NEW ORLEANS, LA – On November 24, Robert S. Boh, the King of Carnival 2019, who with the Rex Captain and costumed lieutenants made a rare post-season visit to Antoine’s Restaurant, greeted His Pavlos of Greece, member of the formal royal family of Greece, and his wife, Marie-Chantal, “66 years to the day that Greek King Pavlos and Queen Frederika of the Hellenes [Crown Prince Pavlos’ paternal grandparents] visited New Orleans,” CBS 4WWL reported.
“On Saturday night, Rex and his entourage entered the large Antoine’s Annex dining room to the sound of his familiar herald trumpeters, followed by the playing of his anthem, If Ever I Cease to Love,” CBS 4WWL reported, adding that “Boh read a proclamation, explaining that Rex was there to commemorate the royal visit 66 years ago as well as the fact that the prince and princess began their courtship here in New Orleans some 30 years ago.”
“We invite you, royal cousins, to claim our beloved New Orleans as your second capital city and hope that you will return often to share the pleasures of this happy realm, bringing special joy to our many devoted Hellenic citizens,” said Boh, CBS 4WWL reported.
“Rex officials said the visit to Antoine’s was arranged by local businessman and philanthropist John Georges, owner of The Times-Picayune/ New Orleans Advocate and chairman of Georges Enterprises,” CBS 4WWL reported, adding that “Georges is the local honorary consul to Greece” and “he and his wife Dathel were seated at the head table with the prince and princess, along with businessman Joe Canizaro and his wife and Saints/Pelicans owner Gayle Benson and Archbishop Gregory Aymond.”
“It’s a historic event for the city of New Orleans and as the leaders in all of Carnival,” said the Rex Captain, who by tradition is not identified, CBS 4WWL reported. “It’s a wonderful event for us to receive them and welcome them and thank them for all of their good charitable works that align with our motto, Pro Bono Publico – for the public good.”
King Paul and Queen Frederika also dined at Antoine’s during their 1953 visit to New Orleans, CBS 4WWL reported, adding that “according to a 2018 article by The New Orleans Advocate’s society columnist Nell Nolan, the royals also held a news conference in the Roosevelt Hotel and took part in a parade to City Hall (now Gallier Hall) where they were designated honorary citizens of New Orleans.”
The gala dinner is commemorated at Antoine’s by a framed photo and invitation to the event which hangs in its Annex dining room, CBS 4WWL reported.