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Addiction claims another victim. Amy Winehouse is dead at age 27.

Chemical dependence claimed another victim today: 27 year old Amy Winehouse, British rocker, was found dead at her London flat this afternoon. 

The Definition of Addiction 

Answer yes or no to the following seven questions. Most questions have more than one part, because everyone behaves slightly differently in addiction. You only need to answer yes to one part for that question to count as a positive response. 

  1. Tolerance. Has your use of drugs or alcohol increased over time?
  2. Withdrawal. When you stop using, have you ever experienced physical or emotional withdrawal? Have you had any of the following symptoms: irritability, anxiety, shakes, sweats, nausea, or vomiting?
  3. Difficulty controlling your use. Do you sometimes use more or for a longer time than you would like? Do you sometimes drink to get drunk? Do you stop after a few drink usually, or does one drink lead to more drinks?
  4. Negative consequences. Have you continued to use even though there have been negative consequences to your mood, self-esteem, health, job, or family?
  5. Neglecting or postponing activities. Have you ever put off or reduced social, recreational, work, or household activities because of your use?
  6. Spending significant time or emotional energy. Have you spent a significant amount of time obtaining, using, concealing, planning, or recovering from your use? Have you spend a lot of time thinking about using? Have you ever concealed or minimized your use? Have you ever thought of schemes to avoid getting caught?
  7. Desire to cut down. Have you sometimes thought about cutting down or controlling your use? Have you ever made unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control your use?

If you answered yes to at least 3 of these questions, then you meet the medical definition of addiction. This definition is based on the of American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV) and the World Health Organization (ICD-10) criteria.(1

Read more about the death of Amy Winehouse at the Daily Mail.

Read more about Amy Winehouse’s life at NPR.

Queen Elizabeth II and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, took a preview tour of Buckingham Palace’s royal wedding exhibit on Friday. 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and her grandmother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, are on their way to view Buckingham Palace's royal wedding exhibit, July 22, 2011. Uncharacterically, the Queen is not carrying her trusty handbag.

The Royal Collection show, called “The Royal Wedding Dress: A Story of Great British Design,” opened to the public today. It brings together the Duchess of Cambridge’s Alexander McQueen white and ivory Irish lace wedding dress, shoes, tiara, earrings, and a replica bouquet for the public to view up close.

Among the items displayed at the Queen's London residence include the Cartier Halo tiara, worn by Kate Middleton on her wedding day. The understated headpiece was made in 1936 and purchased by the Duke of York (later King George VI) for his wife, Elizabeth's mother (also Elizabeth). Queen Elizabeth received it as an 18th-birthday present, at which time she was Princess Elizabeth. The delicate diamond tiara was lent to Kate by the Queen.

The Palace expects over 500,000 people to buy tickets to the ten-week exhibit. Both at home and abroad, Prince William and Kate are wildly popular, as evidenced by the overwhelmingly warm reception they received earlier this summer on their 2011 Royal Tour of Canada with a detour to Hollywood.

Kate Middleton's bridal shoes will be on display at Buckingham Palace this summer. Custom made by Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton to match her wedding dress, Kate's elegant pumps are made of ivory duchesse satin with lace hand-embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework.

Kate and William’s wedding cake was a fruit cake designed by Fiona Cairns. It was covered in cream and white icing, decorated with over 900 sugar paste flowers and elaborate scrollwork. Fiona Cairns’ cakes are in huge demand; Sir Paul McCartney orders one every Christmas.

Kate designed her wedding cake to match its surroundings. She took into account that her wedding reception was to be held in the Picture Gallery in Buckingham Palace. The room has high ceilings so she chose a cake that towered but was not too tall or thin. She wanted something with presence. Architectural elements in the room, for instance, garlands on the walls, were reproduced loosely on the fourth tier piping: roses, acorns, ivy leaves, apple blossom and bridal roses. The cakemaker would not reveal her exact recipe but did disclose that she used a range of produce from dried fruits such as raisins and sultanas to walnuts, cherries, grated oranges and lemon, French brandy and free-range eggs and flour to create her historic confection.

Of course, the centerpiece of the exhibit was Kate’s wedding dress and veil. An ongoing tradition, viewing royal wedding gowns has wide public appeal. For instance, Princess Diana‘s 1981 Elizabeth Emanuel wedding gown continues to be viewed and is currently part of a travelling exhibition. 

