The happy husbands of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie have spent time with old flames and beautiful women over the weekend while their wives were working or left holding the baby.
Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, 38, was in New York on Saturday with the Queen’s pregnant granddaughter, 32, but he was joined for a nocturnal stroll along The High Line, an elevated park, by Dara Huang, 38, the mother of his four-year-old son, Christopher, known as Wolfie.
And while Eugenie was at home in Windsor looking after five-month-old son, August, Jack Brooksbank was drinking rosé wine and jumping off a vintage speedboat into the Med while working on the VIP Italian holiday island of Capri.
Mr Brooksbank is a brand ambassador for Casamigos tequila, a sponsor of Saturday night's invitation-only Unicef Summer Gala, where tickets are priced from £8,000 to £25,000 - but enjoyed some time frolicking in the sea before the big event. Sarah Ferguson has defended her 'superhero' son-in-law - insisting he was 'just doing his job'.
Mr Mapelli Mozzi has remained close to Miss Huang, sharing parental responsibilities for Wolfie. During lockdown last year, Dara even relocated her London office from Clerkenwell to the same Kensington building where Mapelli Mozzi bases his property business.
‘I was in town for 48 hours and spent most of it showing Wolfie around the Big Apple for the first time,’ US-born architect Dara said of the trip where she met with Edo.
Beatrice, who is due to give birth to her first child with her husband this autumn, was in New York to give a speech for her employer Afiniti, a software business.
Dara and Edo share custody of their little boy Christopher. They even lived together in London after they broke up so 'Wolfie' saw a lot of both his parents before the architect moved into her own flat. Describing his parenting previously Edo said: 'I take [Christopher] to school a couple of mornings a week and finish in time to put him in bed three or four evenings'.
Beatrice, who is due to give birth to her first child with Edo this autumn, was in New York to give a speech for her employer Afiniti, a software business when her husband went for a walk with his ex Dara Huang, 38
Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi found happiness with Beatrice after his engagement to glamorous Chinese-American architect Dara Huang (pictured together with their son) ended suddenly a few years ago. They have remained on good terms
Jack Brooksbank spent Friday afternoon aboard the classic 26ft 'gozzo' boat, exploring the caves and grottos dotted around Capri's coast
Jack Brooksbank is pictured with Maria Buccellati on the Amalfi Coast in an image taken from Maria's Instagram story (pictured)
For most new fathers, life is an endless grind of dirty nappies and sleepless nights. But for Princess Eugenie's husband Jack Brooksbank, it's clasping a glass of rosé on a vintage speedboat off the sun-kissed Italian coast while surrounded by bikini-clad models. And he even gets to call it 'work'
Britain's Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank pose with their son, August Philip Hawke Brooksbank
But Dara's American mother Lily, 71, gave a different story about their break-up, claiming that Dara ended up on a friend's sofa - and she only found out they split when he was first seen with the Queen's granddaughter six months after they split, claiming: 'I think Dara was hiding it from me'.
Nevertheless the former couple are clearly still on good terms, epitomised by their late night walk together in NYC.
Dara is a highly successful architect with her own design company. Edoardo is the son of former Olympic skier Count Alessandro Mapelli Mozzi and Nikki Shale. He is a count himself, and had been a friend of the York children for some time before getting engaged to Beatrice.
He was educated at the prestigious Radley school in Oxfordshire before studying for a Master's in politics at Edinburgh. His mother is Nikki Shale, who split with his count father when he was young.
Her second husband, Edo's step-father, was Christopher Shale, a senior Tory and a close friend of former prime minister David Cameron. He collapsed and died in 2011 at Glastonbury Festival, after going missing for about 18 hours before he was found in a cubicle in the VIP area. An inquest subsequently found he had been suffering from undiagnosed heart disease resulting from high blood pressure. So devoted was Edo to his stepfather that he named his son Christopher after him.
Over the weekend Princess Eugenie's husband Jack Brooksbank was seen clasping a glass of rosé on a vintage speedboat off the sun-kissed Italian coast while surrounded by bikini-clad models.
The 35-year-old was spending a few days on the chic Mediterranean island of Capri, attending a star-studded charity ball under the stars while his wife remains in Windsor looking after their five-month-old son, August.
