Ephraim Hard­cas­tle

Scottish Daily Mail - - Terror On The Bridge - Email: [email protected]­ly­mail.co.uk

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.

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