Raine Spencer, 63, widow of Princess Diana’s father, Earl Spencer, twice wed Jean-Francois de Chambrun, 57, owner of a water filtration company, early this month, each time in a wildly printed Unigaro. For the London civil ceremony, attended by some 100 photographers and 10 guests, mostly family, Raine wore a butterfly-strewn dress and, sniped The Guardian, “cheeks the color of nuked tomatoes and a complexion like liberally floured tripe.” Three days later, Raine sported a cerise-and-white gown for a church ceremony in the Cotswolds, then sat down with 250 guests to feast on smoked lobster, roast quail and pink champagne.
Diana gleefully read the tacky press coverage en route to Zimbabwe for a good-works tour. “The Princess has made it clear that she wants [Raine] referred to as her ex-stepmother,” a Di aide told the press. “She is glad to see the back of her.”
British businessman Nigel Dawson and his family were terrified when, while they were strolling in Windsor Great Park, a Jaguar with Queen Elizabeth at the wheel whizzed by going 60 in a 25 m.p.h. zone. After complaining to her bodyguard, Dawson got a letter from Sir Robert Fellowes, the Queen’s private secretary, voicing “Her Majesty’s concern for any alarm or inconvenience that you may have been caused.” Said Dawson: “It doesn’t actually say the word sorry, but…it has gone some way to calming us down.”
BLOOD WILL TELL
Drops of blood donated by Prince Philip, among others, have helped identify human remains found two years ago in Russia’s Ural Mountains as those of Nicholas Romanov, the last Russian czar, his wife and three of their five children. The family was shot to death by Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution. DNA in the czarina’s bones exactly matched the blood sample from Philip, who is the grandson of the czarina’s sister. Still unsolved is the mystery of what happened to the czar’s other children: Anastasia, 17 at the time, and Aleksei, 14, who is believed to have died in a Soviet asylum in 1964. A woman calling herself Anna Anderson later surfaced in Berlin and claimed, until her death in 1984, to be the missing Anastasia. The genetic team at the British Forensic Science Service that identified the Romanov bodies has a lock of Anderson’s hair and plans to run a DNA test in the near future.