Alice Eve has been having a passionate lockdown romance with a multi-millionaire aristocrat who is married and 16 years her senior, I can finally reveal.
The Star Trek actress has been secretly hunkering down for months with Pete Czernin, heir to the Howard de Walden barony, whose family owns 92 acres of Marylebone including Harley Street.
Since 2013 he's lived in the sprawling Avington Manor, near Hungerford, which he inherited from his Derby-winning grandfather Lord Howard de Walden.
No wonder Pete caught Alice's eye. But there's a snag: last time I checked he was still married to his wife of 26 years, Lucinda Czernin, an art consultant with whom he has two grown-up children.
Alice Eve has been secretly hunkering down for months with Pete Czernin (pictured), heir to the Howard de Walden barony, whose family owns 92 acres of Marylebone
Alice pictured at the 73rd British Academy Film Awards at London's Royal Albert Hall in February last year
Oxford-educated Alice, daughter of Shoestring actor Trevor Eve and his wife Sharon Maughan, has been desperately keeping the romance under wraps – to protect the feelings of Lucinda, no doubt.
But last week she posted a photo of herself with Pete, and pals were quick to tell me the pair had at last gone 'Instagram-official'. Alice, who has for months declined the opportunity to offer me a comment on the romance, quickly deleted the post.
When Pete, 55, and Alice, 39, eventually do go public the pair will make quite the society couple. Pete is an Eton chum of David Cameron and is part of the Chipping Norton set.
He is also a big cheese in Alice's film world, as the Oscar-winning producer of hit film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Riot Club, a film about Cameron's old Oxford club, The Bullingdon.
Their paths are said to have crossed many times since Alice's split in 2017 from her husband of three years, Alex Cowper-Smith.
But towards the end of last year rumours reached me that their friendship had developed into a 'lockdown romance', with Alice spending time between Pete's home in Oxfordshire and her home in West London.
A close friend of the couple told me: 'Pete left his wife and over lockdown began dating Alice.
'They are in love. Alice is whip-smart, fun and gorgeous and has been telling friends she 'feels like herself again'. But Pete's wife is spitting feathers.'
The Star Trek actress (pictured in Star Trek Into Darkness) has been desperately keeping the romance under wraps – to protect the feelings of his wife Lucinda Czernin, no doubt
Their paths are said to have crossed many times since Alice's split in 2017 from her husband of three years, Alex Cowper-Smith. Pictured: Alice Eve in Star Trek Into Darkness
On July 21, Lucinda resigned as a director of the family company Avington Investments Ltd, suggesting divorce is imminent. Alice posted the first photo of herself with Pete almost exactly a week later.
A source says say Lucinda, 56, has instructed society lawyer Helen Ward to represent her in the divorce, which is set to be extremely costly for Pete.
Helen told me she does not discuss her clients, but she famously netted Guy Ritchie £50 million when he split from Madonna in 2008.
Mum-to-be Princess Beatrice and husband Edo Mapelli Mozzi have a family home to move into – after exchanging on a sumptuous £3 million place near Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.
And at that price it's just as well they saved on estate agent fees – as they were introduced to the property's owners by florist-to-the-royals Willow Crossley.
Mind you, she does have a vested interest: Willow will be Beatrice's nearest neighbour and takes a keen interest in the stunning garden at the property, which also has a pool, tennis court and party barn.
They were introduced to the property's owners by florist-to-the-royals Willow Crossley
The latest victims of the woke war are, would you believe it, signet rings – which I am told are a symbol of posh boys' evil white privilege.
But Daisy Pasternak, Tatler's new 17-year-old social commentator (and a great-great-niece of Boris Pasternak), tells me she is leading the charge to have the aristocrats' favourite pinkie finger jewellery rehabilitated.
Poor Daisy, I fear she's going to get 'cancelled' just for lifting a finger…
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