Married to the head of the Guinness family, the Countess of Iveagh would appear to have it all.
Clare's husband, the Earl of Iveagh, has a reputed fortune of more than £900million, and she lives with their two teenage children at the magnificent Elveden Hall estate in Suffolk, where dramas including Netflix hit The Crown Eyes and the movie Eyes Wide Shut were filmed.
However, I can reveal that all is not well behind the scenes and Reading-born interior designer Clare, 46, has filed for divorce from the earl, Edward Guinness, after 20 years of marriage.
interior designer Clare, 46, has filed for divorce from the earl, Edward Guinness, after 20 years of marriage
Elveden Hall in Suffolk, where dramas including Netflix hit The Crown Eyes and the movie Eyes Wide Shut were filmed
'Clare and Ned were a great couple but she has been unhappy for several years and doesn't feel their marriage has been a priority for him for a long time,' a friend close to the couple tells me.
A person familiar with the running of the 22,500-acre Elveden Estate claims: 'His lordship is is often seen in the company of women. Word in the village is that he hosted one of them in the local pub.'
It could be one of Britain's largest-ever divorces. The 51-year-old earl's Elveden Hall constitutes the biggest farm in the country.
In Ireland, the Guinnesses are the closest thing to royalty and Ned, whose direct ancestor invented the stout in 1759, grew up at the family mansion, Farmleigh, in Dublin's Phoenix Park, which was sold to the Irish state for £18.9 million in 1999.
The Benjamin Iveagh library was separately donated to the state in return for a tax break of £3million in 2008.
Experts call it the world's best collection of old Irish bindings, and it includes first editions of Ulysses by James Joyce, Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift and works by Samuel Beckett.
The couple declined to comment.
Soldier, soldier, will you marry me, says Duke's son
Now this was never an option available to the 'Iron Duke': his descendant Lord Frederick Wellesley is to marry a fellow soldier.
I can disclose that the 9th Duke of Wellington's younger son has got engaged to a bomb disposal expert in the Royal Engineers, Captain Katie Lambert, 28.
'Fred signed up for action and adventure,' one of his friends tells me. 'He never thought he'd find love, too.'
Frederick Wellesley, the 9th Duke of Wellington's younger son, is engaged to bomb disposal expert in the Royal Engineers, Captain Katie Lambert
Lord Fred, 28, is the godson of Prince Charles and serves as a captain in the Blues and Royals while his fiancee spent a lively five months in Iraq, training their security forces.
As well as masterminding victory over Napoleon at Waterloo, the 1st Duke served twice as prime minister and invented the Wellington Boot.
Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, masterminded the victory over Napoleon and invented the Wellington boot
Don't cry for me greengrocers, but Andrew Lloyd Webber admits he’s been left seeing red by his greens, or one in particular: kale. The leafy veg has been hailed as a so-called ‘superfood’.
But Lord Lloyd Webber’s had his fill. ‘Don’t talk to me about kale,’ he booms. ‘I mean, it is the most ridiculous thing. It’s what you give to the horses.
‘When you see “designer” kale, I just think, “give us a break”.’
Struggling to survive the pandemic, the West End has now been delivered another blow as the most ‘powerful theatrical producer in the world’, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, is quitting the capital.
I can disclose that the billionaire behind such hits as Les Miserables and Phantom Of The Opera is selling his £8 million white stucco house in Regent’s Park, designed by celebrated architect John Nash.
The Olivier Award winner, 74, who moved into the Grade II listed ‘Tower House’ more than 30 years ago, will make the medieval Somerset priory he shares with his photographer partner, Michael Le Poer Trench, his permanent home. ‘It is full of marvellous memories, and has been the London base for many of the musical theatre’s most legendary talents — and parties,’ Mackintosh says.
Lover not forever for Bond's girl
Daniel Craig’s next James Bond film is the long-delayed No Time To Die.
For his actress daughter, Ella Loudon, the pandemic has proved to be more a case of no time to love.
Daniel Craig's actress daughter Ella Loudon, 28, has split from Calvin Klein model boyfriend Ben Hill
I hear the 28-year-old, whose mother is Daniel’s first wife, Scottish actress Fiona Loudon, has split from her long-term boyfriend, Calvin Klein model Ben Hill, 41.
‘The pandemic helped them see that, long term, they weren’t right for each other,’ a friend tells me.
‘Ella is now living with friends in New York and is focusing on her career.’
Prince's Pitch put on hold
Short of friends at this difficult time, Prince Andrew has been assisted by one of billionaire Douglas Barrowman’s companies. Barrowman is the husband of underwear tycoon Michelle Mone.
I can reveal that [email protected] Palace, the Dragons’ Den-style project Andrew created that brokers deals between tech start-ups and wealthy investors, has handed over its administration to Arthur Lancaster, of Barrowman’s Knox Group, during the pandemic.
A [email protected] spokesman confirms: ‘Knox House Trustees have been appointed as shareholder nominee for [email protected] Global, a company wholly owned and controlled by the Duke of York. It is purely an administrative role with no financial, management or operational interest.
‘[email protected] Global remains in a paused position, while its future direction and strategy are determined and while operations continue to be significantly impacted by Covid-19 restrictions.’
While some artists stagnate during lockdown, Gilbert & George have, typically, managed to find inspiration in the ‘new normal’.
The avant-garde duo are going ahead with their latest show despite the crisis. Called New Normal Pictures, it opens next Tuesday at White Cube Mason’s Yard in London.
Gilbert & George have found find inspiration in the ‘new normal’, which they say represents ‘celebratory, crazed and super-modern’ collection of work
At first, fans will visit online only.
The pair say ‘new normal’ represents a ‘celebratory, crazed and super-modern’ collection of work.
(Very) modern manners
It shouldn't be too long before dinner parties can start again, but Fearne Cotton hopes guests will leave their phones at home.
‘The worst table manners are looking at phones,’ says the television presenter, 39. ‘It’s so rude. If you’re at dinner with someone and you’re chatting and they’re looking at their phone, it drives me mad. I can’t bear it.
‘It’s a bad habit and it makes me think, “Are you bored? Are you bored of what I’m saying? Do you want to be here?” I find it really odd.’
Cotton, who’s married to Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood’s son Jesse, adds: ‘It doesn’t happen that often because I hang out with people that just want to sit and chat, but you do get it every now and again.’
Best-selling author Kazuo Ishiguro is determined not to let winning the Nobel Prize for Literature go to his head.
‘I have to be careful to guard against genius syndrome,’ says Ishiguro, whose first novel in five years, Klara And The Sun, is published next week.
‘You win the Nobel and you think you’re a genius at everything. And so suddenly your career goes really haywire.’
The smart set's talking about...Vogue girl's new sparkle
Covered head-to-toe in Swarovski crystals this week for the brand’s dazzling new campaign, Britain’s trendiest model, Adwoa Aboah, is also enjoying a sparkling new addition to her love life.
I hear the Londoner, 28, has been swept — or, rather, rolled — off her feet by an American ‘skater boy’.
Adwoa Aboah was covered in Swarovski crystals this week for the brand’s new campaign
Model Adwoa is said to have fallen head over heels for Daniel Wheatley (pictured together from Instagram)
Adwoa, who appeared on the first Vogue cover of its new editor Edward Enninful, has fallen head over heels for Daniel Wheatley, 32, manager of U.S. skate shop Lakai, who at 6 ft 9 in towers over her 5 ft 8 in frame.
‘I’ve always wanted to go out with a long-legged skater,’ says Adwoa, whose parents are fashion agent Camilla Lowther, cousin of the 8th Earl of Lonsdale, and model location scout Charles Aboah.
A pal confirms: ‘They are dating. Adwoa has never been so happy.
‘She’s radiant. She’s spending a lot of time with him in California.’