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"A DNA test would only take a couple of minutes," he says.
"But I have never dared suggest it - except once to Carol Thatcher.
In the book, there's barely a hint of the havoc caused when Anne, his first wife, discovered that he had been having a five-year affair with Ricki, the estranged wife of the film director John Huston, and that they had a daughter, Allegra.
Anne fell to pieces and had to have psychiatric care, but JJ insists that she got over it quite quickly and they now enjoy a brother-sister relationship.
John Julius Norwich once asked General de Gaulle if he could have his portion of apple pie, even though the old boy had dropped cigarette ash on it.
The reason for the improbable encounters was his parents: Duff Cooper, the philandering diplomat, and the beautiful socialite Lady Diana.The 16-year-old asked if he could have the French leader's untouched dessert, and the General indicated its light dusting."I said that it would be an honour for me to eat his cigarette ash - an appalling piece of over-the-top flattery which I blush to recall."JJ is good at this kind of dinner-party self-deprecation.She has been a member of our family for 25 years now." JJ is equally blithe about his second wife, Mollie, who was married with four children when they met in the London Library. I inherited virtually nothing."Despite arthritic ankles, JJ takes the Tube most days to the London Library.They live in a town house in Little Venice, for which he paid £7,200 in 1960."I've always been fairly skint," he says. After I left the diplomatic service in 1964 and turned to writing, I wondered where my next meal was coming from. "I have my lovely Freedom Pass, which makes all the difference to my life. We even go out to dinner by Tube."Suddenly, he remembers why."I loathe all this political correctness," he grumbles.
Adrian Fennell, retail partner at Roche Chartered Surveyors, who worked on the deal, said: “From our point of view it’s great news as it gets the store occupied by a very strong retailer which will be a boost to St Stephens Street, and it also gets a not insignificant amount of money spent on the mechanicals and electricals in the building.