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JAN MOIR: Even amid the storms, Kate and Wills have wind in their sails 

After one of the most turbulent periods of their lives, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went to Scotland for a week-long official visit.

On the surface, it was all about the responsibilities concerning the Duke’s role as the Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Bubbling underneath, like a burn in spate, was an even more important mission: to do everything and anything in their power to strengthen the bon accord between nations and to deepen alliances. 

To remind a country that remains precariously split on the issue of independence of the glories of the Union. To show them what they might miss were that Union to be rent asunder.

That is a tall order. A big ask. A veritable minefield. Can you imagine the repercussions if either of them had put a foot wrong north of the border? 

The Duchess of Cambridge is seen land yachting on West Sands Beach, St Andrews. The Scottish weather closed in to give them a traditional welcome; an onslaught of cold rain sweeping in from the North Sea, a grey embrace that soaked into every moment. Yet Kate looked utterly delighted to be there. She always does, wherever she happens to be

Had started, for random example, writing absurd messages on bananas, or talking about how beastly papa was back in 2006 or expounding in depth on their inner pain to hard-working medical staff in an Orkney hospital who had momentarily downed tools to meet them?

However, that did not happen, because William and Kate never do put a foot wrong. 

As the Californian carpet-bombing of the House of Windsor’s reputation continues, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex raining down their toxic blitz of emotional squits, the serene Cambridges carry on behaving faultlessly.

Duty first, no matter what.

In Scotland it was all about visiting charitable organisations, targeting issues such as homelessness, addiction and sustainability. Plaque-unveiling, tree-planting, hand-shaking. 

Visiting a hydrogen production plant and managing to look fascinated. Having a tennis knockabout with Edinburgh schoolchildren. The dull but essential, the meat and drink of royal life.

This is the stuff the Sussexes felt was beneath them, back when they complained to royal aides they were not being used to their strengths. Clearly, they wanted a world stage. Not the next stage in a campaign for marine energy in downtown Kirkwall.

The dogged, quiet, rainy-day good works of the Cambridges seem destined to cement a mutually appreciative relationship with the public

The dogged, quiet, rainy-day good works of the Cambridges seem destined to cement a mutually appreciative relationship with the public

How I winced for the Cambridges during their trip to St Andrews, the university town where they met 20 years ago. The Scottish weather closed in to give them a traditional welcome; an onslaught of cold rain sweeping in from the North Sea, a grey embrace that soaked into every moment.

Yet Kate looked utterly delighted to be there. She always does, wherever she happens to be. 

On the cold streets of the old Scottish burgh, she played another strong coat game in sharply tailored tartan, later floating through it all in an elegant camel button-through: composed and queenly, always.

And I thought: if the pair of them can shine on in these circumstances; if they can survive the dreich of a day like this, in the middle of a terrible week, in the aftermath of Bashir, Oprah and following the death and funeral of Prince Philip, then they can survive anything.

Over the past year, the pressures on Prince William have increased exponentially. Prince Harry’s royal criticisms are heartfelt, but he never stops to think how his words might affect his older brother, swelling his burden of duty. But in public at least, William just quietly accepts it, and soldiers on.

In the past it has seemed wrong to egregiously compare the two couples, to sound the trumpet for the great Cambridge v Sussex universal challenge. This is your starter for ten. Who has behaved worst over the past 12 months?

Each couple has their strengths and weaknesses, their folly and forethought. Yet now the comparisons are inevitable, because their fates and how they are perceived around the world are irrevocably intertwined.

This is all down to the Sussexes, who have turned the fortunes of the Royal Family into a terrible game of thrones: a battle of insult and endurance in which one couple can survive only if they annihilate the other.

It is a duel, metaphorically speaking. And I know which Duke and Duchess my money is on.

I used to think Kate and William were a bit boring. Now I am grateful for their unfailing sense of duty and acceptance of the arduous destiny that awaits them

I used to think Kate and William were a bit boring. Now I am grateful for their unfailing sense of duty and acceptance of the arduous destiny that awaits them

For there are only so many confessional, hear-my-pain television specials that the Sussexes can inflict upon the world before the world tires of them and their self-absorption.

If I hear another word about Harry’s inner struggle, I may well have a psychotic break of my own. What about Prince William’s mental health? They never seem to consider that, or perhaps he is just collateral damage.

In contrast, the dogged, quiet, rainy-day good works of the Cambridges seem destined to cement a mutually appreciative relationship with the public.

William has behaved impeccably under duress, no doubt appreciative of his weatherproof wife’s steadfast support.

I used to think Kate and William were a bit boring. Now I am grateful for their unfailing sense of duty and acceptance of the arduous destiny that awaits them.

The future king and queen are coming into their own.

