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UK to mark queen’s Platinum Jubilee with four days of events

LONDON — Britain will celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne with four days of festivities beginning with her ceremonial birthday parade on June 2, 2022.

Buckingham Palace on Wednesday announced the schedule of public events and community activities to mark the 95-year-old monarch’s Platinum Jubilee, which will be celebrated during a special four-day holiday weekend next year.

The celebration will kick off with the first full staging of Trooping the Colour, the parade of more than 1,400 soldiers that marks the queen’s official birthday, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A thanksgiving service will be held at St. Paul’s Cathedral to mark her 70 years on the throne. There also will be a live concert, billed as the “Platinum Party at the Palace,” which the government says will feature some of the “world’s biggest entertainment stars,” though it didn’t identify them.

The queen’s reign began with the death of her father, King George VI, on Feb. 6, 1952. She was formally crowned on June 2, 1953.

‘Elvis’ has left the sign as

vandals hit singer’s birthplace

TUPELO, Miss. — Elvis Presley’s birthplace in Mississippi is offering a $1,000 reward to figure out who took the word “Elvis” off the landmark’s sign.

The museum discovered the first name taken from the “Elvis Presley Birthplace, Museum & Chapel” sign over the weekend. The word “Elvis” had been written as the rock ‘n’ roll pioneer’s signature.

The museum in Tupelo isn’t sure exactly when the brick sign was damaged.

The entire sign was stolen three months ago and had just recently been replaced, WTVA-TV reported.

The singer’s birthplace also survived a tornado moving nearby in early May.

The site includes the restored two-room house built by Presley’s family for $180. He was born there in January 1935.

Kelly Osbourne opens up about drug and alcohol addictions

NEW YORK — Kelly Osbourne is opening up about her battles with drug and alcohol addiction, stopping by “Red Table Talk” to discuss getting hooked as a teen and relapsing after the pandemic.

The TV personality said she ended almost four years of sobriety in April 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic was waning, triggered into drinking alcohol again after seeing a couple sipping champagne.

“I was alone, sitting by a pool and waiting for somebody to come have a meeting with me. And I saw this woman and her husband had a glass of champagne. It looked really nice and I was like, ‘I can do that, too,’” she said on the Facebook Watch show. “And the next day, I had two glasses. And the day after that, it was bottles.”

Osbourne’s episode of “Red Table Talk” aired on Facebook Watch on Wednesday.

Osbourne also told the hosts — Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter, Willow Smith; and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris — about the origins of her addictions.

Her first opiate-based drug addiction was with Vicodin which was prescribed to her after an operation to remove her tonsils when she was 13, sending her on a lifelong battle. “That was all I needed,” she said sadly.

Osbourne said the drug silenced her insecurities. “It felt like life gave me a hug.” Pinkett Smith responded wryly: “Vicodin will do that.” Osbourne added that Vicodin led to her misusing Percocet to eventually heroin “because it was cheaper.”

Osbourne has discussed her drug and alcohol battles before in several interviews, her 2017 memoir and on podcasts like Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert.”

She has said her drug use became the heaviest during her mother’s cancer battle and after her father, “Crazy Train” singer Ozzy Osbourne, almost died after an ATV accident in 2003.

23 writers nationwide will serve as Poets Laureate Fellows

NEW YORK — From Charleston, S.C., to San Mateo County in California, poets from around the country have been chosen to serve as laureates of their communities.

On Thursday, the Academy of American Poets announced that 23 writers had been named Poets Laureate Fellows, each of whom will become city or state laureates for one year. They include the Charleston-based Marcus Amaker, Ohio laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour, Illinois laureate Angela Jackson and Aileen Cassinetto of San Mateo County. Others are from Flint, Mich.,; Springfield, Mass., and Elgin, Ill.

“As we begin emerging from COVID-19 restrictions, poetry, which has provided such comfort these past fifteen months, will continue to be a source of insight. We are honored and humbled to fund poets who are devoted to their own craft and also their community. Poets will most certainly help guide us forward,” Jennifer Benka, president and executive director of the Academy of American Poets, said in a statement.

Fellows will receive $50,000 grants, except for Melissa Kwasny and M.L. Smoker, co-poets laureate of Montana, who will divide the money between them. The program, which also includes at least $100,000 for 14 local non-profit organizations, was established in 2020 through a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“These 23 Poets Laureate Fellows will lead an extraordinary range of public poetry programs,” Elizabeth Alexander, president of the Mellon Foundation and also a poet, said in a statement. “We are delighted to support them as they create their own poems, collaborate with other artists, and center poetry in their engagement with communities across our vast country — from urban to rural counties — while we collectively begin to process and reflect on the exceptional crises of the past year.”

Princess Diana’s wedding dress goes on display in London

LONDON — The dress Princess Diana wore at her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles went on public display Thursday at the late princess’s former home in London.

The taffeta-ruffled white dress designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, with its 25-foot sequin-encrusted train, helped seal the fairytale image of the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer and the heir to the British throne. Reality soon intruded. The couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996, with both acknowledging extramarital affairs. Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 at the age of 36.

Her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, have loaned their mother’s wedding dress for the exhibition “Royal Style in the Making.”

The exhibit also features sketches, photographs and gowns designed for three generations of royal women, including Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother. It runs until Jan. 2.

A-list shows return to Atlantic

City with Guns N’ Roses

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Welcome (back) to the jungle: Guns N’ Roses is playing an Atlantic City casino this year.

The iconic hard rock band has booked two dates at the Hard Rock casino Sept. 11 and 12 in the clearest sign yet that big-name entertainment is returning to the seaside gambling resort as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

The band’s current lineup includes its biggest stars, lead singer Axl Rose and guitarist Slash.

Opening the shows will be Mammoth WVH, the band led by Van Halen bassist Wolfgang Van Halen, son of the late guitar legend Eddie Van Halen.

The band says the Hard Rock shows will be the “most intimate” of their tour, which normally plays huge sports stadiums. The casino’s Etess Arena has about 6,000 seats.

By The Associated Press

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