Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Pestering

Jenny Kennedy28 Mar, 2024 4 Min Read
Who's afraid of DDT?

I shouldn’t admit it but I was happy to leave AC3 and CIEL and WGS and every other green conference that’s been held in Dubai this year. Of course it was great to see my King and fellow climate warrior at Cop28, but I’m never all that easy in Dubai. Plus all the best parties are hosted by Arab-owned sponsors, and I never know if I can drink even if it’s on offer.

So back into my luxury compartment on Emirates I went, leaving Dubai for London and knowing I’d have to be right back for the ‘100 days Commitment Conference’.  Don’t get me wrong, Dubai is like nothing you’ve ever seen in your life--kind of spectacular and unnerving all at once. But why is an oil-producing state so keen on joining my planet crusade? It does make one itch. Daddy and Judith were of course happy to welcome me back to my childhood home in St John’s Wood, but Daddy couldn’t help getting in a dig about when I might return to my home in L.A. He’s always pushing me to give up the ghost (and sell), but ignoring him works too.

Prince Henry, or ‘Prince Harry’ as he’s now known, is in town for obvious reasons but time must be carved out to save the planet, and it can’t help but score him points with his father. Separately, Harry’s done scant little since his 'World on Fire' speech of 2022, and I’m going to have to find a way to get some quick action out of him. With Meghan having breached the agreement they made with the late Queen, everyone is concerned they may be stripped of their titles after all. And then what good is he to any of us?

What good, indeed?

Lovely Meryl Streep has agreed to join and I’m hoping we can convince her to take up another important project. Maybe something like banning all pesticides. I hadn’t worked it out yet so I texted my father to ask his opinion of my idea. He wrote back right away: ‘Idea? Yes. This is a bad one’. UGH! I needed help and rang him.

‘Hello Daddy. Any reason why'?

‘Yes—many!’ he began. ‘Because holidays without chemicals would be dengue central, and because when you aren’t meeting friends at Blacklock Chophouse you, pretend to be a vegan!’

‘Daddy!’ I wailed.

'Don’t Daddy me’, he said. I didn’t know what exactly he was threatening but I knew he’d be right. Windmills were killing birds, and electric car batteries were piling up. Our green projects needed more funding! Question was, how soon after a wedding could one ask for assistance? Judith (mummy) still talks about how Sophie, Countess of Woolton, left her honeymoon early to prance about a charity catwalk and the marriage lasted a scant ten years.

My plan was to connect with recently married Cynthia Wu, whom I'd met when she was trying to ditch her American passport so that she could run for vice president of Taiwan. Having lost, she also forgot to report the holdings of her Belgian Baron hubby, and now faced being charged with a rather serious crime. She also found herself desperate to commit public good deeds, the first of which was funding repairs to a much-loved medieval bridge, but which didn't play so well given the bridge was in Belgium; and on her groom’s family estate.

At ten minutes to Meryl, London’s maritime climate was threatening to ruin my perfect coif as I made my way from Jo Hansford to the Ritz. Daniel had given me an extra coat of lacquer but I hurried from the entrance to the powder room just to make sure. Meryl was stunning in panne velvet which didn’t show a single drop of rain, and I realised what a risk I’d taken in green silk.

We talked easily about her past causes, my currents, and why living in Los Angeles wasn’t tenable any longer. Even so, I kept quiet about my house, my car, and my aging Tesla power grid. Had he arrived on time, Prince Harry might have agreed with us, especially  given how he and  Meghan arrived to a palpable lack of love from Hollywood. And here he was: in one continuous stride, Harry arrived—a package of devilish charm and rugged poise, and I immediately felt a heel for having recalled his rather public defeats. I also felt I knew what it might be like to have a baby brother, and I gently drew him into the plans Meryl and I had just hatched. It was the least I could do. I felt bad.

Happy trails, Harry!

Ten brief minutes had put him behind the eight ball but before I had a chance to catch him up, I was being hammered with the vast benefits of his influence, and the brand he delivers, and my god who was this person? It took me half a beat to remember this was the same person who had so ill-used my darling fellow Cheltenham alumnae, Chelsy Davy. I gave him a minute to morph back into the baby brother I had envisioned, but it was a minute wasted.

‘YES, BAN ALL PESTICIDES!’ he insisted, and ‘WHY NOT?’ He railed, as if I couldn't possibly disagree with the great conglomerate and in that moment all I could see was the ‘spare’, tantrumming about not being the ‘heir', and having quite possibly unwound the monarchy in the process. No more sunny, sweet, Harry. He was Meghan with red hair now. Even his mannerisms had changed.

‘The why not?’ I began, ‘is because of Rachel Carson, and the twenty million children who died after her crusade to ban DDT’. Beautiful silence replaced the sting of twenty million children. The photographer arrived and we stood for our picture. Meryl grabbed her clutch, and my phone buzzed. It was Daddy, but instead --

‘Chelsy, darling…’ I said into the phone.  We Cheltenham girls have to stick together. 

Born in British Hong Kong, Ms. Kennedy grew up in London and attended Cheltenham before completing her studies at the University of Southern California. A three-day eventer on the British Olympic equestrian team, Jenny has worked as a dressage coach in Hampshire, Findlay, Southampton, Palm Beach, Hoboken, and La Jolla. She has consulted on multiple commercial shoots, and film projects. She is currently working as a life coach with a focus on beauty, holistic rejuvenation and international travel. Follow her @jenny_kennedy1.


See All

4 comments on “Diary of an Acclimatised Beauty: Pestering”

  1. Oh surely Jenny, you can't be that naughty to a Royal and get away with it!
    So glad to see you've been busy saving the planet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *