SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Even a Duke’s heir has to cut wedding guest list for coronavirus!
Love-struck couples across the land have opted to delay their nuptials in 2020, hoping that the ‘old normal’ will return next year.
But no such hesitancy has afflicted the Marquess of Worcester, 31, and his fiancée, Lucy Yorke-Long, 34, who, I can disclose, took the plunge at the weekend.
It helped, of course, that they had the perfect venue at their disposal — Badminton House, the sumptuous Gloucestershire family seat inherited by Bobby Worcester’s father, ‘Bunter’, when he succeeded as the 12th Duke of Beaufort following his own father’s death in 2017.
The couple, who got engaged last October, were obliged to trim back their guest list to just the closest members of their families and a handful of friends — even though Badminton boasts 40 bedrooms.
The Marquess of Worcester, 31, and his fiancée, Lucy Yorke-Long, 34, pictured on horseback on their wedding day over the weekend
The new Marquess and Marchioness embarked on married life on horseback, riding off across the family estate — but not before Lucy had tossed her bridal bouquet into the air.
It was caught by Bobby’s sister, Bella, 29, who has recently found love with Santiago Santos, a Mexican lawyer with whom she saddled up while leading a trek across Nepal.
Last year bride Lucy told the Diary: ‘We met through mutual friends at a party. It was very random. Bobby and I were seated next to each other at a dinner. The person who put us next to each other would claim it was a set-up but, who knows, it might have just been luck.’
They had the perfect venue at their disposal — Badminton House, the sumptuous Gloucestershire family seat inherited by Bobby Worcester’s father, ‘Bunter’. Pictured: The happy couple pose for a photograph on their wedding day
The couple, who got engaged last October, were obliged to trim back their guest list to just the closest members of their families and a handful of friends — even though Badminton boasts 40 bedrooms. Bobby’s sister, Bella, 29, caught the bouquet
The Marquess of Worcester stands to inherit his father’s estimated £315 million fortune, which includes the 52,000-acre estate in Gloucestershire. Former estate agent Lucy is perfectly equipped to fit in. ‘She’s a smasher — with a ready smile and a warm welcome,’ a friend tells me. ‘And she loves riding.’
Bunter Beaufort, the father of the groom, married journalist Georgia Powell two years ago after divorcing his eco-crusader wife Tracy.
Family friend Taki, the indefatigable playboy, assures me that whatever the wedding may have lacked in numbers, it will have made up for in style.
‘You never have a bad time at Badminton,’ he tells me.
‘It was fun under Bunter’s father and it was certainly fun last year at the ball Bunter gave,’ adds Taki, who has known Bobby since he was born.
Corking news. Bridget Jones star Celia Imrie admits she always keeps a bottle of champagne in her fridge at home. ‘It’s the most marvellous thing to celebrate with,’ she says. ‘It can also lift you up when you need extra inspiration.’
Lily sets tongues wagging
Trend-setter Lily Cole knows how to lick the competition when it comes to championing new causes.
The 32-year-old has revealed the new face mask she’s helped create with designer Simone Rocha which features a hand-knitted tongue sewn in.
‘Safely lick a stranger again!’ Lily joked when she shared this picture of herself in a matching top.
‘We are auctioning this art mask for Women’s Aid charity.’
The striking look has divided fans, with one commenting: ‘Oh god it’s great but awful at the same time!’
Trendsetter Lily Cole poses in the new face mask she’s helped create with designer Simone Rocha which features a hand-knitted tongue sewn in
Back to school blues, Freya?
She spent the summer in Saint-Tropez with her mother, actress Donna Air, and fledgling model Freya Aspinall is keen to make the most of her holiday attire before getting back into school uniform.
The 17-year-old, whose father is conservationist Damian Aspinall, posted a picture of herself sporting a white lace top and matching skirt. Freya is signed to Storm Models and recently starred in her debut campaign for jewellery brand, Tada & Toy — but her parents want her education to come first.
‘If she wanted to be in the spotlight I couldn’t condemn it,’ says Donna. ‘Her father and I are in agreement that it should be when the time is right. She’s still at school and she’s very young still.’
The 17-year-old Freya Aspinall spent the summer in Saint-Tropez with her mother, actress Donna Air, and posted a pictured sporting her holiday attire to Instagram before heading back to school this week
Feisty comic Katherine Ryan discovered her inner shrinking violet when she had to act a sex scene in new sitcom The Duchess, about a single mother, which she both wrote and stars in. Ryan, 37, who, like her screen alter ego, is a single mother with a young daughter, says: ‘What I hated was any sex scene. I will never do another.
‘It was handled very well — there was no actual nudity, so I don’t know why I found it so hard. I didn’t know I was such a prude.’
Well, it was you who wrote those scenes, Katherine.
How PM’s new head honcho earned nickname ‘Headcase’
Picked by Boris Johnson to be Britain’s top civil servant, Simon Case has a wild past.
While a student at Cambridge, he established a drinking society called The Justice, where members were put on mock trial for indiscretions.
Records of the group’s events show ‘Headcase’, as he was nicknamed, ‘prosecuting’ fellow members for crimes such as ‘drinking a girl’s drink’ and ‘sleeping with the enemy’ — dating members of another college.
According to ‘proceedings’ from the first meeting, recorded in a mock-courtroom style, the future Cabinet Secretary ordered one chap to ‘take off a sock, put it over his glass and drink a fine of three fingers’. For coming to his defence, a female member was made to ‘eat a slice of pizza from [a male member’s] chest without using her hands’. Cabinet meetings could be lively!
The BBC appears to be exporting its cultural cringe to the colonies. After its dropping of the words of Rule Britannia, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra has now axed its annual Last Night Of The Proms.
A spokeswoman said the orchestra was ‘not doing [it] any more’. She would not say when or why that decision was made, but ‘a range of factors’ were involved and it was something the orchestra had been ‘thinking about for quite some time’.
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