Byline: Aileen Mehle

Flash, flash, flash! Marylou Whitney, the fascinating widow of Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney and heiress to megamillions, was married Wednesday in Alaska to John Hendrickson at a ceremony at Glacier’s restaurant on top of Mount Alyeska. They have been sooooo in love for several years, and John proposed months ago while they were visiting abroad. Former Alaska governor Walter Hickel, who introduced the couple when Marylou was in Alaska racing in the Iditerod, performed the ceremony, where Marylou was pretty in pink, a wool crepe sheath by Genny, to be exact. Much has been made of the difference in their ages — John being younger by years — but Marylou looks half her age, so there. Besides, when you’re in love, the whole world’s the same age. There will be a second ceremony in November at Marylou’s Cady Hill House in Saratoga, probably in the chapel at the residence. May they live happily ever after. With Marylou, you can bet on it.

If you believe what you read in the English newspapers — some do, some don’t — there’s trouble between Pierce Brosnan, the current James Bond, and his sweetie, Keely-Shaye Smith, the mummy of his newest offspring, Dylan Thomas Brosnan. The rumor goes that Keely asked Pierce once too often just when those dear old wedding bells would begin to chime. He was not amused. Now the story goes that Keely gets to keep her Los Angeles apartment, a Malibu house and maintenance for Dylan. That is, until she forms another relationship. Caveat Reader: Take all this with a box of salt.

Rx: To be taken with another box of salt: It is said that when supermodel Karen Mulder and Jean-Yves Le Fur split, Karen turned to Prince Albert of Monaco for words of wisdom, and now they’re back together again, thanks to Albert’s advice. Albert as an agony aunt? He certainly didn’t fill that role when sister Stephanie and Le Fur broke up way back when.

Do you believe that Argentine senoras and senoritas were in such a state of heat over Brad Pitt during the filming of his “Seven Years in Tibet” that the producers had to build a wall around his villa to head them off? Pass the salt. It is also hyped that even the Andes Mountains in Argentina — which doubled for the Himalayas, where the action takes place in this mountain epic — couldn’t keep the Latin ladies away from our fair-haired boy. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

No salt needed here. When the wondrous actress Dame Judi Dench played Queen Victoria in “Mrs. Brown,” her royal petticoats were so heavy (50 pounds) that she had to be hoisted onto her horse via a specially constructed pulley. The horse recovered. I mean, whinnying will get you nowhere.

Fete de Famille, the famous annual street fair that attracts a veritable Who’s Who of New York, celebrated its 12th anniversary under a huge carnival tent adjacent to Mortimer’s, as ever. This incredibly popular celebration has in its lifetime raised $11 million to benefit the AIDS facilities at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, and this year’s fair was dedicated to the memory of Diana Princess of Wales, whose generosity in sharing the proceeds from her Christie’s sale of dresses and catalogs in New York in June resulted in the AIDS Care Center receiving more than $200,000. This year’s honorary chair was Judy Peabody, and the co-chairs were Nancy Kissinger, Anne and Herb Siegel, Casey Ribicoff, Bill Blass and Glenn Bernbaum, Mortimer’s proprietor, whose idea Fete de Famille was.
While three bands played, what seemed like a thousand pleasure seekers were body-part-to-body-part in that tent. Everywhere you looked, you saw Liza Minnelli, Henry Kissinger kissing Liza Minnelli, Annette de la Renta, Duane Hampton, Mica and Ahmet Ertegun, Chessy Rayner, Reinaldo Herrera and his darling daughter Patricia, Anne Slater in a smoky sequin jacket, Budd Calisch, Freddy Melhado, Pat Buckley, Pauline and Dixon Boardman, C.Z. Guest, Cornelia Guest, John Jay Mortimer, Hardy William Smith, Ludovic Autet, Boaz Mazor, Johnny Galliher, Peter Rogers, Bobby Short, Nan Kempner, Paul Wilmot, Roz Jacobs, Prince Rupert Lowenstein, Alice Mason, Janet Villella in a black kimono jacket from John Galliano, Barbara de Kwiatkowski, Gil Shiva and hundreds of others just like them.

You could say Pamela Gross and her terrific birthday party a few nights before warmed up Mortimer’s for the Fete de Famille. Pamela’s young, and so were most of her guests, which means the loud (and good) band stationed atop Mortimer’s bar set them all dancing like crazy, especially the pretty, vivacious hostess, in what you might call a semi-rave. And this is who was there: Pepe and Emilia Fanjul, Blaine and Robert Trump, Pauline and Dixon Boardman, Nina Griscom and Dan Baker, Mica and Ahmet Ertegun, Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill, Princess Firyal of Jordan, Prince Pierre d’Arenberg and his fetching fiancee, Sylvia de Castellane, off the next day for Paris and their imminent wedding festivities, David Metcalfe, Perri Peltz, Allison and Leonard Stern, Cornelia Bregman, Genevieve Faure and Alexander Marchessini, Anne Hearst, James, Jerry, Shirley and Jenny Finkelstein, Lana and Nicky Forstmann and more, more, more. A lot of people will tell you that nobody doesn’t love Pamela. In N.Y.C., that borders on a miracle.

If you miss Cameron Diaz tonight at the New York premiere of her new flick, “A Life Less Ordinary,” at the Village East Cinema, you have no one to blame but yourselves. Cameron will be the torrid blonde wearing “Fritza,” which is what Christian Dior calls its silver lame gown sprinkled with pompon roses from John Galliano’s fall haute couture collection, not designed for shy violets. After the movie, Miss Diaz; her co-star, Ewan McGregor, and Anna Wintour of the Vogue Wintours will join hands and host a party at Balthazar, guaranteed to reek with downtown chic, pronounced chic.

Want to buy a stately home with a 140-foot ballroom, a pillared portico and spectacular grounds designed by the legendary landscape artist Capability Brown on 1,545 acres? Only 32 miles from London’s Hyde Park Corner? The amazing country house is called Luton Hoo, and the price tag is $40 million — but don’t let that stop you.

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