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Marriage Has Made Harry “Grumpy and Aloof”
Prince Harry has become “grumpy and aloof” since his wedding to Meghan Markle, royal biographer Duncan Larcombe tells Page Six. Larcombe, formerly royal editor at The Sun for ten years, said, “All of Harry’s staff have always thought he was fantastic, but [together] the two of them are high maintenance.” Larcombe also said Harry has become “quite grumpy and aloof from his own inner circle of staff. Harry was always very pally with [them], so this is very unlike him. What people love about Harry is that… he’s down to earth, a normal guy trapped in the royal world, and he doesn’t take himself very seriously. But now he is.”
It’s worth noting that for every critic like Larcombe, you’ll find someone who takes the opposite view, saying marriage has mellowed Harry and sharpened up his PR game. The Royalist notes that Harry has actually managed to banish his customary scowl on public engagements since getting married and has even, on occasion, acknowledged the press with what passes for a smile—rather than blanking us like he used to.
“Diana’s Secret Aunt” Drops Bid To Exhume Body To Prove They Were Related
EXCLUSIVE: The Daily Beast can reveal that a Californian woman has abandoned her attempts to raise money to have the body of a distant relative of Princess Diana exhumed to prove that she is Diana’s secret aunt.
Unlike most “I’m Related to the Royals” stories, the evidence provided by Ann Ukrainetz, 75, of Escondido, is compelling, seemingly proving that she really is the illegitimate daughter of Maurice Burke Roche, 4th Baron Fermoy, the grandfather of Princess Diana.
Ukrainetz discovered the truth about her parentage in 1999, four years after her mother Evelyn died, when she found a confession letter written inside an old music program stored among her mother’s belongings, as well as a series of love notes addressed to ‘my rose, my love, my Evelyn’ and signed ‘MF.’
Her mother, a noted beauty, was a professional actress in her native Britain when she caught Fermoy’s eye, and they began an affair which lasted until Fermoy’s death. Fermoy had three legitimate children, a son Edmund and daughters Mary and Frances.
Frances went on to marry John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, with whom she had a son Charles and three daughters, including Princess Diana. Ukrainetz had said she was aiming to raise $50,000, saying she needed the money to fund a lawsuit to exhume a brother of Fermoy to prove their DNA is linked. But the ghoulish quest is apparently over, and her GoFundMe page has been taken down after raising just a few dollars. Ukrainetz’s partner told The Daily Beast that they weren’t doing any more interviews, but wouldn’t say why the fundraising effort had been terminated.
Meghan, Harry, and The Curse of Good Cake
EXCLUSIVE: Locals in the village of Great Tew wonder if an overly-popular bakery and cafe might have contributed to Harry and Meghan’s surprise decision to give up their country home in the Oxfordshire village, just down the road from Soho House’s country club and a few minutes drive from the home of their friends David and Victoria Beckham.
Extensive works were carried out on the property, known locally as the ‘Roundhouse’ due to its unusual shape and the Great Tew estate’s owner, Old Etonian Nick Johnston, was said to be quietly thrilled with his new tenants. But sources tell us that Great Tew has changed since a former flower shop in the village was taken over by a fashionable bakery named Bakergirl this summer.
The Instagram-friendly shop and café has a fanatical following for its iced cinnamon rolls, leading to the formerly sleepy village being flooded with outsiders. Even worse, aggrieved locals say, is the fact that the café has no toilets, despite selling lots and lots of coffee, a, ahem, well-known diuretic. “There are literally people pissing in the bushes,” says one resident. “The village smells on warm days. I’m not surprised Meghan’s had enough.”
Prince Phillip Utters The Hardest Word
How did they drag this out of him? Prince Philip has written the word ‘sorry’—twice!—in a letter of apology to the woman whom he pulled out in front of on a busy road, causing a nasty accident, according to the Sunday Mirror.
