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The best new beauty products launching October 2018 from Urban Decay, Fenty Beauty and more

Best new beauty products launching October 2018
Best new beauty products launching October 2018

Looking for some new beauty products to try this month?

If like us you’re a self-professed beauty addict, it’s more than likely you’ve spent some time online and in-store, pondering over which of the new beauty launches you should buy next.

thumbnail for post ID 8039264Spain vs England TV channel, live stream, team news, kick-off time and odds

But to save you the trouble wondering which ones actually work, we’ve tried, tested and whittled down a selection of products.

From the scalp scrub from OUAI you didn’t know you needed and the concealer from Too Faced we swear covers everything, here’s what you should be buying right now.


Scalp & Body Scrub
Scalp & Body Scrub (Picture: OUAI Haircare)

Scalp & Body Scrub, £32, OUAI Haircare

Scalp scrubs are notorious for leaving the thickets of your hair gritty and being a nightmare to rinse out.

But OUAI Haircare’s sugar based scalp scrub gently foams and is a breeze to remove.

And it helps to effectively eliminate unwanted gunk and buildup that causes greasy, oily roots, dandruff, and itchiness.

A clean scalp is the key to healthy hair.

Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 4
Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 4 (Picture: Hourglass)

Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 4, £69, Hourglass

Featuring four bestselling and two new exclusive finishing powders, the Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 4 is *THE* palette to add to your Christmas list for 2018.

Beautifully encased in a pretty purple chrome compact, you’ll find everything you need to highlight, blush, bronze and finish your makeup.

And if any of the previous Ambient Lighting Edits are anything to go by, it will sell out in a hot second.

Naked Cherry Eyeshadow Palette
Naked Cherry Eyeshadow Palette (Picture: Urban Decay)

Naked Cherry Eyeshadow Palette, £42, Urban Decay

Urban Decay may have hosted a funereal for their much-loved original Naked Palette, but they’ve softened the sadness with a new release: Naked Cherry.

The Urban Decay Naked Cherry Eyeshadow Palette contains 12 never-seen-before pink-toned neutrals.

And we want a bite.

Stunna Lip Paint in Uncuffed
Stunna Lip Paint in Uncuffed (Picture: FENTY BEAUTY)

Stunna Lip Paint in Uncuffed, £19, FENTY BEAUTY

Fenty Beauty has released four-all-new Stunna Lip Paint shades from a chocolate brown to a black.

The packaging is undeniably gorgeous, as is the shade ‘Stunna’ a rosy nude with a brown undertone.

Formulation wise, It has a soft matte finish, it’s not drying. And it’s so light, you’ll forget you’re wearing it.

GHD Platinum+ styler
Platinum+ styler (Picture: GHD)

Platinum+ styler, £175, GHD

The new and improved Platinum Styler from ghd boats predictive technology, that recognises the thickness of your hair and speed at which you are styling and adjusts the heat accordingly, meaning it won’t damage your locks.

What’s more, they’re pretty good at curling hair too thanks to it’s round barrel.

So if you’re after a two-in-one combo then ghd’s new release is ideal.

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil (Picture: Drunk Elephant)

Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, from £40, Drunk Elephant

This month we welcomed US born skincare brand Drunk Elephant to UK shores and we’re already obsessed with their dropper dispensed Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil.

The near-enough odorless oil, comes from fruit seeds of the marula tree in South Africa.

And it’s chock-full of vitamin C, is rich in vitamin E and is packed with high levels of oleic acid – omega 9 fatty acids – too.

Making it a great product for those with combination skin that’s starting to show fine lines, as these all improve skin elasticity.

ICONIC London HD Blend Complete Set
HD Blend Complete Set (Picture: ICONIC London)

HD Blend Complete Set, £75, ICONIC London

If you’re looking to invest in a new set of makeup brushes, cruelty-free beauty brand ICONIC London has launched a set of irresistible gold handled HD makeup brushes.

The soft synthetic bristles are densely packed for good coverage and a seamless, polished ‘high definition’ finish.

Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Concealer
Born This Way Super Coverage Concealer (Picture: Too Faced)

Born This Way Super Coverage Concealer, £24, Too Faced

This highly-pigmented concealer from Too Faced works under your eyes, and over any discolouration, pesky blemishes or shadowy areas.

And if you’re going out, there’s no need to re-do your base, as you can use the concealer to ‘retouch’.

It’s a real makeup bag staple.

MORE: The rules Meghan will have to follow now she’s pregnant with royal baby

MORE: Princess Eugenie’s evening reception dress was possibly even more gorgeous

All bread in the UK is soon to contain folic acid – why?

(Picture: Getty)

The idea of putting folic acid into flour, and therefore into bread, is something that ministers have been keen on for years.

In fact we first reported the idea to you back in 2007. But it’s taken more than a decade to actually make it happen, due to objections from the food industry.

Why do we need it?

Folic acid is the first thing that women are encouraged to take when they discover that they are pregnant. If you don’t have enough folic acid, it’s possible that the baby will be born with a condition called spina bifida.

Having enough folic acid reduces the risk of spina bifida by around 70%

What is spina bifida?

Spina bifida is when a baby’s spine and spinal cord don’t form properly in the womb, leaving gaps.

What if you’re not pregnant?

Then folic acid won’t do you any harm. Folate is a soluble B vitamin, so if you have too much of it, your kidneys will filter it out. But also, you’d have to eat quite an astonishing amount of bread to get too much folic acid.

How will it be added to bread?

Flour will now be fortified by folic acid. It won’t taste any different, but it will help women who are pregnant, especially those who don’t know that they’re pregnant until later in the process, to get the nutrients they need.

Commenting on the announcement, Clare Murphy from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service said: ‘We welcome the news that the government are set to approve the mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid.

‘The UK has one of the highest rates of neural tube defects in Europe. Around 1,000 pregnancies are affected every year, and the vast majority will end in the painful decision to terminate what is often a very much wanted pregnancy. Most fetal anomalies sadly are not preventable, but those related to folic acid deficiency can be reduced.

We know there are many reasons why women don’t take folic acid in the weeks surrounding conception – not least because many pregnancies are not planned. Even if women start taking folic acid after they miss their period and become aware of their pregnancy, it may be too late for it to be effective.

Folic acid fortification is a straightforward public health intervention which will spare hundreds of women the heartbreak of receiving the news that their baby has a serious condition. After years of delay, we urge the government to bring forward folic acid fortification as soon as possible in order to get the best possible pregnancy outcomes for as many women as possible.’

MORE: The rules Meghan will have to follow now she’s pregnant with royal baby

MORE: Modern Etiquette: How do you tell someone you’ve got an STI?

Have we all been grating our cheese the wrong way?

Cheese Food. (Photo by: MediaForMedical/UIG via Getty Images)
(Picture MediaForMedical/UIG via Getty Images)

We all love a sprinkling of cheese.

But don’t you hate it when you grate your cheese and it ends up everywhere.

It turns out we might all have been doing it wrong.

One Twitter user spotted a recipe video with this ingenious hack.

By lying the grater on the side and grating the cheese on the top, you can collect it inside the grater and tip it into a bowl.

It certainly looks tidier than my method of standing the grater over the bowl and grating downwards. You can never see how much cheese is in the bowl and there’s always some loose strands of cheese when you lift it away.

Grating along the top gives you more control and might even stop that painful moment when your finger gets to close to the sharp edges.

The video, by Tastemade UK, is a recipe for curried Mac and Cheese.

Although we’re sure it’s delicious, it’s not the food that has got people talking.

We think it’s grate.

MORE: The best new beauty products launching October 2018 from Urban Decay, Fenty Beauty and more

MORE: Princess Eugenie’s evening reception dress was possibly even more gorgeous

MORE: Modern Etiquette: How do you tell someone you’ve got an STI?

H&M releases new line of affordable, stunning wedding dresses

(Picture: H&M)

With two special royal events in one year, wedding fever is still running high – especially in the fashion world.

So it makes perfect sense for one of the world’s biggest high street brands to join in on the action. H&M has just launched a new, affordable wedding dress line.

Wedding dresses are notoriously expensive affairs, especially if you’re getting a designer one. And while we love the idea of wearing Vera Wang for the big day, unfortunately not all brides have thousands of pounds to splurge on a dress.

H&M’s new capsule collection features a range of classic items, priced as low as £149.99.

H&M sell affordable wedding dresses
(Picture: H&M)
H&M sell affordable wedding dresses
(Picture: H&M)
H&M sell affordable wedding dresses
(Picture: H&M)

The most expensive one of the bunch is a dramatic bandeau dress with an asymmetric draped skirt and fitted bodice, which will cost you £199.99

Inspired by royal wedding styles, the line features a dress that resembles the Alexander McQueen masterpiece, worn by the Duchess of Cambridge in 2011, alongside other gowns that are beautiful in their simplicity.

Like the uncomplicated yet exquisite long satin dress or long-sleeved, lace bohoo design and v-neck open back, both coming in at £149.99.

H&M sell affordable wedding dresses
(Picture: H&M)
H&M sell affordable wedding dresses
(Picture: H&M)
H&M sell affordable wedding dresses
(Picture: H&M)

There’s no official wedding section (yet), but you can find the collection here.

And yes, there’s the ‘it’s not special because several brides own it’ conundrum, but realistically, when are you ever going to run into another bride on your wedding day?

Think of all the money you could save; for a glamorous honeymoon, house deposit or, if you really want a luxury treat, an investment piece from your favourite designer.

MORE: Princess Eugenie’s evening reception dress was possibly even more gorgeous

MORE: What did Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton and the rest of the Royal Family wear to Princess Eugenie’s wedding?

MORE: Fendi’s £750 fur-trimmed shawl looks a lot like a vagina

Vegetarians and vegans are accidentally eating animal products because of unclear labels

Loads of vegetarians and vegans are accidentally eating meat
81% think soy sauce is gluten-free (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

Being vegetarian or vegan is tricky enough without having to contend with the minefield of dodgy labelling.

But new research shows that around a quarter of veggies and vegans have accidentally eaten meat for just that reason.

The figures, from independent research conducted for Ubamarket, found that 52% of people agreed that the complexity of UK food labels makes it really hard to know exactly what’s in our food.

Crisps? They’re not all vegan (Picture: Getty)

From a sample of 2,003 UK participants, 32% didn’t know that pesto is not vegetarian, and 81 per cent thought that soy sauce was gluten-free.

It also turns out that 16% still think that all crisps are vegan, despite milk powder being used in seasoning for brands including Pringles and McCoys.

