The risk of cancer increases with age, so don't assume you're past it just because you're over 70, says Jose Downes…
I was just on my way to the kitchen to make a cuppa when…
Crash! I tripped over and tumbled to the floor.
It wasn’t the first time – and after two hip replacements a few years back, the last thing I wanted to risk was breaking any bones.
My daughter Katy fretted about me too. She lived 25 miles away, so it took time to reach my place if there was an emergency.
After my latest fall, she came up with an idea.
‘Why don’t we both sell our houses and buy a place together, with an annexe? That way we can be close, but you’ll still have your independence.’
So before Christmas four years ago, we moved to our new place .
It was lovely being part of Katy’s family life, as her husband and my three grown-up grandchildren all lived there too. I knew help was always at hand.
But now I had a new worry on my mind. While having a shower, I had noticed a hard lump on the underside of my right breast.
‘It’s like a pea, where a pea shouldn’t be…’ I thought.
I went to see the GP alone, because I didn’t want to worry Katy. She didn’t question me – Katy was used to me having check-ups for my hips that had troubled me for years.
The GP told me the lump could be breast cancer, and referred me to hospital for an urgent mammogram and biopsy. They were done just before Christmas, and early in January, I had a follow-up clinic appointment. This time I asked Katy to come with me.
I knew what to expect, but it came as a huge shock to Katy when the consultant confirmed I had three cancerous lumps in my right breast, and suspicious areas in my left breast, too.
When I was advised to have a double mastectomy, I knew it was far better to lose my breasts than have cancer.
But even though I was being brave, I was so glad to have my daughter there to support me. I had the op a fortnight later. The NHS care was superb, and five days later I was home, armed with physio exercises to help me get fit and flexible again.
With wonderful back-up from my family, I made a good recovery. Now, four years on, I’m cancer free.
Prince William and Kate Middleton met whilst studying at St.Andrews university. Kate was the shy, sporty, History of Art student who caught Prince William’s attention when she walked in that infamous university fashion show. William was a world famous Prince who won Kate’s heart with his charm, wit and kindness.
Together they are now one of the most photographed couples in the world. Kate, now the Duchess of Cambridge, showing that fairytales really do come true!
This is their royal love story…
The infamous fashion show that changed everything
Kate, then 19, took part in a St.Andrews university fashion show, strutting down the catwalk in a barely-there sheath dress. Prince William paid £200 for a ticket and apparently whispered to his friend, ‘She’s hot!’. Although Prince William and Kate had been good friends prior to this infamous night, seeing Kate confidently take to the catwalk obviously made Prince William see her in a totally different way! The young couple had their privacy protected up in Scotland, but the pair’s relationship was confirmed in 2004 when they were pictured skiing together.
Break-ups and make-ups
Prince William and Kate Middleton graduated from the University of St.Andrews in 2005. The prince embarked on his military career at Sandhurst, while Kate landed a job at Jigsaw as a buyer. The couple’s different jobs meant they were in a long distance relationship – but they still made time to see each other and hit their favourite nightclub hotspots when they were both in London!
However, it wasn’t all fun and games. The couple struggled with distance and the intense media attention on their relationship. As a result, the young couple split up in 2007.
Luckily, the split didn’t last long! Both William and Kate missed each other terribly and couldn’t stand to be apart. They got back together later that year – much to the great relief of the general public who had already fallen in love with Kate!
This sweet photo is from 2008. Still very much in love and enamoured with one another, the couple wowed the crowds at a charity boxing match in black tie attire. Kate Middleton looked every inch a princess-in-waiting in a floor length pink gown. However, by this time the Duchess-to-be had been nicknamed ‘Waity Katie’, as Prince William still had popped the question to his long-term girlfriend.
Finally – a proposal!
Finally, he put a ring on it! Prince William proposed to Kate during a getaway to Kenya in October 2010. A ‘very excited’ Kate chose a navy Issa dress to complement her sapphire engagement ring, which belonged to William’s mum, the late Princess Diana.
From the Alexander McQueen dress to the cheering crowds and THAT iconic kiss on the balcony, the 29th April 2011 was certainly a day for the history books. The down-to-earth Duchess-to-be chose to do her own make-up for her big day, and Kate looked absolutely stunning.
With her sister Pippa as her maid of honour, Kate had jaws dropping all over the world as she walked down the aisle of Westminster Abbey watched by millions to marry her Prince.
