EPHRAIM HARDCASTLE: Will Queen’s biography be hit by Spare?
Has Harry’s betrayal of family secrets in Spare thrown a spanner in the works of the official biography of the late Queen? For the last such work, William Shawcross’s life of the Queen Mother, he was given full access to her personal papers in Windsor’s Royal Archives. With a shortlist of potential biographers currently being assembled by Buckingham Palace, it will prove impossible, after Spare, for any Royal Boswell not to deal with the Sussex saga and quote from personal correspondence and diaries which might just inflame tensions across the pond. Shawcross’s opus took six years to complete, so any official history of the Queen won’t appear in a hurry. But has Harry’s so-called truth further postponed the story of the monumental life of his grandmother?
Has Spare thrown a spanner in the works of the official biography of the late Queen?
King Charles’s pledge to donate the profits from a £1billion-a-year Crown Estate wind farm deal ‘for the wider public good’ has been debunked by former cabinet secretary Lord Andrew Turnbull. It’s not his money to give, he insists, explaining that King George III surrendered the Crown Estate surplus to the Exchequer in return for a fixed payment. ‘So these revenues haven’t been the King’s to distribute for more than 250 years,’ argues the peer. ‘It is part of an elaborate hoax to give the impression to the public and Parliament that the sovereign grant was paid for out of the monarchy’s own income rather than taxation.’ There goes your invitation to the Coronation, Andy!
Solaris star Natascha McElhone, pictured, is prouder of the book she wrote about the grief of suddenly losing her 43-year-old husband Martin in 2008 than she is of her acting. ‘It’s there for my kids if they want to know exactly what it was like for me,’ the mother-of-three tells Radio Times, referring to After You: Letters Of Love, And Loss, To A Husband And Father. ‘My book was prosaic because it was just, “How do I get on with life in this situation? How do I get through my to-do list?”’ She adds: ‘But I haven’t read it since it was published. I don’t think I ever will.’
Solaris star Natascha McElhone, pictured
Will impressionist Rory Bremner be invited to the Coronation? Perhaps not if Charles remembers his 50th birthday shindig when Rory rewrote the words of Talk To The Animals from Dr Dolittle. ‘I sang, “I know my onions, both the scallion and the spring”,’ recalls Rory. ‘Charles pointed out that scallions are spring onions. So he really does know his onions!’
After the postponement of next month’s £140,000 theatrical tour In Conversation With Sarah, Duchess Of York, Fergie is top of the wanted list for Australia’s version of I’m A Celebrity. Should she decline, perhaps ex-hubby Andrew, with an empty diary, could be tempted? Might the show be renamed I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Back My HRH?
When David Crosby split from The Byrds he blamed band leader Roger McGuinn for replacing him with a horse when the remaining members peered from a stable on the cover of their first album. McGuinn quipped: ‘If we had intended to do that, we would have turned the horse around.’