Anorak

Royal Family | Anorak - Part 35

Royal Family Category

The Royal Family, the House of Windsor, in the news and on a horse

Pushy Parent

“WHO IS THE BRAINIEST OF THE ROYALS?”

It’s the big question on the cover of the Express. But don’t bother phoning in because the paper’s Polly Dunbar has the answer.

Polly tells us that since 1967, when Prince Charles went to Cambridge – Charles was the first Royal to negotiate public exams – the “Royal Family has been seen as somewhat lacking in academic aptitude”.

This is of course wrong. Royals have been thought a bit thick for a lot longer than Charles has been talking to plants and having someone help him pee straight.

We remember King Alfred, who managed to burn cakes, King Canute, who thought he could turn the tied back by waving his hands (“Is that why they’re called waves?”) and Princess Diana.

Dear Diana is used to illustrate the Express’s investigation into the Royal brain. The paper notes that Di managed one CSE in Domestic Science.

What Di’s successor Camilla managed at school is not revealed. The Express does not see her brain as being worthy of consideration. So we looked Camilla up and found that she attended school in Kensington and was “finished off” in Switzerland. Possibly by Charles.

In any case, we know who the brightest Royals are. Princess Michael, the charmless Teutonic, says her children, the simpering Lord Frederick and Lady Gabriella are the best educated. As the Princess says: “No children in the family have got as good degrees.”

Indeed, we learn that Lady Gabriella has 13 GCSEs, four A-levels and a degree from Brown University, Rhode Island. Brother Freddy has 13 GCSEs, four A-levels and a degree from Oxford University.

Bravo for them. They really are the brainy bunch. They might even be able to work out what they can do with their lives to be as successful as Diana…

Posted: 17th, October 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Kidd & Play

Women On Top

Madonna is now the highest paid female performer on the planet. According to the Guinness Book of Records 2007, Madonna earned £26.6million in 2004. J K Rowling is the best-paid author earning £34.2million.

No More Kidd Gloves

Jack Kidd, goofy brother to model Jodie Kidd, has been grassed up by his estranged wife. Mrs Kid, one Be Kemedy, a multi-millionairess worth at least 30million, has reportedly told friends that the “marriage is over”. And that Jack has owned up to numerous affairs. In the past, Be, ten years older than 33-year-old Jack, bought him a £35,000 jeep and a £2million polo farm. Jack says the break is “painful”.

Posted: 11th, October 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Whipping Up Interest

Goodbye (Yellow) Bricks & Mortar

The cottage in Ealby, near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, where Elton John and Bernie Taupin wrote some of their biggest hits, is on the market for £250,000. Taupin bought the home in 1971 for £3,200 and sold in 1974 for £11,500.

Whipping Up Interest

Lindi St Clair, aka Miss Whiplash, is selling the last remaining letters of infamous murderer Dr Cripen. The founder of the Corrective Party used to have the letters pinned up in her dungeon. Lindi, who now farms pigs in Hertfordshire, says she wants to get rid of the “clutter”.

Posted: 10th, October 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Director’s Cut

Iran The Space Race

Anousheh Ansari, 40, took off for a 10-day trip to the International Space Station from a site in Kazakhstan. Iranian born Anousheh, who now lives in Texas, paid £11milion to become the first female space tourist.

Tip The Barman

Coronation Street actor Antony Cotton wants a £15,000 pay rise – or he’ll quit the hit show. The actor who palsy barman Sean Tully wants his pay increased from £65,000 a year to £80,000. Not bad for three-nights-a-week work.

The Director’s Cut

It turns out that Kevin Spacey has been waiving his director’s salary of “about £100,000” a year while working as artistic director at the Old Vic theatre, London. “People are beginning to see I’m serious about this,” says Spacey. “We’re not in a rush. I’m here for a long time.” He has just signed up for another nine years.

Posted: 6th, October 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Endorse This

Endorse This

Hope exists for mum and dad. Pester power need not be all about the nippers demanding the expensive goods. US basketball star Stephen Marbury has lent his name to the Starbury One trainer. Price: £8. Says Marbury: “Kids and parents shouldn’t have the pressure to spend so much to feel good about the way they look.” And these shoes are flying off the shelves. Look out for them coming here. And don’t look out for the C-Ashley Cole equivalent.

