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  #41  
Old 11-25-2003, 07:56 PM
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  #42  
Old 11-25-2003, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sean.~@Nov 25th, 2003 - 3:56 pm
............................will sevre to ameliorate the lives of the average Jordanians a bit more than the few crumbs the royal family throws to some of the so-called "underprivileged".

Regards,

S.
I can sympathize with your sentiments here. However, it's probably safe to say that most royal families live and dress far beyond the means of their average subjects. So then what is the purpose of any monarchy? Someone over on one of the Greek threads once said the purpose of a monarchy is to make the average Joe feel poor and inconsequential. Is this perhaps the source of your angst against the splendor portrayed by Queen Rania?

To put this into perspective, what are the potential consequences of a ruling royal family who lives down to represent the poorest of their subjects? Would this display of destitution leave them vulnerable to attack by *richer* countries?

It is said that "the art of succesful warfare is often won by the art of illusion". Do you think this is just meaningless hocus pocus?
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Old 11-25-2003, 10:20 PM
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"As someone who purcheses from these houses, find it incredibly hard to believe that any jewel house -- Caritier, Bvlgari, Winston et al. -- would give away dozens of pairs of earings etc. valued at tens of thousands of dollars each. Do you have proof to back-up this assertion?"

Do you have proof that they don't? Simply because you don't get these discounts doesn't mean that they are not done. Vera Wang does it all the time in order for the publicity.

"fully understand that Jordan is a third world country.
Do you? Are you also aware of the substantial amount of aid it receives on a per annum basis? I certainly resent my dollars (even indirectly ) going to clothe Rania in expensive designer clothing and top of the line jewelry. "

Yes, I do most certainly know that Jordan is considered a Third world country but did you read the entire post? The Jordan Royal Family has an extensive fortune which I am pretty much certain pays for the clothes and jewelry. Your money goes to the government of Jordan not the Royal Family for personal use. That can be easily documented and tracked.

"Well, that is not carte blanche to spend excessive amounts on clothes and jewels."

I didn't say that it did but can you even really prove that she spends that much? The pictures you pointed to on the earrings looked like the same ones. I am simply saying that it really doesn't matter what she does, because people will find a reason to critize her. Yes I fully understand that Royalty are not Celebs but they are actually held to a higher standard. Royalty is expected to look terrific all the time.

"Arab fashion is not backward, as far as I'm concerned. She dresses the way she does because she enjoys nice clothing"

I never said that Middle Eastern fashion was backward but some people do. When she represents the country wearing national dress, even Jordanian people have complained that it makes them look backward and not in the present century. Yes she may like to shop and may like to wear nice clothes, but honestly if you were in her position with her wealth would it be any different? I am not saying that she isn't proud of her country. Please understand, when your own people complain about it, what is she to do? As for comparing the Queen of Nepal with Queen Rania, that is like comparing Apples to Oranges. They are two totally different cultures with totally different views on how women should behave.

" please name me one other Queen who accept clothing AND jewels at huge discounts?"

Queen Elizabeth, Princess Anne, Princess Diana, almost any of the British royals if not all. The former Empress of Iran. Even Laura Bush gets huge discounts.

"Perhaps cutting down the size of the oligarchy, the corruption, and democratizing the country's institutions "

Isn't that what the US used as an excuse for invading Iraq? I believe that is a very simplified belief.
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  #44  
Old 11-25-2003, 11:27 PM
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You fail to comprehend that one can look good without spending tens of thousands of dollars on jewels and gold shoes (as far as I know she didnt' get a discount from the shoemaker, who has no reason to lie).



Quote:
As someone who purcheses from these houses, find it incredibly hard to believe that any jewel house -- Caritier, Bvlgari, Winston et al. -- would give away dozens of pairs of earings etc. valued at tens of thousands of dollars each. Do you have proof to back-up this assertion?"

Do you have proof that they don't?* Simply because you don't get these discounts doesn't mean that they are not done.* Vera Wang does it all the time in order for the publicity.
No, I don't have proof, that's why I wrote that I find it " hard to believe" and asked if *you* could back up your assertion that they do give things away for free. Simply saying that Vera Wang gives clothes away doesn't prove it (which clothes, when, and to whom? How can it be verified?). Besides, as far as I know, she doesn't make fine jewelry. Moreover, it would not be politically wise for the wife of a head of state -- any head of state -- going around accepting freebies. Thus I really do hope that she isn't going around accept freebies and that this is simply just an assumption on your part. Oh, and I have no need or want for discounts :)) I buy what I want, when I want it, but I know that I won't die if I don't have the very latest in every sinle designer item.

