• U.S.

People: Dec. 21, 1970

5 minute read

The fine art of being a Royal these days consists largely of knowing how to say the right thing at the right time. Speaking at the annual dinner of the Pilgrims, an Anglo-American society, in London, Britain’s Prince Charles tried to keep a straight face while defending the reputation of “my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather George III.” His ancestor, he said, “consoled himself over the loss of the American colonies with the conclusion that more advantages were to be reaped from their trade as friends rather than as colonies.” At the University of London, Charles’ grandma, 70-year-old Queen Mother Elizabeth, shook a leg with the students at their annual ball. While dancing with shaggy-pated Dick Titchen, 24, in what he later described as “a sort of updated version of the waltz,” she exclaimed: “Oh, what lovely hair!”

The rumor going the rounds in Saigon was that an Air Force C-141 jet transport was U.S. bound, toting a 1,000-lb. stone elephant as Christmas greetings to Hollywood’s Jill St. John from Washington’s Henry Kissinger. No elephant, white or otherwise, for Jill or anyone, said Kissinger. His strategy with women, he added, is “Give them nothing−it drives them crazy.” Obviously. “Henry has more depth and sensitivity and integrity than anyone I’ve ever met−almost,” breathed Miss St. John. “But when you live 3,000 miles apart, you don’t see each other regularly.”

Each of the Hollywood oldtimers was a veteran of the bad old days when onscreen kissing was a pretty close-mouthed business and cinematic adultery seemed something like bundling. Yet they expressed somewhat disparate views of the unbuttoned mores of modern movies. “Call me a prude or a square,” said Dorothy Lamour, 56, “but I’m not happy with a lot .of dirty movies. What we did was sex, but it was clean sex.” As samples of this phenomenon, Dorothy cited her famous sarong, “which suggested nudity,” and her love scenes “in the jungle with Ray Milland−all clean, bright and happy.” Big-eyed Bette Davis, 62, on the other hand, likes the sexual integrity of many films today. “We would have given our hats to be honest,” she said. “We were handicapped in the sexual area; it made us appear dirty.” She would not have been up to nude scenes, though. “I have admiration for the young woman who strips before 80 or 90 men on a set, but I could never have done it.”

Profile, smile, voice, build−the man fairly vibrates with star quality, yet here he was rehearsing merely as Narrator for a performance of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol being staged by the Robert F. Kennedy Theater for Children. Naturally he would have preferred a juicier role−Scrooge, for instance. “I’d be the best Scrooge in town,” said New York City’s Mayor John V. Lindsay, currently engaged in cutting back city salaries and jobs in an economy campaign. “If I’m described by people that way, I might as well play the part.”

He knew all of them by their voices, but it was the first time that “Juliet Yankee 1” had seen the nine U.S. amateur radio operators who traveled to Washington to visit him at Blair House (see THE WORLD). While JY-1, who off the air is known as Jordan’s King Hussein, sipped orange juice and talked to Hamette Mary Crider, another ham reported a radio conversation that the King had with Mary on Thanksgiving morning. Irritated by the babble of voices on the air waves, Hussein had suddenly called out: “Will everyone please be quiet? I want to talk to Mary.” Obeying the royal command, operators all over the world lapsed into silence and listened in. Recalled the ham: “It was like a party line with 100,000 people on the line.”

Circumnavigator Sir Francis Chichester, 69, plans to set out from Plymouth, England, this week for an assault on the singlehanded seaman’s equivalent of the four-minute mile. In the improbable event that everything goes as he hopes it will, Chichester and his 57-ft. Gypsy Moth V will make Bissau, Portuguese Guinea, in 18 days, then cover the 4,000 miles of Atlantic to San Juan del Norte, Nicaragua, in 20 days−an astonishing average of 200 singlehanded miles sailed every day. The 1968 transatlantic race was won at a daily average 109.8 miles. “To increase the speed to 200 miles a day for 20 days is a very big jump indeed, for which one would need every possible advantage,” says Chichester. Among other advantages, Gypsy Moth is carrying six bottles of brandy and two of champagne.

Oscar Epfs was the euphonious name of the painter whose one-man show just closed at the Librairie Marthe Voshy in Paris. Only eight of the 40 pictures were sold, but that was pure velvet to Artist Epfs. He is actually Lawrence Durrell, author of the Alexandria Quartet, and it seems that he has been painting since 1930 (“but never every day, only by attacks”) in a style that ranges from Impressionist through surrealist to abstract. What made him decide to have the show? “You can give just so many away. Friends really don’t want any more.” How about that nom de pin-ceau? “I saw Epfs in a Danish magazine, and I noticed that it couldn’t be pronounced without making a grimace. And since people grimace before my painting . . .”

Expatriate Zillionaire Paul Getty, 78 this week, gave his annual Christmas party for children at his mansion in Surrey, England. The moppets, including 21 boys and girls from a Reading orphanage, played games organized by a professional entertainer, and so delighted their host that they more than made up for the fact that none of his 14 grandchildren were present.

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