GT – Apr 16-30 2017


Mahlia S. Lone

As we are getting ready to attend PFDC in Lahore, which promises to be a good show, we look back at the other two big fashion shows this last fortnight. First there was the Bridal Couture Week in Karachi where there was quite a bit of trend spotting. Right off the bat, there was the new, slightly worrisome trend of draping two dupattas with your desi wedding outfits. A variation on this theme was sporting a matched dupatta and shawl combo. Then, there were the modern takes on the traditional Angarkhas. This time around they come in a range from short to sheer and even asymmetrical. The prevalent colours for the next wedding season as seen on the runway are metallics, pastels, pink and red. In menswear, not only are bridegrooms matching with the brides now but there is also a specific range of best man outfits as well. How all the outfits work together to present one cohesive colour and design scheme is now carefully thought out and well orchestrated. The other big show was hosted by the Pakistani Embassy at the Maritim Hotel in Berlin and conceptualized by Zaheer Rahimtoola. Élan presented a special evening wear collection well suited for a cosmopolitan European clientele and Sherezad Rahimatoola provided the tasteful jewels for the show.

In addition, model/actor Saim Ali takes us through his journey from the small screen to the silver screen. In a candid chat, he tells us of all the back stabbing and leg pulling that takes place behind the smiles and air-kisses in showbiz.

Reporting on the best accessories at this year’s Oscars, we had highlighted bejeweled hairbands on the red carpet. This trend has blown up and hairbands are being spotted everywhere from runways to street fashion. We bring you this as well as fitness trainer and wellness coach Mantahaa’s tip on eating good, meaning poly unsaturated fat, to take off the stubborn last five pounds. Last but not least, read about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s fast paced romance.
See you soon,

Ready to revamp your space but not sure where to start? These top style décor picks from Marina Home are
sure to inspire you and add a tasteful touch to your surroundings


Liven up your living room with vibrant furniture pieces, wooden coffee tables and tufted velvet sofas for a much-needed pop of sophisticated style! Indulge in some wall art with Statement Pieces to add drama to your living room and make it the highlight of your home


Invite some modern flair into your home with upholstered beds, statement rugs and gorgeous metallic toned accessories. This master bedroom perfectly emulates the curves and the colours of the wall accents and paintings that are sure to impress Art Lovers.


Featuring a distinctive contemporary design, these Cognac coloured leather lounge chairs are an excellent addition to your sanctuary and helps add an element of old-age charm or extravagance to an otherwise subdued decor style. Drape a contrasting throw on this Marina Home piece to bring it to life with floral accents and geometrical patterned rugs.


Get ready to replace your woodsy frame with a cozy upholstered headboard. Long a staple in luxury hotel bedrooms, upholstered headboard are now making their way into the bedrooms of everyday homeowners. This classic white bedroom makes you feel right at home! With accessories to match along with a vintage storage leather travel trunk, this space gives out an effortless vibe.


Let your home reflect your personality. This avant-garde coffee table incorporates wooden elements and glass to create a Signature Marina Home exotic feel. Bring a subtle touch into the living room with streamlined sofa seaters that are great for entertaining guests or having a relaxed evening by yourself after a long day at work.


Designing your home with essentials and not going overboard with décor items is the key to a simplistic and clean-looking home. Anchor the dining room in effortless style with this essential Marina Home set, perfect for weekday meals and family gatherings alike. Showcasing a wood grain finish, floral accessories and simple silhouette, this lovely dining set is perfect for any setting.


Inspiration drawn from traditional French decorative accents this elegant wooden statement table adds warmth and charisma to the modern-day dining room. With an oak-finished wood base and concrete inlay details, Marina Home is definitely at the forefront of urban design! This room finds the right balance between rustic, farmhouse, and industrial chic.


By Afshan Shafi

As evidenced by Chanel at Paris Fashion Week’s (PFW) new age offerings in unmissable rhinestone variations, it seems fair to say that hairbands are back. Fashion influencers are always slightly nostalgic about this modern rendering of the tiara and revisit this game-changing accessory time and time again. Instantly upping the luxe appeal of the most straight laced of looks, the glamorous hairband can add a certain refinement to your ensemble. Available in endless variations at Claire’s, Accessorize and Haroon’s across stores in Pakistan, get your own now!