Quote:
Yes, I do most certainly know that Jordan is considered a Third world country but did you read the entire post?* The Jordan Royal Family has an extensive fortune which I am pretty much certain pays for the clothes and jewelry.* Your money goes to the government of Jordan not the Royal Family for personal use.* That can be easily documented and tracked.
Yes, I did read the entire post & I responded to it (although you seem to have assiduously clipped out my response in your cut and paste). I wrote that I am well aware of the family's vast fortune, but also asked you where you thought the money comes from. You are obviously not familiar with Jordanian politics, as the King receives a civil list. It is a part of the constitution. My money goes to the Jordanian government and the Jordanian government pays the King.

Also, contrary to your assertion, the money can *not* be easily tracked. Corruption among the ruling elites is legendary and the IMF and World Bank have routinely demanded transperancy and that corruption be curbed. In 2002 Jordan scored a 4.5, fairing a little better than Egypt, wich is nortoriously corrupt. Not all aid is earmarked for project funding at the time of disbursment either. However, if you can account for how every dollar in aid to Jordan is spent (that's *every* dollar), please point me in the right direction. Indeed, if you can, I'm sure the IMF and World Bank would *love* to have you on their teams.

Again, it isn't that it's my money that I'm concerned about per se, it's the perception that the Queen of a country receiving such substantial aid is in new expensive designer outfits and jewels every time she steps out. The average person doesn't think that she may or may not have received freebies and/or discounts.

Quote:
I didn't say that it did but can you even really prove that she spends that much?* The pictures you pointed to on the earrings looked like the same ones.*
They are actually not the same ones and I would inivite you to look again and/or secure original magazine pictures if you can. And it is the perception that she spends that much matters. She could remedy this by recycling her jewels and clothes like the European Queens do (and their countries don't have 15 percent unemployment like Jordan does).

Quote:
I am simply saying that it really doesn't matter what she does, because people will find a reason to critize her.* Yes I fully understand that Royalty are not Celebs but they are actually held to a higher standard.* Royalty is expected to look terrific all the time.
You are taking a fait accompli approach by saying it doesn't really matter what she does. Again, I reiterate, one can look "terrific" in the same clothes and the same jewels once in a while. The Queen of Sweden certainly manages to. The Queens of Great Britain and Holland are two of the richest women in the world, yet they very rarely wear "new" jewels and recycle their clothes. Nothing wrong with that.

Quote:
even Jordanian people have complained that it makes them look backward and not in the present century.* Yes she may like to shop and may like to wear nice clothes, but honestly if you were in her position with her wealth would it be any different?* I am not saying that she isn't proud of her country.* Please understand, when your own people complain about it, what is she to do?* As for comparing the Queen of Nepal with Queen Rania, that is like comparing Apples to Oranges.* They are two totally different cultures with totally different views on how women should behave.
The Jordanians I know only complain about her spending. And if I were the spouse (I don't hurt for money either) of the head of state of a very poor country dependent on foreign aid, I would control my spending (or the image of my spending) no matter how much money I had. It just doesn't look good. And do you know anything about Nepal? It is very similar to Jordan insofar as it is a poor country dependent on foreign aid with a patriarichal society (admitedly, Jordan is much more "advanced" when it comes to quality of life indexes). Just like Jordan, there women are held to be subordinate to men (and there are also honour kilings there) However, like Jordan, the Nepali elite (both men and women) are very well educated and women in Katmandu and other urban areas work as professionals and even wear pants (shocker)!!!

Quote:
" please name me one other Queen who accept clothing AND jewels at huge discounts?"

Queen Elizabeth, Princess Anne, Princess Diana, almost any of the British royals if not all.* The former Empress of Iran.* Even Laura Bush gets huge discounts.
So Queen Elizabeth and Princess Anne (and her title was Diana, Princess of Wales, by the way) get free jewels? From which house? I haven't seen them wear anything new (at least not substantial) in years. And from which house do they get discounted clothing? Even if they do, the the fact of the matter is that they recycle their outfits. Indeed, the Princess Royal wore the same dress she wore in the 1970s to an event in the new century. Again, I would be much obliged if you could provide proof to back up your assertion of free and/or discounted clothes and jewels.


