As the dramatic events at London Bridge demonstrated yesterday, our emergency services have never been more vital.
And, I can reveal, Prince William plans to step up his work with those at the sharp end of such crises.
He will expand the scope of the Royal Foundation, which he runs with the Duchess of Cambridge, to help emergency service worker charities.
It will hold a series of major meetings with groups working within the health sector in the new year.
Prince William plans to step up his work with those at the sharp end of such crises
‘William worries greatly about the care given to our lifesavers, and believes the support given to people working in the NHS and other emergency services needs to be looked at closely,’ a stalwart of the charity sector tells me. ‘He wants this to be at the centre of the work his foundation gets involved in.’
He says William, 37, was deeply marked by the two years he spent as a pilot in the East Anglian Air Ambulance, during which time he donated his pilot’s salary to the charity which funded the service.
The move comes as his uncle Prince Andrew steps down from organisations in the same field, including the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Police Treatment Centres, which cares for officers of all ranks who need rehabilitative support.
They are just two of 17 healthcare institutions from which Andrew has regretfully parted. ‘These are the kind of groups William is particularly passionate about,’ I’m told. ‘They are likely to be among the organisations William and his foundation may reach out to in the near future.’
The foundation is in a period of flux after Prince Harry and Meghan quit to set up their own charitable organisation, Sussex Royal.
A Kensington Palace spokesman declined to comment.
The move comes as his uncle Prince Andrew steps down from organisations in the same field, including the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Police Treatment Centres, which cares for officers of all ranks who need rehabilitative support
The smart set’s talking about… Model son Lucas Chancellor
Society model Cecilia Chancellor recently staged a glorious a comeback in her 50s after a two-decade hiatus. But now it’s her son’s turn to take to the catwalk.
I can reveal that Lucas Chancellor, 19, has been snapped up by top agency Models 1, which boasts Naomi Campbell and Yasmin Le Bon among its famous faces.
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An alumnus of £22,350-per-year Kew House School in London, he made his debut at the the Ralph Lauren documentary at the Royal Academy of Arts, where he towered over his mother at 6ft 2in.
He was already a record breaker as the youngest model to have appeared on the cover of British Vogue. As a young baby, he was held in the arms of his mother in 2002. ‘He just passed out asleep,’ Cecilia later said. ‘He was so over-stimulated.’
Lucas, whose father is musician Lucho Brieva, comes from an illustrious family. His aunt is Anna Chancellor — Duckface in Four Weddings — while his grandfather was the much-missed journalist Alexander.
Cecilia Chancellor and her son Lucas. Chancellor recently staged a glorious a comeback in her 50s after a two-decade hiatus
‘Stressed’ Lily holidays with pal – and still no sign of Matt
Downtown Abbey star Lily James was so devoted to Matt Smith that she once tried on potential engagement rings with her boyfriend’s sister by her side.
Now, Matt, who played Prince Philip in The Crown, is nowhere to be seen as Lily enjoys a holiday with her pal, stylist Rebecca Corbin Murray
Now, Matt, who played Prince Philip in The Crown, is nowhere to be seen as Lily enjoys a holiday with her pal, stylist Rebecca Corbin Murray. They are on safari in South Africa, where Rebecca described them as ‘post-traumatic stress disorder buddies’ in an apparent reference to recent troubles.
The trip comes after the 30-year-old actress was absent from family photos as Matt celebrated his 37th last month with his parents and sister Laura, whom Lily once called ‘my future sister-in-law’.
Lily’s spokesman declines to say if she and Matt have split up. They met on the set of Pride And Prejudice And Zombies in 2014 and moved in together in a flat in North London last year. Matt could do with a holiday as he recently completed a tiring run in the play Lungs opposite Claire Foy, who played his wife the Queen in The Crown.
Downtown Abbey star Lily James was so devoted to Matt Smith that she once tried on potential engagement rings with her boyfriend’s sister by her side
Teething problems cancel Taylor Swift’s London premiere
Now I don’t want to put the cat among the pigeons, but I hear the London premiere of Christmas’s big film has been postponed.
