Life can be odd. Some people bring their entire family into disrepute, embarrass themselves in front of the world, cost their relatives a fortune — and still get to keep their vast grace-and-favour mansions with hot-and-cold-running servants.
Others, by contrast, spend their lives in service and offer unquestioning friendship, dedication and support — but the moment they’re no longer needed, they’re out on their ear.
I speak, of course, of Prince Andrew and Angela Kelly respectively.
The former, who settled claims of sexual assault out of court for millions, remains stubbornly ensconced at 30-room Royal Lodge, despite reports that his brother wants him to move out.
The latter, the late Queen’s loyal and long-time dresser, was this week spotted tearfully moving out of her home in Windsor to start a new life in the Peak District.
Angela Kelly, seen this weekend, helps move her belongings to a removal van as she moves out of her home in Windsor to start a new life in the Peak District
Ms Kelly is now, reluctantly, leaving her riverside home to move to the Peak District where the King has gifted her a new home to honour his late mother’s promise. Above: Ms Kelly carries out belongings from her Windsor home
Angela Kelly is pictured carrying her belongings to a white removal van in Windsor, England
Angela looks on as she helps load to removal van in Windsor, England, over the weekend
Ms Kelly cut a rather sad figure, loading her belongings into a white van — a far cry from the confident, stylish blonde we were used to seeing in photographs with Elizabeth II.
She’s not being made homeless: the King has bought a house in which she is entitled to live for the rest of her life. Still, from where I’m sitting, it seems like a funny way to thank the woman the late Queen was clearly very fond of.
Her Majesty regarded Angela as more of a friend than an employee, giving her the title of ‘Personal Assistant, Adviser and Curator to her Majesty’.
She even trusted her enough to give her permission to write a series of books about their relationship. Whether you think her trust was justified — and none of us is really in a position to judge — that alone should be enough to afford her a degree of respect.
But if we have learnt anything from the first months of this new Carolean age, it’s that the late Queen’s wishes are not always uppermost in the minds of those who now call the shots at the Palace.
Let’s face it, Elizabeth’s wish was that Camilla be known as Queen Consort; she is now Queen. An important difference.
And it was also her wish that Ms Kelly should remain in her home on the Windsor estate; now she is moving to the Peak District.
Well, it’s Charles’s train set, of course — and he can do what he wants with it. And there have long been rumours about Ms Kelly’s spiky personality. Maybe she just annoyed the wrong people. As a spiky woman myself, I’ve often been falsely accused of all sorts of outlandish and absurd behaviour.
But even if she is the biggest witch in the world, it doesn’t sit right with me. Especially when you contrast Ms Kelly’s treatment with that of Prince Andrew.
Yes, Andrew is family — but the reputational damage he has done to the royals as a result of his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein and his involvement in the Virginia Giuffre affair is far worse than anything even Prince Harry, with his wild accusations, has managed.
If anyone should be banished hundreds of miles from Windsor, surely it should be Andrew, not a 65-year-old woman who looked after the King’s late mother for more than 25 years.
To add insult to injury, Queen Elizabeth’s private secretary, Sir Edward Young, has been given a peerage. Is it because Ms Kelly is just a working-class lass from Liverpool, the daughter of a docker, that she gets shunted to one side, while Sir Edward, male and privileged, gets another title?
Queen Elizabeth II, with Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council, Caroline Rush (L), British-American journalist and editor Anna Wintour (2R), and royal dressmaker Angela Kelly
From another angle, Kelly is seen (fourth from the left) looking on during the Queen’s visit to London Fashion Week’s BFC Show Space in central London on February 20, 2018
Angela Kelly (centre) is seen leaving Westminster Abbey during the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on September 19, 2022 in London, England
If there was one thing the late Queen was not it was a snob. She treated everyone on merit, no matter how small and insignificant they might have seemed to everyone else.
She understood that it wasn’t status, money or titles that mattered, but character. It was one of the many reasons she was loved by her people, and why we still miss her.
We never cease hearing about how King Charles wants to modernise the monarchy. Respectfully, I would suggest that a good place to start would be to stop running it like an old boys’ club — and start treating ordinary people like Ms Kelly, who help make it the great and wonderful institution it is, with the respect they are due.
Racket over this badge of honour
All credit to the BBC’s Panorama team for exposing the racket surrounding ADHD and the ease with which private clinics diagnose patients for the right price.
I come at this as a mother of teenagers who joke that they wish they could be diagnosed with ADHD so they can be prescribed focus-enhancing medication such as Ritalin and get extra time in exams.
So many young people are on the drug it’s almost a badge of honour, fuelled by social media and celebrities ‘sharing’ their ADHD stories: Justin Timberlake, Mel B and Paris Hilton among them.
Leonardo Da Vinci, Mozart and Alexander Graham Bell are also believed to have had ADHD. Who wouldn’t want to be in that club?
Paris Hilton attends the de Grisogono party during the 69th Cannes Film Festival at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 17, 2016 in Cap d’Antibes, France
If there was ever a reason to doubt the wisdom of allowing AI to continue to take over our lives, it’s the face of Sam Altman, inventor of ChatGPT, testifying before a U.S. Senate Committee about the potential of the technology.
He looks terrified, not to mention a tad deranged. If our future really is in the hands of people like him, then it’s game over for humanity.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman testifies before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law for an oversight hearing to examine the rules governing artificial intelligence (AI) in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC USA, 16 May 2023
I was told off by the vet the other day because the cat has put on a little weight. ‘It’s not my fault,’ I protested. ‘If I don’t feed her she yowls at me, and vandalises the kitchen.’
The vet looked at me as though to say: ‘What kind of a fool lets their cat tell them what to do?’
To which I can only say, you’ve obviously never been owned by a cat.
Ratings for ITV’s This Morning programme, presented by Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, have plummeted since rumours of the two presenters falling out took hold — despite a saccharine attempt to paper over the cracks.
If you ask me, it’s obvious that the problem is Schofield: he needs to take a break. Dropping 170,000 viewers should focus ITV bosses’ minds.
The editor of ‘Emojipedia’, a sort of online dictionary for emojis (yes, such things exist), warns against using certain ones.
I knew peaches, aubergines and water droplets were off limits — apparently anything with red hearts should also be avoided.
As I discovered when I sent my daughter a smiley emoji with hearts for eyes.
She texted straight back: ‘Mum that emoji means I think ur fit btw.’
Oh dear. I dread to think who I may have importuned by mistake.
A new report warns that one in five taxpayers is set to pay 40 per cent income tax as a result of the Chancellor freezing tax thresholds.
How is it possible that under a Conservative government, a pay rise could leave people counting the pennies?