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    SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Small proves beautiful for royal bride as Princess Alexandra’s granddaughter Flora Ogilvy weds Swedish ice hockey star Timothy Vesterberg

    Let the bells ring out! Princess Alexandra’s granddaughter Flora Ogilvy has become the latest royal bride and has just tied the knot with former Swedish ice hockey professional Timothy Vesterberg.

    Art curator Flora, 25, shared the happy news on Instagram and says she and Timothy, 27, exchanged vows in a private ceremony at St James’s Palace last Saturday. Due to the current strict Covid restrictions on weddings, the couple were only allowed to have a small group of family and friends attend their big day.

    It didn’t dampen their sprits, though. As Flora, who wore a white bridal gown by Emilia Wickstead, says: ‘We are truly overjoyed and look forward to celebrating next year.’

    Overjoyed: Timothy and Flora celebrate outside St James’s

    Is success ringing out for Grayson and Charles?

    They constitute what must be the art world’s oddest couple. But the Prince of Wales and cross-dressing potter Grayson Perry can today be forgiven for doing a jig of delight.

    For I can disclose that one of the country’s architectural and cultural treasures dear to both men’s hearts — a Georgian foundry in the heart of London’s East where Big Ben was made — now seems likely to be saved for the nation.

    This follows a fraught, four-year struggle against an American investment group intent on converting it into a 108-room, six-storey hotel, with a roof-top pool.

    The fate of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry — which also made the eight Royal Jubilee Bells cast to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 , one each for the senior members of the Royal Family: Elizabeth, Philip, Charles, Anne, Andrew, Edward, William and Henry (as Prince Harry is formally styled) — will be sealed at a public inquiry beginning next week.

    But even before it gets under way, those like Charles (founding patron of the charity Re-Form Heritage, which has led the fight against the hotel proposal) and Grayson (ardent in his opposition to the development) have been heartened to hear that a key cheerleader for the Americans has declined to make a presentation to the inquiry.

    Odd though it may sound, this cheerleader was Historic England, the quango whose role includes the preservation of listed buildings.

    ‘It made a very bad mistake,’ one of those fighting the battle tells me.

    Sir Charles Saumarez Smith, former chief executive of the Royal Academy, agrees. Describing Historic England’s decision to not make a presentation at the inquiry as ‘intriguing’, he points out that ‘they have led the support for what the developers are planning to do’ and ‘refused to upgrade the foundry’s listing to Grade I’.

    Perhaps, muses Saumarez Smith, ‘they have realised that they have backed the wrong horse and do not want to be fighting any longer on the wrong side’.

    Or perhaps they’re aware that they’re up against not only the Prince of Wales but also the country’s most famous potter.

    ‘Grayson has just made a fabulous little video which will be circulating next week,’ one of those determined to save the foundry tells me. ‘It shows how artists want to see the foundry regenerated.’

    Every parliamentary cloud . . . Natalie Elphicke, Tory MP wife of Charles Elphicke, received £25,000 for two newspaper articles about her former MP husband after his conviction for sexual assault in July.

    She has had to declare the earnings in the latest Register of Members’ interests. Following his conviction, Natalie announced that they had separated after a 25-year marriage. But following his sentencing to two years in jail for the offences, Natalie

    spoke out in support of his appeal against the conviction, describing the punishment as ‘excessive’.

    Scrumptious! Lucky Harry to wed again

    The Queen’s confidant Harry Herbert, younger brother of the Earl of Carnarvon, has got engaged to Irish celebrity chef Clodagh McKenna after a sizzling three-year romance.

    ‘We are over the moon with happiness,’ says Clodagh. ‘I am the luckiest man alive,’ chimes Harry. The wedding will take place next summer at their home on the Highclere Estate where Downton Abbey was filmed.

    Harry, 61, and Clodagh, 45, met in 2017, after Harry split from his wife Francesca Bevan. His father Henry Herbert (known as Porchy) was racing manager to the Queen.

