The Duchess of Sussex may have announced this week she has written her first children’s book called The Bench, but there is, of course, another Duchess who beat her to it.
Step forward the Duchess of York, 61, the leading writer of children’s fiction in royal circles, who made her name with her Budgie The Little Helicopter series.
And Sarah is clearly determined that Meghan doesn’t steal her publishing limelight, as this August she makes her first foray into adult fiction, with a historical romance called Her Heart For A Compass, co-written with Marguerite Kaye, for Mills & Boon, no less.
Fergie and Meghan have much in common; both of them entered royalty as outsiders, both married second-born princes and both have reinvented themselves as writers.
Step forward the Duchess of York (pictured), 61, the leading writer of children’s fiction in royal circles, who made her name with her Budgie The Little Helicopter series
Fergie and Meghan (pictured with her son Archie and husband Harry) have much in common; both of them entered royalty as outsiders, both married second-born princes and both have reinvented themselves as writers
Fergie has, of course, already made quite a head start on Meghan when it comes to publishing. With more than 70 titles to her name she can afford to be magnanimous in her praise towards Meghan.
‘To sit down and work hard to write a book, in any genre, should be supported and respected,’ the Duchess of York tells me. ‘To encourage literacy in general not just children’s books, is a love of mine and to encourage more women to delve into their creative selves and get a book out is very well done.’
Fergie’s historical romance was inspired at least in part by her Scottish great-great-aunt — Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott.
In Fergie’s new book, Lady Margaret is portrayed as a flame-haired Victorian rebel and a daring free spirit cast out from polite society.
A 19th-century portrait unearthed from the family archives shows the real Lady Margaret had a distinct red tint — just like her fictional namesake and the Duchess herself.
But the Duchess admitted that she used her imagination for most of the tale because so little was known about her aristocratic ancestor.
With more than 70 titles to her name the Duchess of York can afford to be magnanimous in her praise towards Meghan. Pictured, Budgie At Bendrick’s Point
The Duchess of Sussex’s children’s book features a man in combat uniform with his son
‘I have written 74 books over 30 years but this one is special as it was written during the pandemic and is my first ever historical novel,’ she says, ‘something I have been waiting to write for 15 years.’
How long before Meghan pens a Mills & Boon romance?
Tribute to Anna takes the biscuit
Who knew formidable Dame Anna Wintour was such a sweetie? The Vogue editor has been turned into a sugary treat by The Berkeley in Knightsbridge.
The five-star hotel reveals its new summer afternoon tea menu — named ‘Pret-a-Portea’ — includes a confection that looks like fashion icon Anna.
Who knew formidable Dame Anna Wintour (pictured) was such a sweetie? The Vogue editor has been turned into a sugary treat by The Berkeley in Knightsbridge
‘The pastry team pays homage with a vanilla biscuit, intricately iced, complete with iconic signature sunglasses and sharp bob,’ says a spokesman. But you’ll have to wait until May 17 for a bite — and fork out £60.
Pop star Ellie Goulding and her husband, art dealer Caspar Jopling, have revealed the full the name of their newborn son — Arthur Ever Winter Jopling.
The couple, who married at York Minster in 2019 after being set up by their mutual friend Princess Eugenie, chose not to reveal the baby’s gender before his birth.
‘We just wanted a healthy baby and there wasn’t much more to it,’ Ellie explained.
Will Rev revive the band?
Despite leaving his pop-star career in the Eighties to become a priest, Rev Richard Coles, who formed chart-topping The Communards with singer Jimmy Somerville, admits that they never officially parted ways.
‘We still haven’t split up,’ he says. ‘It’s a bit like an aristocratic marriage where you live separate lives, you haven’t seen each other for 30 years, but you never actually got divorced. The last time I saw Jimmy was a few years ago, we bumped into each other at the BBC.
‘It was lovely to see him, I love him and respect him enormously.
‘We saw the worst of each other and the best of each other.’
And he admits: ‘I can understand why a return to what we were doing in the Eighties might not be something he or anyone would think would be wise.’
Purrfect halle is spot on — about ageing
Miaow! Oscar winner Halle Berry is refusing to let her wild side diminish with age.
The 54-year-old former Bond girl has shared a picture of herself sporting a cheetah-print outfit comprising a long-sleeve latex bodysuit and matching thigh-high-heeled boots.
‘Hitting all the right spots,’ she captioned it playfully.
Miaow! Oscar winner Halle Berry (pictured) is refusing to let her wild side diminish with age
No stranger to feline antics, having starred in the 2004 superhero film, Catwoman, the mother of two insists that she doesn’t care what others think of her choices — sartorial or otherwise.
‘One of the benefits of ageing — there are many — is you just start to not give a f*** any more,’ she says.
Comedian Dawn French admits she pulls no punches with her older brother, Gary. ‘To this day, we cannot be near each other for long without physically wrestling,’ she says. ‘It’s quite alarming. We’re in our 60s now.
‘If I’m sitting near him, I just have to start assaulting him — punching, pushing. Then it will turn into wrestling. But we stop before it gets dangerous.’
Jason reveals his toughest role — as dad
Hollywood action hero Jason Statham, who is engaged to Marks & Spencer’s lingerie model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, admits taking on the real-life role of a father has forced him to make some sacrifices at home.
‘Since we’ve had a little kid, I have no time in the day — or evening — for anything,’ says the 53-year-old. ‘I’ve hardly watched any TV.’ At least the Snatch star can count on his three-year-old son, Jack, to keep him in shape. ‘I am running around like crazy. He’s fast on his feet, I can tell you that.’