EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Lady Antonia Fraser, misses concert in her honour
EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Lady Antonia Fraser, 90, misses concert in her own honour after spending her ‘proudest day’ in hospital after being injured in accident over Christmas
Last night was due to be the highlight of historian and author Lady Antonia Fraser’s long and distinguished career.
At the Wigmore Hall in London, the celebrated pianist Sir Stephen Hough and three talented singers performed the world premiere of Lady Antonia’s Songs, based on verses she wrote to cheer herself up during lockdown.
Talking about her excitement ahead of last night’s concert, she said: ‘It is going to be my proudest moment when the Wigmore Hall features something with my name attached to it.’
Lady Antonia Fraser, 90, was unable to attend the eagerly anticipated performance of the world premiere of Lady Antonia’s Songs as she was in hospital
Sadly, Dame Antonia, 90, widow of playwright Harold Pinter, was unable to attend the eagerly anticipated performance because she was in hospital, where she spent Christmas after being injured in an accident.
Instead, she watched it on a laptop from her hospital bed via a live stream from the concert.
‘I am fearfully disappointed that a fall is keeping me away from the Wigmore Hall tonight,’ she told me yesterday. ‘But three of my [six] children will be there. And I cannot wait to listen on live stream. It’s such an honour. Wigmore Hall is my treat in life.’
The performance came about after Lady Antonia, daughter of the delightfully dotty 7th Earl of Longford, wrote a poetry collection, Verses To Please Myself, during lockdown.
She had the book printed privately and sent a copy to Wigmore’s director, John Gilhooly, to thank him for live-streaming concerts when venues were forced to close because of pandemic restrictions.
He told her that Hough wanted to compose four songs from her verses. ‘I was so excited,’ she says. ‘I had been feeling very black. Suddenly, I felt radiantly happy. And it all got even better when I actually heard Lady Antonia’s Songs.’
Dame Antonia spent Christmas in hospital after being injured in an accident
At the Wigmore Hall in London, the celebrated pianist Sir Stephen Hough and three talented singers performed the world premiere of Lady Antonia’s Songs, based on verses she wrote to cheer herself up during lockdown
Blackadder star Sir Tony Robinson failed to impress Harry Potter star Miriam Margolyes with his knighthood from the late Queen Elizabeth II. ‘To have been chosen was just about the most flattering thing that’s ever happened to me,’ gushes the 76-year-old actor. ‘Then Margolyes said to me: ‘We were really surprised when you were made a knight, because you didn’t really deserve it, did you?’ Poor Baldrick.
New clothes are out for ‘superwoman’ Helena’s new year
City ‘superwoman’ Helena Morrissey, who refashioned herself as a style adviser by blogging about her daily outfits, has made a surprising new year’s resolution.
‘I’ve developed a bad habit over time and I’ve decided that I have too many clothes,’ says Baroness Morrissey, 56, who combined her successful career as an investment manager with raising nine children.
Of her myriad outfits, she says: ‘I share them with six daughters, my two daughters-in-law and my niece, but enough is enough.
‘This is the year I’m buying no new clothes. I’ll be re-styling, I’ll be making clothes, re-wearing and, of course I’ll be promoting occasional vintage purchases. The motivation is sustainability, financial and self-discipline.’
She plans to donate the money she would have spent on clothes to charity.
Helena Morrissey, 56, who refashioned herself as a style adviser by blogging about her daily outfits, has made a surprising new year’s resolution
She plans to donate the money she would have spent on clothes to charity
Frankie resolves to wear more sequins
Society model Frankie Herbert — whose stepfather, the Duke of Norfolk, is in charge of organising King Charles’s Coronation — has made a rather lengthy new year’s resolution this year. In a message to her friends, Frankie, 26, declares: ‘My resolutions are to work harder, love harder, continue to heal my generational trauma and inner child, wear more sequins and be more unashamedly my queer self.’
Frankie — who once strutted her stuff down the catwalk for Queen Elizabeth II, the only time Her late Majesty ever attended a fashion show — was previously romantically linked to rock star Sting’s child Eliot Sumner.
Her mother Chica married the Duke in November and her father, Harry Herbert, is the Earl of Carnarvon’s brother.
Frankie Herbert, 26, declared: ‘My resolutions are to work harder, love harder’
Conran’s ashes don’t quite reach heaven
Designer Jasper Conran has revealed the effort his family put in to making sure his father, Sir Terence, departed this world in typically colourful style.
Habitat founder Sir Terence, who died in 2020 aged 88, left instructions that he wanted his ashes to be used in a fireworks display and shot up into the sky over his Berkshire home.
To mark the new year, Jasper shared this photograph, revealing that the display didn’t quite go to plan.
‘My father loved fireworks and wanted to go out with a bang,’ says Jasper. ‘So my stepmother made six rockets filled with his ashes — one for her and one each for his children.
‘My rocket didn’t rise, but exploded all over the garden.
‘Powerful stuff — he would have loved that.’
It’s been hard to escape the Wham! song Last Christmas over the past few weeks, and its composer George Michael continues to make a fortune for the beneficiaries of his estate.
Accounts published last week for one of his companies, Wham Music Ltd, saw its bottom line go to £5.5 million in the year to last March, from £4.2 million in 2021. Another firm, Big Geoff Overseas Ltd, is now worth £4.2 million for the same 12-month period — up from £2.8 million the previous year.
Michael, who died aged 53 on Christmas Day in 2016, left most of his estate to his sisters, Yioda and Melanie Panayiotou. Melanie died on Christmas Day in 2019.
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