The Duchess of Cornwall, who just turned 58, stepped into her best new celadon green suit, pinned on two flower-shape diamond brooches and topped off her ensemble with a striking Philip Treacy straw hat covered with a fantasy laurel wreath of soft green silk leaves.

She was dressed like that to attend her first royal garden party at Buckingham Palace on the arm of Prince Charles, who himself was dashing in a gray morning suit with a sky blue tie and a top hat. The newlyweds wore smiles as wide as whales as they greeted as many of the 8,000 guests as possible outside the royal tent where Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, the Duke of York and Princess Michael of Kent were having tea. There will always be an England.

Camilla received a very special birthday gift from her mother-in-law, who authorized and personally took what’s been described as a keen interest in designing the Duchess’ very own royal coat of arms, which was presented to her on her special day.

The blue, red, gold and green design displays both the coat of arms of the Prince of Wales and of Camilla’s father, Maj. Bruce Shand. It is flanked by the “royal lion supporter” from the Prince’s arms and a boar from Major Shand’s, and there is an arch crown topping it to which Camilla is entitled as the wife of the heir to the throne.

It has been officially announced that Charles and Camilla will come to the United States on their first foreign tour together in the fall. They will travel on a commercial airline to avoid criticism in England about the cost of private planes. And this in spite of the fact that the Duchess is a white-knuckle flier.

Except for a 24-hour period in which he attended President Reagan’s funeral, Charles has not visited the United States in over eight years.

As for the Duchess, she has decided to hold on to a bit of her former life and has changed her mind about selling Raymill House, where she lived with her family. The mansion, which is near Prince Charles’ Highgrove Estate, is so comfortable and full of memories that she decided to pass it onto her children.

This story first appeared in the July 22, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.


Lynn Wyatt, Houston’s gift to the international set, celebrates her birthday every year in the South of France at her villa in Villefranche, and it’s always a whoop-de-doo romp. This year, it was maybe a little more whoop-de-doo than usual. To give you a hint, Prince Albert of Monaco showed up wearing a bolo tie and didn’t leave until 3 a.m.

According to various reports, Albert is settling in effectively, taking over from his late father, Prince Rainier, as head of the principality. It is said he is taking over his responsibilities in a surprisingly industrious manner. Nonetheless, he still stayed at Lynn’s till 3 in the morning. What the heck, all work and no play makes Jack — and Al — a dull boy. 

The theme of the party was Texas Cowboy Chic, Lynn Wyatt style, of course. Her very French chef prepared barbeque chili, guacamole and pecan pie as though he were to the Hill Country born, with such culinary skill that the international swells present swore it was the best Tex-Mex food they had ever had. Caramba!

Dinner was served on tables covered in blue denim and red calico, and the napkins were blue and white neckerchiefs. In the middle of each table was a big silver boot with sunflowers popping out and every hurricane lamp was wrapped with barbed wire. That’s Texas Chic enough for me. Is that Texas Chic enough for you?

Because one band is never enough, Lynn had two, one that played regular dance music and a French one imported all the way from Marseille that played only country and western and Kentucky bluegrass, as though they had been born in the Lone Star State. Lynn was all done up in a black suede fringed skirt, a black T-shirt, a big silver belt and black lizard boots. She wore tons of turquoise and silver jewelry, a chest-full of necklaces that looked like yokes, big enough to give an ox pause. “It’s called hangin’ it all out,” said our Lynn. How divine.

Lynn’s husband, Oscar Wyatt, the big oil and gas man, not to be outdone, was dressed all in black, including a big black hat trimmed in silver and turquoise. He never took it off. The Wyatts’ four sons were there, too, helping Mom celebrate.

The guests? Jerry Hall in the tightest of blue jeans, a checked shirt, boots and all that blonde hair arrived accompanied by Greek shipping heir Spiros Niarchos. Nicky Haslam, who never misses a party, wore his white and silver cowboy outfit. Prince Talal and Princess Ghida of Jordan were the cutest couple there. (He is Princess Firyal’s son.) Johnny Pigozzi arrived with his camera for the simple reason that you can’t pry them apart. Then there were Sir Norman and Lady Foster, June Newton (she is Helmut’s widow), Ali Hewson (she is Mrs. Bono), Joan Collins and Percy Gibson and Shirley Bassey, a knockout of a cowgirl in white, blue and purple. And that’s not the end of it. This week, Lily Safra, her daughter Adrianna, Elton John and David Furnish gave Lynn another birthday party at Lily’s magnificent estate, La Leopolda, down the road apiece. It was supposed to be a surprise, but at least 34 people knew it was coming. Just try keeping a party in the South of France a secret.


Cecile Zilkha of New York, Paris and Southampton, looking marvelous in a beautiful Lacroix suit with a ruffly red and navy blouse, received the French order of Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur at an exceptionally glamorous ceremony in Paris at the exceptionally glamorous Pre Catelan in the Bois de Boulogne. Le Tout Paris turned out for the event in their best bibs and tuckers. Cecile was honored for her many contributions to the arts in France and the U.S., where she is a vice chairman of the Metropolitan Opera and a cultural link between the two countries. The medal was presented by former French Ambassador to the U.S. François Bujon de l’Estang and among the 100 stylish cultivated guests on hand for the presentation and a lavish lunch were Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran, Princess Firyal of Jordan, Lily Safra, French Ambassador Benoit d’Abboville, Maryll and Bernard Lanvin, Jackie and Jean-Charles de Ravenel, Hubert de Givenchy, Carole Rochas, former U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar and his wife, Marcela, Cecile’s proud husband Ezra, their two daughters, Bettina and Donna, and three grandchildren, Alexis, Rebecca and Laetitia. It doesn’t get better than that.

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