Published: May 29, 2013 at 11:49pm

fashionable soiree for the high society

During the election campaign, there were 101 jokes about the reduction of Girgenti Palace to total hamallagni post 9 March, with one hamallagnifest after another, b’xi feshin show u xi dinner ghal friends u xi BBQ on di lown ghal xi qabda social climbers climbing their way down to the bottom while thinking they’ve arrived (where?).

Today, several ladies I know were sent the invitation pictured here, “to a fashionable soiree for the high society UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF MRS MICHELLE MUSCAT at The Prime Minister’s summer residence, Girgenti”. Presumably, they were sent the things on the basis that they are ‘fashionable’ members of ‘the high society’ who have been waiting all their lives for the chance to hang out with Mrs Michelle Muscat because Carla Bruni has better things to do.

The dress code is “smart”.

There’s a lot I could say here, but I can’t do it without being very, very rude and obnoxious. So I’ll zip my lips and collapse with laughter in private.

But permit me one little comment: tghid de Kenit dey ask him to dis soiree for de high society? De Defni we don’t tell her ghax she’s not de high society like de Mrs Michelle Muscat and she come and she make fun of us ghax tahseb li hi xi haga.

Sorry, dear readers, but I’m not even going to pretend to be democratic – I couldn’t be arsed to even try to tolerate these tacky, pointless idiots. What a waste of space.

One hundred days into government and all we’ve had so far is wall-to-wall outdated fashion shows of ugly clothes with garish people spectating and feeling ever so thrilled to be sitting at the Auberge de Castille or Girgenti Palace at some ‘fashionable soiree’ with ‘the high society’ led by ‘Mrs Michelle Muscat’.


And here’s something else that really gets to me and did so even with ‘Mrs Catherine Gonzi’. She’s not ‘Mrs Michelle Muscat’. She’s Mrs Joseph Muscat, because she’s not divorced (and if she were divorced she would not have access to Girgenti Palace).

Only divorced women are styled by their own Christian name, preceded by ‘Mrs’ and followed by the surname they acquired on marriage. But in Malta, divorced women think they have to shed their married surname as one must with a declaration of nullity.

So Mrs Joseph Borg, instead of becoming Mrs Grace Borg, becomes Miss Grace Camilleri, which is ridiculous in my view because it means that we are still so new to divorce that we confuse its status with that of a marriage declared never to have existed.

When a married woman uses her own Christian name, the ‘Mrs’ is dropped. ‘Mrs’ does not denote a married woman, but a wife. There is a distinction. The conjunction of ‘Mrs’ with the woman’s own Christian name and married surname denotes an EX wife.

And this is quite apart from the fact that Mrs Joseph Muscat has no role, professional profile or standing outside her marriage to the prime minister, so she should never be styled as anything other than the prime minister’s wife in official communications.

This is basic. But then I don’t expect either ‘Mrs Michelle Muscat’ or the organisers of a ‘fashionable soiree for the high society’ to know or even understand these things.

Referring to a married woman as ‘Mrs Michelle Muscat’ is not progressive, modern and liberal. It is ignorant. If you want to be progressive and liberal, it’s Michelle Muscat, and damn the Mrs.

Oh, and something else – because obviously, Keith Kasco Schembri is in no position to give the right advice – ‘under the patronage of’ can be used only where the person in question has an official role. The patronage refers to the role and not to the individual filling it.

Mrs Michelle Muscat can’t patronise anyone or anything because she is, effectively, nobody except the prime minister’s wife. Mrs Joseph Muscat, the prime minister’s wife, does not patronise. She INVITES, or HOSTS. This is particularly so given that this fashionable soiree for the high society is to be held at her husband’s official summer residence, which means hers too.

The president’s wife is in a different position, because as First Lady she can offer patronage, having her own distinct role.

Instead we have this stupid invitation declaring that ‘Mrs Michelle Muscat’ will be offering patronage at ‘The Prime Minister’s summer residence’.

If it’s at the prime minister’s official summer residence, then the invitations should have gone out in the name of the prime minister’s wife. What we have here is a fashion event organiser absurdly inviting a bunch of people to somebody else’s official residence, while the person who officially resides there comes as a guest and offers patronage which she is not entitled to offer, for all the world as though Girgenti Palace is just another Villa Arrigo or hotel venue.

The devil, as they say, is in the detail. So is tackiness. Nobody should know that better than people who make and trade in clothes.

I despair. I truly do.

82 Comments Comment

  1. Lestrade says:

    Pretty short notice with RSVP by tomorrow (or is it today ?) but “a fashionable soiree for the high society ” takes the biscuit.

    Could it be a hoax?

    [Daphne – No, it isn’t. I actually know the organisers.]

    • Weird no ? says:

      Is Yvonne high society too?

      We’re jealous.