Hoteliers Behaving Badly

Not everything a celebrity touches turns to gold. And so it is that actor Neil Morrissey has lost £1.3million in a year on his hotel in Wales. “Neil is not worried in the slightest,” says his spokesman.

Touch Of Class

Lord Snowdon is flogging prints of his famous ex-wife Princess Margaret. For 2,000 nicker, you can get your hands on one of 5 prints of Maggie in the bath with a crown on her royal bonce. Such pictures are described by the good Lord as his “pension”. Very tasteful. And cheap at twice the price.

Who Wants To Be A Multi-Millionaire?

Wronged wife Ingrid Tarrant is due to collect a large cheque from her estranged husband Chris, host of TV quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?. Reports estimate her divorce settlement to be worth anything from £10millin to £17m. Forget phoning a friend – she should call a lawyer.

Posted: 2nd, October 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Paxo Diana

“THE Delights of Wisdom Concerning Conjugial Love – After Which Follows the Pleasures of Insanity Concerning Scortatory Love” (1768). Have you read it?

You may know it by its original title: Deliciae sapientiae de amore conjugiali; post quas sequuntur voluptates insaniae de amore scortatorio?

The title alone is a cracking read. And within the book, you can learn about “how the understanding and will of man and wife may be conjoined by marriage into one – a conjunction resulting in eternal states of innocence, peace and happiness”.

You can buy a copy of it from the bookshop of The [Emanuel] Swedenborg Society. “Come in and have a cup of coffee while you browse our friendly bookstore in Bloomsbury,” says the society website. “Here, at the Bookshop you’ll find the only full collection of the works of Emanuel Swedenborg, one of the greatest minds of the 18th Century.”

Or if coffee is not your thing, you can snap up the copy of the book once owned by the late Princess Margaret. It’s being sold at auction. The work deals with courtship, betrothal, jealousy, temptation, disaffection, sensuality, prudence, and courtesy. And, as the Times reports, “defloration,” and “fornication”.

It’s high-mined yet accessible read. And had Princess Margaret thrown open her library to her family, it might have been read by Princes Diana.

But, as Jeremy Paxman is happy to tell us, and Mail readers, after an extensive private education, just about the only qualification Diana possessed was a “certificate for the best-kept-something-or-other”.

We would suggest the prize was for best–kept secret. But secrets are not Diana’s thing. It seems that anyone who ever met Diana is keen to shout about it in a book. So here’s Jeremy Paxman, the thinking man’s Chris Tarrant (Paxman ask the Questions on TV’s University Challenge and pulls faces as if he knows all the answers).

Paxo, as he is known, has written a book called On Royalty – or to give its longer Swedenborgian title, On The Regalia, Or The First Principles Of Royal Things, Being New Attempts Toward A Philosophical Explanation Of The Elementary.

In it, Paxman writes of his meeting with Diana. And, as is the way of such things, Paxman details the outfit Diana wore at their luncheon – “a pale-blue two-piece suit and was much taller than I had expected”.

They then talked:
Diana: Jeremy, so nice of you to come.
Jeremy observes that her voice is “as smooth as cream”.
Diana: Just the two of us. Can you cope?
“A thousand male fantasies flashed through my mind”
Paxo: I’ll try.

And so to the conversation. Diana says that an American airliner that had crashed off the cost of Long Island had “definitely been hit by a missile – that’s what my source says.”

Paxo says Kensington Palace, the venue for the chat, is like a prison.
Diana: No, more like an upmarket Coronation Street. As we go out, you’ll see all the curtains twitching.

But sometimes Diana nips out in disguise (“jeans and baseball cap”). The newspaper vendor will say: “What you been up to now, Di?”

Diana: “But they’re terrifically friendly, and if someone starts bothering me I just go into W.H, Smith’s, and the staff there are very nice, and they hide me.”

Paxman observes: “It didn’t sound much of a life, but she seemed reconciled to it. A year later she was dead.”

