Floating away to Palm Beach
Looking south along Lexington Avenue towards the Chrysler Building. 8:30 PM. Photo: JH.

Palm Beach Re-Cap. The ten days before Easter and Passover were the most beautiful and glamorous that Palm Beach has seen in many years. The Brits arrived en masse for Pauline Pitt and Felix Mirando’s big black tie dinner dance at Club Colette. There are certain parties during the season that the adrenalin moving north; people know they’re going to see people they like seeing, people they know, people they like, people they haven’t seen in awhile. And people they’d like to know. This is always the essence of a great private social party because it requires a certain sense of “belonging.” No small matter in any society.

The Castles threw a Dinner for the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough
George Baker V and Anthony Baker
Rosita, The Duchess of Marlborough and Tom Quick
Carolyn Benson and John Bowes Lyon
Charles and Jane Spencer Churchill
Lady Carol Bamford and John Bowes Lyon

As I was saying: the glam days began with a dinner given by Jackie and Paul Demarais; Sunny (The Duke of) Marlborough’s dinner for Sir Anthony and Lady Bamford. Carole and Anthony live at Daylesford Farm near Blenheim. It is one of the largest working organic farms in England. Sir Anthony knows his subject, or I should say, his business – he’s the largest manufacturer of farm equipment in the UK. The Sir Anthony and Lady Bamford also live in London, and Barbados, and this past month (April), they rented Conrad Black’s house in Palm Beach. This is another advantage of owning in Palm Beach: you can always rent your house out and go away for a month or a lifetime to wherever you want and come back (if you do) having paid for the trip and your real estate taxes for the year.

However, back on track. Sarah Boardman’s marriage to Patrick Prendergast was held at the Rosenthal family’ legendary seaside estate, Villa Artemis. NYSD readers had their own special glimpse (link) when we were down there in early February covering the Art and Antiques Show. Not surprisingly the wedding was one of the most beautiful that Palm Beach has seen in many years.

Villa Artemis belonged to Sarah’s grandparents, the late Honey and Leighton Rosenthal. Sarah is the daughter of Cynthia Boardman who as married to the late T. Dennie Boardman. Mr. Boardman was also the father of Dixon Boardman, grandfather of Pauline Pitt’s two beautiful daughters, Serena and Samantha Boardman. You see what a small world it all is.

Leighton Rosenthal bought the seaside mansion from the estate of the late Amy Phipps Guest, who was the mother of Winston Guest and the mother-in-law of CZ Guest. It was by the pool of Villa Artemis that Slim Aarons took that classic sunshine and soigné picture of CZ and her young son Alexander about forty-five years ago. Interestingly, the house no longer belonged to the Guests when the photograph was taken, but the Rosenthals were only too happy to accommodate the young Mrs. Guest and her fashion photographer.

The house (which had two stories when it was built) is very old-style Palm Beach grand. You could imagine that royalty might feel very comfortable there. CZ by the pool on a balmy midday says it all, and perfectly. The Boardman-Pendergast wedding took place in a magnificent white tent, vast enough to accommodate the enormous chandelier and the masses of white flowers – all created by Steven Stolman, Palm Beach’s own can-do in-season-residence executive artist/designer. Alex Donner and his Orchestra played. And Alex crooned Cole Porter and the band rocked it while the 200 guests danced and danced and danced into the wee hours by the tropical Atlantic.

The guests were mainly the young friends of the bride and groom but there were some New Yorkers we’ve all heard of such as Louise Grunwald, Tom Fallon, Helen O’Hagan and the Palm Beachers (who know all the New Yorkers) such as Pauline Pitt, her brother Anthony Baker, George Baker V, the son of Pauline’s late brother George IV; as well as Arianna and Dixon Boardman, Emilia and Pepe Fanjul, Princess Maria-Pia and Prince Michel de Bourbon-Parme, Grace and Chris Meigher, Luci Musso, Tina Fanjul, Cristina de Caraman, Jim Mitchell; Cynthia Boardman’s sister Jane and her husband Michael Horvitz (who gave the bride away) and their daughters Elizabeth and Katherine; Sam Boardman, brother of the bride, Liza and her father Peter Pulitizer, Patsy Preston and Fernanda Niven.

