Posts Tagged "Entertainment"

5Jul

Prince George hits the tennis court with pro Roger Federer – National

by BBG Hub

Prince George may only be five years old, but he’s already working on his tennis swing — and learning from the best.

Swiss professional tennis player Roger Federer said he gave the young royal a private lesson recently when he visited Bucklebury Manor, the home of Kate Middleton’s parents.

Speaking to reporters at Wimbledon, 37-year-old Federer said that “cute” Prince George is already making progress, ATP Tour reported. Federer is reportedly the child’s favourite tennis star.

Prince George departs from Hamburg airport on the last day of their official visit to Poland and Germany on July 21, 2017.

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READ MORE: Kate Middleton shows off newly designed garden with Prince William and kids

“At that stage, it’s all about just touching the ball; it’s already good. Same with my boys,” Federer said to the press.

“I think I have a little advantage that I actually spent some time with him. I’m the only player he’s ever met. Then you have a little head start in who your favourite player is.”

The Duchess of Cambridge attended Wimbledon earlier this week to watch Federer play and take in a match between British player Harriet Dart and American Christina McHale.

Swiss Roger Federer celebrates after winning the tennis ATP final against Belgium David Goffin in Halle, Germany, Sunday, June 23, 2019.

AP

While attending Wimbledon in 2018, Price William told tennis star Novak Djokovic that he’s trying to encourage his children to get into sports and get a “tennis racket in their hand — and a football.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are not the only royals who love tennis.

READ MORE: Kate Middleton’s brother, James, opens up about ‘crippling depression’

Meghan Markle attended Wimbledon to watch her friend Serena Williams play against 18-year-old Kaja Juvan on Thursday.

Williams and her husband Alexis Ohanian are friends of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and attended their wedding in 2018.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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5Jul

The people who make money tracking Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle’s wardrobe

by BBG Hub

From Meghan the Duchess of Sussex’s recent maternity clothing to Kate the Duchess of Cambridge’s love of L.K. Bennett wedges, the women continue to be trendsetters when it comes to their fashion choices. So much so that bloggers have made careers out of tracking who and what they wear.

Susan E. Kelley founded the website What Kate Wore in 2011, when Britain’s Prince William got engaged to marry Kate Middleton.

“I had another blog, and anytime I wrote about Kate, there was this huge boost in readership. And so I talked about it with my husband. I said, ‘You know, do you think people would really be interested in reading about what Kate Middleton wears?’”

READ MORE: Royal baby christening: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry won’t announce Archie’s godparents

The site really took off when the royal couple took a tour of Canada and the United States a few months after their wedding.

“She’s changing outfits multiple times a day, and people loved it. There was this enormous interest in it, and it exploded on Twitter and on Facebook and it kind of rolled on from there,” Kelley said during an interview at her home in Okemos, Michigan, near Lansing.

Christine Ross of Lovettsville, Virginia, is co-editor of a website that follows the Duchess of Sussex’s style, called Meghan’s Mirror. The site actually launched before Meghan started dating Prince Harry, because Ross’ co-editor, Amanda Dishaw of Toronto, was a fan of Markle’s TV series Suits.

WATCH: Wedding fashion in the Royal family






Once Harry and Meghan were spotted together in public, the actress’ profile went up. And so did visits to their site.

“When Meghan was seen at the Invictus Games with Prince Harry in Toronto, it just exploded, and all of a sudden it was like, ‘OK, this is serious. This is real. This is happening,’” said Ross.

“People were so interested in what she wore and the charities that she worked with and the messages that she was sending, and the site just really took off from there.”

So, how exactly do these bloggers figure out who the duchesses are wearing?

READ MORE: Kate Middleton makes rare public speech to raise awareness on addiction

Kelley says for official engagements, the Palace provides a minimal amount of information about the clothing worn.

“Kensington Palace will tell reporters at the scene the primary designer she’s wearing,” said Kelley, adding that the Palace doesn’t reveal who made Kate’s accessories.

But it also comes down to a study in repetition.

“Kate has designers that she goes to again and again,” Kelley said.

For Meghan’s Mirror, Ross says she and her team have studied fashion and will examine the Duchess of Sussex’s wardrobe down to the tiniest of details to get it right.

“Every time there’s a new picture of Meghan, whether it’s a paparazzi photo or an official event, there’s a mad rush to our computers, and we really just start Googling,” she said. “It comes down to a really unique knowledge of the brands that she loves. Meghan tends to stick to the same designers over and over again, and we sit down and analyze things like stitching or buttons. … We’ve become very good at (it) as we’ve learned more about her style.”

