Another week, another drama for the Beckhams. Last week, reports emerged claiming that Victoria had become ‘angry’ at David’s growing friendship with Lady Mary Charteris, the 30-year-old socialite and friend of the Delevingnes.
Sources reported that David has recently spent a number of ‘late nights’ with Mary, who describes herself as a model, DJ and musician, but who is best known to many as the woman Kate Moss once pushed into a pool fully-clothed, after accusing her of flirting with Jamie Hince.
Much of the coverage has focused on Victoria’s reaction (one commentator claimed, ‘You could see why Posh... might perceive Lady Mary as a rather dazzling threat’). But, according to a source close to the couple, it’s more complicated than a simple case of jealousy.
‘Victoria was not aware at all that David had been on any evenings out with Mary, other than at Glastonbury, where they all met,’ said the friend. ‘So this is as much news to her as the rest of us. People saying that she was jealous is just plain wrong.’
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The reports alleged that the footballer once became ‘protective’ of Mary when another man tried to talk to her during a party at Chiltern Firehouse (Victoria is thought to have been absent). According to one newspaper, ‘When the bloke approached, David said, “She’s with me.”’ It follows reports of a ‘furious’ row between David and Victoria at Glastonbury, after which Mary was pictured just metres away from them.
The story was also quickly denied by David’s publicist Simon Oliveira, who described the
claims as ‘completely untrue and absolute nonsense’. And yet, rumours that David and Victoria’s marriage is under strain persist.
‘Needless to say, David partying with the London crowd creates tension,’ continued the source. ‘It’s not a secret among David’s friends: that’s just not who Victoria is, she’s more about low-key dinners with friends and hanging out as a family.’
Amid the coverage lies the nuanced suggestion that Victoria’s dedication to her successful fashion brand has also come between the couple – something many women may resent. Especially as, recently, David has collaborated on a fashion label of his own, and spends many weeks a year travelling to promote that, as well as his whisky label.
Yet the sense that they are privately living more separate lives is mounting. See, for example, news that the couple’s new £5 million Cotswolds home features separate ‘his and hers’ wings with their own kitchen, bedrooms and a courtyard. Victoria is said to have refused to release family money for the project, and apparently wants ‘nothing to do with it’. Her name is even reportedly absent from the deeds, while features said to have been planned for her, including a special kitchen for her personal chef and a gym, no longer feature on planning documents.
Perhaps tellingly, it is also said that the separate wings in their home would mean ‘a huge party could go on in one part of the house and guests in the other wing, 50 yards away, would be none the wiser’. Indeed, David’s partying is said to be behind a ‘growing gulf ’ between him and Victoria.
Descriptions of the footballer’s time at Glastonbury as his ‘lost weekend’ – he reportedly spent two days drinking before Victoria arrived to find him in a ‘state’ – after bleary-eyed pictures of him out with Poppy Delevingne have only added to the raised eyebrows.
‘Yes, Victoria can be fun and have a drink, but she is not a party girl,’ continued the source. ‘She doesn’t think the party crowd is in any way genuine. But she’s big enough to get it that David spent more than 10 years focusing on his football and now he’s enjoying partying.’
Another of David’s gang who Victoria is said to disapprove of is his close friend Dave Gardner (one source told Grazia that at a party recently held by Dave and his wife, Liv Tyler, David and Mary once again stayed up together until the early hours). She is also thought to be wary of Guy Ritchie, whose wedding she pointedly missed in 2015.
There is a general feeling that the couple are privately heading in different directions. In an interview with Vogue on her recent collection with Estée Lauder, the designer claimed, ‘I’m enjoying every moment; I love the development process and the packaging. David thinks I’m so boring talking about boxes and stuff!’
Interestingly, two days after the headlines about David’s friendship with Mary were published, Victoria posted on Instagram a story about their ‘date night’ – complete with £2,000 worth of wine.
‘This has been a testing time for the pair, but they are well-versed in showing the public a united front every time something like this comes up,’ said an insider. ‘They will be in crisis mode to protect Brand Beckham. The only trouble is, the public are becoming increasingly savvy. They can recognise if something is wrong.’