News, Culture & Society

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Kate Middleton’s hush-hush TV pow wow

Prince Harry and Meghan signed a deal worth an estimated £73 million to make films and programmes for streaming giant Netflix, but could the Duchess of Cambridge turn out to be the real TV star?

For I hear that our future queen held private talks this week with a high-powered television executive.

And insiders claim that Catherine could follow the example of her husband Prince William, whose environmental series with Sir David Attenborough began on BBC1 this week, and make a TV documentary. It would be about early childhood development, a subject close to her heart.

The Duchess of Cambridge, pictured, is believed to be in talks about making a documentary

A source said Catherine was in discussion with David Glover, who commissioned the hit Channel 4 show Googlebox and worked with physicist Stephen Hawking (Pictured: Catherine's parents Carole and Michael Middleton and her sister Pippa, right

A source said Catherine was in discussion with David Glover, who commissioned the hit Channel 4 show Googlebox and worked with physicist Stephen Hawking (Pictured: Catherine’s parents Carole and Michael Middleton and her sister Pippa, right

Kate Middleton, pictured with her younger sister Pippa and their father Michael in Jerash, Jordan

Kate Middleton, pictured with her younger sister Pippa and their father Michael in Jerash, Jordan

The meeting, held via telephone on Tuesday, was with David Glover, who commissioned the hit Channel 4 show Gogglebox and was responsible for much of the television work of physicist Stephen Hawking.

‘Catherine is very interested in a programme,’ claims the source. ‘She thinks it could be a really significant way to explore an important subject. She’s been very impressed with William’s efforts and knows how much he enjoyed making his Earthshot series.’

The programme could have the feel of the BBC’s popular geneaology series Who Do You Think You Are? in which famous figures explore their ancestry. This week, Catherine, 39, revealed that she’d been looking back at four generations of her family as part of her work into early childhood development.

During a trip to University College London, the Duchess met academics from the Children Of The 2020s project, which will track the lives of babies born in 2021 over five years and look at the effect of factors such as economic circumstances.

A television programme would be a big step for Catherine, who used to be very nervous about public speaking but has become increasingly confident.

A Kensington Palace spokesman declines to comment on the ‘private’ meeting.

However, a royal source tells me the talks were ‘preliminary and for research purposes’.  

Baroness Bra fills her cups for her 50th 

Starved of socialising during the pandemic, Baroness Mone of Mayfair is determined to make the most of her 50th birthday.

Lingerie entrepreneur Michelle, known as Baroness Bra, reveals she’s planned a whopping five celebrations to mark yesterday’s milestone.

‘One thing I’ve always known is how to party,’ she explains. ‘We have five parties planned with our family and friends.’

The mother-of-three wed Scottish billionaire Doug Barrowman, 56, last year following her 2011 divorce from Michael Mone. ‘This time ten years ago was the worst time of my life,’ she reflects. ‘Now I’ve never been happier.’

Starved of socialising during the pandemic, Baroness Mone of Mayfair is determined to make the most of her 50th birthday

Starved of socialising during the pandemic, Baroness Mone of Mayfair is determined to make the most of her 50th birthday

The smart set’s talking about… Tamara’s move to mother-in-law

Arty photographer Anouska Beckwith was raised largely by her grandparents because her hard-partying mother, the ‘It-girl’ Tamara Beckwith, was just 16 when she gave birth.

Now, she hopes to give her own daughter a more traditional start in life.

I can reveal that Anouska, 34, is to get married to the father of her three-year-old daughter, Luna, after he proposed on holiday in Spain. ‘This ties everything together in a beautiful way,’ says Anouska, who’s to wed breathwork therapist Luke McSwiney, 37. ‘My mum couldn’t be more thrilled.’

Anouska’s own father, businessman William Gerhauser, never married Tamara, but is thrilled with the news of the wedding next year.

Tamara is now happily married to Giorgio Veroni, father of her two younger children.

Tamara Beckwith was just 16 when she gave birth to her daughter Anouska, pictured right

Tamara Beckwith was just 16 when she gave birth to her daughter Anouska, pictured right

Anouska Beckwith, pictured, is to get married to the father of her three-year-old daughter

Anouska Beckwith, pictured, is to get married to the father of her three-year-old daughter

Put it away! Poppy – the gangster’s society squeeze 

Playing an aristocrat and model might not sound like too much of a stretch for Poppy Delevingne.

And yesterday it became clear just how much the society model and Lady Victoria ‘Vicki’ Hodge have in common. 

Poppy, 35, shared a picture of herself on the set of new biopic The Chelsea Cowboy, in which she bears a striking resemblance to Vicki, a former flame of Prince Andrew and the aunt of model Jodie Kidd. 

The film is about late Fulham gangster John Bindon with whom Vicki had a tumultuous 13-year relationship. 