The Classics: Blair Waldorf

The Classics: Blair Waldorf

The Classics: Blair Waldorf

Princesses: Charlotte Casiraghi

Princess Madeline of Sweden

Sonam Kapoor

Katrina Kaif

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana


Dolce & Gabbana





Last week, I had a very interesting encounter with a beautiful, 51 year old baby turkey (I call them ‘baby turkeys’ because they are new and fresh and juicy for the grill).

Ayesha (not her real name) walked in wearing a crisp white, tucked-in shirt and a beautiful Hermes silk scarf. She wanted to lose weight, not that she needed it. It took us 15 minutes to get comfortable before she finally confessed: “Mantahaa,” she sighed, “I don’t think even you can help me. I have been to tons of nutritionists in Dubai and Canada and no one is able to help me lose these last 6 stubborn kilos!”

By looking at her, I don’t think any one could have guessed that she wanted to shed more pounds. But then it occurred to me, she wanted to lose the extra 6 kilos to gain back her sense of accomplishment. So after a series of blood work analyses and 24/7 monitoring of her meals, I had the aha! moment, a sort of nutrient-rich epiphany—her meals lacked a very important macronutrient, namely fat.

Just like the C-word (carbs), the F-word (fat) is thrashed in all the fad diets where one important macronutrient or other is criminally ignored.

Fat, like proteins or carbohydrates, perform a full workload of body functions that you cannot live without. They come in different forms as well, just like cholesterol. On one end, there’s the good, unsaturated fat. On the other, there’s the bad, saturated fat.

First, the good news: We all need a certain amount of body fat to cushion, position and protect our internal organs. That means protecting our bones from injury and underlining our skin for insulation. These are just a couple of all the boring benefits that we don’t bother worrying about. Ladies, the enlighteningly shocking news is that if you don’t have fat in your system, you will lose the subcutaneous layer under your skin the absence of which is the cause of wrinkles, fine lines and aging spots. So go ahead and grab that hummus with all the might of your unconstrained pleasure (but, ahem-ahem, portion-control, please).

The question now is how to differentiate between good and bad fats. It’s actually quite simple. The good, unsaturated fat doesn’t solidify at room temperature, so olive oil, sunflower oil, flax seed oil, avocado oil, nuts, Omega 3 and Omega 6, all fall into this category. Bad or saturated fat solidifies at room temperature. This includes cream, cheese, animal fats, processed meats and baking chocolate that are just some of the yummy sins you should keep your body away from.

My advice is that if you’re going mad over the difference between good fat vs. bad fat, just go nuts: that is peanuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, etc.

After I explained the fat facts, Ayesha understood that fat is unfairly treated as the underdog among all the macronutrients, and that, too, without a fair trial.

If you are following the same diet plan and fitness regime for years without a core understanding of your goals, I know that it can be really frustrating. After all, what should your next step be? How do you navigate the twists and turns in your long term nutritional planning? Fortunately, Ayesha got it. She understood that her body needed to be fuelled by the appropriate amounts of good fats, proteins and carbs to increase metabolic activity so that she could reduce her body-fat percentage. Let me rephrase that more simply: Ayesha understood that she needed the good fat to burn the bad fat away.

Today, Ayesha is well on her way! Not only has she lost 4 kg out of her 6 kg goal, but claims that her anti-aging cosmetics and creams are finally beginning to work. Best of all, she looks 10 years younger and is all set to start a new chapter in her life.

Be Well,

Who? Deepika Padukone

Why? She’s effortlessly cool and statuesque in this beautifully tailored outfit

Who? Nazi

Why? Wowza! What a burst of colour. We love it

Who? Hassan Raiz

Why? He is giving off a desi hipster vibe with his manbun, funky jacket and classy khussas


Why? Bored with a traditional desi wedding outfit or a fusion gown? Then go for tailored trousers and blouse intstead

Who? Nateesha Singh

Why? She looks like the model that she is in this couture outfit

Who? Ayesha Omar

WhY? She is easy breezy in this splatter patterned sari and loose blouse


Fitness Trainer, Mantahaa Tareen

Mini Burgers on a Sweet Potato “Bun”

A fun twist on the traditional burger, these “bergers” ditch the grain bun for a roasted sweet potato. This recipe is great when you need to throw something together quick for dinner but still want a flavourful veggie boost!

