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Harry and Meghan backed to ‘reconcile’ with Royal Family as Queen’s reign nearing end

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PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle have been backed to “reconcile” with the Royal Family in the future.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back from royal duties in 2020, in a move dubbed Megxit. Meghan Markle, 40, and Prince Harry, 37, relocated to California, to pursue a “financially independent” life away from the Firm.

Since moving to the US with their first child Archie, now two, the couple also welcomed their new daughter to the world.

Lilibet “Lili” Diana was born in June and shares her moniker with her 95-year-old great-grandmother the Queen.

Since the Sussexes move to the US, they’ve not made a return trip to the UK as a family of four.

Harry has returned to the UK on two occasions since stepping away from royal duties, but never with his wife or children in tow.

He returned in April for a short visit to attend the funeral of the late Prince Philip, who died aged 99.

He also returned in July to unveil a statue of his late mother Princess Diana, with his brother Prince William, 39.

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Both appearances notably came following the bombshell interview he and Meghan did with US TV chat show host Oprah Winfrey back in March.

During their appearance, the couple made a series of seismic claims about their time as members of the Firm.

Following the interview, a statement was released by Buckingham Palace noting that “recollections may vary” but that the issues would be addressed privately.

Royal historian Dr Ed Owens however has claimed that the Queen’s recent bout of ill-health, and her reign nearing its end, could see the Sussexes “reconcile” with the royals.

He told Express.co.uk: “Harry will definitely be at his grandmother’s funeral when she does finally die.

“And if the relationship between Meghan and the British Royal Family has improved by then, I see no reason why she wouldn’t attend either.

“However, time will tell.”

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It wasn’t supposed to go down like that “Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis on their ‘cozy’ moment in ‘…………..'”

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It wasn’t supposed to go down in the kitchen.

That was the one room in the Chatsworth home doubling as the Williams family Florida residence in “King Richard” that was off-limits to the filmmakers because the appliances and cabinet hardware hadn’t been switched out to reflect the movie’s mid-’90s period.

So naturally, Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis, the actors playing Richard Williams and Oracene Price, parents of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, went straight to the kitchen when it came time to rehearse a crucial scene in the film. Where else would they go? Think about your own home and where people gravitate during parties, where family and friends hold late-night conversations and where loaded confrontations like the one in “King Richard” transpire.

“It is always the kitchen!” Smith says, punctuating the pronouncement, as he often does, with a booming clap of laughter.

“King Richard” takes its title from Williams, the demanding and loving father and tennis coach, the man who wrote a 78-page plan that detailed how his two daughters would become tennis champions. He came up with this blueprint before Venus and Serena were even born, meaning that he needed more than a little help from his wife to realize it.

As Ellis puts it: “He had to convince her to use her body for 18 months to create the vessels for this dream. And she was, ‘OK. Bet.’ They were both crazy. They were co-conspirators in crazy.”

Adds Smith: “There has to be a little bit of crazy, because you have to believe something that there’s no evidence for, and then you have to devote your life to something that is not only invisible, but highly unlikely and potentially impossible. But you believe it wholeheartedly because you can’t achieve it if you don’t believe it wholeheartedly. So, yeah, there’s a sliding scale of naiveté to full insanity, and somewhere in there is the sweet spot for dream manifestation.”

But there’s crazy, and then there’s a selfish lack of awareness as to how other people feel. And, in the movie, that led to a confrontation between the parents over Williams’ refusal to consider letting Venus turn pro at age 14. It’s a conversation that takes place 90 minutes into the movie, providing Price with the opportunity to finally call out her husband’s ego and stubbornness in the ways he controlled his family’s life, not to mention his penchant for walking away from failed businesses and children he had with other women.

The scene was shot after production had been halted in March 2020 by a pandemic lockdown, a break that offered Smith and Ellis time to, as Smith puts it, “marinate in their characters.”

“When it came to this Ali-Frazier moment,” Ellis says, comparing the encounter to the famous heavyweight boxing matches between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali in the 1970s, “we felt we had lived enough with these characters to say how we felt without really even needing a script.”

Smith, who played Ali in the 2001 Michael Mann movie, was asked if he felt like Ali or Frazier in the kitchen scene.

“Well, it depends which fight,” he replies, laughing. (Frazier won their initial bout; Ali prevailed in the two rematches.)

