Kennedy scion opens Paris debutantes ball

Kennedy scion opens Paris debutantes ball
(Above) Kyra Kennedy

PARIS - Dressed in Dior, Kyra Kennedy, great niece of the late US president, and her father Robert Kennedy Jr opened the Paris Debutantes Ball to the sound of a gypsy waltz Saturday, at one of the social events of the year where high society meets haute couture.

The glittering event saw 20 hand-picked "debutantes" dance, dine and network the night away in dresses loaned by some of Paris's most famous couture houses.

Lord George Porchester whose family owns Highclere Castle, the setting for the hit television series "Downton Abbey", was also invited along with 18-year-old Kennedy's father Robert - the son of John F. Kennedy's brother Robert, who was also assassinated.

Others taking part included British royal Lady Amelia Windsor, the granddaughter of one of Queen Elizabeth II's cousins, Francesca Packer Barham, granddaughter of Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer and Romy David, daughter of Seinfeld creator Larry David.

From Asia, there was Akshita Bhanjdeo of India's Bhanja dynasty, Filipina "It girl" Monica Urquijo Zobel, and Rebecca Eu, the Canberra-based daughter of a Chinese healthcare company chief.

Now in her 21st year organising the ball, Frenchwoman Ophelie Renouard had made no secret of her quest to track down as many big names as possible.

In another publicity coup this year, she secured the presence of a London taxi driver's daughter, Lauren Marbe.

The 17-year-old made headlines recently when she notched up an IQ test score of 161, one point higher than Einstein.

"I read about her in the newspapers and so I phoned her up and she said 'It is not my world but if you invite me I will come'," Renouard said.

Her father, wearing black tie for the first time, was overwhelmed.

"This is a dream! I still cannot believe it," he said.

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