  • l Course: Main Dish
  • l Cuisine: American

Servings 8 burgers


  • l 1 large sweet potato
  •  1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • l 1 large green bell pepper sliced
  • l 1 red onion sliced
  • l 1 clove fresh garlic minced
  • l 1 tsp hummus or mustard per burger
  • l 1 tomato sliced (optional garnish)
  • l romaine lettuce garnish, optional

As the 2016/17 wedding season draws to a close, Director of Crimson Events, a recently launched events complex in Lahore, Muneeb Irfan recaps this season’s top wedding tips. If you have a wedding to plan to for the 2017/18 season read on for inspiration

Pakistani weddings not only celebrate the union of two individuals, they celebrate the joining of two extended families as well. Celebrations extend to uncles, siblings, and aunts who play a major role in many of the traditional customs. In the past few years, local weddings have gotten a major makeover. Young couples enjoy incorporating modern arrangements inspired by global trends to make their big day more exciting. The rising popularity of social media has definitely played an important role in these changes, as our youth is exposed to the latest goings-on internationally. It is only natural that from traditional weddings, we have moved onto fusion weddings that are equally fun. Below, we round-up some of the most popular trends beings witnessed in Pakistani weddings lately:

1) Day events for Nikaah

What used to be a simple signing of the Nikaah (marriage contract) has now been transformed into a full-fledged day event, held usually one day prior to the actual wedding event or on the same day. Most Nikaahs are held at traditional venues, such as the Badshahi Mosque, which serve as the perfect backdrop for the photo op. The bride/groom and all attendees choose to wear soft pastel colours (or whites) for this event and reserve their shiny colourful clothes for the evening functions.


2) Pre-wedding shoots

Wedding photography is now a serious business and no longer limited to one photographer coming on the day of the wedding to take a few images. An entire team of photographers and videographers is usually in place that not only capture all the events related to a wedding, but also conceptualize and shoot a pre-wedding photo album for the couple.


3) Grand entries

Wedding is a very special day for the couple, which is why their entry should be no less. Whether it is a floral arrangement or the use of wedding sparklers, the idea is to create a breathtaking sight that would leave the attendees in awe.


4) Rickshaws/cycles as props

Rickshaws or cycles are not just great vintage rides but also make fun props. Vibrantly decorated usually with flowers, guests enjoy taking pictures with them throughout the event.


5) Personalized wedding favours

Giving guests personalized wedding favors, such as sweets with wedding cards or decorative NikaahBidh pouches is the new norm. They not only make memorable keepsakes, but also result in numerous social media posts congratulating the couple (not to forget the personalized hashtags for each wedding).


6) Photo Booths

No modern wedding can be complete without a photo booth that includes a colourful backdrop, frame cutouts and fun props. Fairy lights and sheer drapes add some extra charm.


7) Decor

Wedding décor is no longer limited to a few flowers. Wild leaves, twigs and vintage flowers are just a few things which are used to create a unique setup. Candles and floral bunches also make for stunning centerpieces on the tables for guests.


8) Music

No Pakistani wedding can be complete without music of course. However, the music has now upgraded from the ladies singing with a dholak to a full-fledged DJ system. Each moment is defined with an appropriate song. The playlist usually ranges from traditional tappay to the latest filmi numbers. After all, no wedding these days is complete without ShakkarWandaan Re and London Thumakda.

Speaking of music, impromptu dancing at weddings is a thing of the past. Modern Pakistani weddings feature well-rehearsed (usually choreographed by professionals) dance numbers performed by relatives as well as friends of the bride and groom.


Model/host/actor, Saim Ali wears many hats. He takes Mahlia Lone through the journey of making it in showbiz

Tell us how you evolved from a model to an actor?

Saim Ali: I was a chubby kid who wanted to become a model, but then a choreographer/fashion designer dismissed me saying, “You’re not made for fashion, you can’t make it in this industry.” That was the best thing anyone could have said to me as it spurred me on. I hit the gym for a year and a half and then proved him wrong by appearing on a magazine cover. From then on, I was not only in fashion shows locally, but was a showstopper at several shows internationally too. My big break came when the actress Noor Bukhari asked me to appear on the morning show Good Morning Zindagi on A-plus channel with her. We would spontaneously break into dance, and the show became such a big hit that it would regularly garner a 100+ rating for the channel. One particular steamy dance routine went viral. I developed a considerable fan base, comprising both men and women. Seeing the reaction, Noor, who was directing and starring in a movie called Ishq Positive, asked me to do a cameo in it. I had 12 major scenes and a song was picturised on me as well. That’s how I made the leap from the small to the big screen.

