Captain Moonlight's Notebook: Rupert grovels at the Palace

AN UNLIKELY source has at last unravelled the mystery of the Sun newspaper's gracious and expensive apology to the Queen for breaking the embargo on her Christmas speech. Readers may remember that Kelvin faced a regal lawsuit over this one, at first promised defiance, and then suddenly ran up the white flag and paid pounds 200,000, to be split between the Save the Children Fund and the Leonard Cheshire Foundation.

Could it be that Kelvin had looked into his heart and decided he was wrong? Chance would be a fine thing. More likely, so the story went, that Rupert had picked up the phone and told the Socrates of Wapping to grovel a little.

This is half right. Rupert did pick up the phone - but he first phoned the Palace direct and did a little grovelling himself to a private secretary. How do we know? The source is impeccable. The Queen told Israel's President Chaim Herzog over supper last week, and President Herzog passed it on to Captain Moonlight at a party given by Lord Weidenfeld.