June 30, 2011
Pushing a lady in full view of the Duchess of Cambridge is a first, even in the Bronx. After the 17 blackballs were retrieved from the 18th-century Fabergé box, a member was heard to say that “where the princess comes from is a far, far better place than that man has ever known.”
But back to the race. Bob Miller slaughtered us as predicted, although Tiger Lily, owned and captained by Roger Taylor of the rock group Queen, gave him a run for his moolah. Bushido won a great victory by not coming in last—we were next to last—followed by the humiliatingly handicapped Commodore Hoare’s gallant vessel. The champagne party onboard the winner’s boat was a tame affair, as was the Getty party on the first night. The Taylor party on the second had turned most of us into zombies. The racing, the relentless sun, Frankfurt, and the E. coli had aged me by ten years. My friend Leopold Bismarck wrapped me up in an Imperial German Flag, its iron cross on the upper left corner helping restore my balance and equilibrium.
This has not been a good year for me. I have tasted defeat everywhere. In judo. In sailing. My Stalingrad finally came on June 8th, 2011, after my Asprey’s party. I am as ashamed of it as if I had been caught stealing from a church collection box, but I have never kept secrets from Speccie readers. Late that evening executive editor Andrew Neil and the sainted Spectator editor Fraser Nelson accompanied me to the Brompton Oratory, where Cardinal Gaetani Lovatelli was waiting. We waited for my fiancée, the Spectator’s deputy editor, but after two hours a messenger arrived with a letter to me about having to miss the wedding because of her mother. I was too ashamed to tell my two witnesses, but the Cardinal, an old friend of my family, said it all as he walked off in a huff: “Vaffanculo,” or words to that effect. Humiliated and destroyed, I walked down the Fulham Road and ran into Tim Hanbury with by far the two most beautiful girls in England, Georgie Wells and Lily Robinson, the latter dressed only in a towel. I don’t know why Lady Luck suddenly decided to favor me, but I am engaged to both of them—as a Greek Orthodox, I am allowed three—and I consider myself the luckiest man on this planet. So there.