James Packer shaves off $1.25 billion from the family vault and gives it to his sister Gretel. Andrew Hornery investigates.
On the cusp of her 50th birthday, Gretel Packer was reluctantly thrust into the spotlight this week, a place where unlike her own daughter Francesca, she has never been
 comfortable.
"When you grow up in a family like the Packers, you are naturally cautious about how public you live your life, at least that is how it has been for Gretel and her generation," a close observer of the family told PS this week as news reverberated that younger brother James Packer had shaved $1.25 billion off the family fortune and bestowed on Gretel, effectively finalising their late father's estate a decade after he died and exorcising her from the family business.
So what now for Gretel, the last Packer standing in Sydney with her brother now based between Tel Aviv and Las Vegas/Hollywood and her mother Ros spending more time on the high seas, ensconced in her luxurious suite aboard The World cruise ship?
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 01:  Gretel Packer inside the Emirates marquee during Victoria Derby Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 1, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Jesse Marlow/Fairfax Media)Gretel Packer has never been comfortable in the public gaze. Photo: Jesse Marlow
Described as a quiet woman, she has sustained two failed marriages and mothered three children. Her girlfriends say she has no interest in meeting a new man and relations with her ex husbands collapsed years ago, with her Monaco-based businessman Nick Barham (father of Francesca and her younger brother Ben) or her spiritual adviser second husband Shane Murray, the father of her youngest child, William, rarely in the family's sphere.
She is said to hold serious reservations about her own daughter's pursuit of a public profile, especially since Francesca hired controversial spin doctor Roxy Jacenko​ to handle her publicity. PS hears this has included tipping off paparazzi to take photos of the soon-to-be 21-year-old with her supposed new boyfriend, a highly-polished, designer threads loving young chap named Kelli Holland, who appears to enjoy the good life.
While Gretel remains in her own home near the family's Bellevue Hill compound Cairnton,  she also keeps a home in Barcelona, where she likes to immerse herself in the city's cultural life.
In recent years she has made tentative steps out of the shadows, largely thanks to the $250 million arts fund she has personally administered as the family sought to win over Sydney to build its giant new Barangaroo casino. She has become a patron of the Sydney Theatre Company and Sydney Dance Company, but not all of her donations have been quite so public, with plenty of money quietly making its way to various arts bodies, often through third parties.

Big brother James Packer plays the heavy

SMH NEWS PACKER 2007  Ros Packer winner of the Sir Roden Culter charities medal 2008, with family gretal, James and Erica Parliament House Sydney Wednesday 28th November 2007 Pic Danielle SmithSmile: James Packer, flanked by sister Gretel, and mother Ros at an earlier, happy, engagement with a Herald photographer. Photo: Danielle Smith
Interestingly it wasn't James Packer's packet of Kool Menthol Extra Long Cigarettes sitting rather conspicuously in the centre of the dining table inside a private room at Neil Perry's smoke-free Rockpool Bar and Grill that raised eyebrows on Monday night.
Seriously James, menthol?
Rather it was the billionaire's apparent reaction to a lighting rig being installed by photographer Richard Dobson, who had been dispatched by his overlords at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp to photograph the pokie king and his freshly billionaired big sister Gretel Packer.
PS hears James was none to pleased to see the lights being erected for what he described as "just a f---ing photo", ordered his sister to sit down and "don't pose for the f---ing photo" after she stood in readiness for the photographer. As the snapper got behind the lens James then informed him he had "10 seconds to take this f---ing photo and then you can f---k off" before launching into a NASA-like countdown, bellowing "10 ... 9 ...8 ...".
Not that you would read any of that in the subsequent "exclusive" News Corp coverage.
But the camera never lies. The resultant image showed the siblings grinning widely at each other behind the packet of ciggies, a $2 plastic lighter and an expensive looking crystal ashtray. They looked just like a pair of naughty school girls hatching a plan to pinch the head mistress's smokes and duck off for a sly puff behind the toilet blocks at recess.

