News, Culture & Society

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Queen’s grandson puts a sixth of staff at his horse racing business on furlough 

The Queen’s grandson Peter Phillips — who appeared in a cringe-making television advert for Chinese milk claiming, ‘This is what I drink’ — is using his nous to keep his business in the running during lockdown.

For I can reveal that Princess Anne’s son has quietly taken advantage of the Government’s scheme to help businesses struggling to pay their bills during the pandemic.

He has put a sixth of his staff on furlough at City Racing, the Mayfair-based business he launched amid great fanfare in 2018 with plans to hold horse races in urban spots such as the Champs-Elysees and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The Queen’s grandson Peter Phillips — who appeared in a cringe-making television advert for Chinese milk claiming, ‘This is what I drink’ — is using his nous to keep his business in the running during lockdown

‘Peter has no money coming in, so this made sense,’ one of his friends tells me.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme involves taxpayers paying up to 80 per cent of the wages of staff on furlough.

Last month, Phillips told me the business was struggling in the crisis. 

‘Unfortunately, like so many, City Racing has been impacted by the pandemic,’ the Queen’s eldest grandchild said, adding: ‘It’s a well-capitalised business that has invested significantly in research and safety development.

He has put a sixth of his staff on furlough at City Racing, the Mayfair-based business he launched amid great fanfare in 2018 with plans to hold horse races in urban spots such as the Champs-Elysees and Sydney Harbour Bridge

He has put a sixth of his staff on furlough at City Racing, the Mayfair-based business he launched amid great fanfare in 2018 with plans to hold horse races in urban spots such as the Champs-Elysees and Sydney Harbour Bridge

‘Successful test events have taken place with the aim of running the first City Racing event in 2021.’

He spoke as the company disclosed that it was nursing £1million in trading losses, almost double the £573,141 the previous year.

City Racing had six employees at the time of its latest accounts.

Princess Anne refused titles for her children, Peter and Zara Phillips, and they have always had to work for a living.

Last month, Phillips told me the business was struggling in the crisis. ¿Unfortunately, like so many, City Racing has been impacted by the pandemic,¿ the Queen¿s eldest grandchild (left) said

Last month, Phillips told me the business was struggling in the crisis. ‘Unfortunately, like so many, City Racing has been impacted by the pandemic,’ the Queen’s eldest grandchild (left) said

However, Peter was criticised last year for blatantly trading on his royal connections when he signed up for the milk advertising campaign for the Chinese state.

He was identified as a ‘British Royal Family member’ in the advertisements for Jersey Fresh Milk in Shanghai.

In 2017, his sports and event management company was paid £750,000 to organise an event marking the Queen’s 90th birthday.

A City Racing spokesman confirms: ‘One junior member of staff has been on furlough.’

Friends of Formula One tycoon Bernie Ecclestone shouldn’t expect him to attend their farewells. ‘I don’t go to funerals,’ declares the 90-year-old billionaire. ‘If you were close to someone, they knew you were close to them. What’s the point of going to the funeral? They’re dead. They don’t know.’ 

Sir Mick Jagger is so touchy about his reputation as a skinflint that he once accused his ex Jerry Hall of being ‘absurd’ after she claimed he was ‘pretty tight’. But now Jagger’s happy to play on his alleged stinginess.

Asked how he celebrates Valentine’s Day, he says: ‘I like going out with a lady for a nice meal, a surprise bouquet of roses, nice wine, candlelight and all that. I love it so much I even offer to pay.’ Jagger adds: ‘Just joking.’ His girlfriend Melanie Hamrick, 43 years his junior, will be pleased to hear it.

The Archers is celebrating its 70th, but some of the rural Radio 4 drama’s stars enjoy their anonymity. The Earl of Portland, better known as actor Tim Bentinck, says: ‘What’s lovely about it is that you don’t get recognised. I was talking to this solicitor at a dinner the other day. She was perfectly polite but acted as if she was “high status” and I was this little actory person. Then someone said,

“Did you know Tim plays David in The Archers?” She went, “Argh”. Those little moments make up for the terrible insecurity of life.’

(Very) modern manners 

When the super-rich want to ‘detox’, they head for Kate Moss’s favourite retreat, Vivamayr in Austria, where they pay thousands to eat next to nothing.

Socialite Caroline Stanbury, 44, and her toyboy fiancé, Sergio Carrallo, 26, were, however, spotted stuffing themselves with fast food before they arrived at the spa this week.

‘We went to McDonald’s on the way,’ admits the star of reality TV show Ladies of London. ‘It really was Sergio’s fault. I was all set, and it really p***ed me off because he does this the whole time — he feeds me. We actually ate more than we ever eat normally.’

She adds sheepishly: ‘We’ll hit McDonald’s on the way out, too.’

Socialite Caroline Stanbury, 44, and her toyboy fiancé, Sergio Carrallo, 26, (pictured) were, however, spotted stuffing themselves with fast food before they arrived at the spa this week

Socialite Caroline Stanbury, 44, and her toyboy fiancé, Sergio Carrallo, 26, (pictured) were, however, spotted stuffing themselves with fast food before they arrived at the spa this week

Grand Tour star Richard Hammond is happy to continue social distancing, even when this pandemic is over. ‘I think handshakes and hugs are done — and that’s never really troubled me,’ the petrolhead declares. ‘I’m British — I don’t like contact.’ The ‘Hamster’ adds: ‘I’m glad I don’t have to do air kisses any more, which I’ve always hated.

I dread saying goodbye when you’ve all been at a party together and you have to shake hands and kiss faces. I’m very happy not to do that.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk