Photograph of one Elizabeth brings to mind another one

AS Queen Elizabeth II departs the United States today, she remains very much in the news.

The now-famous Annie Leibovitz photograph of the queen published on the eve of her visit to the United States showed her sitting in bejeweled, be-satined, ermined and crowned splendor in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace. In this photo, the queen is looking out an opened doorway. The photo is astonishing for its old-fashioned glamour and for its implied power.


I couldn't think at first what this photograph reminded me of, certainly not the comparison made in Great Britain that the portrait resembled the queen's own mother back in 1939. No, it wasn't that Cecil Beaton picture that caught my fancy; it was Elizabeth Taylor as she appeared recently in Las Vegas to celebrate her 75th birthday. Miss Liz, there in the very informal gambling capital of the world, was also all decked out and wearing an enormous ermine fur over her shoulders. She was queenly as all get-out! All she needed was a scepter.

No bubbly for Cruise


The man who owns the New York Post is, of course, Rupert Murdoch and the other night he and his wife, Wendi, gave a party at their hilltop Beverly Hills house that helped, along with many other events, to raise $65 million for the American Idol: Idol Gives Back event to fight world poverty.

Someone who was at this gala, attended by 50 of the rich and famous, reports it was "both subtle and sexy with candles lighting the way and wonderful food -- mini-quesadillas and filet mignon on skewers." Big names Peter Liguori, Michael Linton, Peter Chernin, Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson were there rubbing elbows with the likes of Tom Cruise, Simon Cowell, Ryan Seacrest, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi.

What does Tom Cruise ask for at a party where champagne is flowing? Why, he wants a Diet Coke.

This and that

Movie producer David Brown is recovering from a broken hip under the watchful eye of his wife, Helen Gurley Brown. He is plotting five or six new movies from his bed. ... In London's Belgravia section, there she was selecting her very own grapefruit at an elegant greengrocer, without any assistance. I do mean the two-time Oscar winner Luise Rainer, age 97. (She won for The Great Ziegfeld in 1937 and for The Good Earth in 1938). ... After every member of the Rolling Stones has been asked to write a memoir, it will be Keith Richards, the wild man guitarist, who pens what publishers are calling "the holy grail of rock books."


One of tycoon Barry Diller's pets among his growing assortment of Web site companies is titled "Very Short List" and it's the talk of the cognoscenti -- a space where the most unusual books, movies, TV and anything else unusual and special is recommended.

Last week, the Very Short List site told about an Internet video that animates the 230-foot-long Bayeux Tapestry, thanks to a British designer, David Newton. Visit


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