As the wife of our future monarch, the Duchess of Cambridge was assumed to be queen bee of the ‘Turnip Toffs’ who live near Anmer Hall, the country home she shares with Prince William and their children in Sandringham, Norfolk.
Friends claim there is, however, a rival to her rural crown: she is Rose, the ex-model married to their neighbour, the Marquess of Cholmondeley.
‘On the face of it, it’s bizarre, but Kate seems to see Rose as a rival,’ claims one of their aristocratic set in East Anglia.
Friends believe ex-model Rose, Lady Cholmondeley is a rival to Kate’s rural crown
Rose Hanbury, who turned 35 yesterday, married the film-making Marquess, David Rocksavage, in 2009
The reasons for the alleged competition remain unclear, but there is no doubt the two couples have become close friends since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were given Anmer Hall by the Queen as a wedding present.
Rose Hanbury, who turned 35 yesterday, married the film-making Marquess, David Rocksavage, in 2009. He is 23 years her senior and friends had almost given up hope that he would ever marry.
Rose soon produced an heir and spare, in the form of twins Alexander and Oliver. Like Kate, she has since given birth to a third child, Iris.
The Marquess of Cholmondeley is 23 years the Marchioness’s senior and they have three children together
The couple live two miles away from Kate and William in Houghton Hall, one of the country’s finest Palladian houses
While Kate and William stay at ten-bedroom Anmer, which was previously rented out to a kitchen timber boss, the Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley live in splendour two miles away at Houghton Hall, one of the country’s finest Palladian houses, surrounded by 1,000 acres of parkland.
Should Rose need any advice on handling tensions, she has only to ask her husband. As Lord Great Chamberlain, David became an expert in treading hazardous paths while walking backwards in front of the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament.
Jo Wood in a Zulu quest
Jo Wood is eager to dig into her Zulu roots on Who Do You Think You Are?
Once married to a Rolling Stone, Jo Wood has led a colourful life. Now, Ronnie Wood’s ex is seeking ancestors with even more fascinating stories.
Former Strictly contestant Jo wants to appear on the BBC’s genealogy programme Who Do You Think You Are?.
‘I would love to dig into my Zulu roots,’ says Jo, 64, whose great-grandmother was a mixed-race South African.
Speaking at the launch of her daughter Leah’s environmental photography exhibition at Re:Centre in Hammersmith, she adds: ‘When the Stones played Johannesburg, I invited 25 cousins to the show. It was so funny: we’re all different colours.’
Prince Charles’ hush-hush talks with chef Jamie
Jamie Oliver, who publicly complained that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle rejected his offer to cook for their wedding, has been handed a royal olive branch.
I hear that Prince Charles invited the outspoken television chef to his London residence, Clarence House, for talks this week.
Royal officials decline to disclose what was discussed at the ‘private’ meeting, but a source tells me the Prince is keen for Oliver to be involved in future royal projects.
Jamie Oliver has had talks with Prince Charles at Clarence House this week, with the chef eager to be involved in future royal projects
A spokesman points out that Charles held the tete-a-tete in his capacity as patron of the Soil Association, which campaigns for organic food.
Oliver said of his royal wedding snub: ‘I did write and say if they want the food sorted I would bring the best of British and American chefs together to do the catering. I didn’t get a reply.’
At least Charles is more courteous.
Film-maker Vaughn casts old school Stowe in movie
Matthew Vaughn, who made his name as producer of Guy Ritchie’s cockney crime caper Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, credits his success to his expensive education at Stowe School.
Matthew Vaughn has returned to his old school Stowe to film Kingsman 3
And the husband of supermodel Claudia Schiffer, right, has said a very public thank-you by returning to the £36,660-per-year boarding school in Buckinghamshire to shoot scenes for the latest film he’s directing, Kingsman 3.
Stars including Ralph Fiennes, Charles Dance and Tom Hollander descended on Vaughn’s alma mater, which is based at Stowe House, the former country seat of the Dukes of Buckingham and Chandos.
The two previous Kingsman spy films, described as ‘James Bond on steroids’, have been criticised for their raunch and violence, but headmaster Dr Anthony Wallersteiner was delighted to welcome back Vaughn.
A spokesman tells me: ‘Stowe is renowned for its liberal education and tradition – and lack of censorship.’
A distinguished actor who appeared in films including The Eagle Has Landed and The Elephant Man before playing Jon Arryn in Game Of Thrones, John Standing is also a talented artist.
And the thespian, 84, is to show off his paintings at Osborne Studio Gallery in Belgravia next month.
‘I was going to be an artist, but my mother told me I needed to earn money, so I entered her profession,’ says John, whose mother, Kay Hammond, played Elvira in the Noel Coward film Blithe Spirit.
The pictures are scenes from Standing’s travels.
But he won’t be standing around admiring them for long — next up he’s in Rupert Everett’s Uncle Vanya at the Theatre Royal Bath.
(Very) modern manners
Wolf-whistling an attractive young woman has become a mortal sin in today’s politically correct climate, but what if the calls are directed at a man?
Pulchritudinous actress Charity Wakefield, 38, was alarmed to hear the supposedly offensive sounds while she was on the set of Bounty Hunters, the Sky One comedy drama in which she stars opposite comedian Jack Whitehall.
‘We were filming, and some builders wolf-whistled – which I thought was aimed at me,’ Charity reveals. ‘But it was for Jack.’
She adds: ‘Jack is so famous, but he doesn’t mind being the butt of a joke.’