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Reimagining Palm Beach Influencers’ Views on 2024’s Imitators

Apple TV’s new and glamorous hit production ‘Palm Royale’ delves into the opulent yet scheming realm of Palm Beach’s high society in 1969. But who were the influential women who truly reigned over the social circuit during that period?

This upscale beach town was a gathering place for some of the wealthiest and most iconic Americans of the time, including Estée Lauder, Marjorie Merriweather Post, and Noreen Drexel.

Now, preserved in the state archive, are breathtaking snapshots that unveil the reality behind the lavish lifestyles of those who graced the scene, adorned in exquisite floor-length vibrant gowns and adorned with extravagant jewelry.

For many, these influential women were the original trendsetters of Palm Beach – unlike today’s residents, they showcased their style through dazzling parties, galas, and charitable events.

Este¿e Lauder was pictured in a blue teal gown and dazzling headdress waltzing with professional dancer Verne Casanave

Diana Auchincloss (left), stepmother to actress and model Brooke Shields, pictured at a fashion show during a benefit for St. Mary’s Hospital at the Everglades Club

Lyn Fisher Sheresky Revson, the wife of Revlon founder Charles Revson cultivated a fashion collection that landed her on the ‘best-dressed’ lists of society publications

Numerous images were captured at exclusive locales like Worth Avenue and Royal Poinciana Plaza, with renowned chronicler Bert Morgan immortalizing various events, including a charitable gala in March 1969 at the Everglades Club in Palm Beach and a fundraiser for the Red Cross at The Breakers.

One set of images from a fashion show held as part of the St. Mary’s Hospital event features Diana Auchincloss, stepmother to a well-known actress and model.

Auchincloss, elegantly attired in a floor-length blue and white printed gown with a green bow and matching satin shoes, was previously married to Thomas Gore Auchincloss, a member of the Onassis family.

Hailing from a family with diplomatic ties, Auchincloss was also a debutante and part of the Grosvenor Ball committee, as indicated in a wedding announcement.

Also present at the fashion show was Mary Obolensky, a former FBI employee turned dedicated philanthropist, supporting causes such as the Russian Nobility Association and the Cancer and Blood Foundation.

Obolensky established the Mary Obolensky Underwood Foundation for Leukemia Research before her passing in 2006.

Another image captures Eugenie Marron with Alwin Franz and Edwin B. Coleman on the upscale shopping avenue of Worth Avenue, known for housing designer boutiques like Chanel.

Marron, a prominent New York socialite and record-breaking deep-sea fisherwoman, exuded elegance in bright red slacks paired with a matching top featuring a Peter Pan collar.

Marron achieved the remarkable feat of being the first woman to catch a giant blue fin, as noted in her obituary.

Marjorie Merriweather Post (right) is seen in one Bert Morgan snap reigning over a a Red Cross Ball at world-famous luxury hotel The Breakers

Everglades Club members celebrate the club’s 50th anniversary in February 1969

Mary Obolensky, a former FBI worker and later dedicated philanthropist including support of the Russian Nobility Association and Cancer and Blood Foundation

Agnes Carvel is pictured at the Everglades Club at a gala for St Mary’s hospital in March 1969

Mrs. George Matthews in fashion show at the Everglades Club for the St. Mary’s Hospital ball in Palm Beach March 8, 1969

Joyce Hepworth relocated to Palm Beach with her spouse George in the 1960s. She developed a keen interest in firearms and eventually became one of the few female NSCA Level III sporting clay, skeet, trap, and field instructors, as detailed in her obituary. Additionally, she was an avid sport fishing enthusiast and competitive shooter.

Hepworth is captured alongside her husband George at a luau hosted at the residence of former chair of the US Committee of the United Nations, Peter I. B. Lavan.

Marjorie Merriweather Post is depicted in a Bert Morgan photograph reigning over a Red Cross Ball at the renowned luxury hotel, The Breakers.

Adorned in a striking pink gown, red satin shoes, and a tiara, Merriweather dazzles with diamonds adorning her neck, wrists, and ears in a glamorous display of opulence.

Some of Post’s exquisite jewelry was so exceptional that it was bestowed to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

Post amassed her fortune as the owner of General Foods Corporation, rising to become the wealthiest woman in the US.

She was the former owner of the Mar-a-Lago mansion in Palm Beach, now the residence of former president Donald Trump and his wife Melania. Post went through four marriages, each culminating in divorce.

Agnes Carvel is captured at the Everglades Club during a gala for St. Mary’s Hospital in March 1969.

A relaxed image of Eugenie Marron with Alwin Franz and Edwin B. Coleman on the elite shopping street of Worth Avenue

Mrs. J. Archie Peck in the fashion show at the Everglades Club for the St. Mary’s Hospital ball

Mrs. Eric Javits in fashion show at the Everglades Club for the St. Mary’s Hospital ball

Dr. Roger Currie with Rose Kennedy and Richard Clasby at the Everglades Club

Her eye-catching ensemble includes full-length gold gloves complementing her gold sequined handbag.

Standing beside her husband Tom, the inventor of soft ice cream and founder of the Carvel ice cream brand, Carvel epitomizes elegance and sophistication.

Noreen Drexel, accompanied by her husband John R. Drexel III, hailed from an English aristocratic lineage before relocating to the US with her mother in 1938. Her ancestry boasts eight martyred saints.

Despite lacking a formal education, she was a staunch advocate for public schools and actively supported various philanthropic endeavors. Drexel was notably involved in organizing the West Palm Beach Red Cross event, where she is captured.

At the same event, Estée Lauder is photographed in a captivating blue teal gown and a dazzling headdress, gracefully waltzing with professional dancer Verne Casanave.

The cosmetics mogul exudes glamour with her red lipstick and shimmering eye-shadow, embodying sophistication and style.

Lauder maintained a vibrant social life in Palm Beach, mingling with prominent figures like Ivana Trump.

Lyn Fisher Sheresky Revson, the wife of Revlon founder Charles Revson and a competitor of Estee Lauder, is portrayed in a voluminous white gown with puffy sleeves, a chic navy collar, and a red bow accentuating her attire. She is accompanied at the Red Cross Ball by John R. Drexel III.

Mrs. & Mr. Earl J. Robinson and his mother Mrs. Andrew Fraser Christmas shopping on Worth Avenue

Have you ever wondered what these icons would think of the contemporary Palm Beach style?

Instead of securing an invitation to a charity event at The Breakers, the modern-day status symbol revolves around earning a spot on Palm Beach’s unofficial best-dressed list – the popular social media account ‘Class of Palm Beach’.

Gaining millions of followers on TikTok, Class of Palm Beach showcases the town’s fashionistas, inquiring about the origins of their stylish ensembles.

The brainchild of a Millennial resident, this widely embraced social media platform emerged from her habit of approaching affluent individuals on the streets to inquire about their designer garments and accessories.

Some Palm Beach residents are so determined to feature on the account, boasting 672,000 followers, that they linger on bustling avenues for hours, hoping to catch the attention of the page’s sought-after administrator, as previously reported by