His family’s ancestral seat is the stupendous Badminton House, set in 52,000 Gloucestershire acres, his eldest brother is the Duke of Beaufort and his first cousins include the Marquess of Bath.
So Lord John Somerset — known to chums as Johnson — might reasonably expect to be accorded a cordial, even deferential, reception at Harrods, ‘the world’s leading luxury department store’, as it proudly styles itself.
But not a bit of it: in extraordinary scenes, the 57-year-old was almost ‘frogmarched’ out by security guards — an indignity for anyone, but perhaps especially traumatic for a member of the aristocracy, even in today’s studiously egalitarian society.
The incident came to the attention of writer and shipping heir Taki Theodoracopulos, who is godfather to Lord John’s daughter, Romy.
Lord John Somerset, 57 was almost ‘frogmarched’ out of Harrods
Lord Somerset also known as ‘Johnson’ was wearing jeans and a paint-spattered jacket in the luxury department store
Lord John was married to Lady Cosima Vane-Tempest-Stewart, a confidante of Princess Diana.
Taki explains that ‘Johnson’, a music producer who has collaborated with Bryan Ferry among others, was wearing jeans and a paint-spattered jacket.
Despite his decidedly down-at-heel appearance, the slightly dishevelled aristocrat (pictured left looking much smarter) made it to the fifth floor — the home of Harrods’ technology department.
‘He was waiting to pay for a £500 speaker,’ Taki adds, ‘when he was approached by two store heavies’.
Harrods department store has been open since 1849
The nobleman then found himself under escort and descending five storeys at some speed, and then being ejected from the building but not before inquiring why – and being told that it was because he was ‘inappropriately dressed’.
Perhaps it will be some consolation that he at least got some way inside the store before being hauled out.
That’s better than Australian pop singer and former Neighbours star Jason Donovan who was refused entry 30 years ago for wearing ripped jeans.
And Luke Goss — a member of Eighties band Bros — was refused entry by a Harrods doorman who reputedly failed to recognise him.
Jagger’s girls are pals after a fashion
Sir Mick’s girlfriend, Melanie Hamrick, may not be Lady Jagger yet, but she’s developed a close relationship with some of his children.
Sir Mick’s girlfriend, Melanie Hamrick
The U.S. ballerina, 35, showed her support for his jewellery designer daughter Jade, who’s 15 years her senior, by attending the launch of her first fashion collection with Annie’s Ibiza boutique in Carnaby Street, London. Jade, left, whose mother is Sir Mick’s ex-wife Bianca, has three grandchildren. This makes Deveraux, Mel’s son with the 78-year-old Rolling Stones singer, a great-uncle at the age of five.
Not a lot of people know that . . . Sir Michael Caine has finally sold his sprawling Surrey mansion. The Hollywood star, 89, managed to get £3.5 million for the seven-bedroom house, near Leatherhead, after he cut the price by £250,000 last year. The double Oscar-winner bought the property — with indoor swimming pool, hot tub, gym and cinema — for £1 million 22 years ago. He and wife Shakira have downsized.
Binky hangs around for wedding Pt2
Wedding planning can be nerve-racking, and Made in Chelsea star Binky Felstead has found a complicated way to relax.
The mother-of-two exchanged vows with businessman Max Darnton, 32, in a civil ceremony at Chelsea Old Town Hall last year but is planning a spectacular second celebration in Greece soon.
Binky hangs around for wedding Pt2
‘It’s all very exciting and a little stressful, so I’ve decided to hang out here for a bit,’ she says, referring to a Pilates session in a London studio, in which Binky, 32, was pictured doing a handstand with her feet strapped to a trapeze. ‘It was the nicest stretch ever.’
Life has been worrying for her recently — her one-year-old son, Wolfie was rushed to hospital last week after hummus caused a severe allergic reaction.
Boris Johnson might be on the ropes, but Sir Keir Starmer can’t speak for the nation, according to Oscar-winning former Labour MP Glenda Jackson. ‘I must be entirely honest, I just wish Keir would get someone to help him develop that voice,’ she says at an In Conversation event, discussing her career, at the BFI on London’s Southbank. Jackson, 86, adds: ‘One of his biggest drawbacks is that voice.’ Go on, Glenda, name his other ‘drawbacks’ . . .
Days after Prince Charles was castigated for accepting bags of cash from a Qatari sheikh, I hear he’s held private talks with the world’s third-richest man.
I can disclose the heir to the throne entertained Bernard Arnault, boss of French luxury goods giant Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton — and his son, Antoine, who wed Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova in 2020 — at his Highgrove home on Monday. A Clarence House source says: ‘The meeting was part of His Royal Highness’s sustainable markets initiative . . . about getting the champagne industry together to reduce its carbon footprint.’
But did Arnault bring a gift?
Anita says her legs are still a kind of magic
Queen guitarist Brian May’s wife, Anita Dobson, caused a furore when she wore this short dress at a red-carpet event last month.
Unkind critics claimed she was too old to show off her legs at the age of 73. The former EastEnders star tells me: ‘My legs are still here. I don’t really listen to what the critics say — you have to be strong enough to wear what suits you.’
Queen guitarist Brian May’s wife, Anita Dobson
Speaking at the National Film Awards in London, where she won the lifetime achievement prize, she adds: ‘If you feel happy and comfortable, that’s it.
‘There’s always going to be someone that loves you and someone that knocks you for it.’