Wednesday 31 August 2022

Brown Harris Tweed / Tweed by Fiona Anderson .


Fiona Anderson (Author)


The story of tweed is tied to a series of social, economic and cultural shifts that have molded its development. This book considers the historical factors that helped to shape the design characteristics and social meanings of the group of fabrics that we call tweed, from their emergence in the 1820s to the present day. Including significant new research on tweeds, from Harris Tweed to the type used by Chanel, this book follows the history of these fabrics from the raw fiber to the finished garment in men's and women's fashion.


Exploring rural and urban contexts, this book reveals the important physical and conceptual relationships of tweed with landscape. Anderson shows that, contrary to their strong popular associations with tradition, tweeds emerged in the Romantic era as a response to the dramatic changes associated with industrialization and urbanization. Progressive changes in gender relations are also explored as a major factor in tweed's evolution, from associations with particular ideals of masculinity into what is now a truly adaptable fashion textile worn by both sexes. This is the first book of its kind to recognize the importance of tweed to fashion innovation today.


Table of Contents

List of Illustrations



1. Introduction

2. Tweed: Terms, Descriptions and Characteristics

3. Origins and Early Development of Tweed to 1850

4. Tweed, Male Fashion and Modern Masculinities 1851-1918

5. Tweed, Femininity and Fashion 1851-1918

6. Suits You: Men and Tweed 1919-1952

7. Sportswear Chic: Tweed in Womenswear 1919 to 1952

8. Couture to Pop and Nostalgic Fashion: 1953 to 1980

9. Tradition and Innovation: 1981 to 2014




Retired Det Insp Jane Scotchbrook Shares Insight In The Investigation Of Princess Diana’s Death | LK / Investigating Diana: Death in Paris review

Investigating Diana: Death in Paris review – like Making a Murderer meets the royals


To mark the 25th anniversary of the princess’s death, Channel 4 give events a lengthy true-crime treatment. How will they commemorate the 50th?


Stuart Jeffries

Sun 21 Aug 2022 22.00 BST


Oh excellent. Another documentary about Diana, Princess of Wales. Just what we need. Days after Sky Documentaries’ The Princess comes Channel 4’s new series Investigating Diana: Death in Paris. How else can the 25th anniversary of her death be marked and monetised? Her workout playlist downloadable from Spotify, perhaps? A volume of princess-related poetry edited by Gyles Brandreth in which John Cooper Clarke rhymes Diana with spanner? A doorstep clap at the hour of her death, because that sort of thing really worked for the NHS?


Not that directors Will Jessop and Barnaby Peel aren’t geniuses. They’ve made a four-part series, microanalysing the circumstances of her death in the Alma tunnel on 31 August 1997, stretching and pulling historical material like cellophane over fading bouquets outside Kensington Palace. Only occasionally can you hear that tearing sound. Yet again, we hear Earl Spencer’s funeral oration; yet again, Diana looking faux-coyly over her shoulder in old snapshots; yet again, Tony Blair hitching his New Labour pony to the carriage of her celebrity with his oxymoronic invocation of the people’s princess.


Jessop and Peel astutely note that her death turbocharged the infant internet’s mutation into a post-truth tool, enabling every disaffected boob to sick up their conspiracy theories about her demise. But, more importantly, Jessop and Peel have reworked Diana’s death so that Investigating Diana comes on as if it wants to be this summer’s Tiger King or Making a Murderer. In 1997, the death of Diana signified, in part, the softening of the British stiff upper lip, a curious unleashing of grief among many for a woman they barely knew. Today it means something else: Investigating Diana gratifies our obsessive gaze with a real-life CSI Paris that drags the story out over inordinate length.


That said, there are moments of canny artistry. Eric Gigou, the Brigade Criminelle’s investigator, recalls releasing the uncharged paparazzi from custody. At the time, he told them that, just beyond that door, was a wall of snappers poised to take their pictures. The shot lingers, for several seconds, on the door to the street framed by ominous flashbulb lights, the hunters poised to become the hunted.


But did the paparazzi drive Diana, Dodi Fayed and their driver Henri Paul to their deaths, as Earl Spencer suggested at her funeral? Someone scrawled “Paparazzi – Assassins” near the crime scene. Another graffito in English read: “The Queen did it.” Are we to infer that the paps were working not for media moguls’ crumbs, but for Her Majesty’s secret service? And that the repeated details of the photographers interviewed here are just smokescreens? Jacques Langevin went for the Eichmann defence: “I was just doing my job.” And what a job: some paps allegedly made £1m a year from Diana pix alone. “I didn’t kill anyone,” adds Langevin. Quite so: there appears to be no proof to contradict that claim.


Certainly, Gigou and his team found nothing to suggest that Paul, the driver quickly demonised by British tabloids for allegedly being four times over the legal French alcohol limit when the Mercedes 600 crashed at 121mph in that tunnel, was culpable. The programme dallies withe the possibility that his smearing in the British press may have served a function – to misdirect us from the perpetrators who, the grieving Mohamed Al Fayed told us in contemporary footage, murdered his son and her lover.


Two witnesses interviewed in Investigating Diana lend slight credence to a contract killing. François Levistre recalls a motorbike that cut in front of the Mercedes and a flash of light, possibly from a camera, that caused the car carrying Diana and Dodi to crash. The police have not been able to stand up this account.


Sabine Dauzonne saw a white Fiat Uno emerge from the tunnel shortly after the crash. She noticed Paris plates and, most significantly, a tanned driver, a muzzled dog in the back and the car’s shattered taillight. The then head of the Brigade Criminelle, Martine Monteil, found white paint from another car on the wreck of the Mercedes and, on the tarmac nearby, bits of broken taillight and, more curiously yet, pearls she supposed were worn by Diana as she was sped to her death. Nothing is conclusive.


