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

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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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