One of the highlights of the social side of Carnival was celebrated Saturday with grace and elan when the Mystic Club invited guests to mark the occasion with a stylish look at the past.
The ball recreated a specific royal event, complete with history, high-fashion and hierarchy.
The mystery, majesty and mystique of the Orient set the scene for the gala:
"The Danish steamship Fiona cut through the cobalt-blue waters of the Malacca Straits as it approached the British Crown Colony of Singapore — English for 'Singapura,' which is Malay for the 'Lion City.'
"Aboard ship was an important entourage of Danish royals. Among the most notable were Axel Christian Georg, Prince of Denmark and Iceland, and his beloved wife, Princess Margaretha. The princess was from the Swedish royal family and affectionately called Princess Axel by the Danes, because of her devotion to family and her adopted country. Their highnesses were visiting the Far East on a goodwill mission to help further Danish business interests. Their arrival in the Lion City was on Feb. 9, 1930, at which time Princess Axel — described as most attractive — was presented with a feathered fan embellished with white orchids. The couple was quickly enthralled with this whirlwind of a city where Occidental and Oriental worlds lived in harmony. In busy streets rickshaws jostled with automobiles; and in the harbor steamships and Chinese junks were anchored side by side.
"Just over a century before, Singapore had been a mangrove swamp. From the city’s founding by Stamford Raffles in 1819 it had evolved into the greatest shipping center in the east. While one of the most strategic outposts of the British Empire, it thrived as a free port where other nations like Denmark were welcomed into its freewheeling commercial melting pot.
"The elegant royal couple was courted about by both Singapore’s Danish community and British government officials. Their highnesses were wined and dined at clubs and garden parties, and The Mystic Club will join them for their final official appearance at Singapore’s Europe Hotel for a grand banquet and ball. The prince and princess showed their enjoyment by dining and dancing far into the night — which was eagerly reported by the press, since it confirmed that, unlike many royal couples, theirs was truly a love match, and not just a political contract.
"Before long, Prince and Princess Axel were back on board Fiona which was steaming its way to ports-of-call in Siam, China and Japan."
Resplendent in the spotlight as the belle of the ball was Mrs. Robert James Whann IV as Princess Margaretha Sofia Lovisa Ingeborn.
Serving as ladies-in-waiting to her majesty were Mesdames Alfred Whitney Brown III as Fru Anne-Marie Mikkelsen, Michael James Brown as Fru Helena Birkemose, Murray Andrew Calhoun as Fru Ingeborg Larsen, David Thomas Darragh as Fru Astrid Weilbach, Curtis Douglas Eustis as Fru Alexandra Møller, and Jason Konrad Jackson as Fru Sophia Norgaard.
Young ladies, debutantes of the season, presented to their majesties were Misses Mary Nolan Brown, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael James Brown; Marcia Madeline Conwill, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Oza Conwill IV; Elizabeth Fenner French, daughter and stepdaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hardie Christian French and stepdaughter and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Eades Hogue; Margaret Elisabeth Hoefer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Karl Ernst Hoefer; Caroline Emily Lane, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Merritt Lane III; Mary Lucy Lapeyre, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stephen Lapeyre; Eleanor Grace Masinter, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul James Masinter; Cynthia Callaghan Nelson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Cabell Nelson; Elizabeth Flower Redd, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edmund England Redd; and Avery Scott Rowan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Forney Rowan Jr.
The queen, née Leah Abide, is the mother of Leah Katherine Whann and William Mitchell Whann.
Her majesty’s volunteer work reflects her deep commitment to family, education and health. She has served on the boards of the Crescent City Farmer’s Market, Second Harvest Food Bank, the Archbishop Spirituality Center and the Shakespeare Festival. She gave of her time at both Trinity Episcopal and Isidore Newman schools while her children were in attendance, and she is an active member of St. Francis of Assisi Church. As a member of the Junior League of New Orleans and the Garden Study Club, she has been involved with both Art in Bloom and Audubon Zoo-to-Do. She also traveled to the nation's capital with Women of the Storm.
She is a partner in Abide Realty Company, and she enjoys travel, gardening and reading. Her passion is working with people to improve their health through a better understanding of nutrition.
A native of Lake Village, Arkansas, the monarch was raised in Greenville, Mississippi, and was graduated from St. Joseph’s High School. She attended Louisiana State University, where she was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority and earned a bachelor of science degree in dietetics. She did post-graduate work at Vanderbilt Medical Center, completing her coursework in nutrition and dietetics.