After this, I took part as a celebrity contestant in a season of the ARY Digital reality show Madventures (a take-off on Fear Factor), which has 6 celebrities from Pakistan participating alongside 6 celebrities from India. The show was set in Thailand where we had to participate in many water sports. I finished as the runner-up. In Heer, a drama serial for Geo, I play a psychotic doctor. In the first 10 episodes, I appear as the quintessential chocolate hero, but then my dark side takes over in the next 10. I really sank my teeth into this role and used my acting chops. In a Farouq Mengal directed movie Hijrat, I play a bad boy picking up girls in an Istanbul nightclub. It was freezing weather and I was clad in jeans and a chiffon t-shirt for the song and dance, but as they say “the show must go on”, and it did at all costs.


Director Sangeeta then asked me to be the second male lead in romcom Tum Hee Ho, releasing 15th April. It’s a four-angle love story in which I star alongside Danish Timoor, Matthira and Qurutulain in her debut role. I have two songs in the movie; I’m emoting, romancing, dancing … hopefully my fans will enjoy it.

In a very different role for an upcoming drama serial, I’m playing a drug addict, the son of a postmaster. I completely immersed myself in this role. I started smoking to see what it would feel like and barely talked to anyone between takes to stay in character. I looked grungy and unkempt. But as soon as the cameras stop rolling of course, I would snap out of it.

You sound like a method actor. Have you studied drama?

No. I feel I’m a natural at acting and don’t need to study it. In every cut or action, I know my job. I draw on my personal life. For example, having gone through a very bad relationship myself, I know what it feels like to love somebody, invest in them emotionally and then be betrayed by them. Whenever I’m doing a love scene, I visualize this person. I know how to sell love passionately.

What’s your pet peeve about this industry?

The politics, definitely! And the back stabbing! Everyone is so sweet to you in person. They will like your pictures and posts on social media, air kiss and compliment you on the red carpet, but behind the scenes is another story entirely—their ferocious egos take over. There are some stars who call themselves “the Big Bs” and who like to rule the roost. I was hired by a channel last year for a drama serial. They said no need to sign a contract. I worked for two whole days, and then was unceremoniously dropped from the production without a reason. I was not compensated in any way. Apparently, the leads became insecure. This type of behavior is very unprofessional for a lead to get a supporting actor fired for no reason at all. So an actor with a smiling face may well be holding a knife behind his/her back.


Have you experienced the casting couch?

I’ve been propositioned certainly by men and women. I chose not to take them up on it. Perhaps that’s why I was sitting at home for much of the time last year!

What is one crazy fan moment?

Oh this Lahori school girl who got obsessed with me. She used to follow me on social media. I have a considerable social media following on my Facebook page and on Instagram, which both my PR manager Pheby Haroon and I handle jointly. Pheby alerted me to her. The girl would comment every couple of hours on my Insta. She wanted to know everything about my daily routine, what I ate, where I went, etc. It started to get weird when she recorded herself cutting her finger and writing the letter “S” and posted it, so I called her from a random phone number (not my own) to calm her down and dissuade her from this extreme behaviour. She started crying hysterically, saying that she loved me and wanted to marry me. Then her mother posted her own photo on my Insta and wrote please marry my daughter, she loves you. Finally, when the girl started posting risqué pictures of herself, I had to block her.

And a good moment?

There were two actually that I cherish. I always wanted to be greeted by fans at the airport. After Ishq Positive, I was returning from a trip to Dubai and as soon as I exited the arrivals section, all these ladies and kids recognised me and circled me. Some ladies kissed my forehead saying I reminded them of their sons, others gave me their blessings, children hugged me. My father who had come to pick me up was touched by what he saw. I felt joyous.

Having gone through a
very bad relationship myself, I know what it feels like to love somebody,
invest in them emotionally
and then be betrayed by them. Whenever I’m doing a
love scene, I visualize this person. I know how to sell love passionately

Another amazing fan moment occurred when we were taping a live special morning show episode for Samaa TV at APWA College in Karachi. Hundreds of students were waiting for me when we arrived. They were screaming out my name, “We love you Saim!” I made a casual remark that I had missed my breakfast to come on time and was feeling hungry. Quickly the girls offered me their lunches. They gave me little gifts, like T-shirts and flowers. I danced especially vigorously that day, spurred on by the girls chanting they were “Saim ki fans.” It feels so good to make people happy.

