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EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: How a 'real fuss' was created for Sussexes as 'half the restaurant was roped off'


While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex insist they’re just like any other couple trying to live a private family life, their treatment in restaurants even before they quit royal duties seems to tell a different tale.

Jamie Shears, who was head chef at 45 Jermyn Street, owned by the Queen’s grocer Fortnum & Mason, has spoken out about the reception given to the now California-based pair.

‘We got celebrities in all the time,’ Shears tells me. ‘But, for Harry and Meghan, there was a real fuss. Half the restaurant was roped off for the night so they could dine in peace.’

Meghan Duchess of Sussex with friends Genevieve Hillis (L) and Lindsay Roth watching the action on Court 1 Wimbledon Tennis Championships

Meghan Duchess of Sussex with friends Genevieve Hillis (L) and Lindsay Roth watching the action on Court 1 Wimbledon Tennis Championships

Shears, who is about to start as head chef at Mayfair gastropub The Audley, reveals: ‘They came in together just before they went public as a couple. But it was still unusual: 45 Jermyn is a discreet place to eat without doing that.’

There is no indication that the treatment was at the couple’s insistence.

Shears tells me Meghan ordered the monkfish curry. When asked whether preparing a dish for the former actress was an honour, he laughs, ‘not especially’.

It wouldn’t have been the only time that Meghan was granted special treatment while visiting a London landmark. 

She and friends were pictured surrounded by empty seats as they watched tennis star Serena Williams play on Court 1 at Wimbledon in 2019. 

Jamie Shears, who was head chef at 45 Jermyn Street, owned by the Queen’s grocer Fortnum & Mason

Jamie Shears, who was head chef at 45 Jermyn Street, owned by the Queen’s grocer Fortnum & Mason

A general view of Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly, London

A general view of Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly, London

A fellow spectator, Sally Jones, revealed that she and others seated nearby had been asked to put away their cameras.

‘I was in fact taking a picture of Miss Williams,’ an indignant Ms Jones later explained. ‘The man who had accosted me was obviously her royal protection officer, and he was deeply embarrassed as he explained she was there in a ‘private capacity’.

‘I looked at him in astonishment. Private!? You what!? I even mentioned the vast contrast between this control freakery, so alien to typical royal behaviour, and the Duchess of Cambridge’s calm, restrained demeanour two days earlier when there were plenty of amateur snappers, thrilled to encounter their idol with not a shoulder-tap in sight.’

What’s so bunny, Poppy?

There’s apparently no escape from the Delevingne family’s relentless self-promotion, even in the ladies.

Model and actress Poppy Delevingne shared this photograph of herself on the loo at the Coachella music festival in California.

Property developer’s daughter Poppy, the 35-year-old sister of top model Cara, was wearing a big pair of rabbit ears.

She joked: ‘What’s so bunny?’ Talk about toilet humour.

Model and actress Poppy Delevingne shared this photograph of herself on the loo at the Coachella music festival in California

Model and actress Poppy Delevingne shared this photograph of herself on the loo at the Coachella music festival in California

Snowden’s girl rocks mum’s frock

Some women dread ‘turning into’ their mothers, but Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones is delighted to follow her style.

I hear the 20-year-old daughter of the Earl and Countess of Snowdon wore her mother Serena’s paisley printed dress to church on Easter Sunday at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Serena, 52, whose separation from the Queen’s nephew was announced in 2020, had sported the elegant frock at Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s Windsor wedding in 2018.

Lady Margarita, who was a bridesmaid when Kate Middleton married Prince William in 2011, has inherited the creative skills of her carpenter father, becoming a silver jewellery designer.

Some women dread ‘turning into’ their mothers, but Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones is delighted to follow her style

Some women dread ‘turning into’ their mothers, but Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones is delighted to follow her style

I hear the 20-year-old daughter of the Earl and Countess of Snowdon wore her mother Serena’s paisley printed dress to church on Easter Sunday at St George’s Chapel, Windsor

I hear the 20-year-old daughter of the Earl and Countess of Snowdon wore her mother Serena’s paisley printed dress to church on Easter Sunday at St George’s Chapel, Windsor

Racing is mourning Julie Cecil, one of the sport’s aristocracy, who has died aged 80.

Not only did she take part in racing for most of her life, but she was the first of three wives of legendary trainer Sir Henry Cecil. 

The child of another trainer, Sir Noel Murless, Julie became known as the first lady of Newmarket after contributing to Sir Henry’s success before training in her own name in the 1990s, with Alderbrook her best horse.

Wolseley’s King to return in style

You can’t keep a good man down. Scarcely a fortnight after being ousted from the fine dining group he co-founded, Jeremy King is in talks about a dramatic return to the London restaurant scene.

New York restaurateur Keith McNally has revealed that he and King, who owned The Wolseley and Colbert among his celebrated venues, are working on an intriguing new joint venture that will have King’s former regulars, including Nigella Lawson and Jeremy Clarkson, drooling in anticipation. 

‘Doing a major project together in London,’ McNally confirms. ‘Stay tuned.’

Curtis’s lad wows rap crowd

When British rapper Dave invited a member of the audience on stage at Coachella festival in California at the weekend, the teenager, identified only as ‘Spike from London’, became an internet sensation because of his word-perfect rendition of the hit Thiago Silva.

Now, it turns out that he’s actually Spike Curtis, 18, son of Love Actually film-maker Richard Curtis and broadcaster Emma Freud.

His family suggest it was just a coincidence, even though Spike’s a rapper himself, going under the alias Petit Savage, who released his first album aged 12.

‘My cousin Spike has just become the most impressive member of my family, hands down,’ gushes Charlotte Freud, who’s engaged to a rapper, Lukey Storey.

Now, it turns out that he’s actually Spike Curtis, 18, son of Love Actually film-maker Richard Curtis and broadcaster Emma Freud

Now, it turns out that he’s actually Spike Curtis, 18, son of Love Actually film-maker Richard Curtis and broadcaster Emma Freud

His family suggest it was just a coincidence, even though Spike’s a rapper himself, going under the alias Petit Savage, who released his first album aged 12

His family suggest it was just a coincidence, even though Spike’s a rapper himself, going under the alias Petit Savage, who released his first album aged 12

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