Quote:
"Perhaps cutting down the size of the oligarchy, the corruption, and democratizing the country's institutions "

Isn't that what the US used as an excuse for invading Iraq?* I believe that is a very simplified belief.
No, it was not. Their excuse was Weapons of Mass Destruction & security, and that only changed later (and is still changing every other day). As someone who specializes in political economy and development (concentration in the Middle East), I would have to say that establishing democratic, transparent institutions, curbing courption, and reducing vested interests, and improving human rights, is not simplified at all. Such measures (preferably coupled with things like fair trade) will help ameliorate public disenchantment and help people feel that they have a stake in (and that they will benefit from) the development of the country. It is a lot better than the carrots and sticks approach currently being practiced in Jordan.

All the best,

S
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  #45  
Old 11-25-2003, 11:49 PM
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Old 11-26-2003, 12:56 AM
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Old 11-26-2003, 02:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by pegassuss2525@Nov 25th, 2003 - 9:20 pm
"As someone who purcheses from these houses, find it incredibly hard to believe that any jewel house -- Caritier, Bvlgari, Winston et al. -- would give away dozens of pairs of earings etc. valued at tens of thousands of dollars each. Do you have proof to back-up this assertion?"

Do you have proof that they don't?* Simply because you don't get these discounts doesn't mean that they are not done.* Vera Wang does it all the time in order for the publicity.
Just popping in to say I agree with Sean on this one. Clothes designers do often give away clothes to celebrities, as a method of garnering free advertising.

However, when it comes to jewelers, I'm pretty sure there are no discounts, and there are definitely NO freebies. When JFK ordered a bulk load of Christmas presents from Tiffany one year in the White House, he was refused even the slightest discount. Also, I think it was Harry Winston who threatened legal action on Sharon Stone over a misunderstanding on some diamond jewelry she borrowed for one night and refused to return. And when celebrities attend the Oscars, those jewels they were are often on loan for one night only. The jewelers send out a couple bodyguards on those nights, not to protect the star so much as to protect the jewels she's wearing! The celeb is required to return the jewelry the very next day - I've read stories about women who get in trouble because they try to keep the jewels for a little longer. The top jewelers lay down very strict rules. Celebrities do get plenty of perks, but discounted diamonds are not one of them.
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Old 11-26-2003, 03:26 AM
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  #49  
Old 11-26-2003, 04:11 AM
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Sean, regarding the earings..i wasn't referring to the many examples you've mentioned in your post, i specifically meant the huge chandelier earings that are so in vogue right now..the kind that Nicole Kidman seems to love. Rania has never worn anything like that. If she had, believe me i'd have noticed.

As for your comment regarding royalty not being celebrities, im afraid i'd have to disagree with you on that one. Royalty today is treated every bit like hollywood celebrities, that is precisely why there's so much curiosity surrounding their private lives and everything they do. Princess Diana was a perfect example. Royalty may not be *supposed* to act like celebrities but they're certainly treated, and thefore forced to act, like them.

As for Rania, her image is the best form of PR Jordan could have. Do you think that most people around the world care how much she spends on her clothes and jewellery? But they sure love looking at her. As shallow as it may sound but her image is perhaps the most important thing about her because its what people see first, before they even know her name or nationality. Fortunately in Rania's case, people have also come to respect her intelligence and humanitarian work.

As for the people of Jordan, i seem to recall some of them criticizing Queen Noor for spending too much on clothes. Im sure if Rania were to become more frugal today jordanians will find something else wrong with her. This issue is not serious enough to impede the governing process in Jordan or put the country in debt for heavens sake. Im sure there's a lot of envy and jealousy behind these complaints.

And yes we all know Jordan is a Third World country, but its been mentioned several times that the Hashemites are a wealthy family and can afford to have Rania dress in expensive clothes.
Third world countries have their share of the wealthy, and i bet there are women out there who are way more extravagant than Rania is, but are they picked on like Rania is? would you expect those women to be frugal just because the rest of their countrymen are poor? Rania spending less on clothes isn't going to end or even improve poverty in Jordan...so lets give the whole "third world country" thing a rest shall we?

