Of Empress Eugénie, Her Parties and Royal Skating Guests
It is a peculiarity of the hospitality so largely exercised by the present occupants of the French throne, that while the greater number of their guests are persons of high diplomatic and official position, or distinguished for rank or wealth, a good many are invited whose claims to such an honor are purely literary, scientific or artistic.
Among the ladies — especially among the Russians and Americans here — great beauty or liveliness seem to be a passport equally to the good graces of Emperor and Empress. A reputation for great skill in skating is also a passport to the favor of both, and is sure to procure invitations for the court skating parties, and the Empress’ “private parties” of seven hundred. – Letter from Paris, 1865
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