EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Charles gives new role to William's neighbour

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: King Charles gives new role to Prince William’s Norfolk neighbour

When the Marquess of Cholmondeley was replaced as Lord Great Chamberlain after the death of Queen Elizabeth last September, it looked like he was losing his intimate connection with the monarchy.

But I now hear that King Charles has handed the Marquess, aka film-maker David Rocksavage, a new position that will see him and his wife, the bohemian former model Rose Hanbury, returning to the heart of the royal court.

Charles has appointed the Marquess, 62, as his Lord-in-Waiting — a prestigious position that will see him attend important state and royal occasions, as well as being called upon to represent His Majesty at various events.

The appointment is likely to please the Prince and Princess of Wales, who are friends and Norfolk neighbours of the Cholmondeleys. They live near Anmer Hall, Prince William and Catherine’s country home on the private Sandringham estate.

Rose, 39, married Rocksavage in 2009. He is 23 years her senior and friends had almost given up hope that he would ever marry.

Rose Hanbury with her husband David Rocksavage

David Cholmondeley (L), Marquess of Cholmondeley, attends The Serpentine Gallery summer party at The Serpentine Gallery on July 2, 2015 in London, England

Rose soon produced an heir and spare, twins Alexander and Oliver. Like Catherine, she has since given birth to a third child, Iris.

While Catherine and William stay at ten-bedroom Anmer, previously rented out to a kitchen timber boss, the Marquess and Marchioness live in splendour at nearby Houghton Hall, one of the country’s finest Palladian houses, surrounded by 1,000 acres of parkland.

In his previous role as Lord Great Chamberlain, the Marquess had to walk backwards in front of the monarch at the State Opening of Parliament. Cholmondeley left the position because of the tradition that it changes to another aristocratic family on the death of the monarch.

He was succeeded by the 7th Lord Carrington, whose late father served as Foreign Secretary under Margaret Thatcher.

‘Buff’ Dance claims he has love handles

Pictures of Charles Dance on a beach near Venice with his Italian girlfriend, Alessandra Masi, 55 (left), back in 2020 led to a host of admiring comments about his ‘buff physique’.

Now, however, the Game Of Thrones star tells me he’s losing his figure at the age of 76.

‘I’ve got things called love handles, which I thought would never happen to me,’ he wails. ‘Now, I look in the mirror and think, ‘Oh, God’. I was lucky to have lasted this long without them.’

They may be due to his visits to a delicatessen near his North London home.

‘My Italian is terrible,’ he says at a reception in Westminster. ‘I can order six slices of mortadella and that’s about it. I’ve got this Italian deli around the corner and I go in and try to practise with the guy there, and Alessandra is standing beside me, embarrassed.

‘But it goes in one ear and out of the other. I have to say it parrot fashion, over and over again, until I get it in my head — it’s because I’m old.’

Charles Dance OBE looks in incredible shape as he is seen with his girlfriend at the beach in Venice

Rose’s big night out is strictly disappointing 

Strictly winner Rose Ayling-Ellis was delighted to be invited to her first film premiere, Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves.

But she was disappointed to discover that she and other deaf guests would be segregated at the West End cinema.

‘They put me and all the other deaf guests in a separate screening room,’ the actress, 28, complains. ‘Deaf cinema-goers should be able to have the same experience as hearing fans all over the country.’

Organisers stress that they tried to be inclusive by inviting the hearing impaired to watch with subtitles and a BSL interpreter.

Rose Ayling-Ellis attends the UK Premiere of ‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves’

Lord Sugar’s taking his home security and movies seriously

Alan Sugar has won his battle with planners for a security suite complete with a cinema and games room in the grounds of his country mansion.

The Apprentice star, 76, wanted to demolish his home and build a new one with a pool, yoga studio, hair salon, cocktail bar and even a room devoted to his dogs.

But council planners threw out the proposed development in Chigwell, Essex, saying it was too big and would cause significant harm to the green belt land.

The business and property tycoon then applied for a similar-sized garden outbuilding but this time as a security office with a cinema, games and entertainment room.

