Jeweler to the stars Theo Fennell, whose quirky creations have been worn by everyone from Victoria Beckham to Dame Joan Collins and Sir Elton John, has revealed he became embroiled in an extraordinary family feud over his mother’s burial site.
The dispute became so bitter that he agreed to exhume and move her remains.
Theo, 70, is the father of Emerald Fennell, the Oscar-winning screenwriter who starred in Call The Midwife and Camilla Parker Bowles in The Crown. He buried his mother’s ashes, Beryl, in a cemetery in an undisclosed location after her death in 2005.
However, this led to a furious disagreement. He speaks of the fallout for the first time, saying, “My cousin called me and said, ‘Your mom’s in my hole.’ I said, “I’m sorry, what do you mean?”
She said, “That’s where I’d be buried.” And I said, “Well, there’s room enough,” because her ashes were only in a little box. In the end she was so persistent and so angry that my mother was moved two meters to the left so that my cousin could get into this hole.’
Family feud: Theo Fennell, jeweler and silverware designer, at the Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye, Wales
The process became a traumatic, bureaucratic affair. “What I didn’t realize is that you have to call the Home Office to exhume a body, even though my mother’s body was already ash,” he says. “Besides, you have to notify the church board, get a lot of papers signed and it’s extremely expensive, and we moved my mom to a smaller hole.”
Now Fennell, the Eton-educated son of an army major, is concerned that her remains will need to be exhumed again as the proposed route of the HS2 railway line cuts through the cemetery.
“We got a letter from the church committee saying that the new high-speed line would go right through the cemetery, so at some point they would have to exhume all the bodies and move them elsewhere,” says Fennell. .
“It’s all quiet now, I’m not sure if they’re still building it, but if they are, we need to get her back on her feet.”
Bond girl Sue gives the marital strife
Sue Vanner, who made the hearts of a generation of teenagers skip a beat when she was filmed lying naked under a pile of furs with Sir Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me, said she was a “fighter” but she’s ” very difficult” after her husband, real estate mogul Warren Todd, left her for a younger woman he met at the gym.
Now the actress and singer has had to admit defeat in her marriage, as she has started divorce proceedings.
I revealed in 2019 that Todd, the owner of much of London’s fashionable Notting Hill, had left 71-year-old Vanner to pursue a relationship with his new girlfriend, known only as Anya, who was pregnant. She has since had two children.
He moved out of the £10 million Georgian mansion he shared with Vanner near the Beckhams’ home in Holland Park.
Bond girl: Sue Vanner has admitted defeat in her marriage after filing for divorce
“Sue is devastated,” a close friend told me at the time. “After 32 years of happy marriage, Warren made decisions during a very serious midlife crisis that tore their family apart.”
Todd is 16 years younger than Vanner, pictured together in 2012 at right, with whom he has son Ryan. Vanner is represented by Payne Hicks Beach, the law firm of which Baroness Shackleton is a partner.
Fiona Shackleton, known as the Steel Magnolia, included King Charles and Sir Paul McCartney in his divorce from Heather Mills.
Kidd and Bates share hug on the sand
Jodie Kidd still hasn’t set a date for her wedding, more than a year after announcing her engagement to former Royal Marine Joseph Bates, but surely she’s found the perfect venue?
The 44-year-old TV personality is with Bates, 36, in Barbados – home to the Kidd family estate, Holders. Her sister Jemma married Arthur Wellesley, son and heir of the Duke of Wellington, in 2005.
Dressed in a kaftan, Jodie and her fiancé looked like newlyweds as they strolled barefoot on the beach before stopping for a cuddle on the sand.
The model, the great-granddaughter of Canadian Press baron the 1st Lord Beaverbrook, hopes to be lucky for the third time with this marriage. She divorced her last husband David Blakeley in 2015 after just four months. And she was divorced from her first husband, internet entrepreneur Aidan Butler, in 2007 after 18 months.
Beach: English fashion model and TV presenter Jodie Kidd gives a beloved performance with her ex-Royal Marine fiancé Joseph Bates
Kiss: The pair were spotted basking in the Caribbean sunshine in Barbados
Could Colonel being Pinkham drop clues?
