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EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Bond girl is desperate for the portrait of herself by late lover ‘the Loins of Longleat’


He was blessed with inheriting the majestic Longleat, his stately family seat in Wiltshire — and a sprawling estate of more than 9,000 acres — after his father died in 2020, aged 87.

But Ceawlin Thynn, 8th Marquess of Bath, would scarcely be human if, from time to time, he didn’t wish that his late father, Alexander, had lived in a slightly more orthodox manner.

As it is, nearly four years after the late Marquess died, Ceawlin is still beset by the inevitable fractures caused by the man who acknowledged that he’d had 75 lovers — or wifelets, as he preferred to call them — following his 1969 marriage to Hungarian-born actress Anna Gael, whom he never divorced.

Now, I can disclose, Longleat’s balustrades are being shaken by one-time Bond Girl, Jamaican-born bombshell Sylvana Henriques, several decades after she enjoyed a tryst with Alexander.

The affair culminated in him painting her portrait and hanging it on a staircase alongside images of his other wifelets.

Ceawlin Thynn, 8th Marquess of Bath, with Sylvana Henriques

Ceawlin Thynn, 8th Marquess of Bath, with Sylvana Henriques

She tells me that her attempts to retrieve the portrait — No. 13 of the 75 — have ‘been ignored’, despite the fact that her relationship with Alexander, known as ‘the Loins of Longleat’, mellowed into a friendship which lasted until his death.

‘I am disappointed,’ says Sylvana, who was a top model in the 1960s before her appearance in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which starred George Lazenby as 007.

She adds that, together with her husband, businessman Robert Puddy, she dined with Alexander shortly before his final illness. ‘I was one of the only friends he could trust,’ she says. ‘Ceawlin knows I was very close — I was there when he was born at St Mary’s [Hospital] in Paddington. I knew Alexander for 56 years.’

Such was her favoured status among the wifelets — a term which Sylvana refuses to use — that she enjoyed the use of a cottage on the estate.

She still hopes that her portrait will one day hang in her bungalow in Somerset. ‘Surely [Ceawlin] doesn’t need it? It’s probably locked away in a cupboard somewhere.’

George Lazenby, Joanna Lumley and Sylvana Henriques on the set of On Her Majesty's Secret Service

George Lazenby, Joanna Lumley and Sylvana Henriques on the set of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

The 8th Marquess, 49, who is married to former Strictly contestant Emma Thynn, 37, declines to comment.

After taking over the running of Longleat more than a decade ago, he inadvertently antagonised his father by temporarily removing his graphic ‘Heaven and Hell’ murals.

But Sylvana fears that there may be nothing temporary about the fate of her portrait. ‘It could have been destroyed,’ she says.

Inspiration strikes for father-to-be Damien

Britain’s richest artist Damien Hirst has fatherhood on his mind, as he prepares for the birth of his fourth child.

Earlier this month I revealed that Hirst, 58, presented Sophie Cannell, who is heavily pregnant with their first child together, with a 30th birthday cake in the shape of her body, displaying their unborn baby. He has since continued his artistic gestures of love as, for Valentine’s Day, he immortalised her pregnant body with this metal skeleton.

Hirst, in return, was given a pair of Louis Vuitton Footprint Low Boots that cost £1,880.

Who said love doesn’t cost a thing?

Earlier this month I revealed that Damien Hirst, 58, presented Sophie Cannell, who is heavily pregnant with their first child together, with a 30th birthday cake in the shape of her body, displaying their unborn baby

Earlier this month I revealed that Damien Hirst, 58, presented Sophie Cannell, who is heavily pregnant with their first child together, with a 30th birthday cake in the shape of her body, displaying their unborn baby

Damien Hirst and Sophie Cannell. Hirst has since continued his artistic gestures of love as, for Valentine’s Day, he immortalised her pregnant body with this metal skeleton

Damien Hirst and Sophie Cannell. Hirst has since continued his artistic gestures of love as, for Valentine’s Day, he immortalised her pregnant body with this metal skeleton

The smart set’s talking about…

William and Kate taking a peek at Teddies in Oxford 

While Oundle has been thrust into the spotlight thanks to suggestions that the Prince and Princess of Wales may favour it for Prince George, I can disclose that there is another co-educational public school which has caught their attention.

It’s £47,000-a-year ‘Teddies’, as St Edward’s School in Oxford is known. Its ‘Warden’ — headmaster — is the almost impossibly gifted Alastair Chirnside. As an Oxford undergraduate he took a Congratulatory First — conferred perhaps only once in a decade for exceptional brilliance — in Classics and French, and also won a Half-Blue for rowing in Oxford’s lightweight crew.

After a stint in the City with blue chip fund manager Schroders, he switched to teaching — and, it seems, caught the eye of William and Kate.

‘They’ve been to have a look,’ a Teddies grandee tells me.

The school’s extraordinary alumni include Dambusters leader Guy Gibson and fellow RAF legend Douglas Bader, as well as actor Laurence Olivier and Oppenheimer star Florence Pugh.

While Oundle has been thrust into the spotlight thanks to suggestions that the Prince and Princess of Wales may favour it for Prince George, I can disclose that there is another co-educational public school which has caught their attention. It's £47,000-a-year 'Teddies', as St Edward's School in Oxford is known

While Oundle has been thrust into the spotlight thanks to suggestions that the Prince and Princess of Wales may favour it for Prince George, I can disclose that there is another co-educational public school which has caught their attention. It’s £47,000-a-year ‘Teddies’, as St Edward’s School in Oxford is known

Poppy keeps it in the family at dinner with royal ex’s brother

Poppy Delevingne seemed to have cooled off her romance with her blue-blooded toyboy, Prince Constantine Alexios of Greece and Denmark, 25, at the end of last year.

