Category: Horsey

Reference Library – Horsey

Few women have won Catherine Duchess of Cambridge's trust as …

Few women have won Catherine Duchess of Cambridge's trust as …

With its sprawling estates, remote location and impeccably well-bred gentry known as the Turnip Toffs it s no surprise that Norfolk is the centre of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge s world. By enrolling two-year-old Prince George at a rural nursery school in the village of East Walton, William and Kate have made a declaration of intent. They are no longer Londoners but (ooh, arrr!) Norfolk folk.

And since Princess Charlotte s christening last summer at Sandringham, they have been spending ever more time in the county with a close circle of Norfolk friends. With its sprawling estates, remote location and impeccably well-bred gentry known as the Turnip Toffs it s no surprise Norfolk is the centre of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge s world No fewer than three of Charlotte s godparents have firm family links to the county. As you d expect, the Cambridges new court are all hugely posh and more than a little eccentric.

These young blue bloods most of whom have houses as grand as the Cambridges Anmer Hall are discreet, trusted and, importantly for family-minded Kate, have small children of their own to play with George and Charlotte. So just who is who in the inner circle of Turnip Toffs? KATE S RIGHT HAND WOMAN Few women have won Kate s trust as thoroughly as Norfolk girl Sophie Carter.

Kate s close Norfolk friend Sophie Carter. The pair are pictured Kate s close Norfolk friend Sophie Carter. The pair are pictured The winsome blonde, who is also godmother to Princess Charlotte, was part of the close-knit circle who celebrated the Duchess s 34th birthday at Anmer Hall earlier this month.

She even made up part of the exclusive royal party who later attended St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham, for a service attended by the Queen that commemorated the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli. Country girl: Kate s close Norfolk friend Sophie Carter. The pair are pictured, right, at Wimbledon in 2008 Discreet Sophie, who has been a friend to Kate for many years, is often to be found quietly by the Duchess s side at various parties and events.

While in their younger days the girls used to party the nights away, they now mainly watch tennis (they play together and hang out at Wimbledon), though they were pictured cheering exuberantly at Cirque du Soleil for Kate s 31st birthday. The daughter of Norfolk construction tycoon Robert Carter, Sophie is also, helpfully, an expert in early years learning, having been a nursery and prep school teacher. The Durham University graduate has developed a phonics educational app, Hip Hop Hen , with which Prince George is no doubt already familiar.

WILLS TRUSTED CHILDHOOD CHUM One man can be said to have inspired the royal decampment to North Norfolk and that s Prince George s godfather, 37-year-old William van Cutsem. His landowner parents actually rented Anmer Hall in the Nineties, and Princes William and Harry were regular guests at the property. One man can be said to have inspired the royal decampment to North Norfolk It s fair to say, then, that the Prince has many happy childhood memories of the place that s now his own home.

Indeed, van Cutsem s mother, Emilie, was an important maternal figure to him after the death of his own mother, Princess Diana. Today, the van Cutsems live less than half an hour from Anmer, on a 4,000-acre estate near Swaffham. The late Hugh van Cutsem, Prince Charles s friend from Cambridge who died in 2013, built an enormous brick and flint neo-Georgian house with its own chapel there in the Nineties.

One man can be said to have inspired the royal decampment to North Norfolk and that s Prince George s godfather, 37-year-old William van Cutsem (pictured with wife Rosie) Fortunately for the Cambridges, the much-trusted William van Cutsem has also chosen to move back to Norfolk from London with his blonde wife, Rosie. He s tall, handsome, debonair and discreet, something that William relies on. According to a friend, van Cutsem knows every inch and cranny of Norfolk every pub, every discreet publican, every country house, the yachts, horses, home help.

Chartered surveyor William, who works for a property development company based in Bury St Edmunds, is considered to be the most handsome and best shot of the four van Cutsem brothers. So he was quite a catch, then Indeed, the two Williams have a history of, shall we say, trading girlfriends. Van Cutsem s wife, the former Rosie Ruck Keene, consoled the Prince when he briefly split from Kate in 2007.

And he also dated van Cutsem s old flame, Olivia Hunt, while they were at university together. As well as blonde good looks, former City headhunter Rosie has an entrepreneurial streak. Recent business dabblings include starting a private riding club, as well as launching a fashion brand, Troy London, with her sister.

Described as an outwear brand , it sells things such as cashmere capes with a fox fur trim for 950. Perfect for watching your husband shoot in the chilly Norfolk countryside, one would imagine. KATE S EX AND HIS FASHIONISTA WIFE Weekend visitors to Norfolk include Kate s ex-boyfriend from St Andrews, cricket-playing lawyer and local boy Rupert Finch.

He is married to Prince William s old friend, Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs, daughter of the Marquess of Reading and the co-founder of ethical fashion label Beulah which happens to be one of Kate s favourites. Rupert Finch and Natasha Rufus Isaacs pictured at the Cartier Queen s Cup at Windsor in 2015 While in Norfolk, the couple stay with Rupert s horsey parents, who live in an idyllic brick-and-flint farmhouse in North Creake, outside Fakenham, surrounded by land that belongs to William s uncle, Earl Spencer. The Finches also have a baby daughter, Georgia, who is a perfect playmate for Princess Charlotte.

FROM COCKTAILS IN BOUJIS TO PEEKABOO WITH PRINCESS CHARLOTTE They once drank cocktails in London club Boujis with Kate and William, but today Charlie Savory and his wife, Lucy, are more likely to be playing peekaboo with Princess Charlotte. Norfolk lad Savory, an accountant, was brought up at Thorpland Hall, a Tudor house outside Great Snoring, North Norfolk. They once drank cocktails in London club Boujis with Kate and William Today, he works for a firm in Norwich.