READ MORE: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry announce first royal tour ‘as family’

Ross says Meghan’s Mirror considers itself an ultimate resource for fashion info on Meghan, including an archive of anything she’s worn in public.

“We’ve worked really hard to curate our archives where you can find exactly what she’s worn and all the details about it, and you can also get mirror Meg styles at a fraction of the cost. So every time she steps out, we really work hard to add everything she’s wearing, from the earrings to the shoes to the jacket, all on to our archive so our readers can go on there, click and shop those styles.”

They also sell Meghan’s Mirror-inspired items, including jewelry on Etsy.com.

What Kate Wore also links to clothing Kelley calls “repliKates,” shoppable items similar to something the Duchess of Cambridge has worn.

Tracking the duchesses can be time consuming, especially with the time difference from the U.S. and London. “There are a lot of very early mornings for me,” Kelley said. “But the real crunch comes when they go on tour, because multiple tours have been in time zones that were 12, 14, 16-hour time differences. I just know I’m not going to see my husband. We’ll pass each other in the hallway.”

All in all, it’s still fun work.

“We have readers in places where I never thought people would be interested,” Kelley said. “There’s like 200 countries who have read the blog.”

She’s also launched sister sites What Meghan Wore and What Kate’s Kids Wore .

— Rancilio reported from New York. Rudy Estrada in Washington, D.C., contributed.




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4Jul

Royal baby christening: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry won’t announce Archie’s godparents – National

by BBG Hub

On Saturday, the newest member of the Royal Family, Archie Harrison, will be christened.

Typically, when a royal baby is christened, his or her godparents are announced in a statement from Buckingham Palace — as was the case for all of Archie’s first cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

READ MORE: Everything we know about Archie Harrison’s christening

However, according to reports, it may not be the same for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son.

On Wednesday, royal expert Omid Scobie shared a statement he had received from Buckingham Palace to Twitter.

READ MORE: Royal baby godparents: Who will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry choose?

In it, the Royal Family confirmed that Archie Harrison will be christened in the private chapel at Winsdor Castle on July 6. They also announced that “the godparents, in keeping with the parents’ wishes, will remain private.”

This isn’t surprising for fans of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — the pair have been notoriously private since getting married last May.

Thankfully, eagle-eyed royal watchers can expect the couple to share photos of Archie at his christening, which will be the first time the world gets a glimpse of the baby’s face.

Markle and Prince Harry have previously shared two photos of the baby, but neither featured his entire face.

The first, shared to the couple’s Instagram account in honour of Mother’s Day, was of Archie’s small feet in Markle’s hands. The second, which the couple posted to Instagram for Father’s Day, was of Archie’s eyes — but the rest of his face was shielded by his father’s hand.

The rules of the Church of England

Despite the couple’s wishes to keep their choices private, it could be that Archie’s godparents are revealed anyway due to the rules of the Church of England.

According to the U.K.’s National Archives, the Parochial Registers and Records Measure was passed in 1978.

It states that “register books or baptisms and burials [are] to be available for research within reasonable working hours in the diocesan record offices.”

WATCH: Did Donald Trump break royal etiquette during UK state visit?





This means baptism records — including the names of godparents — are a matter of public record and can be searched by anyone.

However, the Queen may overrule the 1978 measure if she wishes because the private chapel at Windsor Castle — where Archie is to be christened — is known as a Royal Peculiar.

This means it belongs directly to the monarch and not to any diocese. Therefore, it doesn’t come under the jurisdiction of a bishop.

The top picks for Archie’s godparents

According to royal expert Victoria Arbiter, the role of a royal godparent is to offer friendship and guidance throughout the child’s “spiritual journey.”

“It’s likely we’ll see close friends of Harry and Meghan, close friends of Diana and her family and, perhaps, close friends of Prince Charles, too,” Arbiter said of the royal baby’s potential godparents.

WATCH: Harry and Meghan’s home renovation controversy





The goal is to give the child access to several unique perspectives throughout his or her life.

A clear front-runner is Markle’s close friend Jessica Mulroney, according to Arbiter.

“She has been an amazing friend, and she has an amazing background in terms of her marriage to Ben Mulroney, whose father was prime minister [of Canada]… They would be able to offer wisdom about being in the public eye,” she said.

