EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Petra Ecclestone dissolves bag firm Bernie once branded 'stark raving mad' 1

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Petra Ecclestone dissolves bag firm Bernie once branded ‘stark raving mad’

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Petra Ecclestone named her fashion label Stark after her billionaire father, Bernie, called the idea ‘stark raving mad’, so he probably won’t be too surprised to learn that she’s finally called time on the business.

I can disclose that the Formula 1 heiress has applied for Stark & Co, which had net liabilities of nearly £4.3 million, to be struck off the Companies House register and dissolved. ‘It’s the end of a dream,’ one of her friends sighs.

When Petra, 33, launched the accessories business in 2011, she declared: ‘It’s not about me. It’s not a Petra Ecclestone handbag. It’s a Stark handbag. There’s a huge difference.’

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Petra Ecclestone (left with her father Bernie in 2009) named her fashion label Stark after her billionaire father, Bernie, called the idea 'stark raving mad', so he probably won't be too surprised to learn that she's finally called time on the business

Petra Ecclestone (left with her father Bernie in 2009) named her fashion label Stark after her billionaire father, Bernie, called the idea ‘stark raving mad’, so he probably won’t be too surprised to learn that she’s finally called time on the business

The deluxe handbags and purses, made from python and alligator skin, were priced between £400 and £3,000.

She didn’t have any more luck with her previous venture, Form, a men’s clothing firm she launched in 2008, which went bust after only 14 months.

At least her sister, Tamara, 37, won’t be able to make any snotty comments — earlier this month, I disclosed that her ‘artistic creation’ firm, SBD International, had racked up an astonishing £26 million deficit. In 2019, Tamara shut down two of her companies: her natural baby and toddler care collection Fifi & Friends, and her Show Beauty salons and spin-off products.

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At least her sister, Tamara, 37, won't be able to make any snotty comments — earlier this month, I disclosed that her 'artistic creation' firm, SBD International, had racked up an astonishing £26 million deficit. Pictured left to right: Jay Rutland, Sophia Ecclestone Rutland and Tamara Ecclestone

At least her sister, Tamara, 37, won’t be able to make any snotty comments — earlier this month, I disclosed that her ‘artistic creation’ firm, SBD International, had racked up an astonishing £26 million deficit. Pictured left to right: Jay Rutland, Sophia Ecclestone Rutland and Tamara Ecclestone

Petra and her fiance, the former used-car salesman Sam Palmer, announced earlier this year that they were launching a venture selling ‘pre-owned designer clothes’ belonging to her and Tamara, called Luxe a Vendre.

Tamara once recorded a video tour of her walk-in wardrobe, which featured 22 pairs of Gucci mules, 81 sets of Victoria’s Secret pyjamas and an entire wall of Chanel bags.

A spokesman for Petra tells me: ‘The Stark inventory was all sold off in the Luxe a Vendre pop-up shop for a [charitable] foundation and there was no purpose to continue the company after this.’

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Happy arrival for Kate’s style guru

Natasha Archer has given birth to a boy, who's pictured meeting his three-year-old brother, Theo, for the first time

Natasha Archer has given birth to a boy, who’s pictured meeting his three-year-old brother, Theo, for the first time

The Duchess of Cambridge’s stylist has received the perfect early Christmas present: a baby.

Natasha Archer has given birth to a boy, who’s pictured meeting his three-year-old brother, Theo, for the first time.

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‘When you come downstairs in the morning looking for Eddie the Elf and find a new baby brother,’ their father, 41-year-old royal photographer Chris Jackson, writes in a caption.

The Duchess’s personal assistant and wardrobe adviser, Natasha, 34, overhauled Kate’s image by encouraging her to show more leg, ditch wedges for heels and wear more High Street outfits.

She was awarded the Royal Victorian Order for services to the Royal Family in 2019.

The Duchess's personal assistant and wardrobe adviser, Natasha Archer, 34, (pictured with Kate and Prince William in 2014) overhauled Kate's image by encouraging her to show more leg, ditch wedges for heels and wear more High Street outfits

The Duchess’s personal assistant and wardrobe adviser, Natasha Archer, 34, (pictured with Kate and Prince William in 2014) overhauled Kate’s image by encouraging her to show more leg, ditch wedges for heels and wear more High Street outfits

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Jack’s dad poshes up his postcode

Comedian Jack Whitehall suggests his former theatrical agent father, Michael, is such a snob that he changes the location of his home to sound more upmarket. 

‘He has moved out to the country and lives near Banbury, but he thinks Banbury sounds a bit common, so he insists on calling it the North Cotswolds,’ says Jack, whose parents would invite famous names, such as Dame Judi Dench, to dinner at their home in London when he was a boy. 

‘We lived in Putney. But my dad liked to say ‘Barnes’, as he thought it was classier.’

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The cushy life of Damien’s designer dog

Here's one of Damien Hirst's three French bulldogs posing on a £735 Versace cushion

Here’s one of Damien Hirst’s three French bulldogs posing on a £735 Versace cushion

Damien Hirst’s dogs must be the most pampered pooches of the year. Here’s one of the artist’s three French bulldogs posing on a £735 Versace cushion.

Hirst’s 27-year-old girlfriend Sophie Cannell, who is 29 years his junior, once shared photos of the mutts, Pablo, Chapo and Blanco, in their own seats on a private jet, being served platters of food.

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Perhaps Hirst is trying to make amends for pickling most of the animals he previously encountered in formaldehyde?

Damien Hirst with his 27-year-old girlfriend Sophie Cannell, who is 29 years his junior, in 2018

Damien Hirst with his 27-year-old girlfriend Sophie Cannell, who is 29 years his junior, in 2018

How Sam lived the high life…

Whatever would Siegfried say? Samuel West, who plays the morally upright vet in hit drama All Creatures Great And Small, has been extolling the virtues of illegal drugs.

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The son of actors Timothy West and Prunella Scales says: ‘I didn’t really get stoned till I was 33. I had a year when I couldn’t go anywhere. I don’t remember much, but it was very pleasant.’

West, now 55, adds: ‘That’s the trouble with drugs, isn’t it? They’re nice. Everybody says, ‘Just say no’, but why would we say no when saying yes is so much nicer?’

Christmas ho-ho-hope for ‘exhausted’ Princess

Princess Charlene of Monaco has shared an image of her Christmas card, in which she's sketched with Prince Albert, 63, and their seven-year-old twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques

Princess Charlene of Monaco has shared an image of her Christmas card, in which she’s sketched with Prince Albert, 63, and their seven-year-old twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques

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Princess Charlene of Monaco has withdrawn from public life as she recovers from ’emotional and physical exhaustion’, but she’s determined to show that she’s a picture of contentment.

The 43-year-old has shared an image of her Christmas card, in which she’s sketched with Prince Albert, 63, and their seven-year-old twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques.

Albert said this month that their greatest wish was to see Charlene before Christmas, but added that ‘there is no definite date’.

Festive songs cheer me up, but Jamie Cullum thinks they’re ‘melancholy’. 

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Sophie Dahl’s jazz pianist husband says: ‘What’s so brilliant about Christmas music — particularly Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas — is that when you read the original lyrics they’re sad. Even Frosty The Snowman is about Frosty dying.’

A fancy title can usually guarantee the best table at a restaurant or an upgrade on a flight, but Lady Cecil Cameron doesn’t like to use hers. 

Once mooted as a potential bride for Prince Charles, the daughter of the 12th Marquess of Lothian has just written her debut novel, An Italian Scandal, at the age of 73. 

‘I don’t want to be called Lady Cecil,’ she says. ‘I didn’t earn it; my father inherited it. It’s not modern — what’s the point of it?’

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