Trooping The Colour

The Duchess of Cambridge wore pale pink Alexander McQueen to Saturday's Trooping The Colour, a spectacular display of pageantry dating back to the eighteenth century, in what is expected to be her last official public engagement before she gives birth next month.  More than 1000 soldiers, horses and musicians took part in the annual parade which marks The Queen's official birthday.  The Royal family later gathered on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fantastically loud and proud aerial display by the RAF Red Arrows (left).

Stella McCartney receives OBE from the Queen

Stella McCartney was the perfect poster girl for her brand yesterday as she collected her OBE for services to fashion from the Queen.  Wearing a bespoke navy suit of her own design, with a vintage platinum headpiece by Cartier and velvet pumps, Stella told the Press Association, “I feel really proud and really excited and honoured to be here."  Stella also revealed that despite the Queen looking “very chic” she felt the 86 year old monarch should have been wearing Stella McCartney“I slipped her a card…”
Stella McCartney joins fellow designers Dame Vivienne Westwood and Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen, as well as Jimmy Choo founder Tamara Mellon in being awarded the Order of the British Empire.  Congratulations Stella!!

The London Underground turns 150

Today is the London Underground’s 150th birthday.  In celebration of this occasion I thought I would share with you some facts about the oldest Underground in the world… 

The Underground has the oldest section of underground railway in the world, which opened in 1863. 

The tube network is 249 miles long (or the length of 4.98 million Oyster Cards!) 

The Underground is the third busiest metro system in Europe, after Moscow and Paris.

Each week, the Underground's escalators travel the equivalent distance of going twice around the world. 

In cockney rhyming slang, the tube is known as the Oxo (Cube/ Tube).

In 1924, the first baby was born on the Underground, on the Bakerloo line. 

As Princess Elizabeth, the Queen travelled on the Underground for the first time in May 1939, when she was 13 years old, with her governess and Princess Margaret.

An estimated half a million mice live in the Underground system.  Ew.

The Underground was first used for air raid shelters in September 1940. 

During the Second World War, part of the Piccadilly line (Holborn - Aldwych branch), was closed and The British Museum treasures were stored in the empty spaces.  

One of the early names proposed for the Victoria Line was the Viking line. 

The American talk show host Jerry Springer was born at East Finchley during the Second World War:  his mother had taken shelter in the station from an air raid. 

According to a 2002 study, air quality on the Underground was 73 times worse than at street level (20 mins on the Northern Line has "the same effect as smoking a cigarette")
Albus Dumbledore, a character from the Harry Potter series, has a scar just above his left knee in the shape of the Tube map.

Every day over 1000 people accidentally leave something on the Tube;  some past items in include Samurai swords, false teeth, three dead bats and a 14 foot boat.

Scenes from the film Sliding Doors were shot at Waterloo station on the Waterloo & City Line and at Fulham Broadway tube station on the District Line.

The record for visiting all the stations on the Underground network – known as The Tube Challenge – is currently held by Andi James and Steve Wilson, who completed the challenge in 16 hours, 29 minutes and 13 seconds on May 27th 2011.

Wildlife observed on the Tube network includes woodpeckers, deer, sparrowhawk, bats, grass snakes, great crested newts, slow worms. 

Sting and Paul McCartney are rumoured to have busked on the Underground in disguise. 

In the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, Daniel Craig narrowly avoids being crushed by the Circle Line during a chase scene that took him through several tube stations. 

To celebrate the anniversary there is a special 150th souvenir Oyster card on sale.  These cards are limited edition and will be available to purchase from all London Underground stations. 

British Style Award Nominees 2012 - Vote Now!

Who do you think most embodies the spirit of London

You can once again vote to decide the winner of the British Style Award brought to you by Vodafone for this year’s British Fashion Awards, on November 27th 2012.  

The nominees for this award, which was (unsurprisingly) won by Alexa Chung in both 2010 and 2011, was complied by a panel of key industry opinion formers and includes Cara Delevingne, Florence Welch, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Victoria Beckham...  And of course, Alexa Chung.  A few boys also made the list; David Beckham, David Gandy and Tinie Tempah.

Interestingly, after the Jubilympic summer we have just had, there are also several members of the Royal Family included on this year’s nominations, including The Queen herself… HOW I would LOVE for her to win/reign over all our favourite fashionistas!

Voting is open until the 31st October 2012 and you can vote here. You will be entered into a prize draw to win two tickets to attend the British Fashion Awards ceremony.