EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Prince William and Harry will both attend unveiling of Princess Diana's statue


A major hurdle which could have prevented Prince William and Harry being reunited has been lifted after officials gave permission for a statue of Princess Diana to be erected at her former home, Kensington Palace.

The warring Princes have said they will attend the unveiling of the statue on what would have been Diana’s 60th birthday on July 1. It would be the first time they’ve met since last March.

Planners at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea approved plans even though they have no idea of what it would look like. 

The warring Princes have said they will attend the unveiling of the statue on what would have been Diana’s 60th birthday on July 1. They are pictured together in 1995

The warring Princes have said they will attend the unveiling of the statue on what would have been Diana’s 60th birthday on July 1. They are pictured together in 1995

They were not given any images of the proposed statue but just its dimensions and location.

‘The palace would like to erect a new statue but does not wish to give final details at this stage,’ one report said. 

‘I am satisfied that even if a plain block of bronze of the dimensions given were erected, this would still not harm the views of the palace. I don’t think it is our role to get involved in artistic design.’

No one complained about the plans and Historic England said the proposal would not have an adverse effect on the Grade I-listed Kensington Palace.

The statue is being created by Ian Rank-Broadley, whose portrait of the Queen appears on all British coins. 

A major hurdle which could have prevented Prince William and Harry being reunited has been lifted after officials gave permission for a statue of Princess Diana to be erected at her former home, Kensington Palace. They are pictured together in 2018

A major hurdle which could have prevented Prince William and Harry being reunited has been lifted after officials gave permission for a statue of Princess Diana to be erected at her former home, Kensington Palace. They are pictured together in 2018

Jane Siddell, inspector of Ancient Monuments for Historic England, wrote: ‘The proposed art installation is located within the Sunken Garden, an early 20th century element of the gardens located a little way from the east front of the Palace.

‘The location has been carefully chosen, with the statue to be located off-centre on one of the paths within the garden, close to an opening in the hedges.

‘It will be visible to the public viewing the garden, but the statue will not impinge upon views of, or from the Palace owing to its slightly sunken and screened position.

‘There is a tradition of statues being installed in Kensington Gardens and around Kensington Palace, for instance the statue of King William III to the south of the palace, and Queen Victoria by the Round Pond, and the proposed installation follows that tradition.’

William and Harry are said to have spoken by telephone following Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, but friends of the LA-based couple said the conversation was ‘not productive’. 

Ooh la la! TV chef Blanc’s spicy night… at a Paris orgy

Celebrated for the haute cuisine at his Oxfordshire restaurant, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Raymond Blanc has apparently also enjoyed something more spicy.

Oxford historian Lisa Hilton revealed last weekend that she had ‘persuaded a male friend’ to take her to the notorious Paris sex club Les Chandelles as part of her ‘research’ for a novel she was writing.

Celebrated for the haute cuisine at his Oxfordshire restaurant, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Raymond Blanc has apparently also enjoyed something more spicy

Celebrated for the haute cuisine at his Oxfordshire restaurant, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Raymond Blanc has apparently also enjoyed something more spicy

Thrice-married Hilton, 47, who penned the 2016 erotic art thriller Maestra, declined to name the bohemian buddy, but I can now reveal that he was Blanc, 71. 

‘Lisa has told friends that he was Raymond,’ one of her pals informs me. ‘I hear he didn’t need much persuasion to go.’

Hilton wrote her breathless account of her visit in The Times. ‘What was I doing at an orgy?’ she asked. ‘Not just any old orgy either.’

With an apparent hint at the two Michelin stars Blanc boasts at Le Manoir, Hilton described Les Chandelles as ‘the Michelin three star of sex clubs’.

She explained: ‘Before going through to the back room, you leave most of your clothes in a tasteful little cubicle.

‘The low beds were covered with black sheets and the black sheets were covered with naked bodies. Some women together, some groups. Not wild ecstasy, but a lulling, almost hypnotic thrum of sheer, intoxicating pleasure.’ 

She added: ‘There was no question who was in charge. The women. Every woman in that room was a goddess. There was no sense of shame, or comparison.

‘They were all ages, all shapes and they were all beautiful. An almost wordless etiquette prevailed: women approached men. I have never experienced such a sense of power.’

Hilton could not be reached at her Venice home yesterday, while Blanc declined to comment.

