When the Earl of Snowdon announced his separation from his wife, Serena, in 2020, friends blamed the amount of time that the Queen’s nephew had to spend working abroad.
It seems that he has, however, now managed to find love again — at the office. I hear that Princess Margaret’s 60-year-old son is enjoying a touching romance with a colleague, Isabelle de La Bruyere.
Isabelle, who’s believed to be in her 50s, is a director of Christie’s, while he’s the honorary chairman of the London auction house.
Earl of Snowdon, David Linley with Isabelle Chopin De La Bruyere – a director of Christie’s – in Central London
David and Isabelle could have been teenage lovebirds as they strolled hand in hand through Belgravia, where he has a branch of his furniture shop, Linley.
The pair walked arm in arm as they carried shopping bags from posh cake shop Peggy Porschen.
They could later be seen dining à deux on a restaurant terrace.
‘They looked like they were happy to be seen together and didn’t have a care in the world,’ a passer-by tells me. ‘It was rather sweet.’
French-born Isabelle, who’s fluent in at least three European languages, has been employed by Christie’s since 1999.
The pair walked arm in arm as they carried shopping bags from posh cake shop Peggy Porschen
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She joined as head of Oriental Art studies before working her way up to becoming a senior director.
She also launched the auctioneer’s Dubai branch in 2006 before moving to London in 2013 to join the chairman’s office.
David, who’s the son of celebrated late photographer Lord Snowdon and a godchild of the Queen, was first appointed to the board of Christie’s in 2005 before becoming chairman of its British branch a year later.
In 2015, he became honorary chairman for the auctioneer in Europe, the Middle East, Russia and India.
It would be the first known romance for David since he separated from Serena, 52, after 27 years of marriage. She’s the daughter of the 12th Earl of Harrington.
The pair have two children, Charles, 22, Viscount Linley, and Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, who was a bridesmaid at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding.
It would be the first known romance for David since he separated from Serena, 52, after 27 years of marriage (pair pictured together in 2019)
The smart set’s talking about…Woman who could be first trans peer
This could be a first for the ancient House of Lords: I can disclose that a transwoman called Matilda Simon, 67, wants to join the red leather benches.
What makes Matilda’s petition unique is that she was born Matthew Simon, only son of the 2nd Lord Simon of Wythenshawe, who died in 2001 aged 87. She would be known as Lord — not Lady — Simon.
Educated at St Paul’s School, London, Matthew graduated from Balliol College, Oxford, before becoming a senior lecturer at Manchester University.
The Lord Speaker’s communications adviser, Lucy Dargahi, tells me that the matter will be referred to the Lord Chancellor ‘to make sure the claim is legitimate’.
If it is, Matilda’s name will be added to the list of candidates for the Lords’ by-elections — held when one of the 92 hereditary peers dies.
Matilda, adds Dargahi, would then ‘be the first transgender person, as far as we are aware, eligible to stand in the by-election’.
Free speech comic bans ex from detailing his ‘infidelities’
He had his own Channel 4 show before becoming a Radio 4 stalwart, presenting his eponymous series, Mark Thomas: The Manifesto, one of whose proposals was that Britain should have a ‘USA-style 1st Amendment to protect free speech’.
But the activist-comedian, 58, evidently believes that some subjects are off-limits — his treatment of Jenny Landreth, an award-winning writer whom he married more than 30 years ago, perhaps foremost among them.
The couple, pictured, used to share a £1.5million house in South London, but no longer.
The couple, pictured together in 2017, used to share a £1.5million house in South London, but no longer
In a series of anguished statements on social media, Landreth has exposed what she categorises as Thomas’s ‘serial infidelity’ — and how he has allegedly prevented her from publishing a memoir about their break-up and divorce.
‘Three+ years ago, I found some sh** I wasn’t supposed to find,’ she explains. ‘It smashed three decades of my life to bits.
‘My heart was very broken. I wrote a memoir about long-term marriage, gaslighting, serial infidelity, divorce…The book is about feelings and experiences which are mine, but of course it does centre [on] another person. The resulting legal shizzle is an absolute f*****. (Even c**** have privacy rights.)’