So, the newly married couple wasted no time settling into their new roles as the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge. From glittering red carpet events – where Kate looked every inch a princess – to official events, the couple got stuck in to life as a married royal couple.
The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also embarked on their first international royal tours as a couple. From donning cowboy hats in Canada to showing off their dance moves in Tuvalu, Kate and William stole hearts around the world.
Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Royal Tour, Calgary, Canada – 08 Jul 2011
Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge on Diamond Jubilee Tour, Tuvalu – 18 Sep 2012
A new arrival
When Kate was pregnant the couple had to reveal their happy news a bit earlier than they’d wanted due to Kate’s intense morning sickness. Prince George Alexander Louis was born on 22 July 2013 and Kate emerged looking serene, of course!
Raising Prince George
Kate has spoken about how becoming a mother for the first time was a “life changing moment” for her. The proud parents have been hands on raising little Prince George since he was born, and although her can be a handful, they’ve been loving every minute!
Kate has revealed that little Prince George is a bundle of energy, with Prince William admitting “George is a right little rascal sometimes”!
Fast-forward less than two years later and here the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are again on the steps of the Lindo Wing – this time with Princess Charlotte. Named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana after both her great-grandmother the Queen and her late grandmother Princess Diana, this little bundle was about to bring a whole lot more joy into William and Kate’s life.
A happy family
What a gorgeous family! William and Kate looked happier than ever with their beautiful brood at Princess Charlotte’s christening. For the children’s privacy and to ensure that they could have as ‘normal’ early lives as possible, the Duke and Duchess chose to raise their children in Anmer Hall, out in the countryside in Norfolk. While breaking from the tradition of living in Kensington Palace, countryside lovers Kate and William enjoyed the peace and freedom afforded to them away from prying eyes and paparazzi.
In 2016, Kate and Prince William left their children in the capable hands of Kate’s parents, and headed off on an official overseas royal tour of India and Bhutan. Although the Duchess of Cambridge admitted that they missed their little ones “terribly” the week long trip also gave the new parents some precious time together as a couple.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in front of the Taj Mahal in India during day seven of the Royal tour to India and Bhutan.
Pictured trekking up to the breathtaking Tiger’s Nest Monastery arm-in-arm, it was clear that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were more in love than ever.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s royal tour to Canada also marked another big first for the couple. Their first overseas trip as a family of four! While Kate and William’s close bond was evident in every photo, it was little Prince George and a newly walking Princess Charlotte who totally stole the show!
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte depart from Victoria Harbour Airport in Victoria, Canada, on the eighth day of the Royal Tour to Canada.
Regal red carpet moments
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are no ordinary couple. So, it’s no surprise that their ‘date nights’ are no normal affair either! No meal at their favourite local restaurant and a movie for Kate and Wills! In February 2016, the Duke and Duchess walked the red carpet at the..
When they’re not attending official banquets, or dining with Heads Of State, Presidents or other kings and queens from around the world, the royal family eat in the comfort of their own home. Although they might have their own chefs to cook their weekly meals, the royals favourite foods are just like ours – so you won’t find the Queen snacking on caviar or the Duchess of Cambridge sipping on champagne! It’s well known that Kate’s diet primarily consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and juices, although she has admitted that she enjoys Indian food (who doesn’t love a takeaway?!) and is a fan of spicy food – unlike Prince William who can’t stomach anything too hot or spicy. Both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge like to snack on popcorn – we wonder whether they go for sweet or salted?
Former Buckingham Palace cook Darren McGrady, who spent 11 years cooking for the royal family, has also revealed what the royals love to eat behind closed doors – and some of them are quite surprising!
Darren originally worked for the Queen, and he revealed that she’s quite the chocoholic, with her favourite sweet treat being Darren’s homemade chocolate mousse. A woman after our own heart!
After Princess Diana and Prince Charles split up, Darren went to work for Diana personally, and he was charged with helping her maintain her healthy eating habits.
Darren revealed to the Daily Mail that the late Princess liked to watch her figure and instructed him, “You take care of the fats, I’ll take care of the carbs at the gym,'” when he was cooking her meals.
Even though Princess Diana liked to eat well, she also liked to indulge occasionally too! Apparently her weakness was bread and butter pudding, and Darren revealed that her guilty pleasure was to go into the kitchen whenever he was making it so she could eat all the raisins off the top. We love this!
Is Kate Middleton’s favourite food the key to the Duchess of Cambridge’s diet?