READ MORE: ‘Any longer and I would’ve been burnt out’ — Former aide to the Queen shares difficulties of job

“If we were to see any Royals, Eugenie and Harry are very close,” Arbiter said. “I think Eugenie deeply appreciated her mother being included in Harry and Meghan’s [wedding] guest list.”

(Eugenie’s mother, Sarah Ferguson, divorced from Prince Andrew in 1996.)

Arbiter also expects to see a few of Harry’s close friends, as well as a cousin or aunt from his mother’s side of the family, included in the list of potential godparents.

Alternatively, Harry may pick his childhood nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke.

“She was an amazing support when Diana died,” Arbiter said.

What we know about the christening

The event will reportedly be extremely private, with just 25 of the couple’s close friends and family members — including Archie’s godparents — in attendance, a royal source told People.

This is typical of royal christenings, which have historically been very private affairs.

At Prince Louis’ christening in July 2018, only 21 people close to the baby were in attendance.

WATCH: Royal baby: 3 things Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s child might endure being biracial





During the ceremony, Archie will probably be christened using the Lily Font, a silver baptismal bowl in the form of a blooming flower.

The font was originally commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1840 and has been used for all royal christenings since.

READ MORE: The feminist significant of Meghan Markle’s post-birth dress

It is one of only two English silver fonts — the other was made in 1660 for King Charles II.

After the ceremony, guests will likely be invited to enjoy afternoon tea hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

According to the Royal Family, it’s customary that guests indulge in the christening cake, which is a tier taken from the wedding cake of the christened child’s mother and father.

WATCH: Prince Harry And Meghan cut ties with Prince William and Kate’s charity





Though unconfirmed, the Sunday Times reported that Archie will wear a replica of the historic royal christening gown originally used for the baptism of Princess Victoria in 1841.

According to the Royal Family, the original gown was commissioned by Queen Victoria and worn by 62 royal babies, including Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Prince Harry.

In 2008, Queen Elizabeth commissioned a replica by her dressmaker Angela Kelly in order to preserve the original.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry announce first royal tour ‘as family’

James, Viscount Severn, was the first member of the Royal Family to wear this replica gown at his christening at the private chapel at Windsor Castle in the same year.

Archie’s cousins, Prince GeorgePrincess Charlotte and Prince Louis, all wore the replica at their respective christenings.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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3Jul

Prince Harry honours Princess Diana during youth summit – National

by BBG Hub


Fatherhood has changed how Prince Harry feels about role models.

On Tuesday, the Duke of Sussex attended the Diana Award National Youth Mentoring Summit in London and delivered a speech focused on the impact role models can have on others.

The 34-year-old new dad also mentioned he may be an “invisible role model” himself to his son Archie.

“Perhaps it’s the newfound clarity I have as a father, knowing that my son will always be watching what I do, mimicking my behaviour, one day maybe even following in my footsteps,” he said.

READ MORE: Everything we know about Archie Harrison’s christening

Prince Harry added that role models and mentors can be found anywhere.

“But it’s not just my role as a father that shows me that; it’s in the people I see every day that don’t realize how inspirational they are to those watching,” he continued.

“From small acts of kindness to large measures of character, each move that we make matters, especially when we don’t think anyone is watching. That is when our true character comes to light.”

READ MORE: Prince Harry and Meghan meet Yankees, Red Sox as MLB debuts in London

The Duke of Sussex also touched on the legacy his mother left behind. The late Princess of Wales would have celebrated her birthday on Monday.

“My mother, Princess Diana, was a role model to so many without realizing the impact she would have on so many lives,” he said. “You don’t have to be a princess or a public figure to be a role model. In fact, it’s equally valuable if you’re not because it’s more relatable.”

According to the Telegraph, the Diana Award honours the late Princess of Wales and recognizes how mentoring can “break down barriers of social mobility” to help young people.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry announce first royal tour ‘as family’

The summit aims to provide mentorship opportunities for youths from all walks of life and break down stereotypes about who an ideal mentor is.

“The person who may be sitting here today that doesn’t realize that someone looks up to them, that for that person, you inspire them to be kinder, better, greater, more successful, more impactful,” he continued in his speech.

“To the mentees here today, I am incredibly proud of what you’ve achieved. And I can safely say that my mother, who would have turned 58 yesterday, would feel the same. Thank you.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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2Jul

Everything we know about Archie Harrison’s christening – National

by BBG Hub

The Royal Family welcomed baby Archie Harrison on May 6, and now he’s ready to be christened.

According to CNN, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will host a small ceremony at the private chapel at Windsor Castle on July 6 — two months to the day since Archie was born.


READ MORE:
Prince Harry, Meghan share new photo of baby Archie for Father’s Day

Windsor Castle holds much significance for Prince Harry in particular.

He was christened in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in 1984, and it was also where he married Markle in May 2018.

The couple now resides in Frogmore Cottage on the grounds at Windsor Castle.

WATCH: Prince Louis surrounded by family for christening as fans cheer nearby





The event will reportedly be extremely private, with just 25 of the couple’s close friends and family members — including Archie’s godparents — in attendance, a royal source told People.

This is typical of royal christenings, which have historically been very private affairs.

At Prince Louis’ christening in July 2018, only 21 people close to the baby were in attendance.

READ MORE: The feminist significant of Meghan Markle’s post-birth dress

During the ceremony, Archie will probably be christened using the Lily Font, a silver baptismal bowl in the form of a blooming flower.

The font was originally commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1840 and has been used for all royal christenings since.

WATCH: Prince Harry And Meghan cut ties with Prince William and Kate’s charity





It is one of only two English silver fonts — the other was made in 1660 for King Charles II.

After the ceremony, guests will likely be invited to enjoy afternoon tea hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

According to the Royal Family, it’s customary that guests indulge in the christening cake, which is a tier taken from the wedding cake of the christened child’s mother and father.

The royal christening gown

Though unconfirmed, the Sunday Times reported that Archie will wear a replica of the historic royal christening gown originally used for the baptism of Princess Victoria in 1841.

According to the Royal Family, the original gown was commissioned by Queen Victoria and worn by 62 royal babies, including Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Prince Harry.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry announce first royal tour ‘as family’

In 2008, Queen Elizabeth commissioned a replica by her dressmaker Angela Kelly in order to preserve the original.

James, Viscount Severn, was the first member of the Royal Family to wear this replica gown at his christening at the private chapel at Windsor Castle in the same year.

Archie’s cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, all wore the replica at their respective christenings.

The top picks for Archie’s godparents

Archie’s godparents have not yet been announced, but royal expert Victoria Arbiter says the group will likely be a mix of “close friends of Harry and Meghan, close friends of Diana and her family and, perhaps, close friends of Prince Charles, too.”

For a royal child, the role of a godparent is a very serious one, meant to offer friendship and guidance throughout the child’s “spiritual journey.”

Arbiter believes a clear front-runner is Markle’s close friend (and Canadian) Jessica Mulroney.

WATCH: Royal baby named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor





“She has been an amazing friend and she has an amazing background in terms of her marriage to Ben Mulroney, whose father was prime minister [of Canada]… They would be able to offer wisdom about being in the public eye,” Arbiter said.

She also thinks Harry’s cousin, Eugenie, is a possibility.

“If we were to see any Royals, Eugenie and Harry are very close,” Arbiter said. “I think Eugenie deeply appreciated her mother being included in Harry and Meghan’s [wedding] guest list.”

READ MORE: The royal baby’s name is Archie — here’s what it means

(Eugenie’s mother, Sarah Ferguson, divorced from Prince Andrew in 1996.)

Arbiter also expects to see a few of Harry’s close friends, as well as a cousin or aunt from his mother’s side of the family, included.

Alternatively, Harry may pick his childhood nanny, Tiggy Legge-Bourke.

WATCH: Royal baby — 3 things Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s child might endure being biracial





“She was an amazing support when Diana died,” Arbiter said.

Although godparents to the family have historically been European royalty or members of the extended family, Arbiter says this is no longer the case.

“I think we’ll see a cross-section in terms of generations and we’ll see people who have been deeply loyal to the couple,” Arbiter said.

Archie’s place in the line of succession

Archie is the Queen’s eighth great-grandchild and Prince Charles’ fourth grandchild.

He’s also seventh in line to the throne behind Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Prince Harry.

WATCH: Harry and Meghan’s home renovation controversy





The child’s rank could fall further if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have more children. Prince Harry himself has fallen three spots since the birth of his nephews and niece.

The line to the throne was changed in recent years, following amendments made to the Succession to the Crown Act in 2013. The act applies to babies born after October 2011.

READ MORE: Royal Baby godparents — Who will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry choose?