He and Lucy, a major-general s daughter, have a young son and daughter, ideal playmates for George and Charlotte. Another nearby chum is Rory Penn, a childhood friend of William s. Married to Francesca, the couple have two young daughters and live outside Burnham Market, the Sloaney village in Norfolk where Kate likes to go shopping.

Penn whose grandmother is the Queen s cousin has also set up a property company with Thomas van Straubenzee, another of Charlotte s godfathers. The third Norfolk godparent to Charlotte is William s literary first cousin Laura Fellowes (pictured) Last year, Penn helped to sell a 39 million penthouse at the Bulgari hotel in London s Knightsbridge, so he s clearly doing all right for himself. THE COUSIN WHO LOVES TO TEASE The third Norfolk godparent to Charlotte is William s literary first cousin Laura Fellowes.

Her parents are Lady Jane Princess Diana s elder sister and Lord (Robert) Fellowes, the Queen s Private Secretary, who is said to be the most charming dinner guest in the county . Fellowes comes from Norfolk stock himself. Indeed, his father was the Queen s land agent at Sandringham.

Shy and delightful , Laura was a bridesmaid at Fergie s 1986 wedding, and shared a flat at Edinburgh University with William s old crush, Isabella Calthorpe, who is now married to Sam Branson, son of Virgin tycoon Sir Richard. Very close to her royal first cousins, William and Harry, Laura is allowed to tease them both mercilessly according to a friend. While she s notably discreet and terribly loyal, Laura is also known for her vivacious character and love of riding and dogs.

She married equity analyst Nick Pettman in 2009 in Snettisham, west Norfolk, where her parents live in a pretty, old rectory. William and Kate were both guests at that wedding there is no greater indication of inner-inner circle status than getting both of them at your wedding, says one associate. Other than becoming a godparent, of course.

Today, Laura writes fiction under the name Mave Fellowes her nickname is Mavis and has two young sons to play with George. DIVINE DAVINA, THE GLAMOROUS BLONDE Also on hand to chat about nursery schools and phonics with Kate is the glamorous blonde Davina Barber, nee Duckworth-Chad. Davina Duckworth-Chad and her husband Tom Barber pictured at a wedding in 2011 The Duckworth-Chads are perennial Turnip Toffs, as well as being second cousins of William s, and live in splendour at red-brick Pynkney Hall near King s Lynn.

Davina s mother, Elizabeth, was first cousin to Diana, who was her bridesmaid. Elizabeth is still on good terms with Prince Charles and the whole family attended William and Kate s 2011 nuptials. Beauty Davina, with whom William has a strong, jocular friendship , lives in Norfolk with her Old Etonian husband, Tom Barber (above with Davina), who runs a luxury travel agency.

They have twin daughters. THE DASHING DINNER PARTY HOST While most of the Cambridges inner-circle are married with young families, Old Etonian Archie Soames is an exception. Great-grandson of Winston Churchill, he is a close confidant of William s.

The 27-year-old financier holds lively dinner parties at his Norfolk family home, West Barsham Hall, near Fakenham racecourse. William and Kate are regular guests. Though still single, Soames did notably have a liaison with the much older American model Caprice when he was only 17, after meeting her at the London nightclub Boujis.

THE PRINCE S FOOTY-MAD MATE Football-mad Tom Howard is the son of Tory grandee and life peer Lord (Greville) Howard. The Howard family have played very shouty football with William and Harry for years, including at the annual Christmas Eve match which is held at the family s estate, Castle Rising. And if everyone in the Cambridges Norfolk circle has an estate, the Howards outdo them all with Castle Rising, which is right next to Sandringham.

Not only does it have a Victorian Hall that the family live in, it also has an ancient keep which was the palace-in-exile of Queen Isabella, the widow and alleged murderess of Edward II. ETON PAL HITCHED TO A PRINCESS Just 60 or so miles from Anmer which is nothing for East Anglia folk, who consider an hour in the car nipping round the corner live Lord and Lady Tollemache in the ancient, vast and moated Helmingham Hall, where the Queen is a regular overnight guest. Their two sons are both true Turnip Toffs: banker Edward, Prince Charles s godson, and his wife, Sophie, have two young sons; and fund manager James, who was at Eton with William, is married to Princess Florrie von Preussen (of Prussia), who used to style for Oka, the upmarket interiors label owned by Samantha Cameron s mother.

It was at James s 21st that William did a lap of the moat, clad only in his boxer shorts, with his good friend Guy Pelly. Those kind of larks are unlikely to happen again until Prince George is a teenager or at least until Harry comes to stay. BADGER WHO WAS WILLS BEST MAN Alongside Sophie Carter at church for the Gallipoli commemorations was James Meade, fellow godparent to Charlotte and an Old Etonian chum of William s.

Nicknamed Badger (he picked up the moniker at university but the reason is lost in the mists of time), he is such a close friend to the Duke that he made the joint best man s speech at the royal wedding. He s close to Kate, too, taking her to the Badminton Horse Trials during her split from William in 2007. Badger s wife is Lady Laura Marsham, daughter of the Earl and Countess of Romney, and one of the key movers and shakers of the Turnip Toffs set.

The Romneys live at Gayton Hall, a Georgian house outside King s Lynn which has a 20-acre water garden. THE ELEGANT ARISTOS There are the two rival grandees of North Norfolk: the Leicesters of Holkham and the Cholmondeleys of Houghton. Both make up part of William s Norfolk shooting circle.