Mr Brooksbank is a brand ambassador for Casamigos tequila, a sponsor of Saturday night's invitation-only Unicef Summer Gala, where tickets are priced from £8,000 to £25,000.
And ahead of the bash, he spent Friday afternoon aboard the classic 26ft 'gozzo' boat, exploring the caves and grottos dotted around Capri's coast.
Joining him were Rachel Zalis – a former editor of Glamour magazine who is now Casamigos's global director, and who soaked up the rays in a black bikini – and Maria Buccellati, a model turned fashion ambassador.
She wrapped her arm around him as they posed for an affectionate-looking Instagram snap to share with her 14,000 followers.
Also on board was Italian model Erica Pelosini.
Though she had a towel wrapped around her at the time, she periodically removed it to go topless in full view of Jack and the boat's skipper.
During the afternoon-long boat tour, Jack dived into the Tyrrhenian Sea to join his three companions as they bobbed gently in the inviting water.
After taking a dip in the sea to cool down, Jack Brooskbank and a topless female friend wrapped themselves up in a towel to dry off
Joining him were Rachel Zalis – a former editor of Glamour magazine who is now Casamigos's global director, and who soaked up the rays in a black bikini – and Maria Buccellati, a model turned fashion ambassador
The 35-year-old is spending the weekend on the chic Mediterranean island of Capri, attending a star-studded charity ball under the stars while his wife remains in Windsor looking after their five-month-old son, August.
Princess Eugenie's husband removed his t-shirt before diving into the sea to cool off during a jaunt off the Italian island of Capri
Jack Brooksbank larked about on board the yacht with pals Rachel Zalis (left), Maria Buccellati, Erica Pelosini and a topless blonde friend (right)
During the afternoon-long boat tour, Jack dived into the Tyrrhenian Sea to join his three companions as they bobbed gently in the inviting water. He could occasionally be seen popping on to the boat deck to look at his phone – perhaps checking-in with Eugenie back at home
Princess Eugenie's husband Jack Brooksbank looked in high spirits aboard a yacht in Capri with a few scantily clad women (pictured)
Also on board was Italian model Erica Pelosini, who Jack guided around the boat by placing a hand on her back
He could occasionally be seen popping on to the boat deck to look at his phone – perhaps checking-in with Eugenie back at home.
It is unclear how Jack knows Erica and Maria, but both women are associates of Israeli socialite Hofit Golan, 35, a social media influencer who is well-known for turning up all over the world on yachts belonging to the rich and famous.
She counts Lady Victoria Hervey, an ex-girlfriend of Prince Andrew, as one of her closest friends. Only last week, Hofit was seen yachting with Erica and Maria in Cannes.
A source close to Jack told The Mail on Sunday that Eugenie hadn't joined him on the business trip to Capri because he was 'there to work at the ball'.
Sources say Jack's job was to keep an eye on the cocktail bar and schmooze with famous guests, who included singers Katy Perry and John Legend and supermodel Heidi Klum.
Mr Brooksbank is said to hate his former nickname of 'barman Jack', which he picked up as he was working a restaurant and wine bar in Central London at the time he met Eugenie in 2010.
Stowe-educated Jack met Eugenie, now 11th in line to the throne, while skiing in Switzerland, and they married at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in 2018.
Princess Beatrice married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, a millionaire property tycoon who had been in a long term relationship with Dara Huang and planned to marry before they split
The former couple share a toddler son, Christopher 'Wolfie' Woolf, with Edo said to be very hands on with their little boy (pictured when he was a baby)
They now live at nearby Frogmore Cottage in an arrangement which reportedly sees them pay rent to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Jack signed up to promote the £45-per-bottle tequila brand in 2016. Casamigos – which comes from the Spanish for 'house of friends', was founded in 2013 by George Clooney, Cindy Crawford's husband Rande Gerber and their friend Mike Meldmans.
It was sold to multinational drinks giant Diageo in a $1 billion (£720,000) deal in 2017.
The company just announced it has made its millionth case.
Casamigos sponsored last night's ball, which was billed as a 'magical evening in paradise'.
The night included a 'languorous' cocktail hour, gala dinner and an auction to raise funds for Unicef's programmes helping children in need across the world.
Items being auctioned included Steve McQueen's 1961 Cooper Formula Junior race car and an Andy Warhol artwork.
Between the covers of Fergie's bodice ripper: A passionate red-headed aristocrat, the beastly Press out to get her... and saucy moments with a hunk in a kilt – JAN MOIR braves the blizzard of clichés in the Duchess’s first Mills & Boon
O mistress Molly, apple-cheeked maid of mine, cease thy nanty narking and fetch my reading glasses, if you will. Such excitement! For Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, has written her first adult novel.
Her Heart For A Compass (Mills & Boon) is a mighty doorstop of a book; a 540-page Victorian melodrama set over an 11-year period featuring the life and loves of one Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott. Who she, I hear you cry! My dear, clues abound, if you care to look for them.
Variously described as ‘Titian-haired’, ‘red-haired’, possessor of ‘naturally auburn eyelashes’ and a ‘rebellious red mop’ that goes ‘frizzy’ when damp, this paragon of high-spirited virtue and ginge-tinged beauty has a fondness for chocolate cake, a corset laced tighter than a cut-throat’s purse and a heart of pure, molten gold.
Ring any bells? Consider that Lady Margaret writes children’s books in her spare time and simply cannot stop doing Good Works, nor gently drawing everyone’s attention to her endless, exquisite kindness. Yes, even after she brings shame and disgrace upon her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, by refusing to marry dry stick Lord Rufus Ponsonby, the Earl of Killin.
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, has written her first adult novel. Her Heart For A Compass (Mills & Boon) is a mighty doorstop of a book; a 540-page Victorian melodrama set over an 11-year period featuring the life and loves of one Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott
‘The very notion of being embraced by him was repellent,’ shudders poor Lady Margaret in the first chapter.
So no toe-sucking for doofus Rufus, methinks. Even if Killin the villain was willin’.
Lady Margaret dusts herself with pearl powder to disguise her freckles, but of course we all know who really lurks beneath the pretty camouflage of that grey silk crinoline. In a recent interview to promote her new book, Sarah, Duchess of York, said: ‘People will spot the parallels between me and my heroine, Lady Margaret. She’s a redhead, she’s strong-willed, she’s led by her heart. But I hope people won’t read too much into it.’
But how can we not, darling Fergs? After all, it is exactly what readers are encouraged to do, stiffened by the knowledge that not only did the rebellious Lady Margaret (which is the author’s own middle name) actually exist, she is a long-lost, real-life ancestor of Sarah’s to boot.
This is the Duchess of York’s 77th book, if you add up all the Budgie The Helicopter titles, the children’s books, the lifestyle books, the diet books, the self-help books, the autobiographies and the books that are a torrid mixture of all of the above
Her Heart For A Compass is packed with real people given the impertinence of fictitious lives. For example, there is an interesting relationship between Lady Margaret and her childhood friend, the thinner and more beautiful Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria.
When Margaret gets into scrapes and disgrace, her royal friend is depicted as selfish and disloyal, cools the friendship and berates poor Margaret. Should we presume this was the true nature of the relationship between Fergie and Princess Diana?
Meanwhile, centuries may separate the Duchess and her historical alter ego, but the two women have much in common, including an apparent weakness for men with ‘golden glints’ in their ‘chestnut hair’, horses (ditto) and a loathing of newspapers.
From page 68 onwards, Lady Margaret whines about her difficult relationship with the Press, those inky rapscallions who build her up only to ‘knock me down’ — yea verily, even in ye olde Victorian England. The ‘lurid’ London Illustrated Press determines to do its worst by publishing ‘vile innuendo’ about Margaret, while the Morning Post wonders if she can ‘ever be redeemed in the eyes of society’.
Some things never change. Still, how smart of the Duchess of York to join with Mills & Boon, the UK’s No 1 publisher of romantic fiction. Her co-author in this venture is Marguerite Kaye, one of Mills & Boon’s most proficient and professional historical romance authors. Together, they make a good team.
WHAT, NO TOE-SUCKING!
‘As he pulled her closer, she twined her arms around his neck, and he fastened his lips to hers again, coaxing her mouth open into a very different kiss. The intimacy shocked her; her reaction shocked her even more. His tongue touched hers and she broke away, breathless and utterly confused. Was this what passion felt like?’
