Pope Francis has been named “Man of the Year” by the latest Italian edition of Vanity Fair.
The Argentinean pontiff, elected in March 2013, had earned the accolade for his words and deeds during his first 100 days in office.
The front cover of Vanity Fair magazine shows Pope Francis, 76, wearing plain white robes and a white skull cap, waving at a crowd.
“His first one hundred days have already placed him in the category of world leaders who make history,” the magazine said.
“But the revolution continues.”
Pope Francis has been named “Man of the Year” by the latest Italian edition of Vanity Fair
Five celebrities, including Sir Elton John and the Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, were quoted by the magazine in praise of Francis, the first Jesuit Pope.
“Francis is a miracle of humility in an era of vanity,” Elton John told the magazine.
Elton John said he hoped that Pope Francis’s message would reach marginalized groups in society which “have a desperate need of his love”, including homosexuals.
“The Pope seems to want to take the Church back to the old values of Christ and, at the same time, bring it into the 21st century,” he said.
Elton John, who has been in a civil partnership since 2005, said he hoped Pope Francis could “reach out to children, women, men who live with HIV and AIDS – often alone, and hidden away in silence”. His praise for the Pope is perhaps surprising given the Vatican’s uncompromising stance on issues such as gay marriage, women priests and married male clergy.
While Pope Francis has adopted a much more relaxed, informal style than Pope Benedict XVI, he is regarded as being as much of a doctrinal conservative as his predecessor.
New embarrassing details have emerged of the controversial Botswana elephant hunting trip Spain’s King Juan Carlos took with mysterious Princess Corinna.
Twice-divorced Corinna zu Sayn Wittgenstein, 46, appeared on the cover of the June edition of Spain’s Vanity Fair magazine released today.
The article claimed Princess Corinna has been the King’s unofficial companion on numerous private trips abroad.
They included the safari trip to Botswana in April which caused outrage in Spain.
Princess Corinna, who was born in Germany and claims her title through her second husband, has reportedly fled Spain intense speculation over the nature of her role within the Spanish monarchy.
Her first husband, Philip J. Adkin, an American shipping magnate who confirmed he had also been a member of the hunting party in Botswana, was quoted in The Daily Telegraph as saying: “She has told me that the King is her friend and a great guy whom she admires.
“Nothing more, because if anything characterizes her, it is discretion and loyalty.”
Princess Corinna, who was born in Germany and claims her title through her second husband, has reportedly fled Spain intense speculation over the nature of her role within the Spanish monarchy
The hunting trip became public knowledge after King Juan Carlos, 74, fractured his hip in a fall in camp and was rushed back to Madrid for surgery.
Reports of the King’s luxurious lifestyle shooting endangered animals while ordinary Spaniards suffered deep economic strife was met with public outcry and led to calls for his abdication.
The episode has been marked by an end to the taboo on publishing royal secrets in a nation that has traditionally afforded the Royal family the utmost privacy and respect.
The unclear nature of the role of Princess Corinna will cast yet more scrutiny on Royal matters.
King Juan Carlos and Princess Corinna reportedly first met when she was organizing shooting expeditions for Boss & Co, Britain’s oldest gunshop based in Mayfair where she worked until 2006, and were on the same safari together in Mozambique in 2004.
Several more hunting trips together followed over the years, as well as a trip to Saudi Arabia, and the pair have been photographed on the red carpet together several times.
Sources at the Royal Household insist she has no official role in relation to King Juan Carlos but Vanity Fair reported that friends talk of her being either his “financial adviser” and “organizing everything from A-Z” on behalf of the King on his trips abroad.
Philip J. Adkin admitted in the piece that his ex-wife had gone into hiding since her connection with King Juan Carlos became public knowledge.
She has instructed lawyers to take legal action after several European tabloids made claims about her private life.
The allegations are the latest development in what is turning out to be a difficult year for Spain’s Royal family.
King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia failed to mark their 50th wedding anniversary earlier this week fuelling speculation that their marriage was over.
The King’s son-in-law is accused of embezzling public funds and in February became the first Spanish royal in modern history to be questioned in court.
Yesterday it was revealed the Spanish government has insisted Queen Sofia pull out of a lunch in Windsor Castle because of the continuing row over Gibraltar.
The first pictures have been released showing the inside of Antilia, which is believed to be the world’s most expensive house.
Built by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, the 27-storey building towers over swanky Altamount Road in Mumbai.
Named Antilia, after a mythical island, it cost more than $1 billion, reports say.
Those who have visited it speak of helipads, a vast library, extravagant dining areas, opulent marble floors and even a snow room. Until now the family has remained silent on the residence.
“This is the first time I am talking about my home,” says Mukesh Ambani’s wife, Nita, in an interview published in the June issue of Vanity Fair magazine.
“There have been exaggerated reports in the media about it, I must say,” she adds.
Built by India's richest man Mukesh Ambani, 27-storey Antilia building towers over swanky Altamount Road in Mumbai
Much of the media speculation has centred on whether the family was actually living in the property.
Some newspaper reports suggested they had decided not to move in because the vastu shastra (an Indian form of architecture, akin to feng shui) on the building was not spiritually correct.
In the interview, conducted in November, Nita Ambani confirms they took up residence last September.
“We moved in two months ago… and then it was going round that we haven’t moved in,” she told reporter James Reginato, who gained unprecedented access inside the building.
A photo published of one of the rooms shows floor-to-ceiling windows, and a seating arrangement which resembles a five-star hotel lobby.
“It’s a modern home with an Indian heart,” says Nita Ambani of her house.
Antilia is 27 storeys high, but as Mukesh Reginato writes, many of the floors are double or triple height, so the building rises to 570 feet, equivalent to a 40-storey building.
It also has a mutli-storey garage, a ballroom, a spa, a theatre, guest suites and a number of terraced gardens, he writes.
“We made our home right at the top because we wanted the sunlight… so it’s an elevated house on top of a garden,” said Nita Ambani.
The design, she says, is based on the lotus and the sun, and is decorated using rare wood, marble, mother-of-pearl and crystal, crafted by Indian artisans.
As with many Indian households, it also has a Hindu prayer room, “getting my temple right was so important,” she said.
Reports suggest the house is worth more than $1 billion, small change for Mukesh Ambani, who is worth more than $22 billion according to Forbes magazine.
But despite this, the house’s construction has attracted some criticism from some who say it is far too grand for a city like Mumbai, where millions of people live in slums, and hundreds of thousands don’t have a roof over their head.