It was the Saturday before Mardi Gras, and as to be expected, celebrations were already in full swing. Mardi Gras isn't just one day to those who call New Orleans home, or even for visitors. Downtown at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel, the Mystic Club had summoned members and invited guests to its annual ball, one the club has hosted since 1923.

Each year, the club's tableau illustrates a different historical theme; and for 2017, the organizers chose Singapore, 1930, when Axel Christian Georg, Prince of Denmark and Iceland, and his wife, Princess Margaretha Sofia Lovisa Ingeborn, visited. For this night, the Mystic Club joined them for their final official appearance at Singapore's Europe Hotel for a grand banquet and ball.

Though the king's identity isn't revealed, his most lovely queen, Mrs. Robert James Whann IV (Leah Whann), portrayed Princess Margaretha Sofia Lovisa Ingeborn. As queen, she was dressed in a glamorous evening gown in the art deco style of 1929/1930 designed by Mary Williams, who also created the ladies-in-waiting's period-appropriate attire. The ensembles for the Mystic king, his lieutenants and the ladies-in-waiting's escorts were made by Royal Design House.

The ladies-in-waiting were: Mrs. Alfred Whitney Brown III, as Fru Anne-Marie Mikkelsen; Mrs. Michael James Brown, as Fru Helena Birkemose; Mrs. Murray Andrew Calhoun, as Fru Ingeborg Larsen; Mrs. David Thomas Darragh, as Fru Astrid Weilbach; Mrs. Curtis Douglas Eustis, as Fru Alexandra Moller; and Mrs. Jason Konrad Jackson, as Fru Sophia Norgaard.

Each of the ladies made their entrance to the Grand Ballroom to a different song: the queen was introduced with "Deep Purple" (by Peter De Rose) while other songs included "My Blue Heaven" (Walter Donaldson/George A. Whiting) and "S'Wonderful" (George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin).

After the court took to the stage, it was time for the season's young ladies to be presented, some of whom had reigned or were about to reign as queens at other Carnival balls: Misses Mary Nolan Brown, Marcia Madeline Conwill, Elizabeth Fenner French, Margaret Elisabeth Hoefer, Caroline Emily Lane, Mary Lucy Lapeyre, Eleanor Grace Masinter, Cynthia Callaghan Nelson, Elizabeth Flower Redd and Avery Scott Rowan. Misses Brown, Lane, Masinter, Nelson and Redd reigned earlier in the season as queens of Elves of Oberon, Mithras, Mystery, Osiris and The Atlanteans, while Miss Rowan was to reign as queen of Comus on Mardi Gras.

After the court participated in a grand march to "Marche Noble" by Johann Christian Bach, they received greetings from guests, who also stayed for the dinner dance.


To reach Sue Strachan, send an email to or call 504.450.5904. Find her on Twitter and Instagram as @suestrachan504, with the hashtag #nolasocialscene. Visit her on Facebook. And, come back to for more New Orleans area event and party news and photos.