You are a versatile actor, a showstopper model—any other feather in your cap?

I’m also a compere. I’ve been the MC (master of ceremonies) at many televised corporate events. Recently, I hosted the red carpet for Prince Charles’ fundraiser benefitting The British Asian Trust in London.

What’s coming up for you?

My mother says one should not reveal your plans till they reach fruition. But I can tell you this, being a huge Bollywood buff, I’ve been in talks with the Anil Kapoor Film Company. The producer for the film Khoobsurat happens to be a family friend. I sent him my portfolio. Anil Kapoor has himself approved it. InshAllah, in six months it will be announced that I’ll be playing a special role in his next home production. I’m confident I’ll prove all the naysayers wrong and become a star!


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3. The wait is over!!

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4. Gloria Jeans Coffee

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By Staff Writer

Television Shows:

Veep Season 6

Mark April 16th on your calendars because HBO’s hit show Veep is back for its sixth season. They say art imitates life, but in this case life seems to have imitated art. Veep, a satirical political comedy that traces the political career of Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), has done a great job so far of being one of the most relevant shows on TV these days. One will have to tune into the new season to see how they deal with President Trump. As the spring melts into summer, this is the show to watch to find the funny side of life.



Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy, his young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace). Frank’s plan for giving the girl a normal upbringing is foiled when Frank’s mother Eveylyn (Lindsay Duncan) finds out about the child’s extraordinary abilities. Evelyn seeks custody of the child in the Florida courts, believing the child should be specially tutored to nurture her one-in-a-billion prodigious talents. The film, which hearkens back to Oscar-winning Good Will Hunting, plays on the same dilemma: what is more important, the happiness of normality, or the achievement of the super-normal? Look out for this Marc Webb directorial feature this April.


The Idiot

—Elif Batuman

It is September 1995. Selin, a Turkish-American college freshman from New Jersey, is about to embark on her first year at Harvard University, where she is determined to decipher the mysteries of language and to become a writer. In between studying psycho linguistics and the philosophy of language, teaching ESL to a Costa Rican plumber, and befriending her classmate Svetlana (a Serbian refugee from Connecticut), Selin falls in love with a Hungarian Mathematics student in her Russian class. She spends the summer in the Hungarian countryside teaching English to village children, where sad and comic misunderstandings ensue. The Idiot tackles literary ambition, female friend ship, the American dream, Chomsky-an linguistics, the Russian novel and romantic love.


Patari Tabeer

Song Name Artist
1 The Sibbi Song Abid Brohi & SomeWhatSuper
2 Jugni Nazar Gill & Farhan Zameer
3 Tora Baram Khana Nawaba Malala Gul & Danish Khwaja
4 Players of Lyari Lyari Underground & Dynoman
5 Chitta Chola Jahangir & Abbas Ali Khan

Will Meghan Markle be the first, gasp, mixed race/divorced/actress daughter in law of the British royal family?

By Mahlia Lone

The whole world knows who Prince Harry is, how he grew up and what he does now. The younger royal Prince has had two serious girlfriends, South African businessman’s lawyer daughter Chelsy Davy who he dated for seven years and aristocratic theater ingenue Cressida Bonas who he dated for two, both part of the jet set aristocratic circles that he moves around in. He has also had his share of partying and acting rebellious with the tabloids calling him a “wild child.” In 2012, he was photographed in the nude playing strip poker with scantily clad young women in Vegas. These days he has sobered up and is rumoured to have shacked up in his apartment in London’s Kensington Palace with his new girlfriend Meghan Markle, a little known TV actress till she started dating the Prince. It’s been reported that they are on the cusp of a royal engagement. Let’s steal a march on the others and find out more about her.