Or hiding among the Swedenborg section at Smiths, dreaming of conjugial love…

Posted: 26th, September 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Sags & Riches

Sags (Sisters & Girlfriends) & Riches

Michael Owen’s sister, Karen, had her luxury £27,000 BMW jeep stolen by a boyfriend who then sold it and replaced it with a stolen jeep. Matthew Jones, 26, was jailed for six months. Karen, also 26, and Matthew have two children together but separated in 2004.

An Insured Thing

Tiny TV tots Ant ‘n’ Dec have insured each other in case one of them dies. The duo, both aged 30, will collect at least £2million if one perishes. “If he kicks the bucket I get a massive payout,” says Dec. “I don’t think we’re insured if we fall out,” says Ant. Good luck in the Outback, say we…

Posted: 26th, September 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Princess Diana’s Mills & Boon Special

“LADY Diana Spencer, tall and blonde, curvy (as she then was) with clear, English-rose complexion, very young, impeccably born and with no scandal attached to her name, perfectly fitted all the criteria for a royal bride.”

And so begins the Mail’s review of Diana by Sarah Bradford. It’s not often reviews are written in so strict a style. It’s ingenious indeed of the writer, one Virginia Blackburn, to write her review in the style of a Mills & Boon staple.

How jealous Paul Burrell must be. While Bradford’s Diana book earns praise and a didactic romantic style, Burrell’s The Way We Were gets the headline: “Traitor Burrell in despair after Diana book flop.”

The Express, which produces that headline, says just 6,000 copies of the butler’s latest Diana book have been sold.

This is not very many, especially when compared to the 274,000 copies of Burrell’s previous Diana tome, A Royal Duty.

Burrell needs some luck if he’s going to shift more copies. And he’s not being helped by one Simone Simmons, Diana’s former “friend and therapist”.

This is the Simmons of whom Burrell wrote in the Mirror in June 2005: “There was a time when people like Simone Simmons were hurled into the water, trussed up and weighed down with stone.

“Witches would bob back to the surface and the innocent would drown. I suspect that Simone would, like the curdled bits in off-milk, float to the top. A witch and soured with time in equal measure.”

The Simmons who wrote the impossible, and some would say hopefully, entitled: Diana: The Last Word.

Well, she says that Paul’s book is not a document of historical fact. “I can remember Paul telling me that he applied for a job working for Mel Gibson because he was fed up to the back teeth with Diana. He said he hated her guts,” says Simmons.

If true, we wonder how things would have developed had Burrell been Mel’s rock. (What would have happened to Mel as he drove over the limit along a Malibu highway?)

And we also wonder what we should do with Burrell’s book? Perhaps it needs a new review. Something scatological. In toad skin…

Posted: 24th, September 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Nicole Kidman Barred

Not OK For OJ

Having been found liable for the wrongful death of Ronald Goldman by a civil court, OJ Simpson was supposed to pay £18 million damages. He hasn’t. So Goldman’s father, Fred, has petitioned a court in LA to grant him the publicity rights to the Simpson name.

Nobody Shoot

Nicole Kidman was there. The cameras were there. The directors, make up artistes and runners were there. But the Italian residents of a street in the Testaccio district of central Rome were not having it. No one had told them their road was to be closed to shoot an advert for Sky. So they blocked the street, only moving when Sky agreed to pay £17,000.

Kate Cuts Cloth

Kate Moss is all set to sign a £1 million contract to design a range of clothes for Topshop.
"Getting Kate is a real coup," says a Topshop insider. "When she is pictured with a new bag or sunglasses, the world follows." And the police take notes…

Posted: 21st, September 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Michael Jackson’s Legal Fight

Dear Cherie

Because of her work as a human rights layer, Mrs Cherie Blair has been paid £3,000 to front three half-hour films on people’s rights. The shows will feature on the Government-funded Teachers TV channel. “It is not everyday teachers get an insight from one of the country’s leading human rights specialists,” says chief executive Andrew Botherll. Indeed. And for taxpayers paying £3,000 it is both an honour and a privilege.

Jacko’s History

Michael ‘Wacko Jacko’ Jackson has been ordered to pay his ex-wife Debbie Rowe $60,000 in legal fees to fight a custody battle against him. Debbie received more than £4.25million in her divorce settlement. But needs more.

