James Hewitt, 39, the former British Army officer who told the story of his love affair with the Princess of Wales to author Anna Pasternak, has made money from his Di connection once again. “The cad,” as Britain’s tabloids call him, was vacationing on Spain’s Costa del Sol, reportedly with his latest love, secretary Camilla Courage, 26, when Diana died. Hounded by reporters, Hewitt, who now runs a riding school in Devon, cut short his trip and flew back to London—only to file a claim with his travel insurance company to pay for his unexpected expense. “The payment we made to him covers air fare [approximately $518] and an [undisclosed] amount to cover the holiday period he lost,” says a spokesperson for Direct Line Insurance. “It was a particularly unique set of circumstances.”
Hewitt’s reimbursement can’t possibly compare to the $450,000 that Pasternak’s 1994 book Princess in Love reportedly netted him—but this time he was relatively tight-lipped. His statement to the press about Diana’s death? “I would like to say how much I loved and admired her.”
The Queen has been cultivating a more down-to-earth image of late, but the likeness of her that will appear on British coins beginning in January is striking some as just a bit too everywoman. Created by sculptor Ian Rank-
Broadley, the profile, which the 71-year-old monarch approved, portrays her with a double chin and jowls. “It makes her look old, grumpy and like she’s swallowed a bag of marbles,” one disgruntled subject told Britain’s Mirror.
A new official portrait of the Queen and Prince Philip, commissioned by Reader’s Digest magazine and unveiled last month in anticipation of the royal couple’s 50th anniversary on Nov. 20, isn’t much kinder. Artist Tai-Shan Shierenberg says he found the Queen “natural and charming” when she and Philip sat for him at Windsor Castle, but Elizabeth looks lumpen and her husband severe in the 6-foot-tall oil, which will hang in the magazine’s London offices. And what’s with the Queen’s big hands? Explains Shierenberg: “I always seem to paint hands larger than they are. It makes the painting look more monumental.”
ON THE MARKET
Dodi Al Fayed’s 9,000-square-foot Malibu mansion is up for sale. Listed at $10 million, the nine-room Tuscan-style house, which sits on land once owned by Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards, comes with a tennis court, a private beach and a view of Santa Monica Bay. Since the property went on sale at the end of September, “there has been strong interest,” says a real estate agent familiar with the property. “Not a lot of interest, but the right kind—respectable, qualified people.”