June 28, 2013

Source: Shutterstock

Green or not, the next day was the big one, as they say in Chicago gangster lingo. Bob Miller’s wife Chantal and three daughters, Pia Getty, Princess Pavlos of Greece, and Alexandra von Fürstenberg, were throwing him a birthday party in deep Oxfordshire, and it turned out to be a blast like no other. There were 400 of us: 340 adults and 60 or so children. It was in the garden of Prince Pavlos’s house, where the great Eric Buterbaugh from Los Angeles had covered the tents with coral-colored peonies and two beautiful pictures featuring flowers within picture frames. I’ve been to lotsa parties in my long life, but this one will remain in memory if only for the décor. Ingo Maurer, who is a very big deal in art circles, had done some amazing things with the lights hanging from the ceilings. Amidst all that beautiful art and flower setting, two bars—outside and inside—were working overtime. I was sitting one seat away from Prince Pavlos and had to behave myself. The Glenn Miller Orchestra from the good old US of A, all thirty strong, played great tunes such as “Pennsylvania 6-5000.”

Then came our turn, and 16 of us Pugs got up to sing “Happy Birthday to Bob” with words by Sir Bob Geldof and a chorus led by Roger Taylor:

No, not sailing
We’re abseiling
Down the steep face of passing time
Sailing shooting rootin’-tootin’
See you next year at Gunnerside.

(Gunnerside is Bob Miller’s shooting estate in Yorkshire.)

I was just a bit late with my words, as two large screens had the stanzas for all to read, and people started laughing because I sounded like an echo. Then after prolonged cheering we sat down and Diana Ross showed up in a sexy red outfit to belt her heart out. The place went wild.

One of the best DJs I’ve ever heard made it possible even for me to dance to modern music. I danced with Debonnaire Bismarck but she had to hold me up, and then it was time for the Queen of Greece to visit Room 101, as in Orwell’s Ministry of Love torture chamber, enduring a 25-minute drunken monologue by me and not once complaining although she did look uncomfortable at times. My next victim was the King of Greece, but he’s an old hand at avoiding bores. He quickly called for help in the person of his second son, Prince Nikolaos and Lady Helen Taylor, thus avoiding the Room 101 Taki torture.

What a week! Two great nights and a fabulous one, and I’ll be back for more next week and the Spectator party. Fasten your seat belts.



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