      • Jackie says:

        At least two of the MYN trio were guests on Malta l-Lejla on Net TV a couple of months ago, together with Pippa Toledo. The topic being discussed was something along the lines of “what makes one a ‘hamallu/a'”. Pippa Toledo could be seen visibly cringing on the sofa, while the “knowledgable” MYN members sat there po-faced, discussing the subject in what they thought was an eloquent manner. Hilarious, but I felt sorry for Mrs Toledo, who looked so out of place.

    • john says:

      ‘MYN Media Entertainment cordially invites you . . . . . ‘

      These are not just the organisers, they are the hostesses. It is the MYN ladies who are therefore responsible for the tackiness, errors and ignorance contained in this invitation.

    • Victor says:

      Can you imagine a function organised for the real high society actually stating “for the high society”?

      What are these people?

      Plain ignorant peasants.

  2. Edward says:

    High society? I thought they were socialists and against all this pretentious crap?

    Yes, it’s for a good cause but even so, all the more reason not to paste the words “high society” on the invite. What an arrogant way of doing charity.

  3. H. Prynne says:

    They really should employ someone who can at the very least write English well.

    I guess they are amateurs in everything.

  4. helen says:

    To show off D&G lookalikes with reverse buttoning and sewn-in lining on lace.

  5. Ghoxrin Punt says:

    So very Hyacinth Bucket.

    • Grezz says:

      Hyacinth Bucket dressed appropriately for her age, unlike the MYN trio, who are about the same age as Mrs Bucket but raid the shelves of Miss Sixty.

      • mattie says:

        At least, Hyacinth Bucket spoke eloquently – this attractive characteristic drew an audience to her shows which made her ever so popular even though the character she played was anything but attractive. Pure genius, I’d say.

        Who and what exactly are these people attracting?

  6. H.P. Baxxter says:

    There are sighs. And there are facepalms.

    Then there’s curling up into the foetal position.

    One hundred days down, one thousand seven hundred to go.

    • Grezz says:

      Shame you won’t go to the high society soiree and follow it with your sartorial opinion here.

      • Il-Cop says:

        @ Grezz

        No problem. A few of Daphne’s network of international spies will be there to report to base. Plus the fact that there will be all those ‘fotos on fejsbuk’ to talk about later.

        Weep and weep some more.

        [Daphne – Facebook? It’s the Department of Information which releases ‘Mrs Michelle Muscat’s’ photographs, under the OPM file code.]

    • Ta'sapienza says:

      Mur incognito GiannPiet.

      • H.P. Baxxter says:

        That’s the sort of thing only Tom Cruise can carry off, with an entire support team and covert comms and gadgetry at his service.

        No, I think I shall go as Marie Benoit’s lapdog.

  7. nutmeg says:

    When do the polls open again?

  8. Joe Fenech says:

    ‘High Society’ jigifieri mhux tal-Maltin kollha? Harharhar

  9. maryanne says:

    Given the high society, they should make more than the thousand euro for the favourite charity.

    Fashion For Malta Community Chest Fund – The Malta Independent
    http://www.independent.com.mt › News

  10. Joe Fenech says:

    This invitation looks so outdated.

    • Weird no ? says:

      It is not outdated. They adopted the style from the time of the Inquisitor. After all, it was his palace. OMG kemm ma tifhmux.

  11. george grech says:

    Is it possible to reveal who was invited so we would know whom de missus considers as high society…or rather whom she doesn’t consider as high society.

    [Daphne – No, of course not.]

  12. Joe Fenech says:

    “And here’s something else that really gets to me and did so even with ‘Mrs Catherine Gonzi’. She’s not ‘Mrs Michelle Muscat’. She’s Mrs Joseph Muscat, because she’s not divorced. Only divorced women are styled by their own Christian name preceded by ‘Mrs’. ”

    This form is still the norm on the continent but it’s falling out of fashion in the UK due to its sexist connotations (Mrs Spouse name and surname are usually preferred).

    [Daphne – You are quite wrong. The equivalent of Mr, in a marriage-neutral or business situation, is not Mrs but Ms. If you are going to talk sexist, then Mrs and Miss are sexist by definition because their sole function is to denote whether the woman is or was married. There is nothing sexist about ‘Mrs Joseph Muscat’. It is the proper form, and in formal situations, the proper form is used. Styling a woman as Mrs Mary Zammit is not non-sexist. Describing a woman as a wife while a man is never described as a husband? How is that non-sexist.]

    • Joe Fenech says:

      In the UK, Ms is nowadays very common within professional circles where marital status is irrelevant.

      When it comes to inviting a couple, Mr Husband’s-name Surname and Mrs Spouse’s-name Surname is nowadays preferred to Mr and Mrs Huband’s-name Surname (the latter is what I was referring to as being ‘sexist’).

