Daily Mail

Ephraim Hardcastle

- Email: john.mcentee@dailymail.co.uk

EXAMS prevented Prince George from taking his place as one of King Charles’s pages at the state Opening of Parliament. His four liveried cohorts were in traditiona­l knee breeches, court shoes, tights and lace jabots. As we revealed at the time, the King’s pages at the Coronation were allowed to ditch much of the traditiona­l uniform after George led a revolt against the tights. Alas, without their unofficial shop steward, the posh junior flunkies reverted to tights on tuesday.

HAS the State Opening finally solved Queen Camilla’s perennial difficulty of entering and exiting carriages? As the Diamond Jubilee state coach pulled up, a flunkey stepped forward with a bespoke portable handrail so she had something firm to hold on to. In the past, Camilla has gripped the arms of footmen to steady herself. But a source says that now she is Queen, the ‘do not touch’ rule is enforced and the footmen – although ‘in catching positions’ – have to leave her to her own devices. The handrail seems to have solved the problem.

LATE for BBC Radio’s test Match special, ex-cricketer Phil tufnell wasn’t believed when he proffered his excuse. ‘I told my colleagues I was saying “cheerio” to a few people when my mate promptly reversed straight through my bay window,’ explains Phil. ‘He went through the wall, removed a radiator, and came to a halt next to a couple of blokes having a game of pool. they only believed me when I showed them the CCTV.’

WHEN Rupert Murdoch’s anointed successor Lachlan visited News Corp’s London offices last week for the first time as boss, did he say hello to Times columnist Matthew Parris? They’d met before when Lachlan was doing work experience and Parris, unaware of his identity, invited him on a charity parachute jump. Aghast, Matt discovered who Lachlan’s father was just before he jumped. ‘What if his chute failed to open?,’ Parris wondered from the ground as Lachlan descended. Parris only told Murdoch pere 12 years later. ‘I know about it,’ he said. ‘He didn’t dare tell me for months.’

COVID Inquiry claims that Boris Johnson behaved eccentrica­lly during the pandemic are firmly eclipsed by Madness frontman suggs, pictured. ‘I actually got performanc­e tourette’s during the lockdown,’ he tells

Jools Holland. ‘I was singing to people at the bus stop outside my house. they were running away after a bit like, “It’s that guy from Madness in his underpants singing It Must Be Love”.’

JILLY Cooper, launching her football bonkbuster Tackle! at Hatchards in London’s Piccadilly last night, complains about the vulgarity of sexual language, wailing: ‘Testicle is an awful word. And “the bonus hole”. There’s a limited amount of ways to do it, even with the bonus hole. That’s a vagina isn’t it? Or is the bum the bonus hole?’ Shouldn’t David Attenborou­gh’s Planet Earth III snap Jilly up!

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