Prior to those changes, male additions to the Royal Family outranked their female counterparts — even if they were younger.

Beyond the more immediate Royal Family, the line for the throne is quite extensive. It’s followed by the Queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, and his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. It then moves on to the Queen’s third son, Prince Edward, and his children.

—With files from Maham Abedi and Laura Hensley

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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28Jun

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry announce first royal tour ‘as family’ – National

by BBG Hub

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex just announced they are heading to Southern Africa this fall for their first official tour since welcoming their son.

On Thursday, details of their trip were shared to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry‘s official Instagram account, revealing that the royals will head to multiple countries later this year — and hinted that Archie will join them.

READ MORE: Prince Harry, Meghan share new photo of baby Archie for Father’s Day

“This will be their first official tour as a family!” read the announcement on Instagram.

According to their social media post, Markle and Prince Harry will travel to South Africa, and then the duke will visit Malawi and Angola.

“His Royal Highness will also do a short working visit to Botswana en route to the other countries,” the post said.

Royal officials also said that Markle and Prince Harry are “really looking forward” to meeting fans on the ground, and are excited to continue to raise awareness “of the high impact work local communities are doing across the Commonwealth and beyond.”

While the date of the trip has not yet been announced, Archie will be around six-months-old this fall.

WATCH BELOW: Meghan Markle debuts new ring





Markle and Prince Harry welcomed their first child early this May, and have revealed a few photos of him since his birth.

Botswana is a place Prince Harry and Markle have visited before together. In 2017, the couple travelled there to assist help with elephant conservation efforts.

The couple previously shared private photos of themselves from their trip to Instagram in April.

Prince Harry and brother Prince William have travelled throughout Africa and both are involved in efforts to protect wildlife there. The Duke of Sussex is also patron to a charity helping children in Lesotho.

On June 20, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they had formally parted ways from the charity foundation they shared with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Markle and Prince Harry’s charity work will continue through their own foundation, royal officials said.

— With a file from the Associated Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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25Jun

Chrissy Teigen ‘mom-shamed’ for painting 3-year-old daughter’s nails – National

by BBG Hub

Chrissy Teigen is at the centre of a heated debate after posting a video of her three-year-old daughter, Luna, with freshly painted toenails.

“Doing her nails is my knitting. Kid toes kill me!” wrote the mom of two on Twitter.

Dozens of parents responded excitedly with similar photos of their children’s tiny, painted toes. However, a few critics expressed concern about putting nail polish on a young child.

READ MORE: Mom lets 2-year-old dye her hair for self-expression — but is this the best way?

In a now-deleted tweet, one user wrote: “Applying poisonous chemicals directly onto a child’s body cannot be good. Whatever poisons are in polish are absorbed through the nail and directly into their body.”

Teigen responded: “Well I actually had her drink it, so joke’s on you.”

Is it true that “poisons” in nail polish can be absorbed through the nail and into the body? Not quite, says Dr. Dina Kulik.

According to Kulik, founder and director of Kidcrew Pediatrics in Toronto, there are three toxic chemicals commonly used in traditional nail polish: toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate.

The amount of these chemicals that is absorbed through the nails is “very, very low,” she said.

READ MORE: ‘Snowplow parenting’ is preventing young adults from learning ‘basic life skills’

However, doctors don’t know the long-term impact of using these chemicals on the nails on a regular basis — and that risk extends to both children and adults.

“Many women do this [regularly] but does that potentially increase the risk of certain types of cancers, for example?” said Kulik.

“It’s hard to say… That’s a potential with a chemical [like] formaldehyde.”

WATCH: How parenting has changed in the past 50 years





Another risk of using nail polish around young children is the possibility that they ingest the chemicals, which can cause severe damage to the nervous system.

“Things like seizures, a decreased level of consciousness… headaches, vomiting as well as respiratory issues, like coughing or difficulty breathing,” said Kulik.

In this circumstance, Kulik says you should contact your province’s centre for poison control as soon as possible.

READ MORE: 7 popular — yet tricky — parenting questions answered

“It’s never safe to wait and just watch and see what happens,” she said. “A chemical can be poisonous without showing symptoms.”

Kulik recommends the same course of action if your child ingests any toxic chemical — not just nail polish.

This includes household items such as nail polish remover, cleaning products and pain medication like acetaminophen.

WATCH: YouTube star JoJo Siwa’s makeup collection pulled from Claire’s for asbestos





As an alternative, Kulik recommends chemical-free nail polish for both children and adults.

