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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Prince of Wales

Queen Elizabeth opened the London season at Royal Ascot with her daughter, Princess Anne. Her son Prince Andrew brought his daughters, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, who both live in NYC, to the royal box to cheer on their grandmother’s horses, Dartmouth and Peacock. After the crème de la crème of international high society had donned their fascinators and top hats to frolic in the royal enclosure, Prince Charles hosted his annual parties for the American Patrons of the Prince of Wales Foundation. The trio of gatherings started with a reception at Clarence House, where Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, live. This historic house was built in 1825 and was the home of King William IV and later Charles’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth, the queen mother. Charles threw open the doors to his home sweet home, which was awash in blue and white ceramic planters filled with peach, pink and blue foxgloves for 50 guests, many of whom the couple had seen on their recent trip to Washington, D.C.

A stunning Edwardian silver tea service was laid out on the mahogany table and surrounded by some of the family’s exquisite china, festooned with the Prince of Wales’ feathers. The grand drawing room was filled with the queen mother’s antique furniture, paintings from the royal collection and objets d’art. Scones and biscuits with an assortment of jams from Charles’s own organic brand sold at Waitrose, were among the delicacies proffered by the liveried staff. Charles talked proudly of the foundation’s work, saying, “You can see how it is possible to

turn young people’s lives around by giving them self-confidence and self-esteem.” The next day, the prince invited everyone to Highgrove, his country house in Gloucestershire, which was built in the late 18th century. 

After a lunch that featured fare from Charles’ farm, there was a tour of his breathtaking gardens, which have an extensive collection of rare hostas. That night, Audrey and Martin Gruss and Thomas Quick closed Bellamy’s and gave a dinner for the New Yorkers in town for the festivities. At the tables, decked out in sweet peas and peonies, were Carol and Earle Mack, Diana Quasha, Becca Cason Thrash, Jane Churchill, Kate Ford, Brenda Johnson, Ambassador Mary Ourisman and others of that ilk and stripe. On the last night Prince Charles hosted a black-tie dinner at Windsor Castle, which was built in the 11th century and has hosted everyone from Emma Watson, Ralph Lauren and Cate Blanchett to heads of state. Seeing this “working castle” ablaze in all its historical grandeur is a singular sight. Among those nibbling on the crab and avocado tians and the supremes of guinea fowl were Prince Pierre d’Arenberg and his wife, Sylvie, Lynn Wyatt, Barbara Allbritton, Romero Britto, Christopher Forbes and the Grusses, who were all seated at the prince’s table. After the roast peaches in a tulle basket, Charles said of  the foundation, “I couldn’t do this without the Americans.”

The White Palace

Prince Charles’ cousin HRH Crown Prince Alexander celebrated his 70th birthday at the White Palace in Belgrade. The gala dinner was hosted by his wife, Princess Katherine, and their children, who welcomed the crown heads of Europe and beyond, including Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden. Queen Sofia of Spain chatted with Prince Albert of Monaco, who told her about his sister Caroline’s son Pierre Casiraghi’s wedding to Beatrice Borromeo. Also there, Czar Simeon II and Czarina Margarita of the Bulgarians, Princess Ira of Fürstenberg, Prince Aga Khan Amin and royals from Romania, Montenegro, Jordan and Baden. After all the glorious pomp and circumstance befitting such an occasion, Alexander made a heartfelt speech, saying in part, “By a twist of fate and history, I was born in exile and declared an enemy of the state as a two-year-old. The fact that I am celebrating my seventieth birthday in my homeland, in my home, with my family, people and my friends from around the world, is an emotional moment I have wished for all my life. May love unite you all.” Among the New Yorkers leading the applause were Susan Gutfreund, Cheri Kaufman and Bill Schlight. The prince and princess will be in NYC to host a lunch for LifeLine, their children’s charity, on October 22, at Le Cirque.

Princess Yasmin Aga Khan

Anne Hearst and her husband, Jay McInerney, entertained Princess Yasmin Aga Khan at their estate Ashgrove Farm in Water Mill. The fete was a kickoff for the Alzheimer’s Associations Gala named after Yasmin’s mother and Hollywood icon, Rita Hayworth. The benefit, which will be chaired by Susan and Jim Draddy, will be held on October 27 at Cipriani. Among those checking out the emus, llamas and chickens that wander the property were designers Nicole Miller and Dennis Basso, Alexandra Lebenthal, Sharon Bush, Margo and John Catsimatidis and Cornelia Sharpe-Bregman. The next night Jay had an intimate dinner to celebrate his wife’s birthday. Among those singing were Brooke Shields, Judith and Rudy Giuliani, April Gornik , Eric Fischl, Roger Woods, Robert Zimmerman, Alison Mazzola and George Farias.

Princess Lily and the Louvre

Princess Lilly zu Sayn-Wittgenstein Berleburg of Germany and Juliette Binoche led the perfumed pack to Paris’s Louvre for the Fine Art of High Jewelry & Timepieces dinner hosted by the National Jewelry Institute’s founder Judith Price and Joel Towers, exec of Parsons. Guests were treated to a viewing of “The Art of French Living, From Louis XIV to Louis XVI”. The evening was done with the participation of Tiffany, Vuitton, Bulgari, DeGrisogono, Dior, Chopard, Boucheron, Hermès and Symrise Fragrance. Guests included Beatrice Mouleyre, Isabelle Vacheret, Rhona Stokols and Christine and George Ledes.


Live4Life founder Melissa Breitbart celebrated ten years of being melanoma-free at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center by presenting the hospital with a $100,000 research grant from the organization. MSKCC’s Dr. Jedd Wolchok said, “Cases of melanoma have tripled in the last 30 years and are increasing faster than any other cancer.”


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