May 04, 1981 12:00 PM


A stranger to euphemisms, Princess Anne shocked England by describing her current pregnancy as “a very boring time.” The revelation came during a televised documentary about her husband, Captain Mark Phillips. The Princess, already the mother of Peter Phillips, 3, went on to sigh: “I’m not particularly maternal—it’s an occupational hazard of being a wife.” So, apparently, are a few other things on their Gloucestershire farm. “I am the slave labor around the place,” she said, “an extra tractor driver or whatever. There is a limit to how interesting a 40-acre field can be, in my opinion.” While Britain bristled, Anne de Courcy, a journalist and mother of three, defended the princess, on the motherhood issue at least. “Her honesty,” she wrote, “even though tactlessly expressed, does her credit.”


On a trip to Boston, Luciano Pavarotti visited a family farm of the omnipresent Cabots in nearby Wenham, where he enthusiastically mounted a chestnut named Teak, of appropriately impeccable pedigree if modest stature. To the solicitous eye of hostess Mary Lou Cabot, ex-wife of chemical executive Louis Wellington Cabot, Teak appeared overtaxed by the robust tenor. The cavaliere, though, was delighted with the ride and promised to return. He did so on his next trip from London to New York, deplaning in Boston and driving the 20 miles or so to Wenham for a go-round on his faithful steed. This time Mrs. Cabot was forewarned. Teak was scratched in favor of Big Dale, a mount larger and more befitting a tenore so grande. He was borrowed from another member of the tony local Myopia Hunt.

Linguistic Escalation

Edwin Newman, NBC newsman and paladin of purer English, has found a new target of opportunity in Secretary of State Alexander Haig. Before a New Jersey civic group, Newman pounced upon the Haigian jewel of administrative jargon “at this juncture of maturization.” He meant, Newman translated, “Now.” Why do folks wax so sesquipedalian? “What makes this sort of language so attractive,” says Newman, “is the overtone of profundity. The more difficult and profound you can make your job sound, the more likely you are to earn a higher salary.”

Pore Quaid Is Daid

While filming The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, in which he plays an aspiring country singer opposite Kristy McNichol, Dennis (Breaking A way) Quaid had the odd experience of hearing prayers said over his character’s grave—by his own father. Pop Quaid, an electrical contractor, had come by to visit Dennis on the set and stepped right in when director Ronald Maxwell needed a role filled: a preacher praying over the dead. “I went out and watched him shoot the scene, and it was a little strange, especially since I was supposedly the guy in the coffin,” says Dennis. And as for Dad? “He thought it was a lot of fun.”

Velvet Glove

In an ongoing effort to make the country “comfortable with the FBI,” that agency’s director, former federal judge William H. Webster, has been touring field offices to visit the troops, something J. Edgar Hoover rarely did. He is gracious with his G-men—it is his nature—but hardly buddy-buddy. “Judge Webster, you’re my man,” one old FBI hand greeted him. “No, I’m not,” smiled Webster. “I’m your boss.”


•Yes, that was Toni Tennille singing Keeping Our Love Warm not quite to herself as she had her hair permed at a Beverly Hills salon, and yup, that was hubby Daryl Dragon handing over the end papers for each lock.

•Paula Hawkins, one of the U.S. Senate’s two female members, was asked at a small press conference if she felt she had entered the most exclusive men’s club in the world. “No,” she mused, “but I think they do.”

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