      [Daphne – No, it isn’t. Some people might prefer it, but it’s just not done to address an envelope or an invitation card to Mr John Zammit and Mrs Ann Zammit. It’s all wrong. Separate names are for the separate – i.e. the unmarried. It is using the incorrect form that actually causes offence and irritates some recipients. If people find the state of marriage offensive or somehow demeaning, then why do they bother with it in the first place? Even in Italy, where women keep their surnames on marriage, formal invitations go out to (Mr and Mrs) Husband’s Surname, and certainly not to the spouses named individually.]

      • Joe Fenech says:

        I said ‘in the UK’ (not Italy/Malta/France…)

      • Joe Fenech says:

        Mr Husband’s-name and Mrs Spouse’s-name Husbands’s surname is used if the couple share the same surname – a western tradition that is rapidly losing popularity.

        [Daphne – This is exhausting, Joe. Maltese follows the British tradition, and has long done so. But beyond that, even when married couples don’t share the same surname, as say in Italy, a reference to a wife in the ‘polite/formal’ form is as la signora Husband’s Surname. That is because ‘signora’, like Mrs, which is a contraction of mistress in its original meaning as wife, means ‘wife (of)’.]

  13. ciccio says:

    Please let me know when they organise “soirees” for the “mittel kless.”

  14. Joe Fenech says:

    RSVP followed by ‘kindly confirm your attendance’ – you know, in case the recipients don’t know what RSVP means.

  15. TinaB says:

    Burmarrad style.

  16. fred flinstone says:

    Better check the Girgenti Palace kitchens for the requisite block of ice.

  17. fred flinstone says:

    Read Ben Elton for reference.

  18. Giovann says:

    How nice, a raffle at Girgenti Palace, with lots of beautiful prizes.

  19. Me says:

    So, the high society ladies (and men?) received this invitation on Wednesday 29th May, for an event which will be held on Tuesday 4th June, (less than one week away) to which they have to RSVP by Thursday 30 May?

    Isn’t there some kind of protocol when invitations (invites, they’re calling them now, I believe) should be sent?

    [Daphne – Yes, three weeks.]

    • Paul Bonnici says:

      It depends when the invites were posted. They may have been posted a while back.

    • Didi says:

      Not only that, but invitations should not have punctuation marks, so the comma after June is against protocol, and so is the full stop after gifts.

      And the last one, after RSVP, you do not ask to kindly confirm your attendance but “The favour of your reply is requested by…”

  20. Bon Ton says:

    It’s all about hamalli playing at being puliti.

    And (attempted) imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I mean, “to a fashionable soiree for the high society” – I pissed myself laughing at this contradiction in terms.

    Forsi Kennit make some new friends at this hamallagnifest to replace all de one fallen by the wayside ghax he neet peoples for de kendle lite dinner .

  21. Maradona says:

    Another example of Malta taghna lkoll – (the) high society, eh?

    So that is what she thinks of herself – as we always say, il-hanzir taqtaghlu denbu, hanzir jibqa.

    Michelle Muscat – x’high society, high society.

    • mattie says:

      Ghax dawn min ghalihom li ghax tilbes ir-Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton u d-Dolce Gabbana, issir pulit u parti minn ‘the high society’.

      Jitnaddfu ftit, imma mhux bizzejjed ghax kif jifthu halqhom u jibdew juzaw il-kliem, tinduna li hamalli ta’ l-ghola grad. Kif jagixxu, u ma’ min jaghmluha, iktar u iktar.

      • mattie says:

        This is the reason why so many people in ‘high circles’ opt not to wear branded shirts, with big logos on them, any more.

      • Head Boy says:

        The chavs have truly taken over this country. I, for one, categorically refuse to wear any clothes bearing logos; I have even been known to rip out labels and embroidered crocodiles.

        [Daphne – Then why buy them in the first place. To buy them and rip them out is a worse form of snobbery, the inverted kind.]

      • Quantum Revelation says:


    • Head Boy says:

      It isn’t, actually. I buy certain brands because they are better made, never fade and fit me perfectly (Bortex, for example, make the most fantastic t-shirts). I simply remove labels to avoid attracting unnecessary attention to what I’m wearing and to how much it’s worth.

      [Daphne – Oh, you don’t have to get ‘brands’ for that. That’s why everyone raids Uniqlo.]

    • PD says:

      Michelle Muscat at Girgenti – the equivalent of Eliza Doolittle at Ascot. Ooooo Professor Higgins would have his work cut out for him with this lot.

  22. canon says:

    The border of that invitation gives me the impression that it has something to do with traffic lines.

  23. Christian says:

    The sad thing about all this is that the tackiness and careless disregard of correct form will soon become the norm and be considered as acceptable to those who see little value in social etiquette.