Our conversations — the first with the two actors together around the November AFI Fest and then subsequent talks individually in the new year — would often circle back to this defining scene, during which Price tells her husband in no uncertain terms about the sacrifices she made to help their daughters achieve their tennis dreams. (The couple married in 1980 and divorced in 2002.)

“I carried them inside me and on my back,” Ellis, as Price, says at the beginning of this five-minute confrontation. “And I carried you too, working two shifts so I could put food on your table. I’ve been here dreaming and believing. Just like you. You just don’t want to see me.”

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Since they weren’t supposed to shoot in the kitchen, director Reinaldo Marcus Green grabbed a loaf of bread and some peanut butter from the craft services table, along with a carton of orange juice the home’s owners had left in the fridge. Ellis now had some props to use. “The whole thing was one happy accident,” Green says by phone.

Among its many notable accomplishments, “King Richard” makes a convincing case for Price’s crucial role in the development of the Williams sisters’ careers, both as a parent and as a coach. Smith remembers an early meeting at Serena Williams’ home when everyone was still sizing each other up and deciding if they’d make the movie. Price sat quietly for most of the afternoon, then after some coaxing, offered her thoughts.

“She’s so quiet,” Smith says. “She doesn’t feel a necessity to prove or defend herself. So when she speaks, it’s a powerful thing.”

“The thing I thought about that day,” Ellis says of the kitchen scene, “was what would Miss Oracene Price want the world to know about her experience? People see her in the stands, but they don’t know her. Nobody knows that she was their coach … but she was. So I just wanted to speak as well as I could for her and feel OK about it when I was done.”

Like Price, Ellis is a soft-spoken woman, modest and deeply caring. She didn’t talk with Price before playing her but did meet her during a press day before “King Richard” was released.

“She said, ‘Great job,'” Ellis recalls, laughing. “Just two words. But that was enough for me.”

Smith has been receiving praise too since “King Richard” simultaneously opened in theaters and premiered on HBO Max on Nov. 19. Though the film’s theatrical box office total has been disappointing (the movie’s worldwide gross is under $30 million), Smith says he has never experienced a more enthusiastic reaction to a film.

“I had resigned myself in my life that, as an artist, I would never make a film better than ‘The Pursuit of Happyness,'” Smith says, referring to the 2006 drama that co-starred his son Jaden and earned him an Oscar nomination. “That was the high-water mark. I figured I had reached my artistic pinnacle.”

“And then we made ‘King Richard,’ and the amount of people — family, friends, foes, celebrities, politicians, athletes — who have been inspired to make it a point to get in touch with me to tell me that they enjoyed it has been overwhelming.”

What resonated with all these people? Smith, who has never encountered a subject he couldn’t bullet-point, says there are two things: The film’s story of a family triumph, specifically a Black family’s triumph, has been a needed source of uplift during a pandemic that has gone on nearly two years. And people have also commented on the “girl dad” relationships in the movie, what Smith calls a “delicious and uncommon thing to see depicted in cinema.”

“That was one of the things about Richard that I wanted to be able to capture,” Smith says, “that, as wild as he was and as much as he could rage, it was always in defense and protection of his daughters. And they knew it. They knew he would die for them and would kill for them. For all his faults, Richard Williams is one of the greatest girl dads that America has ever seen. To this day, those girls love that man. And that’s as much his legacy as all those tennis titles.”

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Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather: Joe Rogan commentary added to pathetic UFC star punch

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It’s been over four years since the greatest crossover in combat sport history, and fans are still enjoying the memes that came from it.

 

 

Back in August 2017, UFC star Conor McGregor and undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather shared the ring for 10 rounds at the T-Mobile Arena, with ‘Money’ Mayweather going on to secure a TKO victory.

In the lead up to the bout, fans were unsure of how McGregor would adapt to a boxing ring as opposed to an Octagon, and to this day the jokes are still pretty funny.

Mayweather won via a 10th-round TKO, however, many fans think the American was coasting for the first rounds and only began putting pressure on in the final stages where he secured the win.

McGregor did himself justice, landing decent shots on ‘Money’ and surviving until the latter stages, however, not without a couple clinches, back-of-the-head shots and just general boxing awkwardness.

The ‘Notorious’ McGregor swiftly got the meme treatment from social media, as fans speculated how the bout would’ve sounded had Joe Rogan been in the commentary booth.

Take a look at the clip below…

McGregor barely touches the nose of Mayweather but Rogan can be heard hyping up the Irishman and claiming ‘he hurt him bad.’