Born Rachel Meghan Markle in 1981 in the Valley in Los Angeles, the American actress, now aged 35, is three years older than Prince Harry. Her Dutch/Irish descent father, Thomas W. Markle Sr. is an Emmy Award winning director of lighting who worked for years on the long running successful sitcom Married…with Children. He grew up comfortably off in Long Island, near NYC. Her African-American mother Doria Radlan, who holds a Master’s degree in social work and works as a yoga instructor and social worker, came from a working class background. Her immediate ancestors included a presser at a laundry, a janitor and a cook, all residing in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She divorced Thomas in 2003 when Meghan was six years old and Doria relocated with her daughter to Crenshaw, a rough, gang infested neighborhood in LA to be near her sister. Because of where they lived, Meghan was educated at private schools, which the majority of Americans don’t do. She first attended the Little Red Schoolhouse elementary and then the all-girls, Roman Catholic Immaculate Heart High School. Outspoken on women’s rights, at only 11, she wrote a letter to then First Lady Hillary Clinton complaining that a soap advertisement showed women belonging in the kitchen. Due to her letter, the soap’s manufacturer had to change the advertisement, so early on she learned that standing up for her beliefs gets results. She has also spoken out on racism and talked about growing up mixed race. Meghan graduated from Northwestern University in Illinois with a double major in theater and international relations.

The Royal Family at Trooping the Colour 2016

From 2002 to 2014, Meghan had small roles in one episode each of a daytime soap opera, several TV series and a couple of TV movies. To make money between jobs during her early acting days, she worked as a calligraphist. Money was tight and her mother declared bankruptcy, owing more than $50,000 on her credit cards. Meghan meanwhile managed to get small roles in five feature films. Since 2004, she was in a long term relationship with TV producer Trevor Engelson. They got married in 2011, the same year she was cast as paralegal on the popular legal drama Suits, but the marriage only lasted two years. With the security of her recurring role on the hit show, she passed up on receiving spousal support after her divorce and started dating Canadian restaurateur Cory Vitiello, whom she promptly dumped upon meeting Prince Harry.

Prince Charles & PrincessDiana dropping PrinceHarry to his first day atEton with Prince William

With girlfriend of 7 years Chelsy Davy

With ex-girlfriend Cressida Bonas

Playing strip poker in Las Vegas

Last year, Meghan’s father declared bankruptcy owing $30,000 and relocated to Mexico. She has two half siblings from her father. Eldest sister Samantha, who used to work as a small time model, is a mother of three and suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. She says that she helped bring up Meghan till she was the age of 12. Samantha feels bitter because when she was diagnosed in 2008, and needed help from her younger sister Meghan, the latter cut contact with her and refused to help her out financially despite being able to afford it. Meghan’s half brother Thomas Jr. has a drinking problem and was recently charged with holding a gun to his girlfriend’s head during a fight. His son also named Thomas runs a pizza joint.

As a young girl in Crenshaw she enjoyed practising calligraphy

Her half sister Samantha, a mother of three & MS patient

Meghan has a lifestyle blog The Tig and frequently posts pictures of herself practicing yoga. She volunteered as a counselor for the international charity One Young World and spoke at its annual summit in Dublin in 2014 on gender equality and modern-day slavery. In 2016, she became the Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada, traveling to Rwanda for the Clean Water Campaign.

At the all-girls, Roman Catholic Immaculate Heart High School

With yoga teacher mother Doria

The Prince first met the actress as recently as May of last year in Toronto where Meghan has been living to film Suits. The Prince was in town promoting the Invictus Games, a sporting event created by the Prince in which wounded, sick and injured servicemen take part in Paralympic-style games and sports. They were introduced by the fashion designer wife, Misha Nonoo, of one of his Etonian friends Alexander Gilkes, who have since separated. New York-based Misha and Meghan had previously holidayed in Spain together in a group. Harry’s cousin Princess Eugenie is also a mutual friend of Misha’s since Prince Andrew’s daughter worked for Alexander’s up-market Paddle8 Auction firm in NYC. Harry is very close to Eugenie, who also remains friendly with his last serious girlfriend, Cressida Bonas.  The royals’ set it seems is as interconnected as social circles are in Pakistan.

Half brother Thomas Jr.’s mugshot

Wedding to TV producer Trevor Engelson

With ex-boyfriend restaurateur Cory Vitiello

Harry and Meghan apparently bonded as both had taken trips to Africa in a bid to improve lives there. Prince Harry spent a part of his gap year in Lesotho where he set up charities benefiting kids, while Meghan is the face of the Canadian charity World Vision in Rwanda. After hitting it off, the two holed up in secret at her Toronto apartment. When the Prince returned to London in June, they kept up by texting each other daily. Meghan started following his private Instagram account and herself fueled dating rumors when she posted a picture of her on Insta wearing an identical African bracelet to his. Then she posted a picture of two bananas spooning with the caption “Sleep tight!” The Prince was also following the actress from his Instagram account. She followed him to London where they went out on a couple of dates to Soho House, where he was surrounded by his friends.

