The Queen can rely on Prince Charles, William and George to take the reigns

WELL, it’s been a right old mixed bag of assorted royal princes this week.

We’ve seen a spry 99-year- old Prince Philip out and about, looking extraordinarily chipper and even engaging in a bit of banter during a surprise public appearance.

⚠️Read our Meghan and Harry blog for the latest news on the Royal couple.

Prince Charles has been praising “heroic health workers”, Prince Andrew was airbrushed from his daughter’s wedding, Prince Harry is, according to his “friends”, floundering around in his LA mansion wondering what to do with the rest of his life and Prince George celebrated his seventh birthday looking as cute as a button in the now customary photo taken by his mum.

Let’s start with the patriarch of the family, and judging by how fit and well Prince Philip looked both mentally and physically, there’s no doubt he will receive a 100th birthday message from his wife next June.

In fact he’s looking good for at least another decade and could end up eventually breaking records for being the oldest man alive.

Philip stepped out of retirement to hand over the role of Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles to his daughter-in-law Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

He looked as though he was genuinely enjoying himself, and even engaged in a bit of gentle teasing with one of the soldiers about his fitness levels.

I always think Philip’s team must be on tenterhooks during his official walkabouts because you never know what he’s going to come out with.

He’s renowned for his gaffes and some of his comments over the years have been downright toe-curling and offensive, but the Queen always says she couldn’t do the job without his support.

He was once again by her side at the recent downsized wedding of his granddaughter Princess Beatrice, and again looked incredibly well in all of the newlyweds’ official photographs.

In complete contrast, the father of the bride was nowhere to be seen.

Prince Andrew, often referred to as the Queen’s favourite son (which I always think must really upset Charles and Edward) is now effectively a royal pariah and there were no pictures released of him with his daughter on what should be the happiest day of her life.

The stench from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal clings to Andrew, especially now his friend Ghislaine Maxwell is in a New York jail accused of heinous crimes over the “sexual exploitation” of underage girls.

Andrew strenuously denies he has committed any offence, but so far has not spoken to US authorities.

He has been booted out of The Firm by the Queen, who is nobody’s fool and can be utterly ruthless when the monarchy is under threat.

Meanwhile, she must surely be proud of her eldest son Prince Charles, who shook off Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic and was this week in his beloved Cornwall speaking for all of us when he congratulated NHS staff, social workers, care home staff and volunteers for their hard work during the crisis.

Like father like son, and Prince William hasn’t put a foot wrong since we went into lockdown back in March.

He and Kate have been hands-on in trying to raise the nation’s spirits.

They’ve made countless zoom calls to front line workers, visited hospitals and announced yesterday a pledge of £1.8million from their charity to support NHS workers struggling with mental health issues.

I don’t know what Prince Harry makes of it all stuck in his Hollywood mansion with no clear role and all his future plans on ice.

He and Meghan could have made a real difference over here, but the couple chose to flee to Beverly Hills to escape the confines of the Royal Family and perceived “harassment” from the British Press.

They’ve finally woken up to discover that, unlike the media in the UK, there are few rules about privacy in Hollywood and are currently suing photographers for allegedly taking drone shots of son Archie in their garden.

They’ve also complained about paparazzi cutting holes in the fence surrounding the property, and helicopters flying low over their heads in the early morning, waking then up and disturbing the neighbours.

All of which simply could not happen over here.

Meghan could have really helped organisations highlighting the appalling rise in domestic abuse and trying to help victims, as we know this is something very close to her heart.

We keep hearing that Harry feels aimless and alienated, but he was the one who chose to turn his back on his family and start afresh. I only hope he has no regrets.

While he deals with his new life, Harry has missed so many royal milestones, including his nephew Prince George turning seven this week.
George looked really happy in the pics taken by his proud mum, and the Queen would have been delighted to see that her great grandson is growing up into such a contented, splendid young boy.