Last weekend, Emma Fairweather, 46, a passenger in the car which was also carrying a baby, told of her anger at not receiving an apology, but now Philip has done the right thing. “I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident at the Babingley cross-roads,” the letter, sent last week, begins, in what is surely a royal first. Philip says that the “bright sunny day” and low sun meant he “failed to see the car coming, and I am very contrite about the consequences.” Philip, who says he was “somewhat shaken after the accident,” concludes in gentlemanly fashion: “I have since learned that you suffered a broken arm. I am deeply sorry about this injury. I wish you a speedy recovery from a very distressing experience.”
Photographs of Philip tootling around on public roads shortly after his recent car crash without a seatbelt provoked condemnation, but rumor has it that he was driving without one was because he hurt his shoulder in the accident. The Sunday Express quotes a security expert as saying that the royals sometimes don’t wear seatbelts in case they need to exit a vehicle in a hurry. Meanwhile the Sun on Sunday reports that the royals have the seatbelt beeps in their Land Rovers switched off.
Anna Wintour: Kate and Meghan Will Keep “Royal Family Afloat”
Meghan Markle has a new, powerful supporter: Anna Wintour, editor in chief of U.S. Vogue. Speaking in the Vogue-produced “Anna Wintour Answers Questions From Total Strangers,” Wintour scoffed at reports that Markle had surprised Royal staff by being up at 5am. Wintour said that Markle was a “Californian girl,” who “does yoga, meditates.” As for her sending lots of text messages, “What did they expect? That she was going to send messages by pigeon?”
Markle’s wedding dress had been “brilliant, sophisticated and chic,” said Wintour, and—as a creation of Clare Waight Keller, a British designer working for the French house Givenchy—sent out the message: “Yes, I’m from somewhere else, but I belong.”
Wintour also said the fact that Markle had walked herself (at least partway) down the aisle showed she was an “independent woman,” and that the presence of her mother, Doria Ragland, had “inspired so many women, men, all over the world.”
She added that the two Duchesses, Kate and Meghan, were “going to keep the Royal Family afloat, quite frankly.”
Meghan Is Planning Hypnobirth
Meghan Markle is planning to use the somewhat avant-garde technique of hypnobirthing when she delivers in April. The method, popularized by American childbirth guru Marie Mongan and sees mothers using meditative techniques and self-hypnosis to enter a state of deep relaxation which makes giving birth easier—and reduces or even eliminates the need for drugs.
But rumors that she may choose to give birth at a hospital other than London’s Lindo Wing shouldn’t be given much credence, not least because the small hospital close to their new home of Frogmore Cottage, in Windsor, couldn’t begin to cope with the press.
Meghan and Harry’s Vegan Paint Plan
The Sun revealed this week that Meghan was “using vegan paint infused with eucalyptus and rosemary oils to decorate her “gender-free” nursery at Frogmore Cottage. That means a no to blues or pinks, and a yes to “a monochrome palette of whites and greys.”
Royal Fashion Watch
Kate Middleton won plaudits for speaking about the travails of parenthood this week at the charity Family Action. According to People, she said: “It’s so hard. You get a lot of support with the baby as a mother particularly in the early days, but after the age of 1 it falls away. After that there isn’t a huge amount—lots of books to read… Everybody experiences the same struggle.” For the visit, she wore a beautiful green, belted dress from Beulah London.
This Week In Royal History
Thursday January 31 will be a day of reflection for the queen, as it marks 67 years since she saw her father, King George VI, for the last time. On this day in 1952, the king waved away Princess Elizabeth, 25, and her husband Prince Philip at London’s Heathrow airport on their way to Kenya on a royal tour. No-one suspected it was to be their final farewell, but less than a week later, the king was discovered dead in his bed by his valet. The cause of death was lung cancer.
Watch Out For…
Meghan Markle is due to give birth in around twelve weeks but she is showing no sign of slowing down, with three public appearances this week, including, on Wednesday, her first visit to the National Theatre since becoming its official patron. She also has a visit to the Association of Commonwealth Universities pencilled in for the following day, and she and Harry have a trip to Bristol scheduled for Friday.
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