Harry also reportedly introduced Meghan to his father Prince Charles, who himself had set royal precedent by marrying a divorcee, Camilla Parker Bowles, now Duchess of Cornwall. Everyone wanted to know more about the little known actress. The press scrambled for details. A source revealed to reporters, “Harry loves that she is so into philanthropy. One of the first things they spoke about were her dogs rescued from an animal shelter. He loves that she’s so caring.”
But then all sorts of stories about her family came to light. In October, Prince Harry canceled a trip last moment planned to visit her in Toronto.

The cast of Suits

To capitalize on her growing stardom, Meghan launched her line of lower priced women’s fashion workwear, not exceeding $70 for a garment, for Fall/Winter 2016, in collaboration with the Canadian clothing company Reitmans. Canadian newspaper the Vancouver Sun published an interview with Meghan promoting her collection, in which she said, “I was not a girl who grew up buying $100 candles. I was the girl who ran out of gas on her way to an audition. I’m deeply and passionately involved in the design process. I’m a brash American.” Though she made no direct mention of Harry, she let drop the cryptic remark, “My cup runneth over and I’m the luckiest girl in the world!”

Meanwhile, haunted by the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales being hounded by paparazzi to her tragic death, soon after Prince Harry owned up to his relationship by having his communications secretary issue a statement for the press to stop harassing Meghan and her family.

Again a source close to the Prince told a reporter, “He’s happier than he’s been for many years. He’s in a very relaxed period of his life and Meghan has come along at the right time.”

In mid-November, Meghan was seen grocery shopping at Whole Foods near Kensington Palace, dressed casually in a black jacket and black Hunter Wellington boots, as British as you can get. She was trailed returning to the Prince’s digs.

These days news travels at lightning speed. In late November, during an official visit to Antigua, Prime Minister Gaston Browne could not refrain from teasing Harry, “I believe we are expecting a new Princess soon. I want you to know that you are very welcome to come on your honeymoon here … there will be nowhere in the world as special to spend your honeymoon, when that day arrives,” quickly plugging his country as a desirable holiday spot. Harry “clearly embarrassed, went bright red” at the remark. Prince William was reportedly not happy that Harry had gone so public with the relationship.

Certainly no shrinking violet, in response Meghan was photographed at a flower shop in Toronto, wearing a 14K gold Maya Brenner Asymmetrical Letter necklace with the initials “M” and “H.” It was a trinket that spoke its own tale loud and clear.
Soon Prince William’s staff issued a press release on his behalf, addressed to the Telegraph, refuting reports that William was unhappy that his younger brother had made his relationship public. It stated: “The Duke of Cambridge absolutely understands the situation concerning privacy and supports the need for Prince Harry to support those closest to him.”

Diana on a Red Cross trip to Africa

Prince Harry in Lesotho

Meghan in Rwanda

In December, Google confirmed that Meghan became the most-searched actress of 2016, with Brad Pitt becoming the most searched actor after his divorce.

After concluding his two-week tour of the Caribbean, Prince Harry took a 1,700 mile detour to see Meghan in Toronto before returning to London and more royal engagements where she soon followed him.

Back in London, Meghan and Harry were first spied out shopping for a Christmas tree at Pines and Needles in Battersea. The shopkeeper said, “They came in at about 8.30 p.m. last night. Prince Harry was with Meghan and hilariously the staff only recognized Meghan at first – they were so excited to have the girl from Suits there. It wasn’t particularly cold but they were gloved and hatted out.” After picking out 6-feet tall lush Fir, Harry and Meghan loaded it in their car before heading back to Kensington Palace.

A couple of days later, they were publicly holding hands while strolling together after catching The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End. They were wearing his-and-hers beanies and admiring the Christmas lights along Piccadilly.

After spending NYE together in London, Meghan and Harry took their first official vacation together, jetting off to the Norwegian fjords. There they stayed with a close friend of Harry’s, expedition guide and polar consultant Inge Solheim at his luxury property in Tromsø. The couple stayed in a cabin, whale-watched, took a lake trip and looked at the Northern Lights. Harry had reportedly “put a lot of thought into it and wanted to make it as romantic and special as possible.”

