Can’t get enough of the British royal family? Meet the top contenders for American-style royalty
Who said only the British boast of a royal family? The Americans, too, have their share of celebrities who have legions of fans and whose day-to-day activities create waves.Updated: Apr 12, 2018 08:48 IST
Bey and Jay. Michelle and Barack. Kim and Kanye. Throw in some political dynasties — Kennedys and Bushes, for instance — and there’s plenty of royalty, American style, to go around. After the end of Camelot, when Jacqueline Kennedy became Jackie O, after Liz and Richard (Taylor and Burton) married and remarried, and after the messy undoing of Brangelina, fan worship minus thrones and crowns keeps the idea of faux royalty alive where the real deal doesn’t exist. So who’s on tap, alongside the Trump family affair? A look at a few pop royals:
GEORGE & AMAL
She’s a British-Lebanese lawyer on the international stage, a human rights activist and an author. He’s the affable American pretty boy with a fine head of hair and a million-dollar smile. Make that a multimillion-dollar smile and a healthy dose of gray up top nowadays. George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin took to Venice, Italy, to marry in 2014. Their nuptials involved gondolas and mega-paparazzi. This, after a courtship, that made Alamuddin, now a Clooney, a high-profile fashion icon as she continues to pursue her career. Lately, it’s been about work and the twins, a boy and girl for the golden couple. Ella and Alexander were born in June 2017. George on why he married Amal: “She’s an amazing human being. And she’s caring. And she also happens to be one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. And she’s got a great sense of humour.”
WARREN & ANNETTE
There was that thing with the wrong envelope at the Oscars two years ago that had some baby boomers explaining: “Once upon a time there was this serial bachelor dude in Hollywood ...” Warren Beatty, now 81, was once the bomb on the screen and off. There were always lots of women, until he took Annette Bening to lunch one November day in 1990. Beatty fell fast, drawn to her, he once said, because she “doesn’t behave like an actress.” Well aware of his womanising, Bening reportedly found Beatty “smart and fun and interesting.” They married in 1992 and have four kids. And remain married. I repeat, they’ve been married for 26 years.
MICHELLE & BARACK
So. Many. Obama. Memories. We’ll always have the portraits: his by Kehinde Wiley and hers by Amy Sherald. The two Harvard Law School grads (different years) met at the Chicago corporate law firm Sidley Austin when Michelle was 25 and assigned as mentor to the 27-year-old Barack, a summer associate. He had been hailed as a boy wonder in law school. Michelle wasn’t initially impressed, but it didn’t take her long to come around. Their first date was in 1989, an all-day affair that included a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, a stroll down Michigan Avenue and a movie, Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. “It was a cool date. We spent the whole day together. He was showing me all facets of his character,” the former first lady has said of the future No 44.
BEYONCE & JAY-Z
Otherwise known as Blue Ivy’s parents. The Carters just welcomed twins, Rumi and Sir, as they continue to reign. Where did it all begin? Vulture once took a deep dive into their timeline and came up with this: While they weren’t the subject of relationship rumours until the October 2002 release of the Jay-Z single ‘03 Bonnie & Clyde, featuring Bey on the hook, the two had become acquainted through the music scene well before that. Jay has said the first meet was around 1997. Bey has said she was 18 when they first met and 19 when they first started dating, so around late 1999 or early 2000. In any case, after years of will-they-or-won’t-they wedding speculation, the two tied the knot on April 4, 2008, at Jay-Z’s New York apartment.
He apologised on last year’s 4:44 album for marital transgressions and told David Letterman recently on his My Next Guest Needs No Introduction show: “I have a beautiful wife who’s understanding and knew that I’m not the worst of what I’ve done. And we did the hard work of going to therapy. We love each other. We put in the work.”
KIM & KANYE
These two Ks were in the friend zone for nine years before they began dating in 2012. The proposal is TV history. Kanye did the asking on October 21, 2013, on Kim’s 33rd birthday at AT&T Park in San Francisco, with friends and family gathered. Lorraine Schwartz was on hand. She’s the celebrity jeweller who made Kim’s 15-carat diamond engagement ring designed by Kanye and stolen in Kim’s 2016 armed robbery in Paris.
On proposal day, the rapper flashed “PLEEEASE MARRY MEEE!” on the baseball park’s jumbo screen and got down on one knee as a 50-piece orchestra played Lana Del Rey’s Young and Beautiful, with some Keri Hilson, Ne-Yo and Kanye’s Knock You Down thrown in.
The two had their rehearsal dinner at Versailles in Paris, then whisked their guests off to Florence, Italy, for the ceremony in May 2014. They now have three children, North, Saint and Chicago. Jennifer Lawrence is a fan. She gushed when interviewing Kim while guest hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live!: “I just can’t wait for your kids to just be like teenagers. It’s like the royal family. I’m just like, ahhh, what are they gonna do.”
RUNNERS UP FOR ONE ALL
Oprah and boyfriend Stedman. Because, Oprah. Javanka, as in Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Because, the base. The King of Pop, the late Michael Jackson. He reportedly came up with the title himself. The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Somebody else came up with it and she has called it an “acknowledgment of my art.” The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll: Elvis. Make that kings: Chuck Berry. Make that three kings: Little Richard. Just because.
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