The Duchess of York talks shagging at Roper gala

Roper Xavier Society shows appreciation for their generous donors

The Roper Xavier Society has been fortunate over the years. Even as an economic downturn has left most Americans strapped for cash, the foundation brought in an outrageous $5.1 million in 2009. Needless to say, the nonprofit goes to great lengths to thank its generous donors. The most extravagant display of gratitude is the annual gala hosted in honor of the society’s members.

Held at Charleston Place Saturday, over 800 guests were treated like royalty for the evening, and were graced with a speech by a true member of the English nobility. Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, entertained the audience with her sharp wit, which has somehow escaped the countless tabloid stories published about her. Giggling as she approached the podium, Ferguson attempted to hold her composure after having learned of Roper St. Francis’ President and CEO David Dunlap’s propensity for South Carolina’s signature dance.

“Shagging in Britain is not dancing,” Fergie chuckled. The Duchess sparked several fits of laughter from the crowd, which was then high on endorphins from bellies filled with filet, red velvet cake, and copious amounts of booze. Mixing inspirational tales and clever side notes, Fergie hit the cheesy requisite topics of hope, empowerment, and visions of world peace. The clever speaker also repeatedly praised Americans, obviously buttering us up which, of course, we all fell for unquestionably. We became even more enthralled with her seemingly genuine appreciation for our beloved city.
“I’m carrying this wonderful sweetgrass basket instead of Prada, and I think its better,” Fergie mused at the “handbag” she chose to hold her notes for the evening.
Before stepping down, the Duchess went on to cleverly remind the ballroom packed with southerners that “Charleston is named after King Charles. We are all British really aren’t we?”
Quiana Parler and Friends took the stage at the conclusion of the night, inviting friends to join the Dunlaps for a little shagging — the vertical form that is.

Support the Charleston City Paper

We’ve been covering Charleston since 1997 and plan to be here with the latest and Best of Charleston for many years to come. In a time where local journalism is struggling, the City Paper is investing in the future of Charleston as a place where diverse, engaging views can flourish. We can't do it without our readers. If you'd like to support local, independent journalism:



Black wellness professionals reckon with representation in Charleston

Connelly Hardaway

Taking Care Kennae Miller recently had a conversation with someone about Black people and their fitness habits. “He told me, ‘Black folks don’t eat well, they don’t go to the gym and they don’t want a sweaty workout,’” said Miller, the owner and teacher at Transformation Yoga. “I asked him, ‘Well, who told you that?’” […]


10/25 COVID-19 update: 1,281 cases; 7 deaths

COVID-19 updates: South Carolina health officials reported 1,281 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, with 7 additional confirmed deaths. The percent positive rate for Saturday was unavailable. As of 6:57 p.m. Oct. 25, via S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control:Confirmed cases in S.C.:  163,143 (+628)Positive tests in Charleston County (total): 16,576 (+54)Negative tests in S.C.: 1,642,954Deaths in S.C. from COVID-19: 3,567 […]

Charleston Literary Festival kicks off free, virtual event Nov. 6

The annual Charleston to Charleston Literary Festival released their virtual schedule.

Lata: Help Charleston restaurants, vote ‘Yes’ on affordable housing ballot questions

Charleston has become a world-class city, known for its hospitality and charm. The tourism renaissance began in the early 2000s and has carried on to today. Historical sites, first-class hotels and a burgeoning food scene puts Charleston at the top of national lists to visit. However, in order to sustain this level of accomplishment, many […]

Charles Towne Fermentory IPA to benefit Brewing Funds the Cure

100 percent of proceeds from Charles Towne Fermentory’s limited edition Rising Hope IPA will be donated to Brewing Funds the Cure.