Yet it appears she has remained close to his family. She can be seen sitting next to his brother, Prince Achileas-Andreas of Greece and Denmark, 23, during a group dinner with pals in New York this week.’ La Familia,’ she wrote alongside the picture, which she shared online.

As well as the 12-year age gap between model Poppy, 37, and the Prince, who is affectionately known as Tino, distance could have been a factor in their break-up. The Greek royal, who is the Prince of Wales’s godson, moved to Los Angeles last year to attend film school.

Poppy Delevingne can be seen sitting next to his brother, Prince Achileas-Andreas of Greece and Denmark, 23, during a group dinner with pals in New York this week

Poppy Delevingne can be seen sitting next to his brother, Prince Achileas-Andreas of Greece and Denmark, 23, during a group dinner with pals in New York this week

New York state of mind: Poppy and the Prince, centre, at dinner with pals and, left, the model at a fashion show

New York state of mind: Poppy and the Prince, centre, at dinner with pals and, left, the model at a fashion show

Trinny’s girl banishes her anxiety woes 

Trinny Woodall has spoken of the crippling social anxiety her daughter Lyla, 20, was left with after the Covid lockdowns.

The former What Not To Wear presenter, 60, says Lyla’s anxiety became apparent when she visited Italy. ‘She called me 30 times a day for three days; she was chronically throwing up every ten minutes,’ Trinny reveals.

Her attempts at helping Lyla, whose businessman father Johnny Elichaoff died in 2014 aged 55, ‘veered from ‘Come on darling’ to tough love’, she says.

Eventually, Trinny travelled to Lyla’s university. ‘I brought her Post-it notes saying: ‘Get out of bed and move’, ’99 per cent of things you worry about never happen’, ‘Don’t pick your spots’,’ she tells the Spinning Plates podcast. She adds: ‘Within a month, it was like I had a different child. She was telling me she was out until five in the morning. I was so relieved.’

Could an online romance be on the cards for James Norton after his quiet split from fiancee Imogen Poots? I hear the news of the 38-year-old Happy Valley star’s break-up from actress Poots, 34, towards the end of last year didn’t come as a great shock to the users of posh dating app Raya.

‘He has been active on there for some time,’ a source tells me.

PICK OF THE PARTIES 

THE OCCASION: The BAFTA Gala 2024 at The Peninsula London hotel

REUNITED: It has been almost five years since we last saw Poldark stars Eleanor Tomlinson, 31, and Aidan Turner, 40, play husband and wife Ross and Demelza in the BBC TV drama.

The pair had a mini-reunion at the gala, with Eleanor dressed in a sophisticated black gown — a far cry from her on-screen character.

SUITS YOU: Leading the fash-pack was actress Celia Imrie, who was suited up in a white-tie outfit, which she wore with an elaborate Chanel necklace. The Calendar Girls star, 71, is yet to win a BAFTA, but she’s still aiming for bigger parts.

She tells me: ‘Most of my roles have been supporting roles and one day I want to dare to be even more.’

LEADING MAN: Rege-Jean Page, 35, who starred as the dashing Duke of Hastings in Bridgerton, is never short of female attention. He has been in a relationship with copywriter and part-time football player Emily Brown since 2019.

Eleanor Tomlinson and Aiden Turner at the BAFTA Gala event in London, on February 15, 2024

Eleanor Tomlinson and Aiden Turner at the BAFTA Gala event in London, on February 15, 2024

Celia Imrie poses for photographers upon arrival at the BAFTA Gala event in London, on February 15, 2024

Celia Imrie poses for photographers upon arrival at the BAFTA Gala event in London, on February 15, 2024

Rege-Jean Page with Emily Brown attend the BAFTA Gala 2024 at The Peninsula Hotel

Rege-Jean Page with Emily Brown attend the BAFTA Gala 2024 at The Peninsula Hotel

Sandi is a big fan of Toksvig masculinity

Sandi Toksvig founded the Women’s Equality Party in 2015, but it seems the QI presenter favours a male-dominated workplace on her own turf. The Danish-born broadcaster, 65, and her wife, Debbie, have hired a group of local men to help them restore a 40-acre patch of ancient woodland they own near Herne Bay in Kent.

‘When we took on this woodland, we were finding it too much,’ says Sandi. ‘I made a speech at the village hall, and a group of local men have come together. Every Sunday we’re out there. We’re calling it ”Toksvig masculinity” ‘.

Sandi Toksvig founded the Women's Equality Party in 2015, but it seems the QI presenter favours a male-dominated workplace on her own turf

Sandi Toksvig founded the Women’s Equality Party in 2015, but it seems the QI presenter favours a male-dominated workplace on her own turf

The past seven months have been rough for Huw Edwards, who remains on leave from the BBC after being given the findings of an inquiry into his conduct. It followed claims that he paid a young man for sexual images. But 2023 wasn’t all bad for the BBC’s highest-paid journalist, as the Corporation’s external events register reveals he banked at least £60,500 from hosting, moderating or interviewing at events. Despite being off-air since July, he was one of the BBC’s top earners from these events last year. 

(Very) modern manners

Pop star Nicole Scherzinger is worth more than £11 million but she may not have to pay a penny for her wedding reception — if she accepts an offer from Montenegro’s Forte Rose Resort.

It’s urged Scherzinger, 45, and her fiance, the former Scotland rugby star Thom Evans, 38, to have their reception there for free — rather than pay its usual £50,000 bill. The singer said the ceremony will take place in her native Hawaii, while a reception will be held ‘somewhere in Europe’.



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