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As Harry and Meghan are 5,000 miles away in California, and Prince Andrew is banned from polite society, the King’s vision of a ‘slimmed-down’ monarchy is looking too skinny.

So step forward a new member of ‘The Firm’.

I can reveal that Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles carried out his first royal duty on behalf of the Queen Consort on Tuesday.

He formally represented his ex-wife at a funeral — and friends claim it could be the first engagement of many. ‘

Andrew is happy to do anything he is asked,’ one of his friends tells me. ‘He still enjoys a warm relationship with Camilla.’

I can reveal that Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles carried out his first royal duty on behalf of the Queen Consort on Tuesday

I can reveal that Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles carried out his first royal duty on behalf of the Queen Consort on Tuesday

The news was recorded in the Court Circular, the official record of royal engagements. 

‘The Queen Consort was represented by Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles,’ it says of his attendance at the funeral of John Bowes-Lyon at the London Oratory. Bowes-Lyon, who died last month aged 80, was a second cousin of the late Queen.

Formally representing Camilla meant Parker Bowles, 82, was given a prominent pew at the Roman Catholic church.

He and Camilla, who married in 1973, have two children. They separated in the 1980s, finally divorcing in 1995, with a royal biographer once remarking: ‘It is said that an English gentleman will always lay down his wife for his country and this was certainly true in the case of Andrew Parker Bowles.’

Camilla married Prince Charles in 2005, while Parker Bowles exchanged vows with Rosemary Pitman in 1996. She died in 2010.

Parker Bowles and Bowes-Lyon were cousins. Their great-uncle was the legendary roué Raymund de Trafford, whose bedroom athleticism prompted his brother to offer him £10,000 if he agreed to be castrated.

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Raymund responded that he would have ‘one ball cut off and settle for £5,000’.

Camilla married Prince Charles in 2005, while Parker Bowles exchanged vows with Rosemary Pitman in 1996. She died in 2010

Camilla married Prince Charles in 2005, while Parker Bowles exchanged vows with Rosemary Pitman in 1996. She died in 2010

Parker Bowles and Bowes-Lyon were cousins. Their great-uncle was the legendary roué Raymund de Trafford, whose bedroom athleticism prompted his brother to offer him £10,000 if he agreed to be castrated

Parker Bowles and Bowes-Lyon were cousins. Their great-uncle was the legendary roué Raymund de Trafford, whose bedroom athleticism prompted his brother to offer him £10,000 if he agreed to be castrated

Eddie stitched up on the red carpet

Ripped jeans have been trendy since the 1980s, and now Eddie Redmayne is taking the look into formal wear.

The Old Etonian, 40, turned up for a screening in New York of his new film, The Good Nurse, wearing a bespoke suit featuring slits across the elbows and waist, as well as white stitches on the lapels. It was created by Maison Margiela, the French fashion house led by designer John Galliano.

‘It’s all about picking something that you feel comfortable in because red carpet events never stop being surreal,’ Redmayne has said of his style in the past.

Ripped jeans have been trendy since the 1980s, and now Eddie Redmayne is taking the look into formal wear

Ripped jeans have been trendy since the 1980s, and now Eddie Redmayne is taking the look into formal wear

Emma likes being back in Hospital 

Emma Samms first imprinted herself on the collective male consciousness as Fallon Carrington Colby — the character in 1980s soap Dynasty once summarised as ‘a spoiled bitch’ whose idea of fun is sleeping with her father’s chauffeur.

Now, she’s returning to another U.S. soap with which she has an even longer association — General Hospital.

‘I first started working on this show 40 (gulp) years ago,’ says the evergreen Samms, 62, who has temporarily forsaken her home in the Cotswolds for an intense filming schedule in L.A.

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‘Lots and lots of lines. It’s like sitting an exam every day for three weeks,’ she says, explaining that the show is broadcast ‘for an hour, five days a week’. But help is on hand from her husband — former BBC newsreader Simon McCoy. He has, says Emma, helped ‘figure out the wifi, air-conditioning and coffee machine’.

1960s icons reunited

Two Swinging Sixties icons were back together this week when Twiggy turned up at the launch party for her fellow model Pattie Boyd’s book, My Life In Pictures.

Boyd, 78, who was married to both George Harrison and Eric Clapton, inspired classic songs including Something, Layla and Wonderful Tonight. She’s remained close to Dame Lesley Lawson, 73, as Twiggy is formally known, who appeared with her in Vogue Italia in 1970.

‘We were definitely not spoilt,’ Boyd tells me, reminiscing about their heyday at the party, at The Lower Third bar in Soho.

‘If you were booked for a shoot, you had to bring dark shoes and light shoes, jewellery, make-up, accessories, combs, and this and that. Plus, we were only paid £4 an hour — things have changed dramatically; everything is super glamorous.’

Two Swinging Sixties icons were back together this week when Twiggy turned up at the launch party for her fellow model Pattie Boyd’s book, My Life In Pictures

Two Swinging Sixties icons were back together this week when Twiggy turned up at the launch party for her fellow model Pattie Boyd’s book, My Life In Pictures

She’s remained close to Dame Lesley Lawson, 73, as Twiggy is formally known, who appeared with her in Vogue Italia in 1970

She’s remained close to Dame Lesley Lawson, 73, as Twiggy is formally known, who appeared with her in Vogue Italia in 1970

Oasis bros in new wonderbrawl 

They sang Don’t Look Back In Anger, but Oasis stars Liam and Noel Gallagher are at daggers drawn over their legacy once again.

Singer Liam, 50, has accused his 55-year-old brother of preventing his recent solo performances of Oasis songs being included in a forthcoming documentary, Knebworth 22. Liam played a number of the band’s tracks during two summer gigs at Knebworth, in Hertfordshire, but they won’t be included on screen after Noel’s intervention. Liam snarls: ‘No Oasis songs, as the angry squirt has blocked them.’ Can’t they settle their differences over a Champagne Supernova?

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Traumatised by a burglary at their £31.5 million West London mansion while they were sleeping earlier this year, David and Victoria Beckham have been granted permission to install ‘Fort Knox-style measures’ at their £6 million converted barn in the Cotswolds. West Oxfordshire council has given the go-ahead for an additional security building at the home, where there’s already 24-hour security and a gatehouse. 

Eton College Provost Lord Waldegrave had a new job for those who played for ‘Strawberry’ — the gentlemanly Eton cricket team which plays for fun — at a dinner for students who left 40 years ago.

A guest tells me: ‘Waldegrave said that, given recent events, it would perhaps be better to pick the political class not from Eton’s scholars but from Strawberry.’

Boris Johnson, the most celebrated scholar of the year in question, was notable by his absence.

Ripped jeans have been trendy since the 1980s, and now Eddie Redmayne is taking the look into formal wear.

The Old Etonian, 40, turned up for a screening in New York of his new film, The Good Nurse, wearing a bespoke suit featuring slits across the elbows and waist, as well as white stitches on the lapels. It was created by Maison Margiela, the French fashion house led by designer John Galliano.

‘It’s all about picking something that you feel comfortable in because red carpet events never stop being surreal,’ Redmayne has said of his style in the past.

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