Grace Kelly & Howell Conant: Part Two

Last week we had a good look at the first photographs of Grace taken by her favourite photographer Howell Conant. Click here for a refresher. Today we’re moving on to ‘The ‘Prince Rainier Years.’

After Prince Rainier proposed to Grace while the couple were visiting her parents in Philadelphia, they returned to Grace Kelly’s New York apartment and Grace invited Howell over to take engagement portraits. He remembered, “I hurried over to her Fifth Avenue apartment and saw a Grace Kelly I had never seen before. Jamaica had introduced me to the playful Grace, and The Swan to the thoughtful, inward Grace. Now I found standing arm-in-arm with Prince Rainier of Monaco, Grace Kelly Number Three, a woman in love.”

Check out Rainier’s cigarette in this one. Can’t imagine that making the cut these days:

Howell also said, “He was the only man in the world Grace could have married. Why? Her fame was so great, any other man would have become known as Mr. Kelly. . . . But not Rainier, who’d never fit into that category. He’s a man’s man, and they were close. People don’t understand the importance of being important. They were both important, but Rainier owned an entire country!”

Four months after these engagement photographs were taken, Grace headed to Monaco onboard the Constitution accompanied by an estimated seventy friends and family (whose passage was all paid for by Jack Kelly, who was understandably relieved that he wasn’t expected to pay for the wedding itself), and numerous reporters. Howell was there to capture every moment as part of a top secret assignment with LIFE. Only Grace was in on the secret. Because of their friendship, he was able to spend time with Grace taking pictures when the other reporters were kept away.

Love this shot of Grace hiding from a reporter who has just spotted her outside the window:

The USS Constitution arrived in Monaco on April 12, 1956. For her arrival, Grace chose to wear a white organza hat which was selected for Howell’s benefit.

To the numerous assembled photographers, the hat was a nuiscanse because it hid her face, but for Howell it worked like a photographer’s white umbrella and it diffused the harsh sunlight (the ship arrived at ten am). Clever!!

And then there was The Wedding. The first event was the Civil Ceremony, which was held on April 18, 1956 (so 7 days after Grace’s arrival in the principality) and Howell was there to capture it all. He liked capturing his subjects from above when possible:

That evening, the couple attended a gala at the Opera House and when they returned home to the palace they waved to the citizens of Monaco waiting below:

They must have been exhausted, but the next day was another big one of course. Howell captured some candid moments, like this one when Grace was adjusting bridesmaid Carolyn Scott’s hat:

Another fave. The bodice of the gown featured 125 year old rose point lace:

After all the festivities, the Prince and Princess boarded the Deo Juvante II for their honeymoon cruise. Naturally, Howell was already onboard to capture the couple’s arrival.

In Part Three, we’ll conclude this series with Howell’s photographs of Grace and her family in the years she lived in Monaco. Hope you’ll join us!

UPDATED:The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge in Copenhagen for a Humanitarian Visit


Kate & William are in Copenhagen today to help UNICEF with their aid for East Africa, where a famine is putting millions of lives at risk. The UNICEF emergency supply centre is in Copenhagen so it was only natural that  Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark join them for this humanitarian visit.

As we know, William and Kate became engaged in Africa a little over a year ago, and when they heard of the worsening crisis both from the news and from their friends in Africa,  they wanted to do something to help. Hopefully their visit will help inspire many others to do the same.

This visit has been fit into William’s tight work schedule with the RAF and comes when there have been some whispers brewing that Kate hasn’t been doing enough lately….so all round it was great timing for a truly important cause.

Kate and William spoke to the media about their feelings on the crisis. Yes – Kate too! This is the first time since the wedding vows that we have seen Kate speak publicly, and it was the first time since the November 16th engagement interview that she answered a question on film. This is all very intentional and part of a strategy to gradually introduce her to public life while managing her public persona. Notably, the Duke and Duchess’ official website quotes only the Duchess in their post on today’s visit. That is definitely be design. Check it out here.

The BBC reports that the Duke of Cambridge said, “I think what has touched me the most is probably the fact there’s an incredible amount being done. Unicef are leading the way and they’re doing a fantastic job. Sadly there’s still a lot more to do and that’s why we’re here today, to try our best to put Unicef ahead of the system again and get as many people as possible realising the truly horrendous situation going on in East Africa.”

The Duchess hoped their trip would help reignite attention towards the crisis. She said, “I think it was initially a very big story. A lot of people did hear about it, but I think because it has been going on, people have perhaps lost track of this terrible situation. So I think this, hopefully, will put the light back on this crisis.”

