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Golden Jubilee Imperial Court Dinner

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The 2015 Golden Jubilee Imperial Court Dinner held at the classic and classy Hotel Sentinel in Portland, Oregon was elegant beyond even Washington DC standards! All Ladies, Gentlemen, Courtiers and Monarchs out did themselves in fabulous ” Worth-Style” gowns and Crown Jewels that rivaled any thing I have seen in the great palaces of Europe!

Dustin Lance Black, screen writer of the movie Milk, who now lives in London agreed! Currently writing a made for TV series about LBGT history, Dustin is featuring Empress One of San Francisco Jose Sarria, as the first true pioneer of diversity and LBGT rights, which paved the way for others such as Harvey Milk, Matthew Shepard and Stuart Milk.

It was Empress One Jose, the Widow Norton we were all gathered together in our finery to honor.

The roster was packed with every living Gay Icon and advocate we have including Dennis and Judy Shepard, The Reverend Troy Perry, The Hon. Toni G. Atkins CA Speaker of the Assembly, Dustin Lance Black, Cleve Jones, Founded of the NAMES Project AIDS quilt ( both compelling speakers) Council-member of San Diego Hon. Ted Gloria, Michael Connolly the 21 year old member of the Legislative-assembly, Alberta Canada and the always eloquent and dynamic ( and dear friend and co-Global Ambassador) Stuart Milk.

The grand Ballroom of the Sentinel was as opulent as Versailles, the richly elegant pre-dinner VIP reception Hall was flowing with champagne and tasty snacks, the staff of both venues flawless in service. I have seldom seen a ICS event flow so smoothly, thanks to the efforts of the intrepid Queen Mum Heir Dragon Empress Coco LaChine and her team ( how could we forget her pageant like entrance when announced at the dinner?)

But the true star of the evening was Nicole The Great, our Queen Mother!

Looking wonderful with splendid robes and cleavage dripping with jewels, Nicole was the epitome of a true Monarch in every since of the word– and I have met a few in my world travels over the decades.

Gracious and erudite she described our long and arduous journey in history and what the ICS really stands for. Omitting no one, she honored us all in so many moving ways behind the disbursements of broaches and medals (and those that were given out this year, including the Rose Court Rose broach were of unusual high quality).

Being in the same age group as Nicole I know well the rigors of having to stand or even sit for hours on a Diaz, in front of hundreds of people, always smiling and being strong while inside wanting nothing more than a cozy bed with a fireplace ( the hotel had one in each room) and a nice hot meal! Her Majesty had to sit on a throne and keep the ball rolling while we all ate the beautifully prepared 4 course dinner.

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My husband Drue and I deeply appreciate and thank the Queen Mum for the additional titles as Czar and Czarina of The Golden State of California (despite the fact the plaque, with its typo said “of All the Americas”)

We were Crown Sponsors and we’re proud to donate to this memorable of all nights!

Jose would have loved the pomp, circumstance, opulence and pageantry so tastefully done!

(Tip: You can scroll through all photos in a photo gallery, like the one associated with this post, by either swiping over the top main photo or by clicking on the main photos upper left purple arrows. Enjoy!)

Drag Wedding

The Day After The Supreme Court Decision!

WATCH WEDDING VIDEO!

June 27, 2015 was the most special days of days and ours was a historical drag wedding because of its scale, beauty, glamour and VIP attendance, but mainly because it was held the very next day the Supreme Court handed down its historic verdict of same-sex marriage across the Nation.

If one were to have walked into this wedding by mistake, at the hilltop Estate of Czarina Liz Loren and Czar Drue, they would assume they were at a “normal” Beverly Hills type wedding celebrating the union or two socialites. The groom was Handsome Prince in white tails, the bride’s maids, flower girl (and flower dog) Matron of honour were in flowing gowns of champagne chiffon accented by pearls and subtle sequins. The bride herself was a classic vision in a Kate Middleton inspired gown of 57 yards of Italian satin appliquéd with re-embroidered lace and a Vallenchine veil 20 feet long held in place with a Robert Sorrell of New York pearl and diamond tiara.

