EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: The Duke of Wellington’s niece swaps boots for espadrilles after launching her own brand of £450 summer shoes
While the 1st Duke of Wellington gave us wellies, his descendant Eleanor Wellesley is trying to make her name with a lighter form of footwear.
A niece of the current 9th Duke, Eleanor, 27, has launched her own brand of espadrilles, the canvas summer shoes first worn by poor farm workers in 14th-century Spain.
Her high wedges (below), however, have an aristocratic, rather than peasant price tag: £450.
‘The espadrilles I’ve made are smart enough to wear to an evening event, but they’re also great for the day,’ Eleanor tells me at the launch party in London’s Belgravia, where guests included model Yasmin Le Bon, 58 (pictured with Eleanor), wife of Duran Duran star Simon.
Eleanor Wellesley (right) and Yasmin Le Bon attend the launch of the Eleanor Wellesley debut shoe collection at Anna Mason
Earl and Countess Bathurst made a splash on their first holiday together in seven years, I hear. The couple, who own Cirencester Park in Gloucestershire, where William and Harry have played polo, went on a salmon fishing trip to the River Teith in Stirling, Scotland, with six friends.
‘To my astonishment, on about the tenth cast I had a bite,’ Sara Bathurst says. ‘With strict instructions from my companion, a gorgeous brown trout obediently made its way into the net.
‘I proudly took a picture of my first river catch. We admired his beautiful markings, and I gently turned to release him back into the water. And that’s when it all went horribly wrong.
‘I must have got overexcited and moved my foot in the wrong direction. Because, to my deep embarrassment, I found myself heading swiftly into the water.’
Prince Edward admits the previous Duke of Edinburgh is a hard act to follow. At the official opening of the Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot, Merseyside, Edward described his father, Prince Philip, as ‘the most experienced plaque unveiler the planet has ever known’. He added: ‘The unveiling of a plaque is not necessarily the most exciting thing that has happened in your lives. I just need you to pretend it is the most exciting thing that has happened in Prescot in 400 years.’ Luckily, Edward pulled back the curtains successfully. All’s well that ends well.
The Duke of Edinburgh waves to guests as he hosts young people from The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme in the garden of Buckingham Palace
Channel 5 boss Ben Frow is repeating royal shows under sympathetic new names. ‘I made us a royal channel after Covid and retitled all the programmes so they were very pro-royal,’ he tells the Wales Screen Summit. ‘So, instead of “Camilla And Her Seven Affairs”, it became “Camilla: Love And Duty” . . . I’m very pro-royal.’ A knighthood beckons, surely?