Queen’s Jubilee Fabs and Fabber: The Thames Flotilla


well-played

In general, I feel we don’t have enough Flotillas (flotillae? Flotillii?) in our lives. Americans NEVER get a flotilla. We have to just enjoy the flotilla of our British brethren.

[Photos: Getty]

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Comments (111):

  1. Gigi
    0

    Camilla is the best dressed of them all, although I covet Eugenie’s coat.

    Kate’s dress would be perfect if that peplum-ish waist wrapped all the way in front of her future magic baby incubator region. It’s like she’s taunting us – am I, or am I not? From the back/side, she looked fabulous.

    • Annie S.
      0

      Agreed. It looks like it’s missing little buttons or snaps to keep the jacket attached to the skirt.

      • Jem0512
        0

        I thought the same thing!! It’s as if she said “Everyone is going to be staring at my womb and trying to decide whether I’m knocked up, so I might as well frame it.”

    • Chasmosaur
      0

      I turned on the TV and said “oh my god, Camilla looks awesome and I want that hat.” My husband laughed at me.

      I also thought Anne’s dress uniform was awesome. She also didn’t have to worry about her hair or an updraft on her skirt, which was fortunate for the weather.

      • Ailatan
        0

        I don’t think Anne would EVER worry about the hair. She has that helmet bun since the mid 70′s.

  2. Lily
    0

    The ‘controversy’ over Kate ‘daring’ to wear red amuses me. Apparently folks have decided it was her master plan to wear this outfit to ‘upstage’ the queen on her big day. I love the English, they are so droll ;)

    • Chasmosaur
      0

      Actually, the Queen apparently wore white so she would pop against all the red and gold hangings.

      So I thought Kate wearing red was a smart way for her to blend into the background so the day was more about the Queen (as it should be).

      • Jessica
        0

        I can’t IMAGINE the Queen didn’t vet everyone’s outfits, too.

      • ChristieLea
        0

        Yes! When I first saw the footage, I noticed the Queen right away, but actually had to take a moment to find Kate-she blended in with the plush red surroundings. It was very well done.

    • Ailatan
      0

      I’m certain there’s a sctrict code on which colours and which type of hats according to rank ladies can wear in such formal occasions. Also the Queen wearing white makes complete sense since white is the usual colour of diamonds.

  3. Carol
    0

    Did anyone notice that the Queen’s purse flap isn’t clasped in photo six … however, with all the troops, swords and guards around, I suspect Fagin’s gang won’t get near her bag … all lovely all around, with special mention of Camilla … fab!

  4. Kathy
    0

    I think the WORLD would love if Kim K woke up in the tower…she needs to go away..far far away..extended vacation..

    Everyone looked amazing, love the hats!

  5. Stefanie
    0

    They all look great.

  6. Melly
    0

    Harry at a distance is not as good as Harry up close. Hint, hint.

    Camilla does look fab.

    No need to even mention how gorgeous and fun-loving Kate is.

  7. Zuzzie
    0

    It was absolutely freezing yesterday, and raining, and she stood on her barge like a trooper. I hope I’m so lively when I’m 86, if I ever get there.
    There was something in the Daily Mail (ugh) about Kate’s dress being in bad taste, since it was ‘upstaging’ the Queen. Really?? The DM, what do you expect…

    • Alison
      0

      Nothing less from the DM! She looked totally appropriate and gorgeous, and the Queen stood out in white which also looked excellent.

  8. CJ
    0

    The lovely Kate is always so beautifully and appropriately dressed and she always looks perfectly calm and graceful — and at the same time easy-going enough to have a laugh. It takes a really unique person to manage all of those things at once. What is even amazing is that Kate seems to do it every day!! Adore the red McQueen dress; the fit is divine on her.

    And thanks for the picture of Anne. Didn’t see any pics of her anywhere else. She totally rocks in her uniform!

  9. Josephine
    0

    That is the nicest I have seen Camilla Parker Bowles look in ages. Very, very well done, ma’m. A rich, strong-lined, cushy-looking cream suit and a nice hat that doesn’t make her look droopy. Bingo. She looks so delightfully more pulled together than usual.

  10. TaraMisu
    0

    The Queen looks fab! Everyone looks fab to be honest, even Camilla who is rather hit or miss.

