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EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: William Hague quits House of Lords to focus on William and Kate’s charity

Let no one be in doubt over the scale of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge‘s charitable ambitions.

I can reveal that one of Westminster’s most experienced figures has been inspired to quit politics to concentrate on his work for their Royal Foundation.

William Hague, who was Foreign Secretary and de facto deputy prime minister for four years, as well as being an ex-leader of the Conservative Party, has vacated his seat in Parliament.

‘I’m taking a leave of absence from the House of Lords,’ he tells me, confirming that he will be ‘working on charitable things including with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’.

William Hague, who was Foreign Secretary and de facto deputy prime minister for four years, as well as being an ex-leader of the Conservative Party, has vacated his seat in Parliament. ‘I’m taking a leave of absence from the House of Lords,’ he tells me, confirming that he will be ‘working on charitable things including with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’

Prince William and Catherine appointed Lord Hague of Richmond as chair of their foundation’s board of trustees a year ago. 

But at the time, it was assumed by many that he would simply be a heavyweight name to add to their charity.

In fact, he’s determined to play an active role in helping our future king and queen achieve their ambitions for the foundation, which enjoyed a surge in income last year, to a staggering £11.78 million. 

Lord Hague is determined to play an active role in helping our future king and queen achieve their ambitions for their Royal Foundation, which enjoyed a surge in income last year, to a staggering £11.78 million. (Above, the Cambridges at Kew Gardens this week)

Lord Hague is determined to play an active role in helping our future king and queen achieve their ambitions for their Royal Foundation, which enjoyed a surge in income last year, to a staggering £11.78 million. (Above, the Cambridges at Kew Gardens this week)

That’s almost double the £6.68 million raised in 2019, when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were still involved.

Some royal watchers had predicted that the foundation would struggle after Prince Harry and Meghan quit in 2019 to create their own charitable organisation. 

They called their new foundation Sussex Royal but were ordered to drop the name by the Queen after they quit royal duties last year.

They have created a new body, Archewell, which has been seen as a rival.

Lord Hague, 60, doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to don his ermine robes again, telling me: ‘I do not feel sorry at all that I’m not involved in politics.’

He formed a warm relationship with Prince William and Kate while he was Foreign Secretary, working with them to combat the illegal wildlife trade.

As chair of the foundation, Hague replaced Prince George’s godfather, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, who was William’s right-hand man for 15 years.

(Very) modern manners 

Think your pooch is pampered? Well, they’re even more spoiled in America, where the latest hotel trend is menus for dogs. 

And they’re so lavish that they caused embarrassment for comedian Michael McIntyre while he was on a recent working trip to Los Angeles. 

Think your pooch is pampered? Well, they're even more spoiled in America, where the latest hotel trend is menus for dogs. And they're so lavish that they caused embarrassment for comedian Michael McIntyre while he was on a recent working trip to Los Angeles

Think your pooch is pampered? Well, they’re even more spoiled in America, where the latest hotel trend is menus for dogs. And they’re so lavish that they caused embarrassment for comedian Michael McIntyre while he was on a recent working trip to Los Angeles

‘There’s a dog menu on the in-room dining and I accidentally ordered from it,’ he admits. 

‘It sounds quite nice — salmon and brown rice, carrots and green beans. I thought it was like a healthy snack. It’s $30 [£22] — and that’s for a dog.’ 

Talk about a barking new trend . . .

The smart set’s talking about… Julie’s mastery of her manor 

When Meghan Markle married Prince Harry it wasn’t long before they moved back to her native California.

But fellow American divorcee Julie Montagu, who became Viscountess Hinchingbrooke after her wedding to Luke Montagu — heir to Mapperton House in Dorset, said to be the finest manor house in England — is keen to prove she’s far more committed to life on this side of the pond.

‘I’m going back to school for my master’s degree in Country House Studies at the University of Buckingham,’ reveals Lady Hinchingbrooke. 

When Meghan Markle married Prince Harry it wasn't long before they moved back to her native California. But fellow American divorcee Julie Montagu (above), who became Viscountess Hinchingbrooke after her wedding to Luke Montagu — heir to Mapperton House in Dorset, said to be the finest manor house in England — is keen to prove she's far more committed to life on this side of the pond

When Meghan Markle married Prince Harry it wasn’t long before they moved back to her native California. But fellow American divorcee Julie Montagu (above), who became Viscountess Hinchingbrooke after her wedding to Luke Montagu — heir to Mapperton House in Dorset, said to be the finest manor house in England — is keen to prove she’s far more committed to life on this side of the pond

‘Just because I live in an historic house doesn’t mean I know the intricate and illustrious history of these extraordinary places.’

Julie, who starred in reality TV series Ladies Of London, claims she didn’t know Luke was an aristocrat until he took out his credit card and she noticed his title, Viscount, which she thought was pronounced like ‘discount’. 

They married a year later and have four children between them.

Banned! Langan’s shows trackies and trainers the door 

It’s officially time to throw out our comfortable lockdown leisure wear.

One celebrated West End haunt is taking a stand against diners who think nothing of turning up for dinner in tracksuit bottoms and trainers. 

Langan’s, the brasserie opposite The Ritz that was once co-owned by Sir Michael Caine and bon vivant Peter Langan, will enforce a strict dress code when it reopens later this month.

Langan's, the brasserie opposite The Ritz that was once co-owned by Sir Michael Caine and bon vivant Peter Langan, will enforce a strict dress code when it reopens later this month

Langan’s, the brasserie opposite The Ritz that was once co-owned by Sir Michael Caine and bon vivant Peter Langan, will enforce a strict dress code when it reopens later this month

Diners are banned from wearing ‘sports or leisurewear’ and management asks ‘that all guests are smartly attired’. 

Co-owner Graziano Arricale tells me: ‘While we understand that more and more people are quite rightly comfortable in fashionable sportswear, we feel that Langan’s is a special place that will evoke all of the revelry and glamour of its heyday.’

The new owners have also banned single-sex parties of six or more, in the hope that raucous hen and stag parties will not darken their doors.

This could cost you, Boris: Carrie’s favourite farm shop, Daylesford Organic, where the couple spent £27,000 on takeaways in a year, is moving into outdoor furniture. 

The Prime Minister’s wife is known for her lavish taste in decor, furnishing their Downing Street flat in £840-a-roll golden wallpaper and plush sofas from chic designer Lulu Lytle. 

Now, she could spruce up the No 10 garden… 


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