The Earl and Countess of Leicester are Tom and Polly Coke and are a few years older than William and Kate The Earl and Countess of Leicester are Tom and Polly Coke (pronounced Cook) and are a few years older than William and Kate. While Polly is a former milliner, giving her easy chit-chat with fashion-conscious Kate, former Army boy Tom is a royal equerry. Norfolk s glamour pair are the Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley They have four children, and home, Holkham, is a Palladian masterpiece with a 25,000-acre estate and a four-mile-long beach where Prince Charles and Princess Anne used to play.

Norfolk s glamour pair are the Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley filmmaker David, 55, and his wife, socialite and model Rose (above), who is some 24 years his junior. They live at Houghton Hall, once home to Britain s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. Source: DAILYMAIL MAILONLINE Related Posts Prince George, Princess Charlotte Shown Together for the 1st Time 1 Queen Elizabeth has already informed Catherine Duchess of Cambridge there is no way the Duchess is getting out of the big event 2 According to reports Letters warning against acts of harassment of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at their Norfolk home have been distributed by Police 3 William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge are fiercely protective of their children s privacy and it is likely that Princess Charlotte s christening 4 The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have gone the diplomatic route of alternating the yuletide holiday between their two families 5 Duchess of Cambridge joins royal family at the Order of the Garter 6 Princess Charlotte s name cost bookmakers 1million 7 The royal couple may release an official portrait of Prince George and Princess Charlotte 8 It reflects that he does have a normal life away from his duty as a prince 9 With her mother s charm and father s blue blood, she was destined to be a perfect princess 10 While the service inside the church will be private, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be pleased to welcome well-wishers into the paddock outside the church, a Kensington Palace spokesman said 11 The cast were left red-faced by the props team, who left a smelly fridge on the set 12 Catherine Duchess of Cambridge announces her new BFF will be godmother to the new arrival 13 We will admit, though, to being especially tough critics when it comes to Little Prince George 14 When you look at them, they re just gorgeous, their clothing is gorgeous.

The royals stay relevant and modern 15 Here s How Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Spent Her Birthday Weekend 16 Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge are breaking with tradition 17 The combination of the two concepts were so powerful that Social Media naturally freaked out 18 Catherine Duchess of Cambridge accompanied her husband William and brother-in-law Harry to the church 19 Duke and Duchess of Cambridge keen to do things as they wish 20 Proud parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge experienced a parenting first yesterday, dropping off Prince George for his first day at nursery school 21 Royal fans were excited to see four new official snaps of adorable loving siblings holding each other 22 Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, 33, must have been inspired by the old photos when she picked out George s adorable outfit! 23 Prince George and Princess Charlotte pose for their mum, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, at Amner Hall 24 Related References ^ Prince George, Princess Charlotte Shown Together for the 1st Time (www.royal-fans.com) ^ Queen Elizabeth has already informed Catherine Duchess of Cambridge there is no way the Duchess is getting out of the big event (www.royal-fans.com) ^ According to reports Letters warning against acts of harassment of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at their Norfolk home have been distributed by Police (www.royal-fans.com) ^ William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge are fiercely protective of their children s privacy and it is likely that Princess Charlotte s christening (www.royal-fans.com) ^ The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have gone the diplomatic route of alternating the yuletide holiday between their two families (www.royal-fans.com) ^ Duchess of Cambridge joins royal family at the Order of the Garter (www.royal-fans.com) ^ Princess Charlotte s name cost bookmakers 1million (www.royal-fans.com) ^ The royal couple may release an official portrait of Prince George and Princess Charlotte (www.royal-fans.com) ^ It reflects that he does have a normal life away from his duty as a prince (www.royal-fans.com) ^ With her mother s charm and father s blue blood, she was destined to be a perfect princess (www.royal-fans.com) ^ While the service inside the church will be private, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be pleased to welcome well-wishers into the paddock outside the church, a Kensington Palace spokesman said (www.royal-fans.com) ^ The cast were left red-faced by the props team, who left a smelly fridge on the set (www.royal-fans.com) ^ Catherine Duchess of Cambridge announces her new BFF will be godmother to the new arrival (www.royal-fans.com) ^ We will admit, though, to being especially tough critics when it comes to Little Prince George (www.royal-fans.com) ^ When you look at them, they re just gorgeous, their clothing is gorgeous.

The royals stay relevant and modern (www.royal-fans.com) ^ Here s How Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Spent Her Birthday Weekend (www.royal-fans.com) ^ Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge are breaking with tradition (www.royal-fans.com) ^ The combination of the two concepts were so powerful that Social Media naturally freaked out (www.royal-fans.com) ^ Catherine Duchess of Cambridge accompanied her husband William and brother-in-law Harry to the church (www.royal-fans.com) ^ Duke and Duchess of Cambridge keen to do things as they wish (www.royal-fans.com) ^ Proud parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge experienced a parenting first yesterday, dropping off Prince George for his first day at nursery school (www.royal-fans.com) ^ Royal fans were excited to see four new official snaps of adorable loving siblings holding each other (www.royal-fans.com) ^ Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, 33, must have been inspired by the old photos when she picked out George s adorable outfit! (www.royal-fans.com) ^ Prince George and Princess Charlotte pose for their mum, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, at Amner Hall (www.royal-fans.com)

As Kate Middleton and Prince William turn their backs on London …

As Kate Middleton and Prince William turn their backs on London …

With its sprawling estates, remote location and impeccably well-bred gentry known as the Turnip Toffs it s no surprise that Norfolk is the centre of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge s world. By enrolling two-year-old Prince George at a rural nursery school in the village of East Walton, William and Kate have made a declaration of intent. They are no longer Londoners but (ooh, arrr!) Norfolk folk.

