25 APRIL 1992, Page 48

High life

Wishful thinking


Agood friend of mine got a telephone call from an unwitting spy among the royal family who said that Fergie had seen the light and there would be no separation. My friend came into Mortimer's and spilled the beans before anyone had a chance to say Sir Tim Bell. A frisson went through the room, and the ladies who lunch stopped lunching. It was history in the making, and the poor little Greek boy was part of it. Well, not quite. The unwitting spy, whom I cannot name but will give hints galore as to who she is, wants her nephew to stay married. As does David McDonough, the very capable man who is at present advising Fergie, but both I suspect are involved in wishful thinking. Having attended the fin- ishing — and I do mean finishing — school of that low-lifer Paddy McNally, I simply cannot see Fergie ever doing the right thing again. The poor girl has acquired such bad taste in that ghastly place of unlearning, she cannot be expected to see the light. It is as if somebody watched rock videos all day for years on end and was then asked to be curator of a museum, or to replace Lord Gowrie, or even to write a column for the most elegant weekly of the English-speaking world. As Mr Goldwyn said in two little words, 'im-possible'.

Mind you, the ancient Greeks in their infinite wisdom knew all that and then some. Corrupting the young was a capital offence, as my ancestor Socrates discov- ered, and the poor man didn't even corrupt (no more than Nicky Haslam tried to do to me at Eton). If anything, McNally should be either imprisoned for life or exiled to a place where pygmies live, where his intel- lect would fit right in. But he must be kept away from chalet girls, because look what he ended up doing to the greatest chalet girl of them all.

Given the fact that John Bryan is also advising la duchessa, I would not be sur- prised if she ends up very rich and head of a multi-national corporation. One thing is for sure, however. It will not be Coastal Corporation, which controls five per cent of American's oil and gas reserves and is headed by Oscar Wyatt, the maverick Texan who, however rough a diamond, is nevertheless a diamond.

Rumour has it that Oscar is fed up with Steve Wyatt, his adopted son, not because of the Fergie business, but because Steve screwed up in the family squabbling over what else, moolah. Leaving those pho- tographs behind in Cadogan Square cer- tainly ensured Steve's name remained in the headlines. My own guess is that he is something of a publicity hound. The irony Is that John Bryan and Steve Wyatt were once related through marriage and are very close friends. My theory is Wyatt used Fer- gie for business — can you see some fat American executive turning down an invi- tation to lunch with British royalty? — and perhaps overplayed his hand. By putting all those New Age bullshit ideas in Fergie's already polluted (by McNally) head, he suddenly found himself with a monster he had created and who wanted ... freedom.

The trouble is that where businessmen are concerned Fergie married to Andrew is one thing and Fergie running around with Steve Wyatt and no royals is another. My guess is that Fergie will lie low for a while and then quietly separate. Some of us will blub, but no one more than her Yankee buddies and of course, Major Ron.