EPHRAIM HARDCASTLE: Food bank gift from Prince Andrew
When will Prince Andrew honour his pledge to become involved in charities helping victims of human trafficking and sexual abuse?
As part of his £12million settlement with Virginia Giuffre in February, he promised to do so.
His previous main charitable endeavour was appearing in a carefully-managed photo-op packing gift bags alongside ex-wife Sarah for hospice workers caught up in the pandemic in 2020.
Has he now taken a tiny first step on the road to redemption? He’s sent surplus fruit and veg from his Royal Lodge gardens in Windsor to a local food bank.
Rishi has yet to undertake another unique task as the first Hindu PM – the nomination of a Church of England bishop, a practice prohibited to any Roman Catholic occupant of No 10 by an 1829 law. Not all of Sunak’s predecessors were Christians. David Lloyd George lost his faith in his youth, Neville Chamberlain called himself a ‘reverent agnostic’, Clement Attlee said he was ‘incapable’ of religious thinking and Jim Callaghan became an atheist in his 20s. They all managed to appoint bishops without a fuss. Fortunately for Rishi, a rule change means only one name is forwarded for rubber stamping before the PM sends it to King Charles for approval.
Chastised by Emily Maitlis, pictured, for attending the World Cup in Qatar, Piers Morgan asks her if she has been to the Middle East. ‘I haven’t been for a while,’ she stammered,’ writes Piers in The Spectator. ‘Later, I texted her a photo she’d posted to Instagram of herself riding a camel by the pyramids in Egypt. It was dated March 31 this year.’
Die-hard Scotland fan Rod Stewart couldn’t bring himself to praise England’s 6-2 victory over Iran when discussing the World Cup on stage at the O2 – instead hailing Wales’s 1-1 draw with the USA. ‘Didn’t the Welsh do well?’ he rasped, adding that England weren’t playing a proper team. But he did confess: ‘It’s just because us Scots can’t help feeling jealous.’
Royal Court artistic director Vicky Featherstone clarions a three-year partnership with TV company Sister, makers of Chernobyl. No mention in the announcement that Sister is run by Jane Featherstone, who just happens to be her sister in real life. Some Sister Act!
Richard Caring got permission from Westminster Council for Athenian virginal caryatids on the facade of his new restaurant Bacchanalia. But louche satyrs have prompted the smelling salts among refined residents of posh Mount Street. Should Richard get Damien Hirst, who helped design the £30million eaterie, to replace them? Sheep in formaldehyde, anyone?
Watching Connor Swindell as Sir David Stirling in SAS Rogue Heroes jogs the memory of poet Roger McGough who, as chairman of Chelsea Arts Club, considered the SAS founder’s application for membership. ‘He had been involved in some dubious mercenary ventures after the war,’ says Roger. ‘The club was split almost 50-50, but his application was rejected.’ Who Dares Doesn’t Win?