Send in the Queens!

Two lovely young women graced sub-deb balls recently as royalty. For Harlequins, the radiant monarch was Miss Caroline McDaniel Hughs, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Williams Denson Hughs III. Not long after, the Apollo throne welcomed Miss Katherine Grace Walshe, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Quirk Walshe Jr. Their immediate royal predecessors (who were recognized) were Misses Katherine Randolph Jacobs and Adelaide Elizabeth Perrier. Both balls and the subsequent suppers took place in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

A Tout to Tinseltown

Playing on the name of the organization, the Harlequins, the 93rd annual ball marqueed the merriment, “Hooray for Harleywood!” Certainly the most special — and patent — performance was that of her majesty, Miss Hughs. Before the ball and during her reception for the court, their mothers and special guests at the Winter Palace, the Round Table Club, she expressed her delight and surprise at being chosen to reign and how truly excited and honored she was. Her smile never stopped.

Christmas decorations embellished the rooms of the club adjacent to Audubon Park and Southern Hospitality catered. Special treats were petits fours decorated with a “C” for Caroline. Champagne toasts to her majesty and her court concluded the festive event.

During the course of the reception, guests admired the lovely regal gown of silk with a pearled lace overlay designed by Royal Design House. Embellishment included Swarovski crystal rhinestones and pearls of various sizes. Concerning queen Caroline’s jewelry, the earrings were a gift from her parents and the necklace and crown were lent, in turn, by Alston Adele Bagot, a maid, and Virginia DeRussy Dodenhoff, the 2015 queen.

The gown chosen by queen mother Mrs. Hughs was of metallic teal and designed by Jade Couture from Town and Country. At the ball, she was joined in prominent seating by her daughter, Miss Allison Hughs, as well as Mmes. T.J. Semmes Hughs, John Jordan, Richard Roth Jr., David C. Gibbons Jr., Gerald Plough, William Galloway, John Batt, Benjamin Jahnke and Ms. Yvette Monjou.

Miss Erin Curry Reily, a debutante of last season (and queen of Athenians), reigned over the Harlequins in 2014. She was seated near her mother, Debbie (Mrs. James Harrington) Reily, who wore a Teri Jon lace gown by Ricky Freeman, as well as Mmes. Kamran Zaheri, Kevin Buford Reily, Sean Dicks Reily, Charles E. Redfearn, Edward Begnaud, Daniel Busse, Stephen Hansel, Otto Briede and Kathleen Wilbert.

All applauded the queen and her court, which included maids Misses Erin Selber Autenreith, Bagot, Lydia Vivian Calhoun, Camille Elise Ciolino, Mignon Eloise Daly, Ellen Lorraine Gambel, Marcelle Therese Kepper, Sarah Eleanor Lane, Hayden Dawson Livaudais, Kathryn Anderson Payne, Lillian Miles Rufty, Anna Childs Stolzenthaler and Marguerite Abaunza Walk, and pages Charles Wilhelm Adriance, Jonathan Sporl Breaux, Peter Lange Ellis and Michael Cook McNabb.

The above Miss Virginia Dodenhoff was among the 10 debutantes of the 2017-18 season, who appeared. The others, all former Harlequins maids, were Misses Whitney Caroline Appel, Katherine Michelle Bickham, Julia Ann Charbonnet, Elizabeth Allen Texada Hotard, Riley Marra Kirkpatrick, Madeline Elizabeth Reineke, and twins Allison Riegel Woolverton and Madeleine Marie Woolverton.

Tableau Children were Misses and Masters George Wogan Bernard III, Lucille Marie Dansereau, Charlotte Joy Dietz, Amoret Frere Evans, Jackson Pierre Kerber, Ryan Patrick Martin, Catherine Marie McDearman, Mary Katherine Grace Raymond, Mary Clare Roberts and Kermit Louis Roux IV. Mrs. Alan Frank Burton was the ball’s matron.

