• Donald, Melania, Ivanka, and Jared Visited the Taj Mahal. Their Poses Spoke Volumes.

    Melania Trump stood in front of the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a symbol of devotion to his wife, Mumtaz, and watched her open-mouthed husband bellow to photographers.Her high-necked, ivory jumpsuit matched the exterior of the famed marble mausoleum (CNN’s Kate Bennett identified the one piece as made by Trump’s stylist, Hervé Pierre). It came with a moss green sash made of “vintage Indian textile” that slightly clashed with her husband’s canary yellow tie. Still, the First Lady-known for looking absolutely miserable when out with her husband-appeared happy, or at least flashed a few more step-and-repeat smiles than normal. One tabloid described the pair as “loved-up,” which is as big of a stretch as the notion that burger-loving Trump enjoyed his meatless Monday in India. Still, the Trumps were able to hold hands for a while, and they stood close while watching a flock of birds fly away, like two characters from a gothic poem. Trump Taj Mahal Slashed Security. Then the Murders Started.Ivanka, too, arrived with Jared Kushner in tow, though she kicked her husband out of her own picture. In a poppy-patterned turquoise dress which matched the reflection pool she stood in front of, Ivanka mugged with her vacant-eyed, but determined smile.If you have any doubts of any future political aspirations for this “presidential advisor,” then (take a deep breath and) look at her Taj Mahal photo opp. Despite all those "Unwanted Ivanka" detractors, just like the building itself, she endures. In Ivanka’s words, such resilience is “awe inspiring.” Others might call her seemingly ceaseless, free vacations (thinly) disguised as diplomacy, a horror scenario. The Taj Mahal was completed after ten years of construction in 1653, outlasting threats from the Japanese Air Force in World War II, and Pakistan’s bomber pilots in the late 1960s. But the historic site, frequently referenced as a Wonder of the World, has succumbed to one thing: the rich and powerful using it as a backdrop to make coded statements to the world. The tradition began in earnest with the 1992 image of Princess Diana on a marble bench, her body a lithe strip in a cherry red blazer, nearly dwarfed compared to the gargantuan building behind her. She went to the site alone, without her husband Prince Charles, implying a fissure in their not-so-storybook romance. But Diana was not the first celebrity photo opp at the Taj Mahal. In 1962, Jackie Kennedy took a solo trip to India and Pakistan, at a time when First Ladies did not often dabble in foreign diplomacy. For her pilgrimage to the spot, she wore a preppy blue and green sheath, projecting the Camelot-era’s sunny confidence. Four years later, George Harrison snapped a selfie in front of the site, looking very anti-Kennedy in his counterculture duds of an unbuttoned cotton shirt and dark sunglasses. Since then, plenty of other young and famous men have come to the mausoleum in search of themselves, or at least a performative version of it.In 2015, the Facebook founder said the Taj Mahal was an example of “what people can build -and what love can motivate us to build,” using the elegant language of a good copywriter to plug his company after paying respects. That same year, Leonardo DiCaprio visited too, while in the country working on a climate change documentary. It was a “secret trip;” DiCaprio asked tourists not to take pictures, because he was working. In 1995, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton also sat on one of the Taj Mahal’s benches for photographers, sitting close and smiling, visual code for girl power. Five years after that, the first daughter would return with her father, Bill. In wide-angle snapshots of Donald and Melania strolling in front of the Taj Mahal, the yuge building’s scope leaves the pair looking tiny, nearly as tall as the shrubs which line the monument’s grassy aisles. Trump, who’s got a thing for screaming about his own bigness, might not appreciate how tiny he looks. But for a man who views the presidency as just another prize to show off that he’s won, the Taj Mahal visit was a success. The man whose legacy was once a knockoff-named casino now has got his photo in front of the real thing, joining the star-studded ranks of those who came before him. And as we’ve seen from this optics-obsessed administration so many times before, the facade is all that matters.  Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

  • Meghan Markle and Prince Harry release 'saddening' details of post-royal life, withdraw trademark applications for 'Sussex'

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  • The EU's new negotiating stance is laughably deceitful