And since Princess Charlotte s christening last summer at Sandringham, they have been spending ever more time in the county with a close circle of Norfolk friends. With its sprawling estates, remote location and impeccably well-bred gentry known as the Turnip Toffs it s no surprise Norfolk is the centre of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge s world No fewer than three of Charlotte s godparents have firm family links to the county. As you d expect, the Cambridges new court are all hugely posh and more than a little eccentric.

These young blue bloods most of whom have houses as grand as the Cambridges Anmer Hall are discreet, trusted and, importantly for family-minded Kate, have small children of their own to play with George and Charlotte. So just who is who in the inner circle of Turnip Toffs? KATE S RIGHT HAND WOMAN Few women have won Kate s trust as thoroughly as Norfolk girl Sophie Carter.

The winsome blonde, who is also godmother to Princess Charlotte, was part of the close-knit circle who celebrated the Duchess s 34th birthday at Anmer Hall earlier this month. She even made up part of the exclusive royal party who later attended St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham, for a service attended by the Queen that commemorated the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli. Discreet Sophie, who has been a friend to Kate for many years, is often to be found quietly by the Duchess s side at various parties and events.

While in their younger days the girls used to party the nights away, they now mainly watch tennis (they play together and hang out at Wimbledon), though they were pictured cheering exuberantly at Cirque du Soleil for Kate s 31st birthday. The daughter of Norfolk construction tycoon Robert Carter, Sophie is also, helpfully, an expert in early years learning, having been a nursery and prep school teacher. The Durham University graduate has developed a phonics educational app, Hip Hop Hen , with which Prince George is no doubt already familiar.

WILLS’ TRUSTED CHILDHOOD CHUM One man can be said to have inspired the royal decampment to North Norfolk and that s Prince George s godfather, 37-year-old William van Cutsem. His landowner parents actually rented Anmer Hall in the Nineties, and Princes William and Harry were regular guests at the property. It s fair to say, then, that the Prince has many happy childhood memories of the place that s now his own home.

Indeed, van Cutsem s mother, Emilie, was an important maternal figure to him after the death of his own mother, Princess Diana. Today, the van Cutsems live less than half an hour from Anmer, on a 4,000-acre estate near Swaffham. The late Hugh van Cutsem, Prince Charles s friend from Cambridge who died in 2013, built an enormous brick and flint neo-Georgian house with its own chapel there in the Nineties.

One man can be said to have inspired the royal decampment to North Norfolk and that s Prince George s godfather, 37-year-old William van Cutsem (pictured with wife Rosie) Fortunately for the Cambridges, the much-trusted William van Cutsem has also chosen to move back to Norfolk from London with his blonde wife, Rosie. He s tall, handsome, debonair and discreet, something that William relies on. According to a friend, van Cutsem knows every inch and cranny of Norfolk every pub, every discreet publican, every country house, the yachts, horses, home help.

Chartered surveyor William, who works for a property development company based in Bury St Edmunds, is considered to be the most handsome and best shot of the four van Cutsem brothers. So he was quite a catch, then… Indeed, the two Williams have a history of, shall we say, trading girlfriends.

Van Cutsem s wife, the former Rosie Ruck Keene, consoled the Prince when he briefly split from Kate in 2007. And he also dated van Cutsem s old flame, Olivia Hunt, while they were at university together. As well as blonde good looks, former City headhunter Rosie has an entrepreneurial streak.

Recent business dabblings include starting a private riding club, as well as launching a fashion brand, Troy London, with her sister. Described as an outwear brand , it sells things such as cashmere capes with a fox fur trim for 950. Perfect for watching your husband shoot in the chilly Norfolk countryside, one would imagine.

KATE S EX AND HIS FASHIONISTA WIFE Weekend visitors to Norfolk include Kate s ex-boyfriend from St Andrews, cricket-playing lawyer and local boy Rupert Finch. He is married to Prince William s old friend, Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs, daughter of the Marquess of Reading and the co-founder of ethical fashion label Beulah which happens to be one of Kate s favourites. Rupert Finch and Natasha Rufus Isaacs pictured at the Cartier Queen’s Cup at Windsor in 2015 While in Norfolk, the couple stay with Rupert s horsey parents, who live in an idyllic brick-and-flint farmhouse in North Creake, outside Fakenham, surrounded by land that belongs to William s uncle, Earl Spencer.

The Finches also have a baby daughter, Georgia, who is a perfect playmate for Princess Charlotte. FROM COCKTAILS IN BOUJIS TO PEEKABOO WITH PRINCESS CHARLOTTE They once drank cocktails in London club Boujis with Kate and William, but today Charlie Savory and his wife, Lucy, are more likely to be playing peekaboo with Princess Charlotte. Norfolk lad Savory, an accountant, was brought up at Thorpland Hall, a Tudor house outside Great Snoring, North Norfolk.

Today, he works for a firm in Norwich. He and Lucy, a major-general s daughter, have a young son and daughter, ideal playmates for George and Charlotte. They once drank cocktails in London club Boujis with Kate and William, but today Charlie Savory and his wife, Lucy, are more likely to be playing peekaboo with Princess Charlotte Another nearby chum is Rory Penn, a childhood friend of William s.