    I totally had tea in my Wills & Kate mug yesterday…. I wish I had a Jubilee mug. I’m heading to the UK later this year, I hope to find one on the clearance shelves :D

  11. Gine
    0

    They all looked great. And I love how chummy Kate and Camilla are. I want to have fancy drinks with them.

  12. Billie
    0

    1. Anne looks badass.

    2. I really want to know why the queen always wears the SAME shoes and purse, always. Are they just her favorite? I want to know the story behind it.

    3. I found it interesting that there were three different boats. The Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William, etc on one, the Middletons on the next, then Princess Bea and Eug on the third. Wouldn’t you think the Middletons would get the third? I would totally feel slighted if I were Fergie’s daughters.

    • Kit
      0

      I think Fergie’s daughters are totally lucky to be there at all. lol Not that they shouldn’t be, but Fergie’s (and even Andrew’s) antics have put the girls way, way, WAY down on the Royal guest lists.

    • Chasmosaur
      0

      Edward (with Sophie and children) and Andrew (with the girls) were on the MV Havengore, which was the ship that carried Churchill’s casket on the Thames for his state funeral. It also carried John Major and Boris Johnson, so not exactly a low-rent boat. It was also used in the Silver Jubilee river pageant, so it has other historical significance. Anne appears to have been on a boat sponsored by a charity she sponsors.

      As the Queen, and first three in succession to the throne were on the barge. I think that was risky enough ;)

    • Poppy
      0

      The Royal Barge only had the immediate line of succession on it (the first time it’s ever happened, just in case of accidents wiping out the whole lot!), so the ‘minor’ royals were secondary barges. The Middleton’s were on a commercial barge, not a royal one.

      Incidentally, I’ve met James Middleton, and he’s every bit as skeezy as he looks!

      It’s really made me laugh that some people are determined to believe that Kate was trying to upstage the Queen. If anything, she blended into the background, given that the whole barge was lined and furnished in red. Her Madge really stood out. If anything I thought that Camilla’s was more inappropriate, but no one outshone Her Majesty yesterday.

      I would love to see Kate be more daring at some other events, when it’s more appropriate.

      Also – it’s worth noting – The Queen is 86 years old, and Prince Philip is 91, and they stood for the entire pageant. 4 hours!

      Prince Philip has been taken to hospital today, so is missing the rest of the celebrations.

      • Billie
        0

        Thanks for the explanations! I thought I heard on BBC A that the boat carrying the Middletons was closer to the Queen’s barge than the one carrying the Queen’s other children.

        Now, if we only knew about the Queen’s choice of shoes and purse for every event, I would be happy as a clam.

        • Poppy
          0

          Apparently the Queen’s outfit took over a year to design and make!

          The Royal Barge was moored for quite a long time, moved up the river and then moored again, so they could seen all the boats go past. The rest of the boats kept moving, which included the MV Havengore where most of the rest of the Royals were (Andrew, Beatrice, Eugenie, Edward & Sophie and their kids). The Princess Royal was on a separate craft. So it’s entirely possible that the boat that the Middletons were on ended up being closer to the Spirit of Chartwell (the Queen’s barge) than the other boats, because the other boats carried on a few miles down the Thames. It certainly wasn’t because HM was showing any favour to the Middletons.

    • Shona
      0

      There were over a thousand boats. Prince Andrw and Eugenie were on a little boat that was hovering around the Queen’s barge, as was Princess Anne’s little boat.
      The Middletons were on the middle deck of a massive boat further down the procession, you hardly glimpsed them through the whole 4 hours of TV coverage and only then because the TV sought them out.
      They were definately not front and centre, whereas Andrew and Eugenie were visible to all.

    • Alison
      0

      You’re right – she does have the same three bag styles which she rotates, and the same shoes made by the same firm forever – always a square toe and solid block heel, not too high. I think she worked out a loooooong time ago what suits her work, and is classic and comfortable, so she sticks with it.

  13. sally
    0
    • Edith
      0

      Awesomesauce. Wills looks like he’s waiting to do a quick-draw finger gun himself.

      • Sandra
        0

        The three of them look like a movie poster for a truly awesome action-adventure flick. Love!