Labelling was a big reason why many people feel they can’t maintain being vegan or veggie – 1 in 5 gave it up because food labels were just too confusing.

‘With so many new and exciting vegan products hitting the market, clear labelling is becoming increasingly important but we find this isn’t always practised,’ explains Dominika Piasecka, spokesperson for The Vegan Society.

‘Mistakenly consuming animal products does occasionally happen among vegans because they misread labels, get confused with some of the unfamiliar ingredients, or a product is mislabelled.

‘Our Vegan Trademark aims to help consumers decide that a product is suitable at a glimpse and we encourage companies to improve their vegan labelling.’

For vegans and vegetarians clear labelling is crucial. And for those who follow restrictive and gluten-free diets for health reasons, an unclear label can be incredibly dangerous.

The figures suggest that there is still a large amount of uncertainty around food labels. In the wake of a number of high-profile allergy deaths – Natasha Ednan-Laperouse and Celia Marsh both died following allergic reactions to meals bought at Pret – companies are now working on clarity and transparency.

Pret has announced that it will introduce full ingredient labelling to product packaging, even for food made freshly in its kitchens.

MORE: Why is avocado not vegan?

MORE: Get ready for a sugar tax on all your favourite chocolates

MORE: Christmas sandwiches have arrived… in October

A maximum pizza size of four inches could be introduced

(Picture: Getty)

Pizza isn’t the healthiest food but we love the cheesy stuff.

But in the future, they may not come in the grease-filled topping-heavy format we all know and love.

That’s because Public Health England (PHE) has started its calorie reduction programme in a bid to cut childhood obesity levels in the UK.

The government agency met with representatives in the food industry to discuss how to go about it and as a result, sadly for us, pizzas may come in smaller servings and with fewer toppings.

(Picture: Getty)

Under new draft proposals, the maximum calorie allowance per serving could be 928 for pizzas and 695 for savoury pies.

The new cap would massively impact pizza servings in the UK, where just three slices of a large Domino’s American Hot with a stuffed crust contains 690 calories according to the company’s nutrition grid. A four-slice pizza would then most likely make up for more than 928 calories.

The news comes after a report published by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health found that England is falling behind other economically developed countries when it comes to children’s health.

The report compared health outcomes in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia and Canada. It found that infant mortality rates are 30% higher than the average figures – and should the trend continues at this rate, it could be 140% higher in 12 years time.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: ‘These continuing high rates of childhood obesity, combined with widening health inequalities, highlight why government is taking bold steps to tackle this crisis.

‘This threat to our children’s health has been decades in the making – we’re moving in the right direction but reversing it will not happen overnight.’

PHE was also the driving force for the Change4Life campaign which encouraged families to track the contents of their food and opt for a healthier lifestyle by walking and exercising where possible.

‘Obesity is a problem that has been decades in the making – one that will take significant effort across government, schools, families and wider society to address,’ added Steve Brine, Public Health Minister.

‘We cannot expect to see a reversal in trends overnight – but we have been clear that we are willing to do whatever it takes to keep children healthy and well in this country.

‘We have already removed tonnes of sugar from children’s diets through the sugar tax, which has funded vital school sports and breakfast programmes, and this summer we announced the second chapter of our childhood obesity strategy with a series of bold plans to halve childhood obesity by 2030.’

The calorie reduction programme is still in its early days so who knows what else may be proposed for the future.

MORE: Have we all been grating our cheese the wrong way?

MORE: All bread in the UK is soon to contain folic acid – why?

MORE: Vegetarians and vegans are accidentally eating animal products because of unclear labels

I asked my 11-year-old sister for money to feed my drug addiction – but Narcotics Anonymous saved me

Dirty hand grabbing narcotics
(Picture: Getty)

‘My name is Sophie* and I’m an addict.’

Never in my 25 years did I think those words would fall out of my mouth, yet there I was – clutching at a luke-warm tea, sat on a plastic chair in a circle of smiling and nodding kind faces.

The Narcotics Anonymous group was held in a church hall down the road from me; it was my first session, and as I was driving there, I had already built up an expectation of the evening.

It was going to be a room full of scabby heroin addicts shivering in a corner, the smell of stale beer in the air, and there would be some overly enthusiastic person running the group who believed we could all be cured. But I really couldn’t have been more wrong.

I wasn’t your stereotypical drug addict.

I was working in London as a journalist, I had a charmed childhood with supportive and loving parents. Yet despite all of this, in May last year, I’d ended up on a bathroom floor texting my dealer, asking if he sold heroin.

I can’t pinpoint exactly when I started taking cocaine, but it’s probably fair to say the drug-fuelled nights started shortly after my long-term boyfriend and I broke up.

Coke became my friend on every night out, then every quiet drink in a pub, then every dinner with friends. I had a handful of dealers saved on my phone; getting hold of the white powder was as easy as picking up a pint of milk from the shops.

Over the months, my drug use went from ‘just a bit of fun’ to something more twisted and dark. I became dependent on it; it was my escape and I loved it.

I researched how to ‘wash’ cocaine to turn it into crack, and I began to pester my dealers for something stronger, hinting towards heroin.

I soon began spending nearly every evening in my room, inhaling the toxic substance – it became my pretty messed up comfort blanket.

I’ll share a few examples of how I had gone from a normal twenty-something to a complete wreck-head because I appreciate you don’t have all day.

During a cinema trip with my friend, I pretended to have the runs just so I could keep making frequent toilet trips. I offered a guy a sexual favour at a party in return for a few lines. At my Grandpa’s 80th birthday, I was so off my face that I had to rest my chin in my hand just to stop it from rocking.

I once asked my 11-year-old sister if I could borrow £50 from her Christmas money because I was so skint. I was spending £100 every few days on cocaine, sacrificing food and other necessities.

I was gaunt, my skin flakey and covered in red sores from the hours I would spend picking at freckles, ingrown hairs, pores – it became a tick.

In the early hours of the morning, I would lie in bed, every muscle in my body tense, sweat trickling down my neck and my heart beating fast and hard against my rib cage. One evening, I made my way through a ‘gram’ and then chased it with a joint to calm the nerves and manic thoughts racing through my head.

I had never felt my heart beat so hard and fast, and in my drug-fuelled state, I thought about leaving a note for my parents just in case I didn’t wake up – just so they didn’t think it was suicide.

Then after months of this horrendous existence, I finally realised that the high that I was chasing wasn’t achievable anymore. My body had become used to it.

I researched how to ‘wash’ cocaine to turn it into crack, and I began to pester my dealers for something stronger, hinting towards heroin.

And that was when I broke. Just as I can’t remember my addiction spiraling, I can’t remember the moment I realised I had to stop this, otherwise I would probably die.

Rehab wasn’t an option for me – it was too expensive (I’d spent all my money on drugs) and would mean my family finding out that their daughter was a cocaine addict. I also had to keep up appearances, as at this point, I was working for a national newspaper.

I then stumbled upon Narcotics Anonymous, an organisation run by recovered addicts who held free ‘meetings’ in church halls and day-rehabilitation centres across the country.

I can hand-on-heart say that those cosy little rooms, with their cups of tea and dog-eared ‘literature’, saved my life. I have never been surrounded by a group of people more supportive, loving and caring than those I met in my sessions.

There was common ground for everyone – it didn’t matter ‘how bad’ your problem was, we were all addicts and were riddled with similar tendencies and behavioural traits.

The sessions consisted of introducing yourself and ‘sharing’. Some people cry, others are happy to share their clean time, some spill their darkest secrets and some don’t say anything at all – and that’s ok.

Keyrings (and lots of cheers and hugging) are given out for every milestone that you reach ‘clean’. The first one is to reach 30 days, and my goodness is that the hardest of them all. Getting to a year clean was easier for me than getting to that bloody 30, so if you are new to it all – don’t be hard on yourself.

I started my recovery in May 2017, but I didn’t collect my 30-day keyring until August of that year. I relapsed multiple times, each time I would call a friend in tears, or record a video diary for me to watch the next time I started to become ‘wobbly’. In truth, getting off drugs was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I have now been clean for one year and two months, and I’m so grateful from the help and support that I’ve had from my friends, loved ones and people I have met through NA.

If you are struggling with drugs and you think that you have a problem, please visit UKNA for support.

*This piece was written under a pseudonym.

MORE: Gaming addiction is real – because of it I lost my family, my job and my home

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MORE: Sex addiction is now classed as a mental illness: Here’s what it’s like to live with

Princess Eugenie’s bespoke wedding dress beats Meghan Markle’s Givenchy design as royal bridal gowns are compared

Princess Eugenie’s wedding dress has beaten Meghan Markle’s in the popularity stakes (Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire)

Princess Eugenie may have had her wedding thunder stolen by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby news, but she won the battle of the royal wedding dresses.

Eugenie’s Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos design has beaten Meghan’s Givenchy creation in a poll on the royal wedding dresses in history.

After Eugenie’s dress was revealed on Friday 12 October as she married Jack Brooksbank, Metro.co.uk compared all of the latest royal brides’ gowns – from Eugenie’s to Kate’s to Meghan’s to Diana’s.

The reader poll found a clear winner in Kate Middleton but in second place was Eugenie’s dress, which beat Meghan’s, who sits in third position.

Kate Middleton and her Sarah Burton gown have thrashed all other royal brides in the style stakes, according to our reader poll (Picture: Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)
This official wedding photograph released by the Royal Communications of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in the White Drawing Room, Windsor Castle with (left to right) Back row: His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge; Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge; Miss Theodora Williams; Miss Isla Phillips; Master Louis De Givenchy Front row: Miss Mia Tindall; Miss Savannah Phillips; Miss Maud Windsor. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday October 13, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Alex Bramall/PA Wire Embargoed to 2230 BST Saturday October 13 2018. NEWS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL USE. NO MERCHANDISING, ADVERTISING, SOUVENIRS, MEMORABILIA or COLOURABLY SIMILAR. NOT FOR USE AFTER 30th April 2019 WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION FROM BUCKINGHAM PALACE. NO CROPPING. Copyright in the photograph is vested in Princess Eugenie of York and Mr Jack Brooksbank and Alex Bramall. Publications are asked to credit the photograph to Alex Bramall. No charge should be made for the supply, release or publication of the photograph. The photograph must not be digitally enhanced, manipulated or modified in any manner or form and must include all of the individuals in the photograph when published. NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
An official wedding photograph for Eugenie and Jack’s wedding (Picture: PA)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave from the West Door of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Ben STANSALL - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Meghan Markle’s Givenchy gown came in second place (Picture: Getty Images Europe)

Kate’s Sarah Burton design for Alexander McQueen won the battle of the brides with 37% of the vote. Princess Eugenie’s came in second place with 27%, while Meghan’s fell to third with 15% of the vote.