    They will celebrate mediocrity in its worst forms and start believing that their standard is the one to emulate. A throwback to the golden years.

  24. Vanni says:

    Hang on a sec. Whatever happened to the ‘creation of a NEW middle class’ that Joseph was always bleating about?

    Or isn’t Michelle ecstatic about having to share her class status with say, the Snobby girls?

    And does this mean that the Muscats have left the NEW (or OLD) middle class and have somehow become the NEW aristocracy? Who made them Emperor and Empress of Burmarrad?

    Labour, still fixated with class. But what can one expect from a couple of hicks?

  25. Giovanni says:

    Le, le Malta taghna lkoll. Il-veru haxxeja – she just knows that it will be a success as all those invited might be obliged to go if any one of their family has been given a promotion or employed by the PL, together with all those who are expecting one favour or another.

  26. Rita Camilleri says:

    Hemm xi haga ghalina li m’ahniex fil-high society please, so we won’t feel left out? Thank you.

  27. mattie says:

    That invitation is full of contradictions and mistakes.

  28. francesca says:

    OMG! What are these hamalli?

    Who would ever put together an invitation like that? If they can’t even get this right, how are they going to run our country?

    I can understand that not everyone will see the faux pas in this but I bet half the switchers can. Well, enjoy the incapable people you voted in, then – I would be mortified if I were you. But having said that, it is very clear that we are not on the same wavelength.

    • mattie says:

      They were elected by people who no longer wanted to see people they didn’t like within the PN administration, and not because people like their way of doing politics. This way of getting elected is never safe, it’s a short-term win.

      “People didn’t vote for their politics – people voted them in to get the others out.”

      Now I’m impatiently waiting to see what their politics are all about cause everything’s changed but everything seems to have remained the same and this already seems to have become a problem.

      The country isn’t progressing – there have not been any fruitful changes and changes need to be fruitful for the country and it’s people to move on.

      If their ‘new system’ of doing politics fails, they’ll be out in no time because as I just said, people didn’t vote them for their politics but to get the others to leave, but to stay where they are, they need to get results.

      Same reason why Hollande got elected – people wanted the Sarkozy system out. Look what they got – a PM who’s heading nowhere.

    • Joe Fenech says:

      Mentalita tar-rahal.

  29. Wilson says:

    Best part: ‘and participation in our raffle of many beautiful gifts’.

  30. BD says:

    “Min qatt ma libes qalziet, meta libsu hara fih”…

  31. Nicola Reiss says:

    What really needs investigating here is this so-called “ME/Fibromyalgia Awareness Group”.

    Who is running this group? Has this person received a doctor’s diagnosis of either ME or FM?

    Is this organisation officially registered as a charity?

    Is there a board of governors? Is there a strategic plan?

    Does the organisation have a bank account? Do they have a website?

    Who will receive the money that is to be donated?

    What plans are there for the use of these funds?

    Have these plans been made public?

    Let’s have some transparency and some questions answered before donations are made.

  32. Paul Bonnici says:

    A bunch of pretentious peasants. High society?

  33. FM says:

    What is the support group going to do with the funds raised? Hire another Willy Mangion to find a garage where they can meet?

  34. Dolce Gabbana says:

    The problem with these guys is that they are completely unable to realise that branded clothes, ‘pozi u nejk’, and tongue twisting do not impress. They might do well to consider trying to be themselves.

  35. Alexander Ball says:

    Who’s paying for the electric?

    Can’t they hold it by candlelight to save a few euros?

  36. etil says:

    What – no bingo ?

  37. He i Not of de hi sosijti says:

    Tut tut shame on me for not being on the invitation list, but then again, I’m not on the wannabe list, Tenks gawd he ta

  38. Zelig says:

    Will Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra be attending?

  39. Jozef says:

    Somehow I suspect Michelle intends to spite someone in the fashion industry.

    Someone who wouldn’t accede to a particular request.

  40. Foggy says:

    Daphne is quite right re the proper way to formally address a married woman. I would add one thing – a widow is also addressed with her own Christian name preceded by “Mrs”.

  41. one of us says:

    No Foggy – I beg to differ. A widow is either addressed by her own christian name without being preceded by ‘mrs’ or she is ‘mrs’ late husband’s Christian name and surname.

    [Daphne – Yes, you are right.]

  42. Aunt Hetty says:

    She sounds just like Mrs Bucket flogging her candlelight dinners with riparian delights on her unwilling guests.

  43. Silvio Farrugia says:

    High society indeed. What happened to the Labour Party?

  44. “High society”??

    Pfff..What a thing to say

    Imbasta “Malta taghna lkoll”. No, now it’s “we are up here and you are down there” sort of thing.

  45. Stefan K says:

    It could have been worse. Example: ‘kindly confirm your attendance with Sherisanne / Rihanna / Cleavage’.

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