  14. amys
    0

    Baby blue beret. Just sayin’

  15. Nancy
    0

    Really, Bea and Eugenia are grandchildren of the Queen, also. Why the second tier treatment? Because they are girls??

    • Donna
      0

      Could it be because Harry and Wills are Charles’ children, and therefore closer to the throne?

      • Megan
        0

        That, and I think William is the Queen’s most favorite grandchild.

        • Kimberly
          0

          He’d be my favorite, too, if he brought someone like Kate into my family. Gah, I love her so much!! And the poised finger guns were amazing. Everyone looks so loverly!

    • Chasmosaur
      0

      Because they are further down the succession, most likely. They said this was the first time that the Queen, Charles, William and Harry were all on one conveyance together. They were a bit nervous. (Or as I read somewhere “one capsize away from ‘Arise, King Andrew’”)

      So the royal family was split up for security, and to spread the royals out a bit. The non-Charles sons and their children were put on the boat – one that carried Winston Churchill’s casket at his State Funeral and was used in the Silver Jubilee – with the current London mayor and the recent PM. That is hardly shabby.

      (Anne appears to have gone on a boat that was operated by a charity she sponsors. I wish they had more TV coverage of her in that awesome dress uniform.)

      • Jessica
        0

        Yes, I read that the reason Charles and his family were on the boat with The Queen is because he’s the heir. The rest of the kids got other boats. If Charles’ had had girls, they would have been on the boat with them. (Given that the Queen is a woman, and they’re changing the succession rules, I don’t think gender would have mattered)

    • Poppy
      0

      Because they’re not in the immediate line of succession. The Queen is trying to focus people of Charles and William.

      BTW, Britain now has equal primogeniture, so if William and Kate have a daughter first she’ll inherit the throne.

  16. TonyG
    0

    Gigi…you took the words right out of my mouth. Camilla’s outfit is slamming, and definitely gets my vote for the best dressed. The queen’s hat from the front looks shower-cap adjacent. Harry is delicious as always.

  17. lakaribane
    0

    I’m glad to see Kate in red even if the design is problematic. Good thing solid colors are in fashion. I overdosed on all the beige, light grey, navy she tends to wear. And, FINALLY a dress with some volume at the hips to balane out her shoulders.

  18. Zuzzie
    0

    @Sally William’s face and posture is that pic just crack me up, very runway :)

  19. pathom
    0

    Big whoop-de-do over at the Daily Mail site about how Kate “upstaged” the queen by wearing red, but honestly, 1) does anyone think those outfits weren’t vetted by the Jubilee Color Coordinators? and 2) it really isn’t possible to ever upstage HRM, especially when she’s sparkly!

    • Sarah
      0

      Daily Mail just bored, trying to stir things up. In the comments of other articles about the Jubilee, I saw complaints that Camilla wore cream. “Only the Queen should have worn white!”

      Kate could’ve worn a burlap sack and the DM and their loyal commenters would have complained.

      I think the Queen liked Kate in red. It made the whole party very patriotic with the men in blue, Kate in red and the women in other white/cream. Plus the sparkles!

      • Libby
        0

        Kate was lovely, as always, in her red dress and hat. Considering how non-controversial Kate is compared to Diana (later in the marriage and after) and Fergie, this is the best they can muster. The tabloids must be girding themselves for decades of non-controversies like this given how well-behaved and appropriate Wills and Kate are.

  20. Bad Fads
    0

    My understanding is that the Queen just wanted the immediate line of succession on the royal barge. Most of the rest of the Royal Family was on the Elizabethan, I think, which was fairly close behind in the flotilla, and the Middletons were some ways back on the Hangevore, same boat as the Parker-Bowles family.

    I don’t know why I know this.

  21. Mo
    0

    Am I the only one disappointed the Queen had black shoes and purse with the white and silver outfit? On the other hand, LOVED the white scarf she wrapped around her shoulders jauntily when the weather got truly horrific. (Yes, I watched way too much BBC America yesterday).

    My take on Andrew and the girls being separated from the Queen’s barge is a sad post-9/11 thought that if anything untoward happened to those in the Queen’s barge, he may be safe back there. Kind of like the President and VP never flying on the same plane. Sorry to interject such a serious note here.

    • Donna
      0

      That’s a good point about the security aspect. I hadn’t thought of that and it makes sense.