Hilary Mantel once wrote: “The princess we invented to fill a vacancy had little to do with any actual person.” A quarter of a century after her death, we are still filling that vacancy, stuffing it with speculation and the delusive prospect of closure. Jessop and Peel cleverly end the opening episode with the only survivor from the Mercedes, bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, emerging from hospital five weeks after the crash. Perhaps he could resolve all these questions about the princess’s death once and for all. Probably not, but that’s the possibility left dangling to sucker us back into watching episode two.


I wonder how we will mark the 50th anniversary of her death?

Tuesday 30 August 2022

'She played the part': How a fake heiress infiltrated Mar-a-Lago / INVENTING ANNA The story of the fake heiress, Mar-a-Lago and an FBI investigation


The story of the fake heiress, Mar-a-Lago and an FBI investigation




AUGUST 26, 2022


PALM BEACH, Fla. — For a time, Anna de Rothschild boasted of her family roots to the European banking dynasty, donning designer clothes, a Rolex watch, and driving a $170,000 black Mercedes-Benz SUV.


She talked about developing a sprawling luxury housing project on Emerald Bay in the Bahamas, a high-rise hotel in Monaco, and a Formula One race track in Miami, say people who knew her.


A pivotal moment for the woman who was fluent in several languages took place last year when she was invited to Mar-a-Lago, where she mingled with former President Donald Trump’s supporters and showed up the next day for a golf outing with Mr. Trump and Sen. Lindsey Graham among other political luminaries.


But the 33-year-old woman was not a member of the famous banking family, and is now a subject of a widening FBI investigation that has delved into her past financial activities and the events that led her to the former president’s home.


“It was the near-perfect ruse and she played the part,” said John LeFevre, a former investment banker who met her with other guests around a club pool.


In addition to the FBI, law enforcement agents in Canada have confirmed that she has been the subject of a major crimes unit investigation in Quebec since February.


A year before the FBI’s spectacular raid of the former president’s seaside home, the woman whose real name is Inna Yashchyshyn, a Russian-speaking immigrant from Ukraine, made several trips into the estate posing as a member of the famous family while making inroads with some of the former president’s key supporters.


The ability of Ms. Yashchyshyn — the daughter of an Illinois truck driver — to bypass the security at Mr. Trump’s club demonstrates the ease with which someone with a fake identity and shadowy background can get into a facility that’s one of America’s power centers and the epicenter of Republican Party politics.


Those issues have become even more critical after FBI agents seized boxes of classified and top-secret materials two weeks ago from Mar-a-Lago after executing a search warrant on Mr. Trump’s home.


Her entry — multiple trips in and out of the club grounds — lays bare the vulnerabilities of a facility that serves as both the former president's residence and a private club, and highlights the gaps in security that can take place.


“That’s his residence,” said Ed Martin, a former U.S. Treasury special agent who spent more than two decades in criminal intelligence. “She shouldn’t have been in there.”


The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project learned that numerous records have been turned over to the FBI as part of the inquiry, including copies of two fake passports from the U.S. and Canada — bearing her photo and the name Anna de Rothschild — and a Florida driver’s license with the same name that shows the address of an opulent $13 million mansion in Miami Beach where she has never lived.


In 2015, Ms. Yashchyshyn became president of United Hearts of Mercy charity, which was dropped by two payment processors because they detected fraud.

Ms. Yashchyshyn said in sworn statements in a legal dispute that she has never used another name and has not broken any laws. In an interview with the Post-Gazette, she said she didn’t know Anna de Rothschild.


“I think there is some misunderstanding,” she said.


She said that she was meeting with FBI agents on Aug. 19 and that passports or driver’s licenses generated with the Rothschild name and her photo were fabricated by her former business partner to harm her. “That’s all fake, and nothing happened,” she said.


Mr. LeFevre and three other guests interviewed for this story said Ms. Yashchyshyn repeatedly told people after entering the palatial Mar-a-Lago grounds that she was a Rothschild “and everyone was eating it up,” he said.


The probe into her activities comes three years after two different women from China — one of them toting two passports and a thumb drive with malicious software — were arrested in separate instances after they entered the club grounds while Mr. Trump was president.


Both were sentenced to less than a year in jail and have since been released with at least one being deported to China last year.


Ms. Yashchyshyn listens to a speech at former President Trump’s private golf club.

The Secret Service said it could not comment on whether the agency is investigating Ms. Yashchyshyn’s visits to the former president’s home in May 2021, or any other subsequent trips.


“To maintain the operational integrity of our work, we are unable to comment specifically concerning the means, methods or resources used to conduct our protective operations,” said Steven Kopek, a special agent and spokesman, in a statement.


The Secret Service more than likely didn’t run background checks to determine Ms. Yashchyshyn’s identity when she visited the former president’s home, partly because the level of protection drops significantly when a president leaves office, said four former agents interviewed for this story.


In most cases, “they are going to do a level of screening — a hand check” for weapons, said Jonathan Wackrow, a former agent who served on President Barack Obama’s detail. “He still has a full detail.”


But experts say her ability to mingle with members of Mr. Trump’s entourage raises concerns about ongoing security at the private club that continues to host some of the most powerful elected leaders in the country and serves as a storage site for some of the country’s closely guarded secrets.


“The question is was it a fraud or an intelligence threat,” said Charles Marino, a former Secret Service supervisor. “The fact that we are asking this question is a problem.”