Check out their interview here. Kate has a bit of the same wobble in her voice that she had during the engagement interview. No doubt we will keep seeing her confidence grow:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJYF5rNSG50]

To learn more about UNICEF’s work with this crisis and to donate, please click here.

William and Kate flew into the Danish capital this morning and will return to England later today. According to the Duke and Duchess’ official website, their first stop on the visit was a private visit to the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark’s residence at he Frederik VIII Palace. That would have been a nice ‘warm up’ for the day since it is believed that this was the first time that Kate had met the couple. We wonder if Kate felt at all overdressed when she saw what Mary had picked out. Or perhaps Mary felt underdressed? (Side note – this reminds us of the time that Jackie O went to a beach bbq in flats and clam digger pants while many of the other attendees, excited at the prospect  of Jackie attending, got dolled up and dressed to the nines. Since Jackie was a noted fashion icon at the time, fashion critics noted that Jackie thus set the tone and was the one who was properly dressed and the other guests were therefore overdressed….So, who set’s the tone here?)

Kate and William have quite a bit in common with the Crown Prince and Princess (after all, both Princes married commoners who will one day be Queens). Prince Frederik met the former Mary Donaldson during the Sydney Olympics in Mary’s native Australia. We talk more about that here, in Part One of our post on “Chance Royal Meetings, Olympic Edition.”

Now, we don’t want to take away from the very good cause that the royals were working to highlight, but we must have a few thoughts on the clothes. Kate pulled out another High Street showstopper that is already sold out (kudos to Leila over on the What Kate Wore facebook page for the super fast idenitification!). For this trip, Kate purchased the Ami coat from L.K. Bennet in what the company calls “Red-Burgundy.” The coat originally sold for 345 pounds but is currently listed for 276 pounds, though it is ‘out of stock’. What a shame for L.K. Bennett!

Kate added her own belt to the coat which added a lot of visual interest and individuality to the coat (wonder if Pippa had a hand in that?). Kate has  been wearing red lately, which is nice to see. It’s a lovely colour for her complexion, is seasonally appropriate,  and makes her stand out in a crowd.  We got a few glimpses of the dress she was wearing under the coat. Check it out below:

Via Lainey Gossip

Could it be the red Catherine Walker dress she wore under another red coat in Canada?See below:

Via Lucky Magazine

It’s very hard to tell, but what do you think? Is it the same dress? If not, could very well be the dress that Kate was wearing underneath her coat when she and William went to sign the condolence book for the victims of the New Zealand earthquake.

We are also happy to see both William and Kate wearing poppies in recognition of Remembrance Day.

The flowers that the Duchess of Princess Mary are carrying here were presented by two ten year old girls, the daughters of UNICEF employees. This shot was taken right before the royals headed into start packing boxes.

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark showed up in pants, and we knew that Kate wouldn’t; she rarely ever does wear ‘trousers’.  As you can seen in the picture below, it looks like Kate is wearing a long red skirt that just about exactly matches the jacket. Her tall suede boots are keeping her warm.

Crown Princess Mary is a very stylish royal but she didn’t quite knock it out of the park on this one. Check out her stylish ensemble when visiting America in 2010 (she had a ‘Royal Whoops’ moment but sure looked swish in the midst of it).

Kate also has a trusty clutch with her as usual, while the Crown Princess is without one. It does seem like it would be easier for Kate if she had someone carry whatever she needs in their for her; especially since she’ll have to keep track of it while packing boxes and whatnot.

If you look closely at her wrist in the picture above, it look like Kate also pulled out her special “C” charm bracelet which we guess is from Prince Charles. It has been reported the bracelet was a gift from Camilla to Kate, but…since that has never been officially confirmed, we like to think that Charles gave it to the two “C” ladies in his family.

Kate’s gold plated leaf earrings are by Vinnie Day. Check out their website and the earrings by clicking here. They are currently priced at 100 pounds. Kate has worn these earrings many times before, most recently (we believe) when Kate toured her wedding dress exhibit with the Queen. These earrings also showed up on the Canada tour during the Ottawa leg, below:

Here’s a snapshot of the couple packing boxes:

Kate is getting right into it:

And with the Danish Royals:

According to The Telegraph, Kate helped Unicef worker Isaac Maina to pack boxes of aid supplies ready to be shipped to Nairobi. Mr Maina, 40, who is from Kenya, said: “The Duchess told me they are going back to Kenya soon.” Well that’s wonderful news!