    • Leah
      0

      If someone had taken out the balcony at The Wedding, Viscount Severn (James Wessex) would have found himself king at the grand old age of three and a half.

      • Libby
        0

        Erm, given that neither Prince Andrew (or his girls), nor Prince Edward were on the balcony (at least on any of the shots that I can find) Viscount Severn wouldn’t have become king….

        • Megan
          0

          But what about Ralph?!?

          (I kid, I kid; but seriously, if you like the royals, check out King Ralph)

  22. Naomi
    0

    I LOVE Kate’s dress. The pleating and peplum detailing really balance out her shoulders and the tailoring is so well-done – makes her waist look teeny. She can look broad-shouldered because of her lack of hips, but this dress makes her have a great hour-glass figure. I thought it was a very festive colour. Love.

  23. vandalfan
    0

    I’ve waited all weekend for this post! But I want a regatta, not a flotilla.

    • vandalfan
      0

      And very smart of Anne to go with a uniform. She just couldn’t compete with HRH, Camilla, and our Katie.

      • Chasmosaur
        0

        Hell, she was probably more comfortable, too, considering the weather.

  24. ChristieLea
    0

    I love how Pippa is dressed all Proper And Safe, as if she was thinking “they can’t possibly accuse me of showing off my bottom in THIS outfit, and therefore, I won’t be accused of attempting to upstage the Queen, and THEREFORE, will not find myself sharing a Tower cell with Kim K.”

    Good show, everyone!

  25. Edith
    0

    Princess Anne looks half her age in that picture. The uniform is fabulous on her.

    Also, the link you posted about Kim K gave the best headline EVER:

    Who Wore It Best: Kate Middleton or Kim Kardashian?

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Best rhetorical question EVER.

  26. Alicey
    0

    I love everything about this. I’m so gutted that I never thought to look on BBC AMERICA (I mean, what was I THINKING?) for coverage.

  27. Ailatan
    0

    This looks a bit more upscale than the street party my sister in law attended (but perhaps not as much fun) Cider and beer were the main refreshments vs. Pimms and champagne. I do love the Queen and all this rather weird extravaganza.

    • Shiitake
      0

      What fun it must be to dress up and attend a party in honour of the matriarch of your family, and everyone is invited!

  28. Cat
    0

    Everyone looks so daper! Love Anne in her uniform, she looks amazing (as do all the dudes, too). And the Queen, Camilla and Kate all looked very pretty. Love the red McQueen on Kate– she look elegant as per usual (and much better than Kim K, of course).

    I wish you guys had some pictures of Beatrice and Eugenia from the Derby on Saturday– I thought they were looking quite nice.

    • vandalfan
      0

      Yes, at the Derby one of them had UK flag decals on her fingernails- delightful!

  29. Cranky Old Batt
    0

    For a stuffy state event, they all look like they are having a genuinely good time. Makes me all warm and sunny inside (in direct contrast to the weather outside). And Pippa is a truly lovely little thing in her own right.

    • ChristieLea
      0

      They do all look like they’re just loving having the whole family out on a river cruise, eh? And yes: for all the snark Pippa gets for being s supposed attention whore, she looks genuinely incredulous to be a part of the Flotilla.

      • JM
        0

        They definitely all look so happy. Look what happens when you let people marry someone they love rather than someone of “proper lineage”. (this includes Charles)

  30. maryse
    0

    i loved your commentary on this series of photos.

  31. Mary
    0

    Can we just address how handsome William looks in all his uniforms? #askdgjhalk;gj

    • Megan
      0

      I think he looks great in his uniform, but I still think his best look was the cowboy hat he wore while in Canada last year. *SWOONS*

  32. Erin
    0

    It wasn’t the barge that’s her favourite, but the little motor launch (boat) that took her -to- the barge. It was once on the Royal Yacht. Not a great pic, but this is it:

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/06/03/article-2153969-136DF94B000005DC-69_964x634.jpg

  33. Sonya
    0

    Why does that banner in the first picture look like it belongs on a bottle of Crown Royal?!?!?! Terrible!

  34. jerkygirl
    0

    If I weren’t at work I’d be squeeeeeing and clapping my hands like an idiot because I just irrationally love these people and all their pomp and circumstance and OUTFITS oh my the Queen looked fabulous. And every time I see a pic of Kate laughing, all I can think is “holy crap, she’s PRETTY!!!”

