Aimee de Heeren.com
Aimee de Sa Sotto-Maior
a typical Aimee de Heeren Year
When people asked Aimee
"where do you live ?",
her answer was
"oh my Dear .... but it depends on the season"
This is the calendar of a typical Aimee de Heeren year:
A sad time of the year was her departure to the US in January.
A major problem were the uncountable suitcases
which would have cost a fortune ....
but Aimee knew the trick to save any extra charges
arrive soooo late
that there was no more time to weight her suitcases
.... plus her unique charm and charisma.
New York 17 E 90th Street for a few days,
walking in Central Park, Museums, Meeting Friends,
Shopping on 5th Avenue
Louwana by Addison Mizner, 473 North Country Road, Palm Beach
until end of April,
around the major Palm Beach events ... the house fills up Aimées "House Guests"
New York again in Mai.
But the happiest time was her return to Paris.
The Concorde always arrived in Paris CDG 9h30 pm
and with Aimee came about 40 suitcases and some years later
also her Yorky Terrier "Oliver".
Summer season in Paris until just after July 14th.
The Hotel Meurice was her home in 1986,
in 1987 she moved to 8 Avenue Iena
and again the Hotel Meurice
until she moved to 73 rue de Varenne, the top floor in
the house of Lord Granard (called Barbar) right next to the Rodin Museum.
1995 back to the Hotel Meurice until in 1999 she found a new place on 45 rue de Varenne
going out in Paris, practically always accompanied by the editor of this website.
Mid July Biarritz, where Aug 3, Aimees birthday was always
the peek of the season.
End August leaving for The Hotel Chipriani in Venice
and mid September back to Paris.
Early Summer or Fall Week ends here and there ...
Aimee loved to go to the Lobkowicz house in Normandy,
to Kensington Palace in London,
to the Chateau de Marais
or just stay in town walk with the dogs in the jardins de Bagatelle
or the nearby Parcs de St Cloud or Versailles
which would not stop her from occasionally using a simple 2* Hotel as well.
As long as Prince Johannes von Thurn und Taxis was alive
she was always invited to come to Regensburg in December
to be the most glamorous guest
of the different hunting week ends.
She usually stayed 3 weeks, accompanied by another T&T houseguest,
the always broken and very funny Princess Honeychile Hohenlohe.
Receiving friends at home in Paris
Biarritz via Paris
for Christmas and the New Years Eve
Later Years 1986-2006
1983-1985 was a sad time for Aimee ... not only her loved sister Vera Pretyman,
but also her wonderful husband Rodman died.
... after months of sadness
she decided to attend a costume ball in Germany in June 1986,
the 60th anniversary of her old good friend HSH Prince Johannes von Thurn und Taxis.
At the party she ran into a high school graduate from Paris
... whom she invited to come to Biarritz for the following summer vacations in August 1986.
... and again August 1987,
1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 ....
... Aimee continued her invitations
for the Summer in Biarritz
the year she was elected to the Best Dressed List of the Fashion Hall of Fame,
not just for adhering to fashion but more for reinterpreting it with originality and taste.
1998 the summer of the eclipse was supposed to be her last one
after a major hip operation,
but we decided to resist
no parties, no guests
all alone for weeks
with only one thing in mind .... getting back in shape
2003, the year of a round birthday (which was kept a secret)
... Aimee with her "Son in Law" John Noble
John couldn´t stop making "terrible black humor" jokes about the "Mother in Law" ...
... so "terrible" that the "victim" Aimee was not always amused.
Sadly John died in 2005,
but a couple of days before he died
Aimee has had the chance to "forgive" the many jokes
she had to admid were so "terrible"
that .... after some initial furies... even she, the victim .... considered to be rather funny.
"Oh j´avais déja pardonne depuis longtemps, mais il avait quand même de l´esprit"
Aimee was getting older
and once arrived in Biarritz,
she didn´t want the former high school student to leave any more
... until the end of the summer.
Feeling and living her getting older was sad to see ...
... but one of the summer joys of Biarritz was also
the presence (unfortunately too short)
of her beautiful grand daughter
Victoria Noble Lee,
a saver of uncountable abandonded animals
who has inherited some of Aimee´s fascinating looks.
... and her faithful friends of the very last years
Jimmy Douglas, Fernando Porto, Francoise Cochin
La Duchesse de Mandas, Marie Christine de Kent
as well as
her loved nephiews:
George Pretyman and his wife Tanya
William Pretyman and his wife Louiza
and the American
John Wanamaker Leas with his wife Susan.
Begonia Angulo was there every year
a superpower of wild imagination
a kind of a Lady in Waiting,
an eternal summer guest,
an annoying nightmare,
100% the center of the cote Basque and Madrid gossip
a very funny,
but last not least
..... wonderful company
Begonia was known all around the European High Society,
from Monaco to Paris, via Gstaad, Marbella and of course Biarritz ...
She knew everything what she was not supposed to know
and immediately spread the information
... full of errors, confusions, massive exageration
... but always with a bit of truth ...
Ever year had a "special" topic:
1997 the relation between Lady Di and Dodi Al Fayed
1998 the young Baron Gonzague de Luze, grandson of her Biarritz friend Larüe de Charlus
1999 John F Kennedy Jr and stories about the arriving Internet
2000 the loneliness of the Prince Rainier de Monaco
2001 local scandals with people only known around the cote Basque
2002 secret rumors about Letizia Ortiz and Felipe of Spain
2003 the preparations of the royal wedding in Spain
2004 a summer of dramas, l´eté des drames,
caused by a joke about an imaginary lunch invitation from a fake, nouveau riche
Baronne from Saint Jean de Luze
2005 the fights between La Princesse Ira de Fürstenberg and the Paris Hotel Royal Monceau
etc etc etc
all the little dramas in the Hotel du Palais,
announcing Divorces in Paris and Reconsiliations in Madrid
and of cours everything what happened in the house of the "Queen of Biarritz"
La Villa La Roseraie.
Begonias Message Activities started every summer morning
at 10h30 around the swimming pool of the Biarritz Hotel du Palais,
where she had her 1h30 walk from one "cabagna" to another ...
Begonia had no money, she was always sick and full of pains
and nevertheless full of life (what impressed Aimee).
She lived between a tiny flat in Madrid
and the magnificient houses of her generous friends,
Aimee´s Villa La Roseraie beeing her favorite one ...
Begonia would truely deserve to be the subject of some Novels ...
who knows maybe they will be written by one of thoses that had known her in person
One thing was common to all these Biarritz years,
Aimee was swimming in the Atlantic almost every summer day,
accompanied by her maids Lydia, Aparicida, her driver Jose
and when in town, the former high school student.
Years had passed,
but one thing remained a secret ...
... Aimées age
Even though they were sometimes travelling,
the former high school student
was never allowed to look into her Passport to see her date of birth.
He tried to respect ... but anyways the Passport age was not the real one,
at the Brazilian consulate in Paris someone had done something
only a Legend might be able to obtain
taken a decade off in her papers ...
after a while Aime wanted to repeat the 10years less action
but unfortunately computerisation was too advanced.
2006 Paris was waiting for her to come
.... Biarritz as well
but instead a call,
"can you come to New York ..."
The last common summer vacation
was in Manhattan
around the NYC Lenox Hill Hospital.
During these days was finaly reveiled the long kept secret ...
Aimées real age was not 70,
.... a medical ticket on her arms indicated
the former high shool student
finaly realized .....
that during all these years .....
Aimee had always been
63 years older ....