EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Pregnant Pippa Middleton buys a £15m country pile close to her parents’ home in Berkshire
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are not the only ones moving to the Royal County of Berkshire.
I can disclose that Catherine’s sister, Pippa, has spent around £15million on one of the most beautiful stately homes in the county with her investment banker husband, James Matthews.
And they will need the extra space, as I’m told she’s heavily pregnant with their third child.
‘Pippa and her family are thrilled,’ a friend confirms. ‘It’s a very exciting time in their lives. They are looking forward to living closer to her parents.’
I can disclose that Catherine’s sister, Pippa, has spent around £15million on one of the most beautiful stately homes in the county with her investment banker husband, James Matthews
Pippa and James Matthews, pictured, are moving to a home about 20 minutes from her parents
The Georgian mansion that Pippa, 38, and her Eton-educated husband, 46, have bought was the subject of a painstaking multi-million-pound restoration by its previous owner
Their new home is about a 20-minute drive from Michael and Carole Middleton’s home in Bucklebury
Their new home is about a 20-minute drive from Michael and Carole Middleton’s home in Bucklebury. Pippa’s brother, James, bought a farmhouse in the county for £1.45million with his French wife, Alizee, last year. Meanwhile, Prince William and Catherine, who have three children, are understood to be considering a number of properties on the Queen’s Windsor estate. Their children will all start at the same private school in the county in September.
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The Georgian mansion that Pippa, 38, and her Eton-educated husband, 46, have bought was the subject of a painstaking multi-million-pound restoration by its previous owner. It was not known that it was on the market and the sale is said to have been carried out privately.
It has around 30 rooms, plus plenty of outdoor space for children to play with their royal cousins in around 150 acres of grounds that lead down to a river.
Pippa, who once wrote a book filled with tips on entertaining, will be able to grow produce in the huge walled garden and greenhouses.
‘It’s a far more impressive property than any of those on the Windsor estate, apart from the castle,’ a local tells me.
This week, a removals lorry was seen parked outside the couple’s home in Chelsea, West London, which Matthews, a former professional racing driver, bought for £17million in 2015. It’s not clear if they are keeping their home in the capital.
Edinburgh University graduate Pippa married James, whose brother is reality television star Spencer Matthews, in 2017 and they have a son aged three and a 16-month-old daughter.
James’s father, David Matthews, is Laird of Glen Affric, a 10,000-acre estate in Scotland. His parents also own the Eden Rock resort on the island of St Barts in the Caribbean.
The Georgian mansion that Pippa, 38, and her Eton-educated husband, 46, have bought was the subject of a painstaking multi-million-pound restoration by its previous owner. It was not known that it was on the market and the sale is said to have been carried out privately
Coping with stormy Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber was once ‘practically dragged’ out of a West End theatre after he threw his toys out of the pram during a preview performance of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Veteran West End musical director Mike Dixon recalls the composer ‘getting agitated’ as he watched a revival of the show at the Lyceum, where there were ‘some major sound issues’ in the newly refurbished playhouse.
‘The sound issues, of course, were not yet resolved and the inevitable frustration spilled out of him like a mini volcano,’ Dixon recalls in his newly published memoirs, Turn Around And Take A Bow! — My Musical Life: ‘I could see that audience members were noticing, so I said very forcibly to him that he should come out of the auditorium and to the relative calm of the stalls bar.
Andrew Lloyd Webber was once ‘practically dragged’ out of a West End theatre after he threw his toys out of the pram during a preview performance of Jesus Christ Superstar
‘We were only a couple of rows from the exit, so I practically dragged him out with me. Once we got there, he started venting his frustration and I very loudly and in the nicest way possible told him to “Shut up”. I explained that, of course, the sound was not yet right, the sound deadening pieces had yet to be fitted.’
Lord Lloyd-Webber later apologised and thanked him for ‘saving him from embarrassment’.
Didn’t Bruce’s boy do well
Single since her beloved husband, TV legend Sir Bruce Forsyth, died in 2017 at the age of 89, Wilnelia made a rare public appearance at the Caudwell Butterfly Ball, accompanied by their son, Jonathan Joseph.