Little information is public about Ms. Yashchyshyn, who once worked for a suburban Miami business that specializes in providing pregnant Russian mothers the option to have their babies in the U.S. to gain citizenship, court records show.


But when a bitter court dispute erupted last year between her and a close associate with whom she once lived, the details of her whirlwind trips to Mar-a-Lago and other activities over the past several years began to surface and soon reached the attention of federal agents.


Valeriy Tarasenko, 44, a Florida businessman who was raised in Moscow, said he met Ms. Yashchyshyn in 2014 and allowed her to live in his Miami condo so that she would watch his children when he traveled on business.


They have since parted ways over what he alleged was her abuse of one of his children – accusations that Ms. Yashchyshyn vehemently denies.


He said he has met twice with FBI agents and spoke to them about multiple trips she made to Mar-a-Lago and what he claims were her efforts to make inroads in the Trump family and look for new streams of money.


She used “her fake identity as Anna de Rothschild to gain access to and build relationships with U.S. politician[s], including but not limited to Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, and Eric Greitens,” he said in a court affidavit in Miami.


Mr. Greitens is a former Missouri governor who resigned in 2018 after allegations of sexual misconduct. He held a fundraiser at a Palm Beach mansion last year where Ms. Yashchyshyn was invited.


Ms. Yashchyshyn, an officer in two Florida companies founded by Mr. Tarasenko — both devoid of any assets — claimed that whatever steps she took to gain money were directed by him.


“[E]very single move that I did, I’ve been told by Valeriy to do so,” she said in a deposition. “[A]fter a few incidents like that, I realized that he’s using me for his lifestyle and for his needs.”


Ms. Yashchyshyn said that at one point when she tried to break from him, he repeatedly struck her. “Over time, Tarasenko became more controlling and aggressive over me,” she said in an affidavit.


“I am the victim right now, that’s all I can tell you,” she said in an interview.


Mr. Tarasenko, who was once detained in Moscow for carrying a police-style baton at a metro station in 1998, denied that he physically harmed her.


In 2015, Ms. Yashchyshyn became president of a Miami charity, United Hearts of Mercy — the same name of a charity founded by Mr. Tarasenko in Canada five years earlier.


The Miami entity was promoted on social media as a vehicle to help impoverished children but was actually a source of illicit funds for organized crime, according to a statement by a certified public accountant for the charity that was provided to the FBI.


After hundreds of thousands of dollars poured into the charity’s coffers two years ago, a payment processor, Stripe Inc., suspected fraud and stopped taking in money for a campaign that was supposed to help families ravaged by the pandemic.


The Post-Gazette emailed more than two dozen of the “donors” from Hong Kong, and every email bounced back, suggesting they were fake email addresses used to trick the payment processor.


A $19,100 “donation” to United Hearts of Mercy, flagged as fraud.

At the end of the charity drive, the accountant, Tatiana Verzilina, said she began to get calls from people who she suspected were from criminal groups, threatening violence and demanding the money.


The callers left “voice messages from unknown numbers with accents that if I do not return money, I and my family will be harmed or killed,” she wrote in her statement.


Though the charity was supposed to disclose its revenues to the public because of the amount of funds it took in, it failed to do so. Ms. Verzilina, who is now living in her native Russia, declined to talk about the case.


So far, it’s not clear where the funds went.


The FBI in Miami said it would not comment, but at least three people who live in South Florida said they have been interviewed by FBI agents in the past seven months about Ms. Yashchyshyn’s activities.


One of them, Sergey Golubev, a Russian-born U.S. citizen who was once married to Ms. Yashchyshyn, said they wed in 2011 so she could obtain U.S. residency and stay in the country, but the marriage was only on paper.


“At some point, she needed a permanent green card,” said Mr. Golubev, 48.


He said the FBI told him that agents were looking for her in connection with allegations about something “illegal — cheating people and stealing money,” but he said he didn’t know any details, and was unaware of her activities. He said he lost touch with her after their divorce in 2016.


Another person who spoke to the Post-Gazette on the condition of anonymity said a host of records, photos and videos had been turned over to the FBI of Ms. Yashchyshyn, including pictures of her posing with Mr. Trump, Mr. Graham, Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancee, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Trump campaign donor Richard Kofoed, along with other supporters of the former president.


Mr. Kofoed, 60, who donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the former president’s campaign and had been a frequent visitor to Mar-a-Lago, declined to comment.


Ms. Guilfoyle, 53, whose name emerged in the Jan. 6 hearings after it was revealed she received $60,000 for delivering a speech to protesters on the day of the attack, didn’t respond to interview requests.


After the May 2, 2021, golf tournament at Mar-a-Lago, a group of Trump supporters went out to dinner at an Italian restaurant. Standing, from left: John LeFevre, Gary DeMel, Richard Kofoed and Ms. Yashchyshyn presenting herself as “Anna de Rothschild.” Seated, from left: Linh DeMel, wife of Gary DeMel; Stacy Kofoed, wife of Richard Kofoed, and their daughter Cassidy; Kimberly Guilfoyle, fiancee of Donald Trump Jr.; Caroline Wren, former Trump fundraiser; unidentified girlfriend of Isaac Bawany; Isaac Bawany; and Elchanan Adamker.


So far, the FBI’s questioning appears to hint at a widening criminal probe into a network of people that includes Ms. Yashchyshyn, who traveled under various aliases while mingling with politicians and wealthy businessmen.


She showed up at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., last year and the Austrian World Summit in 2019, where her picture was taken with the likes of celebrity rapper Ray J and Italian car designer Horacio Pagani.