At the supper in the Harlequins’ Atrium on the third floor, her majesty received at her tables, each adorned with a hand-glittered vase and floating candle. Breakfast was the food fare. Many other attendees wore the king’s pin created by Tiffany Adler, of Adler’s, that depicted a court jester wearing a crown and holding cards of each suit. His wife said that once her husband put on the king’s costume, “He played the part beautifully.” He, in turn, expressed admiration for his lovely queen.

To cap the night with music, Troy Marks and No Idea played for the supper guests, who made the midnight hours full of star-studded dancing.

A Festive Fab Four

Her strong lineage with the youthful Krewe of Apollo was an indication that one day Katherine Grace Walshe might wear the crown. When it did come to pass, her father said about the ball and her reign, “It was better than I could have imagined.” Former family queens, all present, were Aline Richardson Walshe in 1990 (Mrs. Geoffrey C. Knowlton), Louise Ferrier Andry Walshe in 1993 (Mrs. Paul A. Hogan), Judith Kemble Walshe in 1957 (Mrs. Robert J. Whann III) and Katherine M. Whann in 1983. Several relatives were also kings of Apollo.

For the thematic jaunt, it was across “the Pond” to Liverpool, England, for the start of Beatlemania and “All You Need is Love.” During the ball, hits of John, Paul, George and Ringo resonated with three generations. The gold throne was situated in front of a backdrop of the foursome from early days to their British invasion of the U.S. All Four one!

Maids to her majesty Katie Grace were Misses Pixie Marie Anderson (former Squires queen), Helen Denechaud Charbonnet, Nanine Brent Cowan, Malise Dornier Favrot, Ella Charbonnet Flower, Ella Maxwell Freeman, Anne Catherine Guillot, Catherine Everett Heebe, Elisabeth Grace Hoffman, Kathleen Pipes Kelleher, Stirling Anne Kennedy, Isabel Susan Lane, Caroline Brooking Morrison, Julia Keller Nelson, Adele Vance Reynoir, Lady Wilder Reynolds and Catherine Elizabeth Wellborn. Misses and Masters Frances Adele Mann, Elizabeth Lesley Marshall, Anne Cameron Prieur, Henry Tucker Fitch, Thompson Pierce Schmidt and James Merritt Wrighton were the pages.

Kathleen Van Horn, of KVH Designs, created all the costumes, starting with the queen’s ensemble, complete with a silk train hand-painted to resemble the Union Jack flag. The maids wore Mondrian-inspired swing dresses; the girl pages, dresses of horizontal color blocks; the boy pages, “Beatles” collarless suits; and the king, a “Sgt. Pepper” look.

Seated with queen mother Mrs. Michael Quirk Walshe Jr. were Mmes. William F. Finegan, Michael Q. Walshe, John Jacob Kallenborn III, Steven Joseph Finegan, Douglas W. Finegan and David M. Farnsworth Jr., along with Misses Ann Kellenborn and Kelly Finegan. Nearby were Mmes. David M. Lane, Justin B. Schmidt, Lise K. Lorber, James M. Gundlach, H. Merritt Lane Jr., Robert C. Hassinger, Peter H. Dupuy, G. Bruce Parkerson, James J. Reiss III, Charles F. Seemann III and Miss Conery Schmidt.

All joined in an ovation for the 50-year queen, Mrs. Philip Martin Woollam, who reigned as Miss Tina Louise Freeman. Two other former queens enjoyed the limelight: Misses Perrier (2017) and Elise Lockett Clay (2015). As a debutante of this season, the latter was presented by the matron of honor, Mrs. Joseph Sanders Mann Jr., along with 2015 court maids Misses Caroline Bailey Acomb, Bailey Elizabeth Batt, Virginia DeRussy Dodenhoff and Eugenie Cecile Whealdon.

Post-formality fun included eat treats, a slew of compliments to the royals and their court, and boogieing to the band, Ocean Street, from Nashville, Tennessee. All the while, queen Katie Grace, as did Harlequins Caroline Hughs, reveled in her royal role.