EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Heiress Willa Keswick puts £5.7bn fortune to good use at glitzy wedding
As a scion of the Jardine Matheson dynasty, which owns the Mandarin Oriental hotel group, Willa Keswick knows a thing or two about opulence.
And her wedding at the weekend was suitably lavish for a woman whose family’s fortune is reputed to be £5.7billion.
Former nightclub owner Willa, 38, exchanged vows in the Cotswolds with Jake Morant, head of events at luxury catering firm Bread & Honey.
Willa, whose brother Archie dated Hollywood star Sienna Miller, was joined by a host of her glamorous friends, including aristocratic model Clara Paget and Ray Winstone’s daughter Jaime, who was a bridesmaid.
‘I’m still riding high on the dreamy love cloud that was the celebration of marriage for my friends,’ gushes actress Jaime.
Happy day: The wedding of Jake Morant, head of events at luxury catering firm Bread & Honey, and Willa China Keswick, a former night club owner and a scion of the Jardine Matheson dynasty
Pictured: Jaime Winstone, left, at wedding of Willa China Keswick to Jake Morant (not pictured)
Countdown host Anne Robinson was flattered when she was approached by a male fan.
She was less impressed when he told her: ‘My wife said I was to ask you the name of your hairdresser — not that she wants to look like you.’
Clairvoyant princess to wed Paltrow’s spiritual guru
No one can dispute that Meghan Markle has shaken up the Windsors. Now another American is to marry into a European royal family, and he’s an even more fascinating character.
Durek Verrett, a shaman known as Hollywood’s hottest guru, is engaged to Princess Martha Louise of Norway, the Queen’s second cousin once removed, who was once tipped as a bride for Prince Edward.
‘Love does not judge where you come from or who you are as a human being,’ the couple declare in a statement released by the Norwegian palace yesterday.
‘Love creates a bridge between people, cultures and religions. And we are happy to have found each other, across continents, ethnicity and social background.’
A spokesman for the Princess’s parents, King Harald and Queen Sonja, says: ‘His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen send their most heartfelt congratulations to Princess Martha Louise and Durek Verrett on the occasion of their engagement and wish them all the best for the future.’
The news will delight Verrett’s famous friends including Gwyneth Paltrow, for whom he acts as the personal spiritualist. The actress, 49, has already met the Princess, 50, and they bonded over their mutual love of alternative lifestyles.
Ambassadors of love’: Durek Verrett, a shaman known as Hollywood’s hottest guru, is engaged to Princess Martha Louise of Norway
While Paltrow’s Goop website gives out recipes for spirit truffles which aid extra-sensory perception, the Princess claims to have supernatural powers, including the ability to speak to angels.
She was introduced to the actress in 2019 when on holiday in the Hamptons in New York, and declared: ‘Meeting Gwyneth Paltrow was such a gift. [Her] wisdom, strength, clear vision and soft personality with a great sense of humour is so inspiring.’
Of the encounter, Los Angeles-based shaman Verrett said: ‘I’m so happy my loves have finally met.’
The Princess has three teenage daughters with her late ex-husband, Ari Behn. They married in 2002 but split in 2016. Tragically, he took his own life on Christmas Day in 2019.
Martha Louise has been dating Verrett, 47, since 2019. He is a selfstyled ‘global ambassador of love’ who boasts of contact with aliens.
No date has been set for the wedding and, apparently, the couple will continue to live on different continents.
Gwyneth Paltrow is pictured with Durek Verrett on a couch
Artist Jeremy Houghton was caught out by Princess Anne over the Jubilee weekend, after he dashed to Epsom to exhibit a painting of the Queen’s racehorse Dunfermline. Knowing that a royal presence was likely, he was horrified to discover that he had left home without a tie. ‘After a frantic search in my car boot I found my daughter’s Pony Club one,’ Houghton says. It was a bit skimpy, but he thought he had got away with it until the Princess turned up. She soon spotted his neckwear and burst out laughing. The matter was, I understand, relayed back to the Queen that evening, along with the painting.
Stylish Countess Maya still raising cash for Diana’s pal
Her life was cut short by cancer three years ago, but the impish spirit of Countess Maya von Schonburg endures.
Dazzling items from her wardrobe, including a pink silk coat, go on public view next week, prior to their sale by Kerry Taylor Auctions.
Maya, who memorably declared that her £9 million divorce settlement from billionaire Mick Flick ‘wasn’t enough’, directed that every penny from the sale goes to Team Domenica, a charity founded by Princess Diana’s friend Rosa Monckton, which helps young people with learning disabilities fulfil their potential and find employment.
Domenica — Rosa’s daughter with her husband, my fellow Mail columnist Dominic Lawson — was a godchild of Diana.
Rosa’s fondest memory of Maya? ‘Her, in a Valentino jacket, leaving a huge fundraising party in London driving a red double-decker bus — all the way back to Windsor.
Princess Martha Louise and her ex Ari Behn are seen at the wedding of Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist in 2015
Emma Samms, who made her name in U.S. soaps such as Dynasty, is struggling to explain some British landmarks: ‘A couple of my American visitors, when they saw Windsor Castle as we drove past it on the M4, wondered, “Why would they build the castle so close to the freeway?”.’
Edna’s autograph fury
Comedian Barry Humphries, aka Dame Edna Everage, who’s on a theatre tour, is not amused by autograph hunters.
‘There are always ratbags waiting at the stage door who haven’t been to the show,’ says Humphries, 88. ‘They demand my signature on pictures of Bruce the shark [from Finding Nemo] — an animation for which I provided the voice. And a few discourage one from inscribing their programme with their name as they plan to flog it on eBay.
Innovative: John Bates, designer, (pictured with models) has died at age 83
Designer of THAT Diana Rigg catsuit dies aged 83
Although Mary Quant is credited with inventing the mini-skirt, some say its real creator was designer John Bates, who died of cancer on Sunday aged 83.
For the label Jean Varon, he also created the provocatively tight catsuit worn by Diana Rigg in The Avengers. It not only catapulted her to stardom, but helped define the style of the Swinging Sixties.
Bates lived for a time in a luxurious apartment and drove a white Rolls-Royce, but he spent his last years in obscurity in Wales, explaining that he had ‘no regrets at all’.