A few days ago, the world famous actress, singer and writer Julie Andrews celebrated her 85th birthday. On this occasion we look back: it is now more than six years since she was made an honorary citizen of the municipality of Saanen.
Countless people cross the Kapälliplatz in Gstaad every day, pass the large fountain and rest their gaze on the humorous bronze statue in the shape of a duck. What few people may know: it was here, on a bright summer's day in 2014, just over six years ago, that Julie Andrews was made an honorary citizen of the municipality of Saanen. She stood in front of this fountain and unveiled her gift the Sitting Duck, a bronze statue cast by her husband, Blake Edwards.
As a 33-year-old Andrews discovered Gstaad together with Edwards. From then on, this place was for her "the last paradise in a crazy world", a retreat, an intact world – she lived here for seven years in the 1970s. She returned her love for the destination in many different ways.
Whether it was sponsoring the Christmas lights, presenting the winner's cup at the tennis tournament or organising a film music festival – Andrews was committed to the Saanenland. In doing so, she not only made practical contributions, but carried the name of Gstaad all over the world.
Together with her husband, she chose the location as the shooting location for two films and her enthusiasm for the Saanenland attracted celebrities from all over the world: Thanks to her, stars like Audrey Hepburn and Peter Sellers found their way to the destination. Priceless advertising for the destination.
And so it was that on 6 June 2014 – after having travelled here especially for this purpose – the radiant Andrews accepted the framed award, which made her an honorary citizen. It is now more than six years since this moment on the Kapälliplatz. And Gstaad is still as important to her as ever as a place of retreat.
Based on AvS/Nadine Hager