Philadelphia branch of the English-Speaking Union Garden Party at Princess Grace’s Home

The Philadelphia branch of the English-Speaking Union (ESU) of the United States held their annual garden party on Sunday June 2, at The Kelly Family Home in East Falls.

In 2016, Prince Albert of Monaco purchased his late mother’s Philadelphia home. “It feels good,” he told People magazine of buying the Pennsylvania property. “I’m very happy to have saved this old family home from a near certain death or development.”

The ESU was formally organized in the United States in 1920 and arose from the conviction of its founder, Sir Evelyn Wrench and a group of like-minded American and British friends, that maintenance of the close personal and national ties forged during World War I was necessary for the preservation of peace.

The ESU celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.

The Kelly Family was kind enough to host this years event, which was held under a tent in the expansive backyard. Princess Grace of Monaco’s childhood home was also opened for tours on a few of the floors for all to see. It is not a museum as many thought, but a residence where family members live. Although there is access on special occasions.

Andy and Debbie Webster, Mary Darlington co-chairs, with hosts Alexandra Golaszewska and J.B. Kelly and Steve Darlington, co-chair

Princess Grace’s mother
John B. Kelly, built the six-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot home, which would later become the place where Prince Rainier III of Monaco proposed to then-actress Grace Kelly, in this very room.

Thank you to Alexandra Golaszewska, who along with J.B. Kelly I have known socially for several years, who gave me a tour of the house, even the nooks and crannies explaining all the beautiful artifacts on display.

Princess Grace’s writing desk has a photo of Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Princess Grace and her two oldest children Caroline, Princess of Hanover and Albert II, Prince of Monaco . Along with a magazine with The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on the cover. Inside is also a story on the Kelly Home)
Natanya DiBona, co-host of Le Dîner en Blanc touring the house. There’s a preview party June 11, and the public is invited to attend. It’s there they will announce the date of the annual August event for Philadelphia. The event is free but you must register.
The Living Room

Prince Albert II of Monaco is very concerned about the environment and has created The Prince Albert II Foundation (Official name: Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco is a Monaco -based charity which has donated millions in various environmental projects. The Foundation was initially created in 2006 by Prince Albert II of Monaco and it concentrates on environmental protection

Some of the guests at the Garden Party

The highlight of the garden party was the singing of the National Athem, the toast to Queen Elizabeth for her 93rd birthday and a lively auction to raise additional funds for the ESU education mission.

Max Yillah discusses the National Shakespeare competition, and how he came in 2nd Place. Congrats that’s huge. Second Prize:  Scholarship and airfare to attend the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp

Max Yillah, a Philadelphia area high school student won the annual Shakespeare contest, which allowed him to compete in the National Shakespeare Competition in NYC. High school students nationwide read, analyze, perform and recite Shakespearean monologues and sonnets in three qualifying stages: school, ESU Branch and national.

Claire Boasi
Brian Morris and Marjorie Morris, Board Member

Look for additional photos on CBSPhilly, as well as Philly Style Magazine later this week.