Married to Francesca, the couple have two young daughters and live outside Burnham Market, the Sloaney village in Norfolk where Kate likes to go shopping. Penn whose grandmother is the Queen s cousin has also set up a property company with Thomas van Straubenzee, another of Charlotte s godfathers. Last year, Penn helped to sell a 39 million penthouse at the Bulgari hotel in London s Knightsbridge, so he s clearly doing all right for himself.

The third Norfolk godparent to Charlotte is William s literary first cousin Laura Fellowes (pictured) THE COUSIN WHO LOVES TO TEASE The third Norfolk godparent to Charlotte is William s literary first cousin Laura Fellowes. Her parents are Lady Jane Princess Diana s elder sister and Lord (Robert) Fellowes, the Queen s Private Secretary, who is said to be the most charming dinner guest in the county . Fellowes comes from Norfolk stock himself.

Indeed, his father was the Queen s land agent at Sandringham. Shy and delightful , Laura was a bridesmaid at Fergie s 1986 wedding, and shared a flat at Edinburgh University with William s old crush, Isabella Calthorpe, who is now married to Sam Branson, son of Virgin tycoon Sir Richard. Very close to her royal first cousins, William and Harry, Laura is allowed to tease them both mercilessly according to a friend.

While she s notably discreet and terribly loyal, Laura is also known for her vivacious character and love of riding and dogs. She married equity analyst Nick Pettman in 2009 in Snettisham, west Norfolk, where her parents live in a pretty, old rectory. William and Kate were both guests at that wedding there is no greater indication of inner-inner circle status than getting both of them at your wedding, says one associate.

Other than becoming a godparent, of course. Today, Laura writes fiction under the name Mave Fellowes her nickname is Mavis and has two young sons to play with George. DIVINE DAVINA, THE GLAMOROUS BLONDE Also on hand to chat about nursery schools and phonics with Kate is the glamorous blonde Davina Barber, nee Duckworth-Chad.

The Duckworth-Chads are perennial Turnip Toffs, as well as being second cousins of William s, and live in splendour at red-brick Pynkney Hall near King s Lynn. Davina s mother, Elizabeth, was first cousin to Diana, who was her bridesmaid. Davina Duckworth-Chad and her husband Tom Barber pictured at a wedding in 2011 Elizabeth is still on good terms with Prince Charles and the whole family attended William and Kate s 2011 nuptials.

Beauty Davina, with whom William has a strong, jocular friendship , lives in Norfolk with her Old Etonian husband, Tom Barber (above with Davina), who runs a luxury travel agency. They have twin daughters. THE DASHING DINNER PARTY HOST While most of the Cambridges inner-circle are married with young families, Old Etonian Archie Soames is an exception.

Great-grandson of Winston Churchill, he is a close confidant of William s. The 27-year-old financier holds lively dinner parties at his Norfolk family home, West Barsham Hall, near Fakenham racecourse. William and Kate are regular guests.

Though still single, Soames did notably have a liaison with the much older American model Caprice when he was only 17, after meeting her at the London nightclub Boujis. THE PRINCE’S FOOTY-MAD MATE Football-mad Tom Howard is the son of Tory grandee and life peer Lord (Greville) Howard. The Howard family have played very shouty football with William and Harry for years, including at the annual Christmas Eve match which is held at the family s estate, Castle Rising.

And if everyone in the Cambridges Norfolk circle has an estate, the Howards outdo them all with Castle Rising, which is right next to Sandringham. Not only does it have a Victorian Hall that the family live in, it also has an ancient keep which was the palace-in-exile of Queen Isabella, the widow and alleged murderess of Edward II. ETON PAL HITCHED TO A PRINCESS Just 60 or so miles from Anmer which is nothing for East Anglia folk, who consider an hour in the car nipping round the corner live Lord and Lady Tollemache in the ancient, vast and moated Helmingham Hall, where the Queen is a regular overnight guest.

Their two sons are both true Turnip Toffs: banker Edward, Prince Charles s godson, and his wife, Sophie, have two young sons; and fund manager James, who was at Eton with William, is married to Princess Florrie von Preussen (of Prussia), who used to style for Oka, the upmarket interiors label owned by Samantha Cameron s mother. It was at James s 21st that William did a lap of the moat, clad only in his boxer shorts, with his good friend Guy Pelly. Those kind of larks are unlikely to happen again until Prince George is a teenager or at least until Harry comes to stay.

BADGER WHO WAS WILLS’ BEST MAN Alongside Sophie Carter at church for the Gallipoli commemorations was James Meade, fellow godparent to Charlotte and an Old Etonian chum of William s. Nicknamed Badger (he picked up the moniker at university but the reason is lost in the mists of time), he is such a close friend to the Duke that he made the joint best man s speech at the royal wedding. He s close to Kate, too, taking her to the Badminton Horse Trials during her split from William in 2007.

Badger s wife is Lady Laura Marsham, daughter of the Earl and Countess of Romney, and one of the key movers and shakers of the Turnip Toffs set. The Romneys live at Gayton Hall, a Georgian house outside King s Lynn which has a 20-acre water garden. THE ELEGANT ARISTOS The Earl and Countess of Leicester are Tom and Polly Coke and are a few years older than William and Kate There are the two rival grandees of North Norfolk: the Leicesters of Holkham and the Cholmondeleys of Houghton.

Both make up part of William s Norfolk shooting circle. The Earl and Countess of Leicester are Tom and Polly Coke (pronounced Cook) and are a few years older than William and Kate. While Polly is a former milliner, giving her easy chit-chat with fashion-conscious Kate, former Army boy Tom is a royal equerry.