Officials at Epping Forest District Council have now given the go-ahead to the project after there were no objections from neighbours.

Chatsworth’s big handover

At the time they married, she was a high-voltage divorcee, brimming with ideas, unburdened by convention; while he was the Eton-educated product of stupendous privilege. Now, I can reveal, they’re moving centre stage.

I refer to the Duke of Devonshire’s son and heir, the Earl of Burlington, 53, and his wife, Laura, 52, a former model and fashion editor.

‘The Duke and Duchess are moving out of Chatsworth,’ a spokesman tells me, referring to the palatial family seat in Derbyshire. ‘Lord and Lady Burlington will make it their home.’

This, I’m assured, is ‘part of a long-standing plan’, not a coup staged by the earl who, as a professional photographer, democratically styled himself ‘Bill Burlington’.

He and Laura — briefly married to the Earl of Sandwich’s younger son, Orlando — won’t get too carried away, not least because the Duke, 78, known as ‘Stoker’, will, I’m told, maintain ‘a very close interest’ in Chatsworth.

The Duke and Duchess’s close friends, King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla, are unlikely to be following suit at Buckingham Palace.

General view of Chatsworth House

India’s son Felix, 25, reveals inner battle

Designer India Hicks’s family seemed to have escaped the afflictions that troubled her Mountbatten cousins.

But now her son, Felix Flint Wood, has revealed that he’s been struggling with substance abuse, and has just marked his six months of sobriety.

A public social media post by Felix, 25 —founder of clothing brand Idle Assembly — prompted a wave of love and support. This included a message from his mother, a goddaughter of King Charles and a bridesmaid at his and Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding in 1981.

‘We are right beside you Felix — all the way,’ wrote India, granddaughter of the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece, another goddaughter of the King, described Felix’s recovery as ‘incredible’.

(Very) modern manners

Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse was in a spin when the bill arrived at the end of her first meal out with a group of friends after she moved here from Germany. There, dining companions apportion every last cent when calculating each other’s share of a bill.

She recalls: ‘I’m thinking, ‘I’m going to spend my money on clothes and shoes and bags, so I’m just going to eat a salad and have a cocktail’.

‘But then, at the end of the meal, they said: ‘OK, we’ll split the bill equally’.’

Mabuse, 41 (pictured), adds: ‘The next day, we went out, and you can imagine what I did — the menu!’

Motsi Mabuse attends the ‘TINA: Das Tina Turner Musical’ Premiere at Stage Apollo Theatre on March 16, 2023 in Stuttgart, Germany

He’s been raking in fees of more than £250,000 for making speeches, but don’t conclude that Boris Johnson spurns lesser sums. He has, I learn, just trousered £42,500 from Hodder & Stoughton ‘as an advance on a book’. To date, he’s done no work on it, according to the Register of Members’ Financial Interests.

Boris declines to comment, but he signed a deal with Hodder eight years ago for a tome about Shakespeare, who asserted: ‘If money go before, all ways do lie open…’

A very Johnsonian statement.

His father, the novelist and historian Piers Paul Read, wrote the compellingly gruesome account of how survivors of an Andes plane crash sustained themselves by eating those who’d perished.

But cannibalism was safely off the menu at the launch party for The Imagination Muscle, by Conde Nast magazine executive Albert Read.

Instead, guests, who included Samantha Cameron, the Duke of Beaufort and Lord (Andrew) Roberts, were treated to high-octane cocktails — and some gentle advice from the author.

‘The imagination is something that we can develop, if we cultivate its magical qualities,’ says Read, mentioning one chapter, Talking To Strangers, which could be put into immediate practice.

‘Talk to someone you haven’t met before. Turn to your left and your right. Your imagination will develop.’

No need, of course, to imagine gnawing their ankles.

Good to see Jeremy Paxman remains as cynical as ever. The University Challenge quizmaster, 72, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, picked up an award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting yesterday.

‘It’s what they give to old people, isn’t it,’ Paxo tells me at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards at The Royal Horseguards Hotel in Westminster. ‘It’s like an honorary doctorate or something; it’s an absolute waste of time.

‘I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but there isn’t any significance to it.’

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