Perhaps it was the warm weather, or maybe elation at the easing of lockdown, but Alastair Campbell has finally exchanged vows with Fiona Millar — after almost half a century.
Tony Blair’s former right-hand man tied the knot with the mother of his three adult children at a ceremony in Camden, North London.
‘After 42 years together we decided to try to make a go of it,’ says Campbell, 63.
The couple did not, however, get married, but entered into a civil partnership, having explained that they are opposed to the religious and patriarchal associations of weddings.
Alastair Campbell has finally exchanged vows with Fiona Millar at a ceremony in Camden, North London
Civil partnerships were introduced by Blair’s government for same-sex couples in 2004.
Journalist Millar, 63, played a key role in the Equal Civil Partnerships campaign group, which fought in English law courts and through Parliament for the right for civil partnerships to be extended to heterosexual couples.
This finally happened in England and Wales at the end of 2019.
‘Well done Fiona and the Equal Civil Partnerships campaign for making this possible,’ adds the former No 10 communications chief.
The ceremony, for which Campbell wore Scottish dress — including a kilt — and Millar a Spring green frock, was attended by their 26-year-old writer daughter, Grace.
‘On a gloriously sunny day mid-pandemic, my gorgeous parents finally got bound by law,’ she says.
‘Not by marriage, that’s too patriarchal for them, but in a civil partnership. Congrats
Mum and Dad, I’ll be happy if I manage a relationship even half as long and cute as yours.’
The couple did not get married, but entered into a civil partnership, having explained that they are opposed to the religious and patriarchal associations of weddings
Pre-empting complaints from loved ones about being excluded, Campbell wrote to them, explaining: ‘Apologies to all friends we didn’t tell, but only four guests allowed. Off to the small bash in the garden and then honeymoon in front of the telly.’
Campbell has often spoken out against the institution. ‘To me, marriage is partly a religious thing and I’m not religious,’ he said. ‘With Fiona, it’s more about the feminist thing.’
Christopher Tolkien, who questioned the wisdom of turning his father’s epic fantasy The Lord Of The Rings into a series of blockbuster films, left more than £2.3 million in his will.
He edited much of J.R.R. Tolkien’s posthumously published work including The Silmarillion.
Christopher, who died last year aged 95, lived at Draguignan in Provence, and his will was handwritten in French.
Probate documents reveal he named his second wife, Baillie, and children Adam and Rachel co-owners of the moral rights in his literary works.
Brand Archewell gets the go-ahead
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s application to trademark Archewell has been granted a ‘notice of approval’ by U.S. authorities
Prince Harry’s already a ‘chief impact officer’ for one company and a ‘Commissioner on Information Disorder’ for another body.
Now, he and Meghan have been given the go-ahead to pursue their global ambitions.
I hear their application to trademark Archewell has been granted a ‘notice of approval’ by U.S. authorities.
Archewell includes a not-for-profit enterprise and production companies for audio and video content.
They could now sell everything from Archewell clothing to magazines and TV programmes.
The Queen banned them from using the Sussex Royal name.
A new Aitken on the political trail
Victoria, 40, has just been selected as a candidate for the Tories’ flagship council of Wandsworth
Jonathan Aitken is seriously ill in hospital, so the former Cabinet minister is unaware that daughter Victoria is following him into politics.
Victoria, 40, has just been selected as a candidate for the Tories’ flagship council of Wandsworth.
She hopes to represent the Battersea Park ward in South London. ‘It’s such a shame that I haven’t been able to discuss it with my father yet, as he would be so proud,’ she tells me. ‘He’s always been very encouraging.’
Aitken, 78, survived two heart attacks during surgery which left him in an induced coma, from which he has now woken.
One of Britain’s finest opera stars, mezzo-soprano Dame Sarah Connolly, reveals that even her dogs are tuned into classical music.
‘One of my whistles for my mutts is the opening unison lower strings of Totenfeier (up a few octaves),’ she discloses.
‘I’m waiting for someone to recognise it other than my scruffs, who know their Mahler.’
Joan a royal mum-in-law
Dame Joan Collins plays Jane Seymour’s mother-in-law in the drama Glow And Darkness
Dame Joan Collins plays Jane Seymour’s mother-in-law in the forthcoming medieval television drama Glow And Darkness. But off screen they look more like sisters.
Joanie, 87, who plays French queen Adelaide of Maurienne, visited Seymour, 70, cast as Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of King Louis VII, at her home in Malibu, California.
The duo were perfectly in sync, wearing red and white scarves from Seymour’s collection for the Open Hearts Foundation.
‘There’s nothing like a Dame,’ says Seymour. ‘Spent a wonderful day with my life-long friend, fantastic actress, the beautiful Joan Collins.
‘We caught up on life, recalled some great memories, and shared a delicious lunch.’
Writers often struggle to make a living, but Paula Hawkins is not among them.
The Girl On The Train author has just paid herself a staggering £4.1 million — almost a 500 per cent increase on the £710,000 dividend payment made the previous year, according to newly published documents for her business, Paula Hawkins Ltd.
The firm has retained £21.8 million in shareholder funds.
Someone has found a funky way to take their family on holiday this summer: Jamiroquai singer Jay Kay sold his 1967 Volkswagen Simba Split-Screen campervan at Silverstone Auctions at the weekend for £47,250.
The petrolhead pop star, 51, has been reducing his fleet of 50 motors in recent years faster than you can say va va vroom.