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A right royal party for Shakespeare. By Gyles Brandreth

Regulars | By Gyles Brandreth

Camilla and her Dames: (back L-R) Joanna Lumley, Floella Benjamin, Twiggy, Harriet Walter, Penelope Wilton, Maureen Lipman; (front L-R) Virginia McKenna, Siân Phillips, the Queen, Vanessa Redgrave, Penelope Keith, Patricia Routledge

The Queen and a dozen dames came to my Valentine’s Day party. But did Leslie Caron make it?

Where was Leslie Caron? Was she there? On 14th February, I hosted a Valentine’s Day party at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane. Walt Disney stayed at Grosvenor House on his honeymoon. As girls, the future Elizabeth II and her sister, Princess Margaret Rose, learned to skate on the hotel’s ice rink. The rink is still there, under the floorboards in the Great Room, the largest function room in Europe. More recently, Mrs Biden stayed at Grosvenor House when she came to Charles III’s coronation. The White House booked out 200 rooms at the hotel to ensure the First Lady’s security. My party was to celebrate William Shakespeare and the King and the Queen. William Shakespeare couldn’t make it, but David Mitchell, star of Upstart Crow, was there. The King couldn’t make it, either, but we had a host of actors who had played every king in the...

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