TALK OF THE TOWN: Has another firm fallen victim to the Kate curse?

TALK OF THE TOWN: Has another fashion firm fallen victim to the Kate curse? Luxury label worn by the Duchess of Cambridge goes bust in the latest in a string of closures

In 2018 her beloved chintzy designer Orla Kiely went to the wall. The Duchess is pictured above wearing an Orla Kelly dress

Royal customers are usually a guarantee of success – but I’m beginning to fear that, as another of her favourite brands goes bust, the Duchess of Cambridge’s patronage is more of a curse than a blessing.

In 2018 her beloved chintzy designer Orla Kiely went to the wall, swiftly followed by high street stalwart L K Bennett going into administration last year and its stores facing an uncertain future.

Now I can reveal that another of Kate’s much-loved fashion labels, Beulah London, has gone into liquidation, leaving creditors almost £1 million out of pocket.

Founded in 2010 by the Marquis of Reading’s daughter Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs, an ex-girlfriend of Prince William, and her best friend Lavinia Brennan, Beulah was aimed squarely at the well-heeled middle-class set.

Their brand took off when Kate wore a silk red dress from one of their earliest collections. 

‘The phones were ringing off the hook,’ explained Lady Natasha. ‘With Kate, we always get an influx of customers from the US and the UK.’ That was despite a typical Beulah dress costing about £500 and even simple designs costing £350.

The Duchess wore a black Beulah coat for a visit to Pakistan last year, and another outfit for a lockdown address about mental health in May.

Further high-profile endorsement came from Holly Willoughby, who wore Beulah outfits to present ITV’s This Morning this summer.

The price tags perhaps explain why, despite the brand’s high profile and investors pumping millions into the business, Natasha and Lavinia were unable to keep it afloat: in ten years Beulah never turned a profit, racking up total losses of £1.7 million in 2018.

Its collapse into voluntary liquidation has left 11 employees out of pocket to the tune of £75,000 collectively. 

Shareholders who lost out include Formula 1 presenter Natalie Pinkham. The debt the company owes to the Duchess of Cambridge for backing their designs is much harder to put a price on.

Lady Natasha vowed to battle on last night, saying: ‘It is our intention to find a way to rescue Beulah now and secure its future.’


The Duchess is pictured left wearing a L K Bennett dress and right wearing a Beulah London dress. High street stalwart L K Bennett went into administration last year and its stores face an uncertain future. Now I can reveal that another of Kate’s much-loved fashion labels, Beulah London, has gone into liquidation, leaving creditors almost £1 million out of pocket

Beulah London’s Lavinia Brennan, left, and Natasha Rufus Issacs

Jarvis pulps Twitter

Jarvis Cocker is definitely struggling to get with the social-media programme – the Pulp frontman, left, confesses he can’t cope with Twitter and thinks Instagram shares are like postcards

Jarvis Cocker is definitely struggling to get with the social-media programme – the Pulp frontman, left, confesses he can’t cope with Twitter and thinks Instagram shares are like postcards. 

‘I lasted 40 minutes on Twitter before I deleted it,’ the 56-year-old Britpop star reveals. 

‘I thought it was horrible. People were just bothering you all the time. What I like about Instagram is, it’s more like receiving a postcard from a friend. It seems a bit more human.’

He clearly hasn’t come across the Kardashians there yet…

In response to Kanye West’s public breakdown last week, Lottie, 22, issued a series of impassioned online posts promoting awareness for mental health – and revealed: ‘I have ADHD.’

Lottie lets it out… about her ADHD

Catwalk queen Kate Moss has always lived by the mantra ‘never complain, never explain’ but her younger sister Lottie, right, has bravely decided to reveal her own struggle with mental health – and the distress it’s caused her.

In response to Kanye West’s public breakdown last week, Lottie, 22, issued a series of impassioned online posts promoting awareness for mental health – and revealed: ‘I have ADHD.’

The condition she suffers from – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – is characterised by symptoms such as fidgeting and acting without thinking. 

In her posts, the Calvin Klein model, who appeared on the cover of Vogue at 18, revealed she had to deal with ‘so many people thinking it’s some made-up thing, or try to tell me how I should feel, or that it isn’t that bad, especially people that haven’t ever had a mental illness’.

Lottie also told her 330,000 followers: ‘My struggles have caused me to act out of character. I was becoming a person I didn’t really like which is why I numbed myself with substances.’

During lockdown, she stayed with Kate in her Cotswolds home, so I really hope the respite has helped Lottie find some peace.

He is rich and he was famous, but singer Robbie Williams clearly isn’t that recognisable any more: that’s the only way I can explain the fact that his mother- in-law Gwen was conned by an impostor – even while she was living in the same house as the pop star. 

Robbie, who is married to Gwen’s daughter Ayda Field, revealed: ‘A fake Robbie Williams Facebooked Gwen and she started having public conversations on Facebook with this fake Robbie… whilst she’s living in my house, with me!’ Maybe the impostor was just more interesting than you, Robbie…

Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing, left, was probably hoping to provoke a little watch envy when he boasted online about buying a £20,000 timepiece – but the only thing anyone commented on was how much he looks like TV’s ‘Judge’ Rob Rinder! As these pictures show, they do bear an uncanny resemblance – but there is a subtle difference.

Rob, right, would never be so crass as to brag, as Jamie did: ‘My grandmother left us £20k. My sister and brother invested in a house but I bought a gold Rolex, She would have hated it.’ Classy.


As these pictures show, they do bear an uncanny resemblance – but there is a subtle difference

British tennis star Johanna Konta has added a very unusual string to her, er, racket – she’s set up a dog-walking business. 

The 29-year-old and her film producer boyfriend, Jackson Wade, have launched The Sniff Club, which charges up to £25 an hour for their ‘premium service’ – which is taking take pets for a stroll.

At least Johanna should have plenty of spare balls for a game of ‘fetch’!

The Queen chalked up another world first this weekend – becoming the first monarch to unveil a portrait of herself via Zoom.

The portrait was commissioned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a ‘lasting tribute to Her Majesty’s service’ and is to be displayed in the FCO’s London HQ. The unveiling went without a hitch but for one small protocol problem.

Artist Miriam Escofet explained: ‘The team had practised bowing their heads but it just looked like we were nodding.’

These Foreign Office types are terribly clever, but they clearly haven’t learned to step back from the camera!  

The Queen chalked up another world first this weekend – becoming the first monarch to unveil a portrait of herself via Zoom

Most people just have a rusty old barbecue at the end of their garden, but not PR boss Matthew Freud – he’s got part of an intercontinental ballistic missile behind his house in London’s Primrose Hill. 

Matthew tells me his passion for 1960s industrial design is behind his ‘small collection of Cold War missiles’, one of which is displayed in his London offices, and the (disarmed) Primrose Hill example is waiting to be moved to a suitable home. Well, at least it will deter burglars in the meantime… 

Did Prince Andrew’s security detail really take out their guns and shoot the sound system at a New Order gig? 

Well, that’s what the band’s bass player Peter Hook claims. He reveals the band were hired by an LA club ‘to entertain Andrew and Fergie on a trip to help English fashion designers. 

We were so loud that Andrew’s Secret Service men ran over to the PA and shot it out.’ It’s a great story, until Peter admits the band had ‘a huge bag of marching powder’ and ‘were completely out of our minds’. So he’s hardly the most reliable witness…

Bake Off judge Prue Leith may be 80, but even she can’t avoid the horrors of watching her weight

Bake Off judge Prue Leith may be 80, but even she can’t avoid the horrors of watching her weight. 

Although she seems to relish scoffing cakes on TV, she says: ‘If I put on some weight, I just stop.’

Prue, right, confesses: ‘I’d never worry about self-esteem, it’s not that deep. I’m just worried about vanity. I’m extremely vain!’ Don’t worry, Prue, the only thing we ever notice is your super-colourful outfits!

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