He also had a fling, he claimed, with Princess Margaret, but is perhaps most famous for his party trick of hanging five half-pint tankards from a very surprising part of his anatomy 

Poppy Delevingne, pictured, is set to play Lady Victoria ‘Vicki’ Hodge

Lady Victoria ‘Vicki’ Hodge

Poppy Delevingne, pictured, is set to play Lady Victoria ‘Vicki’ Hodge

Lady Victoria ‘Vicki’ Hodge, pictured with actor John Bindon. Poppy is going to star in the Chelsea Cowboy, in which she bears a striking resemblance to Vicki, a former flame of Prince Andrew and the aunt of model Jodie Kidd

Lady Victoria ‘Vicki’ Hodge, pictured with actor John Bindon. Poppy is going to star in the Chelsea Cowboy, in which she bears a striking resemblance to Vicki, a former flame of Prince Andrew and the aunt of model Jodie Kidd

Cringe-making snaps of Michael Gove disco-dancing with fellow MP Tom Tugendhat at a booze-fuelled bash at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester caused newspaper readers to choke on their cornflakes. 

Now, former Army reservist Tugendhat has stepped forward with an explanation. ‘Michael Gove had clearly been drinking and he just grabbed me, so I thought, ‘Go on then,’ he tells me at the launch party for Andrew Roberts’s book, George III, at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Knightsbridge. 

‘I actually hadn’t had anything to drink. I was very much the bracing element.’ 

Who can keep up with ‘Jon Bon Govey’? 

Lady Cara evicts uninvited ghosts

Her glorious Birdsall House estate in North Yorkshire often plays host to pop star Grace Jones, but Lady Cara Willoughby has gone to great lengths to get rid of some unwanted visitors.

Fearful that her house might be haunted, the Earl of Cork’s daughter, 44, who has created hats with royal milliner Philip Treacy, reveals she’s hired a ‘ghost clearer’.

Lady Cara, wife of barrister James Willoughby, 45, tells the Duchess podcast: ‘We had a graveyard in the garden and every reason to believe this house should be haunted. So we got a lovely ghost clearer to come in. She said there were a lot of people, gardeners, a lot of the Downton Abbey-type household, who were all here, and they’ve now been asked to leave.

‘So the house is calm and all good.’

Off with her veg! The Queen starts selling trendy vegetable boxes at her private Scottish retreat from today. ‘Now this is what we call a royal feast,’ gushes a Balmoral spokesman.

‘Face savouring food. We are delighted to offer a £10 selection of vegetables from Her Majesty’s garden.’ 

The Balmoral gift shop in Aberdeenshire already offers goods including pale ale — a favourite tipple of Prince Philip — and a £60 bottle of gin, which is up for a gong at the Scottish Gin Awards.

Courtiers hope it will prove a tonic for the monarch in helping to pay the £3 million-a-year running costs of Balmoral, which has suffered, like most visitor attractions, in the pandemic.

Let them eat kale . . .

The Queen starts selling trendy vegetable boxes at her private Scottish retreat from today

The Queen starts selling trendy vegetable boxes at her private Scottish retreat from today

Watch out! Stylist Susannah’s top tip

Whoever knew that wearing a wristwatch was bad manners?

Style arbiter Susannah Constantine says she’s never worn a timepiece on a night out since the American socialite Lynn Wyatt, a friend of Princess Margaret, told her it was the height of rudeness.

‘She said to me: ‘A woman should never wear a watch past six o’clock,’ ‘ says the host of podcast My Wardrobe Malfunction. ‘And I said: ‘Why?’ She said a woman, if you’re wearing a watch, and you go to dinner it looks like you’re waiting to leave. And it was so true, so I’ve never worn a watch in the evening since.’

Funnily enough, Wyatt’s husband, Oscar, did time. He was convicted of conspiring to make illegal payments to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

Spencer ‘distills madness of the royals’ — writer

First viewings of Spencer, a harrowing new film about Diana, have caused outrage, with Hollywood star Kristen Stewart portraying the Princess as an emotionally unstable woman who self-harms and breaks down in front of a young Prince William.

But writer Steven Knight claims his screenplay is informed by ‘first-hand accounts’ from people who were intimately acquainted with ‘those involved’.

Speaking after a screening at the Curzon Mayfair, Knight says he ‘promised not to reveal their names’, but adds that there is ‘oddness in every family in the world’. The film is about ‘distilling the madness of this particular family’. 

Let’s hope the Queen doesn’t take back Knight’s CBE.

It’s not easy being a farmer — even one who has a hit Amazon television show and an estimated £50 million fortune.

Jeremy Clarkson wails that taxpayer-funded subsidies for his farm are coming to an end after Brexit — and uses this to justify a controversial planning application.

In a missive to West Oxfordshire district council, in which he asks to build a 50-seat cafe and 70-space car park, his team say Diddly Squat is ‘facing an acute reduction in the Basic Payment Scheme’, a Government subsidy, which is being phased out.

They state that the subsidy ‘accounted for over 85 per cent of the business’s profit’ this year.

Locals have criticised the plans, with one, Dr Nina Morgan, saying the application ‘is the latest in a series of what is clearly a step-by-step strategy to exploit planning loopholes in order for the applicant to gain publicity for his media career. It should be refused.’

Jeremy Clarkson wails that taxpayer-funded subsidies for his farm are coming to an end after Brexit — and uses this to justify a controversial planning application

Jeremy Clarkson wails that taxpayer-funded subsidies for his farm are coming to an end after Brexit — and uses this to justify a controversial planning application

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