Top estate agent Lucy Yorke-Long has sold some desirable properties in her time, but none so magnificent as her future home.
For I can reveal she’s become engaged to one of Britain’s most eligible men, Bobby Worcester, heir to the Duke of Beaufort and 17th-century Badminton House.
‘We were seated next to each other at a dinner,’ Lucy, 33, tells me. ‘The person who put us next to each other would claim it was a set-up but, who knows, it might have just been luck.’
Lucy Yorke-Long (left) become engaged to one of Britain’s most eligible men, Bobby Worcester, heir to the Duke of Beaufort (pictured right with his mother Tracy
Bobby, 30, stands to inherit his father’s estimated £315 million fortune, which includes the 52,000-acre Gloucestershire estate Badminton House (pictured)
Bobby, 30, currently titled the Marquess of Worcester, stands to inherit his father’s estimated £315 million fortune, which includes the 52,000-acre Gloucestershire estate.
The rock musician Duke known as Bunter tells me: ‘I am absolutely delighted.’
Bobby’s eco-campaigning mother Tracy Worcester says her son is the lucky one: ‘We all adore Lucy. She is sunny, intelligent and thoughtful — a joy to be with.’
Tracy has recently separated from Henry Somerset, 65, her husband of 30 years, the ebullient, larger-than-life 12th Duke.
Better known as Harry ‘Bunter’ Beaufort, he is a voracious Tweeter who plays in a rock group.
Bunter and Tracy divorced in 2018 and he has since married journalist Georgia Powell (pictured)
But despite the divorce, Tracy has retained her title of Duchess of Beaumont for her eco-campaigning.
For Tracy, a committed Corbynista in a high-vis cycling jacket, is Britain’s least likely duchess, a woman who nurtures uncompromising views on farming and animal welfare, who once ‘invaded’ a pig farm, and who thinks little of raising hackles at country-house dinner tables with her refreshingly pungent views.
She would rather be discussing the true love of her life, which is pigs – along with the folly of an elite she believes is addicted to cruel factory farming at the expense of small farms and animal welfare.
Lily James and Laura Carmichael cosy up
Downton Ladies have a knees up
Lily James may not be in the big-screen version of Downton Abbey, but she’s remained very close to the cast of the hit film nevertheless.
The actress, who played Lady Rose MacClare in the ITV costume drama, cosied up to Laura Carmichael — her on-screen cousin Lady Edith Crawley — at a party at Quaglino’s restaurant in St James’s, London.
Let’s hope Downton creator Julian Fellowes writes Lily into the sequel.
Fergie gets 60th party started early
Sarah, Duchess of York was presented with a selection of tiny treats prior to her birthday.
Fergie, 60 this coming Tuesday, blew out the candle on a plate at The Ivy in London, where she helped launch socialite Heather Kerzner’s app, discover.film.
She tells me: ‘I’m delighted to enjoy an early birthday celebration with my friend Heather.’
Fergie, 60 this coming Tuesday, blew out the candle on a plate at The Ivy in London
Does Nicole Scherzinger have her eye on another famous sportsman?
The pop singer, 41, whose exes include F1’s Lewis Hamilton and tennis star Grigor Dimitrov, appears to have taken a shine to rugby hunk Ben Foden.
Foden, 34, appears on Simon Cowell’s new reality show The X Factor: Celebrity, on which Nicole’s a judge. Foden’s formed a group called Try Star with fellow rugby players Thom Evans and Levi Davis for tonight’s opening show.
As they snake through their moves to R&B number No Diggity for the judges, Scherzinger is seen purring seductively: ‘I’m single and ready to mingle.’
Seated beside her, Cowell rolls his eyes and tells her: ‘It’s time to leave the sports stars alone, babe.’
As Newsnight’s chief inquisitor, Emily Maitlis is used to cutting off long-winded politicians.
And her husband, Mark Gwynne, appears to have learned from the master.
‘He’s limited me to just four minutes a day on Brexit,’ she says at the Wimbledon Book Festival.
‘When I come back from work, I like to tell him everything that’s happened and then this beep goes off: ‘Miss Maitlis, your Brexit time has ended.”
(Very) modern manners
What’s the best way to consign an ill-fated relationship to the past?
Socialite Alexandra Tolstoy, who split up with Russian billionaire Sergei Pugachev, has done so by selling off her entire ‘oligarch wardrobe’, as she calls the clothes he bought her.
Alexandra held a house sale this week of clothes and shoes, including Louboutins at £140 a pair and a Dolce & Gabbana cardigan for £280. A fifth of the proceeds will go to charity, she pledges.
Alexandra has three children with Pugachev — once known as ‘Putin’s banker’ — who’s been holed up in the South of France since he was accused in Russia of embezzling more than £655 million. ‘Back to basics,’ she says. ‘So much cooler.’