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Queen bids Theresa May goodbye with tete-a-tete at Buckingham Palace

The Queen is not given to displays of emotion, but I hear that she held a poignant final formal meeting with Theresa May this week.

She invited the PM to Buckingham Palace for her last private tete-a-tete on Wednesday and a courtier tells me: ‘Her Majesty will be sad to see Mrs May step down.

She is, of course, only her second woman Prime Minister and the Queen is very respectful of her efforts on behalf of the country.

‘Her Majesty knows that the premier tried her hardest to secure a Brexit deal and is sympathetic that she was unable to achieve her aims.’

Queen Elizabeth II welcoming Theresa May at an audience in Buckingham Palace, London, where she invited the former Home Secretary to become Prime Minister and form a new government

The Queen is likely to be irritated by the Conservative Party, which has caused her to delay her summer holidays. Pictured: the two leadership candidates to be the next Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, left, and Jeremy Hunt, right

The PM wore a pair of her trademark kitten heels for the meeting. They were red to match the palace carpet and her ministerial red boxes. 

Insiders say the Queen has bonded with vicar’s daughter Mrs May over their shared Christian faith and frugal values. ‘The Queen really warmed to Mrs May’s quiet understatedness,’ an insider tells me. ‘It will be fascinating to see how she reacts to the next PM.’

The Queen is likely to be irritated by the Conservative Party, which has caused her to delay her summer holidays. 

HM was due to set off yesterday for her Scottish retreat, Balmoral, but she decided to remain so she could greet the new prime minister next Tuesday after the winner of the Tory leadership election is announced.

Theresa May was invited to Buckingham Palace for her last private tete-a-tete on Wednesday. Pictured: Theresa May meeting with parents in July 2019

‘The Queen will not go to Balmoral before meeting her 14th prime minister,’ a royal source told the Diary last Saturday.

She usually leaves London before tourists arrive at Buckingham Palace for its summer opening, which begins this Saturday. 

The source added: ‘She does not want to travel 500 miles to the Highlands and back just for the meeting. She will stay at Windsor, so as not to bump into any visitors at the palace, and the new PM will be driven there.’

There will be one more, brief encounter next week when Mrs May stands down and ‘recommends’ her successor. She will be accompanied on that occasion by her loyal husband, Philip.

Excitable television chef Aldo Zilli claims that some dishes should never be eaten without alcohol. 

The restaurateur declares: ‘My father was a fishmonger and said that if you drink water with fish, it makes you ill. So I always have a glass of wine.’ I’ll drink to that!

Dr Goulding will see you now 

The drinks are on pop star Ellie Goulding, who was made an honorary doctor of arts yesterday, despite dropping out of university to follow her career in music.

She told students at the University of Kent: ‘I never got to experience this sheer joy of graduating, so I’m going to be making the most of it while I’m here,’ she told students. ‘I’ll see you at Wetherspoon’s later, guys.’

The drinks are on pop star Ellie Goulding, who was made an honorary doctor of arts yesterday, despite dropping out of university to follow her career in music

Ellie studied theatre and drama at the university’s Canterbury campus, but chucked it in after two years.

She has since sold more than 120 million records, won two Brit awards and was invited to sing at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding reception.

Eugenie's Abbey pilgrimage keeps up her flight against slavery  

Princess Eugenie made a surprise visit yesterday to Westminster Abbey, where she viewed a statue of William Wilberforce, who fought to abolish the slave trade.

The Queen’s granddaughter, who co-founded the Anti-Slavery Collective last year, stopped at the statue during a tour given by Canon Steward of Westminster Abbey, the Reverend Anthony Ball.

The Queen’s granddaughter, who co-founded the Anti-Slavery Collective last year, stopped at the statue during a tour given by Canon Steward of Westminster Abbey, the Reverend Anthony Ball

Eugenie, 29, became passionate about combatting the scourge of modern slavery after visiting the Women’s Interlink charity during a 2013 trip to India with her mother, Sarah, Duchess of York.

After speaking at the United Nations last year, the Princess chose a quote from Wilberforce: ‘You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.’

Secrets from the court of Meghan...

PRINCESS Diana’s confidant Andrew Morton believes the Duchess of Sussex has befriended famous names such as George and Amal Clooney so they can act as her mouthpieces.

‘(She) populated her wedding with A-list Hollywood celebrities who over the last year have proved their worth to her by speaking out in public about the criticisms of her,’ says Morton, who wrote the bombshell biography Diana: Her True Story.

‘Unlike Harry’s friends, who keep quiet, the court of Meghan is a very voluble court and they’re very powerful. She’s got Serena Williams, she’s got Oprah Winfrey, the American equivalent to royalty. I mean, I don’t know who bows to whom. Does the Queen curtsy to Oprah?’

Not male or stale: why Jodie is the toast of MPs

Amazonian model Jodie Kidd might not look like a typical beer drinker but she has, nevertheless, been hailed for sinking the pints.

The 40-year-old, landlady of the Half Moon Inn in West Sussex, has been named ‘Beer Drinker of the Year’ at the Houses of Parliament. 

Amazonian model Jodie Kidd might not look like a typical beer drinker but she has, nevertheless, been hailed for sinking the pints

‘Jodie is vivid proof that beer and pub lovers are not all old, male and stale,’ gushes Mike Wood, the Tory chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group.

Clutching her tankard prize on the Commons terrace, Jodie declared she was ‘very honoured’ by the accolade.

Known for ending each bulletin with a cheeky wink, newsreader Michael Buerk has signalled he may be with us for generations to come. 

Buerk, 73, suggests he believes in reincarnation and wants to come back as a brilliantly coloured bird. 

He says: ‘I would like to be a parrot — a bit of colour in my life — and I would like to soar over the rainforest going from treetop to treetop. And parrots can talk, so I can tell them the news, make use of those skills.’ Who’s a pretty boy, then? 

The makers of sex and dragons TV drama Game Of Thrones, HBO, failed to enter Alfie Allen for an Emmy award. But the self-confident Londoner, who plays Theon Greyjoy, was not deterred and paid £180 to put himself up. 

And Alfie’s chutzpah was rewarded with a nomination. ‘I’m feeling so great that I took a risk,’ he tells me at the Warner Music summer party at Shoreditch House. ‘It feels great to be recognised.’

His sister, gobby pop star Lily Allen, would be proud.

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