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Britain's Queen Elizabeth features with Obamas in light-hearted charity video

LONDON Britain's Queen Elizabeth has appeared with U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle in a light-hearted video to promote a sporting event for injured British, American and allied military personnel. Prince Harry, the queen's grandson, launched the first of the Invictus games in London in 2014 and the second will take place in Orlando, Florida between May 8 and May 12, featuring athletics, cycling, swimming, volleyball and other sports.The video shows Harry and his grandmother receiving a video message from the Obamas on a smartphone, in which they promise strong U.S. sporting competition. Elizabeth, 90, responds by saying "Oh really, please." Harry says "Boom" and imitates a gesture made by a U.S. serviceman shown in the background of the Obamas' message.The Obamas visited the queen and her husband Prince Philip at Windsor Castle last week during a state visit to Britain and also dined with Harry and his elder brother Prince William. Elizabeth, the world's oldest monarch, previously appeared in a video to promote the 2012 London Olympics. (Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Ros Russell)

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Filmmaker Coppola cements legacy

Veteran filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola left a permanent mark on Hollywood on Friday, after his hands and feet were imprinted in cement to be displayed at the landmark TLC Chinese Theatre. The ceremony honored the 77-year-old Oscar-winning director’s 50-year career, highlighted by films such as “The Godfather” trilogy and “Apocalypse Now” and five Oscar wins. It took place during Turner Classic Movies’ annual Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, which will run through Sunday, where Coppola’s films will be played."Maybe 40 years ago people might not have appreciated a film like 'Apocalypse Now,' which was kind of unusual to say the least," Coppola told Reuters about receiving the honor after so many years in the industry. "If you're looking as an artist for some type of assurance that what you are doing is OK or going in the right direction then I think you have to wait for the judgment of time before you know." Among those on hand were wife Eleanor, son Roman Coppola, sister Talia Shire and fellow director Peter Bogdanovich.

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William and Kate celebrate fifth wedding anniversary

LONDON - Britain's Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and his wife Catherine, celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary today(April 29). The pair tied the knot in Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in a televised ceremony watched by millions around the world. The couple have two children, Prince George, born on July 22, 2013 and Princess Charlotte who turns one on May 2.

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Christie's fetes 250 years in business with major British art sale

LONDON From Joshua Reynolds to Lucian Freud, works spanning several centuries of British art will go under the hammer as part of a sale celebrating 250 years since auction house Christie's was founded. The highlights are three major works, led by "Ib and her Husband", an intimate 1992 portrait by Freud of his pregnant daughter and her partner lying on a bed. The painting is estimated at around 18 million pounds ($26.24 million).Joining it is Reynolds' 1778 "Portrait of Lucy Long, Mrs George Hardinge", which has never previously been publicly offered for sale and has been described as "one of the finest works by the artist to come to the market in a generation". Said to be in "remarkable" condition, the portrait is estimated at around 2-3 million pounds. The third major work is "Golden Hours", painted circa 1864 by Frederic Leighton, which goes to auction for the first time in 100 years and is estimated at 3-5 million pounds."All of the pictures are exemplary of their type," Orlando Rock, chairman of Christie's UK, told Reuters. "I think from a quality point of view, they ... all epitomize the periods they were created in." The works are set to go on tour at Christie's in New York and Hong Kong next month before the June "Defining British Art" sale, which will be launched alongside an exhibition of British art works handled by Christie's. ($1 = 0.6861 pounds) (Reporting by Alex Fraser and Marie-Louise Gumuchian, editing by Ed Osmond)

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Art detective says female and male model used for Mona Lisa face

FLORENCE, Italy Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile draws millions of viewers from across the world, all eager to see the art world's most famous female face. But is it?An Italian art detective is arguing that research backs his long-standing claim that Leonardo Da Vinci used both a female and male model to create the acclaimed portrait that hangs in Paris' Louvre museum.While the identity of the woman is not certain, historians believe Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo, sat for Da Vinci for the painting. But Silvano Vinceti, who heads Italy's National Committee for the Promotion of Historic and Cultural Heritage, says he used infrared technology to examine the painting and made key findings in its first layer."In that layer we can see that she was not smiling and joyful but looked melancholic and sad," he said, adding the second model was Gian Giacomo Caprotti - Da Vinci's male apprentice, known as Salai. Using Photoshop, Vinceti compared the "Mona Lisa" face to other Da Vinci works Salai is believed to have posed for, including "St John the Baptist". "We have used all the paintings in which Leonardo used Salai as a model and compared them to the 'Mona Lisa' and certain details correspond perfectly; so he used two models and added creative details which came from his own imagination," he said. "I believe that this goes with a long-time fascination of Leonardo's, that is, the subject of androgyny. In other words, for Leonardo, the perfect person was a combination of a man and a woman."Vinceti also bases his theory on claims by 16th Italian art historian and painter Giorgio Vasari that Gherardini's husband hired clowns to try to make her smile for the sitting. Salai's name has in the past been linked to the "Mona Lisa", but other historians have dismissed the claims. (Reporting By Antonio Denti in Florence; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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