After a lively visit in New York where she met with Yul Brynner, saw "The King and I" and partied with Sonny and Marylou Whitney and their friends, Thailand's Queen Sirikit finally arrived here Tuesday night. In the courtyard of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the red carpet was in place and the red-white-and-blue Thai flags were flying. Waiting to greet Her Majesty were 93-year-old Herbert W. Armstrong, founder and chairman of the Ambassador Foundation; George White, hotel president and general manager; Sumet Wasantapruek, Thailand's consul general in Los Angeles (his daughter presented the queen with a bouquet of flowers); 50 Thai children and nine monks from the Thai Temple Sunday School in North Hollywood.
The queen is in Los Angeles on an unofficial visit and as the guest of the Ambassador Foundation. Armstrong, a longtime friend of the Thai royal couple, extended the invitation to her when he dined with them last year in the Northern Palace. The queen is accompanied by 15 ladies in waiting; Poonperm Krairiksh, her lord chamberlain, and her private secretary, Suprapada Kasemsant. Thailand's ambassador to the United States, Kasem Kasemsri, and the U.N. ambassador, Birabhongse Kasemsri (they are cousins), will join the group later.
The focal point of Queen Sirikit's visit is the opening of two Thai exhibitions--"Treasures of the King of Siam," which includes some of the crown jewels, and the queen's "Royal SUPPORT" collection--in the Hall of Administration Lobby on Ambassador College's campus. The SUPPORT Foundation was established in 1976 by Thailand's King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit to preserve ancient crafts and encourage and assist Thai cottage industries. While the queen is here there will be a series of private viewings following or preceding dinners and luncheons.
The royal schedule is quite full. On Saturday, the queen will receive and speak to members of Los Angeles' Thai community at a tea reception in the Beverly Wilshire's Grand Ballroom. (Guests will be expected to kneel on the ballroom's rug.) Sunday, she will address about 1,250 guests at Ambassador College, where a SUPPORT documentary will also be shown. And on Monday the queen hosts a "Thanksgiving" black-tie dinner in the hotel's Le Grand Trianon for about 250 guests. The flowers for her party will be flown in from Bangkok as will the gold cloth that will cover the table where the queen will dine on essence of truffle cream soup, sliced duck breast in Armagnac sauce and strawberry vacherin glace, all prepared by the Beverly Wilshire's chef, and an array of Thai delicacies supplied by the Sunset Restaurant. The queen drinks orange juice, but her guests will be served Spring Mountain Chardonnay 1981, Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 1977 and Taittinger La Francaise.
First Lady Nancy Reagan was surrounded by friends the other night at the Beverly Wilshire when the USO presented her with its Distinguished American Award. Up on the dais where she dazzled everyone in her silver Galanos gown and new pale makeup, Mrs. Reagan had Dolores Hope on one side and Bob Hope (a bit tardy since he'd been at the People's Choice Awards earlier) on the other. Beyond the podium were Tony Martin (he opened with "Begin the Beguine," which he'd sung in 1940 at his first USO appearance) and his wife, Cyd Charisse, and Margaret Brock. On another tier were Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (he led the Pledge of Allegiance) and his wife. Others filling up the dais--Councilwoman Peggy Stevenson with Paul Masterson, Supervisor Mike Antonovich, Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie, master of ceremonies Johnny Grant and Kellee Paterson, who sang the National Anthem and then went over to Cary Grant to have her picture taken with the silver-haired screen idol.
There were loads of more Nancy pals in the audience and at discreet moments she waved and occasionally threw kisses to them. On the receiving end were Hollywood Park's Marje Everett, who had Cary and Barbara Grant, Caroline Ahmanson and horse owners Allen Paulson and Mr. and Mrs. Bruce McNall as her guests. And Loretta Young, Jimmy and Gloria Stewart, Dolly Green, Henry and Grace Salvatori, Virginia Milner, Alfredo de la Vega, Bill Frye, Daniel Donohue, Frances Bergen, Chardee and Tucker Trainer, Fred MacMurray and June Haver, George Peppard, the Fess Parkers down from their Santa Barbara ranch, Rosemarie and Bob Stack, Danny and Rose Marie Thomas, the Buddy Ebsens, Gene Raymond. Also applauding, laughing and otherwise throwing the USO's carefully timed schedule off--Sybil Brand, Robert and Jane Kramer, David Gill Evans, Juli and Herbert Hutner, Carol Curb, Jerry Buss, Jane Withers, Virginia Mayo, Buddy Rogers and Mrs. Omar Bradley.
