NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) _ Claus von Bulow joined 250 aristocrats, two U.S. senators and other notables in a pomp-filled funeral service for Anne S.K. Brown, a grande dame of Rhode Island’s high society.
Mrs. Brown, 79, an outspoken patron of the arts and a military historian, died Thursday at Harbor Court, her home overlooking Newport Harbor. She was the widow of John Nicholas Brown, scion of the state’s most prominent family.
She was one of the few members of Newport’s ″summer colony″ to publicly support von Bulow, charged in 1981 with twice trying to murder his heiress wife, Martha ″Sunny″ von Bulow, at their ″Millionaire’s Row″ mansion.
Von Bulow arrived at Monday’s service at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in a chauffeur-driven limousine with his daughter, Cosima, a freshman at Brown University.
Also attending were U.S. Sens. Claiborne Pell and John H. Chafee, Janet Auchincloss, novelist Alan Pryce-Jones and Newport Preservation Society head John Winslow.
The two-hour, high Anglo-Catholic service was highlighted by an honor guard of the Newport Artillery Co. in full colonial regalia. Steps leading to the Gothic chapel were lined with baskets of white carnations, gladioluses and chrysanthemums.
Mrs. Brown took the stand at von Bulow’s trial in 1982 as a character witness.
″Claus no more tried to murder Sunny than the man in the moon,″ she said.
Von Bulow was convicted in 1982 on two attempted-murder counts, but the convictions were thrown out on appeal and he won an acquittal earlier this year. Mrs. Brown did not appear at the second trial.
He lives in Manhattan with socialite Andrea Reynolds and reportedly is writing a book.
The family’s Newport mansion, Clarendon Court, is used by Mrs. von Bulow’s two children from a previous marriage. They were von Bulow’s chief accusers. Mrs. Brown lived in Newport in the summer and divided her time in the winter between homes in Palm Beach, Fla., and Providence’s East Side.
Her children are J. Carter Brown, director of the National Gallery of Art, retired Navy Capt. Nicholas Brown, director of the National Aquarium, and Angela Brown Fischer.
Born Anne Seddon Kinsolving to parents prominent in Virginia society, Mrs. Brown was a feature writer and music critic for the old Baltimore News for eight years in her late teens and early 20s.
She covered the funeral of film star Rudolph Valentino and rode upside down in a plane over the Washington Monument with a wartime flying ace.
In 1933, she became a prominent opponent of Prohibition, heading a convention of reform-minded women known as ″women wets.″