I dont seem to recall people complaing about Rania's dressing habits when she was a princess. This transformation took place when she became a queen. She obviously felt that it was an important part of her image, especially since she's more active on the international scene today than any other royal female I can think of.

I dont endorse Rania's extravagance but neither do I think that this issue's important enough to warrant serious debate.
I hear more complaining about Rania's clothes and less appreciation for the marvelous social and humanitarian work she does, which is sad because its the latter that counts and that'll have lasting effects.
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Old 11-26-2003, 04:25 AM
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I agree with pegassuss2525 about the fact that none of us has actual proof of how much Rania spends on clothes and what money she's using to pay for them (whether its private family money or her allowance)
As for designers giving discounts and free clothes, I'm quite sure about that one. I have heard celebrities mention on countless occasions thay they're given clothes all the time. They even say "I borrowed it" from so and so designer. Most of them aren't silly enough to pay thousands of dollars for something they'll wear for once. I remember Fran Drescher wearing this cute suit on Leno a couple of months ago and she said that she actually bought it instead of borrowing it cuz she loved it so much. Celebrities mention this sort of thing at award shows all the time.
Since Rania seems to personally know quite a few designers, its quite likely that she's given discounts and that designers given away or maybe even lend clothes (especially dresses) to her...that could explain why she doesn't wear a lot of her things more than once.
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Old 11-26-2003, 05:29 AM
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Old 11-26-2003, 05:45 AM
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Old 11-26-2003, 10:43 AM
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I would really have to say that from your posts, Sean, you don't seem to like the Middle East ruling families let alone their culture or way of life. No one has said that the Jordanians are mean spirited but if they don't complain about Rania's clothes then they will find something to complain about, it is human nature. I do agree with a previous poster that it wasn't until Rania became Queen that the complaints began. They did the same for Noor and I truely don't think that she spent that much on her clothes.

You are not the only one with knowledge about the wealth of the Royal Family. Please keep in mind that others do have knowledge as well. They may not agree with you but then that is also human nature.

"As someone who specializes in political economy and development (concentration in the Middle East), I would have to say that establishing democratic, transparent institutions, curbing courption, and reducing vested interests, and improving human rights, is not simplified at all. "

It is a simplified version when you are looking at it from the view point that America's always right and the democratic government is the best and only form of government that should be in place. This may not be what you meant but it is how it came across. I too specialize in the Middle East. If you truely understand the culture and history, you would understand that democracy isn't always best. I am not saying that the Jordanians are little children that deserve to be led around but I am saying that the US cannot continually force its beliefs on a nation. Yes the Weapons were one reason why the US invaded Iraq but the other reason was the lack of a democratic society. There were other reasons as well. Also, I believe that the US needs to seriously work on the transparent institutions, curbing corruption, reducing vested interests, and improving human rights.

Please accept my apologies for not getting Diana's title correct but I really wasn't going for titles. I did say Princess Anne and not the Princess Royal. As for Rania's jewelry being new and the other Royal House not spending money on jewelry. If you had what was in the European houses vaults, you wouldn't need to spend any money on new jewelry. I have seen the European Royals were just as much if not more expensive jewelry then Rania has. But you seem to only be picking on Rania.

Now, back to the original topic of this post, the gold shoes story has been going around for some time. Personally I would like to know how one would walk in them.
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Old 11-26-2003, 01:18 PM
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Old 11-26-2003, 01:22 PM
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Old 11-26-2003, 06:20 PM
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"I've said a dozen times, that the European Queens are not Queens of poor Third World Countries. And even if they spent money on clothes and jewelry like Rania does, there would be an outcry."

That is where we differ on the matter. If any Royal spends as much on clothes, jewelry, whatever that Rania reportedly does, there would be an outcry and has been one. Granted, Jordan is a Third World country, but the Hashemites do have the money. Not all of it has come from the civil lists. Norway, Sweeden, Belguim, Luxumborg, Britain, and others are not that great financially either (country or family). Most of their wealth does come from the civil lists or belongs to the state. Their royals should not be seen spending money frivolously either. The outcry I am refering to occurred with Diana. Until the bills are made public, then what Rania or any other royal spends on fashion is simply speculation.

