EPHRAIM HARDCASTLE: Will Prince Harry have to take the stand?

Should Meghan’s half-sister Samantha succeed in dragging Harry into court in her defamation case against the duchess, he will be the first royal to give evidence since the future Edward VII. 

Harry’s testimony will surely be less sensational than his ancestor’s in 1870, when he denied having an affair with Lady Mordaunt.

Her husband Sir Charles had physically ejected Edward from his property after discovering him showing off to his lover his gift of two white ponies from the Sandringham estate. 

Sir Charles then had the innocent ponies shot in front of his wife.

Royals usually try to avoid the courts – just ask Andrew. He reportedly went to great lengths to avoid Virginia Giuffre’s legal papers being served to him. Authorities in the US are still keen to interview him about his entanglement with Giuffre and former pal Jeffrey Epstein. Despite his ‘friends’ briefing that he would be willing to help the legal process, when asked about it by Emily Maitlis the prince covered himself in caveats, concluding: ‘I’m bound by what my legal advice is…’


The chef at The Vine Tree pub would be delighted if his venison pie was listed in The Good Pub Guide. Perhaps he and the staff are less chuffed that the pub near Malmesbury has appeared, albeit briefly, as a Google Maps destination listed as the location where Harry lost his virginity.

While her opposition to ivory may be less strident than William’s, Queen Consort Camilla, pictured, has triggered a search through the royal repository for a replacement for the Ivory Rod with Dove, the sceptre she is set to carry at the Coronation.

The current favourite replacement was one made for Mary II in 1689, stored in a cupboard for more than a century. 

My Tower of London source whispers: ‘It is very elaborate and has a dove, but not a trace of ivory.’

John Cleese’s resurrection of Basil Fawlty conjures up memories of his unfunny 2016 Specsavers ad where he thrashed his car with a tree branch. Spitting Image writer John O’Farrell fears the worst: ‘It could be akin to a fat Elvis forgetting his words in Vegas.’

Harold Evans’ formidable secretary Joan Thomas, who has died aged 85, was a near-impregnable gatekeeper to the legendary Sunday Times editor. She kept rookie reporter Tina Brown at bay for more than two hours for her appointment, telling her to return the following day. When Joan left her post for a few minutes, Tina stormed in. Hey presto! She became the second Mrs Evans!

The late Kenneth Williams, paid only £2,000 for his early Carry On films, is quoted in the Oldie berating miserly producer Peter Rogers: ‘You can treat us like royalty and pay us nothing and we don’t mind. Or you can treat us like s*** and pay us a lot of money and we don’t mind. But you can’t pay us no money and treat us like s***!’

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