The event: The Colleagues honored Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco at the organization’s annual spring luncheon, presented in Beverly Hills on Tuesday by Oscar de la Renta and benefiting the Children’s Institute Inc.
The scene: As befits a royal visit, all rose when the princess entered the ballroom at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Guests then remained standing for Monaco’s national anthem, followed by the Star Spangled Banner.
The crowd: Earlier, the princess mingled with special guests Reese Witherspoon, emcee Angie Harmon, model Laetitia Hallyday, de la Renta’s stepdaughter and company V.P. Eliza Reed Bolen, Van Cleef & Arpels President of the Americas Alain Bernard, Colleagues President Travis Kranz plus sponsors, committee members and other VIPs at a special reception, featuring informal modeling of Van Cleef & Arpels jewels.
With Anne Johnson as executive chair, the committee included Jane Ackerman, Topsy Doheny, Jenny Jones, Suzanne Kayne, Bridget Gless Keller, Lauren King, Debbi Lanni, Mary Martin, Mary Milner, Wendy Stark Morrissey, Maty Novia, Carolyn Powers, Stephanie Booth Shafran, Virginia Sydorick, Barbara Thornhill and Chardee Trainer.
Not surprisingly, the princess, Witherspoon, Harmon and many other guests dressed in De la Renta. The princess accessorized with a bracelet watch from the Van Cleef & Arpels Vintage Alhambra collection.
The program: Harmon (of “Rizzoli and Isles”) introduced First Lady of Los Angeles Amy Elaine Wakefield (Mayor Eric Garcetti’s wife), who praised guests for their longtime support of the Children’s Institute Inc., which is dedicated to ending child abuse and neglect.
“You are truly angels in the City of Angels,” she said.
During her turn at the podium, Witherspoon ticked off the philanthropic work and sports accomplishments of the former Charlene Wittstock, an Olympic swimmer from South Africa. The Academy Award-winning actress then talked of how the princess captured both medals in swimming competitions and the heart of Prince Albert II, Monaco’s reigning monarch and the son of the late Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace of Monaco.
Keeping her remarks brief, the princess said, “I am deeply touched by this award.”
Ellen Olivier is founder of Society News LA.