“We always thought her grandfather had the money and that he was an oligarch,” said developer Paul Barton, who said his family company paid for her to fly at least three times on private jets to their resort project in the Bahamas.


She was offered a deal to sell their sprawling residential development for $55 million and receive a commission, records show, but no such sale was made.


During their discussions, he said she talked about her involvement in putting up a high-rise hotel in Monaco, a speed track in Miami and a condo project in Canada. “She talked a good game,” he said.


Though law enforcement agents in Quebec acknowledged their own inquiry of Ms. Yashchyshyn, they would not provide any details.


At some point, she met Trump supporter Elchanan Adamker, a New York financial services company founder who travels often to Miami. Mr. Adamker, who declined to comment, invited her to join him for a gathering at Mar-a-Lago, where she arrived in her Mercedes-Benz SUV on May 1.


There’s no indication she met that first day with the former president, who, along with Mr. Graham, was about to launch a $25,000-per-person golf fundraiser to raise money for the midterm elections.


But when the event was held the next day at Trump International Golf Club just a few miles from Mar-a-Lago, she gathered with the former president, who posed with her for several photos. In another frame, she stood alongside Mr. Trump and the South Carolina senator, the three smiling and gesturing with their thumbs up.


Later, a guest joked with her that he would pass the photos onto her for a hefty price. “Anna, you're a Rothschild — you can afford $1 million for a picture with you and Trump,” he said in a video.


Video captures a guest joking that Ms. Yashchyshyn, being a Rothschild, can afford to pay $1 million for a photograph with Mr. Trump.


Ms. Yashchyshyn then drove some of the guests back to Mar-a-Lago.


Mr. LeFevre, who authored a bestselling book about his years as a Wall Street banker, said several guests at the private club “fawned all over her and because of the Rothschild mystique, they never probed and instead tiptoed around her with kid gloves.”


For her part, she went beyond just dropping the family name, he said. “She talked about vineyards and family estates and growing up in Monaco.”


One frequent Mar-a-Lago guest who spoke on the condition of anonymity said an invitation was sent to Ms. Yashchyshyn to attend a fund-raiser days later for Mr. Greitens in another mansion near Mar-a-Lago and owned by the former president.


Weeks earlier, Mr. Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, had announced his bid for the U.S. Senate with Ms. Guilfoyle as his national campaign chair.


Not until this March did the Trump entourage say they discovered her real identity.


Dean Lawrence, a Florida music creative director, said he met with Trump insiders at Mar-a-Lago, where he said he surprised them with the news.


“It’s just crazy,” said Mr. Lawrence. “Who would have ever thought it would get to this level?”


Mr. Lawrence said the evening started with a dinner that included the former president, Ray J and rapper Kodak Black, who was granted clemency by Mr. Trump on a charge of giving false statements to acquire a gun. Also attending the dinner: Rudy Giuiliani and former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik.


As the evening progressed, Mr. Lawrence said he struck up conversations with Mr. Kofoed and Caroline Wren, a former national adviser for the Trump campaign, and their talks turned to Anna de Rothschild.


Mr. Lawrence said he became acquainted with her because he was involved in a music company — Rothschild Media Label, where she was the president — to promote singers, including Mr. Tarasenko’s teenage daughter.


Mr. Lawrence told the Trump insiders that she was not the person they thought she was and warned them: “I want to clear something up with you. I want you to know that she has nothing to do with the Rothschilds. Don’t get involved in any kind of business with her.”


As he divulged the information to Mr. Kofoed, who lived in Palm Beach, “his eyes were wide open,” said Mr. Lawrence. “He said to me, ‘That’s exactly who I met. She came to my house.’”


Mr. Lawrence said he then spoke to Ms. Wren, who he said recognized Ms. Yashchyshyn from a photo that he showed her.


Ms. Wren asked to take a phone picture and then “she created a group chat” to warn others, he said.


Ms. Wren, 34, who helped organize the Stop the Steal rally that took place prior to the Capitol insurrection and was subpoenaed by the House committee probing the attack, declined to comment for this story.



It’s not clear how many trips Ms. Yashchyshyn made to the former president’s home, but Mr. Lawrence said she made enough of a splash that members of the Trump entourage recognized her photo immediately.


“She had been there more than once,” he said.


Ron T. Williams, a former Secret Service agent who is now a corporate security consultant, said there are many reasons that Ms. Yashchyshyn may have avoided detection, including the possibility that agents didn’t conduct a background check.



Coat of arms granted to the Barons Rothschild in 1822 by Emperor Francis I of Austria. (Mathieu Chaine/Wikimedia Commons)

“Should she have been run for a background check — yes,” he said, but that “doesn’t mean it happened.”


A basic check would have shown that no such person exists with the Rothschild name and her 1988 birthdate.


In fact, an online resource devoted to the Rothschild family lists descendants dating back hundreds of years, but the name Anna de Rothschild does not appear anywhere.


Gary McDaniel, a longtime Florida security consultant, said because Mar-a-Lago is not just a private club but Mr. Trump’s home, the level of protection should be elevated beyond the security protocols typically afforded former presidents and also extend to the entire premises.


“I want to know everybody who comes into that facility, their name, date, date of birth,” he said. “And I want them somewhere on a roster because we never know when he is going to walk into that crowd. She should have been on a list” at the “pre-screening level.”


The idea that a person with a fake identity can get into the former president’s estate — even if they’re looking to find investors — “is not OK,” he said. “Who else can get in there? Who is behind that person? It’s just wrong on so many [levels].”


