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Unfortunate history repeats itself in Onassis circles…The Palm Beach crowd arrives…Tree talk among the royals

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Barbara Black

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Athina’s Rules of Engagement * A Model Mom * Prince Charles Gets Prickly





Athina Onassis, at 18, the richest girl in the world, is wearing a "friendship ring" and is not afraid to let it slip that she is unofficially engaged to her Brazilian boyfriend, the Olympic show jumper Doda Miranda. Unofficially, because he is still officially married to a Brazilian model/actress and has a three-year-old daughter. The news coming from the São Paulo papers has Athina getting liposuction on her hips and thighs from plastic surgeon Ricardo Lemos. It is said that she will do anything to keep from being nicknamed "thunderthighs" as her mother was, and that Doda has a big thing for sleek women. He has had her on a strict diet and exercise program since they met, but evidently that wasn’t enough. This news is reliable and it is dreadful. Athina is letting an older man run her life and screw it up just as her mother, Christina Onassis, did. Only in Christina’s case it was men, not just one man, that she needed to help her fall apart. She was always and forever her own worst enemy.



Motherhood seems to have made Kate Moss downright sensible. As it is widely known, Kate has said she wouldn’t want her daughter to become a model because that industry "really messes you up unless you’re really strong." Baby Lila Grace is only five months old, so she has to depend on her mother to make such decisions. So I guess that means we won’t be seeing her in ads for Baby Gap — unless, that is, the big offers start pouring in. Kate, herself, now 29, is not so sure how much longer she wants to be in front of the camera. Her boyfriend and Lila’s father, the editor Jefferson Hack, thinks she would make a fine fashion editor. And Kate, known for her personal style, is seriously thinking it over.

But for now, she is content with her life as a supermodel and mother. "I won’t be flying around and doing all the shows," she says, "but I will still be working hard." But now, we don’t have to worry about that, do we?
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On May 10, Nancy Reagan, the ship’s sponsor, will commission the newest aircraft carrier in America’s fleet, the USS Ronald Reagan at the Norfolk, Va., Naval Base. More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the ceremony. That weekend, the Ronald Reagan Library Foundation is planning all sorts of activities in Norfolk, among them, a private reception with Nancy at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott followed by a private dinner on May 9. Early the next morning, many guests of the Reagan Library Foundation will be loaded on coaches and whisked off to the base for the 11 a.m. ceremony. Many of the Reagans’ close friends are flying in from New York and California, just as they did last year when Nancy christened this carrier, which was in the process of being built in the shipyards at Newport News. The ship’s motto is "Peace through Strength" and has there ever been a better one?



In Palm Beach, they’re up to their old height-of-the-season tricks. A party a minute for those who can take it or want to. Show me someone there who doesn’t want to and I’ll show you someone who left town. The Duchess of Marlborough (Rosita to her friends) has arrived for her annual stay with the Duke of Marlborough (Sonny to his friends) following close behind her. Aimee de Heeren, an international beauty throughout her lifetime, has arrived from Paris and is in residence at her far-flung villa. She is giving a reception and musical there on Monday. Yes, a musical. Shades of the old days, when Palm Beach was two words that meant exclusive.

Also part of the spring are the Marques and Marquesa Carlos de San Damien, who have arrived from Spain where they have houses in Madrid and Marbella. His eminence Cardinal Egan is arriving for a reception tomorrow at Marianne and John Castle’s house, the old Kennedy place on the ocean. Winston Churchill is also speaking at the Castle’s house at a reception for the English-Speaking Union next week. He and his wife, Luce, have taken an apartment right on Lake Worth. Evelyn and Leonard Lauder are in their big white house on the ocean, and Veronica Hearst is in her big house in Manalapan, the old Harold Vanderbilt place. Barbara and Conrad Black have arrived in town and so have Mila and Brian Mulroney — he’s the former prime minister of Canada — who have a house there, and Maria and Raymond Floyd, who also have a house there. Cynthia Boardman is staying with her parents, the Leighton Rosenthals at their Villa Artemis, the old guest mansion on the ocean. In sic transit, an awful lot of Palm Beach.
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"I talked to the trees but they don’t listen to me," Clint Eastwood sang in the movie "Paint Your Wagon." In London, they seemed to be listening all too well. Anne, the Princess Royal, Queen Elizabeth’s daughter, was pruning her trees at her country estate in Gloucestershire, when one of the branches she had cut snapped back and nicked her in the face. Nothing serious. But next time, she might say please before she starts hacking away. Meanwhile, her brother Prince Charles was visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens for the opening of the recently renovated Nash Conservatory, a 19th century glass house, where he warned plant lovers not to chat with just any old shrub. "I don’t talk to cacti," he said. "They are far too dangerous." The succulent didn’t answer back but at least he didn’t get nicked in the face.
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