William also tested some of the high energy peanut butter that is being sent to Africa. At first we were a bit disappointed in Kate for not giving it a go and trying it as well but perhaps she didn’t feel it was very ladylike to be sucking paste off of her finger in front of all those photographers. We’re germaphobes ourselves..

The Royals also donned hard hats and it’s the first time we’ve seen Kate in one! You know you’re starting to really earn your royal stripes when the hard hats come out…

Ok we can’t help it – here is Diana in a very similar blue hard hat:

Well all in all it seems to have been a most successful visit and we hoped it has helped raise more awareness that will translate into more aid for the victims of the famine in East Africa.

William and Kate in Copenhagen

As announced last Wednesday, today William and Kate will arrive in Copenhagen later this morning and attend a private lunch with Crown Prince Frederik ad Crown Princess (perhaps there will be a few pictures when they arrive!). Then at around 2:30pm in Copenhagen the four will arrive at the Unicef distribution center for famine relief in East Africa.

Stay tuned for details as they are released!

Kate’s London Restaurants ~ Part Two

Last week we posted Part One of Kate’s London Restaurants (click here for a refresher) and are delighted that so many of you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed putting it together (and testing out some of the restaurants).  In the spirit of all this good fun, let’s take a look at a few more!
Riccardo’s Italian Restaurant
Riccardo’s is on 126 Fulham Road in Chelsea. It’s a small, upscale/casual family type place, and the food is fresh and yummy. Kate was spotted there with a friend having dinner on March 3, 2011.
I went last month and had the goat’s cheese ravioli with butter and sage sauce and it was delicious. The plates are VERY small, so my only mistake was not ordering a starter as well, though I sure made up for it with the almond chocolate cake on the desert menu! In terms of atmosphere, it’s cozy and not fussy. We’ll definitely go back.
Back to Kate. At the time, it was reported that she was having dinner with Pippa. We think this was just a tactic to sell more stories because clearly that blonde head next to Kate in the picture above isn’t Pippa. It was reported that Kate had a plate of spaghetti.
We think it’s interesting that she chose a chair facing the outside, giving the paparazzi a good line of sight. Most likely she didn’t know the paps were there, and if she did she didn’t care. Good for her. We hope she can keep eating out like a ‘normal’ person for at least awhile longer!
Here they are heading back to the car:
The Ebury
The Ebury
The Ebury is located on 11 Pimlico Road, which is about a ten minute walk from Sloane Square. Kate was seen having lunch there several weeks before the wedding. It was reported that she was alone, flipping through wedding magazines while having a salad. This makes us go ‘Hmmmmmm’…There were no photos taken, so we don’t have proof that this actually took place, but Kate would at least have had police protection with her since she was a royal fiance at the time.
The Ebury does fit the profile of a Kate restaurant, though. It’s in Chelsea (or Belgravia if you want to be exact) and it has an upscale, but relaxed atmosphere. We had dinner there last spring, and the food was good but we made the mistake of making a reservation for 7:30pm, so we were the only patrons there until well after 8pm!
Since we don’t have any pictures of Kate, here’s what the interior of the restaurant looks like:
Koffman’s
Koffman’s is at the lovely Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge (if you’re in London they have a great afternoon tea called Pret-a-Portea – it’s one of our favourite afternoon tea places in London. And yes, designers like Burberry and Dior design the cakes) and is named for three Michelin-starred chef Pierre Koffman.
Kate had lunch there with Camilla back in February 2011. They were pictured leaving the restauarant, above. It was reported that Pippa Middleton (Kate’s sister) and Laura Lopes (Camilla’s daughter) joined them as well, but they were not pictured.  Kate wore a Whistles jacket, which has also been seen on Pippa (click here for more) and a DVF dress which she reportedly purchased at Bicester Village where Kate has been spotted on several occasions (we haven’t been to Bicester Village – pronounced ‘bis-ter’ yet, but are headed there in November. Can’t wait!).  She carried a Mulberry clutch and a Smythson notebook (for wedding notes, perhaps?).

So, what did they eat? The Daily Mail wrote that Kate had terrine of foie gras with a baguette, followed by roasted sea bass with fennel and black olive sauce, and a pistachio souffle with ice cream for dessert.

Hello magazine reported bits of their conversation that was overheard, including “…we can’t have trumpets, the ceiling is too high”. Love that detail! Also, as we mentioned in our post of our favourite royal wedding dresses, Kate was overheard mentioning that she loved Grace Kelly’s wedding dress. Well that sure turned out to be a big hint!

Do let us know if you’ve stopped in at any of these restaurants or have anything else to add. We’d love to hear your stories!