Ralph Lauren dons his tuxedo for a gala dinner with Prince William at Windsor Castle to celebrate the new breast cancer center at London’s Royal Marsden hospital.
rainbow arcs across the sky above Windsor—a fitting augur for the night ahead, as a fleet of rain-splashed limousines disgorge their exquisitely dressed passengers at the castle gates. Here’s Benedict Cumberbatch, tuxed up and gleamingly handsome; now, Downton Abbey ingenue Lily James and model Cara Delevingne (more wide-eyed and shy-looking than her tabloid profile would suggest), beaded gowns glittering in the early evening light.
Tonight the 928-year-old royal residence is the setting for a fete of the highest swankitude, in honor of the Royal Marsden hospital. Prince William, like his mother Diana before him, serves as the hospital’s president. He is also our host for the evening, accepting a philanthropic gift from the designer Ralph Lauren that will fund a new breast cancer research center at the London hospital. Queen Elizabeth’s grandest dining room—for this is St. George’s Hall, all vaulted ceilings, knights in armor, and heraldic embellishment, only this evening filled with long tables of sweet peas and roses in white and Ralph Lauren purple—has never played venue to a dinner of this kind. The frisson is palpable. But for all the historical and architectural pomp, the party vibe is warm, intimate, and terribly British. Actresses like Cate Blanchett, in draped oyster silk, and Helena Bonham Carter, in embonpoint and ebony ruffles, mingle merrily with aristos, doctors, and fund-raisers, while Kate Moss is overheard flirtily probing the prince as to the whereabouts of his wife (at home with baby George, as it happens). “It was surreal, the whole mood of it,” Lauren says when we meet the next day in the tearooms of Claridge’s hotel. “A very sweet and nice moment for the right cause.” His voice is husky and so low that I’m afraid it might disappear in the teatime babble. Though he’d never met William before (“really charming and a sensitive person”), Lauren says he was struck by how emotional he got observing the young duke in action, that it felt as though he were watching “one of my sons.”
Ralph Lauren closes NY Fashion Week
Ralph Lauren has done amazing things for Breast Cancer! He is one of my absolute favorite designers as an American Icon and remains a staple in my closet today, tomorrow and forever! 🙂