Posted: 20th, September 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


We Was Robbed

We Was Robbed

Footballer Steven Gerard, who earns £60,000 a week, says he was once caught shoplifting. “I grabbed a few pens and paper from Woolworths and made a dash for the door but the security guard grabbed me.” Go on. “I thought it was all over. I thought the club would drop me. And I was convinced the school would expel me.” And where would Steven be today without GCSEs?

Boycott Jersey

God bless the Republic of Yorkshire. And goodbye to it. the patron saint of God’s own county is leaving. Geoffrey Boycott has sold his home in Woolley, near Wakefield, for £1.2million. He and his wife Rachel are moving to Jersey – the Bradford of the south.

Straight Outta Dorset

Missy Eliott, the American hip-hopper, requested $133,000 worth of perks for her gig in Bournemouth, Dorset – “The Las Vegas of the South Coast”. She wanted 35 first-class airline tickets, five-star hotel rooms for she and her entourage, $5,500 for dinners and loadsa Cristal champagne.

Posted: 19th, September 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Marry Like Madonna

Castle Rackrent

Not just anyone will be able to marry at Skibo Castle where Madonna married Guy Ritchie is 2000. From now on only members of the Carnegie Club will be able to hire the place for functions. It costs £20,000 to join the club. Places are being snapped up. Hurry while stocks last!

Later Ronnie

Ronnie Barker has bequeathed £91,000 to his son Adam. And just as soon as Adam comes out of hiding – he is a child pornography suspects – he can claim his inheritance. In total, the comedian left £300,337 in his will.

Fast Love

Bianca Gascoigne told a court that she received £5,700 fee and no prize money for winning TV’s Love island reality show. Bianca was up before the Beak on a charge of speeding at 96mph in her Mini Copper on the M6. She was fined £200. And pictured in a bikini in the press.

Posted: 15th, September 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Hilter’s Write On

A 1,000 Year Writing Desk

A chair and a desk that once belonged to German leader Adolph Hitler are on sale. Anyone who wants the oak pieces should expect to pay around £525,000. Anyone who doesn’t will be taken away and shot.

Jordan Airs Grievances

Jordan Chandler – the boy who won £13million in a sex abuse settlement from Michael Jackson – is accusing his father of attacking him. Jordy, 26, says his father hit him in the head with 12.5lb dumbbell weight last year.

Evicting Pete

Pete Doherty has been evicted from his £350,000 London flat. The pop f***wit owes more than £10,000 in unpaid rent. Flat owner Andres Panayiotou says: “As well as not paying the rent, there’s graffiti on the wall, and goodness knows what else. We have never known anyone like him.” High praise indeed.

Posted: 14th, September 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Hoff With His Head

“DI TRIED TO HAVE IT HOFF WITH ME,” says the Star’s front-page headline, a story based on the life and times of David Hasselhoff.

Can it be that the man who brought the Berlin Wall a-tumblin’ down was once propositioned by our Princess of Hearts?

If shy Di were alive today to read this her face would surely blush as red as a Baywatch swimsuit.

And we too find is hard not to redden at the thought of Di and The Hoff in a clinch.

But The Hoff does not lie. And here he tells all. He says that when he and Di met in 1993, there were “sparks” between them.

Though both were married at the time, they each sensed an attraction. And “if circumstances had been different” they would surely have succumbed to their primal urges.

Dave remembers other parts of their conversation.
Diana: “You look much better with your clothes on.
Hoff: Well, Ma’am, so do you.

How they laughed. And, like Lycra swimsuits over a toned and tanned physique, laughter is a more than decent aphrodisiac.

But The Hoff is about so much more than comedy. As he says: “She was smitten with me since I am tall. I was smitten with her since she was so tall.”

Of come, come Dave. There is more to you then mere inches. Sure, at 6ft 4in, you can jump a shark in a single bound, but it’s hard to escape your acting ability, singing voice and impact on international politics.

And your line-free brow. As the Hoff says: “I’ve had Botox, but everyone has. It completely takes out the frown. I take pride in that because I look great.”

