News, Culture & Society

SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Surprise Brideshead bequest will mean the world to Cara Delevingne 

At the age of 28, she has everything an actress and supermodel could wish for — 44 million Instagram fans, the ability to ‘make anyone fall in love with her’, according to fellow model Karlie Kloss, and a fortune of more than £20 million.

And now, I can disclose, that Cara Delevingne’s bank balance is about to be swollen by a further £10,000 — a touching bequest from her late, beloved godmother, Annette Howard, known as ‘Scruff’, who died in the summer aged 71, after battling declining health.

Scruff, who, during her second marriage to Simon Howard, was chatelaine of Castle Howard in Yorkshire — setting for the television and film versions of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited — made the same bequest to all her godchildren.

Cara Delevingne's bank balance is about to be swollen by a further £10,000

Cara Delevingne’s bank balance is about to be swollen by a further £10,000

She left the balance of her £3.5 million estate to be held in trust for her niece, having sadly been unable to have children of her own.

Cara’s mother, Pandora, describes it as an act of characteristic generosity. ‘She had a lot of godchildren — so many,’ she tells me. ‘She was unbelievable to all of them. She was like a sort of Pied Piper to kids.

‘She loved them and they loved her.’

Some might think that Cara needed no more help. But Scruff drew up her will in 2015 when Cara’s career was at something of a crossroads. After becoming a catwalk sensation, she had begun passing out on shoots and

Annette Howard, known as 'Scruff', died in the summer aged 71, after battling declining health

Annette Howard, known as ‘Scruff’, died in the summer aged 71, after battling declining health

developed psoriasis, a distressing skin disease. None of this escaped Scruff.

At one point, alarmed by a report about Cara’s private life, she rang Cara’s godfather, Nicholas Coleridge, arguing that, with Cara’s parents holidaying in the South of France, it was their duty as godparents to ensure that Cara was admitted to a clinic for treatment.

Coleridge demurred: ‘We can’t kidnap her!’

Scruff declared herself disappointed. But no one could stop her making one final gesture to all the godchildren she loved so dearly — Cara included.

Look out! Camilla’s ex has a major bone to pick

Andrew Parker Bowles is a stickler for detail. While many have been vexed by inaccuracies in The Crown, the former husband of the Duchess of Cornwall is preoccupied with errors in Country Life regarding James Tissot’s painting of Victorian swashbuckler Frederick Burnaby (above) which inspired Lucian Freud’s £21 million portrait of him.

‘No doubt I could be accused of nitpicking,’ he writes to the magazine. ‘He was painted as a colonel in The Blues and not, as described, a captain in Army Intelligence. Regimental history has it that he carried two small ponies, not one, down the Officers’ Mess stairs in London.’ It’s the little things that count.

Happier news for Prince Harry following the recent death of his godmother Mary Vestey at the weekend. 

His cousin Celia Woodhouse, nee McCorquodale, has given birth to her first child, Walter George Spencer Woodhouse. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended Celia’s wedding to George Woodhouse in 2018, just weeks after their own nuptials. Celia, 31, sported the Spencer tiara famously worn by her aunt, Lady Diana Spencer, at her marriage to the Prince of Wales.

Will Idris’s wife be his Bond girl?

Tipped as the next 007, Idris Elba could bring his wife on board as his Bond Girl.

I can reveal Sabrina Elba who quit her PR job after she started dating the Luther star in 2017, has been taking acting lessons from him.

‘I explored it a bit before I met Idris but he’s inspired me to take it seriously,’ she admits, describing his teaching as ‘an amazing master class’.

The Canadian certainly fits the bill, having won Miss Vancouver in 2014.

 Breaking news… Elton’s oddest record is a real gas

Sir Elton John sold his original LP collection in 1989 to raise funds for his Aids Foundation — but his shelves are creaking once again.

‘I have over 120,000 CDs and 15,000 pieces of vinyl,’ says the star, whose most prized possession is an original black-and-gold pressing of The Beatles’s 1963 debut Please Please Me, worth £5,000. ‘My most unusual item of vinyl is called Crepitation Contest by Lord Windesphere & Mr Paul Boomer,’ he reveals.

Perhaps Sir Elton uses the track, a comically crude 1950s recording of a wind-breaking competition, to encourage guests to leave at the end of his lavish parties?

Sir Mick Jagger can expect a sparkling Christmas present from his daughter, jewellery designer Jade, as she reveals she has launched a men’s line. ‘I’m really excited. I have done it in sterling silver with stones set in it,’ she says. I have a lot of guys that buy from us and they have been asking me to do more men’s jewellery. They want to wear silver more than gold just because of the way it looks. It will be at a more affordable price.’

Don’t tell Dad that!

Kate makes a big splash skinny-dipping with Dame Emma

Hollywood star Kate Beckinsale reveals she had a very risque bonding experience with Dame Emma Thompson on the set of her first film, Much Ado About Nothing, aged 20.

‘When I turned up for rehearsal after I’d got the part, they had me fly out just to work with [director] Ken [Branagh] for a minute,’ says Kate, 47, who played Hero alongside Thompson, then Branagh’s wife, who played Beatrice.

Hollywood star Kate Beckinsale reveals she had a very risque bonding experience with Dame Emma Thompson on the set of her first film, Much Ado About Nothing

Hollywood star Kate Beckinsale reveals she had a very risque bonding experience with Dame Emma Thompson on the set of her first film, Much Ado About Nothing

‘Emma was in the pool and she said, ‘Get in!’ I said, ‘I haven’t got a swimming costume,’ and she said, ‘Don’t worry about that — just hop in naked!’ So I did, and it just carried on like that really.

‘She said: ‘Darling, you mustn’t shave your armpits. Nobody was shaving their armpits in Shakespeare’s time.’ I learned absolutely how I wanted myself and other people to behave and interact on set from there.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk