Byline: Aileen Mehle

DIDOESD.C.: Today's inty little luncheon given at the Brazilian Embassy in Washington in honor of the Princess of Wales is to Di for. Hahaha. Everyone is desperate to be invited, but aside from Diana and her hostess, the exotic Brazilian Ambassadress Lucia Flecha de Lima, one of Diana's closest friends, only seven lucky ladies have been chosen--Elizabeth Dole, the Republican powerhouse; Evangeline Bruce, the decorative Washington cliff dweller; Cynthia Helms, wife of Richard Helms, former head of the CIA; Donna McLarty of Arkansas and the Clinton set; writer Nancy Holmes of New York and Texas, who hobnobs with the most important people on several continents; Grega Daly, whose husband, Leo, builds airports all over the world, and Mel French, a big shot at Protocol. And there you have it.
Before Di flew down to Washington, she scintillated at a dinner in New York at the National Arts Club hosted by the club's president, Aldon James. Luciano Pavarotti was there in all his girth and glory, and so was Nelson Shanks and his wife, Leona, and, don't faint, their daughter Annalise, who is nine months old and was swaddled in red velvet. Catch me, I'm falling.
You all remember Nelson Shanks. An admired artist, he has done portraits of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Pavarotti and has just finished a portrait of Diana. (It is assumed the picture was commissioned and will go to Diana, but everyone is a bit hazy on this.)
Everyone dove into an Italian dinner prepared by the club's chef, Joseph Frappaolo, and the guests pronounced Diana "delightful." She in turn seemed intrigued with the club, possibly because it was the first in town to admit women on a full and equal basis. Or possibly because of its sister clubs in Britain, the Chelsea and the Sloane. She also evinced interest in a poster hanging in the club announcing a costume party on Oct. 29 to benefit UNICEF and its relief effort for Rwandan children. Di said she had been asked to get involved with UNICEF and questioned James about the organization. He, no fool, said come back on Oct. 29 for the party. She said she'd think about it. At the moment, you might say there are other things on her mind.

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