When super slim Kate has sugar cravings, she doesn’t reach for her favourite chocolate bar or a piece of cake with her tea. A source revealed that Kate satisfies her sugar cravings a super healthy way, “One of her favourites is a puree of berries and almond milk — whenever she’s having sugar cravings, she’ll throw one of those together,” revealed the source.
What is the royal family favourite food?
So, Kate likes to be good and stick to fruit juices, but the Queen indulges in the odd chocolate mousse. The Duchess enjoys Indian food but the Duke hates spicy dishes – so it must be difficult to please all members of the royal family at once!
However, former royal family chef Enrico Derflingher managed to find a dish that suited everyone’s preferences. The Italian cook revealed that his take on a ‘Queen Victoria Risotto’ was, “a favourite of the royal household.” The royal family favourite is made with Sicilian red shrimps, parmesan, herbs and Italian sparkling wine. Sounds like a delicious seafood dish!
And lastly, there’s something that you will NEVER see the royals eating…
A Big Mac? Or maybe a microwave meal? Actually, far from it. According to various sources, the royal family are actually forbidden from eating shellfish. Why? Because of the risks of food poising associated with the food. So no crabs, King Prawns or mussels for William, Kate and the rest of the clan.
Along the same line of thinking, the royals are also apparently advised against eating red meat that might be cooked rare or drinking the tap water while they are in foreign countries – which may well be why the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge insisted on a vegetarian only diet while they completed their royal tour of India and Bhutan in 2016.
This is supposedly to avoid the royals having an stomach problems or digestion issues whilst away. As they wouldn’t want a sudden illness to interfere with their busy schedules. Seems sensible to us!
Seen as the faces of the modern royal family, Kate and Prince William have broken a number of long-standing royal family rules. From where they live to the way they are raising their children, here’s how Kate and William are breaking with tradition (for good!)
1. Their university experience
William and Kate met at university. They were allowed the opportunity to let their friendship, and then their romance blossom in private, away from prying public eyes. Their university education will also make Kate and William the first King and Queen of Great Britain to both have a degree.
2. A love match
Unlike his ancestors before him, Prince William wasn’t going to follow the royal rule and tradition of marrying for political strategy or gain. Falling for each other behind closed doors, without any public pressures or royal interference, Prince William and Kate married for love.
3. Living at Anmer Hall
Kate and William’s permanent home is the sprawling country estate Anmer Hall. Complete with acres of land, the ten-bedroom Georgian mansion is the perfect retreat from prying public eyes. Traditionally, the royal family have always been based in London. Whether the Queen at Buckingham Palace, or the rest of the royals nearby in the many bedrooms and cottages at Kensington, that royals have always called the capital home. However Prince William has chosen to break that tradition with Kate, in favour of a quieter life. “It’s no secret that William doesn’t like the media intrusion into his life, and in the country he can escape,” says a family friend. “It’s enabling him and Kate to raise their family in a way that’s as close to ordinary as they can get.”
4. Keeping a low profile
As public figures, the royal family are required to fulfil a certain number of duties and appearances each year. Prince William and Kate have got a reputation for breaking these rules, leading to William making a pact with his grandmother. Prince William made a special agreement with the Queen allowing him to stay out of the limelight. At least for the time being! William chose to break the traditional route of making public appearances and acting as a patron of numerous charities as his day-to-day job and responsibility. Instead, he still acts as a helicopter pilot and cuts down his public duties in order to spend more time with his family. As one friend observed, “They spend most of their time at Anmer because they can live below the radar.”
Anmer Hall, where Kate and William live with George and Charlotte in Norfolk
5. What you see is what you get
Kate and William don’t keep up appearances for the cameras. In the past, the royal family have always done a good job of hiding their emotions from the public. From refraining from showing affection in public, to keeping a brilliant poker face at all official events, it was difficult to work out what might be going on behind closed doors at the Palace. William and Kate shun protocol in favour of wearing their hearts on their sleeve. From being affectionate towards each other in public, to roaring with laughter at official events when cheeky Prince Harry makes them laugh.
6. Rejecting a royal RSVP
Prince William and Kate are known for breaking the rules when it comes to the royal family Christmas tradition. Instead of spending Christmas day with the rest of the royal family and the Queen at Sandringham House, Kate and William have shunned tradition in the past in favour of spending their first Christmas as a family of four at home in Anmer Hall.
Last year marked the second time the couple of broken with tradition. Kate chose to host Christmas herself and invite her parents and sibling to join them in Anmer Hall. This year, the couple will break with tradition again. Kate and William, along with their children George and Charlotte, will be spending Christmas with Kate’s parents, Carole and Michael.
