February, the month when Cupid’s bow is poised to strike hearts everywhere. His aim wasn’t looking quite so steady this time last year when my matchmaking colleagues asked me to take a “tricky” female client for a cocktail and a chat.
“It’ll be fine,” they said. “You’re both around the same age, both used to getting what you want, and both have apartments in Monaco. That’s a good place to start!”
The client, Katrina, a Scottish high-flyer in her indeterminate forties, had been married twice and chosen a career over children. She was running a TV station by the time she was 30 and the sale to one of the Murdoch group of companies had afforded her a choice of jobs. Actually, she found she was pretty good at making money, buying up a series of buildings that were to become posh student housing for rich parents sending their coddled offspring to British universities for the perfect “finishing-school” education.
I was delighted to spot Katrina as I walked into Buddha Bar. She had clearly taken my advice that “you can never be overdressed in Monte Carlo” and she was perched on a bar stool blinged up the ying-yang.
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“Where on earth did you get that ridiculously fabulous fur?” I asked.
“Oh, I just dropped into your friend Katie Holmes’ store, The Queen Bee,” she casually responded. “I was in there for a few hours less than the average Monaco socialite, as I’m a size 12 and not a size 0. But hey, I’ve got enough bags and coats to make me feel better about not having a boyfriend … sniff.”
Sensing that I was going to get a grilling, I decided I better call in the big guns to help the evening along. “Waiter, deux martinis s’il vous plaît. Dirty for me.” I raised an enquiring eyebrow at Katrina.
“Porn star,” she jibed. Good girl.
“So darling, what’s been happening?”
“Well,” she started, “I was sent on the most horrendous date recently with a man who was half my size in height and girth. I think the moment he laid eyes on me he thought I was going to have him for breakfast. Trust me, I wasn’t. I don’t like my bacon that lean.”
She fiddled with her phone for a moment, looking for a photo of the Wee Date, while I prudently signalled the barman to encore our drinks.
After several martinis and plenty of psychotherapy I had a profile in my head of what Katrina really wanted. She is your typical ball-breaker at work, phenomenally successful and with all the material assets that come with wallet-bursting compensation. But peel back a layer and you’ll find a surprisingly delicate woman waiting to be scooped up by a big-hearted mountain of a man, who could wrap her vulnerability up in his chivalrous bulk and make her feel equal parts Queen Bee and Size 0.
I didn’t want to say anything, but I had a hunch I knew someone for her. Peter was a strapping good looking and old-fashioned chap. An ex-Army officer, he retrained as a management consultant. He lived in Winchester but had a pied-à-terre in London where most of his work was based. Bingo. Katrina also had a home in London. Mid-fifties, widowed for some five years, he preferred to meet the old-fashioned way – through friends … or in a pub.
On their first meeting they were out for a stroll in London’s Soho when Peter spotted a handbag thief. He gave chase and tackled the man, retrieving the purse. Katrina lolloped sportingly behind, managing not to ruin her Louboutins. When she caught up with him, together with the rather dashing policeman she’d grabbed on the way, Peter was pinning the bag burglar to the ground. He looked up at Katrina with her policeman escort and smiled, “My darling, what took you so long?” She was, of course, smitten.
The rest, as they say, is a matchmaker’s history.
Barbara Brudenell-Bruce is a matchmaker with London’s exclusive matchmaking agency, Vida, and her network boasts an impressive list of entrepreneurs, celebrities and aristocrats. She lives between Monaco and London. Article first published February 19, 2017.
[caption id="attachment_21979" align="alignnone" width="1580"] Photo: Michel Ravassard[/caption]
The mayor and members of the Communal Council have announced that a subscription will be open until March 31, 2018, on the occasion of the 60th birthday of His Serene Highness the Sovereign Prince.
According to the wish of Prince Albert, who will turn 60 on March 14, the sums collected will be donated to one or more entities that will be designated when the time comes.
The subscription is open to Monegasques, their spouses and their children, and residents. For practical reasons, payment methods are organised as follows: The mayor will send a letter to Monegasques, accompanied by a form, to allow them to pay their contribution to the Town Council.
Residents wishing to mark their commitment to Prince Albert by a donation on the occasion of is birthday, may do so either by:
- cheque payable to "Treasury General of Finance–60th Anniversary of HSH Prince Albert II", addressed to the General Treasury of Finances, at the Prince's Palace.
- transfer to the Trésorerie Générale des Finances" account "60th anniversary of SAS Le Prince Albert II" No. 30004 09170 00040602413–76, BNP Paribas Bank.
[caption id="attachment_28186" align="alignnone" width="2250"] Photo: Manuel Vitali/DC[/caption]
The Monaco Red Cross has inaugurated an exhibition retracing the 70 years since its founding in 1948.
Opened in the presence of Princess Stephanie, the association’s Vice-President and Secretary General, at the Exhibition Hall of Quai Antoine Ier on Tuesday, February 13, the retrospective features photographs of unpublished archives, videos, works of art and other items. Various members of the Prince's Government and many other personalities were also present for the opening.
[caption id="attachment_28187" align="alignnone" width="1500"] Photo: Manuel Vitali/DC[/caption]
Throughout 2018, various events are being organised to celebrate the 70th anniversary. In conjunction with the exhibition, a stamp bearing the effigy of the four successive Presidents has been published by the Office des Émissions de Timbres-Poste and will be available for sale from March 3.
The exhibition is open to all, free of charge, until March 3, from Tuesday to Sunday, between 1 pm and 7 pm each day.
[caption id="attachment_28184" align="alignnone" width="1500"] Photo: Manuel Vitali/DC[/caption]
Tuesday 25 April, 8.30 pm, Variety Theatre
Cinema Tuesdays – Beliefs and Dependencies series. Screening of Terry Jones’s Monty Python’s Life of Brian, organised by the Audiovisual Archives of Monaco
Information: +377 97 98 43 26
Wednesday 22 and Saturday 25 March, 2.30 pm and 4.30 pm, Théâtre des Muses
Performances for children: La cigale et la fourmi (The Grasshopper and the Ant) by and featuring Y. Henneguelle
Information: +377 97 98 10 93