Mr. Marino, the former Secret Service supervisor, said the revelations of her visits to the sprawling estate underscores the challenges that his former agency faces in protecting Mar-a-Lago.



An aerial view of the Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this month shortly after the FBI retrieved some documents labeled "top secret" from there. (Steve Helber/Associated Press)

“It highlights the complexities of having a former president living within a larger club, and it’s accessible to [outside members],” said Mr. Marino, who once served on the details of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.


Mr. Lawrence said he was perplexed over why he was the one who was telling Trump insiders about a potential breach, and not the people guarding the former president and his family.


“What I’m trying to understand is how did they allow this?” said Mr. Lawrence. “How could someone keep coming back — at that level? This is Mar-a-Lago.”


Michael Sallah,; Jonathan D. Silver,


Post-Gazette Washington Bureau Chief Ashley Murray and Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project reporters William Jordan and Karina Shedrofsky contributed to this report.





Michael Sallah

Jonathan D. Silver

Kevin G. Hall

Brian Fitzpatrick

Ashley Murray

William Jordan

Karina Shedrofsky


Art and Design

James Hilston



Laura Malt Schneiderman

Monday 29 August 2022



In the 1880s the British military finally decided abandon its array of brightly colored uniforms that had always made such good targets. But they retained the beloved old military colors on the stripes of the neckties each regiment would come to adopt. These ties not only preserved the traditional colors, they provided the only creativity for the drab new uniforms.

The Royal Rifle Corps sported rifle green and scarlet ties, while the stripes of the Artists' Rifles were black, gray, and red; the Inns of Court wore green and blue stripes.


Exclusivity remains

Rules on who may wear the more than 200 regimental ties can be quite strict. Some of the prestigious London stores sometimes ask customers to indicate they have the right to wear a particular tie. This pushes up the price collectors are willing to pay for an especially rare tie. Some unusual or rare ties will change hands for thousands of dollars.



Dr. Neil Lazer


It is true that the "Rep Stripe" tie is different in Europe. I believe that it is a military uniform influence. The "American Rep Stripe" will cross the chest diagonally with the stripes pointing from the right shoulder towards the waist. The "European Rep Stripe" crosses the chest with the stripes pointing from left shoulder towards the waist.


If a rifle were to be carried in sling strapped over the shoulder, the American soldier would carry his weapon over the right shoulder. The European military sling would carry over the left shoulder with the strap crossing the heart.  American rifles eject shell casings to the right and the European rifle ejects shell casings to the left. As for American military; considering people are mostly right handed the soldier would have and easier access and feel for the rifle carried over the right shoulder.


In dress, the uniform would flow better without converging stripes. I am sure if you view West Point or other officer photographs you'll see this. Before the turn of the twentieth century the British came to the conclusion that their soldiers were easy targets in bright red uniform. With the issue of camouflaged uniform that would not make a soldier so easy to spot in the field the only way to dress up with color and style was a uniquely designed striped tie, with each division or regiment adopting their own colors. These ties not only preserved the traditional colors, they provided the only creativity for the drab new uniforms.


The Royal Rifle Corps sported rifle green and scarlet ties, while the stripes of the Artists' Rifles were black, gray, and red; the Inns of Court wore green and blue stripes.


Of course this spread across the Atlantic as Americans still proud of taking the land from England would not be out done by the United Kingdom in anyway. The British navy still controlled the high seas and much of the world so an influence concerning fashion was prevalent especially for military uniform.


This was explained to me years ago and I cannot confirm the truth of this explanation but logically it makes since. At the turn of the century ( last one - the twentieth ) neckties were very much part of military uniform.  European, and American fashion was influenced by the dress code of service men.


Sunday 28 August 2022

LBC caller says Meghan Markle 'complains all the time' / 'Banalities, absurdities and self-aggrandising Californian platitudes': Critics don't hold back in their reviews of Meghan Markle's first Archetypes podcast with Serena Williams

'Banalities, absurdities and self-aggrandising Californian platitudes': Critics don't hold back in their reviews of Meghan Markle's first Archetypes podcast with Serena Williams



PUBLISHED: 09:58 BST, 24 August 2022 | UPDATED: 10:17 BST, 24 August 2022


Meghan Markle's new Spotify podcast has been slammed by critics who said it was 'almost entirely preposterous' and 'just another way she can talk about herself'.


The Duchess of Sussex released her long-awaited Archetypes podcast yesterday in the form of a conversation with her close friend, tennis great Serena Williams.


But Celia Walden in the Telegraph said it was 'an interview with this inspirational sporting figure in name only', and that Meghan was 'interviewing herself'.


She also said the Duchess was the sort of person 'who hijacks every distressing anecdote with one of their own – only theirs is longer drawn-out, more distressing'.


The Spectator's columnist Steerpike said it was 'hard to believe that it took 28 people, including eight executive producers, to make the episode - plus Meghan'.


The review added that tennis enthusiasts who listen to the podcast to hear from Williams 'might be a bit disappointed' because it 'is in fact all about Meghan'.


And James Marriott in The Times described it as a 'tastefully soundtracked parade of banalities, absurdities and self-aggrandising Californian platitudes'.


His one-star review said the podcast will 'make you feel you've been locked in the relaxation room of a wellness spa with an unusually self-involved yoga instructor'.


But in The Independent, Clémence Michallon told how the podcast made it clear that Meghan 'made the right decision when she cut and ran' from the Royal Family.


She said the story about how Meghan had to carry on with her duties after her son Archie narrowly escaped a fire in his room must have been 'uniquely infuriating'.


