Fri. Dec 9th, 2022

As if travelling 5,500 miles to London for the Queen‘s Platinum Jubilee wasn’t a daunting enough prospect for Thomas Markle, I hear the Duchess of Sussex‘s father was due to stay with Lady Colin Campbell.

Lady Colin, 72, who was criticised for her overbearing behaviour and caustic put-downs when she competed on I’m A Celebrity, had generously offered to put up Mr Markle, 77, at her West Sussex stately home, Castle Goring, which she bought for £700,000 in 2013.

Lady Colin Campbell offered to house the Duchess of Sussex's father, Thomas Markle, for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee

Lady Colin Campbell offered to house the Duchess of Sussex's father, Thomas Markle, for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee

Lady Colin Campbell offered to house the Duchess of Sussex’s father, Thomas Markle, for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 

Castle Goring, Lady Campbell's West Sussex stately home which she bought for £700,000 in 2013, could have hosted Thomas Markle

Castle Goring, Lady Campbell's West Sussex stately home which she bought for £700,000 in 2013, could have hosted Thomas Markle

Castle Goring, Lady Campbell’s West Sussex stately home which she bought for £700,000 in 2013, could have hosted Thomas Markle

He won’t now be coming after he was rushed to hospital in California earlier this week, suffering a suspected stroke.

‘She had made plans for Mr Markle,’ one of the royal biographer’s friends tells me. ‘She’d hired him a dinner jacket and was taking him to Royal Ascot. And she’d organised a black-tie dinner, so he could meet lots of interesting people.’

The former Georgie Ziadie — who has her title thanks to a year-long marriage to the Duke of Argyll’s younger son, Lord Colin Campbell in 1973 — established the connection to Mr Markle via his grandson, Tyler. Her two adopted sons, Michael and Dimitri, appeared with Tyler in an MTV reality show called The Royal World in 2018.

Thomas Markle was rushed to hospital in California earlier this week, suffering a suspected stroke. Pictured: Meghan Markle in her younger days with her father Thomas

Thomas Markle was rushed to hospital in California earlier this week, suffering a suspected stroke. Pictured: Meghan Markle in her younger days with her father Thomas

Thomas Markle was rushed to hospital in California earlier this week, suffering a suspected stroke. Pictured: Meghan Markle in her younger days with her father Thomas

The Duchess' father will not be able to attend the Queen's Platinum Jubilee after he was rushed to hospital in California earlier this week, suffering a suspected stroke

The Duchess' father will not be able to attend the Queen's Platinum Jubilee after he was rushed to hospital in California earlier this week, suffering a suspected stroke

The Duchess’ father will not be able to attend the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee after he was rushed to hospital in California earlier this week, suffering a suspected stroke

Tyler created a new strain of cannabis called Markle Sparkle ahead of Meghan’s 2018 wedding to Prince Harry. Speaking about Tyler, Lady Colin said: ‘We hit it off straight away. He’s a very nice boy.’ Lady Colin wrote a 2020 biography of Mr Markle’s daughter, Meghan and Harry: The Real Story. Hiring, rather than buying, clothes for Mr Markle was a wise precaution on Lady Colin’s part. The Palace commissioned a £7,000 Savile Row suit for him to wear to Harry and Meghan’s 2018 wedding, only for him to fall ill and stay at home in Rosarito, Mexico.

Roly-poly racing PR man Johnno Spence was later spotted parading around Royal Ascot in the suit.

After also snapping up Thomas’s extra garments, including a summer suit and three shirts, Spence told me: ‘They were half price and there’s a bit of room for expansion.’

On yer bike! Harry rides out with old pal

Radiating contentment with his new life in a California mansion, Prince Harry recently remarked that home ‘for me now is, you know, for the time being, in the States’.

Though happy to cut ties with family and old friends back in Britain, Harry this week welcomed an old chum to Montecito — Charlie van Straubenzee, a pal since both were at Ludgrove prep school.

