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Lady Kimberley Jeanne Elisabeth ‘Kimby’ Cavaliere (b. 1984) is a Paradisian musician, performer, athlete, media presenter and junior baroness. Edit
The fourth and youngest child born to Sir Jonathan Cavaliere, Lord Paradise, and Jeanne Cavaliere, Lady Paradise, she has been well-known in media, entertainment and political circles since she was born.
Early life Edit
Universally known as ‘Kimby’, her childhood nickname, she was born in the early hours of Monday, 2 January 1984, on the sofa in her family’s home in Tobasco, Florida. Her mother went into labour two weeks ahead of schedule and her father was four days from finishing a US tour with The Strawberries. The birth was assisted by a friend and neighbour, Lulanni George, who served as midwife. The newborn baby and her mother were later tended-to at Tobrookee Regional Hospital in Tobasco.
Her elder siblings are Caroline Anne Marie ‘Sissy’ Cavaliere (b. 1979), Jonathan Christopher Cavaliere, III (b. 1980), George Andrew Jacob Cavaliere (b. 1981), and Susan Marie Meriwether ‘Susie’ Cavaliere (b. 1979) whom her parents adopted in 1982.
For the first two years of her life Kimberley lived at the family’s home in Tobasco, making frequent visits to a second home outside Wilshire, Connecticut, her parents’ hometown where both sides of their family remain. She has also lived in The Bahamas and in England.
Attempted kidnapping Edit
On 11 February 1986, Jeanne Cavaliere was shopping at the Boscov’s department store in Tobasco Mall with Kimberley, then 2 years old, and her adopted daughter Susan (‘Susie’) when two ‘well-dressed’ men approached her near the jewellry counter. The men were later identified as Robert Criffin and Stephen Davey, undercover agents of the US Drug Enforcement Administration. Whilst Criffin distracted Mrs Cavaliere, Davey attempted to push the buggy containing Kimberley towards the nearest exit doors. As neither of the men was able to confine 6-year-old Susie, she chased after the buggy, crying aloud for help, till Davey got the buggy stuck in the automatically-closing door of the store and ran off without the toddler, who was upset but unhurt.
In formal statements to the media, Jonathan Cavaliere claimed the DEA had premeditated the kidnapping as an attempt at political retaliation for his success in identifying and hampering narcotics traffickers throughout southern Florida and the western Caribbean. Despite their agents being named in incident reports, the DEA have never acknowledged or denied any complicity. Cavaliere later cited the attempted abduction of his child as ‘the last straw’ in his decision to relocate his family and business interests to the Bahamas and subsequently to the United Kingdom.
Move to British Paradise Islands Edit
On Easter Monday, 31 March 1986, Jonathan and Jeanne Cavaliere, with their children and several close members of household staff, departed Tobasco on their yacht Excalibur and arrived on 2 April at St Simon’s Cay, a semiautonomous island within the Berry Islands chain of the Bahamas. Till October 1988 they kept their remodelled 19th-century manor house there, Sandswell, as their primary residence and conducted most of their business from offices on the island, effectively renouncing their American citizenship.
Kimberley grew up remembering nearly nothing of her home life in Florida, except the attempted kidnapping about which she had nightmares for some time afterwards. An intellectually precocious, effervescent, and theatrical child, she swam in the pool, romped on the beach and played in the gardens, so often without clothes that the family called her ‘Lady Godiva’.
Following Cavaliere’s successful bid to invest in and redevelop the British Paradise Islands (BPI) the family relocated to Stonesea, in Suffolk, England, where they lived full-time another fourteen months. During this time her father was knighted KCMG by HM Queen Elizabeth II for preserving the BPI and was awarded the territorial baronetcy of Eden Island.
Education and youth Edit
Upon her arrival in the BPI, Kimberley Cavaliere was six years old and enrolled for year one at Oxmead School in Somerset. All her siblings had been taught during some substantial part of their formal-education years by a private tutor or governess. Till the close of the 1997-1998 school term, she was a student at North Eden High School (NEHS), on Eden Island, where she took an academically-advanced university-preparatory curriculum and maintained marks in the upper 90th-percentile range. Her best subjects are said to be French, art, music and literature.
In addition she is passably fluent in Japanese, Italian and Danish and has taken private lessons in piano, voice, ballet, archery, fencing, shooting, sailing, equestrian and tennis. At NEHS she was a highly-ranked competing member of both the swimming and gymnastics teams.