Kate’s sister Pippa described the Middleton Christmas as ‘blissfully calm’, a stark contrast to the timetabled and formal Christmas at Sandringham. It’s thought that Kate and William have opted for a more relaxed Christmas this year, in order to maintain the ‘normal’ lives they are trying to build for their children.
7. A normal life for the kids
Breaking with the tradition of sending young members of the royal family to a specially selected nursery in London, Kate and William chose to send Prince George to a local Montessori nursery school in Norfolk. They are also now sending him to school in Battersea. Not the school in Kensington where Prince William and Harry went as boys. The unexpected choice was another bold move for the couple to break with royal tradition.
William and Kate also take turns dropping George off and picking him up. William has explained in the past that this is to ensure that they live as a, “normal family”. “Right now it’s just a case of keeping a secure, stable environment” William said.
8. The high-street heiress
Unlike designer Duchesses of the past, Kate often wears clothes from the high-street. Favouring items that she is actually comfortable in, instead of designer dresses. We loved her choice of Accessorize earrings and Gap trousers. In addition to her bargain buys, Kate also breaks the royal fashion rules with her footwear. The Duchess has been advised in the past not to wear wedge heels because the Queen dislikes them. However, Kate defies this in favour of their practically and comfort!
9. Family snaps
Prince William isn’t shy about his dislike and distrust of the paparazzi. Especially as it is well known that he can’t help but blame them for the death of his mother, Princess Diana. So is it any wonder that the heir to throne doesn’t like lots of paps around Kate and the kids? So, breaking with royal tradition, Kate and William choose to release photographs of their children on their own terms. Often, without a professional photographer in sight! Kate has proved she’s more than handy with a digital camera. She is often the photographer behind some of the sweetest snaps to be released of Prince George and Princess Charlotte. When Kate has to be in the pictures, such as this lovely snap released as the first official photograph of Prince George, Kate’s dad Michael steps in to do the honours and act as the family snapper!
10. Thrifty fashion
Kate’s not worried about having an extensive designer wardrobe. She’s not afraid to re-wear items, no matter how many times she’s been papped in them! Breaking the rules about being seen in an outfit more than once, Kate will re-wear her favourite items just as many times as the rest of us. Like this, her favourite, blazer jean and wedge shoe combo!
11. Hands-on parenting
Just like Princess Diana, Kate refuses to let her children be raised behind palace walls by a troop of royal nannies. Although it is well known that Kate and William do have nanny Maria to to lend a helping hand, Kate is very much a hands-on mum who is bringing her children up herself and in her way! She’s been spotted by locals in Norfolk ‘popping to the butcher’ or ‘into a local toyshop’ with George in tow. She’s also a regular at the local farm-park with her children. Here, George has been seen bottle-feeding piglets and playing in the sandpit with his mum and sister.
The love story of the Queen and Prince Philip traces all the way back to the 1930s. Now, after nearly 70 years of marriage, we look back at the royal romance in pictures…
He was the dashing Prince of Greece and she was a Princess of England. They fell in love when the future Queen was just 21 years old, and from the photos of the couple in their early years you can tell they were besotted with each other.
They first met properly in July 1939, when the King and Queen took their family to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. Elizabeth was 13 at the time and Philip was an 18-year-old cadet in training at the school.
They were separated during the war with Philip at sea, and reunited again in 1946 in London when the Prince became a frequent visitor to Buckingham Palace. Later that year Philip proposed to Elizabeth after a month-long stay at Balmoral, and the young princess eagerly and quickly accepted.
Although Elizabeth’s father agreed to the match, he asked the pair to keep their engagement a secret until after the princess’s 21st birthday the following year. Despite the secrecy, Philip confessed he had fallen, “completely and unreservedly” in love with Elizabeth.
Prince Philip called his love ‘darling’ or more affectionately ‘Lilibet’, but the smitten couple had to keep their love a secret before the engagement was announced, so Elizabeth was seen out with friends and chaperones at dances and other social occasions during this time – although Philip was never far away!
The engagement of Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten – as he was then known – and Princess Elizabeth was announced in July 1947 and the marriage took place in Westminster Abbey on 20th November of the same year.
The young couple honeymooned at Broadlands, the Mountbatten estate in Hampshire for a week, and then at Birkhall on the Balmoral estate.
