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In Astor Aftermath, High Society Begins to Aim Below the Belt

Brooke Astor

Brooke Astor with politician John Vliet Lindsay and his wife, Mary, at Rockefeller Center in 1985.Photo: Tom Gates/Pictorial Parade/Getty Images

Brooke Astor is not yet in her grave, and already tempers are boiling over funeral plans, bequests, and contested codicils to her will. The society matriarch had been planning her grand funeral for over ten years (it’s not morbid, people, a decade ago she was 95), and the list includes surviving boldfacers like Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, President George H.W. Bush and wife Barbara, Renée Fleming, Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, and Martha Stewart. It will take place at 2:30 on Friday at St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Fifth Avenue, the home nest of American Wasp culture. Still to be determined are the pallbearers, notes the Times. Per Astor’s request, will her friends David Rockefeller and Annette de la Renta be included? Or will their foe Anthony Marshall, her son, replace them with Marines? (And who will play the role of Kitty Carlisle Hart, who died this April??) Meanwhile, the Post claims Marshall worked with a crooked lawyer to amend his mother’s will during her ailing years, and that De la Renta may try to take over stewardship of the estate. “I see no valid reason to contest the will,” retorted Marshall when contacted by the Post. “A will is a will!” We really hope the dialogue continues on this level.

Funeral A-List: New Version of Mrs. Astor’s 400 [NYT]
Changed of Her Own Free ‘Will’ [NYP]

Update: The will is online! [NYT]

In Astor Aftermath, High Society Begins to Aim Below the Belt