By All Odds, Princess Beatrice Is One for the Books
--After two weeks, Britain’s newest princess has a name--three of them in fact. Prince Andrew and his wife, the former Sarah Ferguson, have named their first child Beatrice Elizabeth Mary, Buckingham Palace announced. Beatrice was the name of Queen Victoria’s fifth daughter. Elizabeth is the name of the baby’s grandmother, the present queen, and great-grandmother. Mary is the name of the duke’s great-grandmother Queen Mary, wife of King George V, and the middle name of Sarah’s mother, Susan Barrantes. The baby, born Aug. 8, will be known as the Princess Beatrice of York. A betting house heralded Beatrice as “a real bookies’ baby. . . . Not one punter backed ‘Beatrice,’ ” said Graham Sharpe, spokesman for the bookmaker William Hill, which offered the name at 100-1 odds.
--The National Geographic Society is taking another look at whether or not Robert Peary was the first explorer to reach the North Pole. The society’s board in 1909 unanimously certified that Peary reached his goal after talking with the explorer and reviewing his records. But now, an article in the 100th anniversary edition of the society’s magazine casts doubt on that claim. National Geographic asked British polar explorer Wally Herbert to analyze documents recently released by the Peary family in response to a television show crediting his rival, Dr. Frederick A. Cook, with discovering the pole. Herbert states that he found “disturbing” gaps in the data. He said that Peary made no mention of the discovery of the pole in his diary entries for April 6-7, 1909--the days he claimed to have reached it. The controversy is not new and other experts expressed little surprise at Herbert’s report. “I’m not sure we are ever going to know if (Peary) actually made it to the pole,” said Mary Lynne Bird, executive director of the American Geographical Society in New York.
Florida Gov. Bob Martinez became an actor for a day with a bit part in the James Bond movie, “License Revoked,” being filmed in the Florida Keys with Timothy Dalton as Agent 007. The governor had been set to portray a bystander. But when he arrived at the set in Key West, the crew handed him a uniform and made him a guard instead. Even though the governor was fresh from his speaking engagement at the Republican National Convention, he got no lines.