EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Prince Andrew can still 'stand in for the Queen'

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Prince Andrew can still ‘stand in for the Queen’ despite lawsuit over Jeffrey Epstein girl’s abuse allegations

He’s being sued over sex abuse allegations in New York, but Prince Andrew is nevertheless deemed fit to represent the country.

I can reveal the Queen‘s second son, who faces a damages bill of up to £14 million if he loses the U.S. lawsuit accusing him of rape, is still listed as a Counsellor of State.

The role, created in 1911 by George V, means that if the monarch is unwell or indisposed, he has the power to assume her duties.

He's being sued over sex abuse allegations in New York, but Prince Andrew is nevertheless deemed fit to represent the country as a Counsellor of State

He’s being sued over sex abuse allegations in New York, but Prince Andrew is nevertheless deemed fit to represent the country as a Counsellor of State

‘In the event that the Queen cannot undertake her official duties on a temporary basis, two or more Counsellors of State are appointed,’ the Royal website states.

Counsellors of State include the Sovereign’s spouse and the next four people in the line of succession who are over 21.

The Prince of Wales, Prince William and Prince Harry also hold the title, but once William’s children are of age, they will take the place of Harry and Andrew.

‘The Royal Family should consider removing him from that list while he faces the allegations,’ suggests my royal insider. ‘At the moment, he could stand in for the Queen and represent the country.’

Counsellors of State include the Sovereign's spouse and the next four people in the line of succession who are over 21, including Prince William

Counsellors of State include the Sovereign’s spouse and the next four people in the line of succession who are over 21, including Prince William

Prince Harry and Prince Andrew also hold the title, but once William's children are of age, they will be replaced

Prince Harry and Prince Andrew also hold the title, but once William’s children are of age, they will be replaced

Duties may include attending Privy Council meetings, signing documents and receiving the credentials of new ambassadors. Buckingham Palace declines to comment on why the Duke of York retains the role.

Virginia Giuffre, 38, alleges she was forced to have sex with the Duke on the orders of the paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein when she was 17 — and that the royal knew she was a victim of trafficking. The Duke denies all the allegations.

Prince Andrew took a step back from royal duties in 2019 after a Newsnight interview in which he defended his friendship with Epstein. He has since said he regrets the friendship.

 

Sting invites Iron Man on Tuscan double date

Sting is putting his troubles behind him by going on a double date with Hollywood star Robert Downey Jr.

The 69-year-old musician recently had to pen an apology to the son of the dead Italian duke he apparently accused of tricking him into buying his Tuscan vineyard, after being lambasted for ‘speaking ill of the dead’.

This week, he and his wife Trudie, 67, invited Iron Man star Downey Jr and his wife Susan, 47, to their Italian estate, where they played with Sting’s giant outdoor chessboard.

Downey Jr, 56, became friends with the musician after an awkward first encounter. The actor says he ‘accosted Sting in a stairwell’ to get him to listen to a demo tape he had made.

Clearly, it worked.

Sting is putting his troubles behind him by going on a double date with Hollywood star Robert Downey Jr and their wives

Sting is putting his troubles behind him by going on a double date with Hollywood star Robert Downey Jr and their wives

 

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch failed to make the cut when his best friend, pianist James Rhodes, married Argentinian model Micaela Breque, 32, at the weekend.

But he needn’t worry, as barely anyone was present at his Old Harrovian pal’s ceremony in Madrid.

‘We had to postpone our wedding until next year due to Covid,’ says Rhodes, 46.

‘But I couldn’t wait to get married, so [we had] an intimate ceremony with only four witnesses.’

Benedict was an usher at Rhodes’s second wedding in 2014.

 

Anthea throws birthday bash for her bulldog

She’s barking! Former Blue Peter presenter Anthea Turner admits she went to great lengths to celebrate her French bulldog Soho’s eighth birthday this week.

Turner, 61, and her fiance, businessman Mark Armstrong, 56, hosted a party at their house in West London with festive decorations and cupcakes with candles.

‘We’re very strict on him not having human titbits, which dogs can’t digest like us — although it could be argued we shouldn’t be eating them either,’ said Turner, sharing a picture of herself and the pooch, who wore a bandana.

 

Top chef Asma roasts ‘biting kitchen bullies’

Foul-mouthed Gordon Ramsay might make for entertaining TV, but top restaurateur Asma Khan claims her fellow chefs have been traumatised by such intimidating tactics.

The 52-year-old, who owns Darjeeling Express in London’s Covent Garden, is devastated by the evidence she’s seen of bullying by Michelin-starred chefs.

‘It’s really sad. So many girls have shown me burn marks, bite marks,’ she says.

‘Imagine how crazy you [must be] to bite someone in the kitchen. They come to me because they don’t know me. I have seen more injuries in this short time that I’ve owned a restaurant than in my whole life.’

She does not name Ramsay, but refers to a fiery style, such as that for which he has a reputation, adding: ‘For too long, at prime time you’ve had shouty chefs being given adulation.

‘If I had a daughter and she wanted to be a chef I’d say, “Don’t go there. They’re animals, they’re brutal, they’re going to be abusive.”‘

 

Tennis ace Andrew is a Grand Slam grandad!

Former tennis star and Wimbledon commentator Andrew Castle is celebrating a new title at 57 — that of grandfather.

His youngest daughter, Claudia, 27, has had a baby boy named Louis Magnus with her cricketer husband Will Tavare.

‘There is already competition developing over his sporting future,’ Castle tells me.

‘Tennis is clearly superior to cricket, but when he’s not on court, he can have a go with a bat.’

Former tennis star and Wimbledon commentator Andrew Castle is celebrating a new title at 57 — that of grandfather

Former tennis star and Wimbledon commentator Andrew Castle is celebrating a new title at 57 — that of grandfather

 

Petula Clark has learned to cook at the age of 88 because the West End musical Mary Poppins, in which she stars, closed during lockdown.

‘I went home to Geneva and taught myself. Apparently I’m very good,’ says Clark, who plays the Bird Woman in the newly reopened production.

Her film producer husband, Claude Wolff, is very grateful. ‘He had two hip surgeries so I was cooking. His favourite is poached salmon.’

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