The Reliable Source is on vacation and will be back online Tuesday. (Please enjoy our Reliable Source Person of the Year and other highlights of 2011.) Names and Faces is the column that runs in its space in the Style section.

Miami Heat player LeBron James started off the year in an exciting way by proposing to girlfriend Savannah Brinson, the New York Daily News reports.

James proposed at his belated birthday celebration and New Year’s Eve party at the Vesper American Brasserie at South Beach’s Shelborne hotel. The exclusive 60-person celebration included fellow Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade and girlfriend Gabrielle Union, Chris Bosh, Queen Latifah, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Jessica White. These famous names were serenaded by ex-Fugee Lauryn Hill, who performed a surprise duet with rapper Nas, who was also in attendance.

James, who turned 27 on Friday, has been dating Brinson, 25, since their days at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Ohio. They have two children, LeBron Jr. and Bryce, who were present for their parents’ happy moment.

Prince Philip sighting

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, attended a New Year’s Day service at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, his first public appearance since being hospitalized Dec. 23, Reuters reports. Queen Elizabeth’s husband was seen happily walking to and from the church.

The 90-year-old was hospitalized for chest pains for four nights at the Papworth Hospital, causing him to miss the British royal family’s Christmas festivities.

Philip, who is Britain’s longest-serving consort, underwent a a minor procedure to ease a blocked heart artery during his stay.

Some speculate that he might have to scale back his official responsibilities.

Queen Elizabeth, who will celebrate her 60th year as Britain’s monarch in 2012, married Prince Philip in 1947.

Singer’s condition improves

Etta James’s condition continued to improve, and the “At Last” singer started the new year breathing without the help of a respirator, her manager confirmed to Us Weekly.

James was having problems breathing and was admitted to a Southern California hospital Dec. 21. She suffers from dementia and has terminal leukemia.

The 73-year-old is a six-time Grammy Award winner.