Now we'll find out who's who
Private Sydney: SYDNEY'S bright young things are clamouring to get on two very select official guest lists in order to rub shoulders with the future king of England and one of the world's most eligible bachelors, Prince William, when he visits in just over a week's time.
Unofficially, the Prince has a circle of Sydney buddies willing to help him paint the town red, with his press office at Clarence House in London confirming two generous allotments of ''private time'' had been included in his hectic schedule.
''The Prince is very protective of his privacy so we will not be releasing any details about what he intends to do during his private time,'' PS was bluntly informed by Clarence House this week. ''But yes, he has quite a few acquaintances in Sydney and there are several options open to him. He does plan to hook up with those people and see the city for himself.''
Prince William was just nine-months-old when he last visited Australia in 1983 with his parents.
He will fly into Sydney on January 19 after spending three days on official business in New Zealand, where he is representing the Queen to open the new Supreme Court building in Wellington.
However Sydney will be a much less formal visit, with plenty of hosts lining up to show the young man a good time during his visit, conveniently coinciding with our city's peak summer social season.
Officially there are two opportunities for hand-picked members of the great unwashed to rub shoulders with the young royal.
His first port of call will be lunch at Admiralty House with the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce.
PS hears much consideration has gone into a guest list of about 30 people, mostly in their 20s, for the function. While names are being kept under wraps, organisers say William will ''have a chance to meet some prominent young Australians''.
Officially he will spend the evening ''privately'', however speculation is mounting the young royal will enjoy many of Sydney's nocturnal delights, as so many young British tourists do. Whether that means a pub crawl along Bondi Beach or an intimate dinner is unclear.
The next official opportunity to break bread with the Prince happens the next day when the Premier, Kristina Keneally, fires up the parliamentary barbecue to host a lunch for him at an undisclosed city location.
With such informal formalities out of the way, later in the afternoon William has booked himself more private time, and word is that could involve a luxury cruise on the harbour with his Sydney mates - weather permitting.
Hawkin' a message or chasin' publicity?
IT WAS after a long flight to London that marie claire editor Jackie Frank had a brainstorm: put the former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins on the cover naked and without any airbrushing to send a ''positive message'' to young women with body image issues.
This week Frank's brainstorm turned into one almighty headache as her magazine was criticised after Hawkins's raw photos revealed her, ahem, hideous physical imperfections turned out to be nothing more than a tiny crease on her waist and a bit of dimpling around her multimillion-dollar derriere. Unlike us mere mortals, Hawkins did not need any retouching.
''We never said she was a role model,'' an exasperated Frank told PS this week, though the marie claire article does indeed describe Hawkins as one for young women. Frank admitted she had been surprised by accusations she had been disingenuous to put a professional model on a cover intended to promote, as the magazine itself puts it, ''positive attitudes to body image''.
''If I put a size 14 girl on the cover she would not have generated the 'cut through' Jennifer was able to get … She has put us on the map. We wanted to open debate … we have never had a response like this,'' Frank said. So was it a cynical marketing move designed simply to generate publicity?
''No, not at all … because I used Jennifer Hawkins we have been able to get this on the agenda. Let them criticise me but if I can get the extra message out there than that's bloody great.''
Frank said her magazine had previously published images of larger-sized women and articles on eating disorders but had never been able to generate a reaction as great as the Hawkins images had.
Frank, who has been known to conduct office meetings from atop a treadmill and hired the services of a Rose Bay health practitioner she nicknamed ''the diet Nazi'' to lose weight, admitted she had her own body image issues.
''When I lost weight people thought my personality had changed … that was not the case. My issue is that I didn't see myself as overweight when I put on an extra 10 kilograms.''
So would she pose naked in her own magazine to prove her point? ''Oh, no. I want to sell magazines, not frighten my readers … that's for [husband] Steve's eyes only.''
