With British Royals showing the decorum of pomp and circumstance still top of mind following the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, there should have been a stiff upper lip for North Texas events … especially with one of the Brits’ upper crust in attendance.
So the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum’s A Writer’s Garden’s timing was right on target with its Royal Noble and having Lady Fiona Carnarvon of Highclere Castle, of “Downton Abbey” fame, as the featured speaker.
Alas, all went according to plan — until the patron party on Monday, October 17, at Holly and Phil Huffines’ Highland Park home.
Following a very ultra-private dinner the night before, Lady C had requested that no photos be taken until Tuesday’s A Writer’s Garden symposium at the Arboretum. The only exception would be an official couple of photos of the Huffines hosts, Women’s Council President Sarah Jo Hardin and A Writer’s Garden Co-Chairs Therese Rourk and Dyann Skelton.
Even for the official start of the patron party, the streets surrounding the home were filled with cars. As guests arrived, they were diplomatically advised of the photo ban by volunteers like Jeanne McClung and Bettina Hennessey. After all, these guests would get their opportunity to have a photo taken with Lady C the following morning at the VIP reception at A Tasteful Place.
Disappointed but following protocol, guests waited for the Royal to arrive as Darren “Formerly Princess Diana’s Personal Chef” McGrady orchestrated delectables in the kitchen.
As soon as Lady C arrived, she was immediately ushered into the adjacent library, where the assigned players sans Dyann who was delayed were in place and a collection of her books were displayed on the table.
As the final shots were made, a din was heard just outside the library. As all eyes gazed in the direction of the hubbub, a person was seen with arm raised in protest and demanding that s/he was to be photographed with Lady C, regardless of what anyone there said.
Such an uproar resulted in organizers hastily getting Lady C’s approval to make the exception.
Upon entering the library, the guest didn’t acknowledge or show appreciation for the exception being made. Instead, s/he threw shade on the person who had only been following orders, snapping to Lady C, “Hi — she wouldn’t let me have my picture taken with you!”
Lady C smiled graciously as the in-demand photo was taken. But one couldn’t help but think that the episode wasn’t exactly “North Texas’ finest hour”… or moment.