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EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Prince Charles nets fashion guru to become his style counsel 

Dapper Prince Charles has often appeared on ‘best-dressed’ lists over the years, but even his admirers were surprised when he launched a fashion line last year.

That 18-piece luxury capsule collection could, though, represent just the start of his sartorial ambitions as, I can reveal, he’s recruited one of the fashion world’s biggest figures to work for him.

He’s appointed Federico Marchetti, who created online fashion giant Yoox, which became the largest e-commerce fashion company in the world after buying Net-A-Porter in 2015.

Marchetti, 52, will be a director of the heir to the throne’s company A. G. Carrick, which has sold everything from £60 stuffed corgi toys to £65 cushions emblazoned with the motto God Save The Queen via his Highgrove shops and websites.

He’s appointed Federico Marchetti, who created online fashion giant Yoox, which became the largest e-commerce fashion company in the world after buying Net-A-Porter in 2015

‘Federico’s guidance will be invaluable,’ a courtier tells me. ‘His record speaks for itself and he will help increase revenue at the company and make it more professional.’

Fellow directors at A. G. Carrick include Michael Fawcett, Charles’s controversial former valet, who has resigned temporarily as chief executive of his charity empire, the Prince’s Foundation, while an investigation is carried out into the ‘cash for favours’ scandal.

A. G. Carrick, which is named after the pseudonym the Prince uses to sign his watercolours, had a turnover of £4.6 million last year.

The first royal fashion collaboration was unveiled at Dumfries House, the 18th-century Palladian stately home in Ayrshire, Scotland, he saved for the nation. On the project, Charles partnered with the Yoox Net-a-Porter group, which Marchetti ran before handing it over to a new boss this year.

Of his own sense of style, Charles has said: ‘I am rather like a stopped clock in terms of fashion. I seem to come into vogue about once every 25 years or so.’

‘Federico’s guidance will be invaluable,’ a courtier tells me. ‘His record speaks for itself and he will help increase revenue at the company and make it more professional'

‘Federico’s guidance will be invaluable,’ a courtier tells me. ‘His record speaks for itself and he will help increase revenue at the company and make it more professional’

Boris aide bags a Jag

Boris Johnson’s climate change spokesman, Allegra Stratton, caused much hot air among critics when she admitted driving an environmentally unfriendly diesel VW Golf.

Now, the former BBC journalist has finally acquired a £76,000 electric car free of charge, courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover which is sponsoring the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow this November.

It’s providing a fleet of electric Jags to transport delegates and government officials. Stratton will, however, have to return the car at the end of the two-week-long jamboree.

Earlier this summer, Stratton, who’s paid up to £130,000 per year, claimed she ‘didn’t fancy’ getting an electric car just yet and her ‘third-hand’ diesel suited her better, as she was worried about charging times.

Perhaps this will be the jolt she needs to convince her to splash out?

Hirst’s girl Sophie gives us something to ink about

As Damien Hirst’s girlfriend, Sophie Cannell might be expected to have a passing interest in art, but the former ballerina seems to be far more interested in body art.

The 27-year-old, who lives with the world’s richest artist in a £36 million home in Regent’s Park, London, has had a tattoo inked down the length of her spine by Ken Carlos. The words appear to read: ‘Leave the world and come back to you.’

She has a feather design on her inner arm, italic text on her ribcage and a floral design on her crotch.

Hirst — 29 years her senior — once designed a green-and-black butterfly motif for a very intimate tattoo on the model, Shauna Taylor, for a magazine feature.  

As Damien Hirst's girlfriend, Sophie Cannell might be expected to have a passing interest in art, but the former ballerina seems to be far more interested in body art

As Damien Hirst’s girlfriend, Sophie Cannell might be expected to have a passing interest in art, but the former ballerina seems to be far more interested in body art

Life is Short star Stephen Merchant, who towers over fellow comedians at 6ft 7in, is fed up with tall people being the butt of jokes. 

‘I’m the same height as footballer, now TV star, Peter Crouch,’ he says. ‘He’s a trim, athletic guy, but he was mocked.’ 

Merchant, who made his name writing The Office with Ricky Gervais, adds: ‘I’m never going to have giant muscles — I don’t have the DNA for it. Imagine how many calories I would have to take in to have Popeye-style muscles? It wouldn’t make sense.’

Brad was mad for wild Paula

Who knew Hollywood star Brad Pitt was infatuated with Paula Yates? The actor, 57, was so determined to woo the British television presenter that he gave her a ring

Who knew Hollywood star Brad Pitt was infatuated with Paula Yates? The actor, 57, was so determined to woo the British television presenter that he gave her a ring

Who knew Hollywood star Brad Pitt was infatuated with Paula Yates?

The actor, 57, was so determined to woo the British television presenter that he gave her a ring.

Today is the 21st anniversary of Yates’s death of a heroin overdose, aged 41. Her friend and former PR, Gerry Agar Fennell, tells me Yates met Pitt after moving to Los Angeles with her rock star boyfriend Michael Hutchence in 1995.

‘Paula said Brad gave her the ring as a ‘token of his infatuation’,’ Gerry tells me.

‘She told me there was a lot of flirting and he told her he adored her. I only remember Paula giggled about their time together.’ 

Time runs out for Parsons’ pleasures

Having played Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield knows a thing or two about tackling baddies, and in real life he has tech giants in his sights. The actor, 38, who grew up in Surrey, believes social media is made to be addictive to youngsters. 

‘Chickens will be coming home to roost at some point in terms of the people who invented these technologies being held to account, and regulation actually coming in,’ says Garfield, who starred in The Social Network about Facebook. 

Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark has revealed that she turned up at the Royal Academy of Art’s summer exhibition preview party in a colourful ‘Lucky Charm’ printed dress by the label La Double J, only to bump into another guest wearing the same outfit

Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark has revealed that she turned up at the Royal Academy of Art’s summer exhibition preview party in a colourful ‘Lucky Charm’ printed dress by the label La Double J, only to bump into another guest wearing the same outfit

Kirsty’s double trouble

If you spent hundreds on a quirky dress by a little-known designer label, you might hope it would show off your unique sense of style.

Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark has revealed that she turned up at the Royal Academy of Art’s summer exhibition preview party in a colourful ‘Lucky Charm’ printed dress by the label La Double J, only to bump into another guest wearing the same outfit. 

La Double J is a Milan-based brand whose dresses cost up to to £1,150.

Spot the difference.

Here’s a historical artefact unlikely to appear on Antiques Roadshow: Charlotte Brudenell, chatelaine of Deene Park, discovered a stash of condoms more than a century old while having furniture restored at the Northamptonshire medieval manor. 

‘I have had three framed and put slightly tucked away because, obviously, we don’t want to upset visitors,’ she says. Talking on the Duchess of Rutland’s podcast, she adds: ‘On the other hand, those who have seen them have rocked with laughter. It’s part of the history of the house that Deene Park was a pretty racy place at the end of the 19th century.’ 

Having played Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield knows a thing or two about tackling baddies, and in real life he has tech giants in his sights. 

The actor, 38, who grew up in Surrey, believes social media is made to be addictive to youngsters. 

‘Chickens will be coming home to roost at some point in terms of the people who invented these technologies being held to account, and regulation actually coming in,’ says Garfield, who starred in The Social Network about Facebook.


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