Britain's Prince Harry, left, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, center, and Prince William, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, during the Trooping The Colour parade, in London, Saturday, June 15, 2013. Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her birthday with traditional pomp and circumstance _ but without her husband by her side. Prince Philip remains in the hospital, recovering from exploratory abdominal surgery. The queen invited her cousin, the Duke of Kent, to accompany her in a vintage carriage. Other royals including Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge joined in the celebration Saturday. More than 1,000 soldiers, horses and musicians are taking part in the parade known as Trooping the Color, an annual ceremony. (AP Photo/Dominic Lipinski/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE ORG XMIT: LON804
Updated: August 5, 2013 6:05AM
As the countdown becomes even more intense to the pending birth of the British royal baby, London bookmakers and (more important) a number of my good palace sources are zeroing in on what they think that little prince or princess will be named after Prince William and his wife, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, become parents for the first time.
If it’s a boy, it seems James — the name of two earlier English kings and a bunch of Scottish ones — is believed to be the front-runner. Coincidentally, it’s also the name of the former Kate Middleton’s brother. George remains a likelihood, as does Henry (Prince Harry’s official first name) and even Charles, “though [the baby’s grandfather’s name would be] more likely to be one of his middle names,” said a veteran royal insider.
While many seem to believe Kate will deliver a little girl — who now would automatically become third in line to the throne — there’s lots of buzz about girls’ names.
Alexandra tops that list (it’s also one of Queen Elizabeth II’s middle names), with Victoria and Elizabeth itself added to the mix.
† “You Americans are all talking about them naming a baby daughter Diana — and that could be a middle name,” my source says. “But trust me, even William, who adored his mother, understands that giving the child that as her first name would be too controversial, considering the history.”
† Chatting about the new prominence of James as a possible name, the insider reminded me that “while William and his family are very fond of the Middletons, rest assured the considerations regarding the naming of this child will be all about royal lineage and historical factors. If James is indeed chosen, it will be about the [former British royal house of] Stuarts, not the fact the child’s non-royal uncle is named James.”
PERFECT TRIBUTE: A musical show July 28 at the Chicago History Museum will honor the late, great Jimmy Damon, who we lost all-too-soon earlier this year. The program toasting the memory of the popular crooner will include a wonderful lineup of talent, including Mark Burnell, Jack D’Amico, Carla Gordon, Dick Judson, Alan Kaye, Nan Mason, Beckie Menzie, Audrey Morris, Bill Porter, Denise Tomasello, Milt Trenier and Bobbi Wilsyn. Others involved in staging the Damon devotional will include Ronna Kaye, Merri Dee and event pro Barbara Lee Cohen.
Ald. Ed Burke will present a special city proclamation to Jimmy’s widow, Marilyn Damon, and the family, and various local celebs will share favorite memories of Jimmy and his notable career.
The best news: All proceeds will go to the Jimmy Damon Tribute Fund, to underwrite vocal scholarships at Columbia College Chicago in Jimmy’s memory.
TV TALK: Chicago-based broadcast badboy Erich “Mancow” Muller is pumped about the Monday night debut of “God, Guns & Automobiles,” the History Channel reality show he’s doing with his car dealer brother, Mark Muller, set in tiny Butler, Mo.
Mancow explains that his older brother’ caught media attention with his unusual (to say the least!) marketing and advertising methods. “If he’d sell a Viper, you’d get a sniper rifle too,” said Mancow. “Another promotion had him make crop circles behind one of his dealerships and put out the word maybe aliens had landed. … He once sold Japanese cars that flipped — so he ran all his TV ads upside down. …
“He just does all these weird things to sell cars, but he’s done well. He’s got eight American dealerships in the middle of America.”
Mancow joked that the show’s title will likely “offend a lot of folks. The atheists will hate it’s got ‘God’ in it. The anti-gun folks will hate the word ‘Gun,’ and there are anti-car people — so that takes care of ‘Automobiles.’ ”
While the show will focus on Mark Muller’s unusual way of running his businesses, “at the end of the day, it’s really about brothers and family. We have our issues and you’ll see that. But we don’t hate each other. It’s not like ‘Real Housewives.’ ”
† More evidence that the “new” Al Jazeera America is attempting to appeal to a mainstream U.S. audience — the network just hired veteran broadcaster Soledad O’Brien as a special correspondent. O’Brien also will be going ahead with other projects, including making documentaries for CNN, where she stepped down from her regular staff position in March.
MAYORAL MAYHEM: It should be fun when Rosemont Mayor Bradley Stephens is playfully roasted Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of Zanies’ Rosemont comedy club and raise funds for the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Among those tweaking Hizzoner at Zanies will be Pat McGann, “Ramblin’ Ray” Stevens of US99, Tim Walkoe, WGN-TV’s Pat Tomasulo and Mike Toomey.
SEEN ON THE SCENE: “The Wire” actor Michael B. Jordan and science fiction author A.C. Frieden were spotted dining Tuesday night at Roka Akor. … Bears fans spied cornerback Kelvin Hayden getting his sushi fix at Jellyfish on Tuesday. … John Cusack stopped in Sumi Robata’s underground lounge, Charcoal Bar, before dining upstairs in the eatery’s secluded Tatami Room. … Yes, that was Toni Kukoc celebrating his wife’s birthday at Earth + Ocean in Mt. Prospect earlier this week. … The Hawks’ Daniel Carcillo and Ray Emery dined at Siena Tavern this week, but sadly no Stanley Cup as a third guest. … Quartino was the eatery of choice this week for both Latin film, music and TV host Maribel Guardia and, separately, Catherine De Orio, the happy new host of “Check, Please!”
VRROOM! VRROOM! Antique car lovers are sure to flock to the Barrington Concours d’e Elegance vintage automobile show July 12-14, featuring more than 100 of the world’s finest and rarest vehicles. Among the celebs set to attend is racecar driver Bobby Rahal.
Next year the show will move to Northerly Island in the city.