In an American court, Brad Pitt wins joint custody of children. Angelina Jolie, who has blocked him at every step of the way, must be furious. Superstars they may be, but to the judge making this decision, Brad and Angelina are just another couple with children who need and want both parents in their lives. Let’s hope they accept and understand that — and move on as a family as best they can. 

Naked truth about modest Amanda…

Here she is, pictured with her full refund, in an image she posted online yesterday. What on earth went wrong, I hear you ask

Here she is, pictured with her full refund, in an image she posted online yesterday. What on earth went wrong, I hear you ask

Congratulations to Amanda Holden, who has finally got her money back on that Modesty Course she signed up for last year.

Here she is, pictured with her full refund, in an image she posted online yesterday.

What on earth went wrong, I hear you ask.

Well. Before the pandemic began, Miss Holden checked into the Convent of Torment in the Parish of Banish The Lavish in a little town called Humble.

Perhaps the 50-year-old star was determined to put her exhibitionist ways behind her; after all, she often appears on television and pictured on social media platforms wearing little more than two buttons and a ribbon.

In a bid to curb these excesses, Amanda attended a three-day seminar called Humility In The Workplace And Beyond, aimed at teaching celebrities the art of decorum in public life.

She took classes in Mastering Modesty, How To Take A Boast-Free Selfie, The Beauty Of Moderation In All Things and a module called Stealth Cleavage — You Don’t Always Have To Show And Tell.

The Convent said they were happy to give Miss Holden a refund because she was ‘a lost cause’ who had ‘never worn a cardi in her life’.

Have you ever been trapped in a bar or at a party, lug-holes pinned flat by the velocity of a friend’s fury as she details the failings of the lover who has dumped her? 

Going on and on about him in exhaustive detail: his every bad habit and fault; the time he forgot to send flowers on her birthday; the day she asked if her bum looked too big in this and he actually said yes? Creep!

I was reminded of this listening to Dominic Cummings. Yes, he is a self-serving traitor, a man who’d rather bring down a government than leave a spiteful observation unspoken. But he also sounds more like an unhinged stalker than a political mastermind. He is the hurt swain, the wallflower never asked to dance, the man who didn’t have us at hello.

Oh no. Here come his spurned lovers. ‘It bears no relation to reality,’ wails Boris. ‘It’s just not true,’ whines Matt Hancock.

I don’t care, boys. I stopped listening a long time ago.

Cold Bath was a rotter to all those wifelets!

Alexander George Thynn, the 7th Marquess of Bath, did not leave any money in his £23 million will to his wifelets

Alexander George Thynn, the 7th Marquess of Bath, did not leave any money in his £23 million will to his wifelets

Alexander George Thynn, the 7th Marquess of Bath, did not leave any money in his £23 million will to his wifelets. 

What a rotter. Perhaps it is no more than they deserve, as all 74 willingly entered into a polyamorous relationship with the bohemian loon.

The odds seem stacked against all of them — any of them! — being motivated by pure love for the old goat. Even Cupid could not cope with those numbers.

To those immune to his charms, Lord Bath (right) always looked like he needed a hot bath. Yet he was regarded as a lovable eccentric by swathes of the populace who will forgive a toff anything.

Underneath the crushed velvet and crooked teeth, however, lurked a selfish, indulgent man. Whether covering the walls of his home with the hideous pornographic murals he’d painted himself, sleeping with every willing wench in the village and all but banishing his wife from Longleat, thereby depriving his children of a mother’s love, it is clear that the only person he cared about was himself.

If Alex Thynn had been an ordinary man, he might have been pelted with eggs and insults in the streets of Frome or Shepton Mallet instead of being indulged.

Now that he is dead and gone, so, too, are the hopes of his 74 weeping wifelets. Women who had hoped for a bit of ongoing comfort in their old age, even as the loins of Longleat roar no more.

The mystery of Amber’s sweet charity

Johnny Depp is suing the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to force the non-profit organisation to reveal whether or not his former wife Amber Heard really did make the donations she pledged after they divorced.

Heard undertook to gift her £5 million settlement to the ACLU and also to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

This certainly put her in a good light with the judges and lawyers who have subsequently been involved with the former couple’s fractious libel cases on both sides of the Atlantic.

It sends out a very strong message — that Amber Heard is a charitable and civic-minded woman, someone who is motivated by a higher purpose than money.

He questions whether she did hand over the dosh as promised.

Her lawyers now say that Amber’s offer was ‘pledged to pay over ten years’.

To support this, they have provided their own evidence which they say showed that Heard has gifted a total of £672,000 to the ACLU and £600,000 to the Children’s Hospital through anonymous donors.

Of course, that’s very generous of her. Generous to a fault! But it is still some way short of the full five million.

Not that I believe for a second that Amber is one for the grand gesture. Perish the thought.


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