What to get the couple who has everything? How about a donation to a rhino sanctuary — or an offer of help for earthquake victims in New Zealand?
Prince William and Kate Middleton on Wednesday requested charitable gifts in lieu of wedding presents, seeking to pre-empt the tide of extravagant — and unusual — offerings that typically flood in for a royal engagement.
The palace said the couple was “touched by the goodwill shown them,” and selected 26 charities to benefit from a special charity gift fund.
Their decision to forego toasters, gravy boats and candlesticks sets William and Middleton apart from other soon-to-be newlyweds and even the prince’s parents, whose use of a wedding gift registry, replete with items such as a gourmet barbecue set and a pair of Cockatoos, was slammed by the press as “a vulgar, middle-class custom.” While Charles and Diana did get some gifts in the form of charitable donations, William and his bride-to-be are said to be determined to make sure their April 29 wedding is not seen as overly ostentatious at a time when the British economy is hurting.
The charities they have selected — including some based in Canada, Australia and New Zealand — represent a range of issues, from support for army widows to local community foundations and the arts.
The list does not include any charities focused on relief efforts around the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan more than a week ago.
William and Middleton are “obviously very shocked and saddened by the events in Japan,” but the list of charities has been in the works for weeks and is focused on countries the prince has visited, a spokeswoman for his office said. She spoke on condition of anonymity under palace rules.
“They are charities that have a particular resonance with Prince William and Miss Middleton and reflect issues in which the couple have been particularly interested in their lives to date,” the palace said in a statement.
While William and Middleton are the first British royals to ask solely for donations, if past weddings are any indication, the young couple can still expect some offbeat presents.
Diana and Charles received a ton of locally grown peat from a council in Somerset, and the Canadian government reportedly sent them a room full of antique 18th and 19th century furniture — including a four-poster bed and a drop-leaf desk. Royal Wedding
Web site: www.officialroyalwedding2011.org
Veteran singer Tarcy Su staged a show at the Taipei Music Center on Saturday last week, becoming the first to hold a large solo concert at the venue since it opened in Taipei’s Nangang District on Aug. 27. After releasing her first album for 13 years in March, Su finally held the first paid concert in her music career spanning three decades since 1990. To celebrate the grand opening of the new multipurpose center, singer-songwriter Kay Huang, the center’s chairwoman, also launched an inaugural concert featuring various artists on Sept. 5. The lineup included Golden Melody Award-winning singer LaLa Hsu, singer
Let’s go for a spin in my new set of wheels (3/5) 坐我的新車去兜風吧（三） A: Whoa, we’re only staying for three nights. What are you doing bringing all that luggage? B: Well, I wasn’t sure what the weather would be like, so I packed for all eventualities. I can put one bag in the trunk and the other on the back seat. A: No can do: the trunk in a Mini is minuscule. The toolkit and the spare tire take up most of the space. You’ll just have to sling one bag on the back seat and keep the other between your feet in the front. B: OK, no problem. A:
Let’s go for a spin in my new set of wheels (4/5) 坐我的新車去兜風吧（四） A: So what do you think of my Mini? B: Well. . . apart from the fact it’s absolutely boiling inside without any air conditioning — and the wind noise is quite loud compared to a modern car — it’s actually pretty cool! It feels a bit like I’m in a go-kart. A: That’s because of the Mini’s ultra-wide wheelbase, which means it handles corners really well. Modified Mini Coopers won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. B: Wow! It feels like we’re driving in a piece of automobile history. A: 那麼，你覺得我的迷你車怎麼樣？ B: 嗯……除了車內沒有空調，感覺快被煮熟以外──而且風切聲跟現代汽車比起來有夠大聲──其實真的很酷！有一點感覺像是在卡丁車裡面。 A:
Let’s go for a spin in my new set of wheels (5/5)
坐我的新車去兜風吧（五） A: Can you hear a strange noise? B: Now you mention it, I can hear a faint whirring sound. Also, there’s a slight whiff of burnt rubber. A: Uh-oh! I’d better pull over and take a look... OK, sit tight. I’ll pop the hood and take a look at the engine. B: What’s the prognosis? A: I think the fan belt has worn out and caused the engine to overheat. I’d better call a mechanic... A: 你有聽到一種奇怪的噪音嗎？ B: 既然你說了，我確實有聽到微弱的低沉呼呼聲。另外，我還聞到一點點燒焦的橡膠味。 A: 哦哦！我最好停車檢查一下……。好，你坐穩，我要把引擎蓋打開，看看引擎有沒有問題。 B: 你推斷的病情是什麼？ A: 我想應該是風扇的皮帶破損了，導致引擎過熱。我最好打個電話給維修人員……。 （Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報章厚明譯） English 英文: Chinese 中文: