Prince William’s children get starring roles at brother’s wedding

Britain’s Prince William walks with Prince George and Princess Charlotte (AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)
Updated 16 May 2018
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Prince William’s children get starring roles at brother’s wedding

  • All the bridesmaids will be children after Megan Markle failed to chose between her friends
  • George and Charlotte also acted as page boy and flower girl at last year’s wedding of Pippa Middleton, sister of his mother Kate

LONDON: Britain’s Prince Harry and his US fiancee Meghan Markle have chosen George and Charlotte, the children of the royal’s elder brother Prince William, to be among the bridesmaids and page boys for their wedding, his office said on Wednesday.
Also selected for the much-anticipated event at Windsor Castle on Saturday are the couple’s goddaughters and godson, and the children of one of her best friends.
Harry’s office said last week that all the bridesmaids would be children and that Markle had decided not to have a maid of honor because she could not choose between her friends.
Princess Charlotte, 3, will be joined as a bridesmaid by Florence van Cutsem, 3, and Zalie Warren, 2, Harry’s goddaughters; Remi and Rylan Litt, 6 and 7, who are Markle’s goddaughters; and Ivy Mulroney, the 4-year-old daughter of her friend Jessica Mulroney.
Mulroney’s sons Brian and John Mulroney, both 7, will also join Prince George as a page boy along with Harry’s godson Jasper Dyer, 6.
While George, 4, and Charlotte will have roles in the ceremony at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor, their younger brother Prince Louis, who was born last month, will not be attending, Kensington Palace has confirmed.
George and Charlotte also acted as page boy and flower girl at last year’s wedding of Pippa Middleton, sister of his mother Kate, to financier James Matthews.
Bridesmaid Florence van Cutsem also provides a link to William and Kate’s own wedding. Van Cutsem’s cousin Grace, William’s goddaughter, was a bridesmaid at their ceremony in 2011.


No politics please for Baghdad bikers aiming to unite Iraq

Updated 20 January 2019
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No politics please for Baghdad bikers aiming to unite Iraq

  • That is why the first rule of his bikers club is: you do not talk about politics
  • The Iraq Bikers — who now number 380 — are men of all ages, social classes and various faiths

BAGHDAD: Roaring along Baghdad’s highways, the “Iraq Bikers” are doing more than showing off their love of outsized motorcycles and black leather: they want their shared enthusiasm to help heal Iraq’s deep sectarian rifts.
Weaving in and out of traffic, only the lucky few ride Harley Davidsons — a rare and expensive brand in Iraq — while others make do with bikes pimped-up to look something like the “Easy Rider” dream machines.
“Our goal is to build a brotherhood,” said Bilal Al-Bayati, 42, a government employee who founded the club in 2012 with the aim of improving the image of biker gangs and to promote unity after years of sectarian conflict.
That is why the first rule of his bikers club is: you do not talk about politics.
“It is absolutely prohibited to talk politics among members,” Bayati told Reuters as he sat with fellow bikers in a shisha cafe, a regular hangout for members.
“Whenever politics is mentioned, the members are warned once or twice and then expelled. We no longer have the strength to endure these tragedies or to repeat them,” he said, referring to sectarian violence.
With his black bandana and goatee, the leader of the Baghdad pack, known as “Captain,” looks the epitome of the American biker-outlaw.
But while their style is unmistakably US-inspired — at least one of Bayati’s cohorts wears a helmet emblazoned with the stars and stripes — these bikers fly the Iraqi flag from the panniers of their machines.
The Iraq Bikers — who now number 380 — are men of all ages, social classes and various faiths. One of their most recent events was taking party in Army Day celebrations.
Some are in the military, the police and even the Popular Mobilization Forces, a grouping of mostly Shiite militias which have taken part in the fight to oust Islamic State from Iraq in the last three years.
“It is a miniature Iraq,” said member Ahmed Haidar, 36, who works with an international relief agency.
But riding a chopper through Baghdad is quite different from Route 101. The bikers have to slow down at the many military checkpoints set up around the city to deter suicide and car bomb attacks.
And very few can afford a top bike.
“We don’t have a Harley Davidson franchise here,” said Kadhim Naji, a mechanic who specializes in turning ordinary motorbikes into something special.
“So what we do is we alter the motorbike, so it looks similar ... and it is cheaper.”