It must be said however, that the usual briskness of Kaye’s novels has been larded with pages of Ferg-dialogue, epistolary passages of Ferg-correspondence between main characters, Ferg-type scurrilous newspaper reports and an absolute shower of clichés; one gets the impression Fergie has yet to meet a cliché she does not love.
In the fictional world she has created, excuses are always ‘lily- livered’, cobblestones are ‘treacherous’, docksides are a ‘seething mass of humanity’, women are prone to having ‘fits of the vapours’, while a ‘pincushion of stars’ punctures the ‘ink black sky’ without so much as a by your leave.
Mills & Boon readers will find a great deal of what they adore betwixt the pages of Compass, and if you like this sort of thing, then this is the thing you will sort of like.
Yes, there are a few glutinous moments, for it seems that every handsome, full-bodied man we meet — and even one with no legs, sorry no time to explain — falls hopelessly in love with Lady Margaret. They all yearn to rain ardent kisses upon her soft and yielding lips or crush her to their manly chests.
I spent much of the book absolutely melting with terror, gripped by a fear that any minute now, Fergie was going to dive right in and write a panting sex scene, complete with peeling britches, horsey noises and God knows what but, phew! You have to know that no bodices are ripped in the making of this book, and thank heaven for that.
There is a tendresse with a vicar called Sebastian, whom Sarah, sorry, Margaret snogs straight away because he believes that ‘even fallen angels are still angels’.
However, the closest we get to actual rumpy is a knee-trembling moment down by a lake with Cameron of Lochiel, a rugged Scotsman with a ‘cultured Highland lilt’.
He and Lady Margaret kiss under a waterfall when our heroine is exiled to Ireland halfway through the book (don’t ask). Later the romantic action moves to Scotland, where the couple fall into an amorous clinch in a boat on a loch.
Cameron is so affected by this that he has to ‘rearrange his kilt’ afterwards and truly, it is difficult to resist the poetry and beauty of the scene.
For the man with the lilt has a tilt in his kilt. That will not wilt. I’m not saying it’s a stilt. It’s just the way he is built. And Lady Margaret feels no guilt because she is suddenly ‘wanting and caring for nothing save more kisses, and more of him’.
The question is, how much more can we take?
Variously described as ‘Titian-haired’, ‘red-haired’, possessor of ‘naturally auburn eyelashes’ and a ‘rebellious red mop’ that goes ‘frizzy’ when damp, this paragon of high-spirited virtue and ginge-tinged beauty has a fondness for chocolate cake, a corset laced tighter than a cut-throat’s purse and a heart of pure, molten gold
This is the Duchess of York’s 77th book, if you add up all the Budgie The Helicopter titles, the children’s books, the lifestyle books, the diet books, the self-help books, the autobiographies and the books that are a torrid mixture of all of the above.
Over the decades we have been on quite a journey with Fergie, from the innocence of Budgie Goes To Sea (aquatic adventures) to the darker days of Budgie Goes To Seed (affairs, binge-eating, bribes).
It never ends. Faced with the horror of an empty page, Sarah the author becomes a human geyser of gush, an unstoppable tornado of words.
Her various autobiographies are a kind of publishing miracle in themselves, because every time you think the Duchess has emptied her emotional tank and can admit to no more, she comes roaring back a few years later, engines ablaze with a fresh confession and a renewed plea for atonement, redemption and forgiveness.
In 1996 came autobiography My Story, informing readers that ‘as a single mother with few assets and less income than most presumed, I was in deep financial trouble’.
In a recent interview to promote her new book, Sarah, Duchess of York, said: ‘People will spot the parallels between me and my heroine, Lady Margaret. She’s a redhead, she’s strong-willed, she’s led by her heart. But I hope people won’t read too much into it’
Then there was 2001’s Reinventing Yourself With The Duchess of York (‘I have come to think of life as a fast-flowing river’); 2003’s What I Know Now (‘I do not merely rise above old wrongs; I deny them their reality’); and 2011’s Finding Sarah. (‘I was broken and lost, not even sure where I was, but out of this emotional barrenness I knew I had to find me.’)
SAVE ALL YOUR KISSES FOR ME . . .