Kate and the Queen view Kate's wedding gown display in Buckingham Palace. July 20, 2011.

Upon viewing the installation of Kate’s wedding dress and veil, the Queen was heard to exclaim, 

“Horrid, isn’t it? Horrid and dreadful!”

 

The Queen is not amused.

The ivory and white Alexander McQueen gown is displayed in a dark and gloomy fashion with the veil and tiara hovering eerily above. 

The Duchess of Cambridge's wedding gown is displayed without a mannequin.

It appeared the mannequin’s lack of a head may have upset the Queen.

Source: HuffStyle 

Readers: For more on Lisa’s History Room about the British Royal Family, click here.

The Romanov Children in 1906: Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra had four daughters and one son. (L-R) The Grand Duchess Olga (b.1895), Tsarevich Alexei (b.1904), Grand Duchesses Tatiana (b.1897), Maria (b.1899) and Anastasia (b.1901) Romanov. They were the last Imperial children of Russia. They were murdered with their parents 12 years after this photo was taken, in 1918.

The Romanov girls – Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia – were born only six years apart, which brought them close. As daughters of the Tsar, they naturally grew up in a very cloistered environment, without the usual playmates. This brought them even closer, closer than most sisters. They loved each other very dearly. 

The grand duchesses thought of themselves as one unit and, by adolescence, decided to declare this unity by adopting the single autograph, “OTMA,” derived from the first letters of their names. As OTMA, they jointly gave gifts and signed correspondence.

Unlike most sisters, they did not squabble over possessions. Rather, they freely shared their belongings with one another. Tatiana once remarked to Baroness Buxhoeveden, one of her ladies-in waiting: 

We sisters always borrow from each other when we think the jewels of one will suit the dress of the other.” 

The girls were thrilled when their mother, Empress Alexandra, gave birth to a son in 1904. They warmly welcomed little Alexei, the tsarevich or heir,  into their fold. He became everyone’s baby, especially when it was learned he was gravely ill with hemophilia.

Since there were five of them then, the grand duchesses modified the acronym OTMA to reflect the addition of their baby brother. OTMA thus became OTMAA.

Readers: For more about the Russian Royal Family on Lisa’s History Room, click here.

Princess Charlene beams with joy at her new husband, Prince Albert II of Monaco, following the religious blessing of their marriage.

July 4, 2011

The Daily Mail:

“The new Princess Charlene of Monaco tried to flee home to South Africa three times before her ‘arranged marriage’ to Prince Albert, it was alleged yesterday.

The former Charlene Wittstock, 33, reportedly made her first escape attempt when she travelled to Paris in May to try on her wedding dress.

The allegations, which are surprising considering she went ahead with the wedding on Saturday, emerged in the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche , It went on to report that later in May, Charlene made a second apparent attempt to escape during the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Monaco Grand Prix along the Monaco Harbor.

A month before their royal wedding, Charlene Wittstock and Prince Albert II of Monaco attend a dinner following the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix. May 31, 2011.

Then, last week, royal officials are said to have confiscated her passport en route to Nice airport via the helicopter service that runs between the Mediterranean principality and France. She was then persuaded to go on with the marriage.

‘Several sources have confirmed that an arrangement was reached between the future bride and groom,’ reported Le Journal du Dimanche.”

The reports followed confirmation by palace sources while the wedding was in full swing that Prince Albert, 53, was due to have DNA tests because of claims by at least one woman that he has fathered another illegitimate child. He already has a 19-year-old daughter and six-year-old son. Le Journal du Dimanche quoted Monaco “policy advisers” among those discussing “two illegitimate children -one already born, the other to come.” (The Vancouver Sun)

Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, the child of Prince Albert II of Monaco and Tamara Rotolo, was born in Palm Springs, California, on March 4, 1992.

Alexandre "Alex" Coste is the natural son of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and former flight attendant from the African Republic of Togo Nicole Coste. He was born on August 24, 2003.

“Sources said the Monaco palace had hoped the glitzy wedding – attended by a host of celebrities and European royalty – would ‘overshadow’ new claims about secret children fathered by Albert.

The Monaco Palace

Instead, Charlene was in floods of tears at one point, while her 53-year-old husband looked on impassively.

