Type the number ‘2500’ into Google and the first thing that appears in the little suggestion box is ‘the 2500th anniversary of the Persian Empire’. It immediately seems that, throughout the history of the world, few things have lasted that long (except for, perhaps, some episodes of reality television).
The anniversary in question took place in 1971, when the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi threw the world’s biggest, most lavish and most expensive party. And at the same time, some would say, managed to make the world’s biggest political statement.
IN 1971, Islamic revolution in Iran was barely eight years away, but the country could not have been different from the State as it is today. At the time, the Shah was keen to cement his relationship with the West by proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Iran was indeed a major player on the world’s stage.
For those of us who fancy making young Jennifer’s Christening Party go with a bang, recreating this extravagance might seem like a good idea. To do so, you’re going to need a guest list of royalty (including our own Prince Phillip and Princess Anne), enough food for six hundred people to eat for five hours (with a menu including fifty roast peacocks and quails eggs stuffed with Caspian caviar), as well as three tents big enough to be called ‘mini-cities’. Also some significant infrastructure changes such as new monuments being built and some major changes to the local airport in order to accommodate the sudden influx of celebrities and royalty.
Oh, and a budget of around $516 million and more than a decade worth of planning.
In these days of austerity, young Jenny may well have to do with some nice marquees and a posh-do at the local golf club.
The days of these sort of parties may well be gone, but we can still own a part of that momentous occasion from forty years ago. The Proof Set, created to mark the celebrations, is estimated at £1,500-2,000 – a wonderful and scarce item that maybe, just maybe, will be the first thing that comes up when you Google ‘2500’ in the future….