And good enough for a Princess…

Posted: 14th, September 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Pay For Bill Clinton

Paying For Bill

Bill Clinton, former President of the USA and friend to interns, will earn £700,000 for a series of three speeches he will deliver in London and Dublin. A ticket to hear Bill speak costs between £60 and £300. Wealthy individuals have paid £1,000 a head to hear him talk at the Fortune Forum Summit.

Paper Fortune

Shadow Chancellor George Osbourne has spent £2million on a house in London. Mr Osbourne is heir to the Osbourne & Little wallpaper fortune. Which is nice.

The Walls

The house where recently deceased Pink Floyd rocker Syd Barrett spent the last 25 years of his life is for sale. The three-bedroom home is Cambridge is on the market for £300,000. The house features a door handle Syd made from a toy hippo.

Posted: 13th, September 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Why The Butlers War

THIS is war.

On one side is the Daily Mail, friend to the weeping Rock that is Paul Burrell.

Paul has a new Princess Diana book out. In this tome, Princess Diana flies into Paul’s arms on a pair of gossamer wings and ask him why all men are not like him. She then crowns Paul Miss Universe. There is much crying. (We confess that we have not read the book and our review is based on educated guesswork.)

Today Paul is on the front page of the Mail. “BURRELL BLAST AT THE PRINCES,” says the front page. “I’m still in the corner waving my flag,” says he. “Who else is? The Royal Family aren’t, her ex-husband isn’t and sadly her children aren’t. “

But you are not alone, Paul. And looking past the Mail’s serialisation of another Diana-sponsored tome (Diana by Sarah Bradford, the Queen’s biographer – which should not be confused with Diana, Princess of Wales by Meredith Etherington-Smith, The Real Diana by Colin Campbell, Diana: The People’s Princess and many many more,) we see the Daily Express.

Like Burrell, the paper is sat in the corner. It too waves a flag. And it says “Sale Now On. Harrod’s mid season sale.” Another flag, this one modelled on the paper’s front page says: “DIANA WAS SO MUCH IN LOVE.”

And not just with Paul Burrell. No. Diana was so in love with Dodi Fayed. “Champagne was on ice to celebrate her engagement the night he died, says butler.”

No. Not Paul. He says no such thing. There’s a new butler in town. And his name is Rene Delorm (co-author of Diana & Dodi: A Love Story).

“He [Dodi] showed me this magnificent ring, all diamonds,” says Rene, Dodi Fayed’s butler. Dodi was all set to propose to his – and our – beloved princess.

But Paul Burrell told us Dian and Dodi were not to be married? “Paul Burrell is a liar,” says Rene. “He was not in the picture for Diana’s future.”

And now we at war. It’s butler versus butler. Rock versus roche. They are going head to head until all that’s left is so much dust.

Posted: 12th, September 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Hasselhoff’s Belt Tightening

The Godfather With Soul

While being driven though a rundown area of Atlanta, Georgia, Godfather of Soul James Brown told his chauffeur to pull over. He then handed out $2,000 to a bunch of homeless people, making them promise not to spend it on booze or drugs. Which – shock of shocks – they did.

Money Watch

A look now at David ‘The Hoff’s’ Hasselhoff’s divorce from Pamela Bach. According to the National Enquirer, both parties have agreed to take a$27,000 a month from the pot to pay for cell phones, vets bills and cars. In the month of July 2006, the Hasselhoffs spent: $931.09 on phone bills, $1,225.75 for 16-year-old daughter Taylor Ann’s Land Rover, $10,900 a month on David’s bachelor pad and $740 a month on gardening. Doesn’t look like The Hoff needs to tighten his belt just yet – althogh he could if he wanted to…

Produced by Anorak for Virgin.net – copyright Virgin.net

 

Posted: 12th, September 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Dear Paris Hilton

Money For Nothing

Sven Goran Eriksson is still being paid £13,000 a day by the Football Association – despite losing his job as England football manager over two months ago. And under the terms of his contract he will receive a further £3.2million this season if he fails to secure another job. Nice no work if you can get it.

No Room For Hilton

Paris Hilton was all set to appear on Charlotte Church’s new chat show The Charlotte Church Show. But when she asked for £350,000 appearance money, the date was cancelled. She doesn’t come cheap.

