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Jody Jacobs

Red Carpet Unrolled for Queen Sirikit

March 21, 1985|JODY JACOBS

After a lively visit in New York where she met with Yul Brynner, saw "The King and I" and partied with Sonny and Marylou Whitney and their friends, Thailand's Queen Sirikit finally arrived here Tuesday night. In the courtyard of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the red carpet was in place and the red-white-and-blue Thai flags were flying. Waiting to greet Her Majesty were 93-year-old Herbert W. Armstrong, founder and chairman of the Ambassador Foundation; George White, hotel president and general manager; Sumet Wasantapruek, Thailand's consul general in Los Angeles (his daughter presented the queen with a bouquet of flowers); 50 Thai children and nine monks from the Thai Temple Sunday School in North Hollywood.

The queen is in Los Angeles on an unofficial visit and as the guest of the Ambassador Foundation. Armstrong, a longtime friend of the Thai royal couple, extended the invitation to her when he dined with them last year in the Northern Palace. The queen is accompanied by 15 ladies in waiting; Poonperm Krairiksh, her lord chamberlain, and her private secretary, Suprapada Kasemsant. Thailand's ambassador to the United States, Kasem Kasemsri, and the U.N. ambassador, Birabhongse Kasemsri (they are cousins), will join the group later.

The focal point of Queen Sirikit's visit is the opening of two Thai exhibitions--"Treasures of the King of Siam," which includes some of the crown jewels, and the queen's "Royal SUPPORT" collection--in the Hall of Administration Lobby on Ambassador College's campus. The SUPPORT Foundation was established in 1976 by Thailand's King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit to preserve ancient crafts and encourage and assist Thai cottage industries. While the queen is here there will be a series of private viewings following or preceding dinners and luncheons.

The royal schedule is quite full. On Saturday, the queen will receive and speak to members of Los Angeles' Thai community at a tea reception in the Beverly Wilshire's Grand Ballroom. (Guests will be expected to kneel on the ballroom's rug.) Sunday, she will address about 1,250 guests at Ambassador College, where a SUPPORT documentary will also be shown. And on Monday the queen hosts a "Thanksgiving" black-tie dinner in the hotel's Le Grand Trianon for about 250 guests. The flowers for her party will be flown in from Bangkok as will the gold cloth that will cover the table where the queen will dine on essence of truffle cream soup, sliced duck breast in Armagnac sauce and strawberry vacherin glace, all prepared by the Beverly Wilshire's chef, and an array of Thai delicacies supplied by the Sunset Restaurant. The queen drinks orange juice, but her guests will be served Spring Mountain Chardonnay 1981, Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 1977 and Taittinger La Francaise.

First Lady Nancy Reagan was surrounded by friends the other night at the Beverly Wilshire when the USO presented her with its Distinguished American Award. Up on the dais where she dazzled everyone in her silver Galanos gown and new pale makeup, Mrs. Reagan had Dolores Hope on one side and Bob Hope (a bit tardy since he'd been at the People's Choice Awards earlier) on the other. Beyond the podium were Tony Martin (he opened with "Begin the Beguine," which he'd sung in 1940 at his first USO appearance) and his wife, Cyd Charisse, and Margaret Brock. On another tier were Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (he led the Pledge of Allegiance) and his wife. Others filling up the dais--Councilwoman Peggy Stevenson with Paul Masterson, Supervisor Mike Antonovich, Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie, master of ceremonies Johnny Grant and Kellee Paterson, who sang the National Anthem and then went over to Cary Grant to have her picture taken with the silver-haired screen idol.

There were loads of more Nancy pals in the audience and at discreet moments she waved and occasionally threw kisses to them. On the receiving end were Hollywood Park's Marje Everett, who had Cary and Barbara Grant, Caroline Ahmanson and horse owners Allen Paulson and Mr. and Mrs. Bruce McNall as her guests. And Loretta Young, Jimmy and Gloria Stewart, Dolly Green, Henry and Grace Salvatori, Virginia Milner, Alfredo de la Vega, Bill Frye, Daniel Donohue, Frances Bergen, Chardee and Tucker Trainer, Fred MacMurray and June Haver, George Peppard, the Fess Parkers down from their Santa Barbara ranch, Rosemarie and Bob Stack, Danny and Rose Marie Thomas, the Buddy Ebsens, Gene Raymond. Also applauding, laughing and otherwise throwing the USO's carefully timed schedule off--Sybil Brand, Robert and Jane Kramer, David Gill Evans, Juli and Herbert Hutner, Carol Curb, Jerry Buss, Jane Withers, Virginia Mayo, Buddy Rogers and Mrs. Omar Bradley.

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