PRINCE Charles’s seemingly renewed determination to slim down the future Royal Family excites courtiers. ‘The closest he came to getting his way was in 2012 when, with Prince Philip in hospital, he allowed only the Queen, William, Kate and Harry to accompany him and Camilla on the balcony during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations,’ says my source. ‘But Prince Andrew demanded that it never happen again. And it hasn’t.’ Now Andrew’s in the royal doghouse, can Charles press ahead with downsizing? There’s a problem. With Philip retired, the Queen doing fewer duties and Harry and Meghan struggling to find their royal feet, Charles, Camilla, William and Kate would have to carry the load until Prince George joins the royal rota about 20 years hence.
BACK in the acting spotlight after decades as a Labour MP, why isn’t Glenda Jackson esteemed like Dame Helen Mirren and Dame Judi Dench? Starring in BBC1 drama Elizabeth is Missing next Sunday, double-Oscar winner Miss Jackson, 83 – out-performing Helen, 74, and Judi, 84 – makes do with a CBE. Would she accept a damehood? ‘I accepted a CBE – why not?’ she has admitted.
DAVID Walliams admits that some characters he devised for Little Britain with colleague Matt Lucas might be problematical now. And Walliams would include the transsexual Thai bride Ting Tong, pictured, among those he would exclude now, explaining: ‘Culture changes quite quickly. Some things have become more taboo, perhaps. We started working on Little Britain about 20 years ago. So it would be kind of odd if it was completely of this moment. It was right for that moment.’ Indeed so.
DID the Queen miss an opportunity to attract favourable news coverage with the Palace denial of permission to a serving Royal Navy seaman, Matthew Gallimore, to propose marriage there to fiancée Adele Thomasson while collecting his MBE? Officials advised him to propose in the chilly courtyard instead. Yet Prince Andrew fixed it for David Beckham’s daughter to have her ‘princess-themed’ sixth birthday party inside the palace.
RE Buckingham Palace, which requires £369million worth of renovation work, it’s now accepted that more has to be done to make it pay for itself rather than rely on the taxpayer. But commercialisation of the building will be left to HM’s successor. ‘Charles, with the help of his long-serving Jeeves (Prince’s Foundation chief executive Michael Fawcett) will pilot the emergence of Buck House as a prime, paying-its-way asset, all in the best possible taste,’ predicts my loyal flunkey.
PRESSED by Scot Squad’s police chief Cameron Miekelson during tomorrow’s BBC spoof leaders’ debate, Nicola Sturgeon jokes that she’d pick Lord Buckethead, of the Monster Raving Loony Party, over Boris Johnson as a coalition partner. In reality, the First Minister is prepared to do a deal with Jeremy Corbyn. If she hands him the keys to No 10, the joke really would be on the rest of us.