Princess Charlene weeps at the religious ceremony blessing her marriage to Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Meanwhile, the reception that followed provoked ridicule with tacky features such as a giant wedding cake that towered over the couple and a mirrored dance floor.

Monaco's Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene cut a small cake while standing by their enormous (leaning?) wedding cake at the Gala Dinner at the Opera Garnier in Monaco, July 2, 2011. Pink Proteas flowers from Princess Charlene's native South Africa adorn the many-tiered confection. The wedding cake was redcurrant and vanilla. Charlene is radiant in her second Armani gown of the day.

Among the guests were Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, actor Roger Moore and Topshop boss Sir Philip Green and his wife, Tina.

Fireworks light the sky over the Monte Carlo Casino after the gala dinner to celebrate the wedding of Prince Albert II to Charlene Wittstock of South Africa. July 2, 2011

Tomorrow the couple are due to fly to South Africa on honeymoon, presenting Charlene with her best chance yet of ‘escaping’ Monaco.”

Source: The Daily Mail

Readers, for more on the Monaco Royals, Princess Albert II and Princess Charlene, on Lisa’s History Room, click here.

Newlyweds Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco depart from the Monaco palace after their religious wedding ceremony, Saturday, July 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Benoit Tessier, Pool)

Charlene Wittstock's Armani gown worn for the religious ceremony took 2,500 hours to prepare as "kilometers" of platinum-coated thread was sewn into 430 yards of off-white silk. Charlene's broad swimming champion's shoulders bore the weight of 40,000 Swarovski crystals, 20,000 mother of pearl tear drops, and 30,000 golden stones.

Princess Charlene's wedding gown had two trains. The skirt of the gown folded out to a shorter train, while the crossover neckline extended into a longer train on top.

Princess Charlene chose a light veil of off white tulle that rested on her head from the back.

Charlene anchored her wedding veil with an elaborate curving diamond hairpiece, possibly loaned by her new sister-in-law, Princess Caroline.

 

Readers: For more on Prince Albert and Princess Charlene here on Lisa’s History Room, click here.

Readers: For stories about Princess Grace of Monaco on Lisa’s History Room, click here.

Prince William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, braved temperatures in the nineties as they continue their Royal Tour of Canada at a stop in Ottawa. Kate wore a striking red hat adorned with the Canadian maple leaf as well as a brooch loaned from the Queen. In his speech, Prince William referred to his grandmother as the “Queen of Canada.” Queen Elizabeth II remains Canada’s head-of-state.Prince William waves to the Ottawa crowd as Catherine steps out in a striking red hat adorned with red maple leaves, a symbol found on the Canadian flag. July 2011  

Kate flashes a smile as we get a close-up of her red hot fascinator by Sylvia Fletcher for Lock and Co.

Kate wears a family heirloom loaned to her by Queen Elizabeth II: a diamond brooch of a maple leaf, Canada's national emblem.

Queen Elizabeth II wore the maple brooch when she toured Canada 60 years earlier, in 1951.

The flag of Canada features a red, 11-tipped maple leaf against a white field, flanked by vertical red bands. Canada is a federal state that is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. It is a bilingual nation with both English and French as official languages at the federal level.

Readers: For more on the British Royal Family here on Lisa’s History Room, click here

Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III of Monaco show off newborn Prince Albert and his sister Princess Caroline from the Palace balcony. 1958.

Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre Grimaldi, born March 14, 1958, at the Prince’s Palace in Monaco, is the second child born to Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace.On April 6, 2005, Prince Rainier III died and Hereditary Prince Albert became Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco.

 

Princess Grace of Monaco holds 2 of her children in this early 1960 photo: Princess Caroline, 3, and Prince Albert, 22 mos. Caroline and Albert were born 14 months apart.

Princess Grace, seated, and her husband, Prince Rainier III, pose for a family portrait with their 3 children: baby Princess Stephanie, Princess Caroline, and Prince Albert II. ca. 1965.

The Grimaldis smile for the camera: Prince Rainier holds Princess Stephanie with blue-eyed Prince Albert looking on from behind. Dark-haired beauty Princess Caroline flanks her mother, Princess Grace on our right. photo ca. 1967.

Prince Albert was adored by his mother, Princess Grace of Monaco. undated photo

READERS: For more on the Grimaldis of Monaco and the Royal Wedding, click here.

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