As one of society’s best-connected historians, Count Adam Zamoyski is used to doors swinging open for him at palaces and the most exclusive salons around the world.
However, I can disclose that the aristocrat, who is one of Prince Charles‘s favourite authors, is unable to leave his own front door.
Zamoyski has been placed under house arrest in Poland and had his passport confiscated.
Count Adam Zamoyski, who is married to award-winning painter Emma Sergeant (pictured), 61, has been placed under house arrest
It’s unclear what he’s accused of, but friends claim he’s the subject of a spurious fraud investigation.
‘You can’t believe what’s happening,’ one of his closest friends tells me. ‘It’s unbelievable what’s going on. It’s a Kafkaesque nightmare.’
Zamoyski, 72, is married to award-winning painter Emma Sergeant, 61, who has joined several royal tours as Charles’s official artist.
Another friend claims: ‘This could turn into a major diplomatic incident. If Adam has been targeted because he’s one of the most prominent Anglo-Polish figures, this will have major implications.’
The house arrest is sure to alarm Charles. Just a few months ago, the heir to the throne chose his latest biography of Napoleon as part of a selection recommended to the Duchess of Cornwall’s online book club.
The Oxford-educated historian, who lives in West London, has dual British and Polish nationality. His parents left their homeland in 1939 soon after its invasion by Germany and Russia.
Zamoyski (right) has been placed under house arrest in Poland and had his passport confiscated
In 2012, Zamoyski and his wife moved to the Eastern European country, with Emma explaining: ‘We’ve bought a farm in the middle of the wilderness — you couldn’t get anywhere more different than Chelsea. It’s a treacherous terrain full of gulleys — even the locals find it difficult to live there.’
It turns out that it wasn’t just the terrain that was treacherous. Friends claim his house arrest is part of a targeted attack by the Polish authorities on dozens of people, many of them aristocrats such as Zamoyski, who have managed to recover family property confiscated following the communist takeover of Poland in 1945.
The charge levelled at them is that they falsified documents to prove their right to inherit.
‘These are classic Stalinist methods,’ claims the friend of Zamoyski. ‘Arrest first and then construct a case.’ A spokesman for the Polish police declines to comment.
It’s just not cricket. Graham Gooch, scorer of England’s best ever Test match innings at Lord’s, complains that the spiritual home of the game refuses to serve the wine he produced. ‘It is called Three Thirty Three after the 333 I made at Lord’s against India,’ he tells me. ‘I tried to get it into its bars, but was told it was a ‘no-go’.’ He’s in good company: Lord’s also failed to be bowled over by wines produced by Lord (Ian) Botham and Bob Willis.
The smart set’s talking about… Fashion snapper Mario’s return
THE latest looks were not, it turns out, the hot topic at Milan Fashion Week. Instead, it was Mario Testino, who used the highlight of the style calendar to launch his comeback.
Mario Testino, pictured with Claudia Schiffer, opened his new exhibition at Milan Fashion Week after he was accused of sexual assault
More from Richard Eden for The Daily Mail…
The photographer, 66, who captured some of the most memorable images of Princess Diana, was accused in 2018 of misconduct by 13 male models and assistants — including sexual assault. He has denied the claims.
He has barely been seen in public since and, as well as being dropped by Vogue magazine, has kept a low profile professionally.
But on Thursday he opened his new exhibition, Mario Testino: Unfiltered, in Italy’s fashion capital. ‘I’m excited to be showing my work in a different format,’ Testino gushes. ‘Milan is a city where I have had such wonderful moments, both personally and at work, through the past 40 years.’
In Germany, his work also features heavily in a new exhibition, Captivate!, in Dusseldorf. The show has been curated by his old friend, the supermodel Claudia Schiffer.
Chloe splits with fiancee and reveals new Dahling
Roald Dahl’s daughter Lucy was thrilled when her own child, Chloe, announced in 2015 she was to marry her girlfriend in America — just two months after gay marriage was legalised in the U.S.
Romantic rollercoaster: Chloe and Nikki, both 31, have called off their engagement
Sadly, I hear that Chloe and her fiancee, Hawaiian restaurateur Nikki Booth, both 31, have now called off their engagement after closing down the lobster eatery they co-owned in Los Angeles, Knuckle & Claw.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for writer Chloe, whose grandmother was Oscar winner Patricia Neal, novelist Dahl’s first wife.
I can reveal that Chloe has since moved back to London, where she’s struck up a sizzling new romance with chef Ellie Brawn, 32. ‘We actually met on Hinge,’ Chloe tells me, referring to the dating app.