See the full ranking of royal wedding dresses here:

If you want to see each of the dresses for yourself before making your own decision, check out our detailed rundown of the royal dresses below.

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

Wedding: King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

Date: Thursday 26 April 1923

26th April 1923: The wedding of the Duke of York (1895 – 1952), later George VI, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon (1900 – 2002). (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

When Prince Albert, Duke of York, soon to be King George VI, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, tied the knot, they broke from tradition and ensured their wedding was a public affair, marrying in Westminster Abbey instead of a private, royal chapel.

Their public celebration-style wedding, which is what we are now accustomed to with royal weddings, was a means of lifting the public’s spirits following the First World War. It was also widely believed that Prince Albert would never take to the throne, given his brother Edward was older than him.

Why King George and not King Albert?

King George VI’s first name was Albert – his full name was Albert Frederick Arthur George.

He opted to use his middle name George to rule with as, following his brother Edwards VIII’s abdication in 1936, he wanted to offer the British public a sense of continuity so, given his father was King George V, he went with George as well.

Elizabeth’s 1920s wedding gown was created by Madame Handley Seymouor, the dressmaker to Queen Mary, the sister of King George VI.

Made with deep ivory chiffon moire, it was embroidered with pearls and a silver thread.

Queen Mary provided the Flanders lace used for the train and the dress also featured a strip of Brussels lace, which was Elizabeth’s Strathmore family heirloom.

26th April 1923: Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1900 – 2002) leaves her home for her wedding to the Duke of York, the future King George VI. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
26th April 1923: The marriage of the Duke and Duchess of York at Westminster Abbey, London. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
26th April 1923: The Duke and Duchess of York on their marriage day, later becoming King George VI (1895 – 1952) and Queen Elizabeth (1900 – 2002). (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
26th April 1923: King George V of Great Britain (right) and Queen Mary on the wedding day of their son George, later King George VI, to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1900 – 2002). With them are the Earl and Countess of Stramore (left). Original Artist: By Elliott & Fry. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Attached to Queen Elizabeth’s girdle was a trail of spring green tulle. A news article at the time wrote: ‘In the trimming the bride has defied all old superstitions about the unluckiness of green.’

The details of the Queen Mother’s dress were revealed ahead of her wedding, unlike the tradition nowadays of keeping the details top secret.

King George VI, meanwhile, wore RAF full dress in his senior service rank of captain.


Queen Elizabeth II

Wedding: Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II

Date: 20 November 1947

Princess Elizabeth, now Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Philip leave Westminster Abbey, London after their wedding on 20th November 1947. (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Princess Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten, Duke Of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey in 1947.

Her dress was designed by court designer Norman Hartnell, who was famous for his embroidery. He took his inspiration from flowers, such as jasmine, for the pattern on her dress.

20th November 1947: Queen Elizabeth II (as Princess Elizabeth) with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on their wedding day in Westminster Abbey, London. Original Publication: Picture Post – 4438 – Royal Wedding – pub. 1947 (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images)
20th November 1947: Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace, London, after their wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Although she was the heir apparent at the time, she still had to buy her wedding dress with ration coupons. In fact, hundreds of members of the public sent Elizabeth their coupons to help her buy the gown, however it was not legal for her to use them so they were sent back. The government donated 200 coupons to help her.

Elizabeth’s dress was made of soft Damascus Prokar. It featured a high neckline, tailored bodice and, at 13 feet long, a short trail.

Much speculation surrounded her dress at the time and it’s understood she was worried that if the details leaked, fashion houses would copy it and she would therefore find it difficult to make last-minute alterations.

Princess Elizabeth, now Queen Elizabeth II, arrives with her father, King George VI for her wedding to Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey, London on 20th November 1947. (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images).
2nd June 1953: Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh wave at the crowds from the balcony at Buckingham Palace. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth’s tiara famously snapped on the morning of her wedding as she got ready at Buckingham Palace.

However, the court jeweler was on standby in case of an emergency so he was rushed to his work room by police escort and it was fixed in time for the ceremony.


Princess Margaret

Wedding: Antony Armstrong-Jones and Princess Margaret

Date: Friday 6 May 1960

Princess Margaret married Antony Armstrong-Jones at Westminster Abbey (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

Princess Margaret married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones in May 1960.

It was watched by 300 million people worldwide, having become the first royal wedding ever broadcast on TV.

Just like her sister’s gown, her wedding dress was designed by Normal Hartnell, made from silk organza.

British Royalty, London, England, 6th May 1960, H,R,H,Princess Margaret leaves for Westminster Abbey, accompanied by her father The Duke of Edinburgh, to be married to Anthony Armstrong-Jones (Photo by Bob Thomas/Popperfoto/Getty Images)
Princess Margaret is accompanied by her brother-in-law Prince Philip during her wedding to Antony Armstrong-Jones at Westminister Abbey.
6th May 1960: Princess Margaret (1930 – 2002) and Antony Armstrong-Jones on their wedding day at Buckingham Palace after the ceremony. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Princess Margaret and her new husband Antony Armstrong Jones pose for a picture with their bridesmaids at Buckingham Palace, 6th May 1960. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The newly-wed Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, and her husband, the photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones wave 06 May 1960 (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

A total of thirty metres of fabric was used for the skirt alone and the dress won critical approval thanks to its elegant simplicity.

It was described as ‘stunningly tailored’ by Vogue and Life magazine said it was ‘the simplest royal wedding gown in history’.

Some fashion critics even go as far to say it is Hartnell’s finest piece of work.


Anne, Princess Royal

Wedding: Mark Phillips and Princess Anne

Date: Wednesday 14 November 1973.

Princess Anne on her wedding day with her husband Mark Phillips, her younger brother Prince Edward, and cousin Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Princess Anne married Mark Phillips in November 1973 at Westminster Abbey.

He gown was designed by Maureen Baker, who created designs for the Susan Small label and had previously designed pieces for Anne.

The dress had a high neckline with ‘medieval sleeves’ and was embroidered in what has been described as ‘Tudor-style’, with the train embroidered by Lock’s Embroiderers.

(Original Caption) London, England: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Michael Ramsey blesses Prince Anne and Captain Mark Phillips during their wedding ceremony in Westminster Abbey.
Princess Anne and Mark Phillips walk down the aisle together after being married at Westminster Cathedral. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
The wedding of Anne, Princess Royal to Mark Phillips, London, UK, 14th November 1973. Also pictured are Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Viscount Linley, Katharine, Duchess of Kent, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, King Constantine II of Greece, King Juan Carlos I of Spain, and King Harald V of Norway and Queen Sonja of Norway. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
(Original Caption) London, England: Princes Anne and Capt. Mark Phillips share a laugh on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding.

It was reflective of 1970s fashion and widely regarded as a simple design, which Anne helped create herself.


Diana, Princess Of Wales

Wedding: Prince Charles and Diana, Princess Of Wales

Date: Wednesday 29 July 1981

The wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, 29th July 1981. The couple leave the cathedral after the ceremony. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Diana, Princess Of Wales’ wedding dress is possibly one of the most famous gowns in the world.

It was kept top secret in the run up to her and Prince Charles’ wedding day, with a back-up dress even in place in case the original dress’ details leaked.

The ivory silk taffeta and antique lace gown was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel.

They consulted Stephen Walters of Suffolk to help with the taffeta and Maureen Baker to help with the construction.of the dress, which featured 10,000 pearls and sequins alone.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – JULY 29: Lady Diana Spencer Arriving With Her Father, Earl Spencer, At St Paul’s Cathedral For Her Wedding To Prince Charles. Lady Diana (princess Of Wales) Is Making Her Way Up The Stairs Whilst Her Bridesmaids Straighten Her Long Train (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
29th July 1981: Charles, Prince of Wales, with his wife, Princess Diana (1961 – 1997), at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, during their marriage ceremony. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – JULY 29: Princess Diana And Prince Charles Walking Down The Aisle Of St Paul’s In London On Their Wedding Day With Their Bridesmaids And Pageboys (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
The Prince and Princess of Wales leave St Paul’s Cathedral on their wedding day, 29th July 1981. (Photo by Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)
The Prince and Princess of Wales return to Buckingham Palace by carriage after their wedding, 29th July 1981. She wears a wedding dress by David and Elizabeth Emmanuel and the Spencer family tiara. (Photo by Terry Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)
GREAT BRITAIN – JULY 29: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales whispering to Diana, Princess of Wales on their wedding day as they appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
LONDON – JULY 29: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their wedding on July 29, 1981 in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

Diana’s dress caused much concern for her dressmakers and seamstress as she developed the eating disorder bulimia in the run up to her wedding, dropping from a size 14 to 10.

Her train was also practically double the length of Queen Elizabeth’s at 25 feet long, a detail that hadn’t been considered when it came to Diana making her way into the glass coach that would take her to St Paul’s Cathedral. The train ended up being crushed and creases could be seen when she emerged.


Sarah Ferguson, Duchess Of York

Wedding: Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess Of York

Date: Wednesday 23 July 1986

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson wave outside of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day, London, England, July 23, 1986. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew married in July 1986 in Westminster Abbey.

Her dress was designed by Lindka Cierach, her gown was created from duchesse satin and featured heavy beading. 17 feet.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – JULY 23: Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and Prince Andrew, Duke of York stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace and wave at their wedding on July 23, 1986 in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Wedding dress fever had swept the nation so much by this point that copies of Sarah’s dress were being sold in stores hours after her wedding.


Sophie, Countess Of Wessex

Wedding: Prince Edward, Earl Of Wessex and Sophie, Countess Of Wessex

Date: Saturday 19 June 1999

Edward and Saphie, the new Earl and Countess of Wessex on their wedding day in Windsor on June 19, 1999. at the Windsor in Windsor, United Kingdom. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

Sophie Rhys-Jones married Prince Edward at St George’s Chapel in June 1999.

Her dress was designed by Samantha Shaw and was made of hand-dyed silk organza and hand-dyed silk crepe.

The gown featured long sleeves and a V-neckline with 325,000 pearls and crystals sewn onto the dress.

Edward and Saphie, the new Earl and Countess of Wessex on their wedding day in Windsor on June 19, 1999. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)
Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones wave to wellwishers 19 June 1999 as they leave St. George’s Chapel after their marriage at Windsor Castle. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) (Photo credit should read GERRY PENNY/AFP/Getty Images)


Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall

Wedding: Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall

Date: Saturday 9 April 2005

Prince Charles and Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall (Photo by Anwar Hussein Collection/ROTA/WireImage)

When Camilla Parker Bowles married Prince Charles in June 2005, she had not one but two wedding dresses.