    Nat takes a bough after tennis win

    Anyone for tennis? Former Strictly Come Dancing star Natasha Kaplinsky has won her battle to build a tennis court at her East Sussex home after personally writing to planners saying she hoped it would ‘meet your expectations’.

    The parish council initially objected to the proposed development because it was too close to a nearby public road.

    But permission has now been granted on the condition that a 2m hedge be planted to blend in with the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In her plea to planners, she showed an impressive knowledge of horticulture. ‘To ensure good coverage and screening we will be using a variety of native species of hedgerow plants, namely Fagus sylvatica (beech) and Carpinus betulus (hornbeam),’ she wrote.

    The proposed screening will mean that fans are unlikely to be able to catch a glimpse of the newsreader and TV presenter in her tennis whites.

    Former Strictly Come Dancing star Natasha Kaplinsky has won her battle to build a tennis court at her East Sussex home

    Former Strictly Come Dancing star Natasha Kaplinsky has won her battle to build a tennis court at her East Sussex home

    Trevor, 81, still on the newsbeat

    He’s recently been making headlines of his own, amid claims that he’s separated from his second wife.

    But Sir Trevor McDonald, arguably still Britain’s best known newsreader even though he presented his last ITV bulletin 12 years ago, betrays no sign of slowing down in the professional sphere.

    Though now 81, he is, I can disclose, hosting a new series on Channel 5.

    The show, And Finally, looks back at the quirky items with which Sir Trevor concluded News At Ten each night. But where will McDonald watch when it’s broadcast? At the £2 million, Thames-side ‘bachelor pad’ in Barnes where he’s been residing of late; or the newly acquired house which, insists his wife, Jo, 65, they’re ‘doing up’ together?

    Small proves beautiful for royal bride Flora

    Let the bells ring out! Princess Alexandra’s granddaughter Flora Ogilvy has become the latest royal bride and has just tied the knot with former Swedish ice hockey professional Timothy Vesterberg.

    Art curator Flora, 25, shared the happy news on Instagram and says she and Timothy, 27, exchanged vows in a private ceremony at St James’s Palace last Saturday. Due to the current strict Covid restrictions on weddings, the couple were only allowed to have a small group of family and friends attend their big day.

    It didn’t dampen their sprits, though. As Flora, who wore a white bridal gown by Emilia Wickstead, says: ‘We are truly overjoyed and look forward to celebrating next year.’

    Overjoyed: Timothy and Flora celebrate outside St James’s

     Husky-voiced broadcaster Mariella Frostrup dispenses sex advice to readers of a Sunday newspaper. But gay pop singer Marc Almond reveals she once gave him unwelcome advice about keeping his sexuality secret when he was riding high in the charts with his group Soft Cell. ‘Mariella Frostrup was my PR at the time, and she was trying to invent girlfriends for me and send me on dates with Siouxsie [Sioux], Mary Wilson or someone like that. She once said to me: ‘Have you heard of Bebe Buell?’ And I said: ‘She’s a famous American groupie, isn’t she?’

    ‘Mariella said she could come over and pretend to be my girlfriend.

    ‘That’s how it was.’

    Billie Piper has developed an obsession with home decorating — even if she doesn’t finish the job. The former Doctor Who star, 38, says: ‘I painted a number of rooms in lockdown. There’s half-painted rooms all over the house. I like it as a meditative thing. It stops me from mentally spinning out. I didn’t realise it would have this effect on me but now I’m using it in that way to manage some of my thinking.’ 

    Cara whips up a storm on the catwalk 

    Cara Delevingne likes to set pulses racing. The scantily clad model took to the runway at a lingerie catwalk show in Los Angeles wearing a risqué black velvet bra teamed with fishnets.

    The model, 28, seemed to emulate the late David Bowie with a black line of make-up dividing the two halves of her face.

    Cara’s love life is every bit as as tumultuous as that of the androgynous rock star. The self-proclaimed pansexual broke up with Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson in April after two years, and is now reportedly in a relationship with pop star Halsey.

     Cara Delevingne likes to set pulses racing

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