Here, read some excerpts of some of the reviews of Meghan's new podcast:



Meghan Markle's Archetypes podcast review — almost entirely preposterous



'The Duchess of Sussex's almost entirely preposterous new podcast Archetypes promises to 'rip apart the boxes women have been placed into for generations'. On the evidence of the first episode - an interview with Serena Williams - it won't really do this at all.'

'The podcast is a tastefully soundtracked parade of banalities, absurdities and self-aggrandising Californian platitudes. The effect of all the tinkly music and vapid conversation is to make you feel you've been locked in the relaxation room of a wellness spa with an unusually self-involved yoga instructor.'

'Even those sympathetic to Meghan's plight (and I had once thought I might be one of those people) will find that the full hour of an episode of Archetypes will put them in an unusually grumpy mood.'



Meghan's podcast is just another way she can talk about herself

'The podcast is an interview with this inspirational sporting figure in name only. If the rest of the season is anything like the premiere, what we're really going to be listening into week after week is Meghan interviewing herself.'

'Even the anecdote about how Meghan first met her supposed interviewee – at a 2010 Super Bowl party – is somehow turned into self-aggrandisement. Spotting Serena heading towards someone, Meghan wondered who on earth could have sparked this special woman's interest, and – oh, my goodness! – it was her.'

'Every woman has had a girlfriend like Meghan: the one who turns every confidence back to them and hijacks every distressing anecdote with one of their own – only theirs is longer drawn-out, more distressing.'



Meghan's Archetypes podcast is really all about her

'Harry has been shoved into the background, natch, so that Meghan can concentrate on talking about herself – sorry, Mr S meant to say, 'on the labels that try to hold women back.' Labels don't try to do anything, of course, they are labels. But we should never let common sense get in the way of rich women talking about female empowerment.'

'The first guest is Serena Williams, but tennis enthusiasts who tune in might be a bit disappointed. The show is in fact all about Meghan, since it takes 11 minutes for Serena to barely get a word in edgeways.'

'It's hard to believe that it took 28 people, including eight executive producers, to make the episode – plus Meghan herself, who is also listed as an 'executive producer' in the credits.'



The royal family isn't working for anyone — even the royals

'I have never found it hard to understand why Markle and her husband chose to resign from their duties as royals, but if I did, this story [about Archie and the fire] would probably bring me some clarity.

'There is something so relatably frustrating about that situation. Being confronted with a problem that could easily be solved with a little bit of pragmatism (they could have released a statement explaining what had happened and pushed back official engagements until the next day) and being told it can't be for completely amorphous reasons (optics, stiff upper lip, 'it's not the way things are done around here') is uniquely infuriating.

'The more I hear about the royal family these days, the more it seems clear that the monarchy isn't working for anyone – including the royals themselves. And from what we've heard on her podcast, it's clear Markle made the right decision when she cut and ran.'



Meghan's podcast: an insight about her private life? Yes, another one

'In hindsight, I should have beaten myself unconscious an hour ago with a copy of Finding Freedom. Instead, I've listened to 57 minutes and 28 seconds of Meghan Markle's syrupy California drawl, while rocking back and forth and moaning softly under my breath.'

'It seems to be an allegory of all the many ways in which she, a fierce, strong, brave woman was wronged and traduced in the ten minutes she lived in the UK and was fêted as the best thing to happen to the royal family in years. Her podcast is pure, narcissistic gibberish and next week she's 'in conversation' with Mariah Carey. Shoot me now.'



'One of the things I admire about British sensibility is a desire to prick people's balloon heads when they get too big, which I don't think is a bad thing. The thing for me is ambition is only worth celebrating if what you're being ambitious is worthwhile.'

'The problem with Meghan Markle and other celebrities or royals, very kind of powerful professional women, talking, whining I think, about the fact that it's so hard when all you're doing is trying to be ambitious is that it comes across I think to your average woman - maybe the ladies who are watching this morning trying to get the kids ready to go out, or hoovering the sitting room, or off to their job - as just the kind of professional middle class feminism, whining about not being celebrated enough.'



'Outside looking in, there's an ulterior motive here with this podcast and that's settling scores.

'With this episode, you kind of see her go after Tom Bower, responding to his claim that she's ambitious and scheming. The book also say that Serena Williams told a media contact they weren't necessarily good friends and he also questions her Procter and Gamble story. She goes into all those things in the very first episode in her podcast, I think that those might be related.'



Giggling, gushing – and old grievances

'This bizarre, saccharine and faintly queasy schmooze-fest between Meghan and 'my dear friend Serena' (as we hear over and over again) tells us next to nothing at all about the making of Serena Williams's towering ambition.'

'This podcast is yet another example of the inescapable truth that Britain and the USA are two nations divided by a common language. No British broadcaster would sanction the almost incomprehensible giggling and gushing between Meghan and her guest that excludes the listener from any real understanding or intimacy.'

'Instead of treating the podcast interview (she calls it a 'chat') with Serena seriously, Meghan uses it as a vehicle to air her old grievances – the kind of gossipy, headline-making stuff that will make the Spotify execs sigh with relief that their investment in the duchess has delivered.'



'She would still be a D-list celebrity if she had not married a prince. She aligns herself with them [Serena Williams and next podcast guest Mariah Carey], but they have done brilliantly and overcome difficult childhood, whereas she has married a prince and spent a lot of money.'

'She thought it was normal to be ambitious and only when she started dating Harry did she realise that it was not welcomed. My goodness, that is a smack at Harry and a punch to the Royal Family. Harry told her about life in the Royal Family, but she obviously did not want to listen.'