Oscar-winner Tom Hooper’s screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West-End hit Cats had been due to be screened in Leicester Square on December 10.
However, it’s been put on hold after the computer-generated imagery left producers feline worried. ‘The film has been postponed because they need more time to work on the CGI,’ Lord Lloyd-Webber’s spokesman confirms.
The film, which was expected to give pop superstar Taylor Swift her film breakthrough, will now be screened first in New York six days later. Lord Lloyd-Webber’s spokesman is keen to point out that the delay to the film has ‘nothing to do with Andrew’, adding: ‘His involvement is limited to the music.’ Let’s hope it’s purr-fect.
Now I don’t want to put the cat among the pigeons, but I hear the London premiere of Christmas’s big film has been postponed
Film legend Lean’s widow left £53,000
Money was no object when Sir David Lean made such epics as Lawrence Of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, but the Oscar-winner’s widow left no fortune.
I can reveal that Sandra Lean, who died in August aged 79, left just £53,000 – not enough to pay the legacies she had hoped to leave her friends and relations. Lady Lean, who was the director’s sixth wife, had planned to leave specific legacies totalling £140,000 to friends and family, with her residual estate going to cancer charities.
But figures released by the probate registry show that she left an estate of just £52,864.
At the end of a troubled year, the Queen could be forgiven for having a sinking feeling. So perhaps that’s why she invited Judith Owens to lunch at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday. Mrs Owens is chief executive of Titanic Belfast, a tourist attraction where the doomed liner was built.
With his flagship show, The X Factor: Celebrity, attracting scarcely half the viewers of a Liberal Democrat party political broadcast, Simon Cowell appears to be seeking help from the Almighty
With his flagship show, The X Factor: Celebrity, attracting scarcely half the viewers of a Liberal Democrat party political broadcast, Simon Cowell appears to be seeking help from the Almighty.
I hear that the talent show impresario is encouraging humble toilers at his music company, Syco, to sign up for a spiritual singing group.
‘An email went round asking staff to join the Sony music gospel choir, rehearsing each week and then for a big performance in the canteen before Christmas,’ a source tells me.
‘The idea is to create good vibes and boost morale going into the new year.’
Amen to that.
(Very) modern manners
Used to being upstaged by his comely co-host on This Morning, Holly Willoughby, Phillip Schofield does not like his dinner party gifts to be eclipsed.
‘Is it just me, or does this happen to you, too?’ demands Schofield, 57. ‘You take a fabulous bottle round to someone’s house, and they say, ‘thanks very much’— then put it away and serve you something else.’
He’s obviously not aware that it’s considered bad manners to expect your own wine to be served. Etiquette expert Mary Killen remarked recently: ‘I disagree with the notion of insisting the bottle you bring should be opened. This smacks of interfering.’
Stone cold Mick steps out with Mel
Once a Rolling Stones hellraiser, now Sir Mick Jagger, 76, gets satisfaction from domestic bliss with his girlfriend Melanie Hamrick.
The singer has lured dancer Mel, 32, to spend more time in the UK. My picture shows the couple strolling on a chilly King’s Road, Chelsea, where a passer-by tells me: ‘They seemed to be Christmas shopping.’
Mel — who has a two-year-old son, Deveraux, with Jagger — retired last month from New York’s American Ballet Theatre after 15 years.
Once a Rolling Stones hellraiser, now Sir Mick Jagger, 76, gets satisfaction from domestic bliss with his girlfriend Melanie Hamrick
While some neighbourhoods love to boast about a famous resident, rock star Sting and his film-producing wife, Trudie Styler, are hidden away by Italian locals in Tuscany.
‘We heard from the village that someone drove by and asked where we lived,’ Sting says. ‘Because the villagers know us and want us to have our privacy, they pointed the car in the wrong direction.’ Clearly a case of don’t park so close to me . . .