Carey Street

Preparing for her concert in New York, there was a knock at Mariah Carey’s dressing room door. “We were sent by private jet to deliver this gift,” said an envoy representing the Sultan of Brunei’s son Prince Azim. The singer was duly presented with an eight-carat flawless diamond and platinum necklace and a matching ring worth £3million. And some garage forecourt carnations from Anorak.

Big W******!

Big Brother winner Pete Bennett has signed a £1million book deal. Pete’s story will reveal what it’s like to live with Tourette’s syndrome. “It’s amazing to be working on my story,” says Pete. The book’s title is unknown, but “W******!” is a favourite.

Some Like It Haunted

Cat Deeley has spent £2million on the Hollywood mansion once lived in by Marilyn Monroe. It was the house where the screen icon was found naked and dead on her bed in 1962. And it might be haunted.

Shoe-business

The British are coming – and they’re wearing period costume and stripper’s shoes. Dame Helen Mirren has won an Emmy for Best Actress In a Mini Series or Movie for her performance in Elizabeth I. “My biggest triumph is not falling arse over tit,” said she collecting her gong. “If you saw the shoes I had on you’d understand.” The shoes cost Helen $49.99 on Hollywood Boulevard, and add an extra six inches to her legs.

Nice In Nice

Rod Stewart has spent £3.5million on a villa in the south of France, near Nice. The pad has four bedrooms, a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, gym and home cinema. Rod is spending £70,000 on renovations.

Royal Budgets

Are times hard for Princess Michael of Kent, aka Princess Pushy, and her husband? The royals were spotted travelling by budget airline easyJet from Palma, Majorca, to Gatwick. The Kents bought plastic-wrapped sandwiches and, according to the Daily Mail, shared a packet of Maltesers.

Mrs & Mrs average

The average British salary is £28.941. Company bosses earn the most (£171,509), followed by doctors (£81,744) and brokers (£80,233). The lowest earners are theme park attendants (£10,420).

No Romance Without Finance

A Survey by National Savings and Investments found that men regard a woman who earns £42,000 as successful. While women consider a man wealthy if he earns £50,000. Forty-five per cent of women said a good bank balance was their top priority when looking for a partner.

copyright virgin.net

Anorak UK Ltd

Posted: 5th, September 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Princess Di’s Rocks

PROFESSIONAL jealousy among rocks?

Nothing of it. Paul Burrell surely knows there can be only true rock in Diana’s life. And when he says that the rocks Dodi Fayed gave Princess Diana “meant nothing”, we believe him.

Not all rocks can talk, which is why we are grateful that Burrell uses the front page of the Mail to tell the world “Dodi did give Diana a ring – but it meant nothing and I can prove it.”

Expecting to hear Burrell in conversation with the ring – rocko-a-rocko – we turn the pages.

“SOLVED,” says the Mail. “Riddle of the ring Dodi gave to Diana.” Readers get a look at the £3,000 Bulgari yellow band with diamonds Burrell says he was handed in the Paris hospital room where Diana’s body was taken.

What then passed between rock and ring is now on matter of public record as the royal butler “REVEALS HIS LAST SECRET” in his latest book: “Diana, The Way We Were.

“She made it clear this was not an engagement ring,” writes Burrell (to be played by a young Robert Redford in the film of the book). “She said how romantic he had been and giggled with relief that the ring had not been more significant.” (Ditto Barbra Streisand.)

And it was not significant – it was insignificant. Burrell is keen to tell us that he pressed Diana to wear the ring on her right hand as a friendship ring – not on her left hand as engagement ring.”

Burrell relives the moment in the La Pitie-Salpetriere hospital in Paris. Nurse Beatrice Humbert approaches. “I think you should have this,” she says in “broken English.

Something was pressed into Burrell’s hand. “I opened my hand and there was the gold band the Princess had told me about two days earlier,” he writes.

“It was very plain and it didn’t strike me as custom-made as it was designed to adjust to fit any finger. That alone emphasises its lack of significance.” The rocks were “tiny pave diamonds”.

Pah! There can be only one rock. The rest are mere loose chippings and pebbles with delusions of grandeur.

As we say, Burrell has no reason to be jealous…

Posted: 4th, September 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Questions?

