Saturday, March 01, 2008

Mission: Accomplished

After serving in active military duty for the past 10 weeks in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, Prince Harry returned home to jolly ol' England this morning (local time) with approx. 170 other soldiers (including some wounded soldiers) at the Royal Air Force Base Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire ... much to Harry's chagrin (he wanted to stay in Afghanistan longer) but to the great relief of his family and friends. Here are a few pics from Prince Harry's arrival back on British soil today:

Prince Harry returned home from Afghanistan on Saturday, welcomed back by his brother Prince William and his father Prince Charles. "It's a great relief to see him home in one piece," Charles told reporters. The prince, 23, arrived with around 170 other soldiers at the Royal Air Force Base Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire, 50 miles northwest of London, just before 11:30 a.m. local time. Fifteen minutes later – carrying his gear and dressed in his desert fatigues – he stepped off the RAF Tristar jet, which returned from the frontline in an overnight flight from Kandahar. He didn't glance towards the large number of media crews and press photographers at the base. Inside the terminal, he was reunited with his brother William, 25, and Charles, 59 ... Before he took off, Harry spoke candidly of his regret at coming home early, and he said he would relish the chance to prove himself again in battle. As third in line to the British throne, it was feared Harry had become a prime target for Taliban fighters when his involvement in the war was revealed February 28. "It's something I would love to do," he said in a pooled interview. "I don't want to sit around Windsor, because I generally don't like England that much and it's nice to be away from all the press and the papers and all the general shit that they write." It can now be revealed that until Friday night's flight he had been deployed with a squadron of light tanks in the desert close to the former Taliban stronghold of Musa Qaleh. The British army took control of the area in December. He was working as a Spartan reconnaissance vehicle commander, in charge of a vehicle team supporting a joint US and Afghan operation to seize control of the village of Kariz de Baba. After his arrival in England, Harry was seen leaving the terminal building, his his older brother helping him load his bags into the back of an Audi ... At the base, Charles spoke briefly of his pride in his son – and expressed his disappointment that Harry had to come home early. "I feel particular frustration on his part that he was removed unexpectedly early because, apart from anything else, he had been looking forward to coming back with all the rest of his regiment," the prince said. And he spoke about how hard it was keeping the deployment a secret. "It's been quite difficult also having to keep quiet about the fact he was serving in that part of the world," he said. "People kept saying to me, 'You must be so frustrated about Harry not being able to serve abroad.' I would say he's on exercise somewhere." Charles said he understood "what it's like for so many families with loved ones serving abroad. I've been incredibly proud of Harry and I promise you ... equally proud of all the dedicated service given by all our armed forces," he said.

I'm sure Harry's homecoming was a happy one for everyone involved (even Harry, who expressed his frustration with having to return home from the war zone where he was fighting). This story is very positive, very heart-warming but it would've been a totally different story had he gotten injured or worse. I think it's a very positive thing that Prince Harry, 3rd in line for the crown of England, made such a concerted effort to do his time in active military duty in an actual war zone but still ... I'm convinced there was no way he was ever in any mortal danger. Even still ... good for him for stepping up as much as he can as a Royal in the same boots that other, "normal" soldiers wear. So now the question becomes, what about Prince Wills and his military commitments?

After his brother Prince Harry's tour of duty, Prince William could also find himself in harm’s way. William is scheduled to serve on a warship – either a frigate or destroyer – during an upcoming tour with the Royal Navy, a spokesman confirms to PEOPLE. That deployment could be in any of several trouble spots in the world. William is currently learning to fly during his four-month period with the Royal Air Force. Next up is the Royal Navy, in which he could tour a conflict zone during his time as a naval officer this summer. If he does see action, he would follow his grandfather Prince Philip, who fought in the World War II. His uncle Prince Andrew saw active service in the Falklands Islands war with Argentina in the 1980s. Harry, 23, has hinted that William, 25, would be jealous of him as he has been able to serve in Afghanistan. But family friends have told PEOPLE that William has been pushing for as active a role as possible during his short military career. In a statement, a Royal Navy spokesman says, "It's our intention to give Prince William as full a taste of life in the Royal Navy as possible, which may include time on board a warship. It's the Ministry of Defense policy not to discuss details of any individual's deployment or service."

