Eugenie's terrorism near miss


Princess Eugenie
Shocked: Princess Eugenie left Mumbai days before last week's terrorist attacks
Princess Eugenie has spoken of her shock that the hotel room she left just days before the Mumbai massacre was where police shot dead the last terrorist and brought the siege to an end.

The Queen's granddaughter was said to be 'very shaken up' at the thought of what might have happened had she prolonged her stay at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
Although she was permanently accompanied by a police protection officer, both Prince Andrew and the Duchess of York were extremely concerned about their younger daughter's welfare and had been frantically calling Eugenie to reassure her  -  and themselves.
The 18-year-old student, who is on her gap-year travels, had flown to Goa in western India when terrorists launched their strikes on tourists and hotel staff last week. She is travelling with a school friend from Marlborough College and her Scotland Yard bodyguard.
But in emails to friends in Britain, Eugenie has said the experience has left her 'in a state of shock'.
'Eugenie and her travel partner were very shaken up at the thought it could so easily have been them,' I am told. 'She was already in Goa by the time the attacks took place, but her parents were still very concerned and were frantically calling to check she was OK. She called her mum to let her know she was fine.'
Adds my mole: 'Her policemen said afterwards that the last gunman had been killed in the very room they had been staying in.
'They couldn't quite believe it and obviously she was very shaken by the thought that, if they had stayed on a few extra days, they could have been killed.'
Eugenie, however, has told friends that despite this unnerving experience she is refusing to cut short her gap-year trip. 'They were about to leave India anyway, so they didn't need to make any changes to their itinerary,' I am told.
Says a friend: 'Most teenagers go on a gap year in the hope of facing new challenges and unusual experiences, but certainly not this kind of experience.
'Eugenie is a street-wise and down-to-earth young woman, but it was scary for her to think what might have happened.'
Not content with joining the Earl of March's members' club at his estate in Sussex, DJ Chris Evans has enrolled his dog, too. Evans pays £160 a year for membership of the Goodwood Club, which enjoys special rates for the various sporting activities on the estate and the use of a comfortable clubhouse.
Now for an extra £50 a year, Evans can 'park' his beloved alsatian, Bess, for the day on a comfortable bed in a centrally heated kennel.
Says Lord March: 'The dogs are OK, but some of their owners need vetting.' Not reformed hellraiser Evans, surely?

Emma's change of key for Yale

Emma Watson
American dream:
She's due to start at Cambridge next year, but might Harry Potter actress be having second thoughts about her university education?
For the pert starlet, who secured straight As in her A-levels this year, has apparently been touring the campus of Yale, one of America's most prestigious institutions.
Its alumni include Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, but it was the presence of another figure which I understand has attracted Miss Watson  -  the lesbian Hollywood actress and former child star Jodie Foster.
'It is much easier to be as famous as Emma is in America and she likes that Jodie was treated as just another student when she was at Yale,' I am told.
Of course, it is surely no more than a coincidence that Emma's new friend Italian actor Roberto Agnillera, whom she met in July during an eight-week Shakespeare course at RADA, is now at New York University.
Meanwhile, the modest Miss Watson downplays her box office appeal in January's Tatler. 'Blondes are meant to have more fun, but I'm a natural geek,' she says.

Party pieces: Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury Racecourse

A new royal role: With the economic crisis taking its toll on City jobs, it is perhaps just as well that Princess Michael of Kent has secured her children roles in the film adaptation of her historical book The Serpent And The Moon. Financial analyst Lord Freddie Windsor, 29, tells me: 'It's certainly a difficult time in banking, but we're hanging in there.'
Lord Freddie Windsor with his girlfriend Sophie Winkleman
Busy couple: Lord Freddie Windsor with his girlfriend Sophie Winkleman
As for his mother's offer, he admits: 'I'm not sure how easily I'd translate into the role of a medieval Frenchman, but I'd be keen to give it a go.'
Such a move might also give Freddie an excuse to see more of his actress girlfriend Sophie Winkleman. Sophie, 27, admits she hasn't had much time for her royal beau of late and denies rumours of an engagement.
'We wouldn't think of going down that road yet because we've hardly seen each other for most of our relationship, as I've been working,' she says.
Countdown to lift-off: After former Countdown favourite Carol Vorderman revealed the stress of working on the quiz show, her daughter Katie, 16, has no plans to go into showbusiness. Instead she wants to be an astronaut.
'She's clever enough, so why not,' says Carol, whose daughter is at £7,750-a-term Clifton College in Bristol. 'She's taking five A-levels and wants to apply to Cambridge to read aerophysics. She couldn't think of anything worse than going into television.'
Fashion recycle: She has been the butt of some below-the-belt social snobbery, but Carole Middleton, mother of Prince William's squeeze Kate, has one trait that will endear her to royals  -  the Queen's gift for thrift.
Businesswoman Carole was sporting the same outfit  -  full-length coat, fur-trimmed hat and knee-high brown boots  -  she wore for William's 'passing out' parade at Sandhurst in 2006. Happily, on this occasion, she was not chewing gum.

Meat rule is just tasteless

After eating crocodile feet and kangaroo testicles  -  while coping with a mouthful of cockroaches  -  on his way to winning I'm A Celebrity in the Australian jungle, Christopher Biggins thought he'd endured his last epicurean nightmare.
But that was before he encountered health-and-safety busybodies when he asked room service at the Marriott Hotel, Norwich, for a medium-cooked burger. 'They replied "Sorry, sir, but we are not allowed to do them that way," ' Biggins tells me.
Exasperated, he demanded to speak to the head chef, who insisted it was company policy. Eventually a compromise was reached. He could eat his burger medium-rare  -  but only if he signed a legal disclaimer.
Within minutes, a letter arrived for me to sign, saying: "I Christopher Biggins accept the fact that I am having a medium hamburger and I will take all responsibility for whatever happens to me as a result."'
And the upshot? 'I had an absolutely delicious burger, cooked just the way I like it.'


Just a year after former Bar Council boss David Cocks gave his ex-mistress Felicity Hammerton a £100,000 out-of-court settlement over maintenance payments for their illegitimate son, the whiff of revenge still hangs over the case. Felicity is writing her life story.
'It's going to be called Beyond Justice, The Judge Who Stole His Son's Christmases. That's because he has never sent our son a Christmas card,' says Felicity.
An orphan, she put herself through law school and was approached by Cocks to be his barrister pupil. 'He made me leave when he got me pregnant. I've been told I've got a potential bestseller.'
Look out!