IMG_6275The bridal party were a vision of taste and loveliness, the wedding all girls dream of—and they were all men! Formal tables surrounding the pool were draped in white and green with tie backs on covered chairs. A large circle of ivory roses mixed with pink stock and hydrangea were the base of elegant crystal candelabra on each table, shaded by champagne coloured umbrellas. The gazebo where the ceremony took place was covered with roses and ivy garlands with even more flowers banked inside as a back ground for Reverend Roi of Palm Springs resplendent in matching clerical robes!

Stuart Milk of The Harvey Milk Foundation flew in to be Best Man for Czar Drue, and Drue’s beloved Terrier Lady was second flower “girl” to Robby De La Rivera of Beverly Hills who came with Mandy Lebbos of Love PR–and who donated the fabulous corsages for the bride’s maids and groomsmen.Beverly Hills was well represented by members of the Crown Jewels and their spouses. Present were famous decorator Bernardo Pucci and his husband Orin Kennedy, the Lerher’s and the Levinsahn’s and Dr. Lew Weintraub and his wife Gloria ( Dr. Weintraub gave Liz away), columnist Marci Weiner and author Grace Robbins, widow of American novelist Harold Robbins.

Washington DC insider and marketing director for DMK International, Yale Scott and his fiancée Dr. Bobby of “The Spa” on Rodeo were in the wedding party along with the fabulous “Spa Girls” River Harlow and the young and chic “Sky”. River brought the elegant Parisian Madam Simone Lintilhac and Prima Donna Fashionista Kaarina Kivilahti flew in from Helsinki Finland for the occasion, showering Liz with Balmain from her boutique Kaarina K!

Singing star Jimmy James took time out from his tour to gift the wedding with two of his songs and family members were represented by The Drew Coleman’s, The Steve Alkire’s and Lori Freeman, the grooms sister from Texas and her colourful friend Vicky!

But the “piece de resistance” were the flowers!

Designed and executed by LeeSalee (a close friend of Liz) the mansion overflowed with elaborate bouquets worthy of a White House State Dinner! Following Liz Loren’s signature lilies, hydrangeas and roses, tall sculpted vases overflowing towered above the Russian themed buffet tables, the inside bar and the grand piano! Even the cake table was decorated with petals and a mock bridal bouquet. Chef Jay Johnson also decorated the main courses and the Russian style starters to compliment the floral display!

Liz had not seen any of these things until she literally “walked down the aisle”, having been a bundle of nerves sequestered in her quarters with her brides maids and LeeSalee all morning! She was stunned. These are all real friends that would jump in and help with the pre wedding set up done by Con Delo, a rock star friend from Australia, and Ron Russell and Jimmy Starr of the East Coast, both media personalities there to have a good time, not set tables and move furniture, “I love them all!”, a tearful Liz later said.

Karen Cobb of Long Beach kept the guests entertained with her cabaret song selections and Ron Russell, co-star of The Jimmy Starr Show, a widely syndicated radio and TV talk show, did an extemporaneous song and dance live to a song he had written for Liz and Drue, many eyes misted over with tears to this heartfelt number backed by a Mantovani sound track–Jimmy Starr shot a special video of the event to be edited for their show later on.

Mandy Lebbo and Love PR and Kyle, a talent agent, organised a commemorative video shoot for the newly weds memory files and then started the dancing following the sumptuous buffet of Beef Strogenov, Lemon Chicken in caper sauce, Seafood Alfredo, Field salad, Russian Salad ( donated by Liz’s designer FEDOR, made by his Ukrainian mother ) Poached and glazed salmon, roasted vegetables ala Jay.

The desert was a variety of small French pastries and the cake! The cake, designed by Pin UP cakes of Whittier was a French Confection triumph of white butter creme frosting sculpted with Ivory marzipan roses and soft pink freesia over three tiers of separate flavours. Served with Vueve Cliquot champagne that flowed like water the entire time! It was said that the younger attendees went through nine bottles of Russian vodka, yet no one seemed plastered!

The ceremony was classic but tailored to a same-sex marriage and one could see the emotion between the couple as they said “I do”. There was an almost otherworldly feeling about the wedding and the reception after, as the Western sun descended into the Pacific throwing that special, golden light over everyone.

Liz later said plainly,

I appeared as Liz as a statement to all my LGBT friends and supporters around the world and for the people who have supported Emerald Kingdom. There were some critics that shouted “why marriage in drag?”; my reply was “why not?”

