Byline: June Weir, April 1972

I’m not very social,” says Marie-Helene de Rothschild.
She is however, called the Queen of Society in Paris.
She is also married to one of Europe’s wealthiest men, Baron Guy Edouard Alphonse Paul de Rothschild, the charming 62-year-old head of the French House of Rothschild. Marie-Helene is one of Europe’s great hostesses and mistress of “Ferrieres,” the crown jewel among Rothschild possessions.
Yet, Marie-Helene insists the impression that she is very social is false.
“I think people say I’m social because I love to dress. I love jewels. I love houses. I love to give big parties. But I hate small talk and cocktail parties….
“My husband says I don’t know what the word ‘indifference’ means. I either love or hate. I’m either for or against. Maybe that’s one of my faults. I love old houses that are cozy with fireplaces. I hate modern apartments, except modern offices. I prefer gold to silver. “I love feminine clothes more than structured ones — Yves Saint Laurent and Ungaro are my favorite designers.
“I love serious music, especially symphonies and operas. But not today’s music. I prefer tapestries to paintings. I adore flowers. And I love the theatre.”
It is Marie-Helene’s naturalness that strikes a visitor. A large diamond ring is the only note of opulence. And her manner is simple and direct.
“It doesn’t make any difference to me whether one is born with a name or wealth. It’s the person, not the position that I like.”