Palace, located 40 kilometresnorth of the capital, “where the prince wishes to spend his last days”.

He was diagnosed with dementia in September 2017.

With a jovial face framed by understated glasses, the 83-year-old prince has a reputation as a bon vivant who enjoys cooking, poetry and wine.

RELATED: Inside Prince Henrik’s final days

But his frequent outbursts of anger and flamboyant style, in a country that values humility and discretion, long irritated the Danish people.

The prince moved to Denmark in 1967 ahead of his June wedding to the then-crown princess, but he found it hard being relegated to a supporting role.

Disappointed that his royal title of prince was never changed to king when his wife became queen in 1972, Henrik spoke out often in the media about his frustration, which did little to endear him to his subjects.

Instead, Danes found him arrogant and hungry for recognition. He retired from public service in 2016, and the following year he revealed that he did not want to be buried next to his wife because he was never made her equal.

Though his decision broke with the tradition of burying royal spouses together in Roskilde Cathedral west of Copenhagen, the queen accepted it, the palace said.

Born Henri Marie Jean Andre de Laborde de Monpezat on June 11, 1934 in Talence, near Bordeaux, the future Danish prince spent much of his youth in Vietnam, then a part of Indo-China, where his father was a businessman.

After finishing secondary school, he studied Vietnamese and Chinese, law and political science in Paris, before completing his French military service with the infantry in Algeria from 1959 to 1962.

He went on to become a diplomat, and met Margrethe — who was then crown princess — while he was stationed in London.

Upon marrying her, he changed his name to Henrik, converted from Catholicism to Protestantism and renounced his French citizenship to become a Dane.

By the time Margrethe acceded to the throne in 1972, the couple had two young children: Prince Frederik, born in 1968, and Joakim, born in 1969.

Teased for his French accent, and unable to understand why protocol required him to remain in his wife’s shadow, Henrik never really found his place in Denmark.

“A lot of people think I’m a loser until I prove them wrong,” he once told the media.

It wasn’t until 1997 that he stood in for his wife at a public engagement for the first time, during a visit to Greenland.

“People are just used to considering Prince Henrik as … a little dog that follows behind and gets a sugar cube once in a while,” he said.

In 2002, he made headlines around the world when he fled to his chateau in southern France to “reflect on life”, complaining that he didn’t receive enough respect in Denmark.

The incident that triggered the crisis occurred when his son, Crown Prince Frederik, was chosen to represent the queen at a New Year’s ceremony, instead of him.

He said he felt “pushed aside, degraded and humiliated”, and “disappointed all the time and walked over in such a way that my self-respect is destroyed”.

Some politicians at the time called Henrik’s behaviour “tiresome” and “disconcerting”, while the media had a field day with it, with one television show conferring on him the title of “Whiner of the Year”.

However, the crisis also marked a turning point as it showed the Danish people a more vulnerable side of Henrik.

In the years that followed, Danes slowly began warming to him. Over time, his contrarian streak and flamboyance made him the “colourful” member of the royal family, and even earned him cult status among young people.

In 2013 he collaborated with Danish pop group Michael Learns To Rock, playing the piano on a track recorded for the king of Thailand.

A few months later he was photographed taking a Sunday stroll with friends in the self-governed Copenhagen hippie community of Christiania, known for its cannabis trade, and in June 2014 he dressed up in a panda costume at a charity event.

In April 2015 he sparked controversy for cancelling his appearance at Margrethe’s 75th birthday celebrations due to ill health, only to resurface in a tourist-packed square in Venice less than two days later.

The tabloids were outraged, but to his fans it was just the kind of erratic behaviour they had come to love him for.

WILL MARY BECOME QUEEN?

Speculation has mounted since as early as last March that Prince Frederik’s mother Queen Margrethe II would abdicate the throne.

This intensified by September, after revelations about her husband Prince Henrik’s seriously ill health.

Prince Henrik’s passing, however, does not mean a change in title for Prince Frederik and Princess Mary … yet.

Queen Margrethe II is the ruling monarch of Denmark, who’s had the throne since 1972 following the death of her father, King Frederick IX.

Prince Frederik and Princess Mary will become King and Queen of Denmark at the time of Queen Margrethe’s abdication or death.

In an interview with Australian Vogue in 2016, Princess Mary spoke about her royal duties and her desire to be a “strong” and “authentic” leader for Denmark.

“I see my role as not just being a voice of the voiceless, but also being able to be a catalyst for bringing people and relevant actors together,” Mary told Australian Vogue.

“I believe that in order to find solutions to some of the most pressing global challenges of today we need to take a holistic approach that requires us to consider the social, environmental and economic aspects and work together in new and innovative partnerships, maybe with people and organisations we wouldn’t have thought about working with before.

“It will require a continuous effort and patience, and strong and authentic leadership: it takes time to create real and sustainable change.

“I try, as effectively as possibly, to use the platform that I have built up over the years to advocate and work for the empowerment of women and of their human rights.”

Mary met Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark at the Slip Inn nightclub in Sydney during the Olympic Games in September 2000.