For the 1998-1999 term, Cavaliere enrolled in the Paradise Inter-Sport Academy (PISA), on Hope Island, in order to concentrate on gymnastics training. Typically she has been commuting from her family home on Treasurers' Cay. She is scheduled to sit for her O-level exams (comparable to the GCSE in England) in May 2000.
Her IQ has been estimated as being in the upper 160s.
In March 1997 she was one of five territorial students winning the annual Queen’s Essay award for composing and presenting an essay on an assigned topic of Paradisian relevance. As part of the honour, the students’ essays are forwarded to HM Queen Elizabeth II, who traditionally replies to each student with a personalised letter of acknowledgement and thanks.
Title of 'Lady Kimberley' Edit
In 1993, to fill a needed third seat for Eden Island in the Territorial House of Peers, Paradise’s upper house of parliament, Jonathan Cavaliere was created first Lord Paradise and his wife Lady Paradise, thus elevating their minor children to junior barons and baronesses in the territory. Since the age of 9, then, Kimberley is properly addressed as ‘Lady Kimberley Cavaliere of Paradise’. At the age of 21 she will assume substantive responsibilities in her role as Paradisian Baroness of the Out Islands.
Though born American, Cavaliere has lived nearly all her life in the British Commonwealth and alone amongst her parents’ children is noted for having developed a regular British speaking accent, which some American critics have claimed is merely an theatrical affectation. ‘The Englishness not just an act,’ explains Philip Mealing, a family advisor. ‘Kimby considers herself English, not American-- she has known life as a British subject since a very young age and all her own sensibilities are based on British ideals of manners, language and culture, not those American.’
Musical work Edit
As a singer Cavaliere has been greatly influenced by her father’s own career and, like him, by English and American pop and bubblegum artistes of the 1960s and 1970s. Another influence she admits is that of J-Pop, with its tight, urgent rhythms and breathlessly fast-paced vocals. Her first music CD, Call Me Kimby (1999), at once introduced and established her as a one-name superstar in the world of teen pop. The fact that she composed eight of the twelve songs of the album, played piano, keyboards, percussion and flute, and sang half the backing vocals as well as all the leads, suggests she has talents setting her apart from most recent teen ‘faces’.
The first single, ‘(If That Is) What You Want’, shows her serious side of songwriting; the song’s theme is taken from the duress she observed in her friend and BPIOC teammate Gwendolyn Dahl, who separated from Kimberley’s brother Jonathan when he went off to Cambridge University. ‘It’s a song about confusing feelings with what’s truly best, which so many people do all too easily. Love should always be firmly centred in common sense,’ says Cavaliere.
Criticism has been divided about the album, with several critics accusing the artiste of immature vocal styling and a general lack of original appeal. ‘For a mixed bag there is a mere modicum of evident talent,’ reported Time. Newsweek, at first releasing glowing reviews, subsequently panned the CD, co-produced by her father, calling it ‘the single worst display of nepotism in show business.’
Others, especially since the CD entered the UK charts at no. 25, were more sympathetic. ‘As a first CD by a teenaged singer-songwriter the effort shows remarkable energy with admirable restraint,’ reported Donna Wagner from the Times of London. ‘There is nothing overly showy, no façades; it’s just good solid rock music from an irresistibly pretty face.’
As of 10 May 1999, the CD has attained no. 7 in the British Billboard charts.
Kimberley Cavaliere has been mentioned as a likely nominee for the Grammy Awards and Teen Choice Awards.
Acting work Edit
From an early age Kimberley Cavaliere displayed an exceptional aptitude at fine and performing arts, including drawing, painting, sculpture, singing, musical instruments, theatre and dance, and has gravitated to cameras and the stage. In part due to her father’s promotion of her considerable talents, but largely due to her own merits, she auditioned for, and fairly received, her first film role in 1994’s The Legend of The White Knight. This was followed by an appearance in ITV’s Man To Man, in which she played the overly-cheerful friend of the protagonist’s daughter, and a modest supporting part in the film I’ll Be Home For Christmas (1995).
Though her on-screen roles have been few, her ability has been praised by most independent critics. Adam Lewes of Teen Beat called her presence ‘refreshing’, and Scott Law of the Independent Music Review reported that 'Cavaliere has an uncanny knack for showing up and looking cute, not so much as to overpower the scene, but to add precisely what is called-for to enhance it.’
She is slated to appear in Do What You Do Best, a film about teenaged punk-rock groupies in 1980 London, due to be released in June 1999. The film’s soundtrack shall include her vocal talents. It is rumoured to include ‘Devil With Her’, her upcoming single.
