London, May 2 (AP/UNB) — Prince William and his wife, Kate, have released three new photographs of Princess Charlotte ahead of her fourth birthday Thursday.
Kensington Palace said the photos were taken by Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, in April at Kensington Palace in London and at the family's country home in Norfolk.
Charlotte is the royal couple's middle child, between 5-year-old Prince George and 1-year-old Prince Louis.
She is fourth in the line of succession for the British throne, after her grandfather, Prince Charles; her father, William; and her brother George.
London, Apr 23 (AP/UNB) — The youngest child of Britain's Prince William and his wife, Kate, is about to celebrate his first birthday.
Prince Louis will mark the milestone on Tuesday.
He is fifth in line to the throne, behind his grandfather, Prince Charles, his father, Prince William, his brother, Prince George, and his sister, Princess Charlotte.
Louis is a great-grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, who turned 93 on Sunday.
He has largely been kept out of the public eye since he was born.
London, Apr 14 (AP/UNB) — Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, may be keeping plans about their impending baby under wraps, but that hasn't stopped everyone in Britain from trying to guess the gender and the name of their first child.
If Britain's bookmakers are to be believed, it's definitely a girl — and Diana may well be one of her many names.
The William Hill agency closed the betting on the baby's gender a few days ago after an "avalanche" of bets poured in from people convinced the royal couple is having a girl.
"The secret's out, as far as we're concerned," firm spokesman Rupert Adams said. "It could be because someone somewhere has seen the scan, or someone has heard something."
While Adams acknowledged there's always a chance the surge was based on nothing, he said average betting patterns over the years suggest there's usually some truth in rumors.
So far, Diana is topping the bookmakers' list as a front-running name — William Hill has put the odds at 4/1. Victoria, Alice, Grace and Elizabeth are close behind, while Albert, Arthur and James are popular guesses for a boy.
"A ridiculous number — 80% of bets taken — are for the name Diana," Adams said. He said he personally doubts Harry would choose a name that so directly evokes his iconic mother's tragic death in 1997 but added: "There's every chance of it being a middle name."
Carolyn Harris, a royal historian who teaches at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies, agrees that Diana could be a middle name. That's what Harry's brother, Prince William, and his wife Kate did for their daughter, Princess Charlotte (the 3-year-old's full name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana).
"The choice of Diana as a first name would place a lot of pressure on the royal baby, as the press would constantly compare her to her famous grandmother," she said.
Harris believes Harry and Meghan may adopt a similar approach to the naming of other recently born royal children lower down the line of succession: Choosing a moniker that's traditional, but one that doesn't frequently appear within the royal family.
She also thinks a possible middle name could be Ruth — after one of Meghan's great-grandmothers, as well as Diana's maternal grandmother, Lady Ruth Fermoy.
Some observers speculate that Meghan, who has long spoken out about women's rights, could go for a name that evokes strong women in history — a theory Harris thinks has substance.
"A name associated with prominent female historical figures in Britain and/or the United States is certainly a possibility," she said. Eleanor, for one, could honor both Eleanor Roosevelt and Eleanor of Aquitaine, queen of England in the 12th century.
Harry and Meghan haven't announced the baby's gender or the due date, which is widely believed to be sometime in late April.
The pair declared Thursday they are keeping the birth private and won't be sharing news about the baby's arrival until they've told family and friends. That has led many to jump to the conclusion that they are planning a home birth at their new residence, Frogmore Cottage, close to Windsor Castle outside of London.
Home birth or not, the scenario will be quite different from the media circus that lasted for days outside the London hospital where their sister-in-law Kate's three children were born. That will significantly dampen the name and gender betting frenzy, according to William Hill, which reported taking "hundreds of bets a minute" every time palace officials announced that Kate had gone into labor.
Whatever name they choose, the new baby will not automatically have the official title of prince or princess. Those titles were given to all three children of William, the eldest son of Prince Charles, heir to the British throne.