The first she wore to their civil ceremony service at Guildhall, Windsor.

The second, she wore for the blessing at St George’s Chapel, which directly followed the ceremony.

WINDSOR, ENGLAND – APRIL 09: TRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, depart the Civil Ceremony where they were legally married, at The Guildhall, Windsor on April 9, 2005 in Berkshire, England. (Photo by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images)
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall (Photo by Anwar Hussein Collection/ROTA/WireImage)

Both dresses were created by Antonia Robinson and Anna Valentine, who were working under the name Robinson Valentine at the time. They are now known as Anna Valentine.

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 9: Clarence House official handout photo of the Prince of Wales and his new bride Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle April 9 2005, after their wedding ceremony. (Photo by Hugo Burnand/Pool/Getty Images)
(Picture: Getty Images)

Will Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall ever be Queen?

There's much talk over what Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall's name will be when Charles ascends the throne.

On their wedding day, Clarence House revealed that when Charles becomes King, presuming he will not abdicate, Camilla will become known as Princess Consort.

Traditionally, as dictated by English common law, the wife of the ruling monarch is called Queen Consort: Kate Middleton will be known as when William ascends the throne.

A Queen Consort shares her husband's social rank and status, although not his military or political powers.

There is no historical or legal reason why Camilla would be known as Princess Consort and this year, Clarence House removed the statement dictating this, suggesting she will, after all, be known as Queen Consort.

A Queen Consort can take the title of Queen, so Camilla would become known as Queen Camilla.


The Duchess Of Cambridge

Wedding: Prince William, Duke Of Cambridge and Kate Middleton, Duchess Of Cambridge

Date: Friday 29 April 2011

Catherine Middleton shows her Alexander McQueen dress in full for the first time outside Westminster Abbey (Picture: Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Alexander McQueen’s creative director Sarah Burton was the brains behind Kate’s elegant – and stunning – lace bridal gown for her wedding to Prince William.

For months speculation was rife on who would be the designer and Sarah had kept a stealthy silence on the matter.

So it was only natural that everyone was clamoring for the first glimpse of Kate in her dress – even it it was shielded in part by the screens at The Goring.

As Kate finally emerged outside Westminster Abbey – with the entire world seeing her dress on TV screens before her husband-to-be had – it was confirmed that Burton was in fact the designer.

The stunning dress featured delicate lace (Picture: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Pippa carried Kate’s train as they leave Westminster Abbey (Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

She was even on hand to neaten the train – which was 9ft long – on the day and ensure every inch of the dress looked perfect as Kate made her way down the aisle.

It later emerged that Kate and Sarah had been having secret meetings at Hampton Court Palace to discuss the dress – the location chosen due to its proximity to The Royal School Of Needlework, who created the lace for the gown.

It was so hush-hush that staff there were told that the lace they were creating was actually for a period drama.

Sarah Burton arranges Kate’s dress just before she walked down the aisle (Picture: Jon Bond – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The dress designer also created Pippa’s gown (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)
Prince William and Kate Middleton emerge from Westminster Abbey after their wedding ceremony (Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)


Zara Phillips

Wedding: Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall

Date: Saturday 30 July 2011

Zara Phillips departs for her wedding to Mike Tindall at Canongate Kirk on July 30, 2011 (Picture: Getty)

Zara Phillips’ wedding dress was designed by Stewart Parvin, who was a favourite among the Royal Family.

The dress featured sheer cap sleeves, and the silk fabric gave her a flattering shape as it opened out into the skirt.

Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall after their wedding at Canongate Kirk (Picture: Getty)
Zara’s wedding gown (Picture: Philip Ide – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain’s Zara Phillips, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, is pictured after her wedding to England rugby player Mike Tindall at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland, on July 30, 2011. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
England rugby player Mike Tindall (L) and his new bride Britain’s Zara Phillips, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, leave after their wedding ceremony at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland, on July 30, 2011. AFP PHOTO / DYLAN MARTINEZ/POOL (Photo credit should read DYLAN MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)


Meghan Markle

Wedding: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Date: Saturday 19 May 2018

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle after their wedding ceremony on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle (Picture: PA)

After months of speculation over who the designer of Meghan Markle’s wedding dress is, it was finally revealed on her wedding day.

Not Ralph & Russo, Erdem or Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, the designer of Meghan’s dress is Clare Waight Keller at Givenchy.

Opting for a 1960s-style, off the shoulder gown by the first female artistic director of the French fashion house, Meghan looked stunning in her white gown.

‘Meghan’s chosen a clean classic high bateau neckline, which is beautifully demure.’ Bridebook.co.uk told Metro.co.uk.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock (9685436en) Prince Harry and Meghan Markle The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Ceremony, St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, UK - 19 May 2018
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry emerge after their wedding (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave after their wedding ceremony at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, England, Saturday, May 19, 2018. (Owen Humphreys/pool photo via AP)
Harry takes Meghan’s hand as they walk back down the aisle (Picture: WPA Rota)
Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock (9685436gl) Prince Harry and Meghan Markle The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Ceremony, St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, UK - 19 May 2018
Meghan Markle’s dress was designed by Givenchy (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

‘Meghan’s dress is incredibly theatrical and exquisitely cut with an embroidered cathedral length handmade tulle veil. It is A-line with a relatively short train of about 70 inches from the waist, resulting in lovely movement as the bride walks.

‘There are no seams in the bodice. Incredibly clean and plain dresses such as this are VERY time consuming and complicated to make, because unlike a lace dress, there is no room for any errors and you can’t hide any wrinkles as the fabric has to sit perfectly.

Around 250 members of the Armed Forces are making their final preparations in Windsor today ahead of the ceremonies at the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince Henry of Wales and Ms Meghan Markle. The Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force are all providing ceremonial support to mark the occasion. Units that hold a special relationship with Prince Harry were chosen at the request of Kensington Palace. Some of the troops performing ceremonial duties today served alongside Prince Harry during his ten years in the Army. From 9.30am this morning, the Band of the Irish Guards entertained crowds as they gathered to watch events unfold around Windsor. The State Trumpeters of the Band of the Household Cavalry will play fanfares in St George?s Chapel to mark the arrival of HM The Queen and Ms Meghan Markle ahead of the wedding service.
(Picture: PA)

‘When you have a clean dress like that the bride really shines. You have to be very beautiful to wear a plain dress. Meghan’s face really pops out, and she looks stunning. It is possibly zibeline silk or micado fabric.’

Meghan’s dress featured a cathedral train and she wore Queen Mary’s filigree tiara, which was last worn in the 1800s.


Princess Eugenie

Wedding: Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank

Date: Friday 12 October 2018

Britain's Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank kiss as they leave after their wedding at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, Windsor, Britain October 12, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank kiss as they leave St George’s Chapel following their wedding (Picture: REUTERS)

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank have tied the knot at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, five months after Meghan and Harry wed at the very same venue.

Eugenie and her long-term boyfriend Jack opted for a public affair, tying the knot in front of more than 800 guests, broadcasting their wedding live on ITV1 and heading on a carriage ride around Windsor straight after their nuptials.

Eugenie wore a dress designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos in their East London studio.

Princess Eugenie and her new husband Jack Brooksbank leave St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle following their wedding. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday October 12, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Eugenie’s gown was designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos (Picture: PA)
The Duke of York arrives with Princess Eugenie for her wedding to Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday October 12, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
The gown showed off her back scar (Picture: PA)

According to Peter Pilotto: ‘During several fittings the dress was developed layer by layer, constructing it from the corset and the complex underskirt to the fitted bodice and full pleated skirt.’

She also wore a tiara, which once belonged to the Queen Mother, borrowed from Granny (the Queen), made from diamonds and emeralds.

Eugenie’s wedding shoes are from Charlotte Olympia, she is carrying a bouquet by Patrice van Hellen Oakes. In terms of glam, her hair is by Sonny-Jo Macfarlane at Hari’s and make up by Bobbi Brown’s Hannah Martin.

The Wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Mr Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel, Windsor, Berkshire, UK, on the 12th October 2018. Picture by James Whatling
Eugenie’s tiara was from the Queen Mother’s collection (Picture: James Whatling)

A wedding dress by Peter Pilloto usually costs in the region of £2,500, however this one will have been tailor made for Eugenie so is likely to have cost far more.

The dress’ featured low-back design also notably showed off Eugenie’s scar on her back from surgery when she was aged 12.

For inspiration on mother of the bride outfits – or to see what the royals have previously chosen for the important role, click right here.

If you are more into your jewellery, however, check out our comparison of all of the royal engagement and wedding rings here.

MORE: How Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s baby will change current succession to the British throne

MORE: When is Meghan Markle’s due date as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex reveal royal baby news?

MORE: Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby be a prince or princess?

Mums offer advice to the Duchess of Sussex following royal baby news

Women who had kids but regret it
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

The dust from the spectacular wedding between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry has barely settled, and we’re already greeted with joyous news that there’s a baby on the way.

Announced today, the little bundle of joy is due next spring.

While baby news is always exciting, it can feel daunting too.

Becoming a mum comes with high, lows and challenges – and none know this better than those who have done it before you. Thankfully, the mummy community is full of friendly advice.

We asked mothers from all over the UK to impart their pearls of wisdom for budding new mums – here’s what they said.

Phee, 29, Hull

Online shop for everything. Taking a baby shopping is not fun.

Sophie, 47, Oxford, mother of one

Trust yourself – there’s a lot of advice out there and it can start to dull your instincts. Also, don’t get caught up in the whole ‘this is the best age, enjoy every second’.

Each stage has its own rewards, and seeing your child evolve and develop their own sense of self is a continual source of enjoyment and interest.

Nicola, 39, London

It’s going to be and feel shit sometimes.

I always impart this cheerful piece of wisdom (if invited to do so) to expectant first-time mums. Because when you’re sobbing in despair at 3am with little but a screaming baby and sleep deprivation for company, the reassurance that it’s normal to feel awful, would’ve been the most helpful and comforting thing anyone could have told me.

Nobody really prepares you for that.

Not the books, not the health professionals, nor the other mums; all of which seem more focused on how wonderful you should feel about it all.

Jayne, 50, Barnsley

Don’t sweat the small stuff. An older friend and mother gave me this advice when I had my first baby. In other words, don’t get upset if things go awry or mess happens, everyone will survive.

