EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Modest Diana said no to guest editing Vogue

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Modest Diana said no to Vogue job when she was given the chance to dip her toe into journalism by guest-editing the fashion bible

The Duchess of Sussex was proud to be the first member of the Royal Family to serve as guest editor of Vogue in 2019 —but her late mother-in-law was invited to do the job more than 20 years earlier.

Former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman has revealed that Princess Diana turned down the chance to take the helm.

‘I wish she had agreed to guest edit Vogue,’ Shulman tells me, sharing an image of the rejection letter dated a year before Diana’s death.

‘Together, we would have produced something very entertaining. But she may well have been wiser not to. She knew her strengths and limitations, and was savvy enough to see the problems that could lie ahead.’

Prince Diana declined the opportunity to guest edit an edition of Vogue in 1996, more than 20 years before daughter-in-law Meghan Markle tried her hand at it

Former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman has revealed that Princess Diana turned down the chance to take the helm, sharing the rejection letter on Instagram

Prince Andrew claims new revelations will ‘restore his reputation’

Prince Andrew is regularly voted the least popular member of the Royal Family and was stripped of all his public duties, yet his self-belief remains undiminished.

I can reveal King Charles’s brother has been assuring friends there is about to be a development which will restore his reputation — if not quite to the heroic status he enjoyed as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot in the Falklands War, at least to what it was before he was photographed in New York’s Central Park engaging in conversation with Jeffrey Epstein, shortly after the latter’s release from prison in 2009 after serving a puzzlingly short sentence for sex offences.

Prince Andrew is regularly voted the least popular member of the Royal Family

It’s when out shooting that the Duke of York tends to talk most freely. ‘He says details are about to be made public which will change people’s perceptions of him,’ I’m told. ‘He says it will happen next month.’

Andrew does not elaborate further, but the Mail on Sunday reported at the weekend that he hopes to overturn the multi-million-pound settlement he struck with Virginia Roberts, who accused him of sexual assault. He was reported to have consulted lawyers in a bid to get her to retract her allegations and get an apology — after Ms Roberts dropped her lawsuit against another man she accused of sexual assault, as she ‘may have made a mistake’. However, Ms Roberts has always maintained her case against the Duke is valid.

The most shattering blow, I’m told, was the abrupt curtailment of Andrew’s role as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, as reported by the Daily Mail before Christmas.

Andrew had already withdrawn from his duties with the Grenadiers, but had done so in the belief that he would, in time, return to them. ‘He says that Her Majesty [Queen Elizabeth] gave him her word that stepping down was only a temporary measure. He says he wasn’t told in advance that he was about to be booted out, nor, obviously, that Camilla would be replacing him.

‘He says that he just heard it about it “in the media”.’

Perhaps it is time for Andrew to deliver a media surprise of his own?

Despairing of the string of police officers convicted of sexual crimes, pop star Ellie Goulding has urged women to sign up for self-defence classes. ‘I hate that we are practically forced into this, by the fact we can’t even trust the police, but since people continue to be total creeps/weirdos and continue to harass, please invest in boxing classes/ self-defence etc,’ the singer tells fans online. ‘Money well spent.’ 

Alice really knows how to clown around

Alice Eve, 40, has been at The Why Not Institute in London to learn about clowning

Alice Eve is that rare creature in showbusiness: an actress who doesn’t take herself ‘too’ seriously.

The 40-year-old daughter of Waking The Dead star Trevor Eve and actress Sharon Maughan has been at The Why Not Institute in London to learn about the art of clowning. ‘I had the most wonderful two weeks,’ she says, before veering into luvvie-speak.

‘It was a deeply transformative experience and more emotional than I anticipated. The innocent foundation to the art form allows for a sense of joy to enter the room, and with it, cynicism disappears. When that happens, you realise what a cloud of it we live under.’ Ahh, the fears of a clown.

King Charles’s private Scottish estate is seeking a ranger with a ‘good knowledge’ of wildlife, but it admits that ‘unfortunately too much time is spent picking up litter’. ‘Would you like an office like this?’ Balmoral says on the online advert, next to a photo of some of its beautiful scenery. Aside from the rubbish issue, the ad says: ‘A large proportion of rangers’ time is spent on routine maintenance such as maintaining footpaths, fences and bridges’.

Hollywood star Alan Cumming has to make younger friends because contemporaries can’t keep up with his partying lifestyle. ‘They feel out of the habit, they feel they don’t belong,’ claims the Scot, 57. ‘Looking back and saying, “Oh, it was better then”, is kind of lazy. You need to go out more. Just because you’re not having the fun you used to, doesn’t mean other people aren’t.’

Ainsley’ hot potato

‘Lovely food doesn’t have to be expensive,’ says TV chef Ainsley Harriot (pictured)

Britain has become a nation of slothful, takeaway-ordering couch potatoes, suggests TV chef Ainsley Harriott.

‘Lovely food doesn’t have to be expensive,’ he tells me at a red-carpet event in London’s Marylebone. ‘This is the thing: we’ve all become a little bit lazy — there’s more of us ordering from Just Eat, Deliveroo, Uber Eats and those type of things. A lot more of us can’t be bothered [to cook]. We’re all guilty of that sometimes . . . everyone loves a bit of convenience.’

The former Strictly star says planning is key: ‘Buy food you know you’re going to eat. You don’t want to get to the end of the week when you look at the fridge and think that broccoli has gone yellow, the spinach is off and the tomatoes are furring up.’

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