- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Granny’s royal advice

Catherine Masters always wanted to meet a member of Britain’s royal family, but when she finally got the chance at age 109, she couldn’t resist offering a little advice.

When Prince William made a surprise visit to Miss Masters’ nursing home near the upper-crust city of Oxford on Friday, she gave him a fashion tip for his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, Associated Press reports.

Like all British centenarians, Miss Masters received a royal birthday card from the queen when she turned 100, 105 and every year thereafter. But she doesn’t think each card should picture her royal highness in the same yellow dress.

In an interview with the Oxford Mail newspaper, Miss Masters said she told William that the queen should be pictured in a new dress. “I think either a blue one or white one would be nice,” she was quoted as saying.

She reportedly also gave the prince advice on how to make mashed potatoes.

It wasn’t clear whether William would pass on the fashion tip to his 82-year-old grandmother, whose conservative dress sense generally commands the respect of her British subjects.

Ian Mead, who manages the Grange Nursing Home in Faringdon near Oxford, said, “It was really charming of him, and she just hasn’t stopped talking about it.”

He also said the entire nursing home would “wait with bated breath” for Miss Masters’ 110th birthday in December “to see if the queen will still be wearing the yellow dress.”

Madonna and child

It seems that Madonna wants to bring her romance with Jesus Luz, her 22-year-old boyfriend, to the next level. She is said to be planning a “commitment ceremony” in front of a rabbi at the Kabbalah Learning Center in Manhattan, Denverpost.com reports.

The Brazilian model reportedly has helped the Material Mom, 50, recover from her disappointment after she was turned down recently in her appeal to adopt Malawian toddler Mercy James. “They are totally besotted with each other, and he’s really helped Madonna through this tough time,” a source tells London’s Mirror.

Son found dead

Mark Landon, an actor and eldest son of “Little House on the Prairie” star Michael Landon, was found dead Monday at his home, the New York Daily News reports, citing a story from Associated Press. He was 60.

The cause of death was not immediately clear, but there was no evidence of foul play, said Sgt. David Infante of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s office.

Mark Landon, one of Michael Landon’s nine children, appeared in three movies, including “Us” - a CBS television movie written and directed by his father in 1991, just before he died of cancer at age 54.

The film was a pilot intended to be another series for Michael Landon; it aired a few months after his death.

Michael Landon also starred in such shows as “Bonanza” and “Highway to Heaven.” He adopted Mark Landon after marrying Mark’s mother, Dodie Levy-Fraser, in 1956.

No. 2 for Maya

Maya Rudolph says she’s expecting her second child with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, Associated Press reports.

The former “Saturday Night Live” star confirmed her pregnancy Tuesday on ABC’s “The View.” When co-host Barbara Walters asked whether she was expecting, Miss Rudolph answered: “I am. … I’m so excited.”

The 36-year-old actress - daughter of ‘70s soul singer Minnie Riperton and guitarist Richard Rudolph - and Mr. Anderson, 38 (director of such films as “Magnolia” and “There Will Be Blood”) already are parents of a 3-year-old daughter.

Miss Rudolph left “SNL” in 2007 but has since returned to the NBC show to portray first lady Michelle Obama. In the upcoming film “Away We Go,” she plays a woman expecting her first child. John Krasinski plays her partner in the Sam Mendes movie. It’s slated for limited release June 5.

Autoworkers’ treat

Eminem says he and Jimmy Kimmel will fly about 200 laid-off autoworkers to Los Angeles for Friday’s taping of his appearance on Mr. Kimmel’s show.

The Michigan-born rapper says he and Mr. Kimmel want to remind everyone that real people are being affected by what’s going on in Detroit.

Through his publicist, Eminem told the Detroit Free Press that news reports ignore people who have lost their jobs without getting big payouts after dedicating themselves to the auto industry. He says he and Mr. Kimmel also want to show some of the autoworkers “a good time while we’re at it.”

Eminem is promoting the upcoming release of “Relapse,” his first studio album in four years.

The rap star also will appear on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” May 19 and 22, AP reports.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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