Cover

THE NEW Heartthrobs

The next royal generation is starting to turn heads and grab attention

Barry Came June 21 1999
Cover

THE NEW Heartthrobs

The next royal generation is starting to turn heads and grab attention

Barry Came June 21 1999

THE NEW Heartthrobs

Cover

The next royal generation is starting to turn heads and grab attention

Barry Came

There is nothing quite like the peal of royal wedding bells to stir the slumbering passions of Britain’s tabloids. Ever since Diana’s death, the “red tops”—so-called because of the red tide banners above their screaming headlines—have been starved of sex and glamour in their endless coverage of the House of Windsor. But now that Sophie and Edward have whetted appetites, attention is turning to the next generation of royals likely to be smitten by romance. Inevitably, the spodight has focused on Prince William, Diana’s dashing son, even if marriage remains a distant prospect for the future heir to the throne, who turns 17 on June 21.

“His Royal Sighness,” as the tabs have dubbed him, is not yet a regular among the toffs on London’s social circuit, but William has been glimpsed with increasing frequency in Chelsea’s restaurants, Battersea’s pubs and some of the more fashionable nightspots in early morning Soho. On most occasions, school chums from upper-crust Eton, where he is about to commence his final year, have been his companions. Intriguingly, however, he is being seen more and more of late in the company of the two children of Camilla Parker Bowles, the consort of his father, Prince Charles, and the woman his mother blamed for the breakup of her marriage. Friends report that William looks to Camilla’s son, Tom, a 24-yearold film publicist, for guidance on trendy venues—which became controversial after the News of the World said Tom had admitted using cocaine (friends insisted he regretted it and had stopped). William also regards Camilla’s daughter, Laura, 21, as a pal. And there is another Parker Bowles in the picture—Camilla’s 24-year-old niece, Emma. Much breathless prose has suggested that William may have a crush on Emma.

If true, any relationship is likely to remain a closely guarded secret, at least until William turns 18. But the cameras are out in force for the young man who is fast emerging as the most eligible bachelor of all the royals, Princess Anne’s son, Peter

Phillips, 21. “He’s a young man I’d call dangerously attractive,” romance novelist Barbara Cartland told the Daily Mail, “the sort of chap I thought only existed these days in my novels.” Ninth in line for the throne, Phillips, un tided at his mother’s insistence, is a ruggedly handsome rugbyloving hunk. Friends say he is bound to join the Royal Marines, once he finishes studies in sports science at Exeter University. In the meantime, however, he has been spending a lot of time squiring a 23-year-old American heiress, Elizabeth lorio, around the hunt clubs and horse paddocks of rural England.

Princess Anne’s youngest child, 18-year-old Zara, is also beginning to attract the unwanted attention of the m British media, as much for her rebel! lious streak as for her romantic inclig nations. Much to her mother’s disI may, she showed up at the British I Open Horse Trials Championship, held at Anne’s Gloucestershire estate last year, sporting a tongue stud. The stud is now gone but Zara, 1 Oth in line for the throne, has remained in the spotlight by being linked to British Formula One racing driver David Coulthard, 28. In her final year at Gordonstoun, the Prince of Wales’s old school in Scodand, Zara reportedly is given to relaxing between studies at Coulthards apartment in Monte Carlo.

The most recent arrival on the scene is Lady Gabriella Windsor, christened “the royals’ best-kept secret” by Hello! magazine. The only daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Ella, as she is known, is 18 years old, 29th in line for the throne. She cut a stylish figure when she turned up recently at the wedding in Germany of Count Alexander von Schonburg-Glauchau and Princess Irina von Hessen, great-niece of the Duke of Edinburgh. She caught photographers’ attentions with a jaunty straw hat and a stunning miniskirt. Clearly, Ella seems destined to steal at least some of the limelight from her higher-ranking relatives.

Sue Quinn