Ultimate challenge faces Anna Coren

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A heavily pregnant Anna Coren visits with her family before giving birth. Anna is on maternity leave from CNN and her home in Hong Kong and visited family before she gives birth. Anna has been staying at a commune near Byron. MUST CREDIT... DiimexExpecting: Anna Coren and Adam Upton. Photo: Diimex
She has dodged bullets in Afghanistan and Iraq and by chance found herself outside the Lindt Cafe as the only correspondent from a major American news outlet on the ground as last year's siege unfolded, but now former Channel Seven star reporter Anna Coren is about to embark on her biggest story yet: motherhood.
Coren, who famously quit the hosting gig of Channel Seven's ill-fated Tony Tonight to join the ranks of CNN in Hong Kong, has returned to her hometown of Byron Bay where she is due to deliver twins any day.
By her side has been her long-time fiance Adam Upton, an Australian hedge fund manager who is also living in Hong Kong.
Childbirth is something the extended Coren family is all too familiar with. The daughter of a local GP, Coren's sister Tonya is also a doctor.
Coren was "shown the door" at Seven back in 2008 after her then boss David Leckie was reportedly "furious" that she had auditioned for the CNN gig in secret.
Leckie and Seven had big plans for Coren, however the scrutiny placed on her role as the TT host took its toll, especially when she was front row in the successful defamation case against Seven brought about by Mercedes Corby, sister of convicted Bali drug smuggler Schapelle.
The case was said to have cost Seven $5 million and was described by friends as a catalyst for Coren's departure from Seven.

Writer Juliet Rieden uncovers royal visit surprise

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 18:  Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburg leave after the State Opening Of Parliament on November 18, 2009 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the Government's legislative programme in a speech delivered from the Throne in The House of Lords. This new session of Parliament will only last until the general election which has to be called by June 3, 2010. (Photo by Toby Melville/WPA Pool/Getty Images)The Queen and Prince Phillip – he is not always in the background. Photo: Getty Images
No one has followed the Royal family's tours of Australia quite as closely as journalist and deputy editor of the Australian Women's Weekly Juliet Rieden, who is about to publish a fascinating book looking at the monarchy's relationship with us wild colonials.
For the sensibly titled The Royals In Australia, Rieden was given unprecedented access to the Royal Archives in Windsor Castle, trawling through piles of documents including personal letters and notes surrounding various tours to Australia.
In all she devoted an entire year to researching the book and among the things she unearthed included a letter which a gravely-injured Prince Alfred sent home to his mother Queen Victoria following an assassination attempt in Sydney.
She also discovered the anxious private communications written by palace advisers to King George V concerning the "nervous exhaustion" his son the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII, was experiencing in Australia.
Rieden also writes about the private meetings between Prince Charles' Geelong Grammar history master and the royal family at Sandringham to discuss the young Prince's Australian schooling.
She also includes details of the morning the Queen heard of the dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam by her Governor-General John Kerr.
​ But most surprising of all was Rieden's summation that the Duke of Edinburgh has visited Australia more times than any other member of the royal family.
During the war he spent time in Sydney, Melbourne, Western Australia and Tasmania as a naval officer, and after the 1954 tour with the Queen, he made 16 solo trips in addition to those with his wife.

Delta rides the storm

Delta Goodrem with 17 year old cancer patient Rachel Woolley save to Saturday HER for PS pic suppliedDelta Goodrem with 17 year old cancer patient Rachel Woolley. Photo: Supplied
Who needs expensive wind machines and water jets? Certainly not Delta Goodrem, the headline act at Thursday's Wharf4Ward Sony Foundation fundraiser, which raises dough to build new hospital wards for youngsters battling life-threatening illness.
As the rain pummelled down and the wind almost blew her into the harbour, Delta threw her famous mane into a pony tail and got on with it, belting out her hit track Wings as more than $891,000 was raised over lunch at Woolloomooloo's famed eateries.
Afterwards Delta was presented with an award recognising her platinum sales by Rachel Woolley, a 17-year-old cancer patient undergoing treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma. She also happens to be a talented musical student and a big fan of Delta. Well done.

Food network takes bite

SBS's new Food Network has already made a profit – weeks before it launches – with several big name advertisers signing up as foundation supporters of the new free-to-air channel devoted to all things gastronomic.
No doubt rival networks will be watching closely to see how much money SBS takes away from them, though given the budget cuts the broadcaster has sustained of late, it looks destined to be a battle down to the last crumb.

Art fit for a prince

PS. Artist Clementine Campardou with a painiting of the singer Prince that Prince bought. Photo by Edwina Pickles. Taken on 2015.Artist Clementine Campardou with the portrait that Prince bought.  Photo: Edwina Pickles
Paris-born Bondi artist Clementine Campardou​ has hooked what has to rate as one of the world's great arts patrons: none other than his royal purpleness, Prince.
Campardou's husband, a major fan of Prince, asked her to create an imaginary album cover featuring the musician. The end result was posted online and after a few months attracted the eye of Prince's royal court, at his Paisley Park compound in Minneapolis.
"He wanted to buy the rights to the work, which was such an honour because I really respect him as an artist. Since then he has bought other works, including a design he wore on stage recently in Toronto and another piece he used as a stage backdrop ... it is really exciting," Campardou told PS.
While she would not be drawn on details, it looks as though she will soon have several new major commissions from Prince heading her way.