When there are rifts as wide as that between Prince Harry and Meghan, and the rest of the Royal Family, friends have to choose a side.
And it appears that George and Amal Clooney may have chosen theirs.
‘The Clooneys clearly want to be on good terms with the King and the Royal Family,’ whispers a source at the ceremony, held at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in London’s West End.
But do they still care about being on good terms with the California-based Sussexes?
Couple: George and Amal Clooney (pictured) were courted by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and attended the Prince’s Trust Awards on Tuesday – an organisation created by King Charles
The Hollywood star and his wife, a lawyer and activist, have not been pictured with Harry and Meghan since the royal couple’s wedding at Windsor in 2018.
Meghan was missing in action when the Clooneys launched a humanitarian award in New York last September.
The Clooneys invited showbusiness pals including British actress Phoebe Dynevor, of Bridgerton fame, to attend the launch of their Albie awards, named after South African Justice Albie Sachs, in honour of his commitment to end apartheid.
Human rights lawyer Amal was joined by guests including Donatella Versace, Meryl Streep, Dua Lipa, Julia Roberts, Gayle King, Cindy Crawford, Jodi Turner- Smith, Charlotte Tilbury and Gemma Chan.
Afterwards there was a party in the penthouse suite of the Mark Hotel. It was the place where Meghan held her lavish baby shower for Archie in February 2019 — attended by Amal, who gave her a lift back to Britain on the Clooney private jet.
And yet, although it fell well outside the mourning period for the Queen, Meghan and Harry were not among the guests.
George Clooney said in 2019: ‘We live not too far from one another and we have dinners and stuff, and we’re friends with them for all the reasons that you’re friends with anybody.’
Been a while: The Hollywood star and his wife, a lawyer and activist, have not been pictured with Harry and Meghan since the royal couple’s wedding at Windsor in 2018
The friendship extended to a public defence of Meghan. Later that year, he told an Australian magazine: ‘They’re just chasing Meghan Markle everywhere. She’s a woman who is seven months pregnant and she has been pursued and vilified and chased in the same way that Diana was and it’s history repeating itself.’
A month after Meghan’s baby shower in New York, he again said that the Duchess was being treated in ways which felt ‘unkind’.
He told Good Morning Britain: ‘I think it’s a little unfair at times. I’ve seen it when the Press can turn on you for sort of ridiculous reasons and for almost nothing, and it seemed to me to be a little unjust since [Meghan] hadn’t done anything except just happen to live her life.’
However, since that point, the Clooneys have been silent on the topic of their Montecito friends.
At the Prince’s Trust Awards, all the talk was about King Charles’s Coronation, which Meghan did not attend.
Fashionable London restaurateur and author Yotam Ottolenghi was born and raised in Israel, but not everything was kosher. ‘I grew up in a non-traditional Jewish home, very secular,’ he says. ‘Food-wise, we had pork, which was unheard of.’
Ottolenghi, 54, whose mother came from Germany and father from Italy, tells Ruth Rogers’ Table 4 podcast: ‘My mum had that butcher in Jerusalem, the only one that sold pork, but it was under the counter in a brown bag.
‘She used to buy ham and we used to get ham sandwiches for school but were not allowed to say what is in our sandwiches and not allowed to share it with friends.
‘So the cover story was that it was turkey — but a very pink turkey.’
Party year for Arlene
Party: Original Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips has big plans to mark her 80th birthday next week
Why have one party when you can have 12? Original Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips has big plans to mark her 80th birthday next week.
‘Instead of one party, I’ll have a dinner party for each group of friends and family every month for the year,’ the celebrated choreographer tells me. ‘Rather than have them in one room and never see anybody, I can have 12 or 14 a time.
‘I’m going to do it with all my associates in the world of dance, producers and directors I work with — everybody has their group.’
Davina McCall says her boyfriend is a cut above. The panellist on hit ITV show The Masked Singer has dated hairdresser Michael Douglas, 50, since 2019. And Davina, 55, loves the free styling advice. ‘Michael can basically fashion me in any way he cares,’ she tells me at the British Book Awards in Mayfair, where she won Book of the Year for Menopausing, which she wrote with Dr Naomi Potter.
Evergreen Dame Joanna Lumley says her youthful appearance is thanks to the increasing amount of slap she uses. ‘I always wear a lot of make-up and I love to change my hair,’ says the actress, 77, who’s married to conductor Stephen Barlow. ‘As you get older, I realise you’re so frightening to look at when you aren’t thickly painted. Now I just put on lashings of stuff, and dye my hair vigorously. ‘I will go to my grave with somebody else’s false teeth clipped into my head.’
Make-up: Evergreen Dame Joanna Lumley says her youthful appearance is thanks to the increasing amount of slap she uses