On a Monday in April, Marianne and John Castle threw a big dinner at Morton’s. Lots of steak and glorious wines and a guest list practically out of the Almanac de Gotha: Sunny and Rosita (The Duke and Duchess of) Marlborough, the Bamfords, Sir Anthony and Lady B and their houseguests David Metcalfe, John Bowes-Lyon and Robin Hurlstone. David Metcalfe is the son of Fruity Metcalfe the a-d-c and close friend of the Duke of Windsor during the time of his abdication. David’s mother as one of the three famous daughters of Lord Curzon. His aunt was the first wife of Leonard Moseley, the British fascist (and ladykiller). John Bowes-Lyon is a relative of the late Queen Mother, nee Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. Robin Hurlstone is the former longtime companion of Miss Joan Collins. In case you think they didn’t have anything to talk about at the dinner table.

Also present were Princess Maria-Pia di Savoia, Prince Michel de Bourbon-Parme, Lord Charles Churchill and his former wife Jane Churchill, one of the most popular and prominent interior designers in London. Her former niece, Charles’ brother’s daughter Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill is also a prominent interior designer in London. Connections. Also, Carolyn Benson, Cynthia Boardman and son Sam; Grace Meigher, Tom Quick, Brett Price, Jim Mitchell, Felix Miranda, Anthony Baker, George Baker V, Cristina de Caraman.

The night after the Castles’ dinner for the duke and the duchess, Barbara and Carlos San Damien had a big cocktail-buffet, and then there was Marjorie Fisher’s dinner. They don’t stop down there among the sheltering palms.

And then there was the Pauline Pitt and Felix Miranda dinner for 100 at Club Colette. Pauline looked ravishing in pink as she and Felix greeted their guests for the black tie dinner that was celebrating the birthdays of the Sunny Marlborough and the Honorable Peter Ward. All the visiting Brits were there including Amelia and Jeremy Ward (Liz and Peter Ward’s son and daughter-in-law), Lady Henrietta and Lady Alexandra Spencer Churchill (daughters of the duke, his first wife Susan and his present wife), Alexander Churchill (son of Jane and Charles), Arianna and Dixon Boardman, Cristina de Caraman, Carole and George McFadden, Jackie Desmarais, Emilia and Pepe Fanjul, Kate Ford and her daughter Kimberly DuRoss, Maria and Ray Floyd, Jim Mitchell, Katherine Bryan, Ann and Billy Hamilton, Marjorie Fisher, Aileen Mehle, Marianne and John Castle, Robert Higdon, Tom Quick, Hashem Khorsrovani, Terry Kramer and Nick Simenuk, Kit and Bill Pannill, Rosita Marlborough, Liz Ward, Brett Price, Carole and Anthony Bamford, Jane Churchill, Virginia and Freddie Melhado, Grace and Chris Meigher, Tina Fanjul, Liz and Damon Mezzacappa, Mila and Brian Mulroney, Marina Parma, Hilary and Wilbur Ross, Ned Ryan, Maggy and Alan Scherer, Liza Pulitzer, Gail and Harry Theodoracopoulos, Sir Mark and Lady Weinberg, Galen Weston and lots and lots more of those familiar faces.

Then there was Tom Quick’s dinner for 50 at home. And Dysie Davies’ lunch for Betsy Kaiser, in from Montecito, and Nancy Brinker’s cocktail party. Meanwhile, the Easter lunch at Pauline Pitt’s tied it up with one big glorious bow. After that everyone was ready for a vacation.

Rosita, The Duchess of Marlborough and Marianne Castle
Felix Mirando and Jim Mitchell
Marianne Castle, Sunny, The Duke of Marlborough, and Rosita, The Duchess of Marlborough
David Metcalfe, Pauline Pitt, and Rosita, The Duchess of Marlborough
Pauline Pitt, Rosita, Cristina de Caraman, and Grace Meigher
HRH Maria Pia de Savoia and Tom Quick
Lord Anthony Bamford, Cristina de Caraman, and Peter Ward
George Baker V, Anthony Baker, and Caroline Benson
John Bowes Lyon and Liz Ward
Felix Mirando, Marianne Castle, and Brett Price
Lady Carol Bamford, Jane Churchill, and Pauline Pitt
HRH Michel de Bourbon and David Metcalfe
George Baker V and Felix Mirando
Brett Price, Sunny, The Duke of Marlborough, and Tom Quick
HRH Michel de Bourbon, HRH Maria Pia de Savoia, and Peter Ward
Anthony Baker, Marianne Castle, and David Metcalfe


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May 3, 2006, Volume VI, Number 76
Photographs by Lucien Capehart


© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/NewYorkSocialDiary.com