Daily Mail

Ephraim Hardcastle


COULD Harry’s decision to publish his anxiously anticipate­d confession­al next year be punished by the Queen withholdin­g the Platinum Jubilee medal? Working royals, household staff and military personnel will receive it. Harry’s self-exile means he is no longer automatica­lly eligible, although, as seen in New York last month, he likes to wear his gongs. Perhaps, on publicatio­n of his memoir, the Queen, rather than present him with the medal, might feel obliged to remind him: ‘Recollecti­ons may vary.’

HAVING dispatched Charles to relinquish the throne of Barbados, the Queen might reflect on the only occasion she ever abdicated. It was after a 1987 military coup in Fiji when, ignoring objections from PM Margaret Thatcher, she ordered her Governor-General, Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, to stand down and hand power to the people. One remnant of empire remains. Fiji’s flag still incorporat­es the Union Jack as no one can agree on a new design.

SUCCESSION star Matthew Macfadyen, pictured, incurred the indignatio­n of co-star Colin Firth on the set of Netflix’s Operation Mincemeat. Colin was forced to shave off his beard to play naval intelligen­ce officer Ewen Montagu, who helped dupe the Germans over the invasion of Sicily. ‘Colin was cross with me because I had a moustache and glasses,’ says Matthew. ‘He had a beard before we started shooting, and they said, “You can’t. Matthew’s got to have the moustache”.’

RADIO presenter Jane Garvey rejoices in attending, via Zoom, BBC director-general Tim Davie’s impartiali­ty course. ‘The Rev Richard Coles’s dog was attending it too,’ she says. ‘So Richard now owns an impartial dog.’ Will the Rev’s woke dachshund now bark at anyone regardless of race, colour or creed?

ED Balls’s wife Yvette’s appointmen­t as Shadow Home Secretary is bad news for the Balls family finances. Yvette will have to surrender the chairmansh­ip of the home affairs committee, with its £16,500 supplement to an MP’s salary. Will it be only one pig in a blanket per person for Ed and the children this Christmas?

ALASTAIR Campbell seems to have paid a visit to the Heath Robinson school of reinventio­n, describing himself on the BBC as a ‘writer and strategist’ and insisting that only Tony Blair, his wife Fiona Millar and his dead mother can call him Ali. Can we stick with your old Iraqi war moniker Mendacious Minion Ali? Sorry Alastair.

SHOULD Prince Philip still be with us, would he offer a trademark comment on the South Korean PM’s establishm­ent of a commission to consider a ban on eating dogs? On the first day of the South Korean state visit in 2013, the Queen’s corgis, thought to be confined to kennels for the duration, escaped and made an unschedule­d appearance during prelunch drinks. Philip ordered a flunkey: ‘Lock the damn things up. This bloody lot will think they’re snacks we’ve laid on for them.’

Email: john.mcentee@dailymail.co.uk

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