‘At last their lips met and clung and then opened into a kiss that was tentative and just a little strange . . . he murmured her name, and this set her body alight, urging her to close any gap there was between them, wanting and caring for nothing save more kisses, and more of him.’
The question is, has she found herself at last? In a lifestyle article published at the weekend, the Duchess reveals that her staff call her ‘The General,’ that she ‘gets uptight’ if she misses her soft-boiled eggs at breakfast and every other day commits to doing 30 press-ups and 50 sit-ups.
More revealingly, she still considers herself ‘the luckiest girl ever’ because she married Prince Andrew, even though she feels like a lodger in his Windsor home.
Of her ex-husband’s ongoing difficulties and Prince Philip’s lifelong ban on her presence at royal events? Not a whisper.
Perhaps such stoicism is one of the things the Duchess has been taught in therapy, for she has had a great deal of counselling over the years, and it shows. Yet despite all the soul-searching, a surprising innocence still persists. She was recently astounded to be turned down after offering the producers of The Crown her expertise in creating her own character for the next series of the hit Netflix show.
‘I said: “Why can’t I help?”’ she told one magazine.
I think I know why. The Duchess of York is not without her strengths, but it is true that she cannot resist the impulse to self-iconise at every opportunity.
In Her Heart For A Compass, we are invited to admire, nay adore, the irresistible and feisty Lady Margaret on every page; a character who is written up as though she were Mother Teresa, Florence Nightingale, Jessica Rabbit and Rita Hayworth, all rolled into one gorgeous, powdered package. Fergie’s need to be loved and admired beats just as strongly in the pages of her 77th book as it did in her first — absolutely nothing has changed.
Yet it is hard not to warm to this Titian-haired lifter of spirits and inadvertently of kilts. Her message seems to be that manners and breeding can ease your passage, but a desire that can drag you off course is no bad thing.
Follow your heart, chorus Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott and Sarah, Duchess of York, and everything else will be all right.
Is that really true? Sometimes, as she surveys the wreckage of her life and her temporary lodgings, I wonder whether even Fergie truly believes that to be the case.
Her Heart For A Compass, by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, is published today by Mills & Boon, Harper Collins, at £14.99.
'Diana and I would be party grannies': Fergie says she would have been the first on the bouncing castle with her late sister-in-law - who would be 'so proud' of her grandchildren
Sarah Ferguson has gushed about how her friendship with Princess Diana would have brought a smile to their grandchildren's faces.
The Duchess of York, 61, who lives at Royal Lodge in Windsor, revealed that although she leaves her daughter Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank to get on with parenting their son August, it's 'lovely' being a grandmother for the first time.
She told Bella magazine that if her friend Princess Diana had been around it's likely they would've shared their experiences as grandparents by hosting parties for the children.
'Diana and I had the same complete love for children. We both loved nothing more than to put a smile on a child’s face,' she said.
'We’d be having granny parties together and having a great time. I wonder whether there would be room for the kids to get onto the bouncy castle, as she and I would be the first on.'
Sarah Ferguson has gushed about her friendship with Princess Diana, while discussing how they would loved being grandmothers together in an interview with Bella magazine. Pictured: Sarah and Diana attending a polo match in 1983
Sarah Ferguson revealed how looking into her ancestry influenced her new book in the new issue of Bella magazine (pictured)
Sarah whose daughter Beatrice is currently pregnant with her first child, also has a grandson, August, born to her daughter Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in February 2021.
She said it's likely the late royal would have split her time between visiting her grandchildren Archie and Lilibet in California and spending time with George, Charlotte and Louis at Kensington Palace.
She added that Diana would've been 'proud' of her sons Prince William and Prince Harry as well as their wives.
Despite her new role as a grandmother, Sarah commonly known as Fergie, has found time to write a novel with co-author Marguerite Kaye.
She gushed about the story to Bella magazine, explaining that it was influenced by a look at her ancestry.
Her Heart For A Compass is a fictionalised retelling of her own great-great aunt Lady Margaret.
Sarah explained that she was led to create a story after finding very little information about her relative and being left wondering about specific life choices including why she got married relatively late.
She admitted to having thought about writing a novel for the past 20 years and said 'it is a dream come true' to have finally achieved her goal.
While the book and e-book are being published this week, Marguerite has revealed they've already started working on another project together.
Bella’s new issue is on sale now