Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Londoner's Diary

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Londoner's Diary

Article excerpt

Princess: It's OK for William to marry a Muslim

PRINCESS Michael of Kent has once more attracted controversy on the other side of the Atlantic. She has told a newspaper in Toronto that it wouldn't be a problem if Prince William had a Muslim girlfriend.

"By statute, no member of the family may marry or 'have to do' with a Catholic - that means business negotiations, I think," says the Princess, referring to the 1701 Act of Settlement, which governs Royal marriages. She is a Catholic whose husband renounced his rights to the throne when they married in 1978, .

"It doesn't mention any other religion. If Prince William produced a lovely Muslim girl, there wouldn't be a problem."

Pause. " Le ga l ly," she quickly adds, "legally, there wouldn't be a problem."

This prompts the Princess, who upset diners in a New York restaurant with her "back to the colonies" remark earlier this year, to mention that her own daughter, Lady Gabriella (Ella) Windsor, 23, a recent Brown University graduate, has an Indian boyfriend who "is the bestlooking man I've ever seen in my life".

P r i nc e M ichae l wa s required to relinquish his rights to the throne because of his wife's religion.

"It's no big deal when you're 20-something in line," says the princess.

"You'd have to think of Kind Hearts and Coronets for the position to be reached," referring to the film about a young aristocrat who bumped off half a dozen of his relations to acquire a dukedom.

A Naked eye for the Hill

SO WHERE can Jamie Oliver escape from the rowdy revellers from the pub next door to his Hampstead cottage who kept ringing his doorbell at midnight asking him to cook them a bacon sarnie?

The Naked Chef has found a retreat at the foot of the sunny slopes of Primrose Hill.

Oliver and his wife, Jules, have just bought a [pounds sterling]2.5 million Victorian townhouse overlooking the historic park.

As well as the local pursuits of kite-flying on the hilltop, the celebrity chef will find himself rubbing elbows with Sadie Frost and Jude Law at the local coffee shops. The property boasts a 30-ft drawing room, a conservatory and a "granny flat" in the basement.

They also have two recently renovated wine cellars and two garages at their disposal.

Jamie and Jules have put their Hampstead home on the market for [pounds sterling]1.7 million.

Drinkers at The Queens pub on Regent's Park Road should note that if they shout loud enough, Oliver might be able to hear their demands for late night fry-ups.

.WILL DIANE Abbott (pictured) never tire of providing her critics with cannon fodder? Conducting an interview with the Today programme's Edward Stourton at Cancer Research UK's Turn the Tables lunch at the Savoy yesterday, her first question was: "Do you think going to a posh public school helped you to get where you are? …

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