Diary: Queen Jane's royal return

Click to follow
The Independent Online

I'm sure I speak for men of a certain age across much of Middle England when I say a warm "welcome home" to returning English Rose and fourth best Bond Girl Jane Seymour. The California-based actress is back in Blighty working as a royal wedding correspondent for US show Entertainment Tonight.

Indeed, had an awkward young Prince Charles struck up the courage to invite the regal Jane to dance along to his favourite band The Three Degrees all those years ago, who knows how things might have turned out? Jane, meanwhile, is keen to assure of us of her royal pedigree, regardless. "My perspective is fairly unique, I've been presented to the Queen many times," she modestly points out. "I've had dinner at the palace with the older royals, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and I know Prince Edward. Fergie, I know very well. She's an old buddy."

Sadly, while leading US broadcasters have also turned to the likes of Sharon Osbourne for an historic British insight into proceedings, poor old Fergie hasn't been required.

* When the news that our Prime Minister had splashed out on a book about the charming Welsh island of Anglesey for the royal couple was met with ungenerous heckles of "cheapskate" yesterday, I felt it was only right to get hold of the facts. Indeed, after discovering that my so-called wedding correspondent, Paul "The Rock" Burrell, was little more than an elaborate internet hoaxer from the Lincolnshire area, I came to the conclusion that I could rely on nobody but myself to save today's long-awaited "royal special" from the low-budget embarrassment some critics evidently feel it deserves. While Downing Street initially wanted to keep precise details under wraps, it was later confirmed that Dave (PM) had, in fact, splashed out on two tomes – the first and second volumes of Anglesey Landscapes by local photographer Glyn Davies. Although not the deluxe kitchen utensils Wills and Kate were hoping for, I'm assured Dave was set back a whopping £60, plus postage and packing. I suspect poor Little Ted Miliband will be lucky to get a book voucher out of Number 10 come his nuptials next month.

* Meanwhile, that amiable ex-con George Michael has been enjoying some more favourable publicity of late, after it emerged he'd recorded a wedding day song especially for the bride and groom. The former Wham! star recently knocked out a cover version of Stevie Wonder's "You and I (We Can Conquer The World)" and now confirms that the CD is in Kate's possession and scheduled to be performed at tonight's reception. While the old stoner goes on to admit that his wrapping skills left a lot to be desired – the Happy Christmas paper was shoddy at best, George – I doubt anyone will notice come 1am when an emotional Prince Harry takes to the dance floor with his tie wrapped around his head.

* Defence Secretary Liam Fox was in confident mood when addressing the parliamentary press gallery yesterday. Asked whether he regretted popping into the pub during the Libya crisis, he replied: "That's a bit like asking Churchill if he regrets having a drink during World War Two." No inflated ego there!

* Elfish Lib Dem president Tim Farron briefly managed to get right-wing types hot and bothered this week when he described Margaret Thatcher's reign as one of "organised wickedness". With Farron having recently been tipped as future leadership material, some parliamentary colleagues quietly suggest the mild-mannered northerner is keen to be seen "stepping up to the plate" – particularly as Chris Huhne has been making plenty of noise of late.

"It's the worst-kept secret in Westminster that Chris fancies himself as Nick Clegg's successor should things go pear-shaped and he's obviously been positioning himself pretty well," suggests one party stalwart. "Tim's supporters want him to be equally aggressive, so this was his way of trying to make a mark."

* Having caused a right old stir this week after flashing her cleavage during Prime Minister's Questions, Labour backbencher Lisa Nandy has been experiencing unprecedented levels of public attention. Indeed, just hours after the "breastgate" furore broke, her website had crashed courtesy of the countless number of hits.