Tipping into the Beyond
Well life can’t just be one big party. Actually, yes it can. Snapping Sir David Davies and Leonie Frieda at the Irish Embassy. Giggling with The Baroness “call me Emma” Pidding at the House of Lords. Wherever there’s Perrier-Jouët, there’s Lavender’s Blue. Thank goodness then, for another year, Perrier-Jouët is the Champers Partner of Masterpiece. Punchy! The Perrier-Jouët Terrace, a vivid realm in the pneumatic womb of the blow up Royal Hospital Chelsea, is where it’s at. Its new Blanc de Blancs Non Vintage is “a single varietal Chardonnay, a true and unadulterated expression of the emblematic grape at the heart of the Perrier-Jouët style,” pitches Champagne Ambassador Jonathan Simms. The Queen’s Rolls Royce, yes the one Meghan Markle borrowed for her wedding, is on display. Summer’s here, so is everyone; the Season’s begun.
The tradition that began last year of unveiling a major new artwork continues with huge aplomb. “Performance is an immaterial form of art,” explains the Serbian painter turned performance artist Marina Abramović. She’s 72. “At this point of my life, facing mortality, I decided to capture my performance in a more permanent material than just film and photography. I chose alabaster based on its history and properties – luminosity, transparency… They have a hauntingly physical presence but, as you move around the pieces, they decompose into intricately carved ‘landscapes of alabaster’.” Presented by Factum Arte in collaboration with Lisson Gallery, Marina’s Five Stages of Maya Dance fuse performance, light and sculpture through a mist of condensation. The party continues into the night on Sloane Square. Such unleashed chutzpah!
Off to The Most Noble Order of the Garter at Windsor. This year, the Sovereign’s two appointment includes Viscount Brookeborough, Lord Lieutenant of Fermanagh. So the Northern Irish contingent is growing. Alan Brooke, 3rd Viscount Brookeborough, owns the beautiful Colebrooke Estate near Fivemiletown. Ashbrooke House, the estate’s elegant dower house, is available to let. The Viscount has been The Queen’s Personal Lord-in-Waiting since 1997, commuting several days a week across the Irish Sea. He served with Her Majesty’s Armed Forces from 1971 to 1994. Also present from the west of the Province is James Hamilton, 5th Duke of Abercorn. The Chancellor of the Order, he owns Baronscourt Estate in County Tyrone, all 15,000 acres of it. Today, he’s donned his great grandfather’s robes. The London based Earl of Ulster arrives. His 11 year old son Xan is the Queen’s Page of Honour. And then of course there are certain guests from Northern Ireland.
There’s just about as much pomp and glory as England can stomp up. Which is a lot. Such unfurled magnificence! Beefeaters and Military Knights of Windsor stand to attention. The Irish Guards’ mascot – an Irish wolfhound of course – steals the processional show. The Royals are a veritable bloom of ostrich plumes, black velvet robes and insignia glistening in the shafts of sunlight. Trumpets sound: a Zadokic zenith: The Queen arrives last at 3pm on the dot looking resplendent with her perfectly powdered face and clustered diamond earrings. Prince William looks solemn. Prince Charles and Camilla are all smiles. So is a very regal Princess Alexandra. She looks just like her namesake grandmother. Her Royal Highness is Patron of Masterpiece. Atop a spinning world, embracing this crazy pulsing era, it’s Perrier-Jouët-o’clock once again.
The Marchioness arrives.
So does Mary Martin.
We’re not gonna split town just yet.