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People are talking: No stray greys on Kate Middleton's crown


Duchess of Cambridge

Duchess of Cambridge

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow


Duchess of Cambridge

There is one quick and easy response to celebrity UK hairdresser Nicky Clarke's comments about Kate Middleton's stray greys last week. That would be that Nicky should possibly look in the mirror at his own Lego-like bouffant before casting stones. But that would be too easy.

Normally, a person wouldn't jump to the defence of the Duchess's hair. One of these days, a well-meaning royalist is going to lunge forward and cut a good foot off it. They'd be doing Kate a favour, but getting at her for her greys is a different matter. Also, during the time that Clarke spotted these strays, Kate was pregnant with Princess Charlotte, when she was likely advised to lay off the dye.

Clarke's point is that grey is ageing and a woman like Kate can't allow herself to appear old. "Kate needs to get rid of her grey hair," he said at a London party last week, "it's not a good look . . . unfortunately it's the case for women - all women - that until you're really old, you can't be seen to have any grey hairs."

You have to wonder what's "really old", in the opinion of the flame-haired 57-year-old Clarke?

The Queen is probably safe, but what about Camilla, who's only 11 years the celebrity stylist's senior? And, of course, you don't see him commenting on William's unmissable male pattern baldness. But then, maybe that's too easy a target.

Gwynnie makes a bags of rap

Time to recycle those V-Steamers ladies because Gwyneth Paltrow has something else for us to aspire to.  Clutch bags! 

But not just any old designer clutch bags that cost a fortune - no, Gwynnie's latest Goop offerings are hardcore Rap and Hip Hop clutch bags. (Do you ever get the impression that Gwynnie is trying mightily hard to cast aside her goodie-goodie, wellness guru, probiotic, v-steaming image?)

Collaborating with designer Edie Parker, Goop, Gwyneth's often mocked lifestyle website, is now selling two clutch bags which pay homage to Rap and Hip Hop stars of past and present.

To be fair to Ms. Paltrow, she's staying true to the whole get "Rich or Die Tryin'" ethos of Rap as each bag costs a blingtastic $1,695. But that's pretty much where the bling ends, as these are no jewel-encrusted evening accessories. Nope, instead of gold and diamonds you get the nicknames of two rappers, one on either side.

One bag bears the legend 'Hov' on one side and on the other 'Shady' which those in the know will recognise as Jay-Z (Uncle Jay, as Paltrow's son Moses calls him, apparently) and Eminem respectively.

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The other bag is a little bit more controversial. Still no jewel encrustations but instead the names 'Pac' (Tupac Shakur) and 'Biggie' (Biggie Smalls) which those in the know are sniggering up their sleeves at.

Tupac and Biggie were rivals who were killed during the East Coast/West Coast Rap feud of the 1990s. It's doubtful that the ghost of either would rest easy knowing that they're eternally linked on a clutch bag. Or, for that matter, eternally linked to Goop.

Anne Marie Scanlon

Snatching victory from defeat the Adams way

Most Irish people were glad to see the back of the Troubles. With his usual flair for putting his foot in it, however, Gerry Adams currently seems to be making a pitch for the support of those oddballs who still look back nostalgically on the years of shooting and bombing as "the good old days", by boasting that the IRA was "undefeated".

In a way, of course, the Sinn Fein President is right. Republican terrorists were never decisively finished off by the Brits, but that's only because the boys in balaclavas gave up fighting for a united Ireland before they could get to the point where they had to admit that they'd been killing people for decades for no reason, just like everyone had been telling them all along. We'd all be "undefeated" if we ran away to avoid a final pasting.

There's a simple way to solve this mystery. Unless Norn Iron has stopped being a part of the United Kingdom without anyone noticing, you'd probably have to give victory to the ones who wanted it to stay under the Union Jack, rather than those who swore they'd never administer British rule but are now being well paid to do it anyway.

Sorry if that spoils the illusion, Gerry, but it'd be like telling the Cork hurling team they actually won last weekend's All-Ireland quarter final despite being 12 points behind Galway at game's end.

Greek leader Alexis Tsipras should draft in Adams to persuade his fellow countryfolk how they actually won the recent battle with the Troika, even as the Germans help themselves to Athens' assets. Did we win Eurovision too?

Eilis O'Hanlon

Goodbye Mr Moss?

The ante was upped on the international scrutiny that regularly follows the model Kate Moss last week, amid rumours that she and her husband of four years, the rock singer Jamie Hince, are headed for divorce.

The news seems at least partly based on the fact that he went to Glastonbury without her, and that they haven't been seen together in public for a while. And it provoked sections of the media into a flurry of faux-concerned editorialising about why Kate Moss "can't find true love."

There are those who might aver that it's a bit early yet to be dancing on the grave of Moss's marriage, since she and Hince have yet to comment on the matter themselves, and have both recently been seen wearing their wedding rings.

And, further still, there are those who might make the point that, rather than being in a state of endlessly searching for "true love" like some overgrown 12-year-old with Disney princess fantasies, it's always possible Kate joined the hallowed institution of matrimony for a good time rather than a long time. And so is considering her option of gracefully bowing out.

It seems an entirely appropriate strategy for a woman of Kate's stature, who one hopes will not be caught letting either her look or her life go stale, even when she's in her 80s.

Julia Molony

Now that's a proper scandal

Let's face it. Political scandals in Ireland and Britain in recent years have become very tame.  Putting in too many mileage expenses forms or claiming for too many Club Milks isn't exactly racy.

Well, despair no more. Because Lord Sewel, the disgraced House of Lords peer, has breathed new life into the political scandal genre.

The UK was renowned for proper scandals like the Profumo affair and Tory ministers doing unspeakable things in Chelsea jerseys. But in recent years political faux pas have fallen mainly into the minor-indiscretion category.

However, Lord Sewel has raised the sleaze bar extremely high. There were prostitutes allegedly involved, in addition to cocaine being snorted off breasts, and lots of chatter about political colleagues. And just in case that wasn't enough, he decided to cement his legendary status by donning his female friend's red bra and leather jacket. When he wasn't in this fetching gear Sewel was walking around his grace and favour flat stark naked.

It's a nostalgic throwback to the days of saucy postcards and sex scandals involving aristocrats immersed in love triangles with Soviets and call girls.

For that Lord Sewel we salute you! But of course the sleazy old geezer had to resign!

Will Hanafin

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