    Also, the caption on #9 is the best caption to ever be on the internet. ROTFL!!!

  35. Dazie
    0

    Totally non-fashion question.

    Where does one KEEP a favorite Royal Barge? I mean- do they just store it in some berth along the river until some big whoopdidoo comes along? Do they do anything with it besides Silver Jubilees? Can it be rented out for parties? Or is it just some regular barge all fancied up?

    COLONIALISTS HAVE QUESTIONS.

    • Poppy
      0

      Well it’s used for diamond jubilees too ;-)

      Sometimes it can be rented out, sometimes it’s used for hospitality, other times it’s moored somewhere.

  36. Kirsten
    0

    It’s usually a river cruiser but they fancied it up for the jubilee.

    Now, I really hope you’re going to fug the jubilee concert tonight. Grace Jones just came on dressed as a superhero and then sang Slave to the Rhythm while hoolahooping all the way through!

  37. Rose
    0

    I was going to make a comment about Kate’s awesome dress, but then I saw William and Harry in dress uniform casting those slightly furtive glances, and it reminded me of the Supernatural boys, like they’re coming in to save the Queen from evil vampires (although she kind of looks like she knows how to deal with vampires…especially if they’re anything like Edward). Now I’m all off track and just want to see a show with British royalty hunting demons and sipping tea.

    • Aspasia
      0

      PLEASE pitch this to the CW, cuz I would watch the hell outta that show!

  38. Robyn
    0

    I wish there had been more pictures/film of Prince Andrew. I saw him in one of the BBC documentaries last night and my jaw dropped. More Silver Fox than Randy Andy now, but he has aged much better than his brothers. And his dress uniform is as awesome as the rest!

    • Gigi
      0

      He’s definitely still got it, but that redhead living with (off) him is a total deal-breaker. No wonder he can’t get a girlfriend! Sarah’d think nothing of wandering into his bedroom while he was “showing his Japanese etchings” to a new lady friend.

      • Jessica
        0

        I decided they are secretly back in love but just keeping it under wraps because of SCANDALOUSNESS.

  39. Lisa M. Ellis
    0

    THANK YOU, Jessica! I spent all weekend waiting for your take on this!

  40. Imelda Marcos
    0

    For the love of royalty, I wish Kate would jazz up her footwear. There are plenty of “sensible” options that are not boring! It can be done.

    • ChristieLea
      0

      Well, to be fair, considering it was such dreary cold weather, I would have gone with sensible closed-toes too….

      • Imelda Marcos
        0

        True, but closed toe isn’t the problem. It’s the flesh-toned neutrality I take issue with. Like I said, there are lots of other sensible, snazzier options. Even for rainy days! I live in the Pacific Northwest where it rains 85% of the year so I have some experience there.

  41. Gina
    0

    MORE QUESTIONS:

  42. Gina
    0

    MORE QUESTIONS: In the first photo it says E R. E is Elizabeth, but what does R stand for? And what is their last name, anyway? And I thought Heather is the British one, so why does Jessica always do the royals? And finally, does Kate’s clutch appear to be wearing a hat also? What is that?

    Thanks awfully much!

    • Jessica
      0

      Heather IS the British one (she has dual citizenship) (although my Grandmother was also British so I am not totally unaffiliated with the Brits). It just happened that I stumbled into covering this because Wills and Kate made their big Canadian/US tour while she was on vacation, and we are creatures of habit.

    • Dazie
      0

      Elisabeth Regina, I think. Whatever the Latin term is for “Queen Elisabeth”

  43. menina veneno
    0

    To me, the royals shouldn’t be featured on this website, since they are a political institution, rather than an entertainment one. It’s like featuring presidents, to comment on their clothes, without paying much attention to their unethical or undemocratic deeds. Unlike what happens with musicians, actors and tv personalities, the celebrations of the British royals have a very real impact on the way their nation works (i.e. they are millionaires but all their luxuries are covered by taxpayers). I don’t know, it feels like i’m looking at something dirty.

