A pair of debutante queens, Misses Elle Colton McLeod and Shelby Jane Ottley White, reigned in the Royal Tent adjacent to the New Orleans Country Club, where the suppers were held later, at the masked balls of Nereus and Osiris. Legacy was prominent: Each royal followed in the footsteps of her mother.
The Krewe of Nereus, which holds 1896 as its founding, entertained guests with their tableau rendition of the 1959 musical, “Li’l Abner” and Sadie Hawkins Day. Kirk Redmann sang the national anthem accompanied by the Robert Maxwell-led Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra.
All hailed queen Elle McLeod, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Evans Martin McLeod. In 1991, the homage was paid to her mother, who ruled as Miss Colleen Colton Eustis. Sharing the throne with each one, daughter and mother, was a king, who portrayed Nereus, the god of the sea. Although unnamed, his monarchal delights always appear abundant.
Last year, the crown was worn by another debutante, Miss Charlotte Villars Delery, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Stanislaus Delery Jr. She, too, had extensive and impressive Nereus lineage.
The 2018 maids were Misses Katherine Sophie Diliberto, Emily Elizabeth Frischhertz (a former Eros monarch), Elizabeth Allen Texada Hotard (the 2018 Dorians queen), Catherine Elizabeth Lange, Katie Renee LeCoq, Helen Claire Marsh, Lee Chambers Sherwood, twins Allison Riegel Woolverton and Madeleine Marie Woolverton, and Michelle Marie Yacoubian. Masters Miller Mason Bourgeois, Jack Sellers Kessels and Grayson Evans Wise were pages to their majesties.
To chair the court committee of the 123rd grand ball, Messrs. Henry C. Schonberg and Oliver Stanislaus Delery Jr. were tapped, aided by Dr. Jerry J. St Pierre and Messrs. Dwight L. Acomb, Alan G. Brackett, Donald G. Charbonnet, Bret A. Clesi, Arthur S. Mann III, Graham M. Ralston, Michael Q. Walshe Jr., Charles T. Walsten and George E. White Jr.
Suzanne St. Paul designed her majesty’s trumpet-shaped gown of silk lamé that featured white wave and floral lace encrusted with chalk beads, Swarovski crystals, and pearlized sequins. The bodice and trim of the regal robe looked like the design of the waves of water on the ball invitation by artist Tim Trapolin. Mrs. McLeod wore a silver blue evening gown designed by Rene Ruiz. Meriting special attention were queen Elle’s great-grandmother, Mrs. Edwin Thome Colton II, Edna, who was gowned in an aqua blue chiffon dress (to match her eyes) and the 2017 majesty, Charlotte, in a Nereus-blue and black strapless mode.
Noted in the queen’s box seats and as guests were the above Edna Colton; grandmothers Mmes. Ernest Lewis Eustis III and Cecil Rhodes Walley Jr.; royal sisters Misses Eugenie Eustis McLeod and Colleen Colton McLeod; Miss Charlotte C. Colton, who wore the 2003 crown; and Mmes. Curtis Douglas Eustis, Brendon Thomas McLeod, Charles Elliot McLeod Jr., Clayton D. Colton, Edwin T. Colton III, Newton Rowan Reynolds, Lars Nedland Pedersen, and Michael Q. Walshe Jr. And, Misses Reilly Talbot, Mallory Rodriguez, Katherine Simmons, Lizzie Mentz, Elle Lovick, Summers White and Bailey Batt.
Noted, too, were Mmes. Stephen H. Schonberg, Robert J. Schonberg, John Cressend Schonberg, Thomas A. Woods and wives of the vice chairmen, as well as Miss Celeste Lynn Schonberg. Also, Mmes. Mardel Kuebel, Holly K. Mentz (the 1989 queen as Miss Holly Marie Kuebel), Colleen K. Lewis, Karen K. Cameron, and Brittany H. Ford. Gracing many a ballgown was the angelfish krewe favor by Friend & Company.
Socializing flanked the fabulous festivity, both before at special receptions and the later supper, where breakfast was the food fare; Party City Band, the music makers; and the monarchs, a jubilant pair.
