EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Lord Mountbatten, 59, to host ‘Queer Spirit’ festival at his country pile in Devon complete with ‘adults-only sauna’, ‘sexuality temple’ and ‘kink workshops’
Lord Ivar Mountbatten, who upset locals this week by announcing that he plans to charge them to walk their dogs on his 100-acre country estate, has come up with a colourful new way to fill his coffers.
I hear that the TV personality, who became the first member of the extended Royal Family to have a same-sex wedding, is to host the Queer Spirit Festival at Bridwell Park in mid-Devon.
Organisers say it will be five days of ‘community, pleasure, play, and enrichment for body, mind, and soul’.
Revellers will be able to enjoy a ‘sacred sexuality temple,’ as well as an ‘adults-only sauna’ and a range of workshops on subjects ranging from ‘sexual liberation to kink’.
Lord Ivar Mountbatten with his husband James Coyle at their home Bridwell House in Devon
Lord Ivar and James Coyle shared this snap on Instagram
Testimonials from the last Queer Spirit, in 2019 in Northamptonshire, highlight its bohemian nature. ‘I took part in naked workshops, designed to create an intimacy with strangers without the use of words,’ one reveller wrote. ‘I was able to strip off and garner the energy around me.’
Another said: ‘The sex temple was amazing and we got on extremely well. It was just pure fun all along.’
Lord Ivar, who turns 60 next week, is married to airline cabin services director James Coyle, 60. He insists: ‘It’s a family festival, so children are welcome.’ The aristocrat, who has three grown-up daughters with his ex-wife Penny, tells me of Queer Spirit: ‘They’re paying quite a lot of money, so we’re just the venue.’
Lord Ivar, a first cousin, once removed, of Prince Philip and a third cousin, once removed, of Queen Elizabeth, adds: ‘We have a deer fence that goes all the way around [the estate] and there’s no alcohol involved. I said, “Why don’t you have alcohol?” They said, “It’s spiritual and family-focused.”
‘It will be quite a laugh and my children are frightfully excited about it.’
Confession of the week
Hugh Grant appears to have thrown his toys out of the pram on the set of his forthcoming film, Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves.
‘I had a couple of tantrums,’ admits the actor, 62.
Referring to a fellow British star known for his fiery outbursts, he says: ‘I did a “Christian Bale” — I lost my temper with a woman in my eyeline on day one. I assumed she was some executive from the studio who should have known better.
‘Then it turns out that she’s an extremely nice local woman who was the chaperone of the young girl. Terrible. A lot of grovelling . . .’
Let’s hope he’s joking.
The smart set’s talking about… the new Bellucci beauty
Her mother’s blossoming romance with Hollywood director Tim Burton, ex-boyfriend of Helena Bonham Carter, has been the talk of showbusiness. But Monica Bellucci’s daughter Deva Cassel has been making a splash on her own merits this week.
The 18-year-old, whose father is the French actor Vincent Cassel, almost brought the runway to a halt as she sashayed down the catwalk for Dolce & Gabbana during Milan Fashion Week.
‘She’s the spitting image of her mother but isn’t another “nepo baby”,’ one fashion insider tells me. ‘She is talented and set for stardom beyond being a model.’
Deva followed in Bellucci’s footsteps when she made her modelling debut aged 15 with Dolce & Gabbana. Her mother made her name as the face of the Italian brand.
Monica, 58, became the oldest Bond girl in 2015’s Spectre and Deva is also on course for a big-screen career.
She made her acting debut last year as a wild and provocative artists’ model named Amelia in Italian director Laura Luchetti’s film The Beautiful Summer.
Earl’s murderous stepmum on TV
This will horrify the Earl of Shaftesbury: I hear that his stepmother, who was convicted of aiding and abetting his father’s murderer, is to appear in a documentary about the killing.
Lord Anthony Ashley-Cooper the 10th Earl of Shaftesbury and his wife Djamila M’Barek
Former escort Jamila M’Barek, 61, was the third wife of his father, Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 10th Earl of Shaftesbury, who was killed aged 66. She was found guilty of murder by a French court and of paying her brother Mohamed to kill him in 2004 in Cannes.
Still technically able to use the title Dowager Countess of Shaftesbury, she was sentenced to 25 years in jail at the trial in 2007 but was released in 2016. Her brother is still in prison.
Now living in Switzerland, she gives her interview in The Earl, His Lover, The Escort And Her Brother, to be aired on Channel Five next weekend.
She tells the programme: ‘I would like to explain to them everything. I would tell them, “Sorry for the pain that you had”. I feel sorry for his family because Anthony was a very, very nice person. He was really generous . . . Of course, I regret what happened, I loved Anthony and I had a good life with him. Of course, it broke my life, too.’
Why things could get really wild for Pippa’s in-laws …
Beavers could return to a Scottish glen 400 years after being driven to extinction, thanks to Pippa Middleton’s husband, James Matthews, and his family.
Rewilding charity Trees For Life — working on behalf of a partnership that includes government agency Forestry and Land Scotland and four private landowners, including the Matthews’ Glen Affric Estate — is to apply for a licence to reintroduce the mammals to Glen Affric in the Highlands.
If approved by NatureScot, reintroductions will take place in Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoin as early as autumn this year. ‘The return of beavers to Glen Affric would be a story of hope and renewal,’ says Alan McDonnell, conservation manager at Trees For Life.
Pippa’s brother, James Middleton, is a regular host and guest for parties at the Glen Affric estate in Inverness-shire. Pippa’s father-in-law, David Matthews, bought the grounds in 2008 along with the main house, Affric Lodge, set within 10,000 acres.
Cate: LA men hate supporting women
Oscar-tipped Cate Blanchett complains that big-name actors are not keen to take on supporting roles in films where women have the leading parts.
‘It’s very hard to get our brothers in so-called “Hollywood” to play the supporting roles that we [women] will very happily play in a good story with a good director,’ says the star of Tar. ‘That still is difficult.’
Referring to sexism and ageism in the film world, Blanchett, 53, says even her own husband, playwright Andrew Upton, 57, thought her career might be time limited.
‘The landscape has certainly changed. In the dawn of time when I entered the film industry . . . I remember my husband saying to me, in an incredibly supportive way, “Enjoy it, babe, you’ve got five years, if you’re lucky.”
‘And that was true for women.’
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