The world’s longest-running soap opera, otherwise known as the British Royal Family, takes some shocking plot twists in this week’s dramatic though fact-challenged tabloids.
“Drunken Camilla’s Brawl With Queen!” screams the Globe, complete with a photo of Her Majesty with a “bloody eye wound.” “Raging Camilla” attacked the Queen, “threw a glass of red wine in her face and ripped a treasured pearl necklace from Her Majesty’s throat” before Prince Charles dragged her off, the rag reports. “Crazy drunk Camilla snaps as insults fly,” claims the tabloid, which has a storied history of quoting verbatim from private conversations among the Royals, thanks to a series of well-hidden listening devices – or possibly an over-active editorial imagination. When they make the TV movie the Queen will doubtless played by Joan Collins, and Camilla by Linda Evans. Expect a cat-fight in the Royal lily pond.
Is it unsporting to note that the photo of the bloodied monarch at Scotland’s Balmoral Castle was actually taken on November 2, 2016, at the launch of Prince Andrew’s Pitch@Palace Event in London? Surely only a cad would point out that the Queen’s photo has been flipped, and the burst blood vessel in her left eye seen in the Globe was actually in her right eye two years ago? I wouldn’t stoop so low.
Prince Harry’s months-old marriage to Meghan Markle dominates the National Enquirer under the headline: “Harry Confesses to William: ‘It’s Hell at Home! . . . This was the biggest mistake of my life!’” A “distraught” Harry “begged his big brother, Prince William, for advice.” My advice: Stop reading the tabloids.
William reportedly “vowed he’d speak to their grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, on Harry’s behalf.” As if Harry can’t speak for himself, or has anything to say to HRH about the Duchess of Sussex. How many weeks before we see reports of Meghan hitting the Queen over the head with a bottle of Newcastle Brown ale and snatching the tiara off her head?
People magazine gets in on the Royal fun and games with its exclusive cover story: "The Truth About Meghan – Her Best Friends Break Their Silence.” It’s an astonishing eight-page analysis by “her real friends” – none of whom are identified by name – revealing what a warm, loving, caring, generous, unicorn-riding and rainbow-splashed angel Meghan truly is. It’s remarkable because it’s clearly the work of Meghan’s PR machine in overdrive, a concerted counter-offensive against Fleet Street’s critics and the legion of Internet trolls who make her life a misery, and could only have happened with Meghan’s full permission and blessing.
Five women from Meghan’s “inner circle" – a longtime friend, a former costar, a friend from Los Angeles, a onetime colleague, and a close confidante – hit back at the notion of “Princess Pushy” and “Duchess Difficult” that has been hung around Meghan’s neck. “Meg is extremely faithful,” says her longtime friend. “We pray a lot together. We meditate. She has had, and especially has now, a very close relationship with God.” Whose noodly appendages must be salivating with bolognese sauce at the thought.
Evidently she also has a very close relationship with her PR team. It’s a welcome counter-point to the uninformed speculation, rumors and lies that surround Meghan, but is it the “truth” that People promises? If it is, expect the Pope to announce her beatification any day now.
Not to be left out, Us magazine reports on Meghan’s search for godparents for her Royal offspring, expected this spring. It gives the rag the opportunity to pluck names out of a hat, including Elton John, Barack Obama, Serena Williams and Amal Clooney. It’s a game anyone can play. My money’s on Meghan throwing a spanner in the Royal works and choosing Lady Gaga, Donald Trump and Justin Timberlake as godparents. Hey, it could happen.
Meanwhile, it’s business as usual across tabloidland. Actor Al Pacino suffered a “stomach cancer scare” claims the Enquirer, which means photographers saw him leaving the office of a doctor whose specialties include cancer, which is like being seen leaving Walmart and reporters claiming you had a home decorating scare.
Beggaring belief more than usual is the Enquirer story alleging: “Jacko Pedophile Proof Buried With Him!” Claiming that 11 new child molestation victims have come forward – all unnamed, of course – the Enquirer says that they are demanding that the gloved one’s corpse be “ripped from its crypt.” His body can “prove he was a serial molester” because investigators will find “DNA clawed from their bodies during horrific sexual assaults!” Seriously, the Enquirer wants us to believe that Jackson’s talons raked his victims and that he carried their amassed DNA beneath his fingernails for years, carefully preserving it without contamination from anything else he touched. Sure, that could happen. It might finally explain why he always wore a single glove: to preserve his victims’ DNA safely beneath his fingernails. Makes perfect sense. Thanks, National Enquirer.
But that doesn’t explain sister mag the Globe reporting on Michael Jackson’s “Double Life As Ladies’ Man.” A former bodyguard claims the singer liked women. Shocking, but perhaps that explains why he always kept one hand ungloved: that was his hand for the ladies in his life.
Robert F Kennedy's assassin Sirhan Sirhan was framed, reports the Enquirer, which can’t let a week go by without a new theory on the Kennedy clan, each new version contradicting the last.
Robert Redford has “just months to live” claims the Globe, not because he’s dying of any ailment, but simply because he’s 82 years old, announced his retirement from acting, and is easing away from the Sundance Film Festival. The stress of giving all that up would surely kill anyone. Eventually.
Us magazine’s cover delves into actress Hayden Panettiere’s private life: “Why She Gave Up Her Daughter,” sending four-year-old Kaya overseas to live with her father. Except both parents share custody of their daughter, and it makes sense to split parental duties when work demands their attention. Oh, and Panettiere denies not having seen her daughter for four months. “She hasn’t been seen with Kaya in over a year,” states Us mag, proving yet again that a private life doesn’t count unless it’s lived in the public eye. Paparazzi have visitation rights too, you know.
Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at Us to tell us that Rihanna wore it best, that actress Taylor Schilling “ate oatmeal for breakfast every day for five years straight,” that Phoebe Robinson’s Stella McCartney Falabella “is full of crap” (and it is), and that the stars are just like us: they buy medicine, drink coffee, and go shopping. Who knew?
For sheer journalistic nerve it’s hard to beat the National Examiner report on “Stars Who Kill!” Amazingly, O.J. Simpson’s name is never mentioned. It’s about those who have had the misfortune to be at the wheel of vehicles in fatal accidents – Caitlyn Jenner, Matthew Broderick, Venus Williams, Dog Chapman, Ted Kennedy and Laura Bush. And then there’s Lana Turner, who the Examiner blames for stabbing lover Johnny Stompanato and letting daughter Cheryl take the blame; Charles S Dutton who stabbed a man in self-defense as a youth; and rocker Rick Springfield who “assisted in loading mortars” which killed a Viet Cong soldier during a tour of Vietnam entertaining troops. Stay classy, National Examiner.
Onwards and downwards . . .