“Osiris commands complete veneration/ For tonight’s reigning Queen is a fourth generation/ Queens Gore, Friedrichs, Burke and now White/ Never before – a Carnival highlight!” Such was the verse in the program for the 103rd Grand Ball of Osiris, which honored Miss Shelby Jane Ottley White, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Bright White, as the queen. Royal forebears were her mother, as Miss Virginia Gore Burke (1985); grandmother, as Miss Mary Virginia Gore Friedrichs (1958); great-grandmother, as Miss Virginia Gore (1934); and step-grandmother, as Miss Lynne Watkins Farwell (1964), now, Mrs. H. Hunter White Jr.
Royal mother Virginia White and the above Lynne White were noted in the royal box seats, along with Ms. Mary Shea Burke, Miss Elinor Pitot White, and Mmes. William Kris Lieder, Edgar Allen Gordon Bright III, Leonard Frank Moscati, Matthew Phillips LeCorgne, William Boatner Reily IV, Harold Hunter White III and Charles Waterhouse Goodyear IV (the 1984 queen as Miss Elizabeth Morris Dabezies).
All admired her majesty Shelby in a trumpet silhouette gown of Italian silk satin layered with beaded tulle and silk lame, each tier paying sartorial homage to her monarchal ancestry. It was designed by Suzanne St. Paul, who also created her mother’s teal silk satin ballgown.
Last year, the crown was worn by Miss Cynthia Callaghan Nelson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Cabell Nelson. They were present, as were Mmes. Callaghan James McCarthy III, John Peter Laborde, Thomas Edouard Beron, William Joseph Goliwas Jr., Curtis Douglas Eustis, Mason Graham Couvillon, George Ellsworth Brower II and III, Richard Bradley Beard Jr., Ralph Owen Brennan, Thomas John Brennan, John Zimmermann, Scott McDonald Ham, Steven Leon Pettus, Robert Frank Spencer Jr., Jeffrey Alan Meckstroth, and Mses. Claire Lally Brennan and Adelaide Whalen Martin. Quite a few of them were in attendance earlier at the White residence for the queen’s reception.
There, catering by Margo Bouanchaud, family crowns and scepters, a forebear’s queen’s dress, and royal scrapbooks were displayed.
Maids to her majesty were Misses Whitney Caroline Appel, Bailey Elizabeth Batt, Madeleine Anne Bienvenu, Margaret Ann Bryan, Virginia Currin Bryan, Mary Elizabeth Adrienne Conwill, Virginia DeRussy Dodenhoff, Emily McQuown Ellison, Elizabeth Macon Hamrick, Sarah DeJean Hufft, Riley Marra Kirkpatrick, Sarah Ann McKendrick, Elle Colton McLeod (the Nereus queen the night before), and Caroline Elizabeth Perlis.
Princesses of the realm were Misses Lucy Sawyer Bryan, Caroline Myra Marie Conwill, Abigail Montgomery Hufft, Taylor Ayers Hurd, Margaret Elizabeth Latham, Mary Kathleen Hasse Luetkemeier, Eugenie Eustis McLeod, Mason Ann Mentz, Claire Vining Morrison, Emma Rhodes Perez, Eugenie Louise Philipson, Mary Esther Pilant, Emily Clay Weinmann and Ansley Holmes Schwing.
Their majesties’ five pages were Masters Christian Moreau Ehrensing, Walker Edward Heartfield, Henry Connolly Houghton, William Mitchell Long and Gustavo Antonio Rivera Jr.
A highlight, among many, of the evening with music by the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra was the presentation of the 50-year monarchs, Mrs. Harry Merritt Lane Jr. (who reigned in 1968 as Miss Florence Nicholson Bush) and Mr. Erik Frithjof Johnsen. He wore another crown in 1991 as Rex, king of Carnival. Along with a later Rex, Mr. John Peter Laborde, Jack, he co-chaired the Osiris ball with 13 vice chairmen.
Then it was on to the queen’s supper, where the court, friends and family packed the premises, all eager to enjoy the breakfast of grits and grillades. Silver Osiris mint julep cups were filled with white roses. Show band The Time of Your Life revved up the dance-floor heat and the decibels for the musical revels that gladdened the gyrating gang. When they played Pharrell Williams’s “Happy,” the mood of the monarchs was manifest and everyone joined in their special moment.