As the youngest of the Duke of Rutland’s spirited daughters, Lady Eliza Manners is used to being the centre of attention at parties. But the 25-year-old interior designer is in danger of blending into the background in this outfit.
She’s wearing a floral dress that imitates the decoration at her family’s ancestral home in Leicestershire, Belvoir Castle. ‘A celebration of this wallpaper, which pre-dates the castle,’ explains Lady Eliza.
There have been four castles on the site, the present one having been built between 1801 and 1832.
Notting Hill film ‘got rid of’ ethnic roles, says comic star Omid Djalili
Notting Hill cemented Hugh Grant’s reputation as Britain’s leading man and helped property prices in the once run-down corner of West London to soar to those of Mayfair or Belgravia.
Yet, the comedian Omid Djalili has now slammed the 1999 smash-hit romantic comedy, claiming that ethnic actors’ scenes were axed — and his own role reduced — to make it ‘more white’.
Djalili, who compered the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for the Queen at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May, claims: ‘Notting Hill, another film I was cut out of, for being too brown.
‘Notting Hill was a film where they tried to show the diversity of the Notting Hill area, then [a] producer goes: “We want this to be more white.” So they got rid of everyone.’
In the film written by Richard Curtis, Djalili, 56, made an uncredited cameo as a vendor who sells Will (played by Grant) the orange juice that he accidentally spills on Hollywood star Anna (Julia Roberts).
‘I had some lines that were taken out, so it looks like I’m an extra,’ says Djalili, who was born in London to Iranian parents. ‘I just give Hugh Grant the orange juice. The only ethnic minority who stayed in the movie was Sanjeev Bhaskar — he had a couple of lines. But, yeah, they whitewashed the film, unfortunately.’
Speaking on Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre podcast, Djalili, whose film credits include roles in Gladiator and The Mummy, adds: ‘I’m not bitter about it. I’m just saying that as fact.
‘You’re looking at me like in shock, but they did — it’s true, they thought it wasn’t white enough.’ There has been criticism of the film over the years for failing to reflect the ethnic make-up of the area, which has been at the heart of the West Indian community since the 1950s and home of the Notting Hill Carnival.
Comic Relief co-creator Curtis — whose films include Four Weddings And A Funeral, and Bridget Jones’s Diary — declines to comment.
After the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, he said: ‘I would write different movies now. We are all thinking about things in different ways. We have a really impatient younger generation who are focusing on things I never focused on.’
A cool £1m top-up for Kit’s kitty
Winter is coming, but Game Of Thrones actor Kit Harington — whose character Jon Snow uttered those words — is well prepared. I hear the baronet’s son, 35, made more than £1 million in just a year.
Assets in Kit Harington Ltd, which channels his earnings, increased from £123,000 to £1.16 million in the 12 months to March, according to newly published accounts.
Harington, who has a 19-month-old son with fellow Thrones star Rose Leslie, 35 (left with Kit), was left with nearly £950,000 in cash in the business after a £195,000 corporation tax bill.
Queen drummer Roger Taylor has won his battle with conservationists to build a new gatehouse to boost security at his historic £2 million riverside mansion in Cornwall.
As I reported in July, Historic England initially said the proposed new building would be ‘overly-dominant’ and harm the setting of the Grade II-listed house.
Taylor then submitted revised plans to the local council, reducing the height and scale, and Historic England withdrew its objections. Officials at Cornwall Council have now given the go-ahead.
Princess Bea’s husband’s ex is in the pink
The mother of Princess Bea’s stepson is clearly enjoying being ‘a Barbie girl in the Barbie world’.
Architect Dara Huang, who turned 41 yesterday, lived up to the song while at her friends’ Barbie-themed party in Italy, complete with a photo booth designed to look like the box in which the plastic dolls are sold.
‘I remember playing Barbie as an Eighties child,’ says Dara, who was engaged to property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, 38.
Their six-year-old son, Christopher, known as Wolfie, served as best man at Beatrice’s wedding.
Almost everyone remains awed by the sombre spectacle of the Queen’s funeral — except, it seems, one or two of those who were privileged to attend it.
Displaying a remarkable lack of tact, as well as Del Boy instincts, they have, I can reveal, decided to tout their copies of the Order of Service at Westminster Abbey on eBay. One copy is offered for sale at an opening bid of £1,500.
The vendor, from Manchester, tells potential buyers: ‘I’m selling this on behalf of my mum who attended the queens [sic] funeral.’
How sad to sell such a treasure.