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What Surprising Gift Did Queen Elizabeth Give Pope Francis?

04/03/2014 at 04:30 PM EDT

6a99queen 600 What Surprising Gift Did Queen Elizabeth Give Pope Francis?

Queen Elizabeth and Pope Francis

Arthur Edwards/The Sun/AP

What do you give head of the Roman Catholic Church?

Queen Elizabeth gifted Pope Francis with a bottle of whiskey from Balmoral, along with a basket of jams and other drinks produced on the royal family’s estate, ABC News reports.

Her Majesty and His Holiness exchanged gifts during a brief, informal visit by the Queen to the Vatican Thursday. The trip marks the first time that the two have met, and Queen Elizabeth was accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip.

For his part, the pontiff gave the queen a gift for her great-grandson, Prince George, who is about to embark on his first trip overseas to Australia and New Zealand.

In honor George’s travels, Pope Francis chose a precious stone globe with a cross decoration.

He also gave the queen an antique parchment from 1679 with a message that translates to “to the city and the word,” and which the pope traditionally delivers at Christmas and during Easter.

p 89EKCgBk8MZdE What Surprising Gift Did Queen Elizabeth Give Pope Francis?
Source: What Surprising Gift Did Queen Elizabeth Give Pope Francis?

Alexa Ray Joel Calls Plastic Surgery Rumors ’100 Percent False’

04/03/2014 at 04:15 PM EDT

Alexa Ray Joel had everyone asking, “Who’s that girl?” when she stepped out at her New York show at The Carlyle Hotel on Tuesday night.

With her sultry new look sparking buzz she had gone under the knife, Joel took to Instagram to set the record straight.

“On a personal (and slightly ridiculous note): I would just like to add that all of the continuously-circulating rumors that I have had extensive ‘face-work’ and undergone breast-augmentation surgery is simply and entirely 100% false,” she wrote.

“The only thing I have ever had done is my nose, which I have always been completely candid, honest, and open about – and I can swear on my Beloved Gypsy-Stella The Cat that this is the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God! (But hey, there could be worse rumors circulating, so, I’ll take it),” she wrote.

In 2010, Joel, whose mom is supermodel Christie Brinkley and dad is singer Billy Joel, opened up to PEOPLE about her rhinoplasty surgery and struggle to accept the way she looked.

“I liked everything else about my physical appearance, but [my nose] always bothered me a bit. I had thought about it for about five years. I think I look more like me than my father’s daughter now,” she said.

And after four years, the singer has grown into her womanhood and she let her haters know it in the Instagram post.

“Any visibly-positive alterations in terms of my public-image are an absolute and sole credit to my brilliant makeup-artist and stylist, @darlingcait … Who is a true beauty-wizard and visionary. (That, combined with the fact that I actually have a hearty dose of self-confidence now – which took me a little extra minute or so to find.) ; ),” she wrote.

Joel will be performing at The Carlyle through April 12.

p 89EKCgBk8MZdE Alexa Ray Joel Calls Plastic Surgery Rumors 100 Percent False
Source: Alexa Ray Joel Calls Plastic Surgery Rumors ’100 Percent False’

Doris Day Is 90 – And Lookin’ Great!

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04/03/2014 at 08:20 AM EDT

She lit up movie screens and record charts in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, and – as she turns 90 on April 3 – Doris Day remains one of America’s Sweethearts.

Here is the birthday girl in a recent shot outside her Carmel, Calif., home. Note her companion – the star has been a champion of furry friends for decades, and, in lieu of gifts on her big day, she asks for contributions to the Doris Day Animal Foundation.

As Day told PEOPLE in a rare 2011 interview, “I love life. I have my pets around me and good friends. I’m young at heart and I love to laugh. There’s nothing better.”

Born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff, the daughter of a Cincinnati music teacher and a homemaker, the crystal-voiced pop soprano changed her name to Day when, as a teen, she began singing on the radio. After appearances with the Big Bands of Barney Rapp and Bob Crosby, she joined Les Brown’s Band and had her first hit with “Sentimental Journey.”

Going solo in 1947, she successfully auditioned for Warner Bros. the following year and was cast in the studio’s attempts to rival the romantic musicals that were the specialty of rival MGM.

By the mid-’50s came better roles at other studios, including her starring opposite James Stewart in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much, the suspense thriller in which she introduced the Oscar-winning song that became her signature, “Que Sera Sera.”

In 1959 she was paired for the first time with Rock Hudson, in the racy (for its time) romantic comedy Pillow Talk, which resulted in her one and only Best Actress Oscar nomination. For years after that, she was the top box office star in the world.

And, to many, she still remains No. 1 – especially at 90.

Asked what the years have taught her, the perennial charmer told PEOPLE: “Live life to the fullest … It’s not coming back again.”

p 89EKCgBk8MZdE Doris Day Is 90   And Lookin Great!
Source: Doris Day Is 90 – And Lookin’ Great!

Princess Eugenie Recalls Childhood Scoliosis Operation, Returns to Hospital That Treated Her

04/02/2014 at 06:30 PM EDT

51deeugenie 300 Princess Eugenie Recalls Childhood Scoliosis Operation, Returns to Hospital That Treated Her

Princess Eugenie (right) visits the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London

Edmond Terakopian

When she was just 12 years old, Princess Eugenie received alarming news: that an operation was needed to correct a curvature in her spine.

Diagnosed with scoliosis, the young royal had to undergo an eight-hour procedure, later spending three days recuperating in intensive care before eventually making a full recovery.

On Wednesday, Eugenie, now 24 and the seventh in line to the British throne, returned to the London clinic that treated her and spoke about the anxieties faced by children when they have to be hospitalized.

Prince William‘s cousin – who is the daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah, the Duke and Duchess of York – took time out from herjob at an auction house in New York to visit the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and open the new Children’s High Dependency Unit, which is expected to take in over 400 sick children a year.

It was a rare official appearance by Eugenie, who, along with her sister, Princess Beatrice, seldom undertakes formal royal duties now that they’re working full-time.

At the hospital, Eugenie told supporters and staff that the facility “will greatly enhance the care and experience of the hospital’s young patients and their families.”

“Going into the hospital is nerve-racking for any child,” she explained. “I can still vividly remember how nervous I felt in the days and weeks leading up to my operation. Anything that can be done to ease these worries and make the environment better for patients is to be welcomed.”

As patron of the effort to fund the hospital’s redevelopment, Eugenie also announced the construction of a new hospital facility named after her: the Princess Eugenie House, which will provide living quarters to families of children being treated at the hospital, and for which the princess raised $16,000 in funding.

Eugenie’s visit has already had a positive impact on those she wants to help: According to hospital staffer Betty Wynne, who helps oversee the hospital’s High Dependency Unit, the princess’s appearance had caused great “excitement” among patients and “lifted the children’s spirits.”

p 89EKCgBk8MZdE Princess Eugenie Recalls Childhood Scoliosis Operation, Returns to Hospital That Treated Her
Source: Princess Eugenie Recalls Childhood Scoliosis Operation, Returns to Hospital That Treated Her