Two royal weddings, but Prince Pavlos's takes the cake

Two royal weddings tomorrow, and the contrasts couldn't be greater.

In Monaco's town hall, Princess Stephanie will marry Daniel Ducruet, a former bodyguard and father of her two children. The private civil ceremony will be followed by a dinner for about 50 friends and relatives at the posh Hotel Loews in Monte Carlo. Stephanie abandoned plans for a career in fashion and rock music to be a full-time mother to Louis, 2, and one- year-old Pauline. Mr Ducruet went from bodyguard to fish wholesaler to estate agent.

In London, the exiled Prince Pavlos (Paul) of Greece, son of former King Constantine, and Marie-Chanel Miller, daughter of a wealthy American businessman, will marry in a gala Greek Orthodox ceremony before 2,000 guests descending from all over the world.

And despite stories to the contrary, the Sultan of Brunei is not chartering a jumbo jet to bring guests from Athens to the ceremony. The Sultan's public-relations advisers say ''there is no truth in this oft-repeated claim''.

So if you were counting on the Sultan, you'll have to hitch another lift.

ppp

What can you do when you're president of a poor and troubled country, and you can't get your pounds 7,500 annual salary increased without altering the constitution? If you're Fidel Ramos, the Philippine leader, who is one of the world's lowest-paid heads of state, you ask your wife for help.

"First Lady Amelita Ramos will just have to work harder," says Mr Ramos. The constitution sets the president's yearly pay at 300,000 pesos. Mrs Ramos earns 22,000 pesos a month as a consultant for the International School in Manila. The First Lady has long resisted suggestions that she quit her job, saying she needed to maintain her financial independence.

ppp

No matter how many roubles Mikhail Gorbachev might be paid, his wife, Raisa, opposes his return to politics. The former Soviet leader told Moskovsky Komsomolets his wife saw it as a ''relief'' when he resigned as President after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

"Politics took away the best years,'' Mr Gorbachev said. ''All our lives, our family was absorbed in one thing." But he did not say how Raisa's concerns would affect his future plans. Mr Gorbachev has not ruled out running for president in elections scheduled for next June.

Mrs Gorbachev apparently shares the concerns of Naina Yeltsin, who doesn't want her husband Boris to run either.

ppp

Who's destined to be "the hero of Europe's independence" from the US? Jacques Chirac, according to the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Referring to the French President's decision to resume nuclear tests in the Pacific, Colonel Gaddafi told Agence France-Presse that "France alone, and only under Gaullist administrations, follows an independent line". Mr Chirac, says the admiring Colonel, will become a "hero of Europe's independence in the face of the hateful imperialism of the United States''. Although he opposes to weapons of mass destruction, Col Gaddafi added, the timing of the French announcement, on the eve of the G7 summit in Canada, was perfect. "I consider that as a sign of a European country regaining its independence," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
news
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Sport
sport
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all