“There are many different products on the market that are free from the various chemicals that would pose concern,” she said.

“I don’t know what [Teigen] used on her child, but it’s quite likely that it was something that was free of these chemicals because there are so many brands available which are [chemical-free].”

READ MORE: How much time you spend on screens should be based on age, not minuted: CPS

As long as you’re using chemical-free nail polish, parenting expert Kathy Lynn would actually encourage painting your child’s nails — that is, if that’s what they want to do.

“It’s make-believe, it’s fun, it’s fantasy,” she told Global News. “It’s like sparkles on a shirt.”

If the child is having fun, Lynn says nail polish and other beauty products are a great means of self-expression.

WATCH: Do gel manicures cause cancer?





However, use of these products on a regular basis can become cause for concern if a child appears to be using them out of insecurity.

“If what you see is a little girl that has coloured nail polish on admiring [her fingers] one minute, and the next minute is digging those same hands into sand — boom, you’ve got yourself a kid,” she said.

Alternatively, if your child tries to start acting “older” or “more maturely,” you may need to have a discussion with your child about why they want to use those products.

READ MORE: Here’s how often you should really wash your hair, according to experts

For Lynn, it’s important to emphasize that you think your child is beautiful — with or without such items.

“It’s about saying: ‘Today, you’re trying makeup on, just like mom, but you know you’re really always a cool kid, right?’” said Lynn.

“I think the important thing is to allow our kids to be kids but also understanding that a little bit of coloured nail polish on their toes is not the end of the world.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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13Jun

‘My Little Pony’ to introduce cartoon’s first lesbian couple – National

by BBG Hub


Equality is coming to Equestria.

In a recent interview with Buzzfeed News, co-showrunner Nicole Dubuc said My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic will air its first episode with a lesbian couple this weekend in the U.S.

The episode, called “The Last Crusade”, will feature storylines with Aunt Holiday and Auntie Lofty. While some thought the two ponies were siblings, the show confirmed in fact they were a couple.

READ MORE: ‘Arthur’ character Mr. Ratburn comes out as gay, gets married

“I think it’s fantastic that we can show that what truly defines a family is love — that, to me, is the core of My Little Pony,” Dubuc told the site.

Writer and producer Michael Vogel even confirmed the two were a couple on Twitter back in 2017. “When I say ‘cute couple’ I’m saying that Aunt Holiday and Auntie Lofty are a cute couple. Yes,” he wrote on the social media site.

The couple first introduced in the book, Ponyville Mysteries: Riddle of the Rusty Horseshoe in 2017.

Vogel told Buzzfeed it had all started with the book.

“Nicole and I thought this was a great opportunity to organically introduce an LGBTQ couple in the series, and we asked Hasbro and they approved it,” he continued.

READ MORE: ‘Arthur’ episode featuring gay wedding won’t air on Alabama Public Television

“With Josh [Harber, a show runner] and Nicole running the final season together, it was something we all wanted to do — bring this out couple into the final season and make them ‘officially’ a part of the [My Little Pony] world.”

This news comes just a month after it was announced that Arthur, another popular children’s cartoon, would return for its 22nd season with a same-sex wedding.

One of the show’s key characters, Mr. Ratburn, came out as gay.

Some networks, however, pulled the episode off air.

READ MORE: Pride month — Honouring the LGBTQ2 community’s progress and recognizing the work still to be done

Here is some of the social reaction to the news of Aunt Holiday and Auntie Lofty.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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13Jun

Jessica Biel lobbies against vaccine bill, but denies being part of anti-vaxx movement – National

by BBG Hub

Actor Jessica Biel is defending her vaccination views after she lobbied against an immunization exemption bill alongside Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a known anti-vaxxer advocate.

On Tuesday, Biel joined Kennedy at the California State Assembly to lobby against SB-276, a state bill that would require approval from a public health officer if a parent didn’t want their child to be vaccinated.

Biel expressed concern that if passed, the bill would make it difficult for parents to have their child exempt for medical reasons. Anti-vaxxers are also concerned that the bill would make it harder for parents to enroll their kids in public school or day care if they aren’t vaccinated.

The bill would require the California state Department of Health to develop a standardized medical exemption request form, which “would be the only medical exemption documentation that a governing authority may accept.”