She claimed she didn’t know the Prince’s status until after they had met. She moved from Australia to Denmark in 2001, after working as an English tutor in Paris.

The couple were engaged on October 8, 2003 and married on May 14, 2004 at Copenhagen Cathedral.

They have four children: Prince Christian Valdemar Henri John, 12, Princess Isabella Henrietta Ingrid Margrethe, 10, Prince Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander, 7, and Princess Josephine Sophia Ivalo Mathilda, 7.

Harry, Meghan’s Scottish fling

MEGHAN Markle charmed the thousands of Scots who had turned out to greet her as she wrapped up in tartan coat for her first official visit to Scotland with Prince Harry.

The pair visited Edinburgh as part of a series of royal engagements leading up to their wedding later this year on May 19.

They met members of the public during a walkabout in the Scottish capital on the eve of Valentine’s Day, reports The Sun.

The trip to Scotland marks the fourth public appearance Markle and Harry have made together.

It follows their successful visits to Nottingham, Brixton in south London and Cardiff in the months that followed their engagement announcement in November.

Today, they made their first stop at the esplanade in front of Edinburgh Castle where they were officially welcomed by the Royal Marines Scotland Band.

The pair stood still to watch the firing of the One O’Clock Gun.

Una Mallon, a mother of four, 47, from Belfast, was excited as she tried to catch a glimpse of the couple.

She said: “We are expecting to see Meghan and Harry, we are so excited.

“My prediction is that Meghan is going to be our new Diana. A wee touch of Meghan adds a bit of sparkle.

“She’s already working behind the scenes as she’s doing secret visits. She is passionate about her causes and I think Harry and her are going to be the perfect team.

“I always have a soft spot for Kate and William, but I think together the boys are doing a great job and their partners show great support.

“We are big fans of the Royal Family. We are visiting Edinburgh for the half term and we are actually considering moving to Edinburgh soon.”

Kim Cameron, 55, from Danderhall, Midlothian, added: “I just want to see them because I love the Royal Family. I want to show them love and support.

“Harry is our favourite, he seems more down to earth. He could be your best friend, just the kind of guy you want to have a beer with. Both of them are like that.

“They seem happy and they try to be as normal as possible. It’s just very exciting and I love the energy too.”

The couple then visited Social Bite, a cafe and social business that tackles homelessness — a cause close to Harry’s heart.

The organisation runs social enterprise cafes throughout Scotland and distributes 100,000 items of food and hot drinks to the homeless each year.

They also employ staff who have experienced homelessness themselves and are working on a housing project for the homeless.

The two stopped to learn more about the social enterprise and toured the kitchen.

It was another high-profile visit for the Social Bite as Holywood star George Clooney stopped by for a sandwich at their premises in 2015.

The couple rounded off their visit by attending a reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse to celebrate youth achievements.

The Year of Young People is an initiative aiming to inspire Scotland through its youngsters by celebrating their achievements and strengthening their voice on social issues.

Youth representatives from various charities and organisations that work with and for young people across the country were present.

And the reception provided an opportunity for them to discuss their aspirations for the year and the activities that they have been involved in so far.

This story was originally published in The Sun and is reprinted with permission.

Royal rumour finally laid to rest

IT’S one of the most pervasive rumours to have dogged the British Royal family – suggestions that Prince Harry’s biological father is not, in fact, Prince Charles.

Royal gossips have for years now rumoured that Princess Diana’s former love, James Hewitt, was the real father of her youngest son, Prince Harry.

But Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrell, flatly refuted those rumours while appearing on Ten’s reality show I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

In a campside conversation with fellow contestant Jackie Gillies, talk turned to Prince Harry’s oft-rumoured paternity. Here’s how it went down:

Jackie: “Do you believe that Prince Harry is Charles’ child?”

Paul: “Yes. Absolutely.”

Jackie: “It isn’t the other…The orange hair?”

Paul: “She didn’t know James Hewitt when Harry was born. That’s fact. Five years into the marriage, she had Harry. And she hadn’t yet met James Hewitt. True.”

Jackie: “Awesome! I believe you. Case closed!”

In an interview with Seven’s Sunday Night last year, Hewitt himself was asked by host Melissa Doyle point blank if he was Prince Harry’s biological father.

“No I’m not,” he replied.

Hewitt had an affair with the princess for five years from 1986, when he was an officer in the British army. At the time rumours were circulating that Prince Charles was also having an affair with his current wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles.

Hewitt and Diana were forced apart when he was deployed to serve in the Gulf War.

They parted for good when the affair was exposed in the media.

Since then rumours have long circulated that Prince Harry was Mr Hewitt’s son after media speculated on the physical resemblance between the two.

“It sells papers,” Hewitt said last year. “It’s worse for him (Harry) probably, poor chap.”

Burrell’s I’m A Celeb campmates are largely excited by his seemingly inexhaustible supply of Princess Di anecdotes, with Simone Holtznagel confessing she wants to “pick his brains” of every possible royal story.

Comedian Fiona O’Loghlin revealed she was a Princess Di obsessive, and having Burrell in camp is “like they have delivered a stack of magazines this big.”