First of all, I need a diagram of where everyone’s hands are here and what they’re doing. Is Elizabeth Taylor pointing at Liza’s palm? Is this some new — or, I suppose, old — wrinkle in Rock, Paper, Scissors, a game I almost just italicized. I do feel confident that someone is currently trying to sell a massive-budget action film based on RPS, though. Dwayne Johnson will star as a geologist, i.e., the rock, and also obviously literally The Rock, who is the only witness when Elizabeth Debecki (stationery store heiress Penelope “Paper” Kensington)  gets kidnapped by Scissors, a crafty con-man out for one last score before retiring to the country with his orphan niece. Scissors will be played by a hologram of Pete Postlethwaite. I can hear the trailer now: “Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson IS The Rock IN Rock, Paper, Scissors, opening everywhere Memorial Day 2023.”

Wait, what was I even talking about? Okay, yes, this photo — which is clearly somewhat wild and ergo fun. The date is December  8th,1971. Informative Caption tells us, “Film star Elizabeth Taylor (centre) wearing a £15,000 pearl which belonged to Mary Tudor. She is with dancer, film star and singer Liza Minnelli (right) and Baroness Guy De Rothschild at a show given on behalf of the United and Social Jewish Fund.” OF COURSE Elizabeth Taylor randomly owns a Tudorian pearl. So of course I looked this up. Apparently, this pearl has a tendency to get lost: It was lost at Windsor Castle once for a while; it ALSO got lost in a sofa Buckingham Palace for a bit; eventually it was sold (for its own well-being???) and Richard Burton bought it, and Elizabeth lost it in Vegas and eventually found it in her dog’s mouth. This jewel IS named “La Peregrina,” which means “the Wanderer,” and indeed it does seem to have a habit of dashing off. (Elizabeth also wore it in her cameo in Anne of The Thousand Days, which is a nice shout-out to its family of origin.) She is, of course, wearing it here as a headpiece. I truly cannot express to you enough how much I love her. I’m sure the rest of her jewelry is also priceless.

Meanwhile, Liza is like “I guess I should have worn more diamonds,” and Baroness de Rothschild is like “THIS IS THE MOST FUN EVENING!” Her full name is Marie-Hélène Naila Stephanie Josina de Rothschild and her Wiki is a Jilly Cooper novel come to life, including tidbits like:

  1. “This was the first time a head of one of the Rothschild families had married a non-Jewish spouse. Guy was forced to resign from the presidency of the Jewish community in France. Marie-Hélène, being Catholic, was required to get a papal dispensation in order to annul her first marriage so that she could remarry outside the Catholic faith.” A papal dispensation! I always wanted a papal dispensation! (I am not technically Catholic.)
  2. She helped organize the Battle of Versailles!
  3. She owned a home that has its own Wiki, which is one sign that you are VERY FANCY.

If you are interested in articles about INSANE PARTIES of yore, I direct your attention to this piece about her in The Rake. A taste: “The main staircase was lined with men dressed as cats, feigning sleep in a range of staged poses, only to spring to life and ‘rescue’ hapless revellers who got entangled in a web-like labyrinth of black ribbons.” Real Summer of ’21 vibes!

(Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)