Byline: Aileen Mehle
That golden couple, Mr. and Mrs. William F. Buckley Jr., celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at their country house on the sound in Stamford, Conn. What a feat and endless congratulations! How many marriages last 50 years anymore? Or ever did? Rarer still, how many brides, like Pat Buckley, can still wear the same dress on her anniversary that she wore when Bill Buckley proposed to her 51 years ago? It was designed by Jacques Fath, the famous French couturier of the Forties and Fifties, and it still fits Mrs. B. to a tee.
The party was tout a fait al fresco on the beautiful, vine-covered wraparound terrace of the house. After cocktails, everyone ate giant lobsters and giant steaks and drank rivers of champagne. Bill spoke briefly, Pat spoke briefly (“Bill won me in a crap game”) and former ambassador Evan Galbraith, Bill’s roommate in the dear old days at Yale, spoke lengthily of being best man at the Buckleys’ grand and formal wedding in Canada (Pat’s home) where he saw spats for the first time, didn’t know exactly what they were for but wore them anyhow. What a sport, that Van! No matter that he would have been killed by Pat’s daddy if he had refused to put them on.
After dinner, Christopher Buckley, the family scion and pride and joy, showed a video he had produced wherein he interviewed some of mummy’s and daddy’s friends, asking them personal (very) questions about the Buckleys’ private life. Let us hope no one took seriously the descriptions of shrieks and muffled screams in the night. It was a night of laughter and delight for Buckley lovers from all over.
And this is who was there: Mrs. Evan (Bootsie) Galbraith; Nancy and Henry Kissinger; Virginia and Freddie Melhado; C.Z. Guest; Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera; Ashton Hawkins; Blaine and Robert Trump; Blaine’s parents, Jean and Joe Beard; the Christopher Lehmann-Haupts; the Buckleys’ daughter-in-law, Lucy; and her parents, Ambassador and Mrs. Donald Gregg; Dorian and Peter Buckley; Bob Colacello; Johnny Galliher; Richard Heanue; George McNeely; the Larry Kilgores of the Connecticut Symphony Orchestra; John Funt; Bill Buckley’s invaluable assistant, Frances Bronson; Rich Lowry, the editor of the National Review; National Review’s publisher, Ed Capano, and his wife, Mary; Bob Tartarini; Ved and Ted Stanley; Tom Guinzburg, and who knows how many others of Bill’s roommates and classmates from Yale? A lot.
Princess Stephanie of Monaco — remember her? — recently took a giant step demonstrating that she has indeed inherited some of her mother’s personal grace. She decided that her three children, Louis and Pauline by Daniel Ducruet, and Camilla by Jean Raymond Gottlieb, needed to make more contact with the significant men in their lives, so she arranged practically back-to-back luncheons to rectify that. The first was al fresco in the beautiful gardens of Antoinette Park in Monaco where the children, their uncle Prince Albert and their grandfather Prince Rainier, whose health has revived more or less, gamboled together. A few days later, Stephanie surprised everyone by staging a meeting with the children’s fathers, Daniel and Jean Raymond, at a lunch given by Daniel’s mother. Both reunions were successful, featuring a serene Stephanie and three happy children. Now let’s count the days to their next get-togethers, shall we?
Start pouring the champagne. Billionaire David Koch and his lovely wife, Julia, are expecting their second child in February. They’re tickled pink — or, actually, blue. They named their first boy David Jr. but so far no news on what they’ll call the next one.
Julia told her friend, Muffie Potter Aston, also pregnant, that she’d be happy to be one of the vice chairmen of American Ballet Theatre’s gala opening at City Center on Oct. 24 along with Kimberly Rockefeller, Adrienne Vittadini and Deborah Norville. Muffie, of course, is the chairman. By that time she’ll be seven months along the way, but that’s not going to stop her from dolling up to the eyebrows. Julia will, too. Just because you’re sticking out in front doesn’t mean you can’t look mother-to-be beautiful.
Early members of the ABT fall opening committee are Nina Griscom, Bettina Zilkha, Judy and Sam Peabody, Richard Torrenzano and Blaine and Robert Trump. After the performance, they’ll pirouette over to the Essex House for a dinner dance with Peter Duchin doing the music.
The benefits are coming! The benefits are coming! Not that they ever went away. Susan Burden and Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos are rallying the troops for the New Yorkers for Children Family Sports Day at Chelsea Piers on Sept. 17 with Mayor Giuliani, Jack Nicklaus and Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta as honorary chairmen. Everyone you ever heard of is on the committee: Peggy Fleming, Stephanie Seymour, Monica Seles, Siri Mortimer, William Goldman, Oscar de la Renta, Jamie Niven, Beth Rudin DeWoody, like that. Guests will be able to participate in such sports as basketball, baseball, soccer and gymnastics with stars like Tucker Fredickson, Joe Frazier, Keith Hernandez, Jayson Williams, Bernard King and members of the New York Islanders, Rangers and Giants. Funds raised will help the city’s 34,000 children in foster care. Be there.
Francois Curiel, the chairman of Christie’s Europe and the director of their international jewelry department, has just been appointed a Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur by Hughes Gall, the director of the Paris Opera, on behalf of the President of France. Curiel, a famous auctioneer and an international authority on jewelry, has had an illustrious career with Christie’s since 1969 working in London, New York and Geneva to enhance and promote France’s image abroad. Bonne chance!