Light and Leviathan

Two main-line Carnival balls, both with debutante queens, occurred the same evening. The High Priests of Mithras, who rounded up their revelers in the Napoleon Ballroom of the Sheraton Held, paid homage to their namesake, Mithras (or Mithra) the mighty Persian god of the sun and light, justice and “Ruler of Priests of High Degree.” For the seafaring Dorians of lore, who both worshipped and feared the creatures of the deep, the slaying of the leviathan sea monster was a feat.

A Night to Remember

In 1897, the first queen of the High Priests of Mithras, Miss Louise Joubert, was crowned. The following year, the same honor was bestowed on Miss Marietta Wiltz, who then married Mr. Guy Hopkins. From their lineage came Mr. James Middleton Huger. The younger daughter of Mr. Huger and his wife, Stephanie Goliwas Huger, became the latest Mithras queen at the gala bal masque.

Prior to the ball, at a reception in the Huger home, Mr. Robert McIntyre, Bobby to kin and kith, toasted her majesty, citing her Mithras connections and her loveliness as a monarch. In 1980, he and spouse Patricia beamed as the proud parents of Mithras queen Leslie Henican McIntyre. (And in 1977, the crown was worn by queen Charlotte’s aunt as Sally Polk Huger, now Mrs. Jay Lapeyre.)

In response to the toast, her majesty Charlotte Worley Huger was most gracious and appreciative of her royal status. When asked which aspects of the ball she most looked forward to, she said, “all” and the fact that so many of her close friends were court maids.

Mentioned, too, as someone with prestigious lineage was Miss Julie Marie Fournier-Foch, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Loic Fournier-Foch of France: She’s the former Beth LeBlanc. Julie is the great-great-granddaughter of General Ferdinand Jean Marie Foch, Field Marshall of France, England and Poland during World War I. Her grandfather, J. Dwight LeBlanc Jr., has longtime Carnival connections. During the ball, Julie was recognized, signifying the ties between New Orleans and France, and the Mithras Honor Guard commemorated the Allied war effort by wearing uniforms of France, England and the US.

Maids to her majesty Charlotte were Misses Caroline Baily Acomb (the 2018 Twelfth Night Revelers queen and a relative of Julie Fournier-Foch), Catherine Reese Bickham, Madeleine Anne Bienvenu (a sub-deb queen of Squires), Chandler Elizabeth Black, Margaret Ann Bryan, Virginia Currin Bryan, Julia Anne Charbonnet (the Mystery queen), Caroline Renee Christman, and Elise Lockett Clay (a sub-deb queen of Apollo).

And, Misses Sarah Turner Collins, Ann Gordon Finney, Sarah Jane Holbrook Freeman, Julia Murphy Grehan, Sarah Elizabeth Grehan, Jane Talley Hodges (the Atlanteans queen), MaryClair Mitchell Ives, Evelyn Lanier Langdale and Elle Alexandra Lovick. Also, Misses Elle Colton McLeod (the Nereus queen), Isabelle Walet Mulkin, Ashton Elizbeth Politz, Mary Fleming England Redd (the Elves of Oberon queen), Mimi Elizabeth Waggoner, Eugenie Cecile Whealdon (the Momus monarch), Anne Summers White and Shelby Jane Ottley White (the Osiris queen).

Cast as pages were Masters Collier Pratt Villere, John Elliott Paige, Terrence Denechaud Charbonnet and Conner Lee Heaviside.

Suzanne St. Paul designed queen Charlotte’s dress of lace, organza and silk Mikado that was beautifully embellished with Swaroksvi crystals, as well as seed and bugle beads. The Moan’s Couture crown commissioned by the organization was a prominent accessory, along with the ermine-trimmed mantle, Medici collar and dazzling scepter.

Among the ladies applauding her, many from the Huger and Goliwas families, were queen mother, Mrs. Huger, and sister, Miss Anna Huger (the 2017 queen of Carnival), Miss Caroline Lane (the Mithras monarch of 2017 and her mother, Mrs. H. Merritt Lane III), and Mmes. Hunter Charbonnet Jr., Timothy Young, Michael Barry, David Kepper, John K. Nieset, Michael Bell, Andrew Stall, Peyton Bush III and IV, Bush Wrighton, William Wilkins Kearney, Lucas Ehrensing Jr., Harlan Bush, Graham Ralston, Archie Casbarian, James Irwin, Lee Barba, Stephen Farnsworth, Brian Lawrence and Lamar Villere. Also, Mmes. J. Dwight LeBlanc Jr., David T. Pointer, David F. Edwards, Gerard Henry, Bernard R.H. Jacobs, James Reiss, Michael Schmidt, Reiss Eagan, Michael LeBourgeois, John Werner, Feild Gomila, Robert Whann IV, L. Noel Johnson, Doug Downing and William Anderson. “A Persian Garden” was the ball setting and Patricia Hardin, the artist for the thematic beautiful invitation and program.

All praised both queen Charlotte and his majesty, who, according to his wife “was so thrilled.” They enjoyed the music of Jubilation, and for those who went on to the queen’s supper, the sounds of Big Swing and the Ballroom Blasters. All the while, congratulations flowed to their majesties as Charlotte beamed with “A Night to Remember” delight.

Dorians Delights and Diversions

Miss Elizabeth Allen Texada Hotard, daughter of Mr. John Arnold Hotard and Mrs. Charmaine Texada Hotard was the radiant majesty at the Dorians Ball in the New Orleans Convention Center that included as royal maids Misses Elizabeth Lucy Carter (the Caliphs of Cairo queen), Emily McQuown Ellison, Elizabeth Macon Hamrick, Helen Claire Marsh, Anna Elizabeth Michiels, Elise Evans Ripley and Lee Chambers Sherwood. Completing the court were ladies in waiting Misses Margaret Elizabeth Adams, Colleen Elisabeth Daly, Charlotte Lydia Rose Fowler, Emma Winn Freeman, Carol Francis Guidry and Lily Michelle Moise, and, as pages, Masters George Wogan Bernard III, Olivier Clement Dabezies Jr., Michael Cook McNabb and Kermit Louis Roux IV.

Queen Elizabeth, Lizzy, who succeeded Miss Charlotte Crenshaw Clark on the throne, wore a bead-embellished and heavily embroidered Alencon lace gown by Suzanne St. Paul, which was complemented by the organization’s parure, mantle, and dazzling crown and scepter.

Among the ladies in prominent box seats — and wearing the large, gilded octopus krewe favor pins by Missy Reynolds of Clothilde Designs, along with the representative king’s and queen’s pins — were Misses Margot McCormick Provensal, Meredith Desporte Provensal, Ann Angelique Texada, Rebeccka Lynn Coe, Mary Kathryn Shelton Fitzpatrick, Sara Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, and Aby Dixon Hamrick, as well as Mmes. Matthew Brian Mazzarell, Richard Desporte Provensal, Charmaine Texada Hotard, Sidney William Provensal, George Robert Green, Karl Ernest Hoefer, Rawlins Henri Colomb, James Randolph Robin, Charles Seburn Williams, Elizabeth Caraway Perrin, James Sidney Hotard, James Sidney Hotard Jr., Patricia Hotard Moreau, Mary Claire Hotard, John Carey Texada, David Bernard Quinn, Brian Christopher Fitzpatrick, James Ted Rogers III, Bret Alden Clesi, Eben Tarver Watkins III, John Edmond Bendernagel, Andrew Buckley Lapeyre, Adolph Charles Suhren III, Martin Peter Pospisil, Michael Antonio Caballero, John Peter Labouisse III, Frederic Kirby Newburger and Charles Wallace McMakin Jr. Several were past monarchs and enjoyed a delightful luncheon on the ball’s eve at Commander’s Palace.

More socializing concerned a pre-ball reception given by the queen’s father at the New Orleans Country Club (the later site of the queen’s breakfast with show band BRW and flowers by Thibodeaux’s) and the krewe dinner at Desi Vega’s with a Jimmy Maxwell trio.

Throughout the evening, their majesties, lovely Lizzy and the Dorians king, were praised for their exciting and memorable “see-worthy” reign.