There are no shortage of parties in New York in the fall. But one thrown by a royal-adjacent English socialite to save elephants—and in Brooklyn, no less? Now that’s something to talk about. On Thursday, Space For Giants, a non-profit organization based in Kenya that works to protect the natural habitats of African elephants, hosted their first U.S. fundraising event, Stampede of Sound. Held at Brooklyn Bowl, the event featured a live concert by Niles Rodgers to raise funds to stop poaching in Africa. At the center of it all was Alexandra “Lexi” Bowes-Lyon, the charity’s U.S. Philanthropy Director, who also happens to be cousins with Prince William and Harry. Here, the 30-year-old philanthropist opens up after her charity work, the differences between the London and New York social scene, and what makes a good party.
Tell me about the big event at Brooklyn Bowl.
Space for Giant is relatively new in America, so we are throwing this party at Brooklyn Bowl. The aim is to raise a million dollars. We are an incredibly small team over here, and we wanted something that can raise our brand profile and at the same time, raise the money to fund the necessary projects. My idea is always to do something fun that is engaging. “What would my friends want to come to?” I also like to support creative arts in any way, so that was the idea behind this. We’re going to have fun and raise some money.
What exactly is Space for Giant for those who don’t know?
Space for Giant is a non-profit organization to protect the African elephants from extinction and to secure the habitat that they live in. Obviously the problem that everyone hears is the poaching problem, but the biggest threat and longer term issue is that cities are getting bigger and bigger, and people are spreading out. Very soon we are going to have much less space, and the problem is that humans and animals are having difficulty living side-by-side with each other, and we want to secure these spaces and, within that, protect these animals.
How did you get involved?
I grew up between Scotland and London, so I was always surrounded by these amazing landscapes and was lucky enough to travel my whole life. I’ve been to Africa and various different countries quite a lot. I worked in the art world for quite a few years, and really enjoyed it and all the different people that you meet along the way, but it wasn’t quite for me. I quit and started to explore other options, and kind of fell into the charity world and decided that creating creative events, using what I already knew, could marry two of my interests.
What makes a good party that people will want to come to?
New Yorkers sort of have a twenty minute attention span, and the desire to always be experiencing something new is both exciting and difficult to work with. For me, it is about how you capture people’s imagination, and especially when it comes to charity, how you bring home something that is very far away and removed from our everyday life and make it something that they can really care about. A lot of it is about the people who are there; there has to be a good energy. And having a theme that really focuses people and interests them—something they can take part in. Is it a party or is there something that can really resonate with them? New York is hard and easy because there are so many things going on at the same time that people are very willing to go to things, but to keep their attention is very difficult.
What are other differences that you notice between the New York and London social scene?
For me, where you grow up, you are in a very specific social crowd, and London is obviously very dynamic and there are lots of different cultures and people there. But the social scene was always a bit limiting, for me, but maybe people always say that about where you’re from. When you move to a new place, you have this opportunity to start something completely new and open whatever doors you want. Moving to New York was moving out of something that I’d grown up in. I wanted to explore different options and see what was out there. I love working in New York purely because I am meeting people all the time.
Have you noticed that your style has changed since coming to New York?
Yes, definitely. I walk outside my door and see all kinds of crazy characters dressed up in weird and wonderful things all the time. There is a lot of expression in the city. There probably is in London, as well, but I grew up in a specific social scene, and to get out of that is much more difficult in your hometown. When I came here, I was inspired to take some more risks. I put together some crazy outfits that I think if I was in London people would say, “What the hell are you wearing?”
The Definitive Guide to the Most Fashionable Royal Kids, Beyond Princes Louis and George and Princess Charlotte
Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella of Monaco, now 2-year-olds, are the children of Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife, Princess Charlene. Although Princess Gabriella is the older twin, her brother, Prince Jacques, is the heir apparent. The twins are pictured here with their parents during the annual Christmas gifts distribution at Monaco Palace last December.
Thirteen-year-old Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange, is the heir apparent to the Kingdom of the Netherlands’ throne. She and her younger sisters, Princess Alexia, age 12, and Princess Ariane, age 10, are the daughters of Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. The sisters are pictured here at Kagerplassen in Warmond, Netherlands.
Countess Luana and Countess Zaria of Orange-Nassau with their mother, Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau. The young countesses are the daughter of the late Prince Frisco of Orange-Nassau, a younger brother of King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands.
Leonor, Princess of Asturias, is 11 years old and the heir apparent to the Spanish throne. She and her younger sister, 10-year-old Infanta Sofía, are the daughters of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain. Here, the sisters attend Princess Sofía’s first communion.
HRH The Crown Prince of Morocco is 13 years old, and he is the oldest son of King Mohammed VI of Morocco and his wife, Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco. Here the young prince welcomes former French president Francois Hollande to Morocco, a former French colony, in 2013.