Eagle eyed fans spotted the two sporting similar African bracelets

The relationship had grown serious overnight and in mid January this year, Harry invited Meghan to stay with him at Kensington Palace where Harry lives near the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, plus the junior royals. Harry took her over to apartment 1A where she met Kate. Not only did Meghan give Kate a belated birthday gift, she also played with Princess Charlotte. A source told the Sunday Express, “William and Kate really liked her and she fitted in straight away.”

Meghan was photographed buying flowers in Kensington High Street wearing Harry’s favourite brown baseball camp.
In late January, while Harry was busy attending events in support of Heads Together (his charity with Prince William and Kate) in London, Meghan carried out her duties as a World Vision ambassador on a visit to India where she learned about various issues affecting women and young girls in slum communities, including education and health care. She mirrored his philanthropic activity with one of her own.

Prinyanka Chopra, a close friend of Meghan’s, answered a reporter at this year’s Golden Globes, “I’m just happy for Meg. And I hope whatever she does, wherever she goes in life, she’s always happy”

By February, sources said the actress has “virtually moved in” with Harry at his cottage in Kensington Palace.

Kensington Palace

Northern Lights of Norway

An anonymous friend said, “I know that sounds a bit crazily soon, but he’s head over heels and they can’t bear to be apart.”
Just before Valentine’s Day, the couple was seen holding hands after a dinner at the exclusive Soho House. She was photographed wearing a ring with an “H” initial. Keen to spot another sign, press speculated that it’s a promise ring from the Prince, implying an early engagement. V Day itself they spent cosily together in his cottage at the Palace.

Forced to briefly return to Toronto to film Suits, a show she has now refused to be in next season so she’s able to be with Harry full time, Meghan was invited by the Prince to join him at his best friend’s wedding in Jamaica in March. There, the pair was spotted leaving the church before heading to the reception at a nearby hotel.

A plot twist occurred when, seeing that she is in dire need of money while her half sister is lording it with the royals, Meghan’s half sister Samantha is seeking revenge and has threatened to write a tell-all book titled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister. In her interviews, Samantha called Meghan “a social climber who grew up following the royal family and having a thing for ginger haired men.” She added, “The royal family would be appalled by what she’s done to her own family. The truth would kill her relationship with Prince Harry. Her behaviour is certainly not fitting of a Royal Family member.” She claims that the actress is “narcissistic and selfish,” as well as shallow, hypocritical and calculating. Their family, however, said that Samantha is envious of Meghan’s good fortune. When they were living together as a family apparently the former used to tell visitors that her stepmother Doria was the maid since she is black.

At a wedding in Jamaica this March

In the April issue of Vanity Fair, Meghan takes centre stage in a glossy photo shoot on the Ottawa River, celebrating the 1,300 “exceptional young global leaders of tomorrow” who attended the One Young World Summit in Ottawa last September. On one side of her stands the former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Pakistani writer Fatima Bhutto, and Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul. British actress Emma Watson, American singer/actress Cher (aged 71), and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, all of whom spoke at the 2016 Summit, are also featured in the photo shoot by American photographer Jason Schmidt. I wonder, had it not been for her association for Prince Harry, whether Ms Markle would have been chosen for such a prominent position. As it is, the story about the upcoming shoot went viral due to her newly found fame.

Chances are very good that Ms Markle will marry the younger Prince; in fact bookies have significantly reduced the odds on their getting engaged this year. Meghan seems a determined woman who knows what she wants and how to get it, is supremely confident despite her family background and knows how to expertly work social media and the PR machine in her favour. Doubtlessly, she’s not letting this Prince go, and there’s another royal wedding on the horizon.

As we were going to press, Meghan Markle announced that she is shutting down her lifestyle blog The Tig after three years. She gave no reason, but it’s widely speculated that she has done so as her engagement to Prince Harry is imminent.

The Ambassador of Pakistan in Germany His Excellency Jauhar Saleem, Madame Zara Jauhar and the Embassy of Pakistan celebrated Pakistan Day with a fashion event titled #BrandPakistanBerlin at The Maritim Hotel Berlin, with a musical performance by ZEB BANGASH. Sadia Siddiqui and her team at Mustang Productions managed and choreographed the event. The fashion photography was one by Katy Otto, and while the event photography was by Claudio Goosmann.


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