The Third Most Exclusive Club in the World
Bond's Beretta .25 automatic pistol also took on mythic status among firearms cognoscenti.
It is a terrific weapon. After all, Beretta has been making guns since 1526, so it should know what it is doing.
What is remarkable about Beretta is that it is not only a family-owned business, but has been in the same family since its founding nearly 500 years ago.
Beretta is one of the Henokiens.
Probably the most exclusive club in the world is made up of ex-presidents of the United States. At present, its membership is down to four--Ford, Carter, Bush 41 and Clinton.
My friend of 50 years, Floor Kist, was a member of what must be the second most exclusive club in the world--the eight men who run the palaces of the crowned heads of Europe. Kist worked his way up the Dutch diplomatic corps and recently retired with the splendid title of Grand Master of the Household of Her Majesty the Queen. He ran the show for Queen Beatrix at home and honchoed all her foreign travel. From Kist's Aug.5 e-mail to me:
The Grandmasters of the Courts of Europe have decided to meet even once a year, every year in a different capital.
The countries are: Sweden, Norway, Danmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg (the family of the Grand-Duke is considered a Royal Family), Great Britain and Spain.
Notes are compared every time. Maybe now they have even dared to embark on the question what the integration of Europe is going to do to the Royal Heads of State of the participating countries (the answer to this one is probably that the Royal Houses will be here for a long time to come). Why? Integration is slowing, the states are not likely to melt together and even if integration were more successful, would probably lead to more need of expressing the various national identities, which is exactly what Royal Houses do.