Prince Harry welcomed old chum Charlie van Straubenzee, a pal since they were at Ludgrove prep school and now an investment banker to Montecito

Prince Harry welcomed old chum Charlie van Straubenzee, a pal since they were at Ludgrove prep school and now an investment banker to Montecito

Prince Harry welcomed old chum Charlie van Straubenzee, a pal since they were at Ludgrove prep school and now an investment banker to Montecito

Prince Harry said that home ‘for me now is, you know, for the time being, in the States’

Prince Harry said that home ‘for me now is, you know, for the time being, in the States’

Prince Harry said that home ‘for me now is, you know, for the time being, in the States’

Now an investment banker, van Straubenzee was an usher at Harry and Meghan’s spectacular 2018 wedding at Windsor, while Harry was best man a few months later, when van Straubenzee married the enchanting Daisy Jenks.

The enduring bond between them is, though, perhaps best expressed by the fact — never publicly confirmed but accepted in Court circles — that Harry appointed van Straubenzee as one of his son Archie’s godfathers.

Prince Charles loves acquiring new houses, so he may not be able to resist snapping up this one. I hear his next-door neighbour at Highgrove, Gloucestershire, has put Grade I-listed Doughton Manor on the market for £3.75 million. The manor boasts five acres of walled gardens that will appeal to the green-fingered Prince. 

The Voice of Golf, Peter Alliss, left a £1 million fortune to his widow, Jacqueline. Newly published probate documents reveal that Alliss, who died aged 89 in 2020, left a gross estate of £1.1 million, reduced to £1 million after his debts were paid. He was still playing competitively when he started commentating for the BBC at the 1961 Open Championship. He never looked back and even helped Sir Sean Connery with golf lessons for his role in Goldfinger, leading to the James Bond star’s love of the game. Alliss’s bon mots include: ‘He used to be fairly indecisive, but now he’s not so certain.’ 

Monaco’s little princess makes her official debut

She’s only seven, but Prince Albert of Monaco’s daughter, Gabriella, is already being introduced to the beau monde. Her mother, former Olympic swimmer Princess Charlene, took her to the Monte Carlo Fashion Awards while Albert took her twin, Jacques, to a charity football match.

Princess Charlene of Monaco and H.S.H. Princess Gabriella attend the Fashion Awards gala of the Monte-Carlo fashion week, at the Opera of Monte-Carlo

Princess Charlene of Monaco and H.S.H. Princess Gabriella attend the Fashion Awards gala of the Monte-Carlo fashion week, at the Opera of Monte-Carlo

Princess Charlene of Monaco and H.S.H. Princess Gabriella attend the Fashion Awards gala of the Monte-Carlo fashion week, at the Opera of Monte-Carlo

Prince Albert of Monaco's son and Gabriella's twin Jacques attended the charity match between Stars Team and Pilots Formula 1 at Stade Louis II

Prince Albert of Monaco's son and Gabriella's twin Jacques attended the charity match between Stars Team and Pilots Formula 1 at Stade Louis II

Prince Albert of Monaco’s son and Gabriella’s twin Jacques attended the charity match between Stars Team and Pilots Formula 1 at Stade Louis II

‘I loved every moment preparing my princess for her first official event,’ said Charlene, 44, who broke her silence about her gruelling recent health battle.

‘My state of health is still fragile and I don’t want to go too fast. The path has been long, difficult and very painful.’

Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett admits she once ended a date with a man after his restaurant order appalled her. ‘I was taken to a pizza place on a date and they put pineapple on — I never went out with him again after that,’ says Hartnett, 53, who’s known for her tasting menus at £115 a head. ‘You’ve got to have your standards. Pineapple on pizza . . . I better get my coat.’ She’s now married to The French House head chef Neil Borthwick.

Madge is a big noise at the fashion show

Here’s a blast from the past: Madonna turned up at a graduate fashion show in London carrying what appeared to be a 1980s-style ghetto blaster.

Madonna turned up at a graduate fashion show carrying what appeared to be a 1980s-style ghetto blaster

Madonna turned up at a graduate fashion show carrying what appeared to be a 1980s-style ghetto blaster

Madonna turned up at a graduate fashion show carrying what appeared to be a 1980s-style ghetto blaster

But on closer inspection, it turned out to be a £1,500 holdall designed by Shane Gonzales for Midnight Studios. Madonna, 63, was a surprise guest at the show held at Central St Martins college of art and design.

She once said: ‘It’s quite foolish for me or anyone else to start thinking I am going to start making conventional choices.’ She was, however, discussing her penchant for younger men.

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