May 11th, 2019

carole lombard 06
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All hail Carole, Hoosier royalty!

Carole Lombard appears rather regal in this Paramount publicity still for "The Princess Comes Across," doesn't she? So what if her character isn't really Swedish royalty at all but showgirl Wanda Nash from Brooklyn, trying to parlay her ruse into a Hollywood contract while enabling Lombard to impersonate an ersatz Garbo?

Royalty's been in the news this week, as UK Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle welcomed a son into the fold on Monday, which they named Archie. (A tribute to Cary Grant aka Archibald Leach, perhaps?) Anyway, it led Justin L. Mack of the Indianapolis Star to conjecture that if Indiana were a kingdom, what might one of its royal sons or daughters be named?

By now, you should be able to guess where this is going. Five boys' and five girls' names were cited, and one of those for females was...

...Carole! As Mack wrote, "Lombard is a Fort Wayne native who would go on to become a Hollywood icon, and the highest-paid star in Tinseltown in the late 1930s. At age 33, a plane crash cut her life tragically short. Princess Carole [could] carry her legacy into a new generation."

If Indiana royal Carole had younger sisters, they could be named Shelley (Long) and Jenna (Fischer), saluting fellow Fort Wayne natives who found comedic success on TV ("Cheers" and "The Office," respectively).

Some of you may think, "But isn't Carole's actual birth name Jane Alice Peters?" Well, that's covered least the Jane part. It's for Indianapolis native Jane Pauley, current host of "CBS Sunday Morning" who gained renown on the "Today" show.

The other three Hoosier princess names:

* C.J., for Madam C.J. Walker, the first black, self-made female millionaire.
* Amelia, for aviatrix and Purdue alumna Amelia Earhart.
* Victory. Huh?

It's for Lady Victory, the statue atop the Soldiers & Sailors Monument, an Indy icon.

Now for prince monikers.

* Benjamin or Harrison, for 23rd president Benjamin Harrison.
* Ray, for Ray Harroun, winner of the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911.
* Kurt, for fabled author and Indy native Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
* James, for Crawfordsville native and pro wrestling star James "The Ultimate Warrior" Hellwig. (Mack notes the name could also apply to poet James Whitcomb Riley or actor James Dean.)
* Kenneth, for R & B singer/songwriter/producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds.

To me, there's a notable absence from the male list, one whom almost certainly would've been there five years ago...

...David, for Ball State's most famed alum, David Letterman.

Look over the list at

Speaking of royalty, an ultra-rare herald from "The Princess Comes Across" has surfaced on eBay:

It measures 6" x 9" (the back page is left blank for local theaters to use) in "very nice" condition. You can buy it straight up for $149.99 or make an offer. Learn more at
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