Norfolk s glamour pair are the Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley filmmaker David, 55, and his wife, socialite and model Rose (pictured at the Serpentine Gallery last summer) They have four children, and home, Holkham, is a Palladian masterpiece with a 25,000-acre estate and a four-mile-long beach where Prince Charles and Princess Anne used to play.

Norfolk s glamour pair are the Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley filmmaker David, 55, and his wife, socialite and model Rose (above), who is some 24 years his junior.

They live at Houghton Hall, once home to Britain s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole.

0 – For Argyll

0 – For Argyll

Rising to the challenge to readers to share photographs of festive season locations and activities, I took my cue from the coincidence of Newsroom s trek with lens on the Leacainn Walk yesterday the same day as my wife Michele and I also went on a walk to clear the cobwebs. Our trek was one we had been meaning to do for several years: to walk along the length of Blakeney Point at the National Trust s Blakeney National Nature Reserve on the coast of Norfolk, where we live. We had taken a young relative to visit the seal colony there common and grey seals several times by boat during previous summers but had always gone to Horsey Gap to see the pups in December.

When we went last year, the National Trust had cordoned off the beach, as well as sections of the marrams on the dunes; and had also introduced hefty car parking fees. Previously, there were few people about and we had felt that we were connecting with nature. However, when we went on New Year s Day last year there were hundreds of people and we felt that we were queueing for the next ride in a theme park.

Thankfully, the weather was glorious yesterday, and the restrictions around the Blakeney seal colony were minimal. I presume the 9 mile return walk is a deterrent to those people who like to drive to their entertainment and then sometimes act foolishly around the wildlife. Although my camera is quite heavy, I m glad that I had it as the zoom allowed me some good shots without disturbing the pups.

After having had an enjoyable walk, we stopped off in Holt for some fish and chips and all appeared well with the world. When you look at the home page of the Blakeney National Nature Reserve 1 , the splendid aerial photograph of the Reserve, with Blakeney point stretching into infinity in the distance, it s very easy to see how great swathes of this country have a lot to think about in relation to climate change. This is a spellbinding landscape that is at once spectacular and vulnerable.

The walk to the point takes you to the old lifeboat house, whose architecture and blue-green timbers conjure another time. Beyond the old lifeboat house there is a boardwalk over the dunes to the beach a shingle strip with a sound of its own orchestrated by the tides. The camera served me well, with the seals, pups and adults alike the pups well fuelled up for the future; and what looks like a family shot is no bad place to sign off on this seasonal coastal hike.

Martin Claxton Editor s Note: Photographer, Martin Claxton, has written and photographed for us before and always memorably: For Argyll readers have also helped him out in the past, when he sent us photographs he had taken of some interesting and clearly wartime, foundations north of Campbeltown 2 , on the coast just off the road up the east coast of the Kintyre peninsula.

Readers contributed a wide variety of information and suggestions that put the mystery to bed.

References ^ home page of the Blakeney National Nature Reserve (www.nationaltrust.org.uk) ^ clearly wartime, foundations north of Campbeltown (forargyll.com)

Argyll News: A reader's seasonal walk to Blakeney point and the …

Argyll News: A reader's seasonal walk to Blakeney point and the …

Rising to the challenge to readers to share photographs of festive season locations and activities, I took my cue from the coincidence of Newsroom s trek with lens on the Leacainn Walk yesterday the same day as my wife Michele and I also went on a walk to clear the cobwebs. Our trek was one we had been meaning to do for several years: to walk along the length of Blakeney Point at the National Trust s Blakeney National Nature Reserve on the coast of Norfolk, where we live. We had taken a young relative to visit the seal colony there common and grey seals several times by boat during previous summers but had always gone to Horsey Gap to see the pups in December.

When we went last year, the National Trust had cordoned off the beach, as well as sections of the marrams on the dunes; and had also introduced hefty car parking fees. Previously, there were few people about and we had felt that we were connecting with nature. However, when we went on New Year s Day last year there were hundreds of people and we felt that we were queueing for the next ride in a theme park.

Thankfully, the weather was glorious yesterday, and the restrictions around the Blakeney seal colony were minimal. I presume the 9 mile return walk is a deterrent to those people who like to drive to their entertainment and then sometimes act foolishly around the wildlife. Although my camera is quite heavy, I m glad that I had it as the zoom allowed me some good shots without disturbing the pups.

After having had an enjoyable walk, we stopped off in Holt for some fish and chips and all appeared well with the world. When you look at the home page of the Blakeney National Nature Reserve 1 , the splendid aerial photograph of the Reserve, with Blakeney point stretching into infinity in the distance, it s very easy to see how great swathes of this country have a lot to think about in relation to climate change. This is a spellbinding landscape that is at once spectacular and vulnerable.

The walk to the point takes you to the old lifeboat house, whose architecture and blue-green timbers conjure another time. Beyond the old lifeboat house there is a boardwalk over the dunes to the beach a shingle strip with a sound of its own orchestrated by the tides. The camera served me well, with the seals, pups and adults alike the pups well fuelled up for the future; and what looks like a family shot is no bad place to sign off on this seasonal coastal hike.

Martin Claxton Editor s Note: Photographer, Martin Claxton, has written and photographed for us before and always memorably: For Argyll readers have also helped him out in the past, when he sent us photographs he had taken of some interesting and clearly wartime, foundations north of Campbeltown 2 , on the coast just off the road up the east coast of the Kintyre peninsula.

Readers contributed a wide variety of information and suggestions that put the mystery to bed.