Jo, 48, St Albans, mother of one

Make sure you always have muslin cloths, baby wipes and a sense of humour, and you’ll be fine.

Cheryl, 36, Shropshire, mother of five

If anybody offers help – take it.

Even if they just wash the dishes or put some washing on for you, it will make your life much easier. Join a baby group; while it may seem a little silly taking a newborn to a place full of children playing with toys, that time can be valuable for you to have a little bit of interaction with other parents.

Once the visitors start to trail off, you can become quite lonely and isolated. By joining a group, it will help make this a little bit easier.

Most importantly, everyone in the world will have advice and words of wisdom for you but this is your baby, you are well within your rights to choose to raise him or her how you want to, and not under the expectations of others.

(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Sian, 29, Chichester

Everything is a phase (one day they will sleep, I promise). The days are really, really long, but the years go so, so quickly.

Jacqui, 45, High Wycombe

Don’t feel intimidated by those mums who seem to have it all together – they’re feeling just as overwhelmed as you are (they’re just hiding it better).

Takayo, 43, London, mother of a 12-year-old boy

Embrace and enjoy the time with a baby. It’s tough when they’re little and it seems like your life is sucked into it, but the baby grows so fast and before you know it, he or she is a teenager. You can never get that time back.

Lauren, 30, Kent

Ban visitors for at least a week or two, or however long you need. I got to the point where I was begging my mum to stop very well-meaning visitors from coming to the hospital and the house.

I felt like I had to plaster on a smile, and it made me feel awful.

The best piece of advice I ever received from a visitor (some can be very judgmental) was: ‘Have a toolbox of bottles, dummies, pumps etc., and just use anything you need from it to make sure you are OK and can get through this’.

I almost cried as I had been feeling so guilty about using a dummy and giving the bottle.

Catherine, 47, Shrewsbury, mother of a 14-year-old

Don’t judge your baby against other babies, or the charts in your development book. And don’t be sniffy if you breastfeed and your friends bottle feed (or vice versa) – you’re both doing what’s best for yourselves.

And sleep when the baby sleeps, the ironing can wait.

If you use the bus get a stroller, there’s never room for your all-terrain-three-wheeler with disc brakes.

And cats will run in horror rather than sit on the baby, you don’t need to buy a net. Thanks mum, for that one.

Emma, 48, London, mother of one

If you can’t breastfeed or you hate it (like I did) don’t feel guilty about giving your baby a bottle. They won’t turn out stupid, will still bond with you and won’t be plagued with illnesses and allergies.

Diana, 50, London, mother of two sons

Follow your own instinct. Sometimes it means more than what is in the books.

Sonja, 41, London

Read books about breastfeeding and biologically normal infant sleep before you give birth. I spent a bit too much time just reading about pregnancy and birth; those things quickly become irrelevant once your baby is born.

Lucy, 48, London, mother of two teenagers

Get a pram or buggy where you can see your baby’s face.

I let my husband pick and he got an outward-facing one. Not great for bonding or speech development.

Eimar, 37, Scottish Borders, mother of two

Never go up or down the stairs empty-handed.

Fran, 36, Tunbridge wells, mother of two

Don’t listen to all of the advice you’re given. Follow your gut instinct. As a woman, you were designed to be a fabulous mother.

Cherish the highs and lows but do what you feel is right.

Alex, 43, London, mother of two

One mum with older children gave me this advice when I was a new mum: ‘Listen to all the advice you are given, say “that’s really interesting, thank you”, shut the door and then do what you think is best’.

Karen, 50, New Malden, mother of two teenagers

First piece of advice is not to get carried away with spending loads of money on nice baby / toddler clothes – save the cash for when they’re teenagers and really care what they’re wearing.

And secondly, be brave about going out: visit toddler groups and find out about post-natal groups, and at some point you will make friends who will save your sanity, when you think you’re the only person experiencing X, Y and Z.

Sandra, 37, Reading, mother of three

My advice after three kids: don’t stress, it’s just a phase.

Jenny, 41, north London, no kids

Don’t forget your non-mum friends – they want to be there for you!

MORE: A mum is offering a room in her house to single parent families for free

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A bottomless halloumi brunch is coming to London

(Picture: Rooster PR)
(Picture: Rooster PR)

A bottomless halloumi brunch is coming to London.

Yes, that’s right. Some of our favourite things combined – cheese, cocktails and breakfast food.

You can have the delicious Cypriot cheese in lots of different ways – even as ice cream.

And to wash it all down you an have bottomless fig and Campari spritz or a harissa Bloody Mary.

But be quick – the event starts on 22 October and runs for just one month at Las Banderas in Soho.

(Picture: Rooster PR)
Croque Cypressa (Picture: Rooster PR)
(Picture: Rooster PR)
Halloumi Finger Hash Sandwich(Picture: Rooster PR)
(Picture: Rooster PR)
Halloumi Aubergine Pancake(Picture: Rooster PR)
(Picture: Rooster PR)
Halloumopitta(Picture: Rooster PR)
(Picture: Rooster PR)
Eggs & Soldiers (Picture: Rooster PR)
(Picture: Rooster PR)
Halloumi Waffle (Picture: Rooster PR)

Run by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, it aims to showcase the national cheese of the island and to encourage people to visit.

Francis Puyat and Andrew Zilouf of 100 Hoxton are the people behind the menu.

What's on the menu?

  • Croque Cypressa – Sourdough, halloumi marmita mornay, grilled halloumi, pork belly and fried eggs(£11)
  • Eggs & Soldiers – Tyropita halloumi toast and halloumi fondue (£8)
  • Halloumi Finger Hash Sandwich – Fried egg, tomato chilli jam, tomato & avocado salsa and sourdough (£11)
  • Halloumopitta – Scrambled eggs, smoked salmon taramasalata and sourdough (£11)
  • Halloumi Waffle – Crispy bacon, fried eggs, carob syrup, candied walnut, halloumi ice cream and strawberries (£12)
  • Halloumi Aubergine Pancake – Spiced halloumi popcorn and carob syrup (£10)

Christos Moustras from the Cyprus Tourism Organisation said: ‘Halloumi is Cyprus’ most popular cheese and we’re so excited to be able to bring a key element of Cypriot culture to our latest pop-up venture with Las Banderas. Brunch has long been a popular meal time here in the UK so we are delighted to return and make halloumi the key focus on this popular meal time.’

(Picture: Rooster PR)
(Picture: Rooster PR)

Andrew Zilouf said: ‘As lovers of innovative food, we were thrilled to partner with the CTO for a second year running for this project and have worked really hard to create a menu that we hope is both inspiring and delicious, the perfect start to the day.’

Diners will be able to book for brunch, which costs £32 for 90 minutes, at Las Banderas seven days a week from 11am-4pm, before it disappears on 18 November.

MORE: Have we all been grating our cheese the wrong way?

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Mrs Hinch and her cleaning obsession is dragging women back to the 1950s

(Picture: Getty)

If you don’t know who Mrs Hinch is then buckle up, you’re in for an awakening.

Mrs Hinch is an Instagram famous influencer. Only, instead of being into beauty or fashion or fitness, Mrs Hinch (who weirdly enough called herself Mrs Hinch for quite a long time before she was actually married to Mr Hinch) is a cleaning influencer.

Yes. Cleaning.

Through an ongoing series of Instagram stories set in her spotlessly clean and almost entirely grey home, Mrs Hinch convinces women that cleaning is actually brilliant fun.

Buying cleaning products – erstwhile something to be added to the online shop as an afterthought – is now known as a ‘Hinch Haul’.

Yesterday I read a post from a woman who had written: ‘Omg, H2B (husband to be) says that we can go Hinching this afternoon!!!’

‘Hinching’ is a recent addition to the lexicon of language and it’s a verb which means buying cleaning products, or cleaning. Hinch herself has 951,000 followers on Instagram.

Members of the #HinchArmy post gleeful snaps on Instagram of their cleaning products. The way in which these women delight in spending time and money on various forms of bleach, showing off on Instagram how many flavour they have is terrifying.

Instagram Photo

There’s a scene in the film Mona Lisa Smile where one 1950’s housewife throws open a cupboard to reveal a brand new washer and dryer, joyously showing off how lucky she is.

These cleaning hauls are basically the exact same thing, only sixty years later. Progress? What Progress?

Our mothers and grandmothers fought to be taken seriously in the workplace, to be free from the burden of cleaning all day and to be allowed more than a mop. And yet here we are hash tagging what kind of Zoflora we’ve gone for.

The glamourising of cleaning ignores the bleak reality that women do 60% more domestic labour than men do. Unpaid, of course. Those hours a week where women are cooking and cleaning are hours where they are not progressing in their careers, nor are they relaxing or enjoying a hobby.

The disparity of unpaid domestic labour is regularly held up as a reason for the gender pay gap.

It’s not Mrs Hinch’s fault that women are actively disadvantaged by doing so much housework. She didn’t choose that. I doubt she’s given it much thought. But the fetishisation of cleaning by women on the internet (and trust me, it’s almost exclusively women) totally ignores the reality.

Mrs Hinch is setting women back

Putting a pretty floral label on the washing up liquid doesn’t make the fact that women are washing up rather than working on their careers or enjoying downtime any less oppressive. It just wraps the oppression up in a pretty


Maybe it is fun to spend fifty quid on cleaning supplies and then give your kitchen a good scrub. Perhaps it’s a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. But it’s still unpaid labour and it’s still not fair.

Across the world, women work longer hours than men, but the majority of those hours are unpaid. Cleaning, childcare and cooking are not acts which are valued financially. They are expectations, things which just have to happen. So it’s women who do them. So to see women in their thousands taking to Instagram to blindly revel in these acts of unpaid drugery sets my teeth on edge.

There will always be those who revert to the argument that feminism is about choice, and these women are choosing to clean. But I would ask those women to at least give a moment of thought to why they are choosing cleaning. Is it really a free choice, or is it because they’ve been taught to expect to do most of the work to run a household, and the #HinchArmy is a way of making that work less painful.

Mrs Hinch is setting women back

It’s dangerous to criticise a group of people united by a passion for something. Anyone who’s ever put a snarky comment about One Direction on the internet will know that.

But, as I watched members of the #Hincharmy using their tap to make a ‘seal’ on their loo roll, my reaction was so visceral, it’s a hornet’s nest that I can’t resist poking.

Instagram Photo

Watching women show off about all the new j-cloths and brooms their husbands bought them (or even worse, in the case of one Instagram story which nearly had me throwing my phone across the room, ‘let’ them buy) feels like a huge step backwards.