The very basis of our Foundation and fund raising is that every human being on the planet has the right to be and appear as they are or how they perceive themselves to be–I am many things and Liz Loren is one of them! My husband, bless him, supports all of me and all the many cloaks I wear because he knows my true heart, and I know his.

WATCH WEDDING VIDEO!

Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast Palm Springs

I am so very honored to be the first global ambassador for The Harvey Milk Foundation!

As I gazed out over the packed ballroom at the Palm Springs Hilton I said,

Harvey would have been so proud of this!

Every aspect of the LGBT community was represented at the annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast Palm Springs.

This morning crowd included seniors, teens. parents of teens and everyone in between. Most compelling was Yucca Valley High School transgender teen Aiden Stockman. This youth has a real talent for public speaking and his struggle and final triumph over being who and what he is will inspire transgender kids everywhere and evoke more understanding from parents as well.

Joining me at the Emerald Kingdom table was my dear sister Empress Lonnie, the ever elegant Stefan Hemming and a diverse group of new people we welcomed to the table for this sold out event!

There are a growing number of Harvey Milk Breakfasts all over the Nation, but the Palm Springs late Spring event has a small town camaraderie along with a glamorous resort ambience one does not find anywhere else! A big congrats to The Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast Coalition lead partnering with Palm Springs Pride, Equality California, Deserts AIDS Project and Gray Public Relations.

Lonnie at Night of a Thousand Gowns

Empress Lonnie amazed in New York!

What a wonderful trip to New York’s Night of a Thousand Gowns. I was honored to be able to represent the Emerald Kingdom of Palm Springs and Riverside County, Czar Drue and Czarina Liz Loren, as well as the Imperial Court of Los Angeles/Hollywood at Night of a Thousand Gowns this month. So many celebrities and beautiful gowns and costumes, and a true night to remember. My sister, Queen Mother Nicole was present and looked radiant. Emperor Tony and Empress Twinkle were amazing host, and looked very regal and elegant as they stepped down.

Everybody who was anybody was present. I travelled to New York with Empress Wendy Pinkhouse, who stepped down there last year, and she showed me the ropes of New York, from getting from the Airport to the Hotel, to getting around town. Although it was raining when I arrived at 5:00 AM on Friday, the rain quickly subsided and it was off to the Hotel to rest for the first nights adventure, the Out of Town Show.

The town was bright and full of lights, and Time’s Square was amazing. The food, the smells and the great hospitality of the New York Court was evident in every event. The Hospitality Suite was amazing, with live piano music and singer, and food, food, food…

Including a platter about a foot tall loaded with of all things BACON. (Liz would have fainted…LOL)

What fun we had, and I want to take a moment to thank Czarina Liz Loren for sending me in her place as she travelled to Russia for business this year and was unable to attend.

I recommend this ball to anyone who has or has not attended.

New York knows how to produce a major event and make it fun, fast moving and interesting. So many great people there, and it was good to see so many old friends and make some new ones.

Life is short, and every experience like this makes it just that more amazing!

Empress XII Lonnie
Adviser to the Emerald Kingdom of Palm Springs and Riverside County
Co-President of the Board of Directors of the ICLAH
Sister for Life to Empress Nicole the Great

Liz Attends High Profile Gay Wedding

Czarina Liz Loren attends the first Royal gay wedding in Bel Air at home of Nike Magnet!

Gay history was made this weekend.

I received a call from Stuart Milk this AM to tell me personally that all our hard work and the support of DMK International has paid off!

Now it is LAW–no country can host an Olympic event if they have anti gay laws or discrimination!

The wedding I attended for Larry Flint and Blas Nunez at the Nike Magnet’s vast Bel Air Estate was the first wedding where the guests were hand picked billionaires and old Hollywood celebrities. People you would never see in a gay bar–but were smiling and supporting and applauding the nuptials and reception dinner as if this were “ordinary man and woman business as usual”.

I kept privately thinking that if this were in the 1960’s or even 70’s none of those people would be there and the police or vice squad would have been at the door!

We have come a long ways baby–lets lead the rest of the stifled and hate filled world into our world of high end privilege!