References ^ home page of the Blakeney National Nature Reserve (www.nationaltrust.org.uk) ^ clearly wartime, foundations north of Campbeltown (forargyll.com)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

CHE 1 untimed (pannonica) Last Saturday, the Crosswords LA tournament entertained and challenged participants with a line-up of excellent crosswords and now you can obtain a set of these puzzles (plus assorted bonus puzzles by other terrific constructors!) for a mere $8 from Crossword Nexus . I test-solved the tournament puzzles and particularly enjoyed Sam Donaldson s challenging #4 and Trip Payne s delightfully punny #5. 2 Patrick Berry s New York Times crossword Amy s write-up NY Times crossword solution, 10 30 15, no 1030 Hmm, not feeling like I have much to say about this puzzle. Enjoyed ROAD RAGE (Driving storms?), B PICTURES, RASPBERRY, STUPEFIED, SPIT-TAKE, GRETA GARBO, IN RUINS , and IRON PYRITE /fool s gold.

Not a ton of juicy fill, just a lot of solid stuff packed into this 66-worder. And no terrible fill, because Berry doesn t roll that way. Three things: 1d. Transoceanic flier, briefly, ICBM .

Do missiles fly ? Is that the terminology used in missile circles?

14a. Land bordering France and Andorra, CATALONIA . Region of Spain.

Land made me think I needed a country, and there sure was not a 9-letter one in that area coming to mind!

36a. Twelver, religiously speaking, SHIITE . Twelver is a word I ve never seen before. Hey!

There are also Sevener and Fiver branches 3 of Shia, it turns out.

3.9 stars from me. One thing that makes me less keen on Friday NYTs than Saturday NYTs is that there are fewer twisty/tricky clues to enchant me, making the solve a tad dull sometimes. Alex Eaton-Salners BuzzFeed crossword, Scary Good Jim s write-up Alex is breaking the rules today with his Halloween-themed puzzle.

BuzzFeed Fri, Oct 30, 2015 Scary Good We ve clearly got a SKULL smack-dab in the middle of the grid. It s completely enclosed, which is normally taboo, but it wouldn t work any other way. As grid-art goes, I like it.

As the solve goes along we uncover the two grid-spanning theme answers: 17A GHOSTFACE KILLAH Wu-Tang Clan member who took his name from the kung fu movie “Mystery of Chessboxing” and 58A TRICK-OR-TREATERS Source of some annual ding-dongs . I just saw GHOSTFACE KILLAH earlier this week in a WSJ clue, so that came to me more quickly than it would have normally, and the clue for TRICK-OR-TREATERS is fun. Continuing on we find two other grid-spanners, this time in the Down direction.

These are more tangentially-related to things spooky: 3D VOODOO ECONOMICS Reagane-era sic supply-side policies, as described by George H.W. Bush and 11D ALL SOULS COLLEGE Part of the University of Oxford that has no undergraduates . Together these four grid-spanners form a box around our SKULL .

And while they re not the crossed bones that normally accompany a SKULL , they make a great collection of crossing spanners. So that is very nice and definitely the best part of the puzzle. Where the conceit falls apart is in the SKULL .

The first three letters of SKULL ( SKU ) appear inexplicably in the mouth at 51A with the clue Beginning (and mouth) of the depiction at this puzzle’s center completed at the eyes , and the L s are the SKULL s eyes. It just doesn t make a lot of sense. Maybe if the eyes were O s and the teeth were U s or something or maybe if the eyes were rebussed as such it would all work better, but breaking SKULL up in such a way just seems random.

Other things: I did not know 50A OLA Ray who played MJ’s girlfriend in the “Thriller” video (common knowledge) . If you have to tell me it s common knowledge, then it probably isn t.

8D Store with wooden barrels is a tough but good clue for AGE . I still didn t get it for a while after I filled it in.

SKI MASK (at 26D ) right down the middle of the SKULL is nice. Not sure why you d put a SKI MASK on a SKULL , but in the grid it looks nice. Other nice Down entries are AT LAST, TAI CHI, SNIPER, SALADS, PALACES, and COASTAL .

All in all, a nice Halloween-themed puzzle, but some of it just didn t work for me. Wonderful grid-spanning entries, but it needed some crossed bones and a different approach to the facial features. There s no other way to end this post than with this: Paul Coulter s Chronicle of Higher Education crossword, Garden-Variety TV pannonica s write-up CHE 10/30/15 Garden-Variety TV Coulter solution Apologies for both the lateness and skeletal quality of the following write-up.

Wish I could say it was a Halloween tie-in or something. For the theme in this 16 15 crossword, phrases have been punned up to include vegetables, such as one might see in a garden. The clues frame them as having to do with a hypothetical food-preparation program.

18a. Cooking-show producer’s facetious title for an episode in which an attractive restaurateur demonstrated borscht? BEAUTY AND THE BEET ( Beauty and the Beast ).

27a. in which a foodie declared he eats certain green stalks only in Thanksgiving stuffing? ANNUAL CELERY ( annual salary ).

43a. in which a nervous vichyssoise maker clung to a crucial vegetable as if for moral support? SECURITY LEEK ( security leak ).

56a. in which a chef showed off her speedy peeling and chopping while whipping up a bordelaise sauce? THE LADY OF SHALLOT ( The Lady of Shalott ).

34-down SIDE SALAD is reminiscent of the theme, as is 3d BEAN ANGEL (hush!). Mildly amusing theme, and to the best of my recollection an enjoyable solve. Alan Arbesfeld s CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword, Space Travel Ade s write-up CrosSynergy/Washington Post crossword solution, 10.30.15: Space Travel Good afternoon, everyone!