Gymnastics work Edit
By the age of seven Kimberley Cavaliere was enrolled in ballet lessons with a prominent BPI instructor. By age nine, she was active in the elementary-school gymnastics squad and joined the secondary-school competition team in 1995, the start of her first form at NEHS. Benefitting from a lifelong pursuit of classical dance, she distinguished herself in floor exercises and balance beam and began to rack up some impressive scores in territorial competition despite being one of the youngest first-string members of her high-school team.
Gymnastics training Edit
In 1994, after attending the XVII Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway, Jonathan Cavaliere co-founded the British Paradise Islands Olympic Committee, meant to sponsor an Olympic-calibre territorial sports programme, initially meant to focus on swimming, diving and gymnastics. Kimberley Cavaliere began intensive training with the junior-level women’s gymnastics team in September 1997.
1998 Commonwealth Games Edit
In June 1998, Cavaliere qualified for the BPIOC’s primary team by scoring 4th in the BPI all-around qualifying event. The 1998 squad was the BPIOC’s first team to attend a major international competition, participating in the XVI Commonwealth Games at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A primary team of seven girls, none yet aged 17, turned in a 7th-place team finish, surprising the field. At age 14, Cavaliere stood 6th in floor exercises, 11th in balance beam, 7th in uneven bars and 9th in vault. Her 9th-place all-around finish was a bit of an upset as she was not expected to outscore her close friend and teammate, Nilsa Bonetti, who suffered an unfortunate fall on the uneven bars.
Olympic aspirations Edit
According to the BPIOC, Cavaliere is a frontrunner for the Paradise Islands’ first Olympic team to be present at the XXVII Olympic Games at Sydney, Australia, in 2000. ‘The biggest potential distraction to her full effort is her singing career,’ says Stephen Coe, BPIOC head coach for gymnastics.
Cavaliere appears reluctant to choose either gymnastics or singing over the other, convinced she can continue in both interests at an adequate level. ‘It’s just that I am at the age when singers and gymnasts can do their best,’ she says. ‘Why should I not at least try to make both work, whilst I can?’ So far she has managed to sustain most of her gymnastic training regimen whilst pursuing acting work and recording promotional videos, in part to stave off, for the present, record-label requests for a major Euro-American tour in support of the Call Me Kimby CD.
Promotional work Edit
In 1997, Cavaliere began providing narration for the tourism-oriented Dorrie Paradise television series sponsored by the BPI Ministry of Tourist Affairs. As she is popularly considered a kind of ‘face’ in the territory, Cavaliere’s contributions have enhanced both Paradise’s stature as a tourism destination and her own career as well. Noted for her cheerful smile, pleasant speaking voice and an effervescent charm that appeals to all ages, she is becoming a familiar sight on television round the world.
Influence on popular culture Edit
Due to her conservative nature, Cavaliere is prone to issuing position statements that spark controversy in American, European and other liberalised media markets, making her either an admirable role model or a defiant antihero amongst teenaged girls about the world. Characteristically not shy about speaking her mind, she eschews irrational egoism and instead endeavours to proffer sensible, reflective comments that serve as relevant commonsense advice to many younger fans.
Her singing style, at once refined and flamboyant, and her fearless stage presence have drawn admiration from critics and fans alike. ‘Pat Benatar had nothing on Kimby,’ writes PD Wayne of Superstar. ‘She has all the natural magnetism of a young Janis Joplin.’
In fashion, Cavaliere adopted the ‘anime-look’ super-short skirts and close-fitting tops, popular in the BPI, and has found herself at the vanguard of smart and appealing, yet benign and modest, fashion, entirely reflective of her own character. Teen Beat’s Shari Stephens, an early and consistent admirer, has said, ‘No-one does skinny-chick chic better.’
Claire Winter of Social Circles writes in 1998, ‘As a multitalented teenager with a flair for the dramatic whilst being grounded in practicality and virtue, Miss Cavaliere’s [sic] influence has yet to be fully grasped. In terms of originality, intelligence, talent and sheer old-fashioned charm, here is a good-girl influence on modern youth that must not go away too soon.’
Influence on Paradisian culture Edit
Paradisian secondary-school girls at King’s Bay High School, on Caravelle Island, have designated 2 January, Cavaliere’s birthday, or the following day of school sessions, as ‘Lavender Day’, in recognition of her contributions to style, music and fashion, by choosing to wear to school some clothing in her favourite colour.
