Pack it in Harry, this virtue signalling is starting to get weird, says VANESSA FELTZ


HOW charming for Prince Harry to wish his 38-year-old wife a happy birthday. How utterly weird for him to do so on social media. Call me old fashioned but why is it de rigueur to express felicitations to loved ones in the public arena when we can see them over breakfast?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are very much in love Image Getty
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are very much in love Image Getty

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are very much in love (Image: Getty)

If Harry wants to say to Meghan: “Thank you for joining me on this adventure”, why doesn’t he lean over the muesli and say so, using actual words? This isn’t virtue signalling. It’s “love signalling” and he’s saying: “I love my wife and I want you to know it.” Just as when your pal posts: “Well done to my son on his GCSEs” on social media, the question remains – why make a private issue so public? 

It is reported that when 24-year-old filly Summer Monteys-Fullam cantered out of his life, Paul Hollywood, 53, used what used to be known as fruity language.

It’s said that when Summer sauntered back to the Hollywood homestead to pick up her stuff, the famously irascible chef and Bake Off judge offered the ripe suggestion: “Why don’t you f*** off back on that horse you rode in on?” 

Therein hangs a tale. Hollywood apparently wanted his nubile squeeze to sign a non-disclosure agreement or NDA.

Note, they hadn’t yet entered the dicey territory of pre-nuptial agreements.

The two had been cohabiting for a mere 20 months.

There had been no hint of an engagement ring.

Yet he wanted to draft in lawyers and have Summer inscribe her moniker on the dotted line, swearing not to breathe a word about the minutiae of their “relationship”. 

Miss M-F wasn’t having any of it. Frankly, despite the obvious answer to Mrs Merton’s evergreen question: “What first attracted you to the multi-millionaire (an estimated £10m) Paul Hollywood?” the lady was not for silencing.

Summer didn’t fancy being squashed and restricted by a gagging order.

She’s a female of considerable charms and an NDA didn’t strike her as a fitting tribute to any of them. 

Paul Hollywood and his ex wife Alexandra Image Dave J Hogan Getty
Paul Hollywood and his ex wife Alexandra Image Dave J Hogan Getty

Paul Hollywood and his ex-wife Alexandra (Image: Dave J Hogan/Getty )

No matter that Mr H had imposed something similar on his feisty ex-wife Alex, Summer wasn’t having any of it.

Off she stalked, popping back only to scoop up as many worldly goods as she could carry. 

There was just one problem.

You can’t stick a hot tub under your arm and it’s tough to roar off in a £100,000 Range Rover if your ex has the keys.

Horses require conveyances and Hollywood wants to keep all the chickens. 

Naturally, there are several morals to this story.

Firstly, Marilyn Monroe wasn’t convinced “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” without excellent reason.

Hot tub versus Rolex?

Stick the necklace in your make-up bag, the tiara in your backpack and the earrings down your bra, and you’re good to go. 

Secondly, any chap who invokes the law to make sure you don’t blab about the details of your own life is entirely deserving of a flurry of fruity language.

He should himself be invited to climb back aboard the equine he rode in on with as many four-letter flourishes as she can muster.

Finally, let’s all face it.

A near-30 year age gap is pushing things a bit.