While thousands attended last night's floating birthday party in the drizzle alongside the Charles River, the University's power elite and their honored guests assembled in Memorial Hall for a black-tie dinner in honor of Charles, Prince of Wales.
The private party, the first in a series of mealtime gatherings for Harvard bigwigs and the Prince, began at 7 p.m.--the same time as the Charles River celebration--with a reception at the Busch-Reisinger German art museum.
While a student group played chamber music to the guests inside, about 50 people stood on the sidewalks outside of Memorial Hall in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Prince.
But Charles, who arrived in a gray Rolls Royce at 7:45 p.m. with a motorcade of Boston police cars and motorcycles, was taken to the Kirkland Street entrance of Memorial Hall, out of sight of the waiting public.
President Derek C. Bok, sporting a crimson-colored bow tie, Sissela Bok, and Francis H. Burr '35, chairman of the 350th Anniversary Cooutsideon, met the Prince and then proceded into Memorial Hall. The president greeted the Prince with a slight bow and flashed a wide grin in response to media requests for a smile.
The 400 guests crossed Kirkland Street on a red carpet that was nailed to the street minutes before the Prince's arrival, and a kilt-adorned man played the bagpipes. Plastic-covered walkways decorated with Harvard flags sheltered the VIPs from the misty rain.
Included on the guest list were Sens. Edward M. Kennedy '54 (D-Mass.) and John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), Supreme Court Justices Harry A. Blackmun '29 and William J. Brennan, Gov. Michael Dukakis, Saudi Arabia's top oil man, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, and the Aga Khan '58. Members of the Corporation, the Board of Overseers, Radcliffe Trustees, several prominent faculty members, Bok's children and selected alumni were also invited.
"They're primarily chosen for their positions,"said William H. Boardman, who is coordinating allmeals involving Bok, the Prince of Wales, andSecretary of State George P. Shultz.
The alumni asked to attend last night's dinnerare those "you would call the leadership,"Boardman said.
The dinner was not listed in the officialprogram, Boardman said, "because it was byinvitation by the president."
Anti-sniper teams guarded the area aroundMemorial Hall, keeping watch from the roof of theSchool of Design across the street. A police dogsniffed photographers' bags before the Princearrived, and members of Scotland Yard were also onthe scene.
The well-attired guests said they were anxiousto see the Prince and happy to be helping Harvardcelebrate its first 350th years. They also saidthey would be skipping the party on the Charles.
"I think we both have good table manners, andI'm looking forward to [the dinner]," said ArnoldS. Hiatt '48, a member of the Board of Overseers,on his way into the reception.
"As a Yale man, I'm delighted to be wishingHarvard a happy birthday today," said Kerry,Massachusetts' junior senator. "I think Harvard isan extraordinary institution."
"I'm thrilled out of my gourd," said ThomasWinship '42, former editor of The Boston Globe.
Among those seated at the Prince of Wales'table were the Boks, the Burrs, RadcliffePresident Matina S. Horner, Samuel C. Butler '51,president of the Board of Overseers, Charles P.Slichter '45, a member of the Corporation.
The menu for the dinner, which was catered byCurrier and Chives, consisted of tomato consommewith sour cream, toasted pine nuts, smoked duckbreasts with red onion jam, shrimp scallops, andlotpe in a white wine cream sauce. For desert, thedistinguished guests were served up fruit withchocolate trussels.
Bok and Sir Antony Acland, England's ambassadorto the U.S., were scheduled to toast the Prince ofWales, who was expected to respond in kind