If gender equality is something that we care about at all, then we should be encouraging women to split the domestic labour of a household down the middle. Not buying them prettier aprons and more comfortable rubber gloves.

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Hospital reveals Spotify playlist with songs that have the perfect beats to perform CPR

(Picture: Getty)

Music has the special ability to make you feel better sometimes. But some songs can literally save your life.

Take the classic Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees for example, which has been used for bygone years in teaching how to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

It has the perfect number of beats to provide intervals between applying pressure to the chest.

But the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital has created a playlist on Spotify and added 46 other songs to make saving a life that little bit easier.

The list, called Songs to do CPR to, might be the only playlist making the likes of Chainsmokers co-exist with The Doors. So what else is available to listen to?

‘All of these songs are 100 BPM — the right beat to perform CPR. Pick one to remember in case you need to save a life,’ said NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital in the playlist’s description.

The creators also provided a link to the hospital’s CPR training video for those looking to learn the technique.

You can expect to listen to everything, from the classics to newer music. ABBA, Michael Jackson, and The Bangles, Beyonce, Robyn, the Spice Girls, and even the All-American Rejects feature on it.

Lady Gaga’s Just Dance also makes the cut but you probably don’t want to belt out the lyrics while performing the chest compressions.

And everyone’s loving the tunes as 10,000 people already follow it.

Proving to be ever so up to date, the hospital adds in new songs with the perfect beat so you can listen to the latest tunes and be a helpful member of society.

Go forth and save lives people, to the tune of Mmmbop.

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Looking for Halloween makeup? Pinterest reveals the most popular looks of this year

Popular halloween makeup on pinterest pintrest collects https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/8514686775089071/ https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/116249234116948055/ https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/307230005804515409/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY-86HiZQQc https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/314829830197066475/
(Picture: Pinterest)

Halloween is just over two weeks away which should leave you with enough time to come up with something creative.

Or you could just look at what other people are doing.

Good thing then that Pinterest has released the most searched Halloween looks on the picture board website. You can see what other people are searching and get inspired for the annual spookfest.

From pumpkin-inspired looks to otherworldly beings, here are the images everyone is putting on their mood boards.

Popular halloween makeup on pinterest pintrest collects https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/8514686775089071/ https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/116249234116948055/ https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/307230005804515409/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY-86HiZQQc https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/314829830197066475/
(Picture: Pinterest)

People are pinning pumpkin makeup the most, which has seen an increase of 884% – not surprising since people will paint the orange stuff almost anywhere on their bodies.

We reported that pumpkin butts and boobs were a thing so it’s no surprise that Pinteresters are also enjoying the design.

With an increase of 158%, ‘celestial’ was the second most searched term. The shiny, intergalactic patterns were adorned by many a Pinterest user and some celebs even got involved.

Popular halloween makeup on pinterest pintrest collects https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/8514686775089071/ https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/116249234116948055/ https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/307230005804515409/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY-86HiZQQc https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/314829830197066475/
(Picture: Pinterest)
Popular halloween makeup on pinterest pintrest collects https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/8514686775089071/ https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/116249234116948055/ https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/307230005804515409/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY-86HiZQQc https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/314829830197066475/
(Picture: Pinterest)

From Lupita to Margot Robbie and Katherine Langford – Hollywood stars were loving the starry makeup.

As expected, Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas also did the rounds, with an increase of 91%.

Popular halloween makeup on pinterest pintrest collects https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/8514686775089071/ https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/116249234116948055/ https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/307230005804515409/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY-86HiZQQc https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/314829830197066475/
(Picture: Pinterest)

And if you really want to make people do a double take when you could always go for an optical illusion, with searches up by 75%.

Spiderweb eyeliner climbed 71%, closely followed by leopard prints painted on the face (66%).

Popular halloween makeup on pinterest pintrest collects https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/8514686775089071/ https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/116249234116948055/ https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/307230005804515409/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY-86HiZQQc https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/314829830197066475/
(Picture: Pinterest)

Dark/evil fairy Halloween tutorial also saw a 55% rise.

Stilletto and witchy nails soared in searches by 51% and 32% respectively.

Will you be pinning any of these?

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Here’s why conkers are dangerous for your dog

(Picture: Getty)

One of life’s great joys is dogs – cat people, look away.

Cuddling your dog during rainy nights, having a companion who always loves and understands you, and long walks in the cold autumn air (somehow this is starting to sound like a personal ad for a partner).

This season, while you’re out and about in nature with your best friend, take care and look out for conkers – the hard, dark brown nut from horse chestnut trees.

The little nuts start to fall off the trees in September and within, contain a deadly toxin known as aesculin, which if ingested by your dog, could be fatal. According to the Blue Cross, dogs have already died due to accidentally chewing or eating conkers.

‘Conkers pose two risks to dogs: their size and shape means they could cause an obstruction to the airway or gut, both of which could be fatal,’ Shaun Opperman, head veterinarian at Battersea Cats and Dogs Home, tells Metro.co.uk

‘Secondly, conkers contain a mixture of toxic compounds which may cause gastronomical and neurological signs of poisoning, such as vomiting, diarrhoea and collapsing.

‘If you think your dog may be at risk it’s important to contact your vet immediately for further advice.’

Poisonous autumn plants to avoid when you're out with your dog

  • Acorns: They are toxic if eaten by pets, as their tannic acid affects the liver and kidneys. Unripe, green acorns are even more harmful.
  • Yew trees: Every part of this tree is poisonous to pets and even eating a few leaves can be serious. They are often found in churchyards, so keep your eyes peeled.
  • Horse chestnut trees: Its bark, leaves, flowers, and conkers are all poisonous to pets. Conkers themselves could also be a choking hazard.
  • Autumn crocuses: These have pale mauve, pink or white flowers in autumn and all parts of the plant are potentially toxic.

Source: PDSA

‘When out walking this autumn, it’s crucial to be aware of any dangerous plants and trees that might cause harm to your pet,’ PDSA veterinarian, Olivia Anderson-Nathan, tells Metro.co.uk.

‘Keep a close eye on them, and try to walk your dog somewhere you know is clear of toxic plants.

‘If you know your pet’s a prime scavenger, you might need to take extra pre-cautions, like popping on a basket muzzle on them while you’re out and about to prevent them picking up anything dangerous.’

Other autumn hazards to be aware of

  • Blue-green algae: This algae is really toxic and can kill pets quickly if they eat it. The algae blooms from late spring to early autumn and looks like blue-green scum on the water. Dogs who love a dip are most at risk, so if you’re worried about the look of the water, don’t let your dog go in for a swim or drink it.
  • Antifreeze: Autumn brings colder weather with it, and you might start using antifreeze to defrost your car. This is really toxic to pets but can be very tempting, especially to cats, because it has a sweet taste. Mop up any spills carefully when you top up your car.
  • Bonfires: Unlit bonfires can be a really tempting place to curl up on a cold night, especially for small animals like hedgehogs. Always check your bonfire for any unexpected visitors before you light it.

Source: PDSA

If you want more information on Conkers, visit the dedicated section on the Blue Cross website.

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Ballet Black is the dance company recruiting black and Asian dancers


A professional ballet company for people of black and Asian descent has opened to try to make the dance more culturally diverse.

Ballet is thought of as a classical dance, often performed by white dancers but Ballet Black wants to change that.

The group was formed in 2001 but has grown thanks to a Facebook group of members from all over the world.

Now, the team, who perform across the UK, will be part of Facebook’s Beyond the Screen film which shines a light on inspirational people who have connected through Facebook to take action in the real world.

(Picture: Facebook/Ballet Black)
(Picture: Facebook/Ballet Black)

Cassa Pancho MBE, creative director and founder of Ballet Black (BB) told Metro.co.uk about the origin of the company and why it’s needed.

‘In my final year of dance school, I decided to research and write a dissertation about the lack of black women working in ballet in Britain at that time (between 1999-2000),’ she said.

‘To my surprise, I could not find a single black woman working in a UK ballet company.

‘The overwhelming response I got from talking to professional and student dancers of black descent was that when it came to ballet training, they often felt uncomfortable being the only black person in the studio. They were regularly discouraged from pursuing a career in classical ballet and were told if they wanted to have a successful career, to go into commercial or modern dance.

Cassa Pancho is the founder of Ballet Black (Picture: Facebook/Ballet Black)

‘They also encountered racist comments about their physique, perpetuating the stereotypical idea that black people are not “suited” to ballet. When I graduated in 2001, I started Ballet Black. It began as a weekly ballet class. Having a black teacher leading the class meant that around 90% of people attending were of black descent.

‘People often assume that BB is about excluding white people. That’s not what it’s about at all, as many people who work for or with BB are of dual heritage or white. BB is about focusing on dancers of black and Asian decent who are still very much in the minority and about providing roles models to younger dancers so that they know a career in ballet could be possible.

(Picture: Facebook/Ballet Black)

‘Following on from that, we also want to see wider representation of people of colour in other arts jobs, like artistic directors, choreographers, designers, teachers – but these jobs often come after a professional dance career.

‘It’s also about opening ballet up to a wider audience, whether you are aiming to be a professional, you’re an audience member or participating in classes – there are lots of ways to get involved and enjoy ballet.’

Cassa added that historically, BAME dancers had to ‘pancake’ their shoes which is painting ballet shoes with makeup so that they match different skin colours.

‘This is extremely laborious and annoying,’ said Cassa. ‘And can soften pointe shoes meaning that they don’t last as long, and leaves make up stains on the floor.

(Picture: Facebook/Ballet Black)

‘We have recently collaborated with Freed of London, a renowned British pointe shoe brand, to create two shades of brown pointe shoe, including ribbons and mesh, which means dancers of colour will be able to buy their shoes off the shelf.

The film, Beyond the Screen, will be shown free of charge at Everyman cinemas across the UK between 17 October 17 and 7 November. Tickets are available here.

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How can a relationship survive grief?

Their engagement only lasted five months (Picture: Startraks)

Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson have announced that they’ve broken off their engagement after a five-month whirlwind romance.

It’s the latest bump in the road in a year of tragedy for the popstar.

According to reports by TMZ, the couple say ‘it just wasn’t the right time for them’. Given that Ariana’s ex, Mac Miller, died just over a month ago, that’s hardly surprising.

There has been speculation that Mac Miller’s tragic death was a factor in the pair’s decision to split. For many couples, dealing with the intense emotions of grief can trigger conflict and break-ups.

