Deanna Littell's Charm School

Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page


In Editor's Desk on November 29, 2010 at 6:30 pm


Never has a woman combined brains & beauty with such aplomb as did Cleopatra, “Queen of the Nile.”

Never has a carpet been used to such seductive ends as when she had herself delivered to Julius Caesar in her own palace. She seemed to have worked her charms on him as he stayed for months. Her sense of pageantry for political ends was the stuff of legends.  First she presented Caesar to the cheering throngs in Alexandria on a gigantic royal blue barge embedded with gold & ivory & carrying 18-foot gilded statues. Later, when summoned to Rome by Mark Antony,  she arrived on a silver-oared barge with purple sails & incense offerings. According to Stacy Schiff’s new book, Cleopatra , A Life , “the blinding explosion of color, sound & smell so captivated him that he followed her back to Alexandria.”

There must be something to this Royal Blue.

On a more modern note, Prince William presented his princess-to-be, Kate Middleton, to the press clad in a simple royal blue dress by Issa matching the sapphire ring that had belonged to his mother Diana, Princess of Wales. At her presentation to the press she was totally poised & charming. One day she may become Queen Katherine.

There must be something to that Royal Blue.

Here’s some things to add to your Christmas list:

The Charm of Waiting: (Kate knows about that)

To capture the poetry of time, try the “A Day in Paris” watch  by Van Cleef & Arpels-make sure you order the blue snake skin strap.

The Charm of Cashmere: Try a Sapphire blue twin-set from Uniqlo-very Sloan Ranger & a great bargain.

For your own sapphire, the Metropolitan Museum has a beautiful peacock feather brooch. Pin it on one side of your twin set-very 50’s,very charming.

Bring back hand-written notes-so royal, so charming. Try Cartier’s blue note paper, Jacqueline Kennedy Onnassis’ favorite, & of course this needs a fountain pen with classic blue ink.

Finally, try a Holiday Tea at Tea and Sympathy, a British outpost in the West Village. Try the scones with clotted cream-maybe they even have blueberry jam.

Hoping you enjoy this holiday season and until the next time, don’t forget to check out my website,



*Top illustration by Noma Bar, NYT


Cleopatra, A Life by Stacy Schiff

Tea & Sympathy, byAnita Naughton and Nicky Perry

The Reluctant King: The Life and Reign of George VI, 1895-1952 by Sarah Bradford