READ MORE: The sly ways anti-vaxxers are spreading misinformation online

After meeting with Kennedy, a well-known anti-vaccination activist who believes that vaccines cause autism, Biel was accused of joining the anti-vaxx movement.

In an Instagram post shared Thursday morning, she attempted to clarify her opinion on vaccinations and stated she is not against immunizations.

“I am not against vaccinations — I support children getting vaccinations and I also support families having the right to make educated medical decisions for their children alongside their physicians,” Biel wrote.

WATCH BELOW: Teen who sued health agency after being banned for not getting chicken pox vaccination gets the illness





“My concern with SB-276 is solely regarding medical exemptions.”

Biel cited her “dearest friends” who have a child with a medical condition that supposedly warrants an exemption from vaccinations. She wrote that SB-276 would “greatly affect their family’s ability to care for their child in this state.”

Biel also said she’s arguing against the bill because she believes in “giving doctors and the families they treat the ability to decide what’s best for their patients and the ability to provide that treatment.”

The bill calls for a standardized vaccine exemption form that would clearly state what allows — and what doesn’t allow — for a medical exemption to be granted, “based on guidelines of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

WATCH BELOW: Ipsos poll says 9/10 Canadians want mandatory vaccinations





The bill is co-sponsored by the California Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

California already has one of the toughest immunization laws in the United States, but there have been concerns that anti-vaccination doctors are excusing children from vaccinations due to unrelated health concerns, such as diabetes.

Biel has never publicly taken a stance about vaccinations, but there have been reports that she and her husband, Justin Timberlake, didn’t plan to vaccinate their kid.

READ MORE: Vaccine doubts spreads like ‘disease’ online, public health expert says

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Kennedy said Biel was not explicitly in support of the anti-vaxx movement, but that she was a “very effective advocate.”

“I would say that she was for safe vaccines and for medical freedom,” he said. “My body, my choice.”

According to Kennedy — who once used the word “holocaust” to describe the number of children with autism in the United States — Biel was very knowledgeable on the subject of vaccinations.

“Extremely well-informed. An extremely effective advocate. She knows what she’s talking about… She’s upset about this issue because of its particular cruelty. She has friends who have been vaccine-injured who would be forced to leave the state,” he said.

WATCH BELOW: Anti-vaccine myths — The truth behind vaccines and your child’s health





According to Dr. Natasha Crowcroft, chief of applied immunization research and evaluation at Public Health Ontario, anti-vaxxers commonly use veiled language to communicate their views instead of outright saying them.

Crowcroft says anti-vax groups use narratives about parents making “informed health decisions” on their own, suggesting that doctors or the government should not be the ones deciding whether or not they vaccinate.

Medical exemptions from vaccinations

Despite messaging from the anti-vaxx community, there are few, very rare reasons why a child may not be physically able to receive a vaccination.

“There are some children who are born with naturally very weak immune systems, and they cannot receive some of the live vaccines, like measles or yellow fever,” said Dr. Brian Ward, a professor of medicine at McGill University.

READ MORE: Can you still get sick if you’re vaccinated?

“There are other children whose immune systems are transiently damaged by medical therapies. For example, a child exposed to radiation.”

Another instance would be a child with HIV, although Ward says this doesn’t happen often anymore because of HIV treatments.

In the event that a child has a severe anaphylactic reaction to the first dose of a vaccine, they will also require a medical exemption.

“It is extraordinarily rare but an individual might have true anaphylaxis and go into shock when they receive a vaccine that’s been grown in eggs, for example,” said Ward.

WATCH BELOW: How ‘vaccine hesitancy’ became a threat to public health





In these cases, Ward says doctors will request a medical exemption, since such living vaccines contain “attenuated organisms” and can significantly harm a child.

This means the organisms themselves are weakened, “but if there is no immune system at all to fight back, then even a very weakened organism can do some damage,” Ward said.

“A child or a person with a ‘normal’ immune system should have no whatsoever with those weakened viruses, but somebody who… doesn’t have any immune system, they could actually get quite sick.”

What is ‘cocooning’ and why it’s important

For kids who receive an exemption from vaccines, Ward says the need for others to be vaccinated is even more critical.

“Those kids don’t have a choice. The parents of those kids don’t have a choice,” said Ward.

READ MORE: COMMENTARY: Calling the shots — how Canadian teens can defy their anti-vaxxer parents

“That’s why there is a real push to make sure that all of those people around them are vaccinated — that’s called ‘cocooning.’”

People who can get vaccinated but choose not to put children with weakened immune systems in danger.

