SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Duchess of Beaufort plans to vote for Corbyn

SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: That’s rich! Duchess of Beaufort, who lives in a £4million London townhouse, plans to vote for Jeremy Corbyn

She’s the aristocratic eco-warrior who has campaigned for decades against factory farming. But now, I can disclose, Tracy Worcester, ex-wife of the Duke of Beaufort, has ditched the Green Party in favour of Jeremy Corbyn and Labour.

Tracy, who in her youth starred in Eighties detective series Cats Eyes, tells me she will be voting in London, where she lives in a £4 million Chelsea townhouse owned by her ex-husband, even though Labour is opposed to second homes.

She also has use of a ten-bedroom 18th-century residence, laughably known as The Cottage, on the Duke’s 52,000-acre Badminton estate.

Aristocratic eco-warrior Tracy Worcester with the Marquess of Worcester in London in 2013

The 60-year-old — who retains her title as Tracy, Duchess of Beaufort — says she is supporting Labour rather than the Greens for tactical reasons because they won’t win enough votes under the first-past-the-post system. What will incense her Chelsea neighbours is her commending Corbyn for having ‘a great deal of common sense’.

She even quotes Labour’s manifesto, which declares that, in government, the party would ‘expand access to farm holdings’.

Some may feel there is an air of hypocrisy, as her own children were privately educated and brought up in the lap of luxury and Corbynistas despise stately living. Her new-found allegiance may cause tensions with her blue-blooded, blue-voting ex-husband, known as ‘Bunter’, who has publicly made clear his opposition to Corbyn.

He has denounced ‘the extreme nature of Labour’s Marxist campaign’, saying that Corbyn, despite his ‘hatred of Israel, America and Jewish capitalists’, probably doesn’t realise he’s anti-Semitic because of his ‘rather limited intellect’. Bunter, whose second marriage, to journalist Georgia Powell, was held at Badminton last year, declines to comment on Tracy’s allegiance to Marxist Corbyn.

Badminton House, Gloucestershire. Tracy Worcester has use of a ten-bedroom cottage on the 52,000-acre estate

The Duke will be especially dismayed to hear that his daughter, Bella, who runs shamanic meditation retreats, is also voting Labour. ‘I don’t want to cause a rift in the family,’ Bella, 28, assures me, adding: ‘I’m not claiming I know much about politics or economics.’

Her brother Bobby, the Marquess of Worcester, who will inherit the dukedom, declines to comment on how he’ll vote. He spent four and a half years working for hedge funder Crispin Odey (worth £775 million) — who was denounced by Corbyn as a ‘greedy banker’ and the unacceptable face of capitalism.


Woman Of Substance author Barbara Taylor Bradford has led a life as mesmerising as any of the heroines in her blockbusters.

But even BTB, as the 86-year-old is universally known, was stunned yesterday when 40 jewels — bought for her by her late, beloved husband Bob — sold at Bonhams for a total of £1.2 million, with individual pieces realising up to twice their pre-sale estimates.

‘I hope they make their new owners as happy as they made me and Bob,’ Barbara told me after frenzied bidding had seen a sapphire and diamond ring fetch £182,500 and a diamond ring by David Morris make £446,500.

Author Barbara Taylor Bradford pictured at home in February 2014. Her debut novel, A Woman of Substance, published in 1979, has sold more than 30 million copies globally

Boris Johnson’s more obsessive enemies are keen on arguing that Brexit is a fiendish plot backed by President Putin.

Surprisingly, the Prime Minister’s father, Stanley, seems taken by the outlandish theories as well.

Former MEP Stanley published a Brexit thriller, Kompromat, in 2017. His plot involved a Russian president using a referendum to help destabilise the West.

At a party in Kensington, Stanley, 79, tells me: ‘People keep telling me that I got it spot on.

‘The similarities are uncanny.’


Film director Guy Ritchie’s son Rocco was his most stylish supporter this week at the screening of his new film, The Gentlemen, about an American expat who becomes rich by building a marijuana empire in London.

Channelling his father’s sartorial flair, the 19-year-old, whose mother is Madonna, looked sophisticated beyond his years at the afterparty at Guy’s new pub, Lore Of The Land, in Fitzrovia.

Appearing to take inspiration from the 1920s, Rocco sported a navy pinstripe three-piece suit with hat and tie and a fob watch.

Rocco Ritchie pictured arriving at the Lore of the Land pub in London for ‘The Gentleman’ VIP film screening afterparty

Geraldine James will be reunited with two of her on-screen lovers when she sings with her choir The Battersea Choral Society at its Christmas concert next week at Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Square.

The actress has persuaded Charles Dance, who starred with her in the TV series The Jewel In The Crown, to do a reading, and also Michael Maloney, currently playing Edward Heath in the third series of The Crown, who was her husband in Sky TV’s crime series The Five. ‘The old ones are the best,’ Geraldine tells me.


Comedian Jack Whitehall says his family pets are the ones who get pampered at Christmas — in particular his mother’s dog Philomena.

‘At Christmas it gets out of control,’ he says.

‘Not only does Mummy buy presents for her dog, she also purchases presents for herself which she then wraps up and pretends the dog has given her.

‘We all have to sit there and pretend this is the behaviour of a rational human being and not someone who needs psychiatric help.

‘We have to sit through this pantomime like, “Oh I wonder what Philomena has bought Mum?” Hopefully a straitjacket. Then we have to sit through what she has got the dog.’

Although veteran BBC presenter Peter Snow will not be gracing our screens on election night next week with his famous swingometer, he plans to stay up all night for the results.

‘I used to love doing it,’ Snow, 81, tells me. ‘The last time was in 2005 and I will be watching it all night, maybe until 6am.

‘Doing the election night is the best job in television, but Jeremy Vine is doing a better job of it as he has much more energy.

‘You do have to race around the studio and even in 2005 we had a ladder which I had to climb up to show a

Conservative majority. It was exhausting and I thought, “This is probably enough.” Remembering the figures and the numbers is no problem, it is just the running around. But the graphics they use are essential as they explain it and make it fun to watch.’


The Duchess of Cambridge’s brother, James Middleton, is a man of many talents — one of which now seems to include taxi driver.

The 32-year-old entrepreneur generously gave his sister Pippa’s brother-in-law, Spencer Matthews, a lift in his dog bike.

‘I was struggling to find a cab and, lo and behold, I got picked up by Middy’s dog bike,’ says Spencer, describing the ride as an ‘absolute belter’.

Spencer, whose brother James is married to Pippa, shared his journey in the £2,299 Babboe cargo bike with two of James’s beloved pooches.

James Middleton pictured going for a bike ride with dogs and Spencer Matthews

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