Presumably by disclosing in this manner an easy acquaintanceship with persons famous, exotic, or deeply unexpected, this stratagem may achieve an immediate effect of heightened drama—and enable you to conduct the rest of your conversation entirely unimpeded.
Lately I have been accumulating a charming array of other examples of this ingenious practise, the vast majority of which were used by ladies either rich in experience, or very old indeed.
In her memoirs, for example, Princess Marie Louise recalled being told by a French diplomat, M. de Fleuriau, that as a young man he had been granted an audience with the Empress Eugénie (who died in 1920, aged 94, and was buried at Farnborough in England). This took place in the late 1850s at the Tuileries. During the audience the Empress told him that her previous caller, a very elderly lady, had tossed into the conversation as casually as possible a remark that began «Oui, comme mon mari disait à Louis XIV… » (“Yes, as my husband used to say to Louis XIV...”)
According to M. de Fleuriau, this was the dowager duchesse de Richelieu, who as a very young girl in 1780 married Louis-François-Armand du Plessis, second duc de Richelieu (1696–1788), marshal of France, and a great-nephew of the eponymous cardinal. By then the duc was eighty-four years old and she was his third wife. Somewhat taken aback by this astonishing span of years, the Empress expressed much interest and some surprise, and it duly emerged that in about 1704 or 1705, aged eight or nine, the duc had served as a page to the Sun King at Versailles. Louis XIV died in 1715.