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Over the years, it is clear that Rogan has divided opinion. Some appreciate the enthusiasm he brings to the UFC, whilst others believe that Rogan has a tendency to over-exaggerate during his assessment of fights.

McGregor has also, through no fault of his own, garnered a reputation as a favourite amongst UFC boss Dana White and commentators Joe Rogan, Jon Anik and Daniel Cormier, leading to fans thinking he gets special treatment.

The Irishman was planned to participate in a wheelchair boxing match for charity at the start of the year, but the event was postponed due to ‘time constraints.’

Whether we see the Forbes highest-paid athlete of the year return to a boxing ring will remain unknown, but perhaps for his sake he should stick to the Octagon.

McGregor has been rumoured to face current UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira once he’s fully healed from his broken leg sustained in his defeat to Dustin Poirier last year.

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Carrie Underwood liked a video against…mandates. ‘Now the mob is coming’

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It’s open season on country singer Carrie Underwood — kind of — for the offense of liking a conservative commentator’s video opposing schools’ mask mandates for kids.

 

 

The “Jesus, Take the Wheel” hitmaker was one of nearly 50,000 people who liked the video, which was posted Thursday on Twitter. It featured conservative pundit and Daily Wire contributor Matt Walsh at a Nashville school board meeting arguing that mask mandates for school-age children are akin to child abuse, given kids’ very small risk of death — not risk of infection, but risk of death — from COVID-19.

“Like anyone else, I am upset and disturbed that Carrie Underwood liked one of my tweets,” Walsh tweeted sarcastically Tuesday afternoon. “She should know better than to indirectly endorse the opinions of an extremist and scoundrel such as myself. Her lack of judgment is appalling. I demand that she renounce me and apologize.”

A few hours later, he tweeted, “Carrie Underwood liked my video and now the mob is coming for her. She should know better than to like something that they don’t like. This is an unforgivable sin.”

And the mob was there, perhaps nudged by a trending blurb on Twitter.

“Carrie Underwood being a God-over-Science person is the least surprising thing I’ve heard today,” author and Unitarian pastor John Pavlovitz tweeted. “Delta take the wheel…”

“Carrie Underwood is an anti-masker. She’s canceled in my book. Who else’s?,” actor Angela Belcamino asked.

Some extrapolated Underwood’s like of the Walsh video to mean she’s against the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Carrie Underwood being Anti Vaxx….anyways we still stan Kelly Clarkson forever the best winner of American Idol,” one person wrote.

“Dolly Parton help fund a vaccine to fight off covid. Carrie underwood is helping spread anti mask & antivaxx misinformation,” another user wrote. “Class vs trash.”

But others, including “Relatable” podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey, defended the singer.

“Carrie Underwood liked a video about kids not being forced to wear masks — a position totally supported by data — and she’s being called an anti-vaxxer,” Stuckey wrote. “In case you thought your ‘nuanced’ takes would save you from the leftist cancel mob… they won’t.”

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Meanwhile, other Twitter users thought folks had their priorities screwed up in general.

“In Afghanistan, women are getting raped by terrorists. In America, people with blue hair are throwing a tantrum because Carrie Underwood liked a tweet,” wrote free-speech radicalist Christian Walker, son of NFL great Herschel Walker. “We’re doomed.”

The “Before He Cheats” singer previously drew COVID-related criticism for performing at the Country Jam music festival, which ran over three days in late June just outside Grand Junction, Colo. The event, held outdoors and in line with state and local pandemic guidance, resulted in a few COVID-19 cases among festival staff and the 24,000 people per day who attended.

She and husband Mike Fisher have two young sons, ages 6 and 2.

Underwood hasn’t taken any action on Twitter since Thursday. Her publicist didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment Wednesday.

Walsh, a Nashville-area parent of four, is against mask mandates in general and made his point about kids and masks at a recent meeting of the Metro Nashville Board of Education.

“You and the school board have decided that our kids should go to school all day, every day, wearing muzzles like rabid dogs,” he said in the video. “I have listened to your arguments and I’ve noticed they are missing a few things, namely evidence, data, science, common sense and basic human dignity. You presented no facts at all, so let me do that now.”

Walsh then compared death rates in kids from the flu to those from COVID-19. The flu death rate was higher, he said, before emphasizing that in the 2018-19 flu season — the year of his data — nobody had suggested that kids wear masks.

The video now has more than 1.2 million views, almost 50,000 likes and more than 15,200 retweets.

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