As Cannes Film Festival opens in true style this week, I'm invited for afternoon tea with HRH Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, the grandson of the last king of Italy, and heir to their dynasty. The encounter left me charmed, shocked, impressed, but above all lost for words at how he, like Prince Harry, just wants to be one of the lads.
It's been proposed that, since it's popular in Russian law, it's not the job of the Western world to change it. This is ridiculous on many levels. Firstly, a human rights violation is a human rights violation, regardless of whether anyone, majority or minority, elite or common, thinks it's a good thing.
Why should the government be spending so much time and money on such a 'trivial' issue given the other awful things that happen day in, day out, around the world? Quite simply... because it matters. It matters to all of us, whether we're in Africa, Asia or just sat at home watching EastEnders. Wildlife crime is a big problem, and it's big news right now.
Private Eye magazine got it right with their front-page headline, 'WOMAN HAS BABY.' Does anything more really need to be said? How much more can you say, really? Sure, tell us how big or heavy it was if you must. What time it arrived, maybe. Tell us what they are going to call it. But anything else is superfluous.
I met Prince Charles recently in Wales. Joined by my colleague, journalist-historian Hywel Williams, the two of us were invited to meet the Prince of Wales at Coed Darcy, where a small group of guests had been invited to see how Neath Port Talbot council, BP, the Welsh assembly and developers St Modwen are trying to turn one of Europe's biggest brownfield sites into a healthy, flourishing community.