As far as the financial help that the US gives Jordan, they recently stopped holding the aid package hostage from the first gulf war. I understand that you want people to think and not to take things blindly. However, your posts on this subject came across as abrasive and antaginistic towards others. That is why I took offense. If it was not meant in that way, then I do apologize. Everyone has a right to their own opinions.

I apparently do not understand what is meant by "Chandelier Earrings". To me they are the huge dangly ones. The ones I saw in your links were cluster earrings. The pictures may not have been very good. As I have said previously though, jewelry in the Middle East is cheaper than jewelry in Europe. At least it was the last time I was there. Everyone seems to be under the assumption that Rania purchases her jewelry from the big houses. Perhaps some of it does come from there but because of the craftsmanship of some of her pieces; I would have to say that some comes from Jordan craftsmen also.
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Old 11-26-2003, 07:40 PM
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Old 11-26-2003, 09:35 PM
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"Most of their wealth does come from the civil lists or belongs to the state. Their royals should not be seen spending money frivolously either.


Of course, that's what I've been saying all along. It would create an outcry. And, for the most part, they are very careful in the image that they portray. Rania could learn from them."

When I was talking about the Royals receiving most of their money from the civil lists, I wasn't talking about Jordan. I was talking about the others. I guess in your opinion that it is ok for any Royal of a first world country to spend whatever they like but it is wrong for a Queen of a third world country to supposedly spend the same amount. As I have said before, until you actually see the bills, you really don't know how much is being spent.
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Old 11-26-2003, 11:21 PM
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Old 11-27-2003, 12:25 AM
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Sean it seems to me that you're bent upon establishing some sort of connection between all of the Middle East's problems and Rania's spending habits. I think you overestimate the connection between the two.
It also over-simplifies the problems of Jordan.
Dont you think that the region's problems are more complex than a simple case of a spendthrift Queen? I dont hear too many people outside the region criticizing Rania for the same reasons? Maybe its because they simply dont see the connection between her clothing and the problems of her country.

As for the spendthrift royal families, the Hashemites are not the Russian Czars. We're talking about ONE single woman here. Its not the same thing. Im a student of history myself and know all about extravagant royal families. So please dont assume I dont know what Im talking about just because I dont agree with you. Im expressing an opinion just like you are, you dont seem to have any explicit proof of your argument either, you're basing it all on a perception and public opinion, which cant always be trusted.

Maher Arrar, the Canadian you spoke of, was tortured in Syria, not Jordan. But he stayed in Jordan for a couple of days before he was shipped off to Syria. Im a Canadian and share the outrage of my fellow countrymen regarding the way he was treated...I fully support his decision to sue Jordan along with the Syrians.

The fact that im supporting Rania's right to wear whatever she wants doesnt mean im endorsing her extravagance. I admit that she could present the same image if she were more frugal. When i mentioned that jordanians could easily find faults with Rania even if she stopped spending too much on clothes, i didnt mean that they were mean spirited..again, you're judging my argument on presumption
I was alluding to the fact that public opinion is never satisfied.
Women throughout history have been criticized for precisely the reasons Rania's being criticized for. But she's no Marie Antoinette and this isnt the 18th century. I would like to think that in 2003 we've evolved far beyond the point where a woman's clothing gets the blame for all the problems plaguing her country. And just because she's a Queen doesnt change the fact that its equally unfair when a member of a royal family or a commoner has the blame for all sorts of problems dumped on her just because she spends too much.
Yes a Queen is different in terms of her being in the public eye, but like i said before, public opinion is never satisfied and its rarely based on the absolute truth.

You also mentioned that Jordan's human rights record is bad despite her humanitarian work. She's been the Queen for less than five years for crying out loud. Do you expect her to solve all of the country's problems overnight? She is one woman. Atleast she's making an attempt to change things for the better. I dont think any other royal personality today is as active in various causes. Again, the fact that you're mentioning Jordan's violation of human rights and Rania's spending habits in the same post gives the perception that you're trying to blame the latter for the former.
Your argument would seem a lot more credible if you stuck to her extravagance and the criticism surrounding it. It is incredibly unfair to expect her to be accountable for all of problems that have plagued Jordan for decades.

Finally, to me its just over-simplifiying a complex situation and blaming scapegoats rather than looking for more practical solutions. When you've got more problems than you can handle, like many Jordanians do, its easy to blame others who are in a more privileged position in terms of wealth and power. Women always seem to be a favourite target.
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