Today s travels have taken me to Boston/Cambridge, Mass., as I m covering the monumental, titanic football matchup between footballing powers: Harvard and Dartmouth. (Don t laugh, both the Crimson and Big Green are 6-0). Today s crossword puzzle, brought to us by Mr. Alan Arbesfeld, is a shifty puzzle, as the letters ROOM shift by one place to the right in each successive theme answer (68A: Space that travels through the answers to 17-, 29-, 45-, and 58-Across) .

BROOM CLOSET (17A: Dustpan locale, often) BATHROOM SCALES (29A: They’re often stepped on after a shower) SLOPPY ROOMMATE (45A: Cause of a college cleanup, maybe) BRIDEGROOMS (58A: Ones making vows) I would usually talk about entries in the grid, and I will eventually, but I have to talk about Annette and Lisa. Who are they exactly? They re sisters from the West Coast, and I ended up having a great conversation in front of Widener Library. ( Widener has been fill in grids past.) Along with myself, Annette and Lisa were just visiting to the campus.

Along with myself, they couldn t access the library without a Harvard ID. (Lisa and I both asked each other where our non-existent IDs were!) Oh, and even better, it turns out that Annette is a voracious crossword puzzle solver, specifically the LA Times grids! So, of course, I told her and Lisa to drop by this site and make their voices heard. When I told them that I blog about crossword puzzles daily, Annette said, What would you blog about?

Well, I told them you could start with what fill you liked and didn t like, and when I told them about one of the entries in today s grid, WYE , they agreed that that was not fun at all (66A: Scary ending?) . Yes, we ve seen syllables spelled out in grids before (cee, aitch, etc.), but I think this takes the cake of being the most head-scratching of all. Here s hoping you all knew he Divine Comedy was the reference for CANTO (31D: “Inferno” division) .

Good thing the crosses for DAIN were gettable, as that was over my head when seeing its clue the first time (24D: “The ____ Curse” (Dashiell Hammett novel)) . Well, it s time to go, as I m getting ready to cover a game that might feature an ALL-AMERICAN or two, at least in the Division I-AA (FCS) level (11D: Elite US athlete) . By the way, here s our view from the press box: And my name s spelled correctly thank goodness!

Sports will make you smarter moment of the day: BALL BOYS (6D: Foul territory workers ) If you ve ever been to AT&T Park in San Francisco and have taken in a Giants baseball game, you ll know that the people down in foul territory shagging foul balls aren t just BALL BOYS. They re Ball Dudes! Honest!

The Giants employ mostly, if not entirely, men of senior citizen age to track down the balls that are hit foul down the lines. A good number of them have had a few adventures while out on the field. Here s an example Have a good weekend, everyone, and I ll see you tomorrow!

Take care! Ade/AOK Don Gagliardo s LA Times crossword Gareth s write-up LA Times 151030 I find generally that the LA Times is a safe crossword. You get well-worn theme tropes, but usually very tightly executed and usually backed with a solid answer grid.

Today s theme felt surprisingly out of keeping with that vibe. This theme certainly isn t something I remember seeing before. It features a word ladder of sorts, with each first word in the answer sequence a SYNONYM of that of the previous, going from HOT to COLD, which are ANTONYM s.

It was very nice to sit back and appreciate after the solve; I paid little attention to it while filling the grid in. The ANTONYM and SYNONYM revealers make everything utterly opaque once you sit back and examine things. We start with Popular clubs, HOTspots .

HOT can also mean STOLEN. STOLENbases, Ty Cobb specialties leads us to TAKENtotask, Dressed down . From TAKEN to REMOVEDfrom, Didn’t allow to remain in, as political office, a slightly awkward phrase.

After REMOVED comes DISTANTpast, It’s ancient history . DISTANT is a synonym of COLDones, They might be knocked down in a bar, and so we go from HOT to COLD. Stuff I didn t know: Annabella of “Jungle Fever”, SCIORRA .

She seems to have had a long, though not so distinguished career Equestrian’s head cover, HAIRNET . I m not horsey. I had to learn about the tack that goes on the horse (numnahs etc.) but not what goes on the rider Box “b” on a W-2: Abbr., EIN.

No clue. Seems to be a US tax thing and EIN is Employer Identification Number. Don t get me started on taxes.

Somehow one of my IRP-5s (documents from my employer saying how much they paid me) got sent twice and I had to correct that. Because of that, my return was flagged for auditing. Because of that they want me to physically hand in my IRP-5s to scan in.

Um. So I print out what I sent them. I give that to them and they compare it to what I printed out.

What is this achieving except a huge petrol bill as the IRS offices are 60km away!! Taxes! Sorry.

Where was I? Hamlin’s caveman, OOP . Hamlin? The only Alley Oop I know comes from the Hollywood Argyles Musical org.

based in Kawasaki, TSO. Seems to be the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. After EIN, the second common crossword filler answer clued as an unfamiliar abbr. Arkansas governor Hutchinson, ASA.

Since 2015! Fresh, unknown-to-me, angle! Is he a notable governor?

Are governors automatically cross-worthy? Remarks: Actors John and Sean, ASTINS. Watching the original Addams Family sitcom this week, so that went right in Strand under a microscope, RNA.

Electron microscope, presumably, because RNA is way too small to see under a regular light microscope.

4.25 Stars Gareth References ^ CHE (www.crosswordfiend.com) ^ Crossword Nexus (www.crosswordnexus.com) ^ Sevener and Fiver branches (en.wikipedia.org)