Tatler Celebrates a Monumental Milestone
As most Euros are proud to point out to their American companions, everything across the pond is much, much older than it is in America—even the society rags. That point was proven last night when Tatler, the London-based glossy that was chronicling the jet set long before the jet engine was invented, celebrated its 300th birthday. Launched in 1709, it began as a thrice-weekly pamphlet dispensing the local gossip. Three centuries later, and with alumni as varied as Jonathan Swift, Tom Wolfe, Isabella Blow, and Tina Brown, the current incarnation celebrates what Condé Nast's Nicholas Coleridge calls "our distinguished history and our checkered past."
Staying true to the mag's illustrious roots, the party was held at the Lancaster House in the Stable Yard of St. James's Palace. Many say the palace is the most important pile of bricks in London, seeing as how the royal complex adjoins Clarence House, the official residence of the next two men in line to the throne, Prince Charles and his son Prince William—both of whom unfortunately missed the fête. But the crowd hardly disappointed. In attendance were Prince Pavlos and Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, Jasmine Guinness, Lady Amanda Harlech, Sir Philip Green, and Samantha Cameron, the wife of the probable future Prime Minister. For entertainment, there was a grand staircase for girls to make grand entrances, pianists, bewigged and costumed waiters, towers of Champagne glasses, and the sorts of portraits that most only see in museums.
"Look how beautiful the Queen was as a young woman," Viktor & Rolf's Viktor Horsting said as he snapped a photo of a picture of the reigning royal on her wedding day with his camera phone. "If this is the stable house, what do you think the rest of the place looks like?" Speaking of grand, the party had not one but two goody bags. But then, 300 years in a medium about which many are worried is definitely something to celebrate—not that Tatler seems too concerned about the future of its print journalism. Said Catherine Ostler, the magazine's current editor: "Save the date: October 2109 for the next anniversary. Same time, same place."