And now a major exhibition on the Royal Family is helping to mend fences by making a point of including California-based Prince Harry and Meghan.
The inclusion of the Sussexes in The Tudors To Windsors: British Royal Portraits show at the Royal Museums Greenwich in London is particularly significant because it’s organised in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, of which the Duchess of Cambridge is patron.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have publicly attacked the monarchy and accused unnamed relations of racism, but the Queen has made it clear she holds no grudges against them
It’s magnanimous of her to raise no objections to the inclusion of Meghan, who used her interview with Oprah Winfrey to claim Kate made her cry.
While the exhibition details the abdication of Edward VIII, who chose his relationship with American divorcee Wallis Simpson over royal duty in 1936, there is no mention of last year’s ‘Megxit’ crisis.
Harry and Meghan are pictured on their wedding day in the black and white photo by Alexi Lubomirski.
Charlotte Bolland, a senior curator at the National Portrait Gallery, suggests the inclusion seems to fit in with the Queen’s wishes that her grandson and his wife should be presented as an integral part of the family.
The inclusion of the Sussexes in The Tudors To Windsors: British Royal Portraits show at the Royal Museums Greenwich in London is particularly significant because it’s organised in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, of which the Duchess of Cambridge is patron
After the claims to Oprah, the Queen stressed that the Sussexes would always be ‘much loved family members’. Pictured: Harry and Meghan speaking to Oprah
‘The focus is on the Royal Family today, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very much part of that,’ she tells me. ‘It’s important to frame them as being very much part of the family, as the Queen has stressed.’
After the claims to Oprah, the Queen stressed that the Sussexes would always be ‘much loved family members’.
Ms Bolland adds: ‘You can see throughout the exhibition that both the monarch and their family are a key element of the structure of the monarchy in this country and [this] is reflected in the portraiture.’
Is there a new danger on the horizon for the Queen? Reports reach me of a ‘big cat’ lurking near Balmoral, her Scottish retreat. ‘This big black cat was spotted in Ballater today,’ says local, Maureen O’Neill. ‘Much bigger than a Labrador with a long thick tail.’ The creature’s already been branded the ‘Beast of Balmoral’.
Someone put the boot in, Allegra?
Allegra Stratton has been in the wars
Allegra Stratton has been in the wars — and not just the Downing Street ones with Boris Johnson’s former bruiser Dominic Cummings.
First, Stratton, who was appointed as the Prime Minister’s official spokesman was moved to another role.
Now, I can reveal, she’s torn her Achilles tendon, leaving her a bit under the weather when she should be rushing about preparing for the Government’s Cop26 climate change talks in November.
‘I snapped it playing tennis and it’s now in a boot for three months,’ she tells me.
‘My aim is to be off crutches by Cop26. So, no cycling, or indeed any sport, for quite a while.’
What’s Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville got against his neighbours? I ask only because Bonneville, who plays the morally upright Earl of Grantham in the ITV costume drama, has revealed that he named his dog after one of them. Speaking about the Tibetan terrier, Sasha, which he walks near his West Sussex home on the South Downs, he says: ‘I chose Sasha because we have a great friend and neighbour called Sasha and I relish the idea of shouting rude things within earshot.’ Charming.
The man with the Goulding pram…
While most new mothers tend to get snap-happy with their children, Ellie Goulding has her camera focused on her husband.
The pop star, who gave birth seven weeks ago, shared this photograph of Caspar Jopling pushing their son, Arthur, in a pram near their home in Oxfordshire, while wearing only a pair of shorts.
Ellie, 34, who sang at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding reception, turned her lens on the Eton-educated art dealer, 29, and his muscular torso and biceps.
Despite his strapping physique, Jopling didn’t make a big impression on Goulding when they were introduced by mutual friend Princess Eugenie. ‘It wasn’t like love at first sight,’ she admits. ‘We didn’t fancy each other remotely . . . but he wooed me.’
While most new mothers tend to get snap-happy with their children, Ellie Goulding (left) has her camera focused on her husband. The pop star, who gave birth seven weeks ago, shared this photograph of Caspar Jopling pushing their son, Arthur (right)
Having turned down an OBE in 2001, Jennifer Saunders says she and her comedy partner, Dawn French, felt unworthy of honours, but now she’s ready to become a Dame.
‘My father was a pilot in the RAF and was awarded a CBE,’ Saunders says.
‘He deserved it — he was a brilliant man and he did an awful lot. But we just jumped up on stage, messed around and made money. We thought, “There are a lot of people who deserve these things”, and for us to get it sort of made it a mockery. There are people who work for the NHS or do great charity work and we hadn’t really done anything.
‘Although, obviously, I’d accept a damehood now.’
Straw Dogs star Susan’s rivals still in the shade
Her good looks caught the eye of Prince Charles in his bachelor days, when they enjoyed intimate dinner dates. And now former Hollywood actress Susan George has been chosen over women several decades her junior to become the new face of a prestigious sunglasses brand.
The Straw Dogs star, 70, who is the widow of Casualty actor Simon MacCorkindale, describes her modelling work for Renauld as a ‘secret mission’, saying: ‘I’m delighted to share this special campaign shoot.’
The pictures were taken by celebrated snapper Brian Aris. In recent years, George has devoted more time to breeding horses at her stud farm in Exmoor than to her showbusiness career.
Former Hollywood actress Susan George has been chosen over women several decades her junior to become the new face of a prestigious sunglasses brand