Poor Elsa Maxwell: she had a nasty
tumble towards the end of her en-
terprising career. The world under-
stood (through innumerable photo-
graphs in the glossies) that she
had a close relationship with the
Windsors over several years, but
then there came a tiff and the
swishing aside of skirts. A recon-
ciliation was brought about in mid-
Atlantic during very bad weather.
The Duchess invited her to a cock-
tail party in the Windsor state-
room. On arrival Maxwell attempted
a deep curtsy, which unfortunately
coincided with a roll of the ship.
Maxwell tumbled over, clutching at
the Windsor legs, which took errat-
ic steps sideways. The cries of
Wallis! Elsa! were muffled in the
sound of crashing glass.
I take this reminiscence for
the wise counsel that it is,
against the folly of a rap-
prochement in relationships
which have served their mu-
tually exploitive purposes.
But this is early evening,
and there's always room for
an expedient exception to a
rule, not to mention oppor-
tunity for new accident. Who
could incline to wither in
this perspective, just now?
A Journal, 1996-98