washpostlogo"Beth Ann Newton, editor of the Social List of Washington — a.k.a. the Green Book, the capital's definitive guide to official titles and protocol — gets calls for help whenever a host has one or more titled officials on the guest list. As a courtesy, she'll create a seating chart, only to get a last-minute call that requires shuffling the entire plan."

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washingtonian"The most prominent part of the visit, however, is the state dinner. What if Trierweiler backs out? “Clearly the office would have to prepare a backup seating plan, so that there is no empty seat,” says Beth Ann Newton, editor of The Green Book, which serves as Washington’s social directory and guide to questions of official protocol. While Newton couldn’t address what an absent Trierweiler would mean in terms of media sensation, she said the rules of etiquette and protocol help guide planners through a difficult situation.

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washing post logoIf you have to ask who’s in the Green Book, you’re probably not.

We speak of the “Social List of Washington, D.C.” — nicknamed the Green Book for its distinctive apple-green faux-suede cover. For the past 83 years, the book has provided a guide to official Washington, plus a whole bunch of well-bred folks you’ve never heard of.

“It’s like an exclusive address book,” explained Kevin Chaffee, a Washington Life senior editor who’s been listed for the past three decades. “Back in the old days, it was more of a stud book. You assumed that if someone was in the Green Book, they were part of proper Washington society.”

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guestofguestThe Washington Social Register, commonly known as The Green Book, today announced in a release the appointment of Peter L. Murray as the new publisher. Murray is the great-grandson of the book's founder, Helen Ray Hagner.

The previous publisher is simply listed as "Murray Publishing" inside the book. Prior publishers were Jean Shaw Murray (1977-1986), Carolyn Hagner Shaw (1942-1977), and Helen Ray Hagner (1930-1942). Peter L. Murray served as the publication's associate publisher for the last 15 years. The fact that the book is being passed to the fourth generation only adds more tradition and mystique to the already esteemed book.

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