I’m sure Monsieur Blanc was nothing but a gentleman…

Felicity Kendal considered exchanging vows again after her theatre director boyfriend Michael Rudman survived his bout of Covid-19. 

The Good Life star and Rudman were married for seven years until their divorce in 1990 but she moved back in with him in 1998. 

‘We did think about getting married again — but, having done it twice and failed, I thought, “Let’s stick to what we’ve got.” 

There is something about doing your own thing that’s quite liberating. Maybe it’s even more romantic,’ says Kendal, whose first husband was late actor Drewe Henley.

Sixties rock legend Scott Walker has left his long-term girlfriend, Beverly Foster, without a penny of inheritance after failing to make a will. 

The Walker Brothers singer, whose hits included The Sun Ain’t Going Shine Any More, and Make It Easy On Yourself, died in 2019 aged 76. 

He left £633,000 but, under the laws of intestacy, it’s all gone to his daughter, Lee Engel, who lives in London.

Lewis star Laurence Fox was expelled from £42,600-per-year boarding school Harrow and he resents coughing up a fortune to provide his own children with a private education. 

The London mayoral wannabe — who has two sons with his ex-wife, the actress Billie Piper — declares: ‘I hate paying private school fees for my children.’ Speaking to FinitoWorld magazine, he reveals: ‘If it was my choice, I wouldn’t be doing it, because I just think it’s a waste of money.

‘What’s the point in spending money so you can teach them all to be posh and hang around with other elite parents? Boring.’

The Queen is welcoming the end of lockdown with a fanfare.

I hear her rural retreat, Sandringham, is planning to hold public garden concerts this summer. 

‘For the first time ever, two very special concerts will be held over the August bank holiday weekend on the West Lawns,’ the Norfolk estate confirms.

Pianist and broadcaster Jools Holland, who’s a friend of Prince Charles and Camilla, will play with his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, while the following night the English Symphony Orchestra will perform, complete with a Spitfire flypast.

(Very) modern manners

Hollywood star Stanley Tucci is fed up with friends who dress like they’re still teenagers. 

‘One thing I hate to see in style is men or women trying to be youthful in a way that’s just . . . wrong,’ says The Hunger Games actor, who played a fashion journalist opposite Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. 

The American, 60, who lives in London with his literary agent wife Felicity Blunt, 38, adds: ‘It’s, like, what are you doing? You’re 60 years old. I can tell you’re 60 years old. The thing is, just don’t try too hard.’ 

£50m digital art leaves Hikari cold

Hikari Yokoyama has sparked debate by suggesting virtual creations are, in fact, worthless

Hikari Yokoyama has sparked debate by suggesting virtual creations are, in fact, worthless

When a piece of digital art sold for £50 million this month, it broke records as the highest crypto- art sale in history and made its creator, Mike Winkelmann — aka Beeple — one of the three richest artists alive.

Now London-based art impresario Hikari Yokoyama has sparked debate by suggesting virtual creations are, in fact, worthless.

‘We really believed a digital experience could be as good as a physical experience,’ says Hikari, fiancee of White Cube gallery founder Jay Jopling, at the online Clubhouse launch of Glenfiddich’s Grande Couronne. 

‘Now, I really believe that art has to be an embodied experience. There are those things that digital cannot give — touch, smell, feel, that are a big part of pleasurable experience.’

See? Life’s more Rosie if you smile

‘I actually think of myself as being a very smiley person,’ she says

‘I actually think of myself as being a very smiley person,’ she says

Marks & Spencer lingerie model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has a winning smile but seldom looks happy when pictured with her fiance, Hollywood hardman Jason Statham. Now, she’s revealed why.

‘I actually think of myself as being a very smiley person,’ she says. 

‘But when you’re thrust on to a red carpet or you’re walking down the street and there’s half a dozen paparazzi, I find it really uncomfortable and nerve-racking.’

The chartered surveyor’s daughter from Devon, 33, who has a three-year-old son, Jack, with Statham, adds: ‘There are times when Jason and I get photographed together and we’re not putting on this public display of affection. Who goes around snogging each other in public after ten years?’

Marks & Spencer lingerie model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has a winning smile but seldom looks happy when pictured with her fiance, Hollywood hardman Jason Statham. Now, she’s revealed why

Marks & Spencer lingerie model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has a winning smile but seldom looks happy when pictured with her fiance, Hollywood hardman Jason Statham. Now, she’s revealed why

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