Landreth, 60, feels that she dare not go to court against Thomas, who reflected in 1994 that people didn’t realise ‘how much big money is to be made in comedy’.
His ex-wife, pictured with him, writes: ‘I don’t have the ££ to risk a lawsuit.
‘So I’ve made the decision to walk away. 18+ emotional months in the writing and 30 yrs in the living. I am really really tired. (And pretty tearful, writing this).
‘I’m proud of the book, the best thing I’ve written,’ adds Lander, before offering a withering summary of her exchanges with Thomas.
‘My ex: Free speech for all! Me: I’ve written…My ex: Not you, love.’ Thomas did not respond to requests for comment.
Described as the style and business genius behind her design supremo brother Sir Terence Conran and TV chef and restaurateur Antonio Carluccio, Priscilla Carluccio has died at the age of 86.
‘She never got the recognition she deserved,’ says her nephew, fashion designer Jasper Conran.
‘She was variously a brilliant photographer, mother of three children, antiques dealer, truck driver, art director, the first creative director of the Conran shop and complete creator of Carluccio’s.’
Priscilla was granted a divorce from Carluccio in 2009, after 28 years of marriage, on the grounds of his adultery. He died eight years later.
(Very) modern manners
While ‘eco saint’ Greta Thunberg preaches against fast fashion and buying new clothes, her sister Beata takes a different approach.
Opera singer Beata, 17, who’s currently starring in the musical Forever Piaf in her native Stockholm, Sweden, enjoys nothing more than posing in clothes from High Street chains.
Here’s a photograph she shared this week with her 13,000 social media followers of her posing in a colourful patterned leotard from trendy store Urban Outfitters. ‘Yes, baby!’ she gushes.
Greta, 19, has condemned the fashion industry, revealing in August 2021 that she had not bought any new items of clothing for more than three years.
‘You cannot mass produce fashion or consume ‘sustainably’, as the world is shaped today,’ she thundered, describing the industry as ‘a huge contributor to the climate and ecological emergency’. Clearly, her younger sister disagrees . . .
Opera singer Beata, 17, shared a photo with her 13,000 social media followers this week, of her posing in a colourful patterned leotard from trendy store Urban Outfitters
Michelin-starred Tom Kerridge, who’s chief judge on Great British Menu, is simmering over complaints from young cooks on the BBC Two show that he’s crabby and gives scores that are too low.
‘I got quite a lot of stick for being a grumpy b*****d, which is fine,’ he says. ‘If you’re competing as a chef, you’re there to cook, to compete.
The chefs eating other chefs’ food don’t want to go, “Oh, that’s only worth a five”; they give it an eight — they’re trying to be nice.’
Michelin-starred Tom Kerridge, who’s chief judge on Great British Menu, says: ‘I got quite a lot of stick for being a grumpy b*****d, which is fine’
Judges were much harsher when he was a contestant on the show a decade ago, says Kerridge, 48. ‘When I was on it, I remember [judge] Daniel Clifford spitting food out in the bin. It was brutal.
‘And now we are in this world of being nice to everyone.’
Bake Off judge Prue Leith is due to receive a damehood in July and her family are holding a big party in London to celebrate. Friends are amused by the name the celebration’s been given on the invitation — ‘The Dameing of the Prue’.
Hairy Bikers star Si King has ruled out making shows without his fellow cook Dave Myers, who’s undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.
‘There’s no [Punch & Judy] show without Punch and there’s no Hairy Bikers without Dave,’ the Geordie television star tells me at the Fortnum & Mason Food and Drinks Awards at the Royal Exchange in London.
King, 55, accepted the Personality Of The Year award, which had been voted by the public, on behalf of the duo. He was accompanied to the ceremony by Myers’s Romanian wife, Liliana Orzac.
‘We’ve always been joined at the hip, so it’s very odd for me and it’s very odd for Dave,’ King says. ‘We’ll get through it — he’s as tough as an old boot.’
For now, Si plans to hit the road not for food but his music band Little Moscow.
‘I have a 12-piece funk band which takes up a lot of time.
‘We’re on tour all year and will extend our stay in Spain.’