I found this ancien regime event filled with overwhelming beauty and fairytale-like charm. It was a bit like entering a scene of Sophia Coppola's highly intelligent and sympathetic film about Marie Antoinette. Royal titles abounded; excessive beauty was everywhere as was excessive kindness (to me) and high spirits and good manners kept me there long after my bedtime. Two great-grand-daughters of John Jacob Astor were presented as were a "bevy of beauties" from many European countries and from all over the United States. What does a tried-and-true feminist have to say about this? That the pageantry was uplifting, even consoling at a time when the West is under siege; and that the cause was a worthy one (for the American Armed forces). I did not envy the young girls who were trussed up in elaborate gowns and who had to shake hands with so many people in a formal Receiving Line. I and my table companions (a Knight of Malta, a British diplomat, a young countess) sang the lyrics to most of the songs the band played as each young woman was presented.