“THE DIANA DOSSIER.” What’s that then? Why’s it’s “a unique insight into the many unanswered questions which still surround the death of the People’s Princess”.

And to give this priceless document a name we choose to call it “THE DAILY EXPRESS”.

And the news begins thus: “The Alma Bridge which spans the river Seine in Paris is a lively spot.”

In an instant we are in the opening scenes to an American made-for-TV movie. Paris looks remarkable clean and free of the myriad dog turds that little its uneven streets.

The French are insouciant, chic and canoodling in the midday sun. Burning cars and gangs of unattractive, surly youth are way out to shot.

And we are at the Alma Bridge. “Near its southern end, the government offices of the Quai d’Orsay jostle against the ateliers of famous couturiers.”

Never mind that all the best designers are in London, or that buildings only ever jostle one another in an earthquake. This is the Paris of fantasy. It is the Paris where Princess Diana is about to make her “tragic death”.

The Express dossier deals with the “stark facts”. Diana was 36 when he made her last trip in Paris. Fact! She was with her lover Dodi Fayed, 42. Fact! They were both in a car in the Alma Tunnel. Fact! The car’s driver, one Henri Paul, was with them. Fact! The world was a peaceful place, love was in the air and Will Smith was at No.1 in the charts with Men In Black. Fact! Fact! Fact!

“So why the mystery?” asks the dossier’s author Anna Pukas. Because many questions have been asked. “Some have been answered, only to raise more questions, doubts, suspicions and allegations of a cover-up and even murder”.

Questions? And more questions? And each question illustrated with a photo of Diana? She’s in a swimsuit; a pair of sunglasses; gold earrings; diamonds. Diana is in “tight white jeans, sleeveless black top and black jacket all by Versace”. And Dodi is in a “Daniel Hechter leather shirt-style jacket and jeans over boots”.

And all around them paparazzi “chaffing even more for a lucrative picture of the Princess and her paramour”.

Pictures like the one of Di with her head tilted to one side; Di smiling broadly; Di holding a pair of white shoes.

“Why did Henri Paul avoid the established route from the Ritz to Dodi’s apartment? See picture of Diana in grey jacket. “Where was Paul heading to?” Diana is in a diamond choker. There are many more questions.

We could list them but they will – as our writer says – only lead to more questions. And it might be easier just to look at the pictures…

Posted: 30th, August 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Deliberate On This

“DIANA DEATH ‘WAS NO AN ACCIDENT.’”

This is favourite device of the tabloid press – the partial quote as headline.

And the quote is attributed to a “source close to the investigation”. And the insider has more to say. “It appears reports have been falsified,” says this source. “There have been many lies and much cheating in this inquiry.”

They go on: “How is it possible for anyone to believe it was a simple road traffic accident?” Well, there was the mangled car, the road and… “This was not an accident.”

So that’s that then. The Express can wrap up its quotidian front-page coverage of Princess Diana (pictured smiling as she awaits the verdict from her new home on the fabled sixth floor of Harvey Nichols). The paper can get on with the business of reporting on immigrants and Hitler.

But no. Diana is a story not yet dead and buried. The Express says the inquiry has been “sensationally” reopened by a French judge. “The two scientific experts could face criminal charges and prison if their new depositions reveal they lied in the past.”

They “could”, “if”… Inside the paper we get to see the two scientists. There’s the toxicologist Dr Gilbert Pepin. He’s wearing a scarf and glasses. And Professor Dominique Lecomte, the pathologist, also in glasses and seen in a grainy image.

And over two pages we read another quote-making headline: “’Experts must tell courts the truth.’”

Yes, experts should not lie in court. And judges should make sound judgement. Lawyers should do their utmost to uphold the law.

And accidents should never happen…

Posted: 21st, August 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Judge For Yourself

“DIANA. A mountain of new evidence but they can’t find a judge who will hear it.”

No problem. The Express can get its esteemed readership – experts in Diana’s post-death life – to play the judge. The paper loves a phone poll; each of its questions more loaded than George Bush at a frat house party.

But be warned: playing judge in the Diana inquest is no small matter.

