Christopher Howse is one of those writers I have always considered up there with Craig Brown when it comes to the briliantly funny skewering of vapid celeb culture, so what a guilty delight to read his review of Pippa's book in the Telegraph today.
Three choice extracts:
Pippa Middleton has “always loved to write”, indeed it is a “passion”, so it is sad that she has had to wait until the age of 29, four years older than Keats at his death, to achieve publication.
The globally recognised bottom hardly gets a look-in, making a half-hearted entrance on page 163, and exiting with another plate of canapés on page 164.
What is the point of this thick, colourful book, except as a sort of cultural tea bag for the American market? Who will rely on its recipes for cooking a turkey, a Victoria sandwich or a leg of lamb?
Stand by for lots of Chaz
Caution: There's going to be lots of Prince Charles and Camilla on the Royalist for the next two weeks.
The royal couple are embarking on a two-week tour of Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand, and we'll be keeping up with them every step of the way.
Camilla should be bright eyed and bushy tailed for the trip, as she is currently finishing off a week long stay at a $5,000 a night ayurvedic centre in India.
The Prince and Duchess are due to land in Port Moresby on Saturday night as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. They will tour Port Moresby and the village of Boera, where locals are restoring coastal mangroves.
When Charles met this hairy biker yesterday as part of the UK's veteran's fund Poppy appeal, lets hope he didn't notice his badge (circled) which reads, 'F**k off, I don't like you."
Accidental discharge blows hole in car
Breaking news in the UK is that an investigation has been launched after a cop on duty guarding the home of William and Kate accidentally fired a gun, blowing a hole in the bottom of his squad car.
It's the latest humiliation in a series of embarrassing blunders by the royal protection squad, which has seen them pilloried for failing to protect Kate and Harry from being photographed naked.
Nobody was injured in the incident which happened in north Wales last week. Kate is believed to have been within earshot when the shot was fired, but William was on duty.
John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images
The Prince of Wales looked rather out of place today when he hopped aboard a leather-clad bikers low-rider in a double-breasted three-piece suit complete with his trademark pocket square.
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales poses on a motorcycle with a Poppy Day ambassador (Anthony Devlin / WPA / Getty Images)
He was supporting a drive to raise £1 million in a single day for the UK's veteran's fund which uses a poppy as its symbol when he stopped to joke with bikers from the Royal British Legion Riders Branch.
Maybe leave it to Harley-riding Harry next time, eh?
Sheik has not fled London, just returned home to avoid the cold, court hears
It's hard to decide which is the best bit of today's court action against a member of the Qatari Royal family accused in court in London today of having left a trail of eye-watering debts alleged to total some $60m to auction houses around the world, having earlier this year bid for a valuable collection of ancient coins at auction in New York without ever paying up.
The vast sums of money involved? The fact the sheik's laywer denies any contract for sale exists at all?
Or maybe the fact that his lawyer says he has not run away from his debts in London, but simply returned to the middle east because Europe's getting a bit chilly.
Oh, to be a Qatari Royal!
Camilla is on way to Australia where she will meet up with Charles
Camilla Parker-Bowles has checked into an exclusive $5,550-a-night Indian ayurvedic centre, in a last-ditch effort to beat the sinusitis which has made her life a misery for several years.
Prince Charles is known to be a big fan of alternative healing methods, and doubtless supports his wife’s decision to stay at the exclusive ayurvedic resort, Soukya, in the state of Karnataka, which specialises in the notoriously tough ‘Panchakarma’ treatment which involves fasting and induced vomiting, although he is not with her on the trip.
Friends of the Royals tell the Royalist that Camilla is regularly badly affected by sinusits and is desperate to beat the chronic condition. Just last month she had to cancel an official engagement because her sinuses made it impossible for her to fly.
Camilla, accompanied by her daughter Laura Lopes and eight personal staff, touched down at Bengaluru International Airport on Saturday afternoon and was received by Ian Felton, the British Deputy High Commissioner in Bangalore, although Buckingham palace has been at pains to stress the trip is ‘private’ and paid for with her own cash.
Former aide tells of his concern at star's wierd behaviour
The scandal of the paedophile children's TV presenter Jimmy Savile has now reached the Royals.
Savile cultivated relationships with senior royals after meeting Prince Charles in the 1970s, and was invited to visit St James's Palace on numerous occasions in the 1980s when he acted as a mediator between Charles and Diana. Charles led tributes to Savile when he died a year ago.
Today, Dickie Arbiter, who handled media relations for the Prince and Princess of Wales while spokesman for the Queen between 1988 and 2000, told the UK’s Guardian newspaper that Savile’s behaviour at St James' Palace was a cause for "concern and suspicion".
Matthew Lewis / Getty Images
"He would walk into the office and do the rounds of the young ladies taking their hands and rubbing his lips all the way up their arms if they were wearing short sleeves," Arbiter said. "If it was summer [and their arms were bare] his bottom lip would curl out and he would run it up their arms. This was at St James's Palace. The women were in their mid to late 20s doing typing and secretarial work."
Coe wondered, 'What have I done?'
