Daily Mail

Ephraim Hardcastle

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

LORD Mountbatte­n’s biographer, Andrew Lownie, accuses unnamed members of the Royal Family of ‘feathering their own nests’ while supposedly representi­ng the taxpayer as brand ambassador­s and influencer­s. Calling for the publicatio­n of royal wills, he adds: ‘The lack of scrutiny into the Royal Family’s financial position and the secrecy with which wealth is passed down is not the mark of a mature democracy or a dignified monarchy.’ Lownie, currently writing a biography of the Duke and Duchess of York, asks: ‘How much, for example, is Prince Andrew worth? What trust funds have been set up for him since birth, and has some of this wealth come from public funds? We do not know.’ Deep waters.

COULD Lady Louise Windsor be a partial solution to the shortage of younger working royals? The eldest child of the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, currently at university, will turn 21 this year. She has inherited the royal love of horses and has experience­d non-royal life working in a garden centre. She has developed in style and confidence accompanyi­ng her parents Edward and Sophie on engagement­s. A promotion might rankle with Prince Andrew who has made the case for his daughters Beatrice and Eugenie. But if not Louise, whom?

MIGHT a British princess enlist in the military? Princess Leonor, 18, heir to the Spanish throne, is cutting a dash in uniform since starting three years of training at the Zaragoza Military Academy. Belgium’s heir Princess Elisabeth, 22, followed in her father’s footsteps and attended its military academy. With Prince George firmly ruled out, could Princess Charlotte, pictured, take the King’s shilling, following in the footsteps of her dad, grandad and great granny?

HAS the mere mention of suspended Huw Edwards become the BBC equivalent of thespian terror at referring to Shakespear­e’s Scottish play? Stand-up comedian Robin Morgan triggered a Macbeth moment on Radio 4’s The News Quiz when he declared: ‘Life has got worse in the past year because we miss Huw Edwards. And if life was getting worse at least we’d have Uncle Huw to tell us about it.’ Paddy Power quotes odds in excess of 100/1 against Huw – suspended six months ago after allegation­s he paid a 17-year-old boy for images of himself – ever coming back.

DID Sir Paul McCartney propose to his late chum, DJ Annie Nightingal­e? Annie, who died this month, once claimed Macca asked her to marry him while she was interviewi­ng singer Mary Hopkin, one of his protégées. Paul, who paid a moving tribute to Annie, married Linda in 1969 a year after he allegedly got down on bended knee before Miss Nightingal­e.

IN HIS latest ex-Cathedra pronouncem­ent, Gary Lineker declares riding horses ‘bizarre’, spouting: ‘People say, “Oh the [horses] love it. They carry on when people are not on them.” And I think, “They like running around!” I like running around. But I don’t want to piggyback Gazza all over the pitch.’

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