DI IN THE DRINK
While Prince Charles was on vacation sketching in Turkey, dutiful Diana paid an official visit to Egypt, where she toured a center for blind children and made a pilgrimage to the Pyramids. Photographers, however, found Di’s official engagements less compelling than her appearance at the pool at the British ambassador’s house in Cairo, where they snapped her dressed for a morning swim from an adjacent office building.
Although aides worried that the photos put the hardworking Di “in a frivolous light,” Palace press officer Dickie Arbiter shrugged off the intrusion as “one of the hazards of the job.” Meanwhile, Wales watchers continued to whisper about the couple’s increasingly obvious separate lives—noting that, although she flew east with Charles, Diana returned to London alone. A royal jet flew to Turkey one day later to pick up the Prince.
FERGIE IN THE BACKSEAT
After her monthlong jaunt to the Far East, the errant Duchess of York had a very public summit with her mother-in-law. Queen Elizabeth II. Spectators at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on May 15 were astonished to see Fergie—with daughters Beatrice, 3 (in photo), and Eugenie, 2—chatting with the Queen in the backseat of a Vauxhall. Said one onlooker: “They clearly had a lot to discuss.”
The next day, a smiling Fergie and an affectionate Andrew appeared together at the show’s police-horse competition. Insiders maintain that the display of civility was prompted by the Queen. Noted one: “The couple are being urged to behave with dignity…[the Queen] wants damage limitation.”
The Yorks’ separation, however, continues apace: On May 16 trucks removed Fergie’s effects from Sunninghill Park (the couple’s $8 million house near Windsor) and transported them to nearby Romenda Lodge. A $1.8 million property owned by a Nigerian nobleman, the six-bedroom, mock-Tudor mansion rents for a reported $7,000 a month.
PRINCE IN DESPAIR
While Fleet Street dogs the Windsors, the Japanese press will continue its deference to Crown Prince Naruhito, 32. Since February, editors have bowed to Palace requests not to cover Naruhito’s search for a wife, lest they scare off prospects. The Prince’s ideal woman, in his own words, is “cheerful, healthy and athletic.”