It was the best-kept secret of the Olympics opening ceremonies, and it seems the common folk weren’t the only ones kept in the dark about the queen’s audacious Bond movie, which culminated in a stunt man dressed as the queen parachuting into the Olympic Stadium.
For in his biography out next month, Seb Coe, the Olympics chief organizer, claims that Princes William, Harry, and Charles were all unaware of the stunt until it was screened. The bio is being serialized in the (paywalled) London Times.
Cameron Spencer / Getty Images
In his autobiography, Running My Life, Lord Coe writes: “Prince Charles looked at me and began laughing rather nervously, wondering where on earth this was going. And when the film cut to the shot of the Royal back, he had exactly the same reaction as everyone else, which was to assume that it was the lady who does the impersonations. But the moment she turned around and everyone realized, "My God! It really is the Queen!" he began roaring with laughter. As for his sons, they were beside themselves.
Whistles CEO says Kate is great for brand visibility but doesn't really boost sales
The effect of Kate 'aint so great, says Whistles CEO Jane Shepherdson, who sat down for a chat with website Business of Fashion.
BoF: Let’s talk about the so-called ‘Kate Middleton Effect’. Clearly, there is a brand visibility effect and people in countries where Whistles isn’t even present will all of a sudden be asking “What’s Whistles?” But I’m more interested to know about the real business impact, the impact on sales… And I don’t know the extent to which you can actually track or describe it.
JS: She wore a blouse [in the royal engagement photos] which was actually from a few seasons ago, which we weren’t running. So in that instance, it raised profile certainly, but it didn’t do anything for sales. We had a lot more people visiting our website.
I suppose the biggest impact has been on a dress she wore at the [Olympic] Opening Ceremony. It’s a style that’s been very successful for us anyway — a printed silk dress. That weekend, we sold out of it. Well, of what we had.
Splendidly tall tales.
A truly vintage bonkers story in the Daily Mail today claims that the Queen Mother miscarried a baby boy—who would have been king—as a result of being buzzed by a low-flying aircraft in 1950.
The Mail is reporting on the recollections of a 99-year-old pal of the former pilot involved, Walter Beisiegel, who himself died in 1973. The pal is named, wait for it, Tubby Vielle.
Nonagenarian Tubby claims that Walter told him that in 1950 he "buzzed" a garden where a "pregnant lady" was walking, and that soon after the Queen Mother miscarried a baby boy. He does not say how he was able to spot that a woman on the ground was four months pregnant from a fast-moving aircraft, but one should never let inconvenient practicalities get in the way of a good story.
From the Mail:
Countries with strict press laws were the ones that published.
The blindingly obvious just has to be stated sometimes.
Cue Michael Grade, a former chairman of the BBC, who said today that it is impossible to stop “unethically obtained” images such as those of Kate Middleton topless and Prince Harry playing naked party games circulating on the Internet, and suggested that measures to restrict the U.K. press would be pointless.
Lord Grade made his comments during a parliamentary debate today in advance of the publication of the Leveson Inquiry next month.
Thomas Samson / AFP / Getty Images
Latest in a long line of unlicensed product promotions.
Given that there are legions of British newspaper hacks who check in on the website of Kate and Pippa Middleton’s parents’ firm Party Pieces daily (yes, it’s on my bookmark bar), you might have thought that the Middletons by now would have learned their lesson about not doing anything on the site that might embarrass their royal daughter.
You’d be wrong.
Prince Charles, right, meets British actors Daniel Craig, left, and Judi Dench, second from left, at the premiere of "Skyfall" at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Oct. 23. (Kirsty Wigglesworth, AFP / Getty Images)
For the Party Pieces website is, as far as British tabloids are concerned, the gift that just keeps giving, with a succession of blunders that allow the press to accuse the Middletons of “cashing in” on their royal connections.
First evening date since tour
But will she toast with wine? That was the question on this royal watchers lips today when it was revealed that William and Kate are to attend their first evening-time dinner date since they were on tour of the South Pacific and Kate was photographed twice toasting with water instead of wine.
The water-not-wine moment got somewhat lost on the world's media when the topless pictures scandal hit, but it will be interesting to hear if Kate avoids alcohol again, as expectant mums are advised to do.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge toasts President of Singapore's wife Mary Tan at dinner as she visits the Istana on day 1 of their Diamond Jubilee tour on September 11, 2012 in Singapore. (Chris Jackson, Pool / Getty Images)
Kate Middleton and Prince William have fond memories of their university days, not least because they were allowed to get on with life without being constantly papped thanks to an agreement with the UK press (one of the few media organisations to break a voluntary embargo was, er, Prince Edward's Ardent TV).
James Matthews' Parents own Eden Rock hotel
Seems like Pippa's got herself a new man, and he could prove handy for family holidays free from prying lenses with her royal sister and in-laws, as his parents own the Eden Rock hotel on St Barth's.
Nice work Pippa!
The party-promoting auteur, who recently pronounced herself 'startled' to be famous 'on account of her bottom' his dating investment banker James Matthews – whose other family claim to fame is that his brother, Spencer, stars in a British TV reality soap.
Pippa Middleton was spotted on a date with banker James Matthews (inset). (Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP Photo; inset: Eden Rock Hotel)
Sixty years and hardly a slip.