The death of an ex-boyfriend, close friend or relative can shatter your world into pieces and leave you reeling. In the aftermath of death it can be difficult for couples to know just what to say, how to support each other or even how to co-exist.

Why we should care about children?s mental wellbeing - and what we can do to help (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk) Metro Illustration Illustrations
(Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk)

When Donna, 29, lost her dad to cancer, it wasn’t long before her relationship of seven years began to fall apart. Donna believes a huge part of the split was due to her grief and the pressure it put on the relationship.

‘I became a lot more needy. I was spinning. My whole world had gone mental and I couldn’t cope,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.

‘I needed a lot more contact – not necessarily to talk, because I didn’t have much to say – but I needed a lot more support. I wasn’t able to cope with everyday stuff. I just stopped caring about the practical things.

‘I didn’t care about bills, I didn’t care about food, I didn’t care about my job. I didn’t really want to be awake half the time. I just needed someone else to take charge and be the adult, while I just spun around.’

Grieving for someone we barely know
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Donna thinks a crucial factor in surviving grief as a couple is having a solid foundation to begin with. If things are already rocky, the emotional burden of coping with loss can prove to be too difficult.

‘For us, we had issues prior to everything happening. After my dad died, I needed him a lot suddenly, because I needed that steady influence – and I was able to put all of our other problems out of my mind because so much other, bigger stuff was happening.

‘Whereas, although this did clearly shake him and have an impact on him, it was nowhere near the same. So, for him, none of our other problems actually went away.

‘He could still see all of that bad stuff, plus he had to deal with me not being my usual self and demanding a lot more from him. That would’ve been fine if we had been in a really positive place, but the reality is that it was all just way too much.’

Donna’s dad declined really quickly. After being told there were no further treatment options, he was moved to a hospice and had died within two months. The sheer speed of it stunned Donna and her family.

In those horrific few months and in the immediate aftermath of her dad’s death, Donna’s partner provided invaluable support.

‘He was amazing. He was there for me and all my family,’ she said. ‘He was there when we were told there was no where else to go with treatment. On the day my dad died, he stayed the night and drove us to the hospice because my sister and I were just crying.

‘My ex went back into the room where my dad had died to help my mum collect his belongings – my sister and I couldn’t go back in the room with his body still in there, but he did that.

‘He was very reassuring and consoling for all of us. He didn’t shy away from it, which would have been the easy thing to do – he very much leant into it.’

ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: Me and my Dad's bipolar - Eleanor Seagall
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

One of the worst things about grief is the unpredictability of it. It’s impossible to know how you will respond to loss, and how you’re going to feel from one day to the next. Donna felt this keenly; ‘My initial reaction was mostly rage,’ she explains.

‘So I was really snappy with my family, but with my boyfriend I was a lot better. But then I started to feel depressed about it. He had to physically get me out of bed some days. Which was probably quite a lot for him to deal with.

‘Grief sped up the process of us breaking up. I think we would’ve got there anyway if none of this had happened, but for him I’m pretty sure the impact of the death pushed him away.

‘I found that grief made it really hard for me to see the wood for the trees. It was impossible for me to know how I really felt about him, or anything, when my whole world had been destroyed like that.

‘I stopped seeing the bad pre-existing issues we had. I was utterly dependent on him in my lowest moments, and his amazing reaction right after my dad died really confused everything in my mind.’

A few months after her dad died, Donna and her boyfriend broke up. In a weird way, the pain of the grief she was already experiencing lessened the pain of the break-up.

‘My heart was already shattered. The worst thing had already happened. So comparatively, the pain of it didn’t really land.

How can I get help to deal with grief?

The Cruse Bereavement Care Freephone National Helpline is staffed by trained bereavement volunteers, who offer emotional support to anyone affected by bereavement.

They can also help you find your local Cruse service, or signpost you to other services and useful sources of information.

The helpline is open Monday-Friday 9.30-5pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, when they are open until 8pm.

The number is 0808 808 1677

For more information, visit https://www.cruse.org.uk/

‘It’s almost like if you’ve been hit by a car and then you cut your finger – you’re not really going to care about your finger.

‘I think you have to have a really clear understanding of your relationship, and what you expect from people. It helps to be clear about what you need and to be realistic about what the other person can actually give you.’

So when everything is terrible and your heart is in pieces – is it possible to maintain a relationship? Your boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse could be an incredible source of support to help you through one of the hardest periods of your life.

So how do you do it? Relationship coach, Ben Edwards, thinks the key is to be honest with yourself about your emotions.

‘If we ignore how we’re feeling, we can find ourselves becoming increasingly irritable and frustrated, taking this out on those closest to us,’ explains Ben.

‘It’s important to realise that there’s no right or wrong when it comes to grief. Trust in your partner and use them as an outlet for your emotions, even if you don’t necessarily understand them.

‘Essentially, communication is key, both with yourself and your partner. Give yourself time to process how you’re feeling and be honest with your partner, even if this honesty means admitting that you simply don’t know how you’re feeling, or how you want to move forward.

‘If your partner is struggling with grief, appreciate that they don’t necessarily need you to offer a solution, but simply a source of comfort.

‘After suffering a loss, our human need for love and connection certainly takes a battering. If your partner has experienced this, make your relationship stronger by filling up their needs.

‘Show them as much love as you can, emphasising that you’re not going anywhere. Reassurance and a shoulder to cry on will help to settle your partner’s frayed nerves and sense of insecurity.’

people tell us the things people said during sex that instantly killed the mood
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Zara*, 29, was at work when she got the call that her dad had passed away after a massive heart attack. Three weeks before, her boyfriend had proposed.

Rather than the happy, excited anticipation expected of newly engaged couples, Zara and her fiancé were instead thrown into a state of flux.

‘It was completely out of the blue. A complete shock. My partner was great, but initially he just didn’t know what to do,’ Zara says.

‘I felt a bit guilty as well. It should have been a happy time, and I just felt like I would never be happy again. All I could think about was my dad and I didn’t have any space in my brain for anything else.

‘My fiancé was really great when there was stuff to do, he did a lot of admin stuff and phones a lot of people – but he really struggled when there was no real job. And I didn’t really know what I needed either.

For Zara and her partner it felt like a bit of a waiting game. It took time for the emotion and sadness to feel less raw, but once it did they began to feel more like themselves again.

‘It was after it had been like a year. Once I had made it through the major landmarks – what would’ve been my dad’s birthday, or my parents anniversary, Christmas – things felt easier. It kind of felt like this was the new normal.

‘The best thing that my partner did for me in that time was to let me talk about my dad whenever. He was really patient and never made it an elephant in the room.

‘He would bring it up as well, so it really made me feel like I was “allowed” to talk about it and be sad about it, if that’s the right word.

And it wasn’t only emotional support that Zara needed from her partner while she was grieving, their physical relationship changed too.

‘I just didn’t feel like having sex. It wasn’t that I didn’t love him, it was just that I was struggling to feel anything at all, and sex was just completely unappealing.

‘He was so understanding and so patient. We had just gotten engaged, and we should’ve been having all the sex, but I just couldn’t, which is something I didn’t even expect as a side effect of the grief.

‘There was no pressure, no asking me when I would be ready. He let me feel exactly what I needed to feel.’

Zara and her partner got married in September, and they’re closer than ever. Zara feels that if they can make it through that then they can make it through anything.

She says: ‘It was actually a really solid test of our partnership. It was all so intense and horrible, so the fact that we can make it through something like that bodes really well for the future.

‘The wedding itself was pretty tough, and emotional at times. My mum gave me away and gave a speech, and it was hard to feel that my dad should have been there.

‘My husband was brilliant – he mentioned my dad in his speech, which really meant a lot to me.

‘Some of the specific phrases he said to me when I was grieving were really helpful. Rather than telling me things would get better, he would say, “you’ll be OK”, he didn’t say when, but he said it would happen.

‘It was little things like this that just allowed me to feel what I was feeling, I never had to force myself to look on the bright side or be more positive. He let me feel my grief in the exact way that I needed to feel it.’

Need support? Contact the Samaritans

For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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Same-sex penguin couple Magic and Sphen are to become parents


Penguins famously mate for life so they know how to fall in love.

And their emotional intelligence doesn’t stop there – animal behaviour experts have found that many same-sex penguins have courted one another in the past and become gay couples.

Such is the story of Magic and Sphen, two gentoo penguins at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, Australia.

The male pair formed a bond during the 2018 breeding season. Tish Hannan, the aquarium’s penguin department supervisor, said staff knew love was in the air when Magic and Sphen were seen bowing to each other, a classic mating call.

same-sex penguin couple havign a baby
(Picture: Sea Life Sydney Aquarium)

Magic and Sphen would also build a nest using ice pebbles and when they were let out for the breeding season, they began building a real nest together.

Proving to be the romantic one out of the two, Sphen even gave Magic a ‘special stone’ which, according to the aquarium, is their way of proposing.

And they certainly made sure to make a fuss out of it, using a pebble that was bigger than any of the other couples’ nests at the aquarium.

Now, with some help from the aquarium folks, Magic and Sphen will become parents.

Staff tested their parenting skills by giving a dummy egg to the couple who were ‘absolute naturals’ when it came to incubating it.

same-sex penguin couple havign a baby
(Picture: Sea Life Sydney Aquarium)

This inspired staff to take an egg from another penguin couple and give it to Magic and Sphen to incubate.

This worked out for both couples as gentoo penguins often only have resources to care for one egg at a time.

Supervisor Tish said feeding, incubating and taking care of the baby shouldn’t be an issue for same-sex couples as penguins divide parental responsibilities.

Us humans could probably learn a thing or two from penguins.

Magic and Sphen are not the first to be in a same-sex animal relationship as other penguins from all over the world have also become mates.

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Why do we grow out of our teenage perfumes?


Last week, the nice people at Tommy Hilfiger sent me a bottle of Tommy Girl. Which happens to be the first scent I ever wore.

Like most kids, I was fickle, so I moved onto another scent. Overwhelmed with memories, I put the Tommy Girl on and I was was ten years old, back in South West London in 2002.

Wondering why I’d ever stopped wearing it (it really is a great scent – clean and fresh), I asked Twitter about falling back in love scent. The replies came flooding in. Ghost, Charlie Red, White Musk, CK1, and a variety of celebrity fragrances (Britney Spears seems to have been everyone’s favourite). Everyone seems to remember their first perfume.

The lovely thing about scent is that it can be the exact same a decade, or several decades, later. The world around you might have changed, but you can still smell the exact same thing you were smelling when you had your first kiss, first crush or first heartbreak.

