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Trump health officials prepare to distribute coronavirus vaccine within 24 hours of OK from FDA How big are Krogers online grocery sales now? Bigger than Levi Strauss or Harley-Davidson What Queen Elizabeth and Cardi B Have in Common: A Love of Houndstooth! © Hearst Owned Houndstooth, a mainstay of royal wardrobes, is enjoying a major revival thanks to Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, and, of course, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's "WAP.


Recently, a photo of Queen Elizabeth II caught my attention. As always, she looked pulled together, lips pursed, hair tucked under a silk kerchief, handbag clenched by her side, her person a few commanding strides ahead of Prince Philip.

Still, the impression she gave off was more than regal elegance. In a three-quarter length, gray-and-white houndstooth overcoat, the queen looked fierce. Instantly, I heard Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s blockbuster anthem “WAP” playing over the queen’s expression: “I don’t cook/ I don’t clean/ But let me tell you how I got this ring…”

© Jemal Countess - Getty Images Beyoncé in 2010.

The quirky check, which originated in the Scottish Lowlands in the 1800s, pops up in every regal wardrobe from Wallis Simpson to Princess Diana to the Duchess of Cambridge, but houndstooth is not just for British divas. In music released this year, the pattern also swaddles the most in-demand queens of pop culture.

In “WAP,” Normani dances in a room with houndstooth walls and a houndstooth marble floor while wearing head-to-toe vinyl houndstooth: heels, gloves, high-waisted bottoms, bra, cap, umbrella and a long trench coat.

A week after the song set records for most streams, Miley Cyrus offered “Midnight Sky.” In this declaration of independence, Cyrus chose a crystal-studded houndstooth pantsuit to run into the night (and away from Liam Hemsworth), and she liked the look so much, she septupled it. Then for “Brown Skin Girl,” from her Black is King film, Beyoncé projected both class and sass in a low-cut, houndstooth gown with a long, flowing train by designer Sarah Diouf of Tongoro.

What is it about this cheeky pattern that’s attracted women for generations?

Those who love it, really seem to love it—like Christian Dior, who in 1947 integrated houndstooth into the New Look and used it to adorn the packaging of his first fragrance, Miss Dior. Houndstooth even played a part in the courtship of then-married Wallis Simpson and the Prince of Wales.

After admiring the future Edward VIII’s houndstooth tweed overcoat, Simpson’s second husband was gifted an identical coat by the royal tailor. “This later gave rise to the jibe that Ernest Simpson was the man who sold his wife for a bolt of cloth,” the Duchess of Windsor’s biographer Anna Sebba later wrote. (This, too, recalls Megan Thee Stallion’s exclamation, “Now get your boots and your coat for this…”)

© Samir Hussein - Getty Images The Duchess of Cambridge in 2018.

The versatility of houndstooth clearly transcends time, space, and class. While houndstooth may be embraced by the most privileged people on earth, it is also a defiant symbol of intersectionality. Other geometric patterns, like polka dots, are printed on a background color that’s usually white.

A true houndstooth, meanwhile, interweaves black and white threads in equal numbers, alternating bands of four dark and four light threads with a classic 2:2 twill. The result is a harmonic shape that repeats without any wasted space. It is the black-and-white cookie of fashion.

There’s an intricacy to houndstooth that offers a depth and sense of motion not found in a simpler checkerboard. It can be worn by young and old, by short and tall, by blondes (Lady Gaga) and brunettes (Jackie Kennedy.)

Houndstooth favors no gender. Cyrus’s pantsuit was modeled by a man in Richard Quinn’s fall 2020 show. (The designers at Berluti, Off-White, JW Anderson, Wolk Morais and Marine Serre also, uh, checked it off for fall 2020.) Today’s houndstooth comes in a rainbow of colors and size doesn’t matter. The teeth can be small and tight or bold and large.

Houndstooth’s subtle message of finding harmony between two contrasting colors explains its endurance. At a time of blue states versus red states, houndstooth doesn’t divide. It connects.

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Touching love letters from Chris Watts’s wife before he murdered her and their daughters revealed in new Netflix doc

A PREGNANT Shanann Watts sent her husband Chris love letters and texts weeks before he killed her and their two tot daughters, according to a new Netflix documentary streaming Wednesday.

'American Murder: The Family Next Door' paints Shanann, 34, as a loving and caring wife going above and beyond for her husband and her two toddler daughters, even when their marriage started to fall apart.

9Chris Watts murdered his wife Shanann and their two young daughters in August 2018Credit: Refer to Caption 9A new Netflix documentary shows Shanann sent her husband love letters and texts weeks before he killed herCredit: Refer to Caption 9She wrote in one text: "I miss and love you so much!"Credit: Netflix

″I miss and love you so much,″ Shanann sent in a text to Chris, 35, after learning she was pregnant. ″I am still in shock that we are having a little boy! I am so excited and happy!″

"Thank you for letting me hold you this morning," she wrote. "It felt good!"

″I will always fight for our marriage -- and you!″ she wrote in a letter to Chris. ″I love you baby with all my heart."

News of the pregnancy didn't last long however. Chris killed Shanann when she was 15 weeks pregnant.

9Instead, Chris strangled his wife at their Colorado home and then killed his daughters at his worksite at an oil fieldCredit: Refer to Caption 9Shanann was 15 weeks pregnant at the time. Their daughters were 3 and 4Credit: Refer to Caption 9Chris is in a maximum security prison serving a life sentence without paroleCredit: Getty Images - Getty

Shanann wanted to share the information with Chris in a video she posted, showing her wearing a t-shirt reading "Oops...we did it again."

The video, filmed on May 29, 2018 shows Chris walking through the door, pausing as he walks in, smiling and reading Shanann's shirt before saying "We did it again."

According to court documents however, Chris told his mistress, Nichol Kessinger, he didn't know Shanann was pregnant until she was reported missing.

Watts apparently told Kessinger the baby "was not his" despite authorities saying they disproved Watts' claims that his wife cheated on him.

Chris strangled his wife on August 13, 2018 in their Colorado home. He then killed his two daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, at his job site at an oil field.

9Chris brought his wife's dead body in the car with their living children before killing themCredit: The Mega Agency 9He murdered his two young daughters at his worksite an an oil fieldCredit: Weld County DA 9A source close to Chris said he found God while in prisonCredit: Frederick Police Department

Watts was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He is currently housed at Dodge Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison in Waupun, Wisconsin.

Prison rules stipulate he is under watch 23 hours a day, with one hour of recreational time, and can have photos and a Bible. Next to his bed are photos of his family.

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A source close to Watts told PEOPLE last year he found religion while incarcerated. "A day doesn't go by - a minute doesn’t go by — where he doesn’t think about his family," the source said. ″He's in a hell of his own making.″

Watts even proclaimed himself a "servant of God" in a letter he wrote to his mom in June 2019. "I’m still a Dad! I’m still a son! No matter what. Now, I can add servant of God to that mix!″

The Netflix documentary is available for streaming on September 30.

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