Can't Believe Our Eyes

The fabulous 80th summer of Lynn Wyatt, dining with Prince Charles, birthdaying with Elton John

Lynn Wyatt's fab 80th summer fun includes Prince Charles, Elton John

Peter Marino and Lynn Wyatt at the Tribeca Ball New York May 2014
"'Fun' is my middle name," says Lynn Wyatt, here with Peter Marino at the Tribeca Ball, several months before her 80th birthday. Photo by © Margarita Corporan
News, Shelby, HGO ball gowns, April 2015, Lynn Wyatt, Valentino
Only months before her 80th birthday, the ever-glamorous Lynn Wyatt was a standout at the Houston Grand Opera Ball. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
Highclere Castle with horse, dogs, day
Highclere Castle, site of Downton Abbey, was Lynn Wyatt's perch earlier this summer. Highclere Castle/Facebook
Elton John, David Furnish, unidentified woman and Lynn Wyatt attend the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Lynn Wyatt's best buds, Elton John and David Furnish, pictured here at an Oscars party, hosted a birthday dinner for La Wyatt. Photo by Kevin Mazur/VF15/WireImage
Highclere Castle with Lady Carnarvon in garden with dogs THIS
"Lady Carnarvon picks her own flowers, sets her own tables. I'm just crazy about her."  — Lynn Wyatt Highclere Castle/Facebook
News_Lynn Wyatt_Vanity Fair party_Oscars 2011_Photo by Pascal Le Segretain_Getty Images
Lynn Wyatt on the red carpet at the Vanity Fair Oscars party. Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Louis Vuitton re-opening party, November 2012, Lynn Wyatt
Never afraid to wear the same fab dress twice, Lynn Wyatt at a Louis Vuitton party at the Galleria Boutique. Photo by © Dave Rossman
22 Houston Grand Opera gowns April 2013 Lynn Wyatt
Lynn Wyatt at the Houston Grand Opera Ball in 2013. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
Lynn Wyatt at the Bulgari exhibition dinner April 2014
Lynn Wyatt dazzles at the Houston Museum of Natural Science Bulgari exhibition opening. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Peter Marino and Lynn Wyatt at the Tribeca Ball New York May 2014
News, Shelby, HGO ball gowns, April 2015, Lynn Wyatt, Valentino
Highclere Castle with horse, dogs, day
Elton John, David Furnish, unidentified woman and Lynn Wyatt attend the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Highclere Castle with Lady Carnarvon in garden with dogs THIS
News_Lynn Wyatt_Vanity Fair party_Oscars 2011_Photo by Pascal Le Segretain_Getty Images
Louis Vuitton re-opening party, November 2012, Lynn Wyatt
22 Houston Grand Opera gowns April 2013 Lynn Wyatt
Lynn Wyatt at the Bulgari exhibition dinner April 2014

Summer for Lynn Wyatt has always been a glorious time — jaunts through Europe, sublime birthday parties at her summer home on the French Riviera, bunking with Elton John, etc. But this July as Houston's grande dame turned an unbelievable 80, her social calendar soared to even greater heights.

Dinner with Prince Charles, a birthday dinner for 20 hosted by Elton, houseguesting with the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon at Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey) and more filled her dance card for two weeks of stratospheric hobnobbing. 

"He was so adorable," Lynn cooed over Prince Charles, who was her table host at a Prince of Wales Foundation dinner at Windsor Castle. (She had enjoyed his company at a private dinner party in Washington D.C. only two months before.) The foundation was celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, making this evening particularly momentous.

Before settling in London, Lynn spent several days at Highclere, where the Carnarvons entertained a tony house party of seven night and day. "I'm just crazy about her," Lynn said of Lady Carnarvon, who "cuts her own flowers, decorates her own tables and she's a writer." 

The hosts arranged for their guests to visit a quaint country fair, attend a cricket match and savor an outdoor luncheon complete with fancy umbrellas and formal table settings on the grounds of the five-acre estate. Lynn says that the castle is so immense that every luncheon and dinner was held in a different dining room.

And as an international A-lister and philanthropist, she was invited to present a talk to the Oxford Guild — as in Oxford University. 

As they are BFFs, Lynn has an open-ended invitation to visit Elton and David Furnish at their country estate near Windsor and this summer they hosted a birthday party for her with 20 of her nearest and dearest in Europe. With a special dessert of pecan pie and ice cream in her honor and a surprise chocolate birthday cake with candles, Lynn says "It was just the most memorable thing. Friends and family are the most important thing."

Those whirlwind two weeks included prime seating at Ascot as guest of Lord and Lady Mansfield in the Queen Elizabeth suite, equally prime seating for High Society at the Old Vic Theatre with London's uber philanthropist Vivien Duffield and an elegant Sunday lunch with Jacob Rothschild and friends. And as an international A-lister and philanthropist, she was invited to present a talk to the Oxford Guild — as in Oxford University. Her topic: "Giving Back: How Philanthropy Touches One's Soul."

Lynn celebrated her actual birthday, July 18, with three of her four sons in New Orleans, where they bunked at the Windsor Court and had what she describes as a less than memorable dinner at Antoine's.

But the celebrating goes on. When Susie and Sanford Criner return from their summer home in Maine, Sanford will once again host his annual "Lynn's Boyfriend Lunch" in honor of her birthday. In early September, she heads to Monaco for the grand Red Cross Ball, this year chaired by Prince Albert and Princess Charlene. Lynn chaired that event several decades ago and will enjoy this as a another birthday sojourn. In October, Lynn chairs the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Grand Gala Ball, yet another form of celebrating Houston's leading lady. That according to MFAH director Gary Tinterow.

As Lynn says, "This is too big a birthday. I'm just going to celebrate it all year long."

"What fun," we say.  "Yes," she responds. "'Fun' is my middle name."