Due to Cavaliere's extraordinary popularity in Japan, several junior-high schools there have taken up the same practice, calling it 'Kimby Day', according to some sources.
Kimberley Downs, one of three major horse-racing facilities in the BPI, is named for her. At age 7 she cut the ribbon at the opening-day ceremony.
Gerry Halliburton, a mixologist at the Paradise Haven Casino Resort in Casino, Morning Island, claims credit for creating a mixed drink called the ‘Lady Kimby’ in her honour. The drink, made of grape juice, vodka, Triple Sec and club soda, has a lavender hue, reportedly Lady Kimberley’s favourite colour. Cavaliere has never sampled the drink, stating that as to alcoholic beverages she admits only modest consumption of table wine and champagne at adult-level dinners and social events.
Sociopolitical views Edit
As a junior baroness, part heiress to a media fortune, and daughter of parents who have been admitted to the Peerage and who admit Conservative-party inclinations, Kimberley Cavaliere confesses to being essentially traditional in her own opinions as well. She is a confirmed Anglican and attends Holy Eucharist services regularly, either biweekly at her family’s estate chapel or at the church in the adjoining township on Eden Island. She has been known to seek and receive sacraments at convenient churches when she is working on location, travelling as a tourist or visiting family.
Personal life and interests Edit
She enjoys world travel, having visited major cultural and business centres with her parents over the years as well as to the family homes in the Bahamas, Connecticut, London, Suffolk and the USA.
Kimberley Cavaliere collects fashion dolls, toys, jade jewellry, antique china, carved figurines, reproduction watercolours, silk scarves, and foreign small-denomination coins. Much of her extensive collections have found their way into the Camelot estate art-and-artifact gallery, now open to public view on rare occasions after having been long kept private.
She is known to keep a personal journal of her daily recollections and prefers to compose handwritten notes to friends and family members rather than to use e-mail or even the telephone.
Kimberley Cavaliere has exchanged personal correspondence with HM the Queen on at least two occasions.
One of Cavaliere’s other interests is the role-playing mock-warfare game Strategy, in which players assume military or other roles and develop schemes to defeat each other according to predetermined rules of engagement. The game is very popular amongst young people in the BPI, where competition tournaments are common and medals and accolades awarded. Cavaliere has been known to play at the game whilst nude, even in close company with teammates and opponents of both sexes, albeit only on her family's island estate.
In addition to gymnastics, Cavaliere has competed in sailing, swimming, and surfing. At 12 she won the Paradise Junior Laser sailing championship. She surfs regularly with her brother Jonathan and friends, most commonly at the break on the Camelot Shelf, the bight behind her family’s island estate, and at Surfside beach in eastern Eden Island.
In 1996 and 1997 she won the Paradise Invitational Surfing Championship in the division for girls aged 12-15. She also competed on the NEHS swimming team, setting territorial records in freestyle and breaststroke.
A social iconoclast, Cavaliere has been said to be difficult to get to know in a romantic context. She has dated several young men but has never declared herself ‘in love’, nor has she ever allowed any of these relationships to bloom beyond polite and friendly dating. She is admittedly a virgin and has been outspoken on the social and health benefits of abstinence. She has stated that she considers sexual relations to be appropriate only in committed, long-term monogamy, most preferably marriage.
Cavaliere has claimed that dating could interfere with her penchant for nudism, which she is able to pursue about the private beaches and gardens of her family’s estate. Of the possibility of including romantic partners in her clothes-free lifestyle, she says, ‘It would change. Most boys my age-- and many much older-- would probably not get the context.’
Consistently declining to seek serious romantic association with any males has led to speculation that Kimberley Cavaliere may be lesbian. Her reluctance to refute such assumptions stems more likely from her admiration for her sister Susie, whose same-sex affairs have been subject to much scrutiny and criticism, than from her own true preferences which by all other indicators are celibate but heterosexual.
- Call Me Kimby, LP (WKP); April 1999
- ‘(If that is) What you want’ (WKP); April 1999
- ‘Devil with her’ (WKP); May 1999 (UK), June 1999 (US)
- ‘Up my tree’ (WKP); June 1999 (UK), August 1999 (US)
- '(Not Your) Little Imouto'; June 1999 (Japan)
- The Legend of The White Knight (WKP); May 1995
- Man To Man, episode 4.18 (ITV); September 1994
- I’ll Be Home For Christmas (WKP); November 1995
- Do What You Do Best (WKP); June 1999
See also Edit
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