Film & TV

Grace Kelly: Forever Fashionable from the Palace to the White House

A Princess at the White House

December 30, 2023

On Wednesday, May 24, 1961, former Hollywood actress Grace Kelly and her husband Ranier III (Their Serene Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Monaco) left their palace in the hills of Monaco and took off to Washington on important business—lunch at the White House with the fresh-faced Kennedys.

In true royal fashion, the pair arrived impeccably dressed to a warm welcome on the White House lawn, which included Ranier sporting a chic black suit and Kelly wearing a bright green dress suit straight from French couturier Hubert de Givenchy’s spring 1961 collection — a detail that was sure to impress the hip new Presidential couple.

According to the official notice, in attendance that afternoon were The President and Mrs. Kennedy, The Prince and Princess of Monaco (Grace and Ranier), Senator and Mrs. Claiborne Pell, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Coe, Hon. And Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr., and Mr. William Walton. The table decorations consisted of arrangements of Lilies of the Valley in a silver bowl, and the guests enjoyed soft-shelled crabs, spring lamb, and strawberries Romanov

As for the table chat, among the discussions of the Red Cross and the well-being of their children, Kelly later shared in a 1965 interview a moment she shared with The President regarding her outfit: “He turned to me suddenly and asked: ‘Is that a Givenchy you’re wearing?’ The astonishing thing was that day, that particular dress just happened to be one. I said, ‘How clever of you, Mr. President! However did you know?’ ‘Oh,’ he replied, ‘I’m getting pretty good at it—now that fashion is becoming more important than politics and the press is paying more attention to Jackie’s clothes than to my speeches.’”

Available to bid in Julien’s upcoming Unstoppable: Signature Styles of Iconic Women in Fashion, is the unforgettable ensemble by Givenchy composed of Kelly-green wool and lined in a matching silk dress, worn by Kelly (and noticed by Kennedy) during this historic luncheon that would delight the citizens of both countries.

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