EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: £5billion Schroders heiress finds love with Eton top shot

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She is arguably Britain’s most eligible woman – an attractive blonde with estates in England and Scotland, plus the lion’s share of her family’s £5billion fortune.

But Leonie Schroder (below) suffered plenty of trauma, never more so than when her ex-husband Nicholas Fane tragically died shortly after their divorce eight years ago.

So I’m delighted to reveal that the heiress – the daughter of the late billionaire banker Bruno Schroder – is celebrating her engagement to Guy Blakeney. He is a member of the Royal Company of Archers, the monarch’s bodyguard in Scotland, who shows up at ceremonial occasions.

“He made her really happy – for the first time in a long time,” a friend tells me. Management consultant Blakeney, 48, is an old Etonian – like Fane, with whom Leonie had three children – and a marksman, representing the Etonian Shooting Club.

Leonie Schroder (above) suffered a lot of trauma, never more so than when her ex-husband Nicholas Fane tragically died shortly after their divorce eight years ago. So I’m delighted to reveal that the heiress – the daughter of the late billionaire banker Bruno Schroder – is celebrating her engagement to Guy Blakeney

Leonie’s own talents were, cruelly enough, called into question when in 2018 the Daily Mail Diary revealed that her father was plotting to place her on the board of Schroders, which is now worth £732billion. under management.

The prospect appalled City bigwigs, with one claiming Leonie was ‘completely unqualified’ as she had ‘no experience in financial services‘.

Leonie, now 48, had held various directorships since graduating from the University of St Andrews, but only in small organizations such as her father’s 18,500-acre Dunlossit estate on the Scottish island of Islay, or his own 1,200-acre Hurstbourne Park estate in Hampshire.

But shareholder anger was appeased and she was appointed to the board after Bruno died, aged 86, in 2019.

A few years earlier, Bruno, separated from Léonie’s mother, Piffa, had married his mistress, Baroness Suzanne Maltzahn.

Before that, he had been involved in a long legal battle with a former mistress, Elaine Decoulos.

Friends are looking forward to the wedding. “The guy is tall and lanky,” said one, “[but] She is small. It will be fun to watch them on the dance floor.”

Shareholder anger was appeased and she was appointed to the board after Bruno died, aged 86, in 2019

Shareholder anger was appeased and she was appointed to the board after Bruno died, aged 86, in 2019

The smart set talks about… Spencer scion acting chops

Aware, no doubt, of complaints that show business is full of highly educated stars such as Old Etonian Eddie Redmayne and Old Harrovian Benedict Cumberbatch, a new actor, who is classier than all, has dropped his illustrious last name.

I can reveal that Earl Spencer’s son and heir, Viscount Althorp, Louis Frederick John Spencer was trained as an actor.

Princess Diana’s nephew, 28, who will inherit the 13,000-acre Althorp estate in Northamptonshire, has registered his stage name as Louis John Lyons.

He has just completed training at ArtsEd drama school in west London and has already been signed by talent agency Tavistock Wood, whose stars include Dominic West and Lily James. Maybe Louis could play his dad in Netflix hit The Crown?

I can reveal that Earl Spencer's son and heir, Viscount Althorp, Louis Frederick John Spencer trained as an actor

I can reveal that Earl Spencer’s son and heir, Viscount Althorp, Louis Frederick John Spencer trained as an actor

Dog dinner for a day for Spacey

Just hours after Kevin Spacey appeared at the Old Bailey to deny he sexually assaulted three men, the Oscar-winning actor had a nicer date elsewhere in London.

The House Of Cards star, 62, attended the launch party for Cindy Lass’ book, A Colorful Pawtrait, at the Chelsea Arts Club. Artist Lass, known for her dog portraits, says, “He loves puppies. He has a big heart and I really connect with him.

Dogs have gotten Americans in trouble, though: in 2004, he tripped over his Jack Russell terrier, Mini, while chasing a youngster who had scammed him out of his cellphone.

Artist Lass (above), known for her dog portraits, says: “He loves puppies.  He has a big heart and I really connect with him

Artist Lass (above), known for her dog portraits, says: “He loves puppies. He has a big heart and I really connect with him

The Duchess of Cambridge’s sister, Pippa Middleton, and her investment banker husband, James Matthews, appear to have left London for good. Last Saturday I revealed the couple had bought a £15million country house in Berkshire.

