- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Royalty was in our midst on Monday as Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, stopped by Neiman Marcus at Tysons Galleria for a tea party to celebrate Clive Christian perfume and promote a film the duchess produced, “The Young Victoria,” which opens Dec. 18.

Working on the film “was a great experience,” the duchess said, adding, “It’s fairly surreal to think that I have a picture coming to the big screen.”

The duchess said she had dreamed of telling the story of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert 20 years ago, when she learned of it during the early years of her marriage to Prince Andrew.

The duchess also gushed about our nation’s capital: “I love Washington, D.C. I’d like to live here one day! It’s a great city.”

“No, no,” she hasn’t picked out a neighborhood yet, she told us with a laugh before adding enthusiastically, “Georgetown!”

No candy for Candy

The CNN Washington bureau held its holiday soiree at Nationals Park Friday night, but the network’s formidable senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley, told us she’s trying to be good and steer clear of the usual culinary delights that tempt partygoers this time of year.

“I am carbohydrates girl,” she explains of her most vexing vice. “Bagels, pasta.”

Not anymore.

Thanks to disciplined diet and exercise, Ms. Crowley has dropped nearly five dress sizes this year, she says, and hopes to lose another three to reach her ultimate personal best.

Her weight loss has been grist for blogosphere chatter, and Miss Crowley set the record straight in the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 18 by confirming to writer James Rainey that she did not undergo gastric bypass surgery.

Speaking to us in her office on Friday, she says she’s been motivated by the “outside support” from even “total strangers” who have noticed her new look.

Her new look may be just in time for a new job. Sources tell us that Ms. Crowley has “been talked to” by CNN executives about taking the reins of Sunday morning’s “State of the Union” program.

The current host, John King, will be moving soon to a new 7 p.m. weekday show to fill the void left by Lou Dobbs, the feisty former host of “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”

If Ms. Crowley takes the new gig, she will be the only woman to anchor a Sunday morning public affairs program, a proposition she finds “lovely,” considering she started as a journalist at a time when women reporters were scant, especially on the political beat.

David Bohrman, the CNN Washington bureau chief and senior vice president, tells us that internal and external candidates likely will be considered, but that it is “relatively” early in the process and there are “no front-runners.”

For now, team CNN is focusing on more pressing matters. A little elf at the CNN holiday bash tells us that the usually restrained Wolf Blitzer, host of CNN’s “The Situation Room,” and political strategist and CNN commentator Donna Brazile provided the backup vocals on a karaoke rendition of the Temptations’ classic “My Girl.”

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail [email protected]

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