SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Gym was a real tonic for Princess Diana
SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Rollerblading, step aerobics… gym was a real tonic for Princess Diana, says her personal trainer
Princess Diana’s personal trainer, Jenni Rivett, had always vowed she would never speak publicly about her most famous client.
But now she’s broken her silence, revealing the princess’s body battles, her workout routine and how she taught her to rollerblade.
‘We had a really great bond,’ Jenni says. ‘She liked the fact that I was not familiar with royal protocol.
‘I didn’t realise that I had to curtsey to her and only found out four years later when I saw her best friend (whom I also trained) curtseying to her in Kensington Gardens.
Princess Diana’s personal trainer, Jenni Rivett, had always vowed she would never speak publicly about her most famous client. But now she’s broken her silence, revealing the princess’s body battles, her workout routine and how she taught her to rollerblade
Rivett was recommended to Diana when she was on the lookout for a personal trainer in 1991. Some of her most memorable training sessions revolved around exploring the latest workout crazes of the day. Pictured: Diana in sports gear arriving at Chelsea Harbour, London
‘She laughed when I apologised, and said: “That’s why I love you Jenni . . please don’t ever curtsey to me.”’
Rivett was recommended to Diana when she was on the lookout for a personal trainer in 1991. Some of her most memorable training sessions revolved around exploring the latest workout crazes of the day.
‘Diana used to like doing step aerobics, which was the big thing in the Nineties,’ she says. ‘She also really loved to do cardio and get out into Kensington Gardens and power walk.
‘I taught her to rollerblade, too, which she loved. In general, she loved most of the exercises I did with her.’
One vivid memory is of when Princes William and Harry would join in with her workouts. ‘[Her boys] were her whole world and would often join in on our training sessions at Kensington Palace — annoying her occasionally,’ says Jenni with a laugh.
‘I taught her to rollerblade, too, which she loved. In general, she loved most of the exercises I did with her,’ said Ms Rivett. Pictured: Emma Corrin, who played Princess Diana in Netflix’s The Crown was seen rollerblading through Buckingham Palace
‘She had a very special bond with William and Harry and would love to embarrass them, too — her sense of humour was one of her greatest traits.’
Rivett worked with Diana throughout the princess’s separation and divorce from Prince Charles: ‘In her own words, she always said: “I didn’t ask for this”.’
She admits the princess confided in her about her battle with the eating disorder bulimia. ‘She bravely told me — and the world — about her bulimia,’ Rivett says. ‘[It] was truly honourable, as it helped so many young women understand [the impact of] eating disorders.’
She adds: ‘I just encouraged her with healthy eating and I honestly believe the exercise helped her manage her bulimia.
‘Exercise is such an incredible release for anxiety and other low feelings. I believe as her body became fit, strong and healthy, she felt empowered and ready to face those bad times head-on.’
Kimberly tells dad to follow the rainbow…
Being colour-blind is no problem for stylish rocker Sir Rod Stewart who relies on his daughter, Kimberly (below, together), for sartorial assistance.
The 41-year-old, whose mother is Rod’s first wife, ex-model Alana Stewart, reveals she has given his wardrobe an overhaul.
‘I was able to organise Dad’s shirts and pants in rainbow order, which is helpful for him because he’s colour-blind,’ she explains. ‘Colour-coordinating is key for aesthetics and functionality.’
There were, she adds, a few surprises. ‘My dad’s closet in Palm Beach had way too many socks. He wears sandals and flip-flops at the beach, so I edited the sock drawer down to only the necessities. I also found so much animal print that I thought I was on safari.’
Kimberly Stewart, 41, whose mother is Rod’s first wife, ex-model Alana Stewart, reveals she has given his wardrobe an overhaul
He has designed diverting headwear for the Duchesses of Cornwall and Cambridge. But, with Royal Ascot almost certain to proceed without spectators for the second successive year, acclaimed Irish milliner Philip Treacy fears for the future of his craft.
‘We’re all praying for survival,’ he says. ‘It will be almost a year that people haven’t done any business.’
But Treacy, who numbers Lady Gaga and Oprah Winfrey among his overseas admirers, does not succumb to despair.
‘Some say people don’t wear hats any more but that’s just ridiculous,’ he adds. ‘While we have heads, we will have hats.’
Rogers goes the distance for her River Cafe clients
Fancy dining like a Hollywood star at home? Michelin-starred Italian restaurant, The River Cafe in London, has launched its nationwide delivery service today — and I hear film director Guy Ritchie and Soho House founder Nick Jones are already getting in on the action.
‘You can get our pasta, sauces, artichokes, spinach, tomatoes, everything — all in our beautiful jars and sustainable packaging,’ owner Ruth Rogers tells me.
‘You order it through the website, Shop The River Cafe. No delivery is too far. We’ll climb mountains and over valleys. Wherever they are, we will come to you.
‘We’re being creative during Covid. It’s challenging, but we haven’t had to furlough any of our chefs because we’re cooking away.’
Frozen star Samantha flashes her chunk of ice
Theatreland is closed, but Les Miserables star Samantha Barks finds that life off stage does not lack excitement.
I can reveal the 30-year-old, who will play Princess Elsa in the forthcoming West End production of Disney’s Frozen, has found her real-life prince charming after becoming engaged to American actor Alex Stoll.
The couple met two years ago when Samantha played the lead in Pretty Woman on Broadway, with Alex in the ensemble cast.
Sharing a picture of herself with her fiance and her new diamond ring, she captions it: ‘Like Beyonce… but with an F.’
Les Miserables star Samantha Barks has found her real-life prince charming after becoming engaged to American actor Alex Stoll
Vanessa Kirby, who plays Princess Margaret in The Crown, suffers for her art. She injured herself after shooting scenes for her forthcoming movie The World To Come.
‘I fell down some stairs and I was left on crutches,’ she says. ‘I carried on with the scene but I shouldn’t have done.
‘Basically, I couldn’t walk anywhere — and we were filming in the middle of nowhere in a valley in Transylvania.’
Keep dancing! Former Strictly champion Tom Chambers is to host online tap dance classes with his six-year-old daughter Olive.
The Holby City actor, who has appeared in a number of West End productions, says of his venture, Tap With Tom: ‘We’re trying to make tap dance more accessible, more easy.’
He confesses his dream is to star in a Hollywood musical.
‘I’m 43, Fred Astaire was still doing musicals until he was 56. I’ve got one up my sleeve, but there’s still time.’
Somefin’s a bit fishy on this Cruise
Adopted by Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman during their ten-year marriage, Connor Cruise has always been determined to keep a low profile.
But he couldn’t resist the spotlight at the weekend when he boasted to friends about his latest fishing triumph. Sharing a picture of himself holding up a massive tuna that he caught in Costa Rica, he wrote: ‘Yellowfin were chewing today.’
Connor, 25, lives in Florida, while Bella, 28, who Tom and Nicole also adopted — and with whom Connor remains very close — lives in South-East London with her husband, Max.
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s adopted son Connor has always been determined to keep a low profile, but he couldn’t resist the spotlight at the weekend when he boasted to friends about his latest fishing triumph.
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