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SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Prince Harry’s friend Joss Stone sparks row by posing in a pink niqab

Prince Harry’s friend, singer Joss Stone has been criticised for defending the niqab — a face-covering veil worn by some Muslim women.

The 32-year-old posted a picture of herself wearing a pink one while on tour in Saudi Arabia.

Prince Harry’s friend, singer Joss Stone has been criticised for defending the niqab — a face-covering veil worn by some Muslim women. The 32-year-old posted a picture of herself wearing a pink one while on tour in Saudi Arabia

Prince Harry poses with Joss Stone during the 'Sentebale Summer Party' in London in 2014

Prince Harry poses with Joss Stone during the ‘Sentebale Summer Party’ in London in 2014

‘The women here are strong and exercising their choice to be free, wear what they want and do what they want,’ she wrote.

Her fans’ disapproval flooded in, with one fuming: ‘The niqab is not a symbol of a free, powerful woman, it is one of oppression. Western liberal progressives and feminists are falsely portraying it as something beautiful and powerful.’

Elton moves his summer fundraiser to France

Just days after he received the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest civilian award, from President Emmanuel Macron, Sir Elton John has switched his famous midsummer party from Old Windsor to the South of France.

The bash will be held at entrepreneur Jean Pigozzi’s luxurious private Villa Dorane in Cap D’Antibes on July 24, with proceeds going to the Elton John Aids Foundation (EJAF).

Sir Elton, 72, has hosted a summer party at his Old Windsor home, Woodside, since 1999 and last year celebrated his foundation’s 25th anniversary there with a glitzy ball attended by Ed Sheeran and Victoria Beckham.

Just days after he received the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest civilian award, from President Emmanuel Macron, Sir Elton John has switched his famous midsummer party from Old Windsor to the South of France

Just days after he received the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest civilian award, from President Emmanuel Macron, Sir Elton John has switched his famous midsummer party from Old Windsor to the South of France

‘He picked up the Legion d’Honneur last week and is continuing to fly the flag for France,’ says a source. ‘He has a house in Nice and filmed the I’m Still Standing video in Cannes.’

A single ticket for the dinner costs 7,500 euros (£6,700). This compares with £3,500 last year for his Argento ball in Windsor.

To save money, guests can also buy a pair of Villa Dorane tickets for 12,000 Euros (£10,737). There are also more expensive Cote D’Azur tickets at 15,000 euros each (£13,400). The Foundation has raised more than £280 million since its launch.

A spokesman for Sir Elton tells me; ‘The South of France location was chosen this year to ensure it was logistically possible for Elton to attend. As one of EJAF’s biggest fundraisers of the year, he feels it’s very important that he’s present at the event.’

Sir Elton has stepped up his anti-Brexit rhetoric in recent weeks. At a concert in Verona this month, he told the crowd; ‘I am a European. I am not a stupid, colonial, imperialist English idiot. I am sick to death of politicians. Especially British politicians. I am sick to death of Brexit. I’m ashamed of my country.’

Last year, Sir Elton said of Brexit on Channel 4 News: ‘I don’t think people in Britain were told the truth. I don’t think they knew exactly what they were voting for.’

Suspended minister’s slippery Oxford antics  

Suspended Foreign Office minister Mark Field, who enthusiastically ejected a female activist from Mansion House last week, is used to grabbing attention.

In 1986, 100 fellow students of St Edmund Hall, Oxford, gathered to watch Field, then outgoing junior common room president, leave office.

He did so, according to a contemporary report, by running ’round the front quad between the strokes of midnight singing The Red Flag and wearing only a pair of boxer shorts, having been liberally covered with baby oil by girlfriend Alison Cooke’.

A tactic the Greenpeace protester thrown out by Field during Philip Hammond’s speech might do well to adopt.

If at first . . . Barry Humphries, who is better known as his alter ego Dame Edna Everage, has been married not once, but four times. Happily, the 85-year-old Australian is convinced his current wife, Lizzie Spender, will be his last. ‘Women are impossible, but not Lizzie,’ he declares. ‘It took four marriages to find her.’ He married the daughter of British poet Sir Stephen Spender in 1990 after divorcing Rosalind Tong. His second wife was the artist Diane Millstead, while his first was Brenda Wright.

Former Conservative minister John Gummer, who gave an address at Baroness Trumpington’s memorial service at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster, yesterday, recalled one of her last trips to the Houses of Parliament.

She complained keenly, he said, about one particular aspect of Westminster life: the decanters from which the lunchtime claret was served. ‘They’re port decanters,’ declared the baroness. ‘I can’t stand them.’

The packed service ended in classic Trumpington fashion — with a jazz-trumpet version of Chattanooga Choo-Choo.

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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