Byline: Aileen Mehle

The bright and beautiful Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, the only female heir to a European throne, seems to have found her prince, and what a prince of a prince he is — tall, handsome Prince Nikolaos (call him Nicholas) of Greece, the son of former King Constantine and Anne Marie of Greece and the younger brother of also tall, handsome Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece. As anyone who keeps up with that sort of thing knows — and you’re all out there — Pavlos is married to the former Marie-Chantal Miller, the lovely blond heiress to a duty free shopping fortune. A couple who has everything, they are bright lights of New York international society.
The first time I saw Nicholas was when he was the best man at the London wedding of Pavlos and Marie-Chantal, where it was duly noted by just about every female present, probably including his gorgeous mummy, that he looked like — or better than — a movie star. So it’s superfluous to say that Victoria is a lucky girl. I’ll say it anyhow.
She and Nicholas met in New York when they were both in college and, because royals of a feather flock together, became reacquainted in Oslo at the August wedding of Mette-Marit and Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon. Last week, they were pictured together in various periodicals at Princess Martha Louise of Norway’s 30th birthday, where they dined and danced at the celebrations and went on an enchanted boat cruise. Romantics everywhere are dreaming of a royal wedding, just like the one all those years ago when then soon-to-become Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain married her own Greek prince.

Now hear this from Cate Blanchett, ready with her take on the new movie “Bandits” in which she — naturally — appears: “Once I knew who’d be playing the bank-robbers, Billy Bob Thornton and Bruce Willis, I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing it…[Having read the script] I was really thrilled and knew with those two guys in those roles, the film would be bigger and much more than what was already on the page….My character’s problem is that her fantasy life is more exciting than her real life. There’s not a lot happening for her, and she’s not really where she wants to be….She’s desperate to break out….When she hooks up with the bandits, she experiences the first bloom of love and then the second….Playing this part has been a lot of fun, and I really loved doing it. There’s nothing better than finishing a scene and looking over to find your director [Barry Levinson] convulsed with laughter.” Right. A lot better than just convulsed.

The Central Park Conservancy is all set to raise everyone’s spirits with a Halloween Ball on Oct. 30 at the Mall in Central Park. The revelry will take place in what they’re calling The Sorcerer’s Tent located mid-Park at 72nd Street. What fun! Everywhere you look there will be hobgoblins and witches and ghosts and maybe some of your best friends disguised as Frankenstein’s monster or Dracula. But, hahaha, you’ll recognize them just the same, won’t you?
The Sorcerer’s Tent will be transformed into an Old World Magic Traveling Show, an illusion featuring seances and fortune-telling themes. The tables will be covered with luxurious velvets and exotic tapestries, the same thing you’d find in a soothsayer’s salon — or maybe a thrift shop? For those hoping for a look into the future, there will be a crystal ball in the center of every table, and expect the lighting to be spooky with fog and mist blurring the lines between reality and fantasy. Matthew David is responsible for the mystifying decor and Abigail Kirsch is responsible for the hors d’oeuvres including the Disappearing Shrimp. Disappearing Shrimp?
Hank Lane and his orchestra will play hypnotic tunes until midnight, and you should know that the committee includes such spell-binders as Priscilla and Chris Whittle, Candice Bergen and Marshall Rose, Anjelica Huston, Phoebe Cates and Kevin Kline, Carey Lowell and Richard Gere, Bianca Jagger, Erica Jong and others too bewitching to mention.

The Irvington Institute, one of the foremost medical and immunological research organizations, will not cancel its Fellowship Awards Dinner at the Pierre on Oct. 16, aware that in these difficult and uncertain times New Yorkers continue the brave walk toward regaining our city. Among those honored will be David Koch for his outstanding funding of medical research, and J. Craig Venter Ph.D. and Philippa Marrack Ph.D. for their contributions to immunology. Also recognized will be an extraordinary group of young scientists, the Irvington Institute Postdoctoral Fellows. Mrs. John (Lauren) Veronis and Frederick Frank are the chairmen of the evening, and among the most generous supporters are Lily Safra, Catie and Donald Marron, Lally Weymouth, Veronica Hearst, Patricia and John Chadwick and many corporations who care.

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