Modi in action again : Narendra Modi just wants a hug
Narendra Modi just wants a hug
Maybe he does not know you do not touch the queen!
She does look shell shocked.
During her 60 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II has shaken millions of hands. In 2010 alone, she had 444 engagements, averaging 100 handshakes a visit – or 44,400 in a year. But there are strict rules for a royal handshake. One must never reach for the Queen’s hand. It is a gentle touch, nothing more. Shaking, squeezing or patting with the other hand is not permitted. And the Queen always wears gloves
The article from GQ:
There’s a scene in Munna Bhai M.B.B.S (below) where Sanjay Dutt demonstrates the emotional healing powers of a hug. Before you dismiss this as your standard Bollywood cheese, problem-solving via hugging has some actual scientific backing.
The sharp-eyed hacks over at the Washington Post have realised Prime Minister Modi is a believer in the #huglife. The most recent recipient of the trademark Modi bear hug was French President Francois Hollande, who was in the country on an official three-day visit. But things took a turn for the weird when the most stylish politician around caught the French leader in a compromising position, reminiscent of Rose and Jack aboard the Titanic. And while that awkward hug was followed by a traditional embrace seconds later, this may be a good time to point out that the French do not hug. Obviously, Twitter wouldn’t let that awkward moment slip by uncelebrated.
The Queen has not diluted her protocol.
Royal glove-maker: ‘Those gloves will take a beating’
Genevieve Lawson has never shaken Her Majesty’s hand. But she is more familiar than most with the royal fingers, as Lawson’s family firm, Cornelia James Ltd, is the Queen’s official glove-maker. Since 1947, when Norman Hartnell – the royal couturier – asked Lawson’s mother (whom the firm was named after) to make Princess Elizabeth’s going-away gloves for her wedding to Lt Philip Mountbatten, the family has designed, manufactured and delivered parcels of delicately stitched gloves from its tiny workshop in Lewes, East Sussex, to Buckingham Palace.
“The Queen likes classic gloves – she really only wears black and white,” explains Lawson. “They’re usually the same style: cotton and nylon, washable, very simple and practical. Most of her gloves are about six inches long, or ‘bracelet length’, and we make around 12 pairs a year. The Queen looks after her gloves – she doesn’t tend to leave them on buses like the rest of us.”
The plain hand-sewn gloves designed for Her Majesty have become her trademark. The walls of Lawson’s workshop are covered with photographs of the Queen wearing her creations: a black pair for a visit to Anglesey, a white pair at Ascot, a slightly glam design for her grandson’s wedding at Westminster Abbey. This year, as the Queen prepares to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, likely to be the busiest hand-shaking period of her reign, her gloves face their biggest challenge yet.
“Those gloves really take a beating,” says Lawson’s husband, Andrew, who is responsible for cutting the velvets, furs, silks, wools and patents for his wife’s collection. “Shaking that many hands must be exhausting and, of course, her gloves have to last. They are such an important part of her outfit. Most people’s image of the Queen is a white gloved hand waving out of the back window of a car.”
Her Majesty is not the only royal to prefer Cornelia James gloves. The Princess Royal is a fan, as are Princess Beatrice and Lady Helen Taylor, who wore Lawson’s designs to the royal wedding. “My mother managed to get Diana, Princess of Wales wearing them,” she adds. “It was great because they helped cover up her bitten nails.”
James founded the glove company in 1939, after coming to England as a refugee from Vienna during the Second World War. She had a certificate in art and design and arrived with a suitcase filled with scraps of material. After teaching glove-making to wounded soldiers as a form of therapy, James set up her own business, aiming to brighten Britain’s post-war utility clothing with colourful gloves. Her designs were instantly popular – Vogue nicknamed her “the colour Queen of England” and her gloves were stocked in department stores and boutiques. James became a favourite of the Royal family and in 1979 she was granted a Royal Warrant.
Today, Cornelia James is run by Genevieve, Andrew and three staff, who make each glove using traditional Singer sewing machines. Lawson took over the craft when her mother died in 1999, downsizing the firm in order to concentrate on high-end glove-making. “The Palace called up to offer their condolences,” she recalls. “Next thing we knew, Princess Anne was on the phone saying, ‘Why did nobody tell me she was dead?’ She was worried because she relied on Mummy for her gloves.”
The workshop is a treasure chest of rainbow-coloured fabrics, spools of thread, buttons, feathers and jewels. On one shelf is a box labelled “Mamma Mia” – the company designs gloves for stars of the musical – on another, rows of mannequin hands modelling gloves in all shapes and sizes: velvet leopard-print; diamond-encrusted lace; red patent with bows. The gloves are worn by a host of celebrities, including Madonna, Kate Moss and the cast of Downton Abbey.
“It’s not as glamorous as you’d think,” jokes Andrew. “We post the gloves to the Palace via Royal Mail. Once, before the Queen was going on a tour to Korea, we got an urgent call saying that her glove order hadn’t arrived. I had to whizz up on the back of my motorbike and deliver them to the back door of Buckingham Palace.”
Every so often, Her Majesty posts gloves back to Lawson’s workshop for repairs. “It’s never anything major: just a few stitches here or a small tear there,” she explains. Once, Princess Anne returned a pair of navy blue gloves that had faded on the right hand. “It turned out that she’d just visited a hot country where lots of ladies wear hand cream. The chemicals had rubbed off on her gloves.”
Since January, orders on the company’s website have risen by 25 per cent, with overall sales up 30 per cent since last year. “Some of that’s down to the Jubilee, but we’ve got a roaring trade in China and Japan,” explains Andrew. So what next for this booming business? “I’m determined to get the Duchess of Cambridge wearing my gloves,” admits Lawson. “I think she could do with fewer silly hats and more gloves. My plan is to bring out a ski glove – a luxury design that’s practical as well as looking good on the slopes. I’d like to give the first pair to Kate.”
Lawson prides herself on running a business that makes the most of Britain’s manufacturing heritage. “Everyone who works here is local and the wool is dyed in Yorkshire,” she explains. Her gloves are stocked from St Petersburg to Tokyo, and can be found in the UK at Brown’s and Fenwicks stores. “It will be a huge privilege to see Her Majesty wearing our gloves during the Jubilee weekend,” says Lawson.
But it’s not all royals and celebrities – even a company that holds the Royal Warrant has to find customers elsewhere. “We supply gloves to a lot of drag queens in Brighton,” grins Andrew. “They love the PVC and patent designs. We also have a customer in Switzerland who orders very large sizes of long, shiny black gloves.” Man or woman, I ask? “Oh, I couldn’t possibly say,” he says, smiling. “We are the Queen’s glove-makers, you know. We’re very discreet.”