Call it a ponytail-gate party: Prince William set heads atwitter when he shot the breeze with a gaggle of young women on hand for his dad’s polo match July 8. Two of the mystery girls: University of Bristol graduate Natalie Hicks-Lobbecke, 22, and BBC researcher Louisa Welby-Everard, 25. “The meeting was totally random,” says Welby-Everard’s stepmother, Miranda, adding that Louisa had never met the Prince before. Hicks-Lobbecke’s mum, Rosemarie, says she isn’t sure if her “very sociable” daughter and Will had previously crossed paths: “She knows an awful lot of very nice people, and Prince William is a very nice young man.”
The River Wild
A life jacket may have saved Princess Diana’s mother, Frances Shand Kydd, from drowning in Scotland. On a fishing expedition with friends, the veteran angler, 64, was standing in the water when she fell into a deep hole. “The freezing water went over my waders, and my whole body was becoming colder by the second,” Shand Kydd told a local reporter. Buoyed by her life jacket, she used her rod to drag herself to the shallows. “She’s a competent fisherwoman,” says Frank Law, who oversees fishing on that section of the River Spey. “I think she just lost her balance.”
Trevor Rees-Jones, the bodyguard who was the sole survivor of the 1997 car crash that killed Diana, has paid an emotional first visit to her final resting place at Al-thorp. Accompanied by Diana’s brother Earl Spencer, who had invited him to the family’s estate before it opened to the public for the summer on July 1, Rees-Jones viewed Diana’s island grave site from-across the surrounding lake. (Only family are allowed on the island.) It was the first time the two men had met. Rees-Jones “needs to do things at his own pace,” says a source close to Spencer. The meeting, the source adds, “was good for both of them.”
Another Royal Mess
Fresh from the scandal sparked by the public urination last month of her husband, Prince Ernst August, Monaco’s Princess Caroline, 43, is facing more trouble: Photographer Renato Sarmiento, 29, claims one of the couple’s bodyguards bashed his head against a tractor as he was snapping photos of the royal pair on an Italian beach July 10. “This huge bloke kicked Renato and started banging his head,” a colleague says of Sar-miento, who required stitches. Local authorities are investigating.