Sunday, June 5, was a soft English day. There were cool breezes, beautiful flowers, hats and fascinators for the 24th annual Queen’s Birthday Garden Party celebration hosted by The English Speaking Union at the home of Penny Love and Steve Canfield.
The 150 guests enjoyed the drive perfumed by fragrant “chestnuts in blossom” as they arrived at Fincastle, the house built by the George W. Norton family in 1937, which no doubt inspired the beautiful pastel watercolors by artist, the late Jane Morton Norton.
The program included a wedding photo of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in Westminster Abby – also the recent scene of the marriage of Prince William. The bride, Kate Middleton, carried white roses.
“For Elizabeth II’s birthday party, I used white flowers to honor her as a 1947 bride,” said Louise Cecil, president of the Kentucky ESU Branch.
Dainty tea fare included Scottish smoked salmon canapés, Stilton cheese, scones with preserves and assorted British delicacies along with tea and refreshing ice drinks under a huge white tent set with white centerpieces on glamorous pale green, pink and rose gold tablecloths with a buffet table set with crumpets and tea cakes. Kate Nitchden sang “God Save the Queen.”
Five scholars, bound for courses in Britain at Cambridge and Oxford, were all young and beautiful. One young man, Benjamin Siegel, was dressed as a Beefeater and tended the front door of the handsome brick house with columns, a courtyard with fountains and brightly-colored flowers.
The Kentucky branch has raised more money for its scholarship program than any other branch of the ESU in the United States.
The queen and President Obama were toasted, a silent auction was held, and two tiny beefeaters (Paul Whitty’s grandsons) added atmosphere.
ESU President Louise Cecil, in a black feather fascinator, greeted everyone and praised the students. Checks were presented for the scholars’ education. She was the briefest but salient speaker in 24 years and applauded loudly by the elegant tea guests!
I ran around taking pictures in the flattering light, aided by Bob Richardson and Kirk Stone of The Event Company.
My highlight was photographer Dale Carter Cooper, costume member and a star at Recording for the Blind in her beautiful coral silk cocktail suit. She posed for a photograph in crown and scepter, and you can’t tell her apart from Queen Elizabeth herself!
Viva la Louise! The whole afternoon was elegant, and more importantly FUN!
photos by LUCIE BLODGETT | contributing photographer
Category: The Social Side
About the Author (Author Profile)
Always out and about at happenings around town, Lucie Blodgett has been writing a weekly column for The Voice-Tribune for more than two decades.