EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Will the Queen of Annabel’s take the King of Club’s peace offering to placate the feud that’s been simmering since Mark Birley sold the Mayfair venue to Richard Caring for ‘£100million’?
Princess Diana visited Annabel’s for the hen night of Sarah, Duchess of York, and Queen Elizabeth paid a call for the 70th birthday of her friend, the Countess of Airlie, in 2003.
Yet there is one figure whose presence at the Mayfair private members’ club its owner, Richard Caring, is desperate to secure: Lady Annabel Goldsmith, after whom the celebrated venue was named.
I can disclose that Lady Annabel, the mother of government minister Lord (Zac) Goldsmith and film producer Jemima Khan, has been invited to the lavish party that ‘King of Clubs’ Caring is giving this Thursday to mark the 60th anniversary of the club in Berkeley Square.
Lady Annabel, who turns 89 this weekend, confirms that she has received an invitation but has not decided whether to attend.
‘It’s really sweet of them,’ she tells me. ‘The only thing about Annabel’s is that it is not really the basement that I remember.’
Lady Annabel, who turns 89 this weekend, confirms that she has received an invitation by Richard Caring to attend the Mayfair private members’ club but has not decided whether to attend
Richard Caring is desperate to secure Lady Annabel Goldsmith after whom the celebrated venue was named
Caring’s invitation to Lady Annabel could be seen as an olive branch to her family that might end the feud that has simmered since her first husband, Mark Birley (pictured), sold the club and his other Mayfair nightspots to Caring for a reported £100 million in 2007
Lady Annabel is a regular visitor to Caring’s clubs, where members of the Royal Family often dine. Pictured: Annabel’s nightclub
Billionaire Caring, who also owns fashionable London restaurants including Scott’s, The Ivy and J Sheekey, spent around £65 million in 2018 moving the club to a grade I-listed townhouse two doors down.
The widow of tycoon Sir James Goldsmith adds: ‘I have been asked to the party, but I do have one of the grandchildren’s birthdays on that day. I probably will go. I’ll have to see. I’ll be thinking of them.’
Caring’s invitation to Lady Annabel could be seen as an olive branch to her family that might end the feud that has simmered since her first husband, Mark Birley, sold the club and his other Mayfair nightspots to Caring, who turned 75 on Sunday, for a reported £100 million in 2007.
The sale devastated Mark’s son Robin, who had run Annabel’s until they fell out. Robin was prohibited from using his surname, Birley, for any other ventures.
In what has been dubbed in society circles ‘the battle of Berkeley Square’, Robin went on to create the fashionable private members’ clubs 5 Hertford Street and Oswald’s, named after his grandfather, the society painter Sir Oswald Birley.
Lady Annabel is a regular visitor to his clubs, where members of the Royal Family often dine.
‘I love to go to my son Robin’s clubs,’ she tells me.
‘I go at least once or twice a week and have lunch or dinner with Robin.’
Saffron sings praises of her son’s new bride
Saffron Aldridge was a muse for Ralph Lauren, but the model credits her new daughter-in-law, Leah Chapman, with being her source of inspiration.
Aldridge’s son, Milo Astaire, 29, got married at the weekend to Chapman, 28, founder of fashion label Issue Twelve.
The couple exchanged vows and shared their first kiss as husband and wife at the Chateau La Coste vineyard on the French Riveria (pictured).
‘I’m inspired by her desire to create forever pieces along with her complete dedication to keeping her brand on track with a sustainable ethos,’ Aldridge (inset) says of Chapman. Milo’s father is novelist Simon Astaire.
Saffron Aldridge (pictured) was a muse for Ralph Lauren, but the model credits her new daughter-in-law, Leah Chapman, with being her source of inspiration.
Peter Crouch says his wife, Abbey Clancy, insists they leave messages every time they take a flight without their children. ‘Whenever we’re on a plane without the kids, she texts either her brother or her mum, and makes me do it as well, a voice note,’ the ex-England footballer, 42, says of model Abbey, 37, a former Strictly winner. ‘I have to go: ‘So, if we die, you’ve got all the kids’. It’s a really nice message for her brother to receive — ‘if we die, you’re in charge’.’
How ERII bowled Sir Tim over
Howzat! Oscar winner Sir Tim Rice has revealed that Queen Elizabeth was such a cricket fan that she used to watch the palace XI play against a team he formed.
‘Not that long ago, my cricket team played the Royal Household at Windsor and she used to come to those matches in a totally private capacity and it was very informal,’ the lyricist says.
‘She graciously agreed to pose in a photograph with my team, which is just wonderful. So me and ten or 12 of my friends have a wonderful picture of us sitting in a cricket team formation with the Queen in the middle of the front row. It is terrific.’
Britney Spears performed a version of the Rolling Stones classic (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction in 2000, yet the American pop superstar failed to recognise Sir Mick Jagger when the singers met backstage at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York the following year.
‘I had no idea who I was talking to’, Spears, 41, says of the encounter. Jagger, who turns 80 next month, was impressed by her rendition of Satisfaction. ‘She did it very well,’ he said.
Homeland star Damian Lewis claims that he’s modelled his career on that of Dexter Fletcher, who shot to fame aged ten in Bugsy Malone.
Englishman Fletcher, 57, went on to star opposite Lewis in war drama Band Of Brothers before becoming a director of hit films including Bohemian Rhapsody. ‘I was watching you swaggering with your American accent, your baby blues, your charm, your confidence, your good looks,’ Lewis, 52, gushes at a BFI Southbank event celebrating Fletcher’s 50 years in the business.
‘I thought, ‘Who is that guy? I want to be him’ ‘. Now I’m in therapy, you’re a director, I’m trying to get a job off you.’
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