SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Princes Charles’s friend Sir Nicholas Soames says sorry at last for Diana slur
None of Prince Charles’s friends was more outspoken during the so-called ‘War of the Waleses’ than Sir Nicholas Soames.
The former minister hurtfully claimed that Princess Diana had accused Charles of adultery because of ‘her mental illness and advance stages of paranoia’.
Now Soames has finally decided to make a public mea culpa. ‘I regret it,’ admits Sir Winston Churchill’s grandson.
‘I should never have said it because I am not a doctor. And I don’t know what that is.’
None of Prince Charles’s friends was more outspoken during the so-called ‘War of the Waleses’ than Sir Nicholas Soames
Aware he is likely to be portrayed on screen in the next series of The Crown, Soames explains: ‘A lot of what was said and passed in those days was very unpleasant. It was a very unhappy time for everyone.’
He says he decided to condemn Diana publicly because he was so angry at the bitter breakdown of her marriage to the heir to the throne.
‘It is always better not to get involved in these things, but I was outraged.’
Soames, 72, has been a close friend of Charles since he found himself fishing a Scottish river next to him when he was 12.
He went on to be the Prince’s equerry and Charles was best man at his wedding to his first wife, the heiress Catherine Weatherall.
The Tory grandee claims the Netflix drama has treated the Royal Family unfairly. ‘The Crown has traduced all the parties in what was a very unhappy time,’ he says.
The former minister hurtfully claimed that Princess Diana had accused Charles of adultery because of ‘her mental illness and advance stages of paranoia’
‘Neither of them set out to be unhappy and it just happens. We all know it does. I myself have been failed twice in my marriages and I am full of sympathy to people who find it hard.’
Speaking on a podcast, he adds of The Crown’s portrayal of Charles and Diana: ‘It is absolutely monstrous. I really do think it should carry a sign saying: ‘This is pure fiction.’
‘Ninety per cent of the episodes I have seen on the break-up were absolute rubbish from beginning to end and deeply wounding to all the parties concerned.’
While Ellie Goulding has used the pandemic to record in her private studio, her husband, Caspar Jopling, has been busy transforming himself into something of a beefcake.
The Love Me Like You Do star, who turns 34 today, proudly shared this photo of the Old Etonian, 28, topless next to the treadmill at their Oxfordshire home.
‘Just found this of my very shy husband,’ Ellie explains, admitting he won’t be happy about his muscular body being shown off to her millions of fans, but adds that it was ‘worth it’.
While Ellie Goulding has used the pandemic to record in her private studio, her husband, Caspar Jopling, has been busy transforming himself into something of a beefcake
The Love Me Like You Do star, who turns 34 today, proudly shared this photo of the Old Etonian, 28, topless next to the treadmill at their Oxfordshire home
The ideal spot for lockdown, Salma
Isn’t it cheering to discover that someone’s still out enjoying a bit of sunshine?
While we’ve spent this year learning to wear face masks and keep away from friends, Hollywood star Salma Hayek says she’s been taught to appreciate the natural world more.
‘Last days of 2020. Never been more grateful for being healthy and in contact with nature,’ the 54-year-old actress reflects, sharing this snap of her in an exotic undisclosed location.
Last week, Salma was in France with her husband, French luxury goods billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, and their 13-yearold daughter Valentina.
While we’ve spent this year learning to wear face masks and keep away from friends, Hollywood star Salma Hayek says she’s been taught to appreciate the natural world more
It’s Strictly no Noddy
Christmas song king Noddy Holder has revealed the BBC was desperate to lure him on to Strictly, but he was put off by former contestant Lulu.
‘I was tempted,’ admits the rock star, whose hits with Slade include Merry Xmas Everybody.
‘I did go down and meet all the people and went to a couple of the live shows. But I bumped into Lulu and she said: ‘It’s murder, I’ve never done anything so hard in my life.’ ‘
Holder, 74, who’s promoting Slade’s album Cum On Feel The Hitz, adds: ‘I don’t think that at my age that I’d have been able to do it.’
There’s something slightly disturbing about the delight Damien Hirst takes in pickling animals in formaldehyde.
‘I love this idea of cutting things up,’ admits the world’s richest artist, who’s created an online tour of some of his 1990s work.
‘It’s violent. Killing things to look at them. In science, there’s a lot of death and horror needed to understand the world we live in.’
Urged by fanatic ‘woke’ campaigners to pay reparations for his ancestors’ treatment of slaves, Richard Drax has made clear he has no plans to cut ties with a West Indies sugar plantation he inherited.
The Tory MP has now officially announced his role as an administrator.
He quietly declared his interest in an update to the Parliamentary Register days before Christmas.
In it, Drax says he’s ‘currently administering a business property in Barbados’ and adds that the ‘title is due to be transferred to me in due course’.
Just call me Mrs Big, says Dawn
She’s one of the biggest names in showbusiness, but Dawn French actually prefers to be known by a less starry moniker.
‘I am a feminist, but I do occasionally really enjoy being called Mrs Bignell,’ says the comedienne, who married therapist Mark Bignell in 2013, three years after divorcing Lenny Henry.
‘I don’t want to be owned by anybody, but I enjoy being in this couple — it’s the belonging.’ Having two names does lead to some travel problems, though.
‘In my passport I have to have a special page that explains why I am Dawn French, as sometimes they won’t let you on a plane if your ticket is booked in ‘Bignell’ but your passport says ‘French’,’ she says.
‘It’s from the Passport Office and says: ‘This person is a performer and has kept their maiden name.’ ‘
Does Cath’s castle have a west wing?
What do you wear when you have to stay home to party?
Dominic West’s wife, Catherine FitzGerald, dons a medieval-style, velvet kaftan, with a gold clasp around her waist.
In this picture that she shared with friends, the aristocratic landscape designer, 49, poses by a fireplace in Glin Castle, her 14-bedroom ancestral home in Ireland.
The Affair star West, 51, has kept a low profile since pictures were published of him kissing and cuddling actress Lily James, 31, in Rome.
Back home, there’s no doubt who’s queen of his castle.
What do you wear when you have to stay home to party? Dominic West’s wife, Catherine FitzGerald, dons a medieval-style, velvet kaftan, with a gold clasp around her waist
At least someone’s profiting from the pandemic. Television doctor Hilary Jones has seen the value of his business boom to £1.3 million.
Newly published accounts for What’s Up Doc Ltd, through which he channels his earnings, show its value increased from £1.1 million the previous year.
In the 12 months to June, cash held at the bank grew from £772,951 to £886,678. The GP was handed an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year.
MCC members have long been distinctive for their ‘bacon and egg’ striped ties. Now, the home of cricket, Lord’s, is offering members club face masks for £8 — available in either the red-and-yellow stripes or a blue version with the club motif.
Not everyone is thrilled.
One MCC man thunders: ‘If they try to make us wear these things in the pavilion when we’re watching cricket, they can get stuffed.
‘The club’s committee has become as wet as an old sticky wicket.’
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