The Queen and Prince Philip had two children before Elizabeth succeeded the throne aged just 25, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, and two after, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
The couple have travelled all over the world together – from Canada and America, to Australia and New Zealand and back again. Often leaving their children home with The Queen’s parents, they experienced their adventures alone, just the two of them and this no doubt helped to seal their eternal bond.
Something that Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth have always had in common is a shared commitment to duty and service, and this has been evident throughout their long marriage. Despite giving their lives to their duties, the Prince and Queen Elizabeth have also had a happy union, supporting one another and helping to lighten the burdens of public life with laughter.
After 68 years married, four children, and 60 years of public service as the heads of the monarchy, there are few storms that Philip and Elizabeth have not weathered together.
In May 2017, Buckingham Palace announced that at the grand age of 96, Prince Philip will be retiring. The Duke turns 96 in June, and from August 2017 will no longer carry out public engagements. The decision was said to have been made by the Duke himself, with the full support of the Queen. As always! It won’t be the last we’ll see of the Duke though. He will still attend events with the rest of the royal family from “time to time”.
Same brooch, same pearls, same look of love, same man <3
In public, the man the Queen has described as her “strength and stay” during her long reign will be taking a step back. However, behind closed doors, we are such he will continue to be as supportive and caring as ever. From infatuated young lovers to a marriage of longevity, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip really are the epitome of royal romance!
We love looking back at some of these throwback celebrity pictures!
Whether they were child stars who have grown-up out of the limelight, or famous faces who weren’t always so glam, it’s always interesting to see what becomes of A-list Hollywood actresses, award-winning singers and famous TV stars – and where they came from! Some celebs never go out of style, and their throwback celebrity pictures prove that age really is just a number! But some of these snaps are pictures the celebrities now would really rather forget!
Take a look at these throwback celebrity pictures of our favourite stars before a stylist got their hands on them! From Renee Zellweger’s drastic transformation, to a fresh-faced, tattoo-free Angelina Jolie, and a pre-instagram Kim Kardashian – these celebrities are unrecognisable from their younger selves in these throwback celebrity pictures!
We want to hear from you! Did you recognise those child stars from the 60s, 70s and 80s? Or did you think Nicole Kidman looked better before she had all that surgery? Let us know what you think in the comment section below, or on our Facebook page!
Who could resist tasting the incredible chocolate rolo cake?! Our mouths are watering just looking at the picture…
Credit: Chocolate Rolo Cake by Ren Behan
Would you try Rolo doughnuts? How about salted caramel Rolo brownie bites? If these sound like some sweet treats you could get on board with, why not put your love of rolos to the baking test and whip up one of these fantastic Rolo recipes?
From a delicious cheesecake squares, to tasty Rolo cupcakes look too good to eat, mouth-watering milkshakes and more, there are enough amazing baking ideas and Rolo recipes here to keep you endlessly inspired!
Can we guess your personality, just based on the length of your fingers?
We all know about palm reading, but did you know that by simply looking at someones hands and the length of their fingers, you could tell a lot about their personality?
Take a look at the picture below…
Compare your hand to the different pictures by looking at the length of your index and ring finger. Match your hand to either A, B or C, and then read below to see if your hand is revealing more about you then you know!
If your hand looks like picture A) (So your index finger is shorter than your ring finger)
Apparently, if your index finger is shorter than your ring finger, then you are more likely to be attractive, easy to talk to, and charismatic. You will also be more decisive than others, and could be inclined to take risks and cope well with unexpected problems. You are also sympathetic towards others who need it, and are a very compassionate person. People with shorter index fingers often become engineers and scientists…as well as experts at solving crosswords!
If your hand looks like picture B) (So your index finger is longer than your ring finger)
Are your index fingers longer than your ring fingers? Then you are probably quite confident and self-reliant! You don’t mind being on your own and you enjoy your own company. You intensely dislike having to waste your time on trivial matters. You aren’t usually willing to take the first step in any situation, be it a new business venture or in personal relationships. However, you do put a high value on attentiveness and accept praise graciously.
If your hand looks like picture C) (So your index and ring fingers are the same length)
You are said to be peaceable and good-natured – so you really dislike conflict situations! You’re well organised and also get on well with everyone. You’re a very loyal friend, as well as partner and you are amazing to work with because you are very devoted. However, you can at times have a short temper, so even a small disagreement could blow up into a big argument. People prefer to take your side in a dispute rather than go up against you! Perhaps you’d make a great lawyer or politician?
No palm reading needed, but how accurate were your results? Let us know on our Facebook page!