When Cartier does PR


The flighty Royal; Cartier flew Freddie Windsor to Paris on a private jet for a party where he was entertained by some of the world’s most beautiful women. Kinvara Balfour hopped on board to get the first interview with London’s most glamorous law student.

Lord Frederick Windsor, 29th in line to the throne, was born at St Mary’s, Paddington on 6 April 1979. His parents are HRH Prince Michael of Kent (the Queen’s first cousin) and Austrian-born Marie Christine von Reibnitz.

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…Three days later, he has been invited as a guest of honour to a party hosted by Cartier to launch a new wristwatch, the Santos 100, at Paris Le Bourget’s Air and Space Museum. Cartier flies him out on a private jet for the evening, along with Marina Hanbury, a society beauty Freddie ‘isn’t kissing’ but has invited. ‘I was allowed to bring a guest, and I knew that whichever girl I invited, there would be some form of intrusive speculation about her. As it’s public knowledge that Marina is going out with someone else [Joan Collins' exboyfriend, 45-year-old Robin Hurlstone], I thought she would be a nice, neutral friend to take along,’ he explains laboriously.

Harry Becher, London’s most obliging Mr Fix-It who works for Quintessentially, is also on the plane.

I go along for the ride.

Freddie is looking dapper in a Dunhill suit and a shirt by Hawes & Curtis that belonged to his father (‘I like their big collars; no one makes them like that these days’), but everyone’s a little jaded. Becher and Freddie shared a birthday party the night before at Drones Club and, later, Annabel’s. I note that Freddie seems more interested in his iPod than he does in Marina during the journey.

When Freddie arrives at the party he has to be pointed out to the international press, but the British photographers snap him like crazy. He looks shy, but let us not forget that this was the boy who modelled menswear for Tomasz Starzewski at the age of 21, lounging on white leather in pastel linen and beige cashmere. This was followed by the 2002 Burberry campaign alongside Kate Moss in which they played ‘bride and groom’. Freddie claims he doesn’t want to do any more modelling. ‘I got teased mercilessly by my friends for posing in advertising campaigns, but I get teased anyway.’ While he is eating dinner alongside Jeremy Irons, the Earl of March and Monica Belucci, Harry Becher’s mobile phone rings (it never stops). Sienna Miller was on the way to the Seychelles but missed her connecting flight in Paris.

She wants to come to the party, although she has nothing to wear because her luggage is at Charles de Gaulle airport. She shimmies into dinner in jeans and a chiffon top, looking underdressed but ravishing. Her cigarette is hardly lit before the photographers descend, asking could Sienna please pose with Freddie for a picture?

He is marched across the room by a PR and, looking a little pained, is planted awkwardly next to Sienna. Camera flashes blind them, both smiling and trying to look as if they’ve known each other for years.

And I know that somewhere down the line, people will hint that the two have kissed, or are long-lost lovers, and Freddie will be branded a playboy again.

And I suspect-he doesn’t mind too much. In obliging for this impromptu photocall, Freddie has pleased Cartier, he has given the photographers what they want and Sienna is probably not complaining. It’s a win-win situation.

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