'Why is everything so hard for her? Because she won't accept where she is and make the best of it. She has had a nanny when most could not. She has said will see the real her, well she needs to justify the ambition claim she is making.'



'She undoubtedly feels she has been singled out. The interview was about The Misconception of Ambition, but the implication here is that after she dated Harry she feels she was picked on. She was ambitious beforehand and did well in Suits but that is not top league television.'

'There is surely nothing wrong in being ambitious and being royal, in fact the role positively encourages a member of the royal family to be ambitious to help those in need. Diana was very ambitious, her charitable work and her public profile were synonymous, ultimately fatefully so, but she did immense good.'

'This is a very negative view of women, we all know they have been breaking the glass ceiling for many years now. Her podcast, with a fascinating guest famous for her ambition on the tennis court, totally ignores this.'

Friday 26 August 2022

Chevalier d'Éon: The Incredible Life of 18th Century France’s Genderbending Spy

Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d'Éon de Beaumont or Charlotte-Geneviève-Louise-Augusta-Andréa-Timothéa d'Éon de Beaumont (5 October 1728 – 21 May 1810), usually known as the Chevalier d'Éon or the Chevalière d'Éon (chevalière is the female equivalent of chevalier, meaning knight), was a French diplomat, spy, and soldier. D'Éon fought in the Seven Years' War, and spied for France while in Russia and England. D'Éon had androgynous physical characteristics and natural abilities as a mimic and a spy. D'Éon appeared publicly as a man and pursued masculine occupations for 49 years, although during that time, d'Éon successfully infiltrated the court of Empress Elizabeth of Russia by presenting as a woman. Starting in 1777, d'Éon lived as a woman. Doctors who examined d'Éon's body after death discovered "male organs in every respect perfectly formed", but also feminine characteristics.


D'Éon was born at the Hôtel d'Uzès in Tonnerre, Burgundy, into a poor noble family. D'Éon's father, Louis d'Éon de Beaumont, was an attorney and director of the king's dominions, later mayor of Tonnerre and sub-delegate of the intendant of the généralité of Paris.[3] D'Éon's mother, Françoise de Charanton, was the daughter of a Commissioner General to the armies of the wars of Spain and Italy. Most of what is known about d'Éon's early life comes from a partly ghost-written autobiography, The Interests of the Chevalier d'Éon de Beaumont[4][5] and Bram Stoker's essay on the Chevalier in his 1910 book Famous Impostors.


D'Éon excelled in school, moving from Tonnerre to Paris in 1743, graduating in civil law and canon law from the Collège Mazarin in 1749 at age 21. D'Éon began literary work as a contributor to Fréron's Année littéraire, and attracted notice as a political writer by two works on financial and administrative questions, which were published in 1753. D'Éon became secretary to Bertier de Sauvigny, intendant of Paris, served as a secretary to the administrator of the fiscal department, and was appointed a royal censor for history and literature by Malesherbes in 1758.


Life as a spy

In 1756, d'Éon joined the secret network of spies called the Secret du Roi (King's Secret) employed by King Louis XV without the knowledge of the government. It sometimes promoted policies that contradicted official policies and treaties. According to d'Éon's memoirs (although there is no documentary evidence to support that account) the monarch sent d'Éon with the Chevalier Douglas, Alexander Peter Mackenzie Douglas, Baron of Kildin, a Scottish Jacobite in French service, on a secret mission to Russia in order to meet Empress Elizabeth and conspire with the pro-French faction against the Habsburg monarchy. At that time the English and French were at odds, and the English were attempting to deny the French access to the Empress by allowing only women and children to cross the border into Russia. D'Éon later claimed having to pass convincingly as a woman or risk being executed by the English upon discovery and therefore travelled disguised as the lady Lia de Beaumont, and served as a maid of honour to the Empress. However, there is little or no evidence to support this and it is now commonly accepted to be a story told to demonstrate how identifying as female had been of benefit to France in the past. Eventually, Chevalier Douglas became French ambassador to Russia, and d'Éon was secretary to the embassy in Saint Petersburg from 1756 to 1760, serving Douglas and his successor, the marquis de l'Hôpital.


D'Éon returned to France in October 1760, and was granted a pension of 2,000 livres as reward for service in Russia. In May 1761, d'Éon became a captain of dragoons under the maréchal de Broglie and fought in the later stages of the Seven Years' War. D'Éon served at the Battle of Villinghausen in July 1761, and was wounded at Ultrop. After Empress Elizabeth died in January 1762, d'Éon was considered for further service in Russia, but instead was appointed secretary to the duc de Nivernais, awarded 1,000 livres, and sent to London to draft the peace treaty that formally ended the Seven Years' War. The treaty was signed in Paris on 10 February 1763, and d'Éon was awarded a further 6,000 livres, and received the Order of Saint-Louis on 30 March 1763, becoming the Chevalier d'Éon.[8] The title chevalier, French for knight, is also sometimes used for French noblemen.


Back in London, d'Éon became chargé d'affaires in April 1763, and then plenipotentiary minister—essentially interim ambassador—when the duc de Nivernais returned to Paris in July. D'Éon used this position also to spy for the king. D'Éon collected information for a potential invasion—an unfortunate and clumsy initiative of Louis XV, of which Louis's own ministers were unaware—assisting a French agent, Louis François Carlet de la Rozière, who was surveying the British coastal defences. D'Éon formed connections with English nobility by sending them the produce of d'Éon's vineyard in France; d'Éon abundantly enjoyed the splendour of this interim embassy.


