Given the choppy waters that her family are in, is it wise for Sarah, Duchess of York to be partnering up with a man best known for his role in Titanic?
Judging by Fergie’s expression, even she appears to be having doubts.
Yesterday, the Duchess, 62 — who still shares Royal Lodge, Windsor, with her disgraced ex-husband, Prince Andrew — joined forces with Billy Zane, 56, at Gothenburg’s Botanical Garden in Sweden as part of a tree-planting initiative.
Fergie and Zane, who starred opposite Kate Winslet as a snobbish millionaire who escaped the sinking liner by cheating his way onto a lifeboat, are both involved with a charity which runs a Project Ocean campaign to clean the seas of plastic.
In January, I revealed that the Duchess wouldn’t be assuming a lower profile after Andrew was stripped of his royal duties.
‘Sarah has absolutely no intention of shrinking away from the limelight,’ one of her friends told me. ‘Why should she?’
The Duchess, 62 — who still shares Royal Lodge, Windsor, with her disgraced ex-husband, Prince Andrew — joined forces with Billy Zane, 56, at Gothenburg’s Botanical Garden in Sweden as part of a tree-planting initiative
Ocean blues: Billy Zane in Titanic alongside Kate Winslet and, top, with the Duchess
Pattie Boyd: Snowflake youths have stolen our hard-won freedoms
She shot to fame as a model in the Swinging Sixties when she dated The Beatles’ George Harrison, whom she later married.
And now, at 78, Pattie Boyd admits she misses those liberated days.
‘Everybody’s so different, particularly young people now,’ says photographer Boyd. ‘You know, they’re woke and over-sensitive about everything. And I thought, ‘How odd’.
‘I feel that there’s been a huge cycle, because in the 1960s we broke away. We wanted freedom, we fought for it, and we wore outrageous clothes and short dresses. Artists painted outrageous things, filmmakers started being totally free. Here was a freedom suddenly.
‘I feel that cycle is now coming to an end. The freedom has been taken away. It’s the opposite of the 1960s, when we were brave and we could say and do anything.’
Boyd, who was one of the most photographed figures in Swinging London, inspired a string of pop songs, including Harrison’s Something. She was also at the heart of the most talked-about love triangle in rock history.
Eric Clapton fell for Boyd after becoming a close friend of the late Beatle. When she initially rejected Clapton’s advances, he descended into heroin addiction and self-imposed exile for three years. Once cured, he pursued her again, and she eventually agreed to leave Harrison.
George Harrison, 22, hugs his bride, model Patti Boyd, 21, after they were married at the register office in Epsom
Boyd split up with Clapton in 1987, and later married property developer Rod Weston in 2015.
In 2019, she revealed her heartache at not being able to become a mother. ‘I thought that, naturally, when I grew up and got married I’d have children,’ she said. ‘I thought it just goes with the idea of being a woman. Then, when it didn’t happen, I started to panic and wondered why.
‘Once you come to terms with the fact that it’s not going to happen to you, it takes a while to get a grip on reality and bite your lip.’
Harrison would not consider adoption when they found out they were unable to conceive. Boyd and Clapton were also unable to have children despite trying in vitro fertilisation.
‘The fantasy of having children is wonderful, but when you realise that none of that is going to happen, it’s a hard pill to swallow,’ she said.
‘Once you get over that, you come to the realisation that you’ve got great friends and life is fabulous. I believe that we can’t force nature.’
As Anne Robinson quits Countdown, her predecessor Nick Hewer is relieved he no longer receives mail from fans of the quiz show.
‘They don’t know where I am now that I’ve left,’ he tells me. ‘The studio probably burns it.
I got one rather worrying one — confetti fell out. It read, ‘Will you marry me?’ and had a phone number. ‘I thought, ‘This is a stalker — I’ll keep this for the police in case I’m murdered’. There were lines of ”Marry me, marry me”. Spooky.’
It’s where Cherie Blair conceived her baby, Leo, and now Balmoral is hoping to encourage breeding outside its bedrooms. Staff at the Queen’s Scottish retreat, known as the Balmoral Rangers, have installed swift nest boxes and a swift caller at the castle, in a bid to reverse a decline in the number of swifts returning to Britain from their wintering grounds in Africa.
Jagger’s boy saddles up!
Sir Mick Jagger memorably sang ‘wild horses couldn’t drag me away’ on the Rolling Stones’ hit Wild Horses. But his youngest child is keen to jump into the saddle at the age of five.
The 78-year-old star’s girlfriend, Melanie Hamrick, 35, shared this photograph of their son Deveraux — the rocker’s eighth child — dressed in a Spider-Man costume while taking a horse-riding lesson in the Netherlands, where they’re on holiday.
‘Riding through life with my little Spider-Man Dev,’ says Mel.
Sir Mick Jagger memorably sang ‘wild horses couldn’t drag me away’ on the Rolling Stones’ hit Wild Horses. But his youngest child is keen to jump into the saddle at the age of five. The 78-year-old star’s girlfriend, Melanie Hamrick, 35, shared this photograph of their son Deveraux — the rocker’s eighth child — dressed in a Spider-Man costume while taking a horse-riding lesson in the Netherlands, where they’re on holiday
Lucian Freud’s Rubenesque muse Sue Tilley posed naked for him for a small sitter’s fee, though one of his paintings of her, Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, was bought by Roman Abramovich for £17.2 million — a record-breaking figure at the time.
Now she reveals that she could be tempted to shed her clothes again, but this time for a seven-figure sum.
Tilley, 65, who runs art classes from her Sussex home, says: ‘I’d do it for a million pounds because no one will ever give me that, and if they did I’d be happy to do it.’
The Spencer twins gain a model sibling
London’s most stylish twins have been joined by a new man about town — and he’s very dashing.
Princess Diana’s 29-year-old nieces, Lady Eliza (left) and Lady Amelia Spencer (right) attended a cocktail party at Langan’s Brasserie in London with their half-brother, Samuel Aitken, 19.
He’s the son of their mother, Victoria, and her second husband, businessman Jonathan Aitken. The twins’ own father is Earl Spencer, Diana’s younger brother.
Like his half-sisters, Sam recently moved to London from South Africa, and is a model. He walked the twins’ sister Lady Kitty down the aisle when she married fashion tycoon Michael Lewis last summer.
Princess Diana’s 29-year-old nieces, Lady Eliza (left) and Lady Amelia Spencer (right) attended a cocktail party at Langan’s Brasserie in London with their half-brother, Samuel Aitken, 19