This Candid Picture Of The Royal Family Is Cuter Than The Official Photos

Every since Prince Harry’s engagement to actress Meghan Markle was announced, Royal Family fever has swept America. He’s marrying that beautiful woman from Suits! She is one of us, only far more cool!

I’ve never particularly cared about the UK’s symbolic figureheads. A queen? Who cares. Being born into the royalty just seems like the luck of the draw. Being married into it, however, is an accomplishment. Taking an interest in what’s going on with queenie and her crew is new to me, but plenty of people have made it into their hobby. A mom named Karen Murdoch got up early on Christmas day to catch a glimpse of the royals leaving St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, where they traditionally celebrate. 

And she caught the perfect picture:

Don’t they look incredible? You really couldn’t have staged a better image. And people tried. As a comparison, here’s a picture from Getty:

It’s not a bad image, but so stiff and formal in comparison to Murdoch’s candid. Her picture has gone wildly viral, and the replies are full of people congratulating her and also telling her to be careful. Everyone wants a piece of this photo’s action.

Murdoch told the Telegraph that she took the picture on an iPhone and all she did was shout the season’s greetings at the group to get those smiles.

“I’m just very bubbly by nature and I was with my daughter and I got a bit excitable, I suppose,” she said. “I was just sort of shouting and I just went, ‘Merry Christmas!’ like an idiot. I was fan-girling.”

She was there with her daughter, and hopes she’ll get some money for the image to send her kid to school. I hope she does, too! It’s fed my interest in Markle’s upcoming nuptials for another day.

The early bird gets the pic. 

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President Trump's Official Presidential Coin Leaks Online―And Our Eyes Are Rolling

You may not have heard of the presidential “challenge coin” but indeed, presidents have had these coins made in order to hand out as mementos to people they meet, particularly members of the military.

In the past, these coins have generally been inscribed with the motto ‘E Pluribus Unum’ or “out of many one.” But this year the challenge coin got a makeover…

…of the Trumpian variety…

As The Washington Post puts it:

The presidential seal has been replaced by an eagle bearing President Trump’s signature. The eagle’s head faces right, not left, as on the seal. The 13 arrows representing the original states have disappeared. And the national motto, “E pluribus unum” — a Latin phrase that means “Out of many, one” — is gone.

Instead, both sides of the coin feature Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”The changes don’t stop there. In addition to his signature, Trump’s name appears three times on the coin, which is thicker than those made for past presidents. 

And forget the traditional subdued silver and copper: Trump’s coin, a White House aide marveled, is “very gold.”

Very. Gold.

It’s a minor interruption from a larger program of Trumpian headscratchers, but the internet is not on board with this – the AV Club wrote an article on the subject called ‘Big, Stupid Man Now Has His Own Big, Stupid Coin’. 

Twitter was pretty much on board with that assessment…

Nope, not The Onion, we wish.

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Obama Chooses Artist For Coolest Official Presidential Portrait Ever

Barack Obama has chosen artist Kehinde Wiley to paint his presidential portrait for the Smithsonian, and it will probably end up being the coolest portrait of a president there (okay, Kennedy’s is pretty cool, too). Wiley, who is the first black artist to paint a presidential portrait for the Smithsonian, paints black men and women in the style of classical paintings, often in front of a millefleur tableau. 

And because the paintings are based on works from Renaissance and Baroque eras, many of Wiley’s subjects are seen on horseback. Which might be a cool as hell choice for Wiley to make with Obama’s portrait, even if it would result in some Republican eye-rolls.

Though Wiley often paints ordinary men and women, he isn’t a stranger to making portraits of famous people. Previously he’s painted the Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, Ice T, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and Michael Jackson.

Michelle Obama also picked a black painter, Baltimore artist Amy Sherald, with her own striking contemporary style. Both paintings will be unveiled next year, according to Jezebel.

“The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former president and first lady,” said Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, in a statement to The Los Angeles Times. “Both have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century.”

Definitely worth a trip to the museum, right?

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Justice Official Quits Due To White House Conduct

A top Justice Department official has quit, saying that she could no longer hold companies to standards that Donald Trump is not meeting.

Hui Chen, a corporate crime expert in the fraud unit of the DOJ’s criminal division, discussed her reasons for leaving in a June 25 post on LinkedIn.

“Trying to hold companies to standards that our current administration is not living up to was creating a cognitive dissonance that I could not overcome,” she said in the post. “To sit across the table from companies and question how committed they were to ethics and compliance felt not only hypocritical, but very much like shuffling the deck chair on the Titanic.”

She continued: “Even as I engaged in…questioning and evaluations, on my mind were the numerous lawsuits pending against the President of the United States for everything from violations of the Constitution to conflict of interest, the ongoing investigations of potentially treasonous conducts, and the investigators and prosecutors fired for their pursuits of principles and facts.”

Chen added: “Those are conducts I would not tolerate seeing in a company, yet I worked under an administration that engaged in exactly those conduct[s]. I wanted no more part in it.”

Since quitting, Chen has been vocally critical of the Trump Administration, especially on Twitter:

Many have applauded Chen for following her conscience:

Although some wish she would have stayed:

Perhaps more will follow Chen’s lead:

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