The Pierre Hotel was an appropriately grand venue for the American Scandinavian Foundation Spring Ball on Friday night. The hotel was once home to Elizabeth Taylor, Al Pacino danced the tango in the Cotillion Room during filming of ‘The Scent of a Woman’, and the largest, most successful hotel robbery in history happened at the Pierre in 1972 (apparently the robbers tipped the hotel staff before they departed, clearly not wanting to break all the rules…). So when I was invited by the Foundation to be part of the PR team for the Ball, it was with great anticipation of just who might walk through the door.
My initial post was on the 5th Avenue entrance where the unmistakable parade of gala goers could ascend to the party either with high heeled relief in the elevator, or through the magnificent painted environs of the stairwell. Glasses of bubbles anticipated the arrival of the Queen of Norway, as did the protocol approved photographers. My iphone was not on the list, but I did capture a quick word with Bill Cunningham, who was being enthusiastically welcomed by reporters when I suggested to him that he might upstage the Queen. At 84 and forever on the move from one fabulous social event to the next, he retorted ‘Never let anyone make a film about you! It becomes impossible to work! ‘. Clearly a photograph with him was out of the question, especially as Queen Sonya, resplendent in red, was making her entrance. It was time for dinner.
Scandinavian hospitality overflowed from the ballroom to the bar where a space was quickly set up for we unofficial diners. Without the distraction of speeches and song, reporters, musicians and the team that made it all happen were able to celebrate. I shared stories with two Danish reporters visiting NYC with our Mary and Crown Prince Frederik. We talked about the royal regard for Green Roofs, and the famous Noma restaurant in Copenhagen ( make your reservation before you book your flights… ) We talked about the windswept beaches of western Denmark and kangaroos on the lawns of The Lodge. And we talked about the prospect of dual Danish/Australian citizenship. Go Mary!
The whole evening was a huge success, epitomized for me by the artful relaxation of a special guest while he sat out a Norske number – perhaps he was remembering an evening with Liz…