Society / Featured Parties

A Spunky Duchess and British Knights Charm a Texas Crowd with Ease (and Lots of Selfies)

Sending Messages from the Heart

BY // 05.22.17
photography Fulton Davenport/PWL Studio

Who would have guessed that Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, would be such a spunky, yet serious-minded, honoree? For the 16th annual Virtuosi of Houston gala, the duchess good-naturedly posed for photo after photo with many among the 400 guests who filled the ballroom of the Royal Sonesta Hotel. And then there was her keynote address.

She movingly spoke from the heart about her involvement with and support of endangered children around the world through her charity, Children in Crisis. She reminded the student musicians on the hotel stage that they provided hope for lesser privileged children around the world, in particular a small orchestra of a handful of children in Palestine. The duchess described herself as a “bridge between embattled worlds.”

(The duchesses Houston visit included Sunday brunch with Lynn and Oscar Wyatt.)

She was joined in the honoree’s spotlight by Clive Christian OBE, creator of Clive Christian No. 1, known as “the world’s most expensive perfume,” accompanied by his daughter Victoria; British conductor Crispin Ward OBE, Margaret Alkek Williams; Monzer Hourani; and Andrew Derry, principal of the British International School of Houston.

Donna and Tony Vallone and Staci and Dr. Quang Henderson starred as chairs of the evening for which Zarine and Meherwan Boyce reprised their roles as advisory chairs. Reprising their roles as emcees were Dominique Sachse and Peter Remington.

As is tradition, the student orchestra presented a stirring concert before dinner.

Who: British Consul General Karen Bell and Adrian Bell, Nick Florescu, Sallymoon and Dr. Alan Bentz, Diane Lokey Farb, Anthony Vallone, Sippi and Ajay Khurana, Katherine and Mark Yzaguirre, Yvonne and Rufus Cormier, Kelli Cohen Fein and Martin Fein, Carmina Zamorano and Rafel Chavez, and Stacy and Jason Johnson.

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