But none of the women reminiscing about their favourite teenage scents seemed to still be wearing them. So I spoke to perfumer Linda Jane Pilkington who works for Ormonde Jayne, to ask her why we grow out of scents.

She told metro.co.uk: ‘It’s a bit like friends in some respect, you find you have less in common and favour new scents that suit you better as you evolve, and there are some scents that you will love all your life, forever faithfully and are always there for you, like some good friends.

‘There are some scents that are launched that can be extremely powerful, for instance, when Christian Dior launched Dune with the beautiful ad, ther wasn’t one girl in my class that didn’t find a way to get hold of a bottle of her own. When I ask my clients that come into our boutique which scents they loved first, most of them repeat the same scents, First by Van Cleef & Arpel, Crystal by Chanel, Eau Savage by Christian Dior.

‘I think we have some constant favourite classic scents that we may love all our life, like and others that come and go according to our current likes and our interest in anything new.’

Given how much consensus there is about teenage perfumes (who didn’t wear Charlie Red?) I wondered whether some smells just appeal more to teens. Linda explained: ‘The younger generation are much more receptive to the more fun-loving elegant fruity florals – at our boutique we have Sampaquita, with peach, sambak (like jasmine) other fruit notes that are really popular with the younger set.

But more than that, different generations like different scents. Linda says: ‘Our spicy orientals, like Orris Noir which contains a strong notes of pimento, pepper and patchouli and has a definite seductive nuance, lends itself to the generation that are very discerning, with a lot of self confidence and those who have found their own style’.

So yes, it’s entirely possible that things won’t smell the same on your skin as they did when you were a teenager. After all, your body chemistry has changed, and (hopefully) so has your life. But I can attest, getting your hands on a bottle of your favourite perfume is a perfect trip down memory lane and a sweet, wholesome kind of indulgence.

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Loneliness is not something GPs can solve alone

Signposting patients to social activities can help GP tackle the loneliness crisis (Photo by Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)

More than a million people will visit their GP across the UK today, but many of them will not actually be ‘medically ill’.

A lot of my time in surgery can be spent just listening to patients who are experiencing symptoms not caused by physical ailments, particularly those who are lonely or socially isolated.

I might be the only person they’ve spoken to all day and sitting down in a consultation room for 10 minutes is the most interaction they’ll have to look forward to. It’s a bigger problem than most people realise.

At the Royal College of GPs, we think that loneliness has now reached ‘epidemic’ proportions and that the adverse effects of feeling lonely can be akin to suffering from a long-term condition, like diabetes or high blood pressure.

According to Age UK, more than 2 million people over 50 will be lonely by 2025-26 – a 49% increase on the 1.36 million in 2015-16.

For the younger generation, it’s even more prevalent, due in part to the impact of social media, with the Office for National Statistics reporting that almost 10% of people aged 16 to 24 were ‘always or often’ lonely – the highest proportion of any age group researched.

From a GP’s perspective, more than 75% of us are seeing between one and five lonely people a day, according to research by the Campaign to End Loneliness.

Of course, the experience of loneliness is part of being human and none of us will go through life without sometimes feeling isolated, but for many people each day is a battle that can ultimately have serious effects on their overall health and wellbeing.

Rather than prescribing traditional medication like a course of pills, GPs will instead signpost patients to activities, charities or groups in the community

Last year, the College GPs started campaigning on tackling the adverse impacts of loneliness on health. But what do you give someone to help them feel less lonely? The answer in the majority of cases is not medication, but in using social prescribing to help find solutions in the community – in other words, social activities that bring people together.

Social prescribing isn’t anything new to GPs, most of us have been doing it for a long time (although we didn’t have a name for it.)  Rather than prescribing traditional medication like a course of pills, GPs will instead signpost patients to activities, charities or groups in the community – places where they can get advice, find new passions, indulge in hobbies and, most importantly, meet new people with whom they share a common interest.

In my conference speech to our GP members last year, I talked about Enid: my 80-something, recently widowed patient who had some health problems – but the underlying reason for her increasingly regular visits was because she was lonely.

I was able to link Enid with a great social prescribing scheme and encouraged her to get involved with a community initiative involving young mums which restored her sense of purpose and joy in life, resulting in a marked improvement in her health and wellbeing.

Tackling loneliness is therefore going to take more than medicine and I’ve seen first-hand the impact good social prescribing services can have.

However, with GP services facing unprecedented pressures, finding the time and resources to do this for everyone can be a real challenge, and something the College has identified as a stumbling block to helping solve the loneliness crisis.

In March, we hosted a special roundtable event dedicated to understanding this issue and soon after released our community action plan calling for a database of social prescribing projects, a public health campaign around loneliness and access to dedicated ‘social prescribers’ for every GP practice in the UK.

The Government has taken note and its strategy to prevent loneliness launched today; it includes proposals for ‘connectors’ or ‘link workers’ to help patients find the support they need, meaning that GPs can dedicate more of their time to those patients with complex medical conditions. We now need more detail on how these promises are funded and how they will work in practice.

It’s hugely encouraging, and will hopefully make a massive difference to the lives of my patients and people up and down the country who are struggling with loneliness.

But this is not an issue that GPs and their teams alone can solve. We all have a responsibility so please make it your business to try to connect with others, to the older person you rush past, the frazzled mum or the teenager glued to their tablet that you see on the bus every morning.

Together we can overcome this very modern problem and we will all reap the benefits.

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If we’re meant to congratulate Britain for being the ‘least racist country in Europe’, the bar is too low


A row broke out on BBC’s Question Time debating how racist Britain is.

As spoken word artist George the Poet spoke about his own experience of racism in the UK, a white audience member cut in to say ‘Britain is one of the least racist countries in Europe’ to which a Muslim woman retorted; ‘You’re a white man, how are you going to experience racism?’

Looking at the problem clinically by citing statistics (which are unfounded – I was unable to find any that support his claim) also shows how non people of colour (POC) negate and deny people’s lived experiences of racism.

There are statistics that prove the opposite of the gentleman’s claim – as well as myriad accounts detailing Britain’s problem with racism – that show the country still has a long way to go.

Not everyone reports their experiences with hate crimes so the reality may be much worse than statistics show. We need to admit that racism and xenophobia still plague our nation.

The very claim that Britain is the least racist country in Europe shows that the bar for what we consider to be a progressive, anti-racist country is too low.

The Muslim woman asked how a white man could understand racism (Picture: BBC)

According to the Migration Observatory, British people admit to prescribing to an ethnic hierarchy when it comes to people migrating to the UK.

Brits prefer white, English-speaking, Europeans and those from Christian countries while the least preferred are non-whites, non-Europeans and those from Muslim countries, (37% said no Nigerians should be allowed).

To people of colour like myself, racism is alive and kicking on multiple levels (institutional racism, unconscious bias, islamaphobia, the gender pay gap for women of colour) so to hear that Britain is the least racist shows how little regard is paid to our experiences.

And if on a scale to least to most racist, Britain – a historically notorious country for its colonial racism if anything – edges towards least, it must mean that other countries are more overtly racist, but also that actual instances of oppression in the UK are glossed over and brushed under the carpet, perhaps because it makes people feel uncomfortable.

By the audience member’s logic, it seems Britain should be awarded for ignoring and silencing these people’s experiences.

Britain might not have obvious dramaticised instances of bigotry like France, Denmark, and Belgium who enforce burka bans and police Muslim women’s clothing, but it still has a long way to go if it wants to be the most progressive out of the bunch.

If Britain is the least racist country in Europe, then the bar is pretty low Picture: BBC METROGRAB
Poet George the poet asked the audience member if he’d just imagined being questioned by police for waiting outside his mum’s house (Picture: BBC)

I remember the first time I heard someone say Britain is a highly racist country – I vehemently opposed it because it felt like a personal attack on a country that I love, a country that boasts so many opportunities and achievements such as a strong education system and free healthcare.

To admit its racial (and class) problem is not to deny Britain of all the good it’s done, even for minorities – if there weren’t opportunities, we wouldn’t be able to thrive as we are. It’s not to discredit the people who continue to be allies to the oppressed.

But to deny someone’s lived experience of oppression is reductive, tone-deaf, and rude.

I shouldn’t need to prove how much I love the country to be able to critique it – Britain has a problem with race. It’s okay to talk about it.

Michael Mumisa, a Cambridge-based academic, told Metro.co.uk that the topic of race feels so uncomfortable because it goes against the very British concept of politeness.

‘The reason we delude ourselves into believing that Britain is the least racist country in Europe is simply because it is considered bad manners in Britain to be racist without being polite.

‘Statistics are of interest to people who hardly experience racism. Racism, like misogyny, homophobia and anti-Semitism are daily lived experiences for millions of people, many of whom do not even bother reporting their experiences because they know that as far as the establishment is concerned, the UK is the least racist country in the world.

‘Racism is also about how people from minority ethnic groups are treated by the criminal justice system, employers, landlords, state schools (as most parents of black boys know too well), social services, and other institutions.

‘These cases do not make in into the statistics that apologists for racism like to throw around.’

Activist Sarah Vero told Metro.co.uk it’s a hard truth for white people to admit because they don’t grow up noticing race (which isn’t a choice for people of colour – even the term puts us in a box).

‘It’s difficult for white people to see the ways whiteness is elevated all around us in culture and advertising and the subtle racism it causes in our society in all sorts of ways,’ she said.

‘It’s like a fish swimming in water, it’s everywhere and it’s what we were raised on. In Britain ideas of fair play, equality and being a good person are highly prized and when people talk about racism it can feel like that vision of ourselves or our country is being challenged,

‘So the response can be very defensive. I hope this video helps demonstrate a microcosm of how we are failing to listen on race. Since I’ve started encouraging more people to read about race a few white people have said thanks for opening it up as they were too scared to get involved in case they got something wrong.

‘If we are too scared or too defensive we can’t engage and make progress. The first step to making a change is finding a way to be honest about where we are now.

‘I encourage and invite white people to think about how you interact with race, whether you have explored it, talked about it, read about it and listened to people from different races talking about it.’

I don’t want to write a list of every incidence of British racism, citing the attacks on the likes of Stephen Lawrence to Abdi Ali, it’s not the job of people of colour to break down racism so people will believe it exists.

Those speaking of their experiences – listen to them, even when it feels uncomfortable.

And remember, these are not personal attacks.

To be an ally, read up on race, be respectful, ask questions to those willing to answer, be self-aware, not self-congratulatory, and do the work.

Rather than speaking over someone’s experience to declare that Britain isn’t racist, listen to them. They have something to say that you need to hear.

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