MOVE OVER, KYLIE
Sadly the Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, won't be donning her little green fairy costume on Thursday when she officially opens Sydney's first absinthe bar in Surry Hills. Moore was invited to open the ''micro bar'' on Albion Street because she was so instrumental in having the small bar laws implemented. While she will no doubt have the opportunity to try the famously hallucinatory tipple, with a restriction of only three drinks per person, she's unlikely to be seeing giant white elephants. Well, apart from the Cross City Tunnel.
Double Bay celebrity snipper Joh Bailey is about to head off to Los Angeles for what is being billed as one of the events on the Beverley Hills social calendar - a bar mitzvah for one of the billionaire Westfield-owning Lowy clan. No doubt Bailey and his blow-dryer will be prized guests at the event. But it won't be all work; he and his equally wrinkle-free business partner, Marilyn Koch, are also heading off to the ski slopes of Vail. Bailey tells friends he is not much of a skier and will be enjoying more of an apres-ski holiday (which will be a sober affair given he hasn't touched alcohol for a decade), while Koch promises to hit the slopes with a vengeance, described by one mate as ''the ski bunny from hell''.
A PREGNANT MINOGUE
A visit to Melbourne's Masada Hospital yesterday let the cat out of the bag for pop star Dannii Minogue who is believed to be 12 weeks' pregnant to her footballer boyfriend, Kris Smith.
After spending 1½ hours at the hospital having a nuchal fold test, the delighted couple celebrated at lunch, where she sipped water and showed off her emerging bump.
The Hewitt clan turned out to support Lleyton during the Hopman Cup in Perth but a noticeable absence in the stands has been his wife, Bec (pictured). The gossip mags would consider that a sure sign the couple had split, but PS's investigations reveal she has been in Sydney spending time with her family, the Cartwrights. It's not just tennis occupying their minds, with Lleyton and Bec engaged in a bitter legal battle with New Idea after the magazine published photos falsely claimed to be of a mystery man in Bec's life. He turned out to be her brother. Then last week came revelations that the Hewitts' online trading business, eSwap, had run up losses of more than $440,000. Not that Lleyton would be too worried, he was listed as being worth $40 million in BRW's latest young rich list.
Coasting along amid the millions
HAVING had more than his fair share of wives, John Singleton knows a thing or two about big, wet, sloppy kisses. But he probably wasn't expecting one from his old mate Gerry on Tuesday night. Dressed in their finest rural outfits, the crinkly duo was launching the Magic Millions equine extravaganza on the Gold Coast, along with their co-partner, the former banker Rob Ferguson, who escaped Harvey's smooches.
Today is the highlight of the Gold Coast social calendar when an army of billionaires, horse breeders, owners and trainers descend on the Magic Millions races, part of a six-day event which also sees about $70 million worth of horseflesh go under the hammer at the Magic Millions sales.
The four-legged show ponies get all the attention, but the two-legged variety are pretty interesting, too.
Joining Singleton is his girlfriend Yvette Hartman (pictured with him, right), reportedly a former swimwear model and the owner of a Gosford beauty parlour called The Face Mechanic. Hartman is also something of a martial arts expert, with Singo, who's last wife was a divorce lawyer, recently telling reporters: ''I'm too scared to leave her. She's got two black belts.''
The Waterhouse clan has arrived, along with Ireland's billionaire racehorse royalty the Magniers. The Dubai royal family, which owns the Darley Stud, is also being represented, while South Africa's top racehorse trainer, Charles Laird, has been spotted, along with Bart Cummings, Alan Jones, Ron Medich and Ross ''Sir Lunchalot'' Turnbull.
Another face to watch for is a relative newcomer, the Queensland coal baron Nathan Tinkler. Over the past two years Tinkler has spent about $25 million at the Magic Millions sales. At just 33, he cashed in a couple of years back when he sold his 10.4 per cent stake in Macarthur Coal for $441 million at the top of the market. The father of three is on the Gold Coast with his wife, Rebecca, despite reports in 2008 that they had split up.