Sir Elton John had a £6 million boost to his fortune after he was able to resume his Covid-interrupted farewell tour.
His business, J Bondi, saw its value leap from £24.3 million to £30.2 million in 12 months after he played a series of cancelled gigs in the U.S.
Newly released accounts show he was even able to pay off a £4.5 million bank loan in full as the tour money rolled in again.
The figures cover the 12 months to the end of March last year and include the 26 dates in America. Elton had to postpone his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour in March 2020 when the world went into lockdown.
Putting on a show: Sir Elton John performing at the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour last year in November
Unlike his pal Victoria Beckham, who furloughed staff at her fashion business, Elton rejected the idea of taking taxpayer help.
The accounts two years ago said the business ‘opted not to take advantage of the coronavirus business support schemes’.
He hoped to resume in 2021 but injured a hand and had to delay his return in January last year. The tour has now grossed £530 million since it began in September 2018.
Tributes to Queen’s most mischievous friend, Micky
During her record-breaking 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II was the most famous woman in the world. Yet she still managed to go incognito from time to time.
The woman who helped her do so, Lady Rupert Nevill, died last week aged 97.
Born Camilla Wallop, daughter of the 9th Earl of Portsmouth, she was known as ‘Micky’ by friends, including the Queen.
She had known Her Majesty since childhood and they were both in a troop of Girl Guides that met in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. In 1944 she married Lord Rupert Nevill and their marital home, Horsted Place, in Uckfield, East Sussex, became a bolthole for Princess Margaret and Peter Townsend during their tempestuous romance.
Pals: Queen Elizabeth ll and her mischievous friend Lady Rupert
Lord Rupert served as treasurer to Prince Philip, as well as private secretary. The Queen and Philip would often stay at Horsted Place, when they would be driven the 17 miles to go to the theatre in Brighton.
‘The Queen relishes seeing whether out of royal context she can go unrecognised,’ reported an article in the 1970s. ‘She once queued at the ticket office without being noticed.
‘Another night, when slow-moving crowds jammed the foyer, the manager recognised Micky Nevill and suddenly realised that, elbow-deep in the crush and enjoying it, was the Queen.’
Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes says Lady Rupert had a profound influence on him.
‘I will miss her tremendously,’ he tells me. ‘We had been friends for more than half a century. In fact, she was one of the main influences in my life. Her knowledge, her judgment, her taste, were all extraordinary, and I consider knowing her as one of my greatest blessings.’
Senior royals are likely to be at Lady Rupert’s funeral next week. Prince Philip and Charles were among the mourners at her husband’s funeral in 1982.
Haydn Gwyne, who stars in Channel 4’s over-the-top comedy about the Royal Family, The Windsors, is worried that her portrayal of Camilla as a conniving villain determined to become Queen has influenced the Duke of Sussex’s negative depiction of his stepmother in his memoir, Spare.
‘I’m beginning to worry if Prince Harry has been watching too much of The Windsors,’ says the actress, 65. ‘I thought my “Camilla” had nothing to do with the real Camilla.’
Rose and Charlotte go gaga over their godsons
The ‘erotic, exotic and eccentric’ parties at the Marchioness of Cholmondeley’s childhood home, Wembury House in Devon, feature in socialite Violet Naylor-Leyland’s new book, Rare Birds True Style.
But these days the Marchioness, former model Rose Hanbury, is the picture of respectability.
At the weekend, she became godmother to one of fashion stylist Sophia Hesketh’s sons with ‘Turnip Toff’ Oliver Birkbeck.
Cute: Charlotte, Rose, Sophia and Oliver and the boys
Also pictured is fellow godmother, beauty guru Charlotte Tilbury, during the joint baptism service for the couple’s son Frankie and his brother Alby, born less than a year later, at the Roman Catholic Brompton Oratory in London.
Rose, 38, set up former Tory treasurer Lord Hesketh’s daughter, 38, with Norfolk neighbour Birkbeck, 49, on a blind date.
Aspinall’s girl is wild about colour
As the daughter of casino and wildlife park heir Damian Aspinall, she’s used to all sorts of colourful characters.
And Freya Aspinall showed she’s happy to stand out herself as she went out in London wearing a £517 multi-coloured, cashmere jumper designed by The Elder Statesman.
Colourful: Freya Aspinall, 19, pictured wearing a £517 multi-coloured, cashmere jumper designed by The Elder Statesman
The 19-year-old, whose mother is actress and model Donna Air, also wore a Chanel pendant necklace and a pair of trainers by the label Off-White that can cost about £1,000. On her arm was a Fendi bag.
Having grown up at her father’s wildlife parks in Kent, where she befriended giraffes and cheetahs, Freya became the youngest model at Storm, the agency that discovered Kate Moss, at the age of 15.
Dame Joanna Lumley’s husband, conductor Stephen Barlow, often flies into a rage at having to hear music on TV shows.
‘People who actually are doing things with music in the background, Stephen goes into quite a sort of huff because he thinks that music should have full attention paid to it,’ Dame Joanna says.
Her husband confirms: ‘TV nowadays has too much music behind programmes, like Countryfile. I find myself going, “Oh, God, there’s going to be more music . . .”
‘I’m an emotional wreck after some of it.’
Lumley jokes: ‘You see, I live with Captain Rage, Captain Angry.’
Kirstie Allsopp is a friendly sort, but she was taken aback by one viewer who approached her in a shop in London’s Sloane Square.
‘If I had a pound for every person who said, “Oh, you look so much thinner in the flesh”,’ remarks the Location, Location, Location presenter, 51. ‘One time, I was in Peter Jones and this woman said to me, “Oh, my God, you should sue Channel 4 — telly really is not flattering.”
My mother was standing next to me, growling like a small terrier. She thought it was the rudest thing she’d ever heard.’
Donald Trelford, The Observer’s former editor, could have taken a very different career path.
Trelford, who died last week aged 85, told author Dominic Shelmerdine for his book My Original Ambition: ‘My childhood ambitions did not crystallise until my teens, when I thought seriously (but briefly) of entering the Church.
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