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Kate Powers Up
The Princess of Wales continues her ascendancy into First Lady of the Royal Family
The Royal List’s US correspondent, Frances Rivetti, (see her special on what life is like in Montecito, here), made the good point this week that Catherine appears to be taking a First Lady strategy, building a presidential portfolio for her role in the Royal Family. She was all business again this week, as she greeted polar explorer Preet Chandi on her return from Antarctica, on Wednesday.
Catherine tried one of the training exercises, pulling tires, to show what Preet endured on her record-breaking 70-day solo trek. Meeting at Chandi’s old secondary school in Derby, Catherine said, “Record breaker. History maker. Preet is a shining example of fortitude. Today it’s been fantastic to hear all about her polar expedition and see how she is inspiring the next generation of young girls to believe they can achieve anything they put their mind to!”
On Thursday, the action continued, as Catherine, resplendent in a Hobbs coat, red Kiltane cashmere sweater and skirt and Gianvito Rossi boots, got stuck in to a game of table tennis and raced model boats with Prince William, on a visit to the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth. It was their first visit to the county as Duke and Duchess of Cornwall.
Catherine looks determined to achieve much in the future, too, with the news she has appointed a fierce new private secretary. Alison Corfield is described as a straight-talking campaigns manager who, according to The Sunday Times, “will run rings around the courtiers and shake things up a bit. She will be a massive breath of fresh air at Kensington Palace. She is loud, tons of fun and full of energy and enthusiasm.”
Alison ran Jamie Oliver’s school meals campaign and is also an ex-stewardess, just like Catherine’s mum Carole. Prepare for career take off!
The King’s busy week
Charles famously never stops for lunch and it’s a good job too considering his packed schedule this week. On Wednesday, he hosted his first historic meeting with President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy at Buckingham Palace, as part of the embattled world leader’s surprise visit to the UK.
The King, along with many royals, has publicly supported Ukrainians in the defence of their nation against Russia’s invasion. As Charles greeted Zelenskyy in the Palace’s 1844 Room, His Majesty said: “We’ve all been worried about you and thinking about your country for so long, I can’t tell you.” The pair then had a private conversation for half an hour.
Meanwhile, the Royal Mail revealed their new “every day” stamp featuring our new monarch. The image is the same as the effigy which will feature on coins: a tradition started in 1840 with the world’s first postage stamp, the Penny Black, and a profile of Queen Victoria. The new stamp will be available from 4 April.
One highlight of the royal week was seeing Skin, from Skunk Anansie, awarded an OBE by King Charles at Windsor Castle on Tuesday. The singer, songwriter and author (real name Deborah Dyer) said: “Just being in this castle is an honour, it has so much history and so much tradition. It’s quite nice to have been born in this country and to be in this position.” And for us, her Robert Wun couture coat and the platform heels are magnificent.
Rufus Sewell joins the Royal Family
As the Duke of York prepares to quietly celebrate his 63rd birthday next Sunday 19 Feb, he will probably not be rejoicing over the news that actor (and Royal List fave) Rufus Sewell will be playing him in Scoop, a Netflix production dramatising his disastrous Newsnight interview back in 2019.
The film starts shooting in London next month with Gillian Anderson as the then-BBC interviewer Emily Maitlis, and a supporting cast that includes Keeley Hawes. Based on the book, Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews, written by Sam McAlister (played by Billie Piper), the TV producer who secured Prince Andrew for the chat. The film is supposedly “about power, privilege and differing perspectives and how – whether in glittering palaces or hi-tech newsrooms – we judge what’s true”.
Rufus will reportedly wear facial prosthetics to make him look “less handsome” for his royal makeover. Now that’s definitely something not to celebrate.
Harry’s mystery woman speaks out
It was the surprise detail in Spare that had everyone talking - who was the “older woman” who took Harry’s virginity in a field and slapped him on his bum? This week, all was revealed, as digger driver Sasha Walpole, 40, went public, saying she slept with Harry when she worked as a groom at Highgrove. The pair were friends and had been drinking shots in the pub.
She had no idea Harry was going to include the escapade in his book, she said. Sasha spoke to The Sun and The Mail and said, “It felt naughty, I suppose, in the sense that it shouldn’t be happening.” Piers Morgan also interviewed Sasha on TalkTV on Thursday. “I never thought it would happen,” she said, adding she felt “disbelief he went into so much detail as it was obvious who it was.”
We guess it’s one invasion of privacy Harry doesn’t mind. Question is, will it be made into a Jilly Cooper-style bonkbuster?
Holey moley – Charles’ sock faux pas
One unexpected detail to come out of Charles and Camilla’s visit to a Brick Lane mosque on Wednesday, was the King had a hole in his royal sock. Darn it! We suggest His Majesty orders some Corgi socks, quick sticks – after all, he has given the company his royal warrant. This men’s red pair is £17.50.
Plus! Get your tickets to The Coronation Concert
The online ballot is now open for the concert at Windsor Castle celebrating the coronation of King Charles and The Queen Consort.
Apply here for you and a guest to attend the evening event on Sunday 7 May. The 5,000 pairs of free tickets are not allocated on a first-come first-served basis, but on the geographical spread of the UK population. The ballot closes 28 Feb. Don’t worry if you’re unsuccessful as the concert, being held the day after the Westminster Abbey coronation, will be live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.
Also unveiled this week, the official Coronation emblem, featuring St Edward’s Crown (which will be used to crown Charles) surrounded by the Welsh daffodil, Scottish thistle, English rose and the shamrock of Northern Ireland. The design is inspired by Charles’s love of the natural world.
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