The Prince and the Showgirl. April 2018.

Dear Rowley,

As Miss Midler once said, ‘I’m not retiring and you can’t make me’. The most recent bout of ‘the troubles’ seems to be coming to a close. On paper I’ve had two laptops, three iPhones, an iPad, three sets of credit cards and £20,000 worth of uninsured family jewellery stolen. The locks are changed, the CCTV is in place and I still don’t feel 100% secure at Bloomsbury Towers anymore. Then again, I don’t think ‘Letters from Clapham North’ has the same ring to it even though I rather yearn to move to South London where I was very happy for very many years.

The biggest nightmare has not been the loss of sparklers even though the entire Jewellery for Gentlemen stock has been wiped-out. No, it was the tech that hit me the hardest. It is almost impossible to live/work in London without a phone and a laptop. I am sure the thieves were well aware of this and still didn’t care a damn. I think I know who was responsible for the tech robbery but quite frankly the police will do nothing and one just has to roll with the punches.

One wonders whether it has been a run of very bad luck or on some occasions self-inflicted misery. I’d say the former because nobody invites burglars into their houses now do they. I might never invite anyone into Bloomsbury Towers again which is seriously curtailing the love life but so be it for now. Even the Lord rested on the seventh day.

Can’t say I am loving London any more. The level of brutality and ignorance is quite staggering as is the aggression of our foreign cousins and the stupidity of the locals. You do have to be mad to work here. The quality of life is staggeringly bipolar: either feast or famine, elated or miserable, broke or in the money. It is terribly tiring. But on to more salubrious matters.

I’ve been asked by Aussie television to commentate on the wedding of Prince Harry and his showgirl Meghan Markle. It has been very interesting genning-up on Miss Markle and binge watching Suits. I still think the lady is a shrewd operator and set her cap on marrying a prince. It didn’t make sense that Ms Markle claimed to know very little about the British Royal Family when by all accounts she was obsessed by the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Still, she appears to make Prince Harry very happy and is in with Her Majesty so Ms Markle must have some magic.

The speculation about who will design Meghan Markle’s wedding dress is reaching fever pitch though I would hope anybody except Stella McCartney or Victoria Beckham is much to be wished for. Stella’s wedding dress for Madonna’s nuptials to Guy Ritchie was a horror and how can anyone forget the matching purple suit and dress Victoria Beckham and David wore with a Slim Barrett coronet on her head if you please. The odds on favourite is British couture duo Basso & Brooke though I think they might be a bit foofy for Ms Markle.

I wonder whether Ms Markle might take inspiration from John F. Kennedy Jr’s wife Carolyn Bessette who wore a 90s minimal Calvin Klein slipper satin bias cut dress that was radically chic. Still, that unfortunate marriage ended in the 1999 plane crash that killed JFK Jr and the beautiful Carolyn. I am sensing figure-hugging rather than Princess might be the way Ms Markle might go. She could do worse than take a look at Marilyn Monroe’s white evening dress worn in the lion’s share of The Prince and the Showgirl in which MM personally wiped Laurence Olivier off the screen.

Marilyn does wear a tiara and ostrich feathers when her character attends the coronation of King Edward VII. Will HM loan Ms Markle a tiara? I would say the showgirl won’t be able to resist the lure of royal diamonds and might emulate Princess Margaret’s tall Poltimore Tiara. Perhaps The Queen could loan the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara that can be set as a miniature coronet worn with an up-do. We shall see what we shall see.

Whoever designs the dress, I am convinced Ms Markle will go as far away as possible from the Sarah Burton-designed wedding dress worn by the Duchess of Cambridge. There would be some amusing echoes should an American actress marrying into European royalty emulates the late Princess Grace of Monaco but Kate Middleton already beat her to it. Besides, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace didn’t have the happiest of marriages anyway. But which of us does?

Doubtless The Queen will steal the show at the wedding. Perhaps she will wear her diamond maple leaf brooches as a nod to Canada where Ms Markle filmed Suits. I do enjoy reading The Queen’s brooches. It is a hangover from my Royal Ascot BBC days. I’m also working on a documentary about Princess Margaret for UKTV in May which should be an awful lot of fun. I suspect Princess Margaret’s life was a lot less fun than it looked. Takes one to know one. Until next time…