Sculptor Pascal Regan refers to it as "the chicest table in town." She should know. It's a country pine table with benches on either side set into the window of St. Germain to Go facing Santa Monica Boulevard. And it's the only table where you can eat in this take-out place. Pascal has dined and lunched there--a lot. Matter of fact, Paul Bruggemans, co-owner with Camille Bardet (they also own Le St. Germain, the Melrose restaurant), said Pascal was the first to reserve the table for a party that ended up with 16 guests, a little too many for comfort. But never mind. That group, like the ones that followed, had a wonderful time. "You should have heard the singing waiters," Pascal said, remembering that party. Others sharing her enthusiasm were Mollie Mulligan, who gave a dinner that included Bruce Dern and Elliott Gould and their wives; L'Orangerie's Virginie Ferry, who'd celebrated her birthday at that table, and Nina Leif, who's giving a party there later this week.
It was a rare sunny afternoon last week, and Pascal and her husband, James, and their house guest Dana Swarovski (her husband is the fourth generation to run the Swarovski crystal works in Europe) had dropped in. Bruggemans asked them to join the luncheon party he was giving for French actress-chanteuse Line Renaud. Among the other guests were Estee Lauder veep Philip Greibe and Lucy Zahran Bonorris, who drove in from her Manhattan Beach shop. Even the late arrivals caught up on the crusty rolls and pate, slices of pizza, the boudins (white veal and skinless chicken sausages) with mustard, the chocolate ice cream with orange peel, the lemon cookies and the caramel tart. Greibe, who was on a diet, found it hard to say no. Between bites and laughs, Bruggemans mentioned his latest project--marketing BB Dogs, the boudins reshaped to look more like frankfurters. "The BB," he explained, "stands for Camille's and my last names. Cute, eh."
The Social Scramble: "Love Boat" producers Aaron Spelling and Douglas S. Cramer are celebrating television milestones with a black-tie gala March 31 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Peter Duchin and his orchestra will provide the flurries and flourishes as the hosts introduce "Love Boat's" 1,000th guest star (his/her identity is a closely guarded secret until party time) and some of the other 999 celebrities who've appeared on the television series' first 200 episodes.
Tout Hollywood will be showing up today at the Beverly Hills Hotel for publisher Tichi Wilkerson Kassel's luncheon honoring Radie Harris, the New York-based columnist whose "Broadway Ballyhoo" has run for 46 years (give or take a small interruption) in the movie trade paper, the Hollywood Reporter. The proceeds will go to the Hollywood Reporter Scholarship Foundation and the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital.
Tonight, Berry Gordy's "The Last Dragon" has its world premiere at the Plitt Century Plaza. And right afterward there's a black-tie optional buffet supper at which you're likely to see Diana Ross, Diahann Carroll, quite a few of the Gordy clan, Carrie Fisher, Dick Clark, Gladyce Begelman, Henry Bushkin, Mr. and Mrs. Smokey Robinson, Sugar Ray Robinson, Rob Reiner, Michael Roshkind, Sidney Poitier, Tom Pollock, George Schlatter and Dr. Mark Saginor.
Rudolf Nureyev is making a special guest appearance Saturday evening at the Houston Grand Opera's black-tie Opera Ball at the Warwick Post Oak Hotel. The theme is "1879 St. Petersburg," which should please the ballet superstar no end. Franelle Rogers is chairing the gala (tickets are $1,000 and $500 and they're expecting to raise $400,000) and among those on her honorary committee are such Houston grande dames as Mrs. Roy H. Cullen, Mrs. Maurice Hirsch, Mrs. Oscar Wyatt Jr., Mrs. Leon Jaworski, Joan Schnitzer and Mrs. Bernard Sakowitz.