Former Treasury adviser Ellie, who now works for a restaurant in the capital where proceeds go towards the homeless, recently enjoyed a romantic getaway with Chloe in Amsterdam and describes her as ‘my love’.
Chloe has since moved back to London, where she’s struck up a sizzling new romance with chef Ellie Brawn (pictured)
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s suggestion that the next 007 should be a woman has left former Bond girl Jenny Hanley shaken and stirred. ‘Why mess with a good thing?’ demands the On Her Majesty’s Secret Service star. ‘Should we change all sorts of stories . . . to, say, Manly Poppins or Cinderfella?’ Ouch!
Crumbs! Royal baker Fiona can’t keep up with demand
She is perhaps the most celebrated wedding cake maker in the country, having created the magnificent eight-tier confection for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.
But now I can reveal that Fiona Cairns has put away her biggest icing bag — for now.
Fiona Cairns has told hungry customers that production of bespoke celebration cakes has stalled and she will sell only smaller items
She has told hungry customers that production of bespoke celebration cakes has stalled and she will sell only smaller items, such as cupcakes.
Bizarrely, she blames too much custom, not too little. ‘After things opened up when the lockdown was lifted, like a lot of businesses we had a very big surge in demand for celebration cakes and couldn’t cope with volumes,’ she tells me.
‘Rather than disappoint people, we have temporarily suspended the service.’
Let them eat cupcakes!
The Royal Collection Trust, which looks after the Queen’s vast hoard of art, faces a long wait to find a new delivery driver. It’s advertising for a driver on a salary of £20,500 a year.
With a nationwide shortage leading to supermarket shelves being bare and petrol stations running dry, drivers with an HGV licence can earn as much as £70,000 for other organisations.
Based at Windsor Home Park, the successful applicant must have a Category C1 driver’s licence and will be asked to travel long distances, says the advert on the royal website.
Jack shines light on secret palace tunnel
Has Princess Eugenie’s husband, Jack Brooksbank, let slip one of the Royal Household’s best-kept secrets?
The tequila salesman has claimed there’s a tunnel beneath the streets of London which means the royals can discreetly slip to a cocktail bar from a palace.
Princess Eugenie’s husband, Jack Brooksbank, has claimed there’s a tunnel beneath the streets of London
‘There is one to Dukes Bar from St James’s Palace,’ he tells me at a party in London’s Kensington sponsored by his tequila brand, Casamigos. ‘I haven’t used it yet, but I’d love to check it out.’
The bar is in the five-star Dukes Hotel and serves a £17 martini.
Meanwhile, Brooksbank admits he was ticked off by his bosses at Casamigos for his excitable claims about the tequila brand.
‘I used to try and promote the tequila by saying that it doesn’t give you hangovers, but I got told to shut up — you have to tell people to drink responsibly.’ Chin-chin.
The Queen is always keen to promote high-flying women. And I hear she’s appointed one of the Royal Air Force’s most decorated women, Elaine West, to be her new Lady Usher of the Black Rod at the House of Lords.
West, 60, was a history-maker in the RAF, becoming the first woman to reach the rank of Air Vice-Marshal.
Her new role will see her controlling access to and maintaining order within the Lords and its precincts.
Lockdown works out well for Wicks
Can there be anyone, other than Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, who has done better out of the pandemic than Joe Wicks?
I can reveal that the fitness ‘guru’, who encouraged us all to follow his free high-intensity home workout regimen during lockdowns, made £5.5million in profits at his businesses last year.
Roofer’s son Wicks, 36, whose diet and fitness plan helped pop superstar Adele shed 7st, saw Joe Wicks Ltd returning £3.3 million in profits and The Body Coach Online Nutrition making £2.2 million, newly filed documents disclose.
Their earnings, run up in the year to March 2021, take their combined net worth to £12.6 million. A third company, Joe Wicks Group, retained £3.25 million in funds for him to take his business bottom line to £15.8 million.
While his lockdown workouts were free to view, they clearly encouraged thousands of fans to pay for his £14.99-a-month fitness app and splash out on his books.
Why stylish Susannah wears late mum’s pants
DON’T get your knickers in a twist, but style adviser Susannah Constantine has made a shocking admission. The What Not To Wear host has revealed that she sports her late mother’s knickers.
‘What I have here is a confession,’ she says on her podcast, My Wardrobe Malfunction.
‘My mum used to wear them. She’s been dead now 14 years and I have some of her pants which I still wear. They’re like granny pants, but I’m wearing them now. Don’t think I’ll speak to my dad about this one.’