Known as JJ, the 35-year-old was unrecognisable at the event in London’s Leicester Square compared to this picture of him with his mother and the Strictly Come Dancing host when JJ was aged eight.
Educated at £44,000-a-year Charterhouse School, JJ is a musician who played in a heavy metal band called JunkCake.
His mother, 64, a former Miss World from Puerto Rico, inherited almost Sir Bruce’s entire £11.5 million fortune.
Single since her beloved husband, TV legend Sir Bruce Forsyth, died in 2017 at the age of 89, Wilnelia made a rare public appearance at the Caudwell Butterfly Ball, accompanied by their son, Jonathan Joseph
Di’s dress man Emanuel snips at Meghan’s style
David Emanuel and his then wife, Elizabeth, created Diana’s spectacular bridal gown, but he is no fan of the Princess’s daughter-in-law.
‘You mean the American woman?’ he asks me. ‘I can’t now utter the name.’
Referring to the ivory outfit the Duchess of Sussex wore to the Platinum Jubilee service at St Paul’s Cathedral (right), Emanuel says it reminded him of another U.S. divorcee who wed a prince: ‘I tell you who she is channelling — Wally Simpson.’
Of the Dior belted coat and skirt set, he says: ‘I will stick my neck out here, but she looked as if she was in a nurse’s uniform. And why where they there? I can understand Her Majesty wanting her grandson, of course, but they’re not working royals.’
The former I’m A Celebrity contestant believes Harry’s fall-out with his brother would not have happened if their mother hadn’t been killed in a car crash. ‘If Diana was alive, all of this would have been sorted out,’ he says.
Speaking at a drinks party at Clarendon Fine Art in Mayfair, Emanuel, 69, adds of former Suits star Meghan: ‘They talk about her being a movie star, but she is not.
‘She’s a B-list TV actress, that’s all. She’s not Glenn Close.’
David Emanuel and his then wife, Elizabeth, created Diana’s spectacular bridal gown, but he is no fan of the Princess’s daughter-in-law who he describes as ‘the American woman’
Sienna’s delight at seeing her best friend tie the knot
Inviting actress Sienna Miller to your wedding means the bride is always in danger of being overshadowed.
Yet her best friend, Tori Cook, was willing to take the risk when she exchanged vows in West London this week.
As the newlyweds posed on the steps of Chelsea Old Town Hall after the ceremony, the groom, DJ Hugo Heathcote, 45, did, however, look keener to pose with the Hollywood star, 40 (far left) than with his new wife.
Cook, 40, who wore a chic white trouser suit, has been Miller’s friend since they were children and is employed as her publicist.
Tori, who has two daughters with Heathcote, is the sister of James Cook, the husband of actress Poppy Delevingne.
‘I love you so much Tori,’ Sienna has gushed on social media in the past. ‘You are my everything.’ Sienna, who was once engaged to The Talented Mr Ripley star Jude Law, showed off a flash of midriff in her £350 pink outfit by the brand Self Portrait.
The star of films including Layer Cake and American Sniper has a child with actor Tom Sturridge, 36, but is currently going out with a man 15 years her junior — Burberry model Oli Green.
[Very] Modern manners
Waspish Strictly Come Dancing star Craig Revel Horwood is even more brutal with his judgments in real life.
‘I really do owe an apology to this man I arranged to go on a blind date with,’ confesses the now-engaged choreographer, 57, who says he used an app to set up the date.
‘I said, “I will meet you at this restaurant”. I booked this table at the front and got there 20 minutes late just so he would be there.
‘I took one look through the window and walked on — he did not look like his picture at all.
‘When you say you have a 30in waist and it turns out to be 50in — it looks very different.’
Flags will, I trust, fly at half-mast in Kent this weekend in tribute to the splendid, self-styled ‘tough old bat’ and former High Sheriff of the county, Viscountess Monckton of Brenchley, who has died aged 93. Only a year ago, Marianna Monckton, mother of Princess Diana’s friend Rosa, was firing on all cylinders when bailiffs arrived at her house near Maidstone wrongly claiming she owed £1,500 for a water bill on land she didn’t own. She saw them off, using what she called her father’s ‘best naval language’.
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