It was announced by the Chancellery of the Russian Imperial House that HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna has agreed to serve as Patroness of the venerable Russian Ball of Washington DC.
The Russian Ball of Washington is an annual tradition founded in 1971 by the socialite Maria Fisher. An enthusiast of holding "heritage parties" celebrating different ethnicities, Fisher acted on the suggestion of Prince Alexis Obolensky, a Russian nobleman who resided in Washington, to organize a ball celebrating the city's "White Russian" community around the time of the old style Julian calendar New Year in mid-January. Prince Obolensky and his American wife Selene chaired the ball until his death in 2006. Princess Obolensky continued to chair the ball alone until she stepped down for health reasons in 2013.
The ball's current chairmen are Professor and Mrs. Paul du Quenoy It is co-chaired by Prince and Princess Nicholas Obolensky. The ball committee has included members of the Tolstoy, Putiatin, Shakhovskoy, Chavchavadze, Volkonsky, Roosevelt and Wanamaker families as well as His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Selassie of Ethiopia, Congressman James W. Symington, Senator Larry Pressler, and Edward T. Wilson, grandson of the American businessman Thomas E. Wilson.