Society Dreams: Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece

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A dreamy view across the Hudson towards Jersey City. Photo: JH.

Friday, May 25, 2024. Another beautiful late Spring day yesterday in New York with temps touching 80. This was all preceded earlier in the morning with rains washing everything until about 10 when the Sun came out and dried us off.

The subject today of Lauren Lawrence’s Society Dreams is Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, the wife of Crown Prince Pavlos. The crown princess was born Marie-Chantal Miller, daughter of an American businessman who got into the business early and made a fortune. He married an Ecuadorian woman and they had three daughters, Pia, Marie-Chantal and Alexandra born in the late ’60s/early ’70s.

The sisters were brought up mainly in New York for their school age, although their father’s business was international and he later became a British citizen. They were post-Jet Set but socially connected elsewhere also.

Marie-Chantal with her husband Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece, and three of their beautiful children a few day ago.
The whole gang on UK Mother’s Day.

They became “famous” in New York during their school years in the 1980s. One is reminded of the Cushing SistersBabe Paley, Betsy Whitney, and Minnie Astor who were a big hit on the society pages in the mid-20th century New York. They were good copy and photos for the tabloids and the social pages. And like the Cushing sisters, they are very good looking and personable and well-mannered, so they are fun company among their peers.

I was living in California during much of their time here, and only learned of them of course through the New York tabs and Liz Smith and Suzy who made them celebrities. It was apparent by the copy about them in their columns that they were also “nice.” That is still a compliment, although it’s worn out its welcome in some personalities.

MC with her sisters Pia and Alexandra  photographed by Herb Ritts for Vogue a few months before she  married.
MC with her sisters Pia and Alexandra photographed by Herb Ritts for Vogue a few months before she married Crown Prince Pavlos.

By the time I returned to New York in the ’90s, the sisters were grown up. Although I covered some charitable situation they were all involved with and had, in passing, to meet them — be introduced to. It was so brief in meeting that I have no other memory of all three other than they were surprisingly plainly attractive (blondes) and unassumingly very nice.

When they came of age, they all married “well.” And so did their grooms. They all had children. Marie-Chantal has five. I found photos of them in their life from marriage on to birthdays onto the crowning of King Charles. I can only think: good parents all around.  Thought of it all reading about Marie-Chantal’s dream. Simple, yet complicated.

by Lauren Lawrence

Coincidentally, over 20 years ago, Marie-Chantal designed a children’s sleepsuit (called Angel Wing) which became a best-selling style all over the world. Since then she’s grown her brand to include luxury gifting including loungewear and sleepwear for adults and children.

The Dream: When I was eighteen, one weekend I was staying over with my sister. I was on the bed in the bedroom of my parents’ apartment at the Carlyle with my younger sister beside me. The TV was on when I fell asleep. In my dream it was the same; the bed was there, the TV was on, and my sister was next to me, but something was wrong. I was afraid and screaming. I was trying to get up, but I couldn’t move. I was trying to pull out of the dream, which I finally did, but the dream made its appearance a second time. This time the door was slamming open and closed. I was afraid again and knew that something was at the bottom of the bed.  I screamed and tried to wake up my sister but could not. I awakened, but fell back to sleep and dreamt the same thing yet again. The door was slamming open and closed with the wind, and something was pulling or tugging at the sheet from the bottom of the bed. The third time I succeeded in waking my sister up, and that ended the dream.

The Interpretation: In this intriguing triptych dream the unknown beckons with an invisible hand. Even more frightening is that the dream is framed in reality. When dreams resemble conscious reality, the dreamers are often midway between consciousness and sleep, and in a position to be able to direct their dreams. But with the ego willfully involved, the Id remains ever more distant.

So no great revelations will come of what is termed lucid or directive dreaming wherein the dreamer still possesses an element of control. Some view these dreams as seeking truth at its deepest level. (My paper, “The Problematic Coherency of Lucid Dreaming,” debunks this view.) In other words, the dreamer did not have a lucid dream but rather a disturbed dream interrupted by the external television noise.

The TV is a symbolic watchful monitor signifying the wish to be mindful even while asleep. Whatever pulls and tugs at the dreamer’s bedsheet draws attention to the dreamer beneath and symbolizes a quest for self-discovery. Something must be uncovered: The sheets pull back offering a view into what lies beneath the surface. As a bed is a womb symbol, the tugging and pulling of sheets may represent an ancient intrauterine memory of the birth experience.

In an exercise of self-mastery, not being able to move allows the dreamer to experience loss of control and the willful regaining of it. Yet not being able to move is another indication that the dreamer is not fully awake but rather in the nether realm between the unconscious and consciousness.

In another view, the dream ends when Marie Chantal awakens within the dream for the dream wish is to awaken in the most spiritual sense. The opening and closing of the door is symbolic of going back and forth from consciousness to unconsciousness. More important, the door that never stops opening and closing represents that nothing is final. In this optimistic view, what appears closed can be reopened again.

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