Notwithstanding Her Majesty’s heartache over Harry’s estrangement and the continuing worry over what will happen to Prince Andrew, at least she can head to her holiday home in Balmoral with Prince Philip, knowing that in Princes Charles, William and George, the future of the British monarchy is assured and all of her hard work and personal sacrifice hasn’t been in vain.

Kanye's plight is painful

IN my column last week I said Kanye West needed help and I’ve watched his continuing meltdown over the past seven days with deep and growing unease.

The man is clearly unwell and should not be portrayed as someone to be mocked and lampooned.

He needs professional help for an illness that is being played out in front of millions.

I know the Kardashian clan thrive on notoriety and generating headlines, because it’s the only way they can continue to make vast sums of money, but this is someone’s mental health we are talking about, and ratings in a reality show need to take second place to making sure Kanye is protected from himself.

It’s all extremely confusing.

On one hand wife Kim has finally issued a statement about his condition which makes it clear the family are indeed trying to help him, while at the same time we are told she is thinking about starting divorce proceedings.
It feels like a particularly overwrought soap opera.

But this is real life and I truly hope that, behind the scenes, concerned family members and good friends are indeed taking action to convince Kanye to seek help.

And that’s not just for himself but for his kids, who will eventually read all about this disturbing chapter in their father’s life online and on social media.

Seeing public figures with mental health issues implode in front of our eyes is deeply disturbing.

I will never forget the distressing sight of Britney Spears sitting in a salon shaving her head in 2007 in a desperate cry for help.

I feel that Kanye’s self-destructive outbursts could be in a similar vein and he needs proper treatment as soon as possible.

A kit of alright

I FINALLY got to see my parents this week after all the months in lockdown.

I travelled by train and, of course, had to wear a mask during the journey.

As a result I now have an even greater respect for front line workers who wear full PPE kit, some-times for 12-hour shifts. I don’t know how they do it.

A simple, lightweight mask feels claustrophobic after just half an hour, as well as being sweaty.

Imagine being head to foot in PPE and expected to save lives, not just sitting reading a book on the train or bus.

So when you grumble about having to briefly wear a mask, please bear in mind those workers in the NHS or care homes.

We are lucky to be able to shop and travel, and shouldn’t take these things for granted again.

So wear your mask, keep obeying the rules and chances are we will avoid a second wave.

I will see you in a couple of weeks. Until then, take care of yourself and those you love, be kind to everyone, pick up your rubbish when you go out and remember, we WILL get through this.

Strictly no show for me

I’VE been highly amused at all the speculation this week that I’ve been whisked away to some sort of Strictly bubble to prepare for an upcoming appearance as a contestant on one of the best shows on TV.

I can categorically confirm that I won’t be taking part in the show.

I love to watch Strictly, but as a 60-year-old woman with two left feet it would be painful viewing for all of you.

I wouldn’t even be comically bad like previous contestants John Sergeant or Ann Widdecombe. I would just be downright awful.

And you know that poor old Anton du Beke would be lumbered with having to drag me around the dance floor as I galumphed out of time to even the simplest of steps.

Anton is brilliant and could teach (almost) anyone to elegantly waltz or energetically jive.

But the last time I met him, he got me up for a couple of moves and had to admit defeat.

He said it was rather like dancing with a tree – which I happen to think was being very cruel to forests everywhere.

Cheeky Summer

WASN’T it handy for Summer Monteys-Fullam, who briefly came to our notice as the much younger girlfriend of Bake Off’s Paul Hollywood, that a photographer was around to catch the moment she flashed her peachy bum?

What are the chances, eh?

Summer was in a teeny weeny tennis skirt, attempting to emulate that famous Athena Tennis Girl poster from 1976 which adorned the bedroom walls of countless horny teenage boys.

She looked gorgeous, but generating headlines by wearing skimpy outfits isn’t the way to find happiness and will end up biting her in that cute derrière.

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