British socialites roll up for Spring Carnival

The James Boag Meteorphium.

The James Boag Meteorphium.

For many of us, Melbourne’s Spring Carnival is a time to dress up and get tipsy with good friends, maybe even placing a bet or two while you’re at it.

But for the elite few who manage to score an invite to the exclusive Birdcage, the Carnival is all about free champagne, extravagant fashion and shoulder-rubbing with high-profile celebrity guests.

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Lady Spencer with Bear Grylls.

Lady Spencer with Bear Grylls.

In the past, guests have included supermodels Kate Upton, Naomi Campbell and Gigi Hadid, actors Chris Hemsworth, Margot Robbie, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mischa Barton and Eva Longoria, and singer Solange Knowles.

This year, Emirates – which typically boasts the most high-profile stars – has gone in an unusual direction with their guest of honour.

For Melbourne Cup day the airline’s England-themed marquee will host Lady Kitty Spencer, a British socialite probably most famous for being Princess Diana’s niece.

In a press release, Emirates described the royal relative as “a true model of enviable English heritage”.

“Daughter of Earl Spencer and first wife, former model Victoria Lockwood, Lady Kitty Spencer is also the first cousin to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry,” the release stated.

Millie Mackintosh.

Millie Mackintosh.

Lady Spencer was named the “most eligible girl in Britain” by Tatler magazine and spends most of her time mingling with famous friends like Nicki Minaj and the cast of Downton Abbey.

Lady Spencer is also a trustee for the military charity Give us time and Centrepoint and has a degree in psychology, politics and English literature at the University of Cape Town.

The socialite has never visited Australia before and said she was “very excited” for her trip.

But Lady Spencer isn’t the only Brit to grace the Carnival.

Emirates will also host British milliner to the stars Stephen Jones OBE, as well as reality television star Millie Mackintosh, whose great-great grandfather was the inventor of toffee.

As for the rest of the marquees, here’s what the elite guests can expect…


The champagne company will welcome French DJ David, who has co-designed a limited edition bottle for the brand “entirely adorned in platinum, creating a mirror effect designed to take centre stage under nightclub lighting”.

David Guetta with Beyonce.

David Guetta with Beyonce.

Partnering with celebrity TV channel E!, Mumm will also welcome American television personalities Melissa Rivers and Brad Goreski, as well as American comedian Joel McHale and reality star Brody Jenner (son of Caitlyn Jenner).

Wolf Blass

The wine company has a marquee designed by renowned Australian artist David Bromley.

Bromley’s famous horse paintings have been screen-printed to create a 50-metre wrap around the external walls of the marquee.

James Boag

We’re not quite sure exactly what is going on in the beer brand’s Birdcage marquee, except that they’re teasing something called the “James Boag Meteorphonium”.

This allegedly uses “live local weather data” to “transform the famed Carnival into an ever-changing, beautiful musical Symphony”.

The James Boag Meteorphium.

The James Boag Meteorphonium.

We’re picturing a high-tech wind tunnel at this point.


Myer’s theme is ‘Super Botanica’ which basically means a whole lot of flowers.

Their celebrity guests are limited to Myer ambassadors Jennifer Hawkins, Kris Smith, Rachael Finch, Jodi Anasta, Lauren Phillips and Kate Peck.


Swisse is going with a “Modern China” theme which will include a 3pm Yum Cha hour.

Guests will include model Ashley Hart, blogger Margaret Zhang, tennis champ Lleyton Hewitt and Entourage star Kevin Dillon, who will DJ on Oaks Day.


The Italian coffee house has enlisted The Block‘s Neale Whitaker to design and style its marquee.

The marquee will also feature a mural by artist (and husband of Asher Keddie) Vincent Fantauzzo and a Nonna-inspired menu from chefs Adam D’Sylva and Silvia Colloca.


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