    As Morrissey recently said:
    “While dictatorships throughout the Middle East are gently condemned by the British government, there is no examination of the extremism enforced by the British ‘royals’, who remain the most overpaid and most utterly useless people on the planet. Having done nothing to earn our respect, they demand everything by return. It is a cunning and extravagant form of benefit fraud.

    • menina veneno
      0

      to continue the morrissey quote: This week, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee presents a new lesson in the force of tyranny, and is an expression of loathing and abhorrence of the British poor – and all done, quite naturally, at the public’s expense! It is degrading to anyone of intelligence.

      • Steph
        0

        I read that the entire Jubilee floatilla was funded by private donations, NOT taxpayer money.

        • Ann from Canada
          0

          You shouldn’t look at something you think is dirty. And maybe morrisey doesn’t respect HRH and the rest of the royal family but a hell of a lot of other people do.

    • Poppy
      0

      Ok, the river pageant was funded privately.

      Just as an aside, the Royals are not living off tax payer money. There are some members of the Royal Family who receive money from the government, but apart from the allowance for Prince Philip the rest is all immediately repaid by the Queen from her private revenues.

      The Queen has the Duchy of Lancaster to cover all of her private expenditure, only her public engagements are paid for by public money. Prince Charles doesn’t receive any public money, even for his public work, he (and William, Kate and Harry) are all entirely funded by money from the Duchy of Cornwall.

      Apart from the money side of it, there are literally thousands of jobs created by the Royals on their estates and at all the palaces and castles, and you can’t deny that in times like this they really bring the country together.

      • menina veneno
        0

        Right, but according to Wikipedia:

        The official reported annual cost to the British Public of keeping the Royal Family was £41.5M for the 2008-09 period.[1] This figure is disputed as the real cost since it does not include the cost of security provided by the Police and the Army, the lost revenue of the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster and other expenses.

        I think, and this is just my opinion, that £41.5M could be better spent (public programs, social justice, support of children, women, marginalized minorities, refugees, underprivileged people, etc) than supporting those that already have it pretty easy by virtue of being born in the right family.

  44. Kay
    0

    ER stands for Elizabeth Regina, or Queen (regina) Elizabeth. Former kings and queens were RI or regina imperatrix, queen empress. But now there’s no more empire so it’s just R. The royal family’s last name is either Windsor or Mountbatten-Windsor depending on which one you’re talking about. (The younger children of the Queen use Mountbatten-Windsor but anyone in the direct line to the throne still uses Windsor.) However, most of them have titles and so they don’t really use “last names” per se.

    From what I’ve read, the queen mostly wears the same shoes (in different colors) and carries the same purse all the time. She’s been using the same style for years and years and evidently she likes it. I cut the royals a lot of slack when it comes to shoes since they stand for hours on end, just about every day of their lives. Not like starlets who walk a few feet on the red carpet in their high heels and might only attend a red carpet event occasionally. Wearing sensible shoes may be unfashionable but it’s probably why the queen can still stand for hours in her 80′s.

  45. Aspasia
    0

    Catherine looked gorgeous, I think. So did Camilla! I’m so proud of her! :)

    And OMG, could Harry look any hotter in that uniform?! I was practically dry-humping my computer when he was on the screen!

  46. Lilibet
    0

    Anne looks like she’s having a lotta fun in that uniform. And the Queen! Bless her little cotton socks. She’s amazing.

  47. Nancy
    0

    I think like many non-monarchist British people, I was completely torn between my republican-leanings, being thankful for a two day holiday, and wanting know what the Queen and Kate were wearing.

    But then I realized I’m also an atheist who celebrates Christmas so I might as well get into it.

    p.s more Harry!!!!!!!

  48. Sajorina
    0

    I love everything everybody wore! Kate looks BEAUTIFUL in red & Queen Anne is so freaking awesome! The Queen looked great as well!

  49. Eli
    0

    I wish Kate would have worn a belt with it or something to break up the red. The runway version had a huge ass honkin black belt, which would not be occasion appropriate, but a smaller black belt and black shoes would have kept her from looking like a blood clot (TM Bette Midler, Big Business).

    I do love Kate, and most of her clothes, but I am getting bored with the long sleeve, boat necked dresses. There was the pink one she wore twice last week, this one, and then another pink lace one last night. Don’t fall in a rut, girl!

  50. Squirrel!
    0

    “Do shut up, Camilla…” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!