It was a privilege of a lifetime.
I was invited to interview Princess Grace of Monaco at the palace in Monte Carlo about a collection of patterns for bed sheets she had approved for a major American bedding company-- something along the lines of "The Princess's Choice" being the headline-- I was an editor at House & Garden at the time and I was chosen to take the assignment. LUCKY ME!
This all took place just three months before her fatal car crash in 1982.
To this day, people ask me "What was her MOST distinguishing feature?" IN TRUTH? Her eyebrows...
However... The PEARLS she was wearing were astonishing. I have never forgotten them.
Her face? Exquisite, or course. Her figure? Elegant, of course. Her clothes? Beautiful, of course. And... she was carrying a little dog in her arms. ADORABLE.
So.... ABOUT THE PEARLS, Girls....since we'll never live the princess dream, thank goodness for CAROLEE pearls to help us get the look!
Big, white, studs with small diamonds, earrings, maybe 11m-12m? But not so heavy they made her earlobes droop.... (important to remember that effect.)
I had a pair of my own large-ish South Sea pearl studs so I recognized very quickly the quality of what she was wearing.
And then, there was also a modest pearl bracelet-- by comparison to the earrings. As well as a modest pearl necklace-- the EMPHASIS being her face.
Which is the job earrings are supposed to do.
So....WHAT did we talk about?
FLOWERS. Everyday, absolutely EVERYDAY, she said, she arranged the flowers in the palace herself. It was her solace, her joy, her artistry.
And, as luck would have it, GARDEN CLUBS OF AMERICA sent me a print of a film (possibly her last) she had just completed which she had made at their
request-- I shared it with American friends who had a villa in Monaco and who adored her and everything she had done to make Monte Carlo so special.
Princess Grace was both gracious and reserved. KIND to me and appreciative that it was A-OK with me if.... SHE DIDN'T want to talk about sheets!
-an article by Paula Rice