Fifteen-year-old Princess Elizabeth is the heir apparent to the Belgian throne and is the eldest child of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde. The young royal became next in line in succession only after her grandfather, King Albert II, abdicated his throne for health reasons in 2013.
Prince Hisahito of Japan, a 10-year-old prince, is a dapper young man and often seen wearing a suit. He is the youngest child and only son of Fumihito, Prince Akishino and Kiko, Princess Akishino. The young royal is third in line to become Emperor, behind his uncle and father. Here, the young prince visits Nagasaki with his family in December of last year.
Prince Hisahito’s eldest sister, Princess Mako, recently announced her engagement to a commoner, which will result in the young princess losing her royal status. Pre-1947, the decree that forbids women in the royal family to inherit the throne—or even remain a royal—if they marry a commoner did not exist.
Princess Estelle of Sweden, now 5 years old, is the elder child and only daughter of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and her husband, Prince Daniel. She is the second in line of succession to the Swedish throne. Here she is attending the 40th birthday of her mother at Solliden Palace in Borgholm, Sweden.
One-and-a-half-year-old Prince Oscar, Duke of Skåne, is the youngest child and only son of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and her husband, Prince Daniel. He is the third in line of succession, after his mother and sister, to the Swedish throne. Here he is attending the 40th birthday of his mother at Solliden Palace in Borgholm, Sweden.
Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden welcomed Prince Gabriel into the world just this last August. The baby prince is sixth in line to the Swedish throne, after his older brother, Prince Carl Philip.
Prince Carl Philip of Sweden carries his 18-month-old son, Prince Alexander, to the royal palace in Stockholm as they prepared for Crown Princess Victoria’s birthday festivities this past July.
Prince Christian of Denmark is the eldest child of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary. He is the grandson of Queen Margrethe II and the second in line to the Danish throne, after his father. Here the young prince attends an equestrian event in July in Denmark.
Ten-year-old Princess Isabella is the eldest child of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary. She is the granddaughter of Queen Margrethe II and third in line to the Danish throne, after her father and brother. Here the young princess attends her grandmother’s 77th birthday celebration in Denmark with her mother.
Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine of Denmark are 6-year-old twins. Prince Vincent is the elder of the two, and he is fourth in line to the Danish throne; Princess Josephine is sixth. The twins are pictured last summer at the Grasten Castle in Denmark.
Prince Nikolai of Denmark, Count of Monpezat, climbs aboard the royal ship Dannebrog for his 18th-birthday celebrations in Copenhagen. He is the first son of Prince Joachim of Denmark and his ex-wife, the Countess of Frederiksborg. Here he is being tailed by step-sister Princess Athena.
Prince Philip of Serbia and his wife, Danica Marinkovic, debuted their new son in early March. Prince Stefan is held close by his mother in the Royal Palace of Belgrade, Serbia. Crown Prince of Serbia, Alexander Karadjordjevic, announced the news of his grandson’s birth on social media on February 28.
Crown Prince of Haakon of Norway and the Crown Princess Mette Marit of Norway attend the Nordic World Ski Championshop with their two children, heir apparent Prinvess Ingrid Alexander, age 13, and Prince Sverre Magnus, age 11.
Thailand’s Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti, pictured center, is the son of Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkunis, better known as King Rama X, and his third wife, Princess Srirasmi Suwadee. The young heir to the throne is now 12 years old.
Princess Amalia of Luxembourg is now 3 years old, but here she is the day her parents, Prince Felix of Luxembourg and Princess Claire of Luxembourg, left the hospital and presented her to the world. She is third in line of succession for the crown of Luxembourg and has a younger brother, Prince Liam, born in 2016.
Princess Madeleine of Sweden and her husband welcomed their third baby, Princess Adrienne Josephine Alice, Princess of Sweden and Duchess of Blekinge, in March. The royal mom Instagrammed this candid shot of Princess Leonore and Prince Nicolas cuddling with their new baby sister, in Stockholm.
The 4-year-old prince is the eldest child of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. He is third in line for the British throne, behind his father and then grandfather, Charles, Prince of Wales. Here he departs the Berlin military office in 2017 after an official tour of Poland and Germany.
The 2-year-old princess is the younger child and only daughter of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. She is fourth in line for the British throne, behind her brother, Prince George; her father; and her grandfather, Charles, Prince of Wales. Here she departs the Berlin military office in 2017 after an official tour of Poland and Germany.
Meet Prince Louis Arthur Charles, the third child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The newborn prince is currently fifth in line for the throne, after his grandfather, Prince Charles; his father; and both his older siblings. Here he is pictured outside the famed Lindo Wing, on his way home for the first time.
9 Famous Kids Who Ruled the Runway at New York Fashion Week 2017