"I didn't want to come down here at all," Whitney Warren said.
It was Thursday, the day of the disaster, the non-wedding.
No Newton Cope, Millionaire San Francisco Hotel-Owner and Devoted Friend, marrying for the third time in the splendid chandeliered apartment of Well-Know Socialite Whitney Warren.
No Princess Lee Radziwill, marrying for the third time also.
Warren has a big fruit ranch east of San Francisco, and he really needed to staty there a while longer because he's leaving for Europe next week and there just isn't time to do everything. But old friends are important, and Newton had asked for the-well, splendid is perhaps not too strong a word, when you take in the tapestries and the enormous chandelier and the dizzying city view -the splendid atmosphere of the Warren apartment.
And "I'm devoted to Newton," Warren said.
So preparations were made-flowers, food, servants and so on.
"I hadn't been here 10 minutes when the phone rang and Mr. Cope said, 'Whitney, there's no wedding."
Warren was in his apartment, on a sofa by the window, late in the afternoon, in an undershirt.
"I said, 'Newton, this is impossible. I come all the way down here and go to all this trouble and then your friend decides she doesn't want to do it.'
"I said, 'Newton, I don't think that's terribly funny.'"
"These people!" Warren said. Warren, after all, entertained Princess Margaret when she was in town.
"I don't know why this woman should be newspaper material-just because her sister [Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis] was married to the president?" Warren's voice rose slightly. "It's too silly."
The princess told Cope she had changed her mind, Warren said. She told Cope she wanted to get married in New York instead, Warren said.
Three unopened telegrams to Mr. and Mrs. Newton Cope were still in the front hallway. Warran just let them sit there. CAPTION: Picture, Lee Radziwill