Byline: Aileen Mehle
Europa and The Bull or — Is It True What They Say About and Write About the Royals?: We all know that royalty is as royalty does, don’t we? So we should be thrilled to learn that some of them have class. King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden were visiting a bird sanctuary in their country last month when a young man all dressed in black ran up and threw a strawberry cake at the king. Quick-thinking bodyguards apprehended the rascal immediately, but Carl took it all with a sense of humor. Cool as a cuke, he pulled out his handkerchief, wiped off his face and glasses and even patted the attacker on the back making sure he was OK before the monarchs were whisked away. And, listen, strawberry isn’t even the king’s favorite flavor!
On the other hand, Prince Ernst of Hanover, the controversial husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco, raises his hackles overtime and at the slightest provocation. He keeps the European tabloids full of whatever you want to call it. Ernst was in a Salzburg restaurant listening to German Baron Enoch zu Guttenberg give a little speech when he became so bored he began pelting the baron with chunks of mozzarella. Baron Enoch was so outraged he railed at Ernst, telling him his manners were a disgrace to the country’s aristocracy. But Ernst has heard all that before and before and before. So, yawn, and pass the mozzarella.
The French Institute Alliance Francaise wants everyone to know that it stands in solidarity with New Yorkers and all Americans so — its Annual Trophee des Arts Gala on Nov. 7 will be dedicated to French-American friendship. More than 500 Francophiles will sweep into the Ballroom of the Pierre to celebrate this year’s honoree, Jeanne Moreau, the perennial femme fatale of French cinema. (Orson Welles once called her “the greatest actress in the world” and certainly she is a fine actress, but old Orson sometimes got carried away, whether he drank no wine before its time or not.) Moreau is the first woman to be inducted into France’s Academy of Fine Arts and holds the rank of Officer in the Legion of Honor. A filmed tribute to her will be introduced by her friend, the filmmaker Ismail Merchant, at the party.
Lucile Peyrelongue, another French treasure and a longtime chairman of Trophee des Arts parties, also will be honored this year with the Pilier d’Or in recognition of all she has done for French Institute. This will be Lucile’s last year as head of the gala as she will soon be splitting her time between here and New York with her husband, Guy, the retiring ceo of L’Oreal. So bravos and bis, bis to them both.
Before his untimely death in December 1999 in a tragic fire at his apartment in Monte Carlo, Edmond Safra was to have received the Order of Rio Branco with the rank of commander from the president of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso. The order, created in 1963, “formally recognizes and pays homage to those Brazilian and foreign individuals who have significantly contributed to the promotion of Brazil’s relations with the world.” Rubens Barbosa, Brazil’s Ambassador to the U.S., will present the insignia of the Order of Rio Branco to Safra’s widow, Lily, at a private ceremony and dinner at the Brazilian Embassy’s Residence in Washington, given by Ambassador Barbosa and his wife, Maria Ignez, on Dec. 3. Many of the friends who love Lily will be there.
Harry Hinson and Viking Studio Publishers are inviting you and you and maybe you to a reception honoring the publication of “Van Day Truex: The Man Who Defined Twentieth Century Taste and Style.” Written by Adam Lewis, the book’s foreword is by Albert Hadley, the famed interior decorator, who himself has every right to be called an icon of style. Certainly Van in his time was another legend in the design world. As Tiffany & Co.’s design director in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, he influenced generations. His look, evident in his houses and designs, was spare, simple, beautifully uncluttered and at the same time the essence of sophistication. Van, who dressed with the same dash he brought to his work, was long and lanky with the pleasant face of a grown-up country boy. Some country boy. At the reception at Hinson & Co. on Nov. 8, a pull-up chair Van designed in 1978 will be introduced. Maybe it’s the same one he used when he entertained his friends, who loved and admired him, so charmingly, chez lui.
Speaking of Tiffany, its president, Michael J. Kowalski, the Director’s Council and the Chairman’s Circle of the Museum of the City of New York are inviting you and you and maybe even you to a cocktail reception, “A Salute to Fifth Avenue,” also on Nov. 8, on Tiffany’s second floor. This will be the first viewing of its new home for diamonds and important jewels. This gathering follows Tiffany’s glittering “Pearls” gala at the American Museum of History hosted by Michael Kowalski and his wife, Barbara. They try not to miss anything shiny.
Caroline Rose Hunt, the hotel empress — she owns Madison Avenue’s Carlyle Hotel and many more of that ilk — was with the interior decorator Carleton Varney at the opening performance of the Dallas Black Dance Theatre applauding the magical performance of Edmond Giles, formerly of the Alvin Ailey group. Caroline and her Rosewood Hotel team are planning far-reaching renovations for the Carlyle. So is this maybe — hello there, Carleton.