Scoop: In Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, Brentwood, Hancock Park and other tony southern California enclaves, the big news is that Beatrice Niven, Annette de la Renta‘s stunning older daughter, who just divorced officially and amicably from dashing David Niven Jr., the actor’s son, will marry California real estate lawyer David Phelps, who some say is almost as stunning as she is. The wedding will take place in the fall in New York, where Beatrice’s mother, her father, Sam Reed and her stepfather, Oscar de la Renta, all live, as if you didn’t know.

Beatrice has three beautiful children and David Phelps has a couple of beautiful ones of his own. They are said to all meld beautifully. Beatrice just bought a new house in Hancock Park, where they will all live together surrounded by numerous cats and dogs. Beatrice is an avid animal lover and David Phelps is said to be a close runner-up. They love all God’s creatures, great and small, and Beatrice was reported to be almost inconsolable when that whale washed up on a California beach, the dear girl.

Meanwhile, another dashing Niven brother, Jamie, a very big man at Sotheby’s and a golden-throated (well, almost) auctioneer at many a social extravaganza, is getting married to attractive Lee Auchincloss on Oct. 22 at a quiet family wedding at the New York house of Wendy and Henry Breck, who introduced them. On the evening of the wedding they will celebrate with a big party at Sotheby’s where, repeat, Jamie is a very big man.

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More Southern Californiana: Ambassador Lee Annenberg, whose magnificent Palm Springs house has been, and is, a gathering spot of the high and mighty in politics, diplomacy and society and who served as chief of protocol under President Reagan (her late husband, Walter, was President Reagan’s ambassador to Great Britain), is being honored on Oct. 11 by the United Nations Association of the USA at its Global Leadership Dinner for the important role she has played leading the Annenberg Foundation, which endows the arts and culture, education and health. Four former U.S. presidents are the honorary chairmen of the evening — Ford, Carter, Bush and Clinton — and the co-chairmen are such worthies as Vartan Gregorian, Jo Carole and Ronald Lauder and John Whitehead. Lee’s friends from all over are converging at the U.N., led by such as Betsy Bloomingdale from California and Buffy Cafritz from Washington.

This story first appeared in the September 7, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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Margherita Missoni, the pretty 21-year-old daughter of Angela Missoni, the head designer of the legendary Italian fashion house, is dating Ernst August Jr., the 22-year-old son and heir of Prince Ernst August of Hanover and his first wife, Chantal Hochuli, the Swiss chocolate heiress (the world knows Daddy Ernst August is now married to Princess Caroline of Monaco). This young couple has known each other since they were children, but nothing really earth-shattering ever happened until they met again in Sardinia this summer. Margherita is being terribly discreet about the whole thing. Although she says they’ve been seeing quite a lot of each other, she won’t say they are together. Who do you suppose will design the wedding gown if they wind up at the altar?

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The Duchess of Cornwall‘s 31-year-old son, Tom Parker Bowles, a food writer and godson of Prince Charles, will marry Sara Buys, 31, a fashion editor at Harpers & Queen, on Saturday. They met through friends at Oxford and he proposed on bended knee in Venice earlier this year. As for the Duchess’ daughter, Laura Parker Bowles, 26, who has been in a long-term relationship with former Calvin Klein model Harry Lopes, she has set up housekeeping with him in a house they just bought in London’s Notting Hill. Laura wants to open an art gallery someday and Harry would love to get into banking. Prince Charles considers his wife’s children part of the family and recently set up trust funds for both Tom and Laura.

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Kirsten Dunst, Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Garner are all interested in playing Samantha Joyce, the endearing young heroine of “Sammy’s Hill,” the comic novel by Kristin Gore, Al and Tipper Gore‘s younger daughter, which has just been bought by Columbia Pictures. The actresses all read the book over the summer and saw themselves in the part of Sammy, an innocent environmentalist who works for an ambitious senator in the wacky world of Washington during an election year. The story is full of the shenanigans that only someone who grew up amongst them could really know. Al and Tipper are said to have been very amused. How can you tell?

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Gwyneth Paltrow helped comfort frightened fellow passengers on the airplane she was on when it was sent back to New York mid-flight because of technical problems, causing her to miss the premiere of her new film, “Proof,” at the Venice Film Festival on Monday. She did speak to the movie audience and answer questions about being an actress and a mother via telephone. “I was pregnant when I did the first shot of ‘Proof’ and I started to show by the end of the film,” she told them. How nice to know. Gwyneth will make it up to director John Madden when Dior and the Cinema Society host a screening of the movie, which costars Jake Gyllenhaal and Anthony Hopkins, on Sept. 14 at the Charles Street Gallery. After the screening, the guests will move to 165 Charles Street, the Richard Meier-designed building for the party. The evening benefits Martin Scorsese‘s film foundation.

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Among all the happiness comes a sad note. Brando Brandolini, the Italian aristocrat and international charmer, has died. He was the husband of Cristiana Agnelli, the youngest of the famous Italian clan. Their dazzling palazzo in Venice on the Grand Canal was where international society gathered and he will be deeply missed.

Speaking of deeply missed, at Nan Kempner’s memorial services at Christie’s on September 23, among the speakers will be Bill Buckley and Kenneth Jay Lane.

On Friday, read all about Labor Day Weekend at Cornelia Guest‘s far-flung country house in Old Westbury and about Betsy Bloomingdale’s little summer dinner for Nancy Reagan at her Beverly Hills manse. This summer, Southern California was the bomb.

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