    If Brussels carries on with its bizarre behaviour, Britain has no choice but to ditch talks Now who is cherry picking? For three years, EU negotiators refused to countenance British proposals for a bespoke deal, however much such a deal was in their own interest. Their rules were paramount (yes, they kept saying that with straight faces) and Britain must choose an off-the-peg model. Michel Barnier was forever brandishing a chart with a staircase on it to show that, if Britain didn’t want to keep free movement or stay in the customs union, its only option was a free-trade agreement like that signed with Canada. “Fine then,” said Boris Johnson when he took over from Theresa May. “Canada it is.” At which point, suddenly and shamelessly, Eurocrats began to backtrack. Actually, no, not Canada. When they said “Canada”, what they meant was: “Canada plus an obligation to let Brussels set some of your rules in perpetuity.” True, they had offered Canada-style agreements to lots of other countries, but Britain was different because it was nearer and bigger and mimblewimble. The EU’s new position is so dishonest that it hardly merits serious refutation. Are we supposed to believe that physical closeness is a barrier to unrestricted commerce? You might argue - indeed, I would argue - that globalisation makes geography less important than it used to be. But no one, to my knowledge, has ever tried to present proximity as an obstacle. Certainly the EU hasn’t.

  • Zara Tindall's husband Mike returns from family holiday for reason close to his heart

    Mike and Zara Tindall jetted off to the Italian Alps over their oldest daughter Mia's half-term break, but as soon as they landed in the UK, the former rugby star took another trip - this time a little closer to home. On Saturday, Mike went to Twickenham Stadium to participate in the England Legends vs Twickenham Legends tournament, which raised money for charity. Although England didn't win the game, Mike had a wonderful time with his former teammates and shared some behind-the-scenes photos from the evening on social media. Alongside them, he wrote: "Fantastic night England v Ireland. Not the result we wanted but great to hang out with some superhumans! Better still was to hang out with a man that makes my old nose look very average! Also not the best photo of Magsy but he only took one so he gets it for not checking!" Watch Mike Tindall talk about being a dad to daughters Mia and LenaMike took part in the England Legends vs Ireland Legends rugby game on Saturday nightThe dad-of-two was no doubt feeling refreshed following his skiing holiday. Mike shared some photos from his time away on social media over the weekend, including a lovely shot of him and Zara. The couple looked relaxed and happy as they stood on the slopes, with Zara dressed up warm in a purple jacket, while Mike braved the cold wearing just a T-shirt. Alongside the shots, the star wrote: "Great trip to bormio3000 watching the englishskichampionships. Lots of laughs and good times! More importantly, getting to hang out with the new Insta sensations @wethelostboyz."MORE: Prince William reveals the unusual activity George, Charlotte and Louis did over half-termMike and Zara Tindall spent the half-term holidays on the alpsMike and Zara live in Gloucestershire with their two young daughters, Mia, five, and Lena, two. The protective parents prefer for their children to stay out of the limelight and as a result Mike didn't share any photos of them from their holiday. In a rare joint interview in December, Mike and Zara opened up about their family life to Australian publication Now to Love. On being a dad, Mike said: "Mia is a fantastic bundle of energy and that challenges you as well as it keeps it interesting. Lena is just starting to find her feet, but we've enjoyed every minute of it. You hope that's what kids do to you and it's been great."READ: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not use 'Sussex Royal' title after MarchThe former rugby star also disclosed that before his daughters came along, he thought he would like a son, but now he wouldn't change a thing. "I was so happy with how Mia was a girl that I wasn't really bothered either way and when Lena was coming along I wasn't bothered at all about what we got. I was just happy to be having another child."Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

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  • Transport minister ‘astonished’ by the hazard of electric car motorway breakdowns

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  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will become billionaires, wealth expert predicts

    Since announcing their plans to step back from their roles as senior royals and become financially independent, Prince Harry's and Meghan Markle’s bank account has been the subject of much speculation.While Harry’s inheritance and Meghan’s former earnings as an actress are certainly helpful as they map out their own plans away from the Royal Family, it’s the couple’s future projects (and their earning potential) that have become the focus.