The Insider has been enjoying the latest stories concerning parties both regal and political

A pal of mine bumped into Carlos Montalvo, secretary-general of European umbrella regulator Ceiops on a trip to Brussels (see above). Explaining his frantic timetable, Montalvo said that he was only at home in Germany for a single night this week, namely Wednesday. That also happens to be the night when his beloved home team Atletico Madrid play Fulham in the Europa League final in Hamburg. Montalvo explained that his biggest task was to persuade Senora M to let him go to the match. Come on you Atleticos!

A party that’s fit for a king

Forget Biba. It’s official – the party of the year is Peter Cullum’s 60th birthday bash at Hampton Court Palace in September.

Often associated with Henry VIII, an autocratic monarch who ruled a divided kingdom with an iron fist, it’s hard to imagine why Cullum chose Hampton Court as the scene for his celebrations. Still, whatever the reason, the invitations are winging their way out to the great and good as we speak.

The industry’s finest will be entertained by classic crooning from ex-Wet Wet Wet star Marty Pellow. I wonder how many corporate bonds Cullum had to flog to pay for that particular gig?

Lockton’s tour of duty

Talk about active. I'm hearing that those big-hearted fellows at Lockton – chairman Mike Hammond and chief executive Julian James – are about to embark on some kind of crazy bike ride.

The bike challenge on 27 May will see both Hammond and James, along with a number of the firm’s staff, form relay teams starting from Manchester and Bristol and finishing in Birmingham. So far the cyclists have raised £18,500, but their aim is to pedal through the pain and crash through the £20,000 target that has been set. Money will go to the Alzheimer’s Society, the broker's charity of choice.

Mix and match

A journalist friend of mine has been to Brussels recently for an open hearing into the implementation of the Solvency II directive (stay awake at the back!).

Popping out of the conference venue during a coffee break, he discovered that it was also playing host to a very different gathering, namely the European sexual health forum. Among the grey suits and the piercings of the various mingling smokers, it wasn’t hard to spot who was attending which event, he tells me.

Flying the flag

Perusing last Wednesday’s Telegraph, who should I spot but my old pal Branko Bjelobaba. Pictured from the rear in the ‘Last night of the Proms’ coverage, the broad-beamed regulation consultant was clearly getting into the mood. Not only was he seen waving a flag, but he was clad in a Union Jack jacket. Rule Britannia!

Political manoeuvres

Last Thursday evening was a nail-biting but ultimately joyful one for FSA official Jackie Doyle-Price. She snatched victory for the Conservatives with a majority of just 92 votes in the previously safe Labour seat of Thurrock.

But election night was a disappointment for Melanie Hampton, managing director of Battersea-based broker Alexander Miller. As I tipped, she lost her bid to become Conservative MP for Mitcham and Morden, barely upping her party’s share of the vote there. IT