A child with a weakened immune system, for example, may get sick from a measles vaccine. However, that same vulnerable child would likely die if they contracted measles from an unvaccinated peer.

WATCH BELOW: New poll shows mixed attitudes about measles and vaccinations





In Ward’s professional opinion, vaccines are still the best defence against several fatal diseases.

“A healthy child who gets measles… has about a one in 1,000, maybe one in 3,000 chances of dying… That’s a pretty high risk of having a dead child,” said Ward.

“For me, an anti-vaxx doctor is an oxymoron…. there’s no such thing.”

Vaccines don’t cause autism

The theory that vaccines cause autism, originally posited by a 1998 study in the Lancet journal by former British doctor Andrew Wakefield, has been debunked numerous times.

The British Medical Journal called his research “fraudulent,” and on Feb. 2, 2010, the Lancet formally retracted the study due to serious flaws and an undisclosed conflict of interest. The British medical authorities stripped Wakefield of his licence in May 2010.

Dr. Benjamin Mazer, a doctor at Yale-New Haven Hospital, said the reason this study is still cited two decades later is that the cause of autism is still a mystery. So if you are a parent looking for answers, the vaccine link may be “an appealing idea,” Mazer said.

READ MORE: Unvaccinated — Should vaccinations be mandatory for school-aged kids?

“You also have people who have a dislike for the profit motive in medicine and pharmaceutical companies. There’s a dislike for feeling dehumanized from overworked doctors and a dislike for the cost of health care,” he said.

“This makes people very distrustful.”

— With files from Katie Scott & Katie Dangerfield

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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13Jun

Kate Middleton makes rare public speech to raise awareness on addiction – National

by BBG Hub

Kate Middleton recently spoke out about addiction awareness during a rare public speech.

On Wednesday, the Duchess of Cambridge spoke during an annual gala dinner for Addiction Awareness Week at the Phillips Gallery in London. Dressed in an off-the-shoulder dress by Barbara Casasola, Kate Middleton addressed the crowd, focusing on early intervention.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, attends the first annual gala dinner in recognition of Addiction Awareness Week. Photo: Getty Images

“In the last few years, I have been focusing on the importance of prevention. How can we all really support the earliest years of life, build foundations and help avoid adversity later on in life?” she said, according to Today.com.

“I’ve seen over and over again that, sadly, the root cause can so often be traced right back to the very earliest years of someone’s life.”

Middleton added that for some, it is not easy to access help.

“Sadly, for many who are suffering with addiction, they just don’t receive the help they need early enough,” she continued.

“They’ve already reached crisis point before they find the support they need.”

Focus on mental health

The Duchess went solo to the event and was joined by Graham Beech, chief executive of Action on Addiction. She is a patron for the U.K.-based charity, which is focused on helping those living with drug and alcohol addiction.

In 2018, the Duchess opened a new treatment centre for the charity in Wickford, Essex, that was aimed at addiction recovery, Hello magazine reported.

During the year, Middleton also joined a roundtable conversation with staff, health-care professionals and other experts before attending a reception.

READ MORE: PHOTOS — Kate Middleton shows off newly designed garden with Prince William and kids

The recovery centre, which partnered with the University of Bath, helped train addiction counsellors. During that year, she told graduates: “It’s such a positive story for you all.”

And the Duchess is no stranger to mental-health-focused charities. The 37-year-old has several charity interests under her belt, including a large focus on children’s mental health.

“The Duchess of Cambridge is a committed champion of issues related to children’s mental health and emotional well-being. Her Royal Highness has worked to bring wider public attention to the fact that issues facing children today such as addiction, poverty, abuse, neglect, loss and illness of family members can have a long-lasting and traumatic impact if left unsupported,” the official British Royal Family site notes.

“Moreover, academic research has shown conclusively that early childhood trauma will affect mental health long into adulthood, with significant costs to individuals, their families, society and the economy.”

A week of events

Middleton’s solo gala dinner was just days after the Duchess and her family celebrated Queen Elizabeth II‘s ceremonial birthday.

The Duchess was joined by Prince William, their children, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

READ MORE: Prince Louis wears Prince Harry’s childhood outfit during Queen’s birthday

Prior to her speech, Middleton and Prince William made a visit to Deepdale Hall Farm, a sheep farm in northwest England on Tuesday.

The two spoke to local farmers, tried sheep shearing and went to visit fans at a market.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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