Monday, November 15, 2021. Cold — in the 40s — this past weekend in New York with a fast and heavy rain on Saturday followed by the Sun coming out in the late afternoon for a stunning sunset; followed by a repeat yesterday, and more (but not too much) rain and wind.
Yesterday was the 73rd birthday of Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and heir to the throne of his mother. One can’t begrudge his mother’s now record reign as Queen, except, when you consider her Heir’s now long life waiting for “mum” to depart, it’s impossible not to imagine an utter frustration — especially when he was in his natural prime — that his future by the nature of monarchy, was and remains on hold.
Charles’ great-great-grandfather, Edward VII had a similar experience at the beginning of the 20th century. Before Charles, Edward (known as Bertie as PoW) was 60 when his mother Queen Victoria died. At the time, Bertie was the longest heir-apparent in the history of the monarchy. His response was short and to the point: too late. He lived only another nine years. However, we are living at a time when history is moving along at a greater speed and Her Majesty has reached the ultimate age where Mother Nature can easily step in and change things in a moment.
Speaking of Mother Nature’s changes: I had dinner last night with Nikki Haskell who had just flown in from Los Angeles after the three-day wedding celebrations of Paris Hilton and her husband Carter Reum. There has already been reams and reams of publicity leading up to it, and the actual wedding day which was this past Thursday. It took place at the mansion of her late grandfather Barron Hilton, son of Conrad Hilton, who founded the hotel chain that bears the name.
Nikki, herself a lifelong resident of Los Angeles, has known the Hiltons for years, was invited to the wedding. Last night she was still in awe and was raving about the production, the principals, the family, and the actual ceremony as well as the parties afterwards.
The parents, Rick and Kathy Hilton, are well known here in New York as well as in Los Angeles. I came to know them in the 1990s when they were still living in New York part of the time and kept a house in Southampton. It was then when the teenage Paris and her sister Nicky began what looked like a summertime social life that they turned into business careers. Nicky, who is two years younger, is married to James Rothschild, a member of the British branch of the international banking family.
The Hilton sisters were popular among their contemporaries during those summer times, although they gained a kind of teen notoriety because their parents evidently did not discourage their occasional nightlife in the nightclubs of the area when they were underage. Fodder for neighborhood gossip, people questioned the parents’ allowing the daughters to socialize at nighttime in clubs with older contemporaries.
In truth Rick and Kathy were (and are) very close to their children and always knew where their daughters were and confidently trusted them at all times. They had brought their daughters up to be responsible and sensible to themselves and to others. From that early age, Paris especially took what looked at the outset like an adolescent lark and built a career as a celebrity turning her social and other interests into a business career, and a small fortune. Today, 25 years later, Paris is a very successful businesswoman who has made a personal fortune with her ventures.
The wedding this past week was a signature event of that young businesswoman who at age forty, after two or three other engagements, has married a man whom she has known for several years and with whom she has had a close relationship for the past two or three years. As the public knows, the occasion was designed to be spectacular and beautiful and a pleasure for them and for their guests. Nikki recounting the event to me said that the wedding gown which was the traditional white, was the most beautiful she had ever seen.
There were 250 guests at the wedding dinner, black tie. The property where it was held had been sold since her grandfather’s passing, (for $46 million) with the previously set agreement with the new owner that Paris’ wedding could take place there. As formal and chic as the décor and the fashions was, the actual exchange of vows where most brides and grooms are still with the formality of the occasion, was very relaxed with the bride and groom exchanging light kisses and moments of amusement that also amused and impressed the guests.
After the ceremony everyone moved to a tent and was both spectacular and simple for a formal dinner catered by Spago, with entertainment by Demi Lovato.
The following day (Day Two), guests returned to the scene of the wedding for a more relaxed dinner dance with the menu provided by Angelina. Then on the third day, there was another party – a Carnival on the Santa Monica pier, which was very informal of course, and fun for everyone. As spectacular as was the scene as well as the costume for it, it was a wonder for guests to gaze upon, and despite the formality, very relaxed and a lot of fun for all.
Back in town. This past week there was a FISH & FOWL Junior Party at Doubles. First planned in 2019, the event was a great success.
The Junior Committee included Betsy Corbin, Kate Earls, Amy Hutchings, Hadley Nagel, Alexandra Pappas, Earl Smith, Robert Strang, Tara Tunney, Ann Hunter Van Kirk, Krissie Darr, and Russell Grant, who waited two years to go HUNTING & FISHING in the Doubles Pond! Some wore their Wellies and Barbours and many made the effort.
The dinner: Burrata with Peach and Dried Fig Crostini, Chicken Paillard Francaise and a Vanilla Chocolate Chip Gelato Cake was enjoyed by all. After dinner the dance floor filled quickly as the DJ played non-stop until midnight.
Photographs by John Sanderson/AnnieWatt.com (Doubles).