A source, “a legal expert”, tells the Express: “In one way, it is hardly surprising that no one wants to step into Michel Burgess’s shoes [he resigned as head of the inquest citing pressure of work]. The Diana inquest is seen as poisoned chalice.”

A poisoned chalice? A princess! A fairytale life?

Elsewhere in the Express we learn that Mohammed Fayed, father of Dodi Fayed, is selling a “poignant memory of the tragedy”, the “secluded and imposing” property Castle de Ste-Therese in Parc de St Tropez. This is where Dodi wooed Diana. It’s the castle.

All that’s missing from this fairytale is for the prince to wake the sleeping beauty from her slumber.

But that’s unlikely (he’s married his mistress.) So instead of that happy ending we need some vengeance. And here is your chance, Daily Express readers.

Do you think Diana was murdered by Prince Philip standing on a grassy knoll in a Paris tunnel? Press 1 for “YES” and 2 for “NO, I AM DELUDED”.

Posted: 6th, August 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Wales Dressers

“THE TRUTH ABOUT DIANA’S AMAZING WEDDING DRESS.”

After so many lies and rumours about the dress, it is high time we heard the truth. It is the Express’s front-page news.

And who better to reveal all than the dress’s confidants Elizabeth and David Emmanuel?

It’s been 25 years and two divorces since the day Diana wore that gown (like the Waleses, Elizabeth and David have divorced) but the memories are fresh in the mind.

We join the action at the Emmanuels’ workshop in central London. It’s 1981. A phone is ringing.

Elizabeth: “Hello.”
Caller: “Hello Elizabeth, it’s Diana Spencer here. Would you and David do me the honour of making my wedding dress?”

Sadly no tape of this call is known to exist and we imagine Elizabeth adding life to this exchange with an impression of her famous client. Perhaps ex-husband David plays the part of Diana, delivering her lines with a tilt of the head and a long fringe?

Elizabeth: “Oh my God, of course we would love to.”

There then followed weeks of hard work as the dressmakers avoided the press. “We even had a code name for Diana, which we thought was hilarious,” says Elizabeth. Oh yes? What was it? “We used to refer to her as Debra.”

But it wasn’t all high comedy. David recalls how having got Diana into the dress on the morning of the wedding no-one could remember if the petticoats had been fastened. David says he had to get under the skirts to sort things out.

“Then the worst thing happened,” says David. Nerves got the better of Diana? No. “As I was coming out from underneath her dress, I heard the door open and Diana saying, ‘David, have you met the Queen Mother?’”

Once again we are left wondering if David gets into character for his line. And if, indeed, he re-enacts this life-affirming moment by pushing his head up his ex-wife’s skirt, or if she, older and wiser, plays the role of the Queen Mother.

Whatever the scene, the Emmanuels are keen to relive it. And you can buy their story A Dress for Diana” from “The Express Bookshop”.

And learn the “truth”.

Posted: 3rd, August 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Princess Diana’s New Evidence

UNABLE or unwilling to believe Princess Diana – our Princess of Hearts – died in so mundane a fashion as a car accident, the Express continues to report on her life.

This column will track the Express’s campaign to breathe new life into Diana. Just as she occupies a place in all our hearts and minds, so too does she feature in indelible ink on the front page of the Express.

And so to today’s look at Diana. And the front-page news is: “DIANA DEATH: NEW COVER–UP FEARS.”

Last week, Michael Burgess, the “Royal Coroner”, quit from the team investigating Diana’s death. He blamed “pressure of work”.

And now the paper says the Establishment – the Royal Family, the Government and MI6 – want the new coroner to record a verdict that Diana and her lover Did Fayed died as the “result of a road accident”.

And this is wrong. A source described as being “close to” the Operation Paget Inquiry into Diana’s death says there is a “mountain” of evidence that shows it was no accident.

This is interesting stuff. But the Express is worried that the general public will never see the evidence.

And a royal source says that we are not the only ones being affected. Speaking of Diana’s children William and Harry, the source says: “This is torture for them. They just want it over.”

But there is no sign of it ever being over. The Express cannot let it go. And we expect more of the same.

We expect to see more pictures of Diana (today there are two), and more shots of the crushed car in which she took her last journey (one).

It could go on for ever…

Posted: 24th, July 2006 | In: Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0