Now it looks like they aren’t keeping their £17m Chelsea home.

Movers spent three days loading furniture this week. “I just saw the departure of Pippa and her family, who live on my street,” reports opera singer Melinda Hughes. “To see them say goodbye to their London home was quite touching.”

Former Commons Speaker John Bercow – considered a ‘serial bully’ by the Parliamentary watchdog – has boosted his business fortune by nearly £75,000 while claiming subsidized furlough funds by the taxpayer.

The Bercow business, which employed an average of two people in the 12 months to March 2021, claimed furlough of between £1 and £10,000. He insisted the total furlough claimed in the pandemic was ‘well under £10,000’.

But new accounts for his business, Fedhead Ltd, show his reserves have fallen from £328,330 to £403,051. Bercow used the scheme to pay his wife, Sally, for administrative support. The company name is believed to have been inspired by Roger Federer, Bercow’s favorite tennis player.

Nicole only has eyes for rugby player Thom

She enjoyed an on-and-off eight-year relationship with Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton and a shorter romance with tennis player Grigor Dimitrov, but pop singer Nicole Scherzinger appears to have found true love with another sportsman, the former Scottish rugby star Thom Evans.

I heard the Pussycat Dolls singer, 44, and Evans, 37, may be about to announce their engagement.

“They are going to get married”, proclaims a friend. The couple have just returned from vacation in Mykonos, Greece, where Evans reportedly proposed. His former girlfriends include model and actress Kelly Brook.

He said he knew Nicole was “The One” since he was a contestant, and she was a judge, on The X Factor: Celebrity in 2019.

“The first two days with Nicole was just awesome, and it’s been awesome ever since,” he said.

I hear the Pussycat Dolls singer, 44, and Evans, 37, about to announce their engagement

I hear the Pussycat Dolls singer, 44, and Evans, 37, about to announce their engagement

Sharapova’s ace performance

Prince Harry’s children have a new playmate: royal pal Alexander Gilkes and his fiancee, former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova, celebrate the birth of their first child.

The Russian tennis star, 35, shared this photo of herself with their son, Theodore, who was born earlier this month. “The most beautiful, empowering and rewarding gift our little family could ask for,” she says.

Old Etonian Gilkes, 43, is a friend of Harry and Prince William, and was previously married to Meghan Markle’s friend, designer Misha Nonoo.

The Russian tennis star, 35, shared this photo of herself with their son, Theodore, who was born earlier this month

The Russian tennis star, 35, shared this photo of herself with their son, Theodore, who was born earlier this month

Miss UK’s boy is in fighting shape

The 18-year-old has just completed his training to join the <a class=Swiss army‘s special forces unit” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

The 18-year-old has just completed his training to join the Swiss army’s special forces unit

As the son of Kirsty Bertarelli, the beauty queen whose divorce from Swiss tycoon Ernesto made her wealthier than the queen, one would expect Falco Bertarelli to be a pampered playboy spending part of the settlement of £400million divorce from his mother.

Indeed, the 18-year-old has just completed his training to join the Swiss army’s special forces unit.

“So proud of you,” says her mother, 51, born Kirsty Roper in Staffordshire.

“On your own back you joined the special forces and succeeded, it’s no small feat. Grueling and brave.

Did Georgia Mann, presenter of Radio 3’s Essential Classics, get the memo about BBC presenters who are with children? “A group of teenagers arrived at the River Teddington just now,” she complained on social media from her location near the River Thames in south-west London.

“All of them seem very nice – but they’re playing music at deafening volume and I just can’t understand how annoying and anti-social it is.” Realize I’m a grumpy old lady but SERIOUSLY.

Why not retaliate with an atonal Schoenberg in Georgia?

(Very) modern manners

Eight-year-old Prince George managed to keep his suit and tie on in the royal box at Wimbledon in temperatures approaching 30C.

However, things are more complex at the RAC, the gentlemen’s club located 800 meters from Buckingham Palace.

This has distressed a devotee, who laments that the “dress code has been relaxed too much” as polo shirts can be worn during the summer.

But before George asks his father to pay the annual subscription, he must be wary of the fate of others his age. Another member, accompanied by his grandsons, was appalled when the porters barred their admission, explaining that the boys were “dressed inappropriately” – in polo shirts and “tailored shorts”.

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