Upon the arrival of the new ambassador, the comte de Guerchy in October 1763, d'Éon was demoted to the rank of secretary and humiliated by the count. D'Éon was trapped between two French factions: Guerchy was a supporter of the duc de Choiseul, duc de Praslin and Madame de Pompadour, in opposition to the comte de Broglie and his brother the maréchal de Broglie. D'Éon complained, and eventually decided to disobey orders to return to France. In a letter to the king, d'Éon claimed that the new ambassador had tried to drug d'Éon at a dinner at the ambassador's residence in Monmouth House in Soho Square. The British government declined a French request to extradite d'Éon, and the 2,000 livres pension that had been granted in 1760 was stopped in February 1764. In an effort to save d'Éon's station in London, d'Éon published much of the secret diplomatic correspondence about d'Éon's recall under the title Lettres, mémoires et négociations particulières du chevalier d'Éon in March 1764, disavowing Guerchy and calling him unfit for the job.This breach of diplomatic discretion was scandalous to the point of being unheard of, but d'Éon had not yet published everything (the King's secret invasion documents and those relative to the Secret du Roi were kept back as "insurance"), and the French government became very cautious in its dealings with d'Éon, even when d'Éon sued Guerchy for attempted murder. With the invasion documents in hand, d'Éon held the king in check. D'Éon did not offer any defence when Guerchy sued for libel, and d'Éon was declared an outlaw and went into hiding. However, d'Éon secured the sympathy of the British public: the mob jeered Guerchy in public, and threw stones at his residence. D'Éon then wrote a book on public administration, Les loisirs du Chevalier d'Éon, which was published in thirteen volumes in Amsterdam in 1774.


Guerchy was recalled to France, and in July 1766 Louis XV granted d'Éon a pension (possibly a pay-off for d'Éon's silence) and a 12,000-livre annuity, but refused a demand for over 100,000 livres to clear d'Éon's extensive debts. D'Éon continued to work as a spy, but lived in political exile in London. D'Éon's possession of the king's secret letters provided protection against further actions, but d'Éon could not return to France.[10] D'Éon became a Freemason in 1768, and was initiated at London's Immortality Lodge.


Life as a woman

Despite the fact that d'Éon habitually wore a dragoon's uniform, rumours circulated in London that d'Éon was actually a woman. A betting pool was started on the London Stock Exchange about d'Éon's true sex. D'Éon was invited to join, but declined, saying that an examination would be dishonouring, whatever the result. After a year without progress, the wager was abandoned. Following the death of Louis XV in 1774, the secret du roi was abolished, and d'Éon tried to negotiate a return from exile. The writer Pierre de Beaumarchais represented the French government in the negotiations. The resulting twenty-page treaty permitted d'Éon to return to France and retain the ministerial pension, but required that d'Éon turn over the correspondence regarding the secret du roi.


Madame Campan writes in her memoirs: "This eccentric being had long solicited permission to return to France; but it was necessary to find a way of sparing the family he had offended the insult they would see in his return; he was therefore made to resume the costume of that sex to which in France everything is pardoned. The desire to see his native land once more determined him to submit to the condition, but he revenged himself by combining the long train of his gown and the three deep ruffles on his sleeves with the attitude and conversation of a grenadier, which made him very disagreeable company."


The Chevalier d'Éon claimed to have been assigned female at birth, and demanded recognition by the government as such. D'Éon claimed to have been raised as a boy because Louis d'Éon de Beaumont could only inherit from his in-laws if he had a son. King Louis XVI and his court complied with this demand, but required in turn that d'Éon dress appropriately in women's clothing, although d'Éon was allowed to continue to wear the insignia of the Order of Saint-Louis. When the king's offer included funds for a new wardrobe of women's clothes, d'Éon agreed. In 1777, after fourteen months of negotiation, d'Éon returned to France and as punishment was banished to Tonnerre.



Fencing match between Monsieur de Saint-George et Mademoiselle La chevalière d'Éon de Beaumont at Carlton House on 9 April 1787. Engraving by Victor Marie Picot, based on the original painting by Charles Jean Robineau.

When France began to help the rebels during the American War of Independence, d'Éon asked to join the French troops in America, but d'Éon's banishment prevented it.[10] In 1779, d'Éon published a book of memoirs: La Vie Militaire, politique, et privée de Mademoiselle d'Éon. They were ghostwritten by a friend named La Fortelle and are probably embellished.[8] D'Éon was allowed to return to England in 1785.


The pension that Louis XV had granted was ended by the French Revolution, and d'Éon had to sell personal possessions, including books, jewellery and plate. The family's properties in Tonnerre were confiscated by the revolutionary government. In 1792, d'Éon sent a letter to the French National Assembly offering to lead a division of female soldiers against the Habsburgs, but the offer was rebuffed. D'Éon participated in fencing tournaments until seriously wounded in Southampton in 1796. D'Éon's last years were spent with a widow, Mrs. Cole. In 1804, d'Éon was sent to a debtors' prison for five months, and signed a contract for a biography to be written by Thomas William Plummer, which was never published. D'Éon became paralyzed following a fall, and spent a final four years bedridden, dying in poverty in London on 21 May 1810 at the age of 81.


The surgeon who examined d'Éon's body attested in their post-mortem certificate that the Chevalier had "male organs in every respect perfectly formed", while at the same time displaying feminine characteristics. A couple of characteristics described in the certificate were "unusual roundness in the formation of limbs", as well as "breast remarkably full".


D'Éon's body was buried in the churchyard of St Pancras Old Church, and d'Éon's remaining possessions were sold by Christie's in 1813. D'Éon's grave is listed on the Burdett-Coutts Memorial there as one of the important graves lost.