EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Nicky Haslam adds to mystery of Prince Harry naming baby ‘Lilibet’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to call their daughter Lilibet has been shrouded in mystery since the BBC’s royal correspondent Jonny Dymond claimed last year that they had not asked the Queen to use her surname.
In response, Prince Harry and Meghan launched an unprecedented legal attack on the BBC, saying the story was “false and defamatory”.
Their spokesman said: ‘The Duke spoke to his family prior to the announcement – in fact, his grandmother was the first relative he called.
Interior designer Nicky Haslam, whose royal friends include everyone from the Duchess of Cornwall to Prince Michael of Kent, claims the Queen was under the impression that the child, who was born last June, would be named Elizabeth – and was surprised to find that the couple had in fact named her Lilibet
“During that conversation, he handed out their hopes of naming their daughter Lilibet in her honor.
“If she hadn’t been helpful, they wouldn’t have used the name.”
Now a friend of the royals has added to the mystery of what they did or didn’t say in their telephone conversation with the monarch.
Interior designer Nicky Haslam, whose royal friends include everyone from the Duchess of Cornwall to Prince Michael of Kent, claims the Queen was under the impression that the child, who was born last June, would be named Elizabeth – and was surprised to find that the couple had in fact named her Lilibet.
Haslam says: ‘I heard he [Harry] called her and said, “We want to name our daughter after you, Grandma.” She said, “How charming of you, thank you,” thinking it would be Elizabeth.
“So they got the permission, but they didn’t mention the name.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to call their daughter Lilibet has been shrouded in mystery since the BBC’s royal correspondent Jonny Dymond claimed last year that they had not asked the Queen if they could use her family’s pet name.
What Haslam, 82, heard may of course be incorrect and we may never know where the truth lies.
Lilibet has important sentimental connotations for the Queen as it was the name used for her privately by her father, George VI, and by her late husband, Prince Philip.
On the podcast The Third Act, Haslam questions why Harry and Meghan didn’t name the baby after the former American actress’s mother.
“Why didn’t they name that baby Doria?” he asks. “It’s the most beautiful name ever.”
A spokesman for the Sussexes did not comment more than three days after I asked them about Haslam’s claims.
Lady Victoria to examine that Andrew photo
Lady Victoria, 45, expands on Giuffre’s allegations in a TV documentary
Lady Victoria Hervey has long defended Prince Andrew against Virginia Giuffre, who accused him of sexually abusing her when she was 17.
The Queen’s second son vehemently denied Giuffre’s claims, but paid her millions in an out-of-court settlement.
Now Lady Victoria, 45, is delving deeper into Giuffre’s accusations in a TV documentary.
“I’m going to interview the person who took the photos of Andrew and Giuffre,” she tells me at the Grand Prix Ball for the benefit of the Global Gift Foundation.
“I really enjoy the research side.”
Victoria, who once dated the Duke of York, adds: “It’s so sad what happened to Andrew.”
Ashton wore a sparkly off-the-shoulder dress that showed off her baby bump on the red carpet at the New York premiere of her latest film, Mr Malcolm’s List.
Zawe bumps along on the red carpet
Forget the night manager – Tom Hiddleston will need a night nurse soon.
The Marvel superhero series star Loki is looking forward to the birth of his first child with his fiancée, Fresh Meat star Zawe Ashton.
Ashton wore a sparkly off-the-shoulder dress that showed off her baby bump on the red carpet at the New York premiere of her latest movie, Mr Malcolm’s List.
Eton and Cambridge-trained Hiddleston, 41, confirmed last month that he was engaged to the 37-year-old Londoner, whose grandfather, Paulo Muwanga, briefly served as both Uganda’s president and prime minister.
Hiddleston and Ashton first met in 2019 when they played husband and wife in a revival of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal.
The actor had previously courted American pop superstar Taylor Swift.
Downton Abbey has made Dame Maggie Smith richer than most countess dowagers.
The Oscar winner, 87, has had one of her most financially successful years after making more than £2.3 million in 2021. Newly filed bills show assets in her acting firm, Dame Margaret Cross Productions, have risen to £10.2m, including £9.8m in cash reserves.
The company, through which she channels her revenue, made a profit of £1.6 million. After taking into account £1.6 million bills, £8.7 million was withheld for Dame Maggie. Who said ‘actors never retire, they just get less and less work’?
It’s one of the highlights of the season for London’s beau monde, but the Serpentine Gallery’s summer party is canceled even though the pandemic is behind us.
“In light of ongoing world events, we have made the decision not to continue with our usual summer party this year,” a spokesperson said.
Which “world events” aren’t made clear, but maybe they’re missing all those super-rich Russians who used to attend the bash and give generously to the art gallery?
Jaime Winstone (left) and Daisy Lowe are pictured above at launch
Jaime has a Glastonbury engagement
Most festival-goers return home from Glasto with a pile of dirty laundry, but Jaime, the daughter of Hollywood hardman Ray Winstone, wore an engagement ring from her boyfriend.
DJ James Suckling proposed to the 37-year-old Made In Dagenham star at Worthy Farm in Somerset, where she became pregnant with their son Raymond in 2015.
“I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect engagement,” says Jaime (far left).
She celebrated with friends including model Daisy Lowe, 33, (left) at the Fulham Palace launch of the Gray Goose Essences Season of Spritz picnic series.