Instead, Harry and Meghan's baby is expected to be styled the Earl of Dumbarton if a boy and Lady Mountbatten-Windsor if a girl. That said, the child's great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, could change that if she wants the baby to be a prince or princess.
Harry's first child will be seventh in line for the throne, bumping down Harry's uncle, Prince Andrew.
Some punters have been having a laugh with their royal baby bets. Ladbrokes reported that 2 pounds ($2.60) have been staked on the name Brexit — with odds of 500/1. The name Donald is at 250/1. Meghan, as any reader of British tabloids knows, is no fan of the current U.S. president.
One thing British betting agencies are not seeing: lots of money being placed on quirky, New Age or celebrity-driven, unique monikers.
"Harry is a traditional guy at heart, we think he would like a relatively traditional but not absolutely turgid royal name," Adams said.
"(Meghan) would like to convey herself as regal — we feel she would not go with a weird name like 'Sunshine,'" he added.
Chicago, Mar 9 (AP/UNB) — A grand jury in Chicago indicted "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett on 16 felony counts related to making a false report that he was attacked by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs.
The Cook County grand jury indictment dated Thursday and made public on Friday gives details of the disorderly conduct charge against Smollett. It elaborates on the allegation that he falsely reported that he was attacked on Jan. 28 by two masked men who hurled racial and homophobic slurs at the black and openly gay actor, beat him, threw an unidentified liquid chemical on him and looped a rope tied like a noose around his neck.
The indictment — eight counts from what he told the officer who responded to the report of the attack and eight for what he later told a detective — comes a little more than two weeks after prosecutors announced one felony count of the same charge.
Chicago police initially investigated the incident as a possible hate crime but later said Smollett staged the attack, recruiting two brothers to carry it out, because he was unhappy with his pay on the Fox show.
Indictments like the one revealed Friday are common in criminal cases. It was widely expected, said Mark Geragos, a prominent attorney representing Smollett.
"The way the process operates is they have to do a probable cause proceeding, so this is what's called a probable cause proceeding.I never thought they would do a preliminary hearing," Geragos told NBC's "Access" after the indictment was reported.
Smollett, who was released on bail from jail the day after he was charged on Feb. 20, is scheduled to appear in court next week. He has denied the allegations.
While it was not immediately clear why the grand jury indicted Smollett on 16 counts, it divides what prosecutors and police say the actor told the officer who responded to the initial call from what he said to the detective.
The second eight counts are more explosive because they include two things that helped propel the incident into an international sensation. The first is that by the time he talked to the detective, Smollett said he could see through the eye holes of one attacker's mask that he was a white man. The two brothers who allegedly participated are black.
"He took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career," Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who is black, told reporters the day Smollett was initially charged. Johnson said Smollett paid the two brothers $3,500 to carry out the staged attack.
The second eight counts also include the allegation that Smollett told the detective one of the attackers looped a rope around his neck — a detail that both Johnson and the judge who set Smollett's bond said was a particularly offensive use of a symbol of the ugly history of black lynchings in the United States.
The indictment, written in the dry legal language, does not include new details.
It says that Smollett knew at the time he relayed his account that he had "no reasonable ground that such an offense had been committed."
Since Smollett's arrest, the producers of "Empire" announced that the actor's character would be removed from the season's final two episodes.
Morocco, Feb 24 (AP/UNB) — Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, have arrived in Morocco for an official trip scheduled to be their last international journey before she gives birth to their first child.
Meghan is seven months pregnant and is expected to have their child in April.
The royal couple's schedule begins Sunday in the town of Asni in the Atlas Mountains to hear about the education of girls in rural communities.
They will then travel to Rabat to meet with diplomats, influential women, young entrepreneurs and disabled athletes.
The visit will also include a trip to the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equestrian Sports to observe horses that provide support to children with special needs.
Harry and Meghan plan to return to Britain Tuesday.