There’s nothing new about ‘nepo babies’

One of the neologisms of 2022 was the phrase ‘nepo baby’. Short for ‘nepotism baby’, it was coined by younger people, the so-called Gen Z, to describe the syndrome of the increased attention and opportunity afforded to the children of celebrities – in practice giving them a leg-up into a career in modelling, acting or singing.  A curious aspect of the trend is that these newly cynical youths are only belatedly realising that many of the young stars in their firmament have famous parents: Lily Collins of Emily in Paris, for example, is the daughter of the rather-better-known-to-their-parents Phil.   But it’s only the term itself that is new. The syndrome has been

The Independent’s peer review disaster

Oh dear. Ever since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s bombshell Oprah interview aired, a debate has been underway in the press over allegations of racism in the monarchy. So Mr S read a comment piece on the progressive newspaper-turned-website the Independent with intrigue. With the eye catching title: ‘I’m a black British member of the aristocracy – I know what Meghan said was true’, Alexander J. Maier-Dlamini the 11th Marquess of Annaville, said that he had no doubt the Duke and Duchess were telling the truth given his own experiences in aristocratic circles. The only problem? His title does not appear to actually exist.  Despite claiming to be the ‘last of the Irish peerages’ there is no record

Old-school Sunday-night family viewing: ITV’s Belgravia reviewed

The world may be going to hell in a handcart but some things remain reassuringly unchanged: Julian Fellowes period dramas about feisty dowager duchesses, social climbing and snobbery, say. I like and admire Fellowes so I don’t want him to take this the wrong way. But when I say that his new series Belgravia (ITV) borrows from the same template he employed so successfully with Downton Abbey, and before that Gosford Park, and also in that series set on the Titanic that didn’t do quite so well, I’m not trying to suggest he’s a one-trick pony. More that he’s a canny chap who understands his market, has found the perfect