Did Natalie Pinkham light up the touchpaper on the summer season party game?
I ask because the Sky Sports presenter, back from a jaunt in Dubai with husband Owain Walbyoff, shared this retina-crumbling photo and – referencing a character in the murder mystery board game Cluedo – wrote the caption: ‘Colonel Mustard with an umbrella . ‘
Natalie, 45, who captivated Prince Harry during his carefree bachelor days, does not want to elaborate on where or with whom she plans to play. Perhaps the ignorant Harry is up for a game, or two, after next month’s coronation?
Clues: Natalie Pinkham seen attending TAG Heuer Carrera’s 60th anniversary party at Outernet London
The smart set talks about… The exciting news from the Aristo rapper
Here’s a wedding where you probably won’t hear All Things Bright And Beautiful. Aristocratic rapper Josh de Lisser, who is known for his rhymes about growing up in London, will soon have to write some romantic lyrics to perform at the altar.
I hear Josh, 33 – stepson of the late 7th Marquess of Bute, aka racing driver Johnny Dumfries – is engaged to model Delilah Austin, 25. The couple, whose friends include top models Cara Delevingne and Adwoa Aboah, have a month-old daughter old.
Josh’s stepfather, who died in 2021, sold one of his stately homes, Dumfries House in Ayrshire, in 2007 for £45 million to a consortium led by the then Prince Charles.
How new film roll healed Cave’s son
Rock singer Nick Cave’s son, Earl, says acting has helped him deal with the deaths of his twin brother Arthur and half-brother Jethro.
Earl, 22, plays a drug addict in the upcoming film The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry, co-starring Oscar winner Jim Broadbent and Dame Penelope Wilton.
“Acting is a form of therapy and it has helped me in many ways,” Earl, pictured above with his father, tells us during a screening of the film at London’s Ham Yard Hotel. “It’s the only script I’ve read that made me cry.”
Arthur died aged 15 after falling off cliffs in East Sussex in 2014. The family endured further tragedy when 31-year-old Jethro died last May – two days after being released from prison in Australia.
(Very) modern ways
Forget sticky plastic and toilet rolls, former Blue Peter presenter Anthea Turner is doing clever things with sage sticks these days.
The TV personality, 62, believes that wiping your face with a sage stick improves your mood. It is an Indian spiritual ritual that is said to cleanse, purify and dispel negative energy.
“I love the smell and the symbolism, and have been doing it for years,” says Anthea, pictured holding a bunch of burning incense in front of her face.
The former GMTV presenter adds: “If you’re not in a good mood and need a pick-me-up, go for a walk, come home and make a drink with turmeric, have a few minutes of sage smudge and then do the things you’ve been. Delay.’
Cricket legend Ian Botham’s nine-bedroom home doesn’t appear to have been swept away by buyers.
I’ve heard the asking price of the listed property in Ravensworth, North Yorkshire, has been reduced by £300,000 – that’s more than the cost of an average home.
Lord Botham, 67, first put the Georgian house on the market five years ago for £2.3 million. But he is now looking for offers in excess of £2 million. It is a far cry from Beefy’s former living quarters. He revealed earlier this year that he lived in a squat with no electricity when he started out as a cricketer.
Chrissie Hynde doesn’t cherish her spot in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. “If anyone wants my position, they’re welcome,” declares the Pretenders star. “I don’t even want to be associated with it. It’s just leaning back more from the established order.’ The singer, 71, says she was “living a happy life in Rio” when her band was inaugurated in 2005. the teeth to my parents if I didn’t.’
Fancy a five-star hotel with ‘bright luxury rooms’ and ‘dazzling views’ on a sun-drenched Mediterranean island? That includes loyal members of the Lords and Commons cricket team who have headed to Corfu for a long weekend and made a booking at the Corfu Palace Hotel, where a two-bed suite with a sea view costs £600 per night. I’m sure the weekend will involve ‘really hard work’ – which presumably explains the size of the back-up crew. “(Between) 80 and 100 (stay),” says a receptionist. Let’s hope they can handle the schedule: two games in temperatures reaching 21c (70f).