Hmmmm ... do I detect a note of sibling rivalry? I can see how the elder Prince William might be a bit jealous of all the attention that the younger Prince Harry is enjoying since news of his, er, bravery has made headlines around the world. Something tells me that Wills's duty on a Navy ship will prolly be even more protected than Harry's tour in Afghanistan. I seems that these boys are really trying to prove themselves as men ... and as leaders in training. [Source]

Here are a few new pics of everyone's favorite couple taking a little stroll togeter on the streets of LA this week ... you can tell by the way that Jake Gyllenhaal has Reese Witherspoon in a headlock that these two are dangerously in love:

Photo credit: X17

I'm sorry ... I just don't get "lovers" when I see pictures of these two out and about. They look more like buds ... like pals ... like bros. I believe that just after these pictures were taken, Jake decided to give Reese a noogie and then a wet willy. Those kids! [Source]

Amy Winehouse, who has just been cleared by UK courts for allegedly attempting to pervert justice (in the case involving her currently incarcerated husband Blake Civil-Fielder who is also accused of attempting to pervert justice), was spotted showing off a very swollen face yesterday afternoon ... check it out:

It's unclear what is going on with her face (did she have an allergic reaction to something that she ate ... or took? Did she get into a fist fight with one of her loyal friends?) but it's not a pretty sight ... her swollen cheek just throws off her whole sexy make-up, soaring beehive look that she's so famous for. I wonder what gives. [Source]

TR Knight spent part of his night last night with the two loves of his life ... his #1 girl Katherine Heigl and his #1 guy Mark Cornelsen. Here are a few pics of TR making his exit from Royce Hall at the UCLA Campus in Westwood, CA with his best gal and his best guy:

Photo credit: Splash News

I am so happy for TR ... it's one thing to have a really good friend in your corner like Katherine but it's even better that now he's getting a little man lurve from Mark as well. TR and Mark make a really cute couple ... I'm sure that Katherine doesn't mind that she has to share now ;) [Source]

Happy Day, Happy Day ... as the premiere date for the new half season of The Hills on MTV draws ever near (mark your calendars for Monday March 24th), I am happy to report that new eps are still being filmed around town here in Hollywood. Here are a couple pics of Lauren LC Conrad lunching with (who looks to be) Lauren Lo Bosworth on Robertson Blvd. in West Hollywood, CA this week:

Photo credit: Splash News

Yeah, these pics aren't all that exciting and I honestly don't even care ... It doesn't matter what the ladies are talking about while filming as long as they are filming. MTV recently released an extended trailer for the upcoming new half-season of The Hills (which you can see HERE) which is full of juicy new stuff for us Hills fans to salivate over. Woot! I can't wait!! [Source]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum Tom Lenk and his friend and Angel album Jenny Mollen were among the hot young celebs (like Mena Suvari and Julie Benz -- also and BtVS and Angel alum) who were in attendance at the Paige Premium Denim Perfect Fit event last night here in LA ... here are a couple pics of the happy duo on the red carpet:

Photo credit: Wireimage

They both look pretty hawt, don't you think? Tom is a really good friend of mine so it pleases me to no end to see him on the red carpet at fun events like this ... not to mention that fact that I have mad love for any Buffyverse alum who shows up anywhere at any event. I'm starting to get cautiously optimistic that new amazing Buffyness may be on the horizon. As y'all know, the principal cast will be reuniting at the Arc Light's Cinema Dome next month to take part in a moderated panel discussion organized by the Paley Center for the first time since the end of the series back in 2003. To be clear, I don't know anything nor have I heard anything concrete ... it's just a feeling that I have. I guess we'll see what comes of it. [Source, thanks Patrick]

David Beckham has been making the most of his time in South Korea this week since arriving in the country to take part in a 3-match Asian tour of soccer games ... er, but thus far he's yet to actually do anything directly involved with soccer itself. Here are new pics of Becks at a promo event for Adidas where he met and signed a few autographs for his fans:

Photo credit: Wireimage

It's funny ... Becks spends more time off the soccer pitch than he does on it and yet he is still regarded as one of the best soccer players in the world. Meh ... he's purdy and I guess that is all that matters. Especially to his legion of fans who aren't shy about showing him how much they care about him. [Source]

In new Jennifer Lopez news, People magazine is reporting that J. Lo's manager has revealed the names of her newborn twin babies ... which have turned out to be the names that were rumored to have been confirmed by J. Lo's mother in the weeks before the babies were born. J. Lo and Marc Anthony have named their daughter and son Emme and Max:

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony's newborn twins are named Max and Emme, Lopez's manager Simon Fields officially confirms to PEOPLE. The new parents welcomed their son and daughter on Feb. 22. Emme was born at 12:12 a.m. and weighed 5 lbs. 7 oz., and Max followed at 12:23 a.m., weighing 6 lbs. Already gifts have been pouring in for the twins, including pillows and baby carriers from Baby K'tan in Fort Lauderdale with their names embroidered on them, a source tells PEOPLE. The twins are the first children for Lopez, 38, and the fourth and fifth for Anthony, 39.

Awww that's cute ... but I want to see what these $6 million dollar babies look like. C'mon J. Lo, quit holding out on us. [Source]

Ed Norton, the new Incredible Hulk, is featured on the cover and in the pages of the new issue of Total Film magazine ... check it out:

Hmm ... I can't wait to see what a sexy Hulk Ed will turn out to be. I love me some Eric Bana and I will never be mad at him for his turn at playing the Hulk but I'm pretty sure that they're gonna do the movie right this time around. [Source]

In their new issue, Entertainment Weekly has published a few pictures from some of the Academy Award winners on the morning/day after they took home their Oscars last Sunday night in cute, yet plainly posed, settings ... check out Tilda Swinton (Best Supporting Actress), Diablo Cody (Best Original Screenplay) and Marketa Irglova & Glen Hansard (Best Song) on "The Day After":

The pics are really cute (especially the one of Tilda Swinton with bed head) but look way too posed for my liking. If I were an Academy Award winner I'd be jumping around the house, still screaming my head off. I am happy for each of these winners ... they each deserve their awards. Even tho all the posing is a bit cheesy I still think EW did a gret job with these pics. [Source via ONTD!]

And finally ... it's time for this week's batch of photos sent in by Pink is the new Blog readers -- Dee from Atlanta, GA sends in a pic celebrating her 7th Leap Year birthday which she celebrated yesterday (02.29.08) -- Kate sends in a pic with a few girlfriends and a burly bouncer enjoying a night on the town here in LA last night ... which means that she should win her "cocktail bet" with her friend Robbie ... pay up, dude ;) -- Holly sends in a pic of her beautiful 6 week old Alexis-Grace who, I'm told, loves looking at all the colour on PITNB -- Deanna sends in a pic of with her friend Sarah as they celebrated her 19th birthday in NYC -- Lauren sends in a pic of her pooch Chloe who, I'm told, loves to sit on Lauren's laptop while she reads PITNB -- Missa sends a pic of her BFF Renee who recently had a Birthday Bash for her 23rd birthday -- Andrea from Brandon, FL sends in a pic of the locks of love that she donated to the amazing charity Locks of Love -- the Spice Boys send in a pic of their fierceness:

Love.The.Pics. This is one really fun batch of photos ... much love to all the folks who were celebrating birthdays, mad lurve goes out to Andrea for her donation to Locks of Love, much respect goes out to the Spice Boys and Robbie better pay up to Kate for winning their bet ;) (I trust Kate will let me know) Thank you all so much for sending your amazing photos ... I love them all! xoxoxo

Les News:
Last night David and I met up with Kirsten, Darion and Mike (The Gang TM) for dinner at Baja Cantina in Santa Monica since they hadn't had the chance to hang out with David for some time now ... we had a great time together ... ate some great food and took some fun pics:

After dinner, we made our way back to Hollywood to meet up for drinks with my French buds Steph and Alek at their place so that David could get some time to get to know them ... and things couldn't have gone more smoothly. We spent the whole time just talking about this and that ... until 3AM in the morning! Alek provided the amazing cocktails and a great time was had by all. I'm so bummed that I forgot to snap a pic of the four of us but I'm sure we'll be spending a lot more time together so there will be more pics to be had.

This afternoon, we're driving down to San Diego for David's friend Diana's birthday going away party (photos to come, I'm sure) in the new Nissan Maxima that I rented for this weekend ... the car is phat and for once, I'm looking forward to the road trip